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Plasma Flat Panel Displays

Chad B's Avatar Chad B
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I've had a lot of questions about which TV is better, like "Would you recommend the Panny V10 over the Samsung B550?"
I decided to make a chart with my subjective evaluations of many different TVs. It's not for marketing, and it's not meant as a be-all-end-all ranking. But it might help people figure out which set is best for them based on what they value most in a picture.
I've included 2 Sonys which are discontinued, but I still calibrate a lot of them. They're there mainly for comparison purposes, since you can't buy them new any more.
I might add front projectors at a later date.
There are many more models I've calibrated, but I've only included the ones I can remember well enough to give accurate descriptions of.
The link is in my signature. Feel free to check it out.
mariachi's Avatar mariachi
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Thank you very much.
mercury's Avatar mercury
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wow awsome.
Fingolfin269's Avatar Fingolfin269
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I'm wondering if I shouldn't cancel my V10 order now. Based on this I should just go for the 860 or save some cash and get the G10 (well, G15 in my case). Interesting.
dlbradley's Avatar dlbradley
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I would have purchased a Samsung but with the buzz issue that a lot of folks seem to have, I purchased a V10 instead.

While I realize the buzz issue has nothing to do with PQ, it is an issue that kept me from purchasing.
Chad B's Avatar Chad B
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I know I came down hard on the Pannys, but it's really only their color that I have an issue with. Not that it's bad at all, it's just not as awesome as the Samsung's.
mercury's Avatar mercury
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The sammy 63" B550 now has to be on my list

v10 65
s 65
b550 63.

Chad I had my sights on a 65" V10 or S1 however the b550 63" is now in play.

can you give your opinion on out of the box non ISF setup.?
General tweak avia.
nature boy's Avatar nature boy
04:08 PM Liked: 10
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Chad,

Thanks for your comparisons, given your familiarity with calibrating each of the plasma's and LCD's. I am trying to decide between a 58" Panny V10 and 58" Samsung 860. It is extremely difficult directly comparing these in local stores due to generally poor set ups (PQ), often an inability to view 1080P material, and close proximity of the displays to one another.

Regards,

NB
Arc3's Avatar Arc3
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Awesome chart, thanks for doing that Chad! The LG in your opinion rates very well. I might have to take another look at that since I got a 860 buzzer. The only think that spoils it for me is the viewing angle which is sort of a deal breaker for me (have a tricky place where the tv goes).
Arc3's Avatar Arc3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nature boy View Post

Chad,

Thanks for your comparisons, given your familiarity with calibrating each of the plasma's and LCD's. I am trying to decide between a 58" Panny V10 and 58" Samsung 860. It is extremely difficult directly comparing these in local stores due to generally poor set ups (PQ), often an inability to view 1080P material, and close proximity of the displays to one another.

Regards,

NB

at my BB, i was lucky, the V10 and the 860 are side by side. The guys there are pretty cool, and we lugged a blu ray player around to a bunch of different sets - are you able to get them to do that for you?
nature boy's Avatar nature boy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arc3 View Post

at my BB, i was lucky, the V10 and the 860 are side by side. The guys there are pretty cool, and we lugged a blu ray player around to a bunch of different sets - are you able to get them to do that for you?

No they were too busy Friday afternoon when I went to look at both sets. I did talk extensively with one of the Magnolia Store installers who also does calibrations. He like the Sammy a bit over the Panny, principally due to better colors as Chad B's comparison indicates.
TomGreen321's Avatar TomGreen321
05:13 PM Liked: 10
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Strange how a lot of you people can't shop for yourself and buy a TV YOU like, not a TV some guy ranked based on his own opinions. A lot of threads asking people to hold your hands.
tbird8450's Avatar tbird8450
05:17 PM Liked: 34
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Not everyone is fortunate enough to have stores better than Best Buy available locally.

Shopping for an HDTV there is like test driving sports cars in a rain storm.
jaffies's Avatar jaffies
05:38 PM Liked: 10
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Thanks for the rankings, Chad.

I had the absolute pleasure of having my 60XBR2 calibrated by Chad about 2 years back (Chicago), the picture still looks amazing to this day. I plan on contacting him soon for my new 500M.


Quote:
Originally Posted by TomGreen321 View Post

Strange how a lot of you people can't shop for yourself and buy a TV YOU like, not a TV some guy ranked based on his own opinions. A lot of threads asking people to hold your hands.

Some (not all) people come to this site to learn a little more about the display they plan on purchasing, the differences between two or three different TVs that 'YOU LIKE', or maybe offer a little assistance on the information that they have gained from experience. And for a purchase that could cost a couple thousand dollars, asking for opinions/info doesn't seem to be a bad idea. Especially in a forum with the very knowledgeable members that are kind enough to help out, like Chad. It's a whole lot better than asking the stoner undergrad at Best Buy for advice.
5150Joker's Avatar 5150Joker
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You measured a higher black level with the LG LH90 than a 9G Kuro elite? o_O Something doesn't seem right about that, especially with the Samsung matching the Kuro elites in black level in your rankings. Here's CNet's take on the LG LH90 black levels:

Quote:
Black level: Like the other displays in the room, the LH90 evinced a very deep shade of black. The initial scene in the Comedian's apartment at night, for example, was reproduced beautifully, with inky shadows in the background and realistic depth in black areas like the letterbox bars, the black ninja suit of the assassin, and the night sky outside the windows. In fact the LG's blacks were nearly indistinguishable during dark scenes from those of the Samsung B750, A950, and B7000 LCDs, and not quite as deep as those of the Sony XBR8, the Panasonic V10, and the Pioneer--but again the differences were subtle, even in a dark room in side-by-side comparisons.

The LG also delivered very good shadow detail. In Drieburg's walk home after visiting Hollis, for example, we noticed that the LH90 appeared a bit more realistic and closer to our reference when rendering the dark steps of the brownstone than did the B750 or the B7000, and roughly equal to the other LCD displays, although not quite as good as the plasmas.

Differences in black-level performance came out in lighter scenes, however, when the letterbox bars of the LED displays, especially the Samsung B7000 but also the LG, became brighter than they appeared during dark scenes. Darker bars improve perceived contrast ratio, and the Samsung B750 and the plasmas' bars remained constant and darker than the others during the brightest scenes. Between the three local-dimming LEDs, the LG showed the most variation: it had the brightest bars in bright scenes, and it also faded to a darker black than the others between the bright scenes during the opening credits, for example (although it didn't turn off completely and distractingly, as did the B7000). That said, the brightness variations of the LG's backlight as a whole were subtle and didn't impinge on our appreciation of the film.

We also noticed some blooming in certain scenes with white objects against black backgrounds. It appeared as a sort of brighter cloud around the object against the black, and was most obvious in the menu text and onscreen indicators of our PS3 or on credits against a black background, for example. Bright areas on the screen also occasionally spilled over into the letterbox bars. When Rorschach shines the flashlight around the Comedian's apartment, for instance, the bottom bar brightened slightly near where the picture of Nixon and the Comedian was illuminated, then darkened again as the light faded. The effect was more obvious on the LG than on the other two local-dimming LCDs, and, as expected, none of the other displays showed such blooming effects.

Yet you gave this a higher ranking than a 9G Kuro???
mercury's Avatar mercury
06:34 PM Liked: 101
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomGreen321 View Post

Strange how a lot of you people can't shop for yourself and buy a TV YOU like, not a TV some guy ranked based on his own opinions. A lot of threads asking people to hold your hands.


Guess what you DOLT.! so far in my area i have yet to find any of the Plasma's on display so i have to rely on what my fellow forum members are saying.

wow, what a tool.
Chad B's Avatar Chad B
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5150Joker View Post

You measured a higher black level with the LG LH90 than a 9G Kuro elite? o_O Something doesn't seem right about that, especially with the Samsung matching the Kuro elites in black level in your rankings. Here's CNet's take on the LG LH90 black levels:



Yet you gave this a higher ranking than a 9G Kuro???

Depending on how it's calibrated, the LH90 can have absolutely NO luminance, not even a faint glow, in a totally dark room. All I can say is that if CNET thought they weren't that dark, then our calibration methodology differs. With brightness at 52, totally dark. Brightness at 54, just slight glow. Default 50.
Chad B's Avatar Chad B
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5150Joker View Post

You measured a higher black level with the LG LH90 than a 9G Kuro elite? o_O Something doesn't seem right about that, especially with the Samsung matching the Kuro elites in black level in your rankings. Here's CNet's take on the LG LH90 black levels:



Yet you gave this a higher ranking than a 9G Kuro???

You are misreading my rankings if you got the impression that I said the Samsung matches the Kuro in blacks. I gave the Kuros a 9 for black level. The Samsungs are all lower.
Chad B's Avatar Chad B
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Wow, I just saw that CNET said the LH90 blacks were same as the Panny- that's not at all true with proper calibration. The Panny blacks are good for a plasma, but no where near totally dark like the LH90.
5150Joker's Avatar 5150Joker
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chad B View Post

You are misreading my rankings if you got the impression that I said the Samsung matches the Kuro in blacks. I gave the Kuros a 9 for black level. The Samsungs are all lower.

The B7100 has a rating of 9 just like the Kuro.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chad B View Post

Depending on how it's calibrated, the LH90 can have absolutely NO luminance, not even a faint glow, in a totally dark room. All I can say is that if CNET thought they weren't that dark, then our calibration methodology differs. With brightness at 52, totally dark. Brightness at 54, just slight glow. Default 50.

You also noted black crush in your review of the LH90 in order to attain those black levels. Did you measure the black levels of the LH90 vs 9G Kuro? Finally here are the audience results of fully calibrated sets that were pitted against each other at the VE shootout: http://www.toshiba.ca/web/pdf/******...ShootoutEN.pdf Seeing that Toshiba is hosting the file, they must find the results credible.

LH90 Calibration results: ISF1 and ISF2

500M results: ISF Day and ISF night

Now either the calibrators at the shootout didn't know what they were doing and/or the audience members were blind. CNet also agrees with the above results with their review vs yours that seems to be greatly skewed.
5150Joker's Avatar 5150Joker
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chad B View Post

Wow, I just saw that CNET said the LH90 blacks were same as the Panny- that's not at all true with proper calibration. The Panny blacks are good for a plasma, but no where near totally dark like the LH90.


Well either you're wrong or Cnet is wrong. I'd like to hear D-nice's opinion on the subject as well.
Chad B's Avatar Chad B
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5150Joker View Post

The B7100 has a rating of 9 just like the Kuro.



You also noted black crush in your review of the LH90 in order to attain those black levels. Did you measure the black levels of the LH90 vs 9G Kuro?

Oh, I stand corrected on the Samsung B7100. I did rate it the same (but not higher than) the Kuro. I was thinking of the plasmas.
Yes, the B7100 has extremely dark blacks. I have not put them side by side, but I think they are very close to the Kuros. That is with the dynamic backlight.

Yes, there is a small amount of black crush with the LH90 when set at brightness 52, which gives totally dark blacks. Therefore it has a 3 rating for shadow detail vs. 5 for the Kuros.
These black levels are too low for my meter to measure.

Sets with black level too low for me to measure: LH90, Kuro, B7100, and 700UB with advanced power save on.
Chad B's Avatar Chad B
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I'm positive of those blacks on the LH90. Chris and I both saw it. No luminance at black.
tbird8450's Avatar tbird8450
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Quote:


Depending on how it's calibrated, the LH90 can have absolutely NO luminance, not even a faint glow, in a totally dark room.

When fed 0% black, the LED backlight will shut off. What would happen when given a 1% signal?
Chad B's Avatar Chad B
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tbird8450 View Post

When fed 0% black, the LED backlight will shut off. What would happen when given a 1% signal?

I didn't try a 1% window, but I did try 5% and 10%. The zones behind and around the window light up, and there is a glow visible around the window. The rest of the screen seemed still dark. The glow is only obtrusive in a totally dark room, and becomes less subjectively bothersome with brighter windows. In other words, I was bothered by it with 5-10% windows, noticed it but was not bothered as much on slightly brighter windows, and on the brightest windows it was not an issue. That was all in a dark room.
MCoupe's Avatar MCoupe
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Thanks for the read Chad.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TomGreen321 View Post

Strange how a lot of you people can't shop for yourself and buy a TV YOU like, not a TV some guy ranked based on his own opinions. A lot of threads asking people to hold your hands.

Thank you Mr. Helper. People want to get the most for their money and bring home a product they will be happy with rather than go through multiple exchanges. Reading other people's opinion gives insight to the experiences of others and may convey information that the reader may not otherwise think to look for or otherwise discern for themselves because they lack the experience, equipment or access to the products in question. That said, the opinions of others are just that so they should be noted and the reader should make his/her decision based on the summation of said opinions and hard facts provided.
Chad B's Avatar Chad B
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Here's some more examples of how good an LG LH90 can measure. Now I've calibrated 3 or 4 of them, and there is some difference in how they turn out due to sample to sample variation. This is the best one. It's pretty close to perfect. But you can see in the night one especially, a slight rise in the gamma at 10% due to the slight black crush. I calibrated night at brightness 52. The day chart I calibrated at brightness 54.
LL
LL
ll Viper ll's Avatar ll Viper ll
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chad B View Post

Here's some more examples of how good an LG LH90 can measure. Now I've calibrated 3 or 4 of them, and there is some difference in how they turn out due to sample to sample variation. This is the best one. It's pretty close to perfect. But you can see in the night one especially, a slight rise in the gamma at 10% due to the slight black crush. I calibrated night at brightness 52. The day chart I calibrated at brightness 54.

^This is funny. I would have thought that my *perfectly* calibrated 5020 would have something to say about the 7 for color that you gave the NE 9gs. Sure, a couple of the delta Es are slightly over 1 (but it's not visible to the human eye at these levels-- I dare someone to spot me the difference). I guess having a ruler flat gamma and tighter RGB tracking doesn't count for anything though. And why would the Elites, which have absolutely flawless color, earn less than the LG in this category.

And LED LCD besting a kuro in black level? I don't count full screen black as anything even mildly impressive. My 81F could do that, and believe me, it's no 9g Pioneer. Minimum luminescence with mixed or real material = Kuro
hhaller's Avatar hhaller
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I had the LH90 for a few days and I thought it was definitely the best LCD I'd ever had a chance to watch. The blacks were pretty darn good, and I was only using the THX and CNet recommended settings at night. I probably would have got even better black levels if I had played around with it a bit more.

With that being said, I hooked my 111 back up and I could instantly tell the difference in PQ. The depth of the picture on the Elite was far and away better, it was almost a night and day difference.

The LH90 is definitely worth a look at current prices though.
GBFreek's Avatar GBFreek
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Chad-

Thanks - its nice to have another source of reviews from someone with access to ALL TV's other than CNET and PCMAG. Keep up the good work!

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