New plasma TV vs old tube TV. Whats your experience? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 20 Old 10-31-2009, 06:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Hello:

Can anyone suggest an affordable plasma TV I may want to consider than can better the picture quality (PQ) of this old tube TV: Sony KV-27FS120 27-Inch FD Trinitron WEGA Flat Screen TV And by PQ I man black levels and color accuracy.

I'm wondering if today's entry level or budget plasmas match or better the PQ of this older Sony tube TV, here's why:

I have the 27 WEGA tube TV linked above. When I bought a PS3 two years ago it looked decent on the WEGA for a standard def set, but I wanted a HDTV so I purchased a Toshiba REGZA 37HL67 37-Inch 720p LCD As normal, to my eyes it looked better and I decided to keep the REGZA.

2 years later, today, I know a lot more about TV's as I've been researching them a lot and playing around with calibration. Yesterday I was watching Planet Earth on blu ray on the REGZA. After I went to my bedroom with high def Planet Earth fresh in my head I decided to watch my standard def version of Planet Earth on the WEGA to compare how much better the blu ray version was.. And I was sad to see how much better the colors and blacks looked on my old TV. It was to the point that I may choose to watch the remaining episodes on the standard def version because I enjoyed it more on the WEGA due to the blacks, colors, and smoothness to the motion.

Since there are some 50 plasmas at Best Buy that are around the $1000.00 mark, and I know plasmas have better blacks and (no motion blur?) I was thinking to replace my REGZA with a new plasma set.

So if anyone had an experience of liking the PQ on a tube TV and then moved to plasma and either found the plasma better or worse I'd like to hear about your thoughts!

Ps. In case anyone is wondering I watched the HD Planet Earth in a dark room, with the movie preset settings (I found that to be better than the settings after calibrating with blu ray of Digital Video Essentials) and I watched the SD Planet Earth in an equally dark room on that TVs movie preset settings. View distance in both cases were about the same.

Basically what I found was that:
27 WEGA, PS2, component cables and SD Planet Earth looked better than 37 REGZA, PS3, HDMI and HD Planet Earth.


In the WEGA set up colors and motion were far superior and the crispness of the image was still good in that I clearly saw individual strands of bird feathers and animal fur despite the fact that SD version ran in widescreen on a 27 4:3 set. On the 37 REGZA set I saw the same fine details but MARGINALY better, which I think is due to the fact that the set is a larger display.

Finally, in an attempt to pre-empt anyone who may say something like I must have my PS3 settings out of order that isn't the case, I have PS3 settings optimized for blu ray and sending out a 1080P signal.
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post #2 of 20 Old 10-31-2009, 06:18 PM
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On the KRP-500m with the blinds closed, I can watch with the lights on no worries. 1080p content is going to look phenomenal on a good set. Standard DVD will depend a lot on the quality of the source content. Some DVD's look really good, while others look slightly unfocused in places due to lack of detail in the recording (mostly ones that were recorded lower quality or especially older). For the most part DVD looks good enough that you should be satisfied at least to very happy depending on the DVD. Now TV is a different story. HD channels will look great, SD channels will vary widely. They're watchable, but the picture will be worse since you're watching something low resolution on a high resolution screen and there's only so much you can do with a low-quality source (even if you splurge and get an external upscaler).

I would hang onto your Tube if you watch a lot of SD TV channels. Use the plasma for your PS3, dvd player, HD TV channels, etc... and you should be very happy.

I similarly tried a few LCD TV's at different times and returned them all. IMO, for PQ Plasma is the closest thing you'll find to a CRT. At least till OLED or SED or something like that comes out down the line.
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post #3 of 20 Old 11-01-2009, 05:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blueslit View Post

Since there are some 50 plasmas at Best Buy that are around the $1000.00 mark, and I know plasmas have better blacks and (no motion blur?) I was thinking to replace my REGZA with a new plasma set.

So if anyone had an experience of liking the PQ on a tube TV and then moved to plasma and either found the plasma better or worse I'd like to hear about your thoughts!

I recently sold my 36" Panasonic Tau analog CRT and bought a 50" Panasonic plasma P50X1.

I held onto my CRT for awhile because I really loved the way it looked. I was hesitant to buy a hi-def set for fear that it might look worse. I know that sounds odd but as you know, there are some of us who just prefer the look of CRTs...it must be their black and gamma levels.

All said, my jump to digital was successful. While my plasma set has a different visual character than my Tau, it is surprisingly close. After fooling with the picture settings, I can get my plasma to look like a CRT TV rather than looking like a computer monitor (ahem, LCD). I will say that my Tau had better black levels but my plasma has better shadow detail and a wider dynamic range. Of course where you set the contrast and brightness levels makes an impact.

Perhaps the biggest difference is that digital TVs have discrete pixels so they show blockiness where an analog CRT shows blurriness...this is maybe the biggest issue when watching upscaled SD content. Of course if you have digital cable on an analog set you experience something like this already.

I think plasma's inherent ability to preserve resolution in high-motion scenes is what seals the deal. It's just like watching an analog CRT, no smearing at all. If the only available display technology was LCD I would probably still have my analog CRT. Plasma is good, it's made for television.

And let's face it: a 50" panel shows widescreen content 2.3x larger than on a 36" analog set. Re-watching otherwise well-worn films is a fresh, new experience.

BB is selling the 50S1 with the Panasonic BD80 player for $1099 this week...or $999 for the 50S1 alone. I paid $799 for my 50X1; I'm not convinced the 50S1 is worth another $200 but to each his own.
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post #4 of 20 Old 11-01-2009, 05:44 AM
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When you watch DVDs, Blu ray movies, HDTV programming Plasma will look much better. But when you watch the regular 480i cable content CRT would appear to be better.
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post #5 of 20 Old 11-01-2009, 07:22 AM - Thread Starter
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BB is selling the 50S1 with the Panasonic BD80 player for $1099 this week...or $999 for the 50S1 alone. I

I would get that in a heartbeat. I wouldn't even be on this board now, I'd be watching some blu ray. Problem is, here in Canada, the price is $1,999.99

In Canada, the closest thing I can get is a 50C1. Anyone know how the PQ between the C1 and S1 compare?
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post #6 of 20 Old 11-01-2009, 07:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by black_cat View Post

I recently sold my 36" Panasonic Tau analog CRT and bought a 50" Panasonic plasma P50X1.

Welcome to the plasma world. I guess I never had a CRT good enough or big enough that I even considered it was in the ball park.

Speaking of dot patterns, one interested aspect of a 3-gun RP/FPTV is that they have horizontal lines, not dots. The problem is getting those guns to actually all converge on the same spots...

I wonder if some day we'll see another prime time solution where there isn't a fixed cell structure that doesn't have convergence issues.
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post #7 of 20 Old 11-01-2009, 10:49 AM
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Blueslit:

Yes, in Canada we get the shaft when it comes to TVs. There's no online etailers to keep brick and mortar places honest. And Panasonic Canada has the goofiest retail pricing system ever. Panasonics are waaay over priced here.

If you want a plasma comparable to the S1, but cheaper, you can get a Samsung PN50B530/540/550 for $1400 or less on sale. I've seen it as low as $1299 and it's a great set - check the forum thread. There are known buzzing issues, so just make sure wherever you get it has a good return policy.

You could also just drive down to the states and get a Panasonic if you're close enough. Just make sure you get a Mack warranty and be aware that it doesn't kick in for 90 days, so during that period if you have a problem you have to drive it back to the retailer.

Good luck!
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post #8 of 20 Old 11-01-2009, 11:10 AM - Thread Starter
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I've though about driving to the states. I'm about 1hr away from Niagra falls so I think the closest place to get something would be in Buffalo? Also what is a Mack warranty and how does it work? And if anyone has done this are there taxes to pay at the border? I've never been to the states.
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post #9 of 20 Old 11-01-2009, 08:08 PM
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Yeah, Buffalo's right there, so it's not far for you.

A Mack warranty is an extended three year warranty you can buy from a third party (not the manufacturer). They include parts and service (usually in-home) and they cost about 10-15% of the price of the TV.

Since Panasonic USA's warranty isn't valid in Canada, you'll want to get one if you buy the TV from the US. BUT, the Mack warranty doesn't begin until 90 days after purchase, so if you buy a TV from Buffalo, drive home and find that it has a fault, you can't call anybody - you have to take it all the way back to the US. Also, you have to be very careful transporting the thing.

At the border, you'll pay GST and PST, but no duty because Panasonics are made in Mexico.

So, if a 50" S1 is $1000 in the US, add $130 for the warranty and $70 (current) for the exchange, plus the extra NY state sales tax. GST and PST are a wash because you'd pay that in Canada anyway, although you're paying a bit less tax because the price is cheaper.

Your other option is to order online from a US etailer who delivers to Canada (like Abe's). They charge for it (like $150 or something), but you don't pay any US sales tax. The trouble with this is, again, if you have a problem with the set in the first 90 days, you'll have to ship it back to the etailer - at YOUR expense since there's no manufacturer warranty.

Long and short - you'll save hundreds by getting it from the states, but it could turn into a pretty big hassle if you have a problem in the first 90 days.

I don't know why Panasonics are so overpriced in Canada compared to their competitors, but I have seen some prices coming down. The G10 is available for $1899 now and the S1 for $1699. You can get a freaking V10 in the US for that, but whatever.
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post #10 of 20 Old 11-02-2009, 04:56 AM
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Note that you are supposed to transport these sets upright, not flat on their box "sides" (i.e. screen glass parallel to the ground).

I brought my P50X1 home (at night) in my Subaru Outback and had it laying flat in the cargo area like a sheet of plywood (how else is it going to fit?). Only after I carried the box into my house did I see the warning symbols and verbiage "KEEP UPRIGHT". Whoops.

Fortunately I only had to drive 2.5 miles from the BB and my set survived the trip. The glass is under a lot of stress face-down and can crack, so I got lucky. Of course I thought: are these sets always kept upright from the factory to the storeroom floor?

Therefore you will need a minivan, truck or something will enough vertical height to transport these sets. BB does offer free shipping but that's US addresses only.
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post #11 of 20 Old 11-02-2009, 06:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Great! Thank you all for the advice and input.
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post #12 of 20 Old 11-03-2009, 01:04 AM
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I normally don't chime in on threads, but my situation is identical to the one you describe. I bought a 36" KFS-12 WEGA about six years ago and just sold it for $200 about two weeks ago. A couple of days later I bought my first HDTV, the Panasonic 50" Plasma TCP50S1 for just under $1000. I had my 360 and Sony DVD player hooked up to the Sony with component cables and a toslink running to my HK receiver. Here's my take on the transition from analog to digital. . .

I've been watching a ton of movies over the last two weeks to break the set in along with Webapalooza's break in slides 3-6 hours per day. I got a lot of use out of the Sony and the picture looked identical (to me at least) from the day I got it to the day I sold it. I'm willing to implement patience to have the same longevity with my S1. Back to the movies. . . My Sony Blu-Ray player upscales the regular DVD's I've been watching to 1080P and the picture is VERY impressive. Mind you, I'm watching all of the movies with the contrast and brightness at about 50 for the first 100 hours, and even with that setting the picture still looks phenomenal and much improved over the WEGA. I used to watch all of my movies on the Sony in 16x9 Enhanced mode, and I always said that the picture rivaled hi-def to all of my friends that urged me to jump into HD. The problem with the 16x9 Enhancement is that it took my 36" screen down to 32" (diagonally) and text (particularly white) on a black background was undecipherable, especially in the corners of the screen. Everything is razor sharp on the plasma and a TRUE 50" diagonal. Blacks are very black, whites are white, and the picture is very easy on the eyes. Even at 50% contrast and picture settings, bright scenes are almost too bright in a dark room, so I doubt if I'll be moving them upward much after the break in period. Bottom line, I have a renewed enthusiasm to watch a bunch of movies over again, just because they look that much better on the bigger plasma screen. Also, I just watched the first Planet Earth episode, Pole To Pole, in Blu-Ray and it looks incredible, far surpassing anything the Sony can rival.

My 360 looked good on the Sony and I always ran it in 16x9 enhanced mode, again yielding a 32" viewable area. I haven't put in more than an hour combined gaming on the plasma, as I'm waiting for the break in period to pass, but there is no comparison between the Sony and the Panasonic. The 1080i signal is razor sharp with text being readable down to the smallest letter and very vivid colors. Again, I'm sure I'll be re-playing many games on the new set just for the experience alone. The win-win here is that the diagonal measurement is 18" larger, but there's no sacrifice. Everything just looks bigger and better on the plasma.

The ONLY possible detriment to the upgrade I've experienced is the comparison of SD content from the Sony to the Panasonic. I used to get wavy lines through some of my programming on the Sony, which I no longer get, but the Sony did seem to be somewhat sharper with SD content. I would NOT let this affect your decision, as the difference is not a deal breaker by any means. It also depends heavily on your viewing distance. When I'm 10-12 feet away from the set, SD probably looks better to me than the Sony did. Also, it's not an apples to apples comparison, because the screen size is significantly larger on the S1, which is naturally going to make any picture (particularly a low resolution one) look less detailed in some ways. A good example would be looking at an identical feed on your 27" WEGA and then pipe the same feed into a 40" CRT and you'll see what I'm talking about. By the same token, the same feed into a 20" Sony would probably look better than your 27".

The last point I'll touch on is that I've never taken a liking to LCD HDTV's, as they've always looked like blown up laptop screens with all of the same drawbacks that would prevent me from wanting to watch a full length movie on one. Plasma's and CRT's both share phosphor based technologies that only differ in the mechanisms that stimulate the phosphors themselves (electron guns vs. UV light). For this reason, a plasma is always the easiest transition for viewers that have become accustomed to CRT's and prefer the type of picture they provide. I fit the bill on this level perfectly, as clearly evidenced by my holding onto the WEGA well past the majority of my friends diving into HD (including ones that have considerably less monetary resources than I do).

I'm still amazed that I have the quality of picture I do for under a $1000. A friend of mine in Newport Beach bought a 50" Fujitsu 720P plasma for almost $11,000 roughly 7 years ago when I got my Sony. Now, with a 1080P source, I could certainly give him a run for his money at a fraction of the cost.
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post #13 of 20 Old 11-03-2009, 01:16 AM
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So SD TV and DVD will depend a lot on the plasma you get. On a 720p set, it'll be fairly close to native resolution so it'll still look pretty good. On a 1080p set it'll look acceptable, better maybe because it's larger than a CRT, but also more blurry etc... Also screen size matters. Larger the screen and higher resolution, worse SD TV and DVD will look. DVD usually is fine, though it'll generally look a little more impression at 720p than 1080p since there's less processing to try and fill in missing pixel info at 720p. 1080p content will look amazing on either resolution display. If you want to use it with a computer, 1080p is definitely the way to go.
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post #14 of 20 Old 11-11-2009, 05:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok guys. I've decided to get a panasonic plasma. I need help in choosing between two models.

1) 42" G10 Series

or

2) 50" X1 Series


Basically, the G10 is 1080p, deeper blacks, higher contrast, and more accurate colors. I don't care much about the Viera link crap...

The X1 is 50"!!! thats about it.


I'm going back and forth in my mind and can't decide, so any advice from personal experience will be good.

Thanks

ps. viewing distance is about 6 - 7 feet.
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post #15 of 20 Old 11-11-2009, 06:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Well, I'm not sure if there is a correct way to measure viewing distance, but.....

From the front of my tv stand, to the front of my couch is 6'2". (I know, not a very big living room)

However, the stand is deep enough, that I can push my current screen on there back and add roughly another foot to the distance. Also considering that I don't sit on the floor infront my couch, with my back against the front of my couch, I could probably add another 1.5' feet to viewing distance, considering that when you sit on the couch, your eyes are closer to the back of the couch, than they are too the front.

Did I measure wrong? How do people normally measure? Is it Couch to TV stand, or Screen to eyes?
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post #16 of 20 Old 11-11-2009, 06:09 PM
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My journey was from a 24 inch Sony CRT to a 58 inch Panasonic pz700u. So the shear size was the biggest, and best leap for me. I am just glad I found these forums first, and did not fall into the LCD trap. I prolly could not have found a 58 inch LCD anyhow, but reading these forums gave me the confidence to make such a big, big change in my HT, which I followed up with my first 5.1 setup including the great SVS Ultra subwoofer, again thanks to these forums for great recommendation. I almost forgot to mention, I LOVE MY PLASMA. PQ is wonderful, even better after I had it calibrated by Chad B.

TV - Panasonic 58PZ700U plasma
L/R - Ascend Sierra Towers with RAAL Tweets in piano black
C - Ascend Sierra Horizon with RAAL Tweet in piano black
Surr - Polk Fxi-A6
Sub - SVS PC-13 Ultra
AVR - Denon 4520-CI
Blu-ray - OPPO 103
Comcast Set Top Box
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post #17 of 20 Old 11-11-2009, 07:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blueslit View Post

Ok guys. I've decided to get a panasonic plasma. I need help in choosing between two models.

1) 42" G10 Series

or

2) 50" X1 Series


Basically, the G10 is 1080p, deeper blacks, higher contrast, and more accurate colors. I don't care much about the Viera link crap...

The X1 is 50"!!! thats about it.


I'm going back and forth in my mind and can't decide, so any advice from personal experience will be good.

Thanks

ps. viewing distance is about 6 - 7 feet.

You should consider the S series as well.
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post #18 of 20 Old 11-11-2009, 08:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by chrisherbert View Post

You should consider the S series as well.

The only reason I'm asking about the G10 vs the X1 is because the G10 is on sale and only $100 more than the S1. If I idle in this decision, the sale will likely be over and I'll be back to considering 42S1 vs 50X1

Do you think there will be much difference between the S1 and G10 at the 42" size?
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post #19 of 20 Old 11-11-2009, 09:03 PM
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What's your budget?
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post #20 of 20 Old 11-11-2009, 09:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by pcdo View Post

What's your budget?

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...7#post17519177
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