My 1st flatscreen, have research overload, wanting some opinions on 48"-54" - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 02-02-2010, 11:25 AM - Thread Starter
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Ok, I've read through hundreds (if not thousands) of posts here trying to make a decision. Tax refund will be here mid-Feb. and I'm looking to get our first flatscreen tv to replace a 400 lb. Sony 34" CRT behemoth. Originally, I was set on LCD or LED/LCD, probably Samsung, Toshiba or Sony (in that order), but am thinking now that plasma is the way to go. I'm the type that would rather pay a little extra rather than compromise quality due to price. I'd rather go without than buy something simply because "it's all I could afford."

My needs/concerns are:
  • LR is setup with wide angle seating, between 35-40 degrees to each side ranging from 8'-12', so viewing angle is a big concern
  • Picture quality is a concern. I want to really enjoy the picture as we're HUGE movie buffs (have about 3,000 dvds now) and have now begun buying Blu-Ray in anticipation of the move to HD (new Star Trek was first Blu-Ray purchase)
  • TV use is probably: 40% cable programming / 35% movies / 25% gaming
  • Gaming - have a Wii, PS3 and PS2 that are played regularly
  • Connectivity - the listed gaming systems, plus have a reg DVD player, older Onkyo surround sound system (non-HDMI), and a cablebox.

It seems the Panasonic plasmas are the way to go. Obviously I'd like as big as possible, but without breaking the budget either. I definitely don't want to go lower than 46"/48", and would prefer something between 50"-58". We do have a large picture window in the LR, but typically keep the blinds closed. Normally view tv at night with only one low-watt light on in the room.

After everything I've read, I'm liking the V10 series. Between the THX certification and the 24p Cinematic playback, it seems like the perfect fit for my preferences. The G10's don't seem bad either, though they sacrifice the 24p playback. The Panasonic Viera Cast is also a nice feature, just not sure how much it'd get used. I would prefer a set that has wireless capability to access vids & movies on my PC and the internet.

To this extent, I'd love some feedback and opinions on my choices and any other suggestions you may have. My budget is $1500-$2000. I'm leaning towards the TC-P50V10, while a little over my budget, I think I can justify the expense to the wife, and it does seem a good investment (IF I can find one, almost everyone seems out of stock now.) This will be a huge investment for me as we only replace TVs about once every 10 years, so I'd prefer to get something that's semi-future-proof (if there is such a thing in electronics now, lol)

My ?'s...
  1. Is the V10 worth the extra $$$ over a G10/G15 model given my preferences?
  2. Am I overlooking any other models or brands that are comparable?
  3. Can anyone point to a reputable online dealer or local retailer (BB, Sears, etc.) that still has the V10's in stock?
  4. Would a 54" G10/G15/S1 be preferred over a 50" V10?
  5. If V10's are completely gone by mid-month, any suggestions on a similar model without going over my budget?
  6. Any word yet on when new models like the VT25 will be in stock, along with pricing (though I'd hate to pay the high $ just because it's "the new thing", and besides, if I don't get it when the tax refund comes, there's a good chance I, or the wife, would spend it on something else (it happened last year) then I'll be stuck waiting another yearagain)?

Much appreciation and thanks to any and all that reply. I'm just on information overload now and it's all beginning to blur together. I'd just really like to hear opinions on the differences between the models I'm considering and the other concerns/questions I've made.

Also, can anyone point to where I can find out discount codes for the various online sellers (Amazon, 6th Ave., etc.)? Or any that regularly have special promos like free S&H, free Blu-Ray player w/set, etc.?

Again thanks, and I hope there are lots of replies to this. If I've missed providing any info, let me know and I'll reply with whatever info I can.
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post #2 of 11 Old 02-02-2010, 11:46 AM
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I would go with the 58S1. I know you're film buffs, but would I sacrifice 24p in order to get 8" of extra viewing space? Yes. I think it's a worthy trade off. Do not underestimate how viewing size affects the viewing experience. I haven't really heard any S1 owners complaining of really bad judder at 60hz. Judder itself only occurs at certainly specific times (i.e. long, slow pans). The S1 can be adjusted to get a very good picture. I don't think you can get the black levels quite as good as the G/V series, but it's still pretty good. Would a 58V10 be better? Yes, if you have the cash. Honestly if you had the cash I'd consider the 65S1 at your viewing distance. Could you go with a 54G10? Sure, that may be a compromise though you're still giving up 24p, but it will have a slightly better picture than the S1. Now if you can wait, consider waiting for the new 2010 Panasonics.
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post #3 of 11 Old 02-02-2010, 06:51 PM - Thread Starter
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bumping this up to hopefully get more responses. thx!
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post #4 of 11 Old 02-02-2010, 07:41 PM
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My thoughts on Viera Cast... The 2010 version will be much better since it includes access to Netflix streaming. The 2009 version will apparently never do Netflix. Samsung and perhaps LG Blu Ray players will do Netflix this year. 2010 Panasonic Blu Ray will do Netflix as well. All these will connect to your wireless G or N router. I'll probably add one of the Panasonic BD players later this year. In the meantime, I bought a Roku box formerly know as the Netflix player. www.roku.com. They have 2 HD versions that stream at up to 720P. I have the TC-P50S1. Real good picture. I would put your money now on the larger screen and think about adding some of the other capability later with one of those devices.
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post #5 of 11 Old 02-02-2010, 07:45 PM
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The close viewing distance and wide viewing angles may give you problems with v, g and s panasonic models larger than 50 inches. The double glass of those can produce a double image of sorts from some angles. Otherwise they are great sets. I'm not actually sure about what the 50 and below looks like though, you should check them out yourself. I'm happy with my 54S1, but I'm always head on.
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post #6 of 11 Old 02-03-2010, 02:46 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the responses so far, though I'd hoped to get more that addressed more of my concerns.

pcdo, I took another look at the S1's, but just can't justify to myself the lack of quality vs. size increase. While 58" would be nice, I feel it's just not worth sacrificing PQ over. Just as I won't buy something because "it's all I could afford", I prefer quality over quantity.

wlbrown9, I'm sure the 2010 models Viera Cast feature will be improved, frankly, I'd never use Netflix or any pay-subscription service, so that's a moot point. At best all I'm concerned about is streaming video directly from my home server, just as I do with my PS3. Excluding that, I have no doubts when the 2010 models do start selling, they'll have a higher $$$ on them simply because of the new 3D capabilities, another feature I can live without and would never use.

I do appreciate etherlore's point about the double glass and viewing angles. Unfortunately it's doubtful I'll be able to find any V10's in stock locally that I can see it in person.

Again I ask, does anyone know about where to find online promo codes? 6th Avenue and BB are the only places showing the 50" V10's in stock as of today, and the 54" & 58" models are just out of my price range. I'm hoping there's still a few 50"s left come mid-month when I'm ready to buy. I can try to negotiate a lower price at my local BB hoping they'd rather have any sale rather than none at all, but am certainly not going to count on it. I've seen a few threads mentioning their EPP price match. Is that the Employee Purchase Plan? Can anyone give details on how best to find out that price and how to get it (aside from getting a job at BB anyway)?

Again, thanks for the replies, and if anyone can help with more specific suggestions regarding where to buy or prices, PM me if necessary.

I'll keep bumping this up to the top to hopefully get more responses. For now, I'm still sold on the 50" V10, but may be forced to settle on the 50" G10 if the Vs are all gone come purchase time.
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post #7 of 11 Old 02-03-2010, 09:10 AM
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When i went shopping in the stores I definitely liked the picture of the samsungs better than the panasonics. I ended up getting a B850 just a few days ago.

The picture is outstanding, its only 1 inch thin, has no buzz...

The best features to me on the 850 are the wonderful anti-glare filter (I watch during the day with the blinds open) and the single pane design. You said people will be sitting off to the sides, and the panasonics, and the b550, b650 for that matter, seem to produce a double image when viewed from angles.

The 850 is a single pane, meaning you get zero of that terrible double image effect. The S1 and G10 had the double image effect as well. I didn't get to see a V series in the store, though. Can't comment on those.

Just throwing out the suggestion of a different brand. My 50" 850 cost 1299 at BB last week.

50"
no double image effect
great glare reduction
24p playback
$1299
absolutely amazing PQ.

just a thought. If this was an unhelpful post, Sorry, at least i bumped it for ya
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post #8 of 11 Old 02-03-2010, 09:30 AM
 
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i highly recommend Samsung PN50B650 http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-PN50B650-50-Inch-1080p-Plasma/dp/B001W6NU9E/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1265214363&sr=1-1. I am amazed by the depth and fine colors compare to my PN58A550.
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post #9 of 11 Old 02-03-2010, 11:28 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RomeSC View Post

When i went shopping in the stores I definitely liked the picture of the samsungs better than the panasonics. I ended up getting a B850 just a few days ago.

The picture is outstanding, its only 1 inch thin, has no buzz...

The best features to me on the 850 are the wonderful anti-glare filter (I watch during the day with the blinds open) and the single pane design. You said people will be sitting off to the sides, and the panasonics, and the b550, b650 for that matter, seem to produce a double image when viewed from angles.

The 850 is a single pane, meaning you get zero of that terrible double image effect. The S1 and G10 had the double image effect as well. I didn't get to see a V series in the store, though. Can't comment on those.

Just throwing out the suggestion of a different brand. My 50" 850 cost 1299 at BB last week.

50"
no double image effect
great glare reduction
24p playback
$1299
absolutely amazing PQ.

just a thought. If this was an unhelpful post, Sorry, at least i bumped it for ya

Thanks for reply. My main concern with the Samsung is the buzz everyone complains about. While I do have a surround sound system, we typically reserve its use for watching movies. With normal, cable programming, we usually just use the tv sound. I might consider the Samsung 850 if I could get a good price locally, that way should there be a buzz issue, I know I could take it back and exchange it quickly. Would rather not mess for weeks on end returning a set via online retailer. I'm going out this weekend and will see if I can find some Sammy's and check them out.

And once again, anyone know about online discount codes? Or would that be better in a separate thread?
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post #10 of 11 Old 02-03-2010, 12:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wlbrown9 View Post

My thoughts on Viera Cast... The 2010 version will be much better since it includes access to Netflix streaming. The 2009 version will apparently never do Netflix.

There wouldn't be a firmware update for Netflix? I can get it through my Xbox 360 anyway (after an update) and I have no problem with Amazon video on demand, but I don't see why Viera CAST couldn't be updated on the 2009 models. I was under the impression that it was the same for all Panasonic products since it's identical on my TV and blu-ray player.
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post #11 of 11 Old 02-03-2010, 08:15 PM - Thread Starter
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Can't remember where I read it (on here, but after thousands of posts, they tend to start blurring together! hehe), but I do recall someone saying that they'd asked and the reason there won't be a firmware update for the '09 Pannys had something to do with a hardware limitation and them not being able to correctly update via firmware to access Netflix.

So the more I've read and thought about it, I'm starting to think the Samsung 50" B860 is my best option. Almost identical features and performance vs. the Panny V10, all for a cheaper price, and it's a model that's actually still in stock almost everywhere. There is the buzz factor to consider, but it seems worth trying.

Anyone care to rebutt or reply?
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