Hi to everybody. I’ve been reading the thread for awhile (particularly the first 50 pages or so) and find it fascinating and very instructive. I recently bought a PN50C550 and had already put it through the ropes of break-in (over 150 hours of slides AND full screen movies with no subtitles, at a rate of about 15 hours daily…. Hey guys we are breaking-in the TV, no punishing it!). The main use of the TV is going to be for DVD and Bluray movies.
First let me tell you how I came to this TV. I am always been an advocate of Plasma and my last two TVs have been plasmas (LG and Panasonic). Nevertheless living as I do now in South America we cannot have access to the variety of models and brands as you Americans do; and besides here these appliances are quite expensive. So it is important to find a balance between what a model cost here (related to its USA cost) and its features and capabilities. And remember there is no such a thing as a perfect TV, both plasmas and LCDs have issues of their own. So after passing through some Panasonics and even some LED LCDs, I fell in love with this TV when I saw it 3 weeks ago in a Showroom.
For the record I will state that mine came with no dead pixels, no buzzing (at least that I am able to detect), and no banding issues (Yes there is a very, VERY faint sort of band or horizontal line one third from the top, but it is almost indistinguishable even on a full white image). The factory date of my TV is May 2010, for those of you interested.
I made the firmware update and the transition to a C590 via the Service Menu, and I am very pleased with the Cinema Smooth function (Just check the rolling of the credits at the end of a movie and you will see what I am talking about) and in all I am very pleased with the general performance of the TV, even though I find the color rendering perhaps a little bit subdue with what I was accustomed (or my taste for that matter), and the black performance not particularly better than my previous displays.
There are some topics I want to converse with you. First I see that on all calibrations that have appeared in the thread, they always put the Sharpness at or near zero. That makes no sense to me and results in (what I believe) a sort of “soft” image: if you have a ruler that goes from 0 to 100, IMHO the default response should be around the middle, and from there you can ADD or SUBSTRACT sharpness according to the source and your taste.
Second, there is some inexplicable randomness in the way that HDMI Black Level functions. In my LG DVD, I am able to access this control and to switch it from Normal to Low; in my Sony Bluray I am not, it is grayed out to Normal. I have no clue about why.
Third this set has actually some sort of “Infinite Black” at work: each time the program source dissolves to a complete black the display turns off for an instant; this is more evident when you are watching the set at night and/or when the final credits of a film start to appear over a black background. As some people who have commented this issue in the Panasonics sets, I have not made my mind yet.
Well I am sorry to have made this post so long. I hope all of you enjoy your TVs as I am doing with mine.