Just picked up a Panasonic TC-P50S2, not happy - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 109 Old 11-16-2010, 08:40 PM - Thread Starter
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this is my first plasma, so don't know much about them.

my issue which i have read other places too, is that the screen is very noisy/grainy. i tried all recommended settings from plenty of websites and nothing seems to get rid of it. this is the first tv i ever bought and haven't been happy. 2nd question is should i jus keep it or take it back for the Samsung PN50C550. the tv is in my dimly lit basement where i watch sports, and play 360.
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post #2 of 109 Old 11-16-2010, 09:03 PM
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Having seen both many times, The PN50C550 won't make you any happier. If you had said PN55C6500 I might say differently. My number one question is what are you feeding it? Noise and graininess often comes from the source.
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post #3 of 109 Old 11-16-2010, 09:09 PM - Thread Starter
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i mostly see it with my comcast hd cable box, using hdmi. but even when changing inputs i can see it on the actual tv menu, which i never seen a tv do that. i seen most people said to use cinema mode, but to me everything looks dull in that mode.
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post #4 of 109 Old 11-16-2010, 09:26 PM
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is it also on your 360 and in blu-rays or only on tv. if it is only on your cable broadcasts then that's the answer to your question.
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post #5 of 109 Old 11-16-2010, 09:30 PM - Thread Starter
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i can see it sometimes in blu ray and 360 but its 100x more pronounced in the cable box.even going back to the store it seemed the panasonic had way more noise then the sammy.
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post #6 of 109 Old 11-16-2010, 11:04 PM
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Just bring it back and get the Sammy.
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post #7 of 109 Old 11-17-2010, 04:31 AM
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If you're watching non-HD cable cable it's always going to look pretty bad without either a high-end TV with good internal scaler or something like the DVDO Edge. Beyond that, you could try getting the store to replace it with another one or go with the Samsung. Personally, I would go with Samsung since you won't have rising blacks, which is Panasonic's version of "dynamic contrast ratio" for black level that tells you in the store it's one thing and then after you've had it a while you realize it's something else. Difference is that Panasonic builds the PQ degredation into their set design instead of just having it on a spec sheet. Not good practice to support a brand that knowingly does that (esp. when it's entirely unnecessary for the functionality of the plasma).
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post #8 of 109 Old 11-17-2010, 04:33 AM
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Originally Posted by badmeng View Post

Just bring it back and get the Sammy.

or the G20/G25.
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post #9 of 109 Old 11-17-2010, 04:50 AM
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G20/G25 will still have rising black levels. Even the VT's have the rise and since G20/25 starts higher to begin with, he's better off getting a Sammy. Which I honestly hate saying because I'm not a big fan of the company. I'm just even less of a fan of a company (Panasonic) that builds in "show-room" specs into their panels to make them look good initially and then degrade in a period of months to worse PQ than competitors. I have Panasonic products that I'm happy with, but I'm still getting flack from a couple people I recommended Panasonics to that have had their black *ahem gray* levels rise.
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post #10 of 109 Old 11-17-2010, 05:09 AM
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Originally Posted by dlplover View Post

G20/G25 will still have rising black levels. Even the VT's have the rise and since G20/25 starts higher to begin with, he's better off getting a Sammy. Which I honestly hate saying because I'm not a big fan of the company. I'm just even less of a fan of a company (Panasonic) that builds in "show-room" specs into their panels to make them look good initially and then degrade in a period of months to worse PQ than competitors. I have Panasonic products that I'm happy with, but I'm still getting flack from a couple people I recommended Panasonics to that have had their black *ahem gray* levels rise.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showp...postcount=5865
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post #11 of 109 Old 11-17-2010, 06:07 AM
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They only measured it for 1/3 of a year. According to the patents themselves and other measurements, Panasonic sets triple. There's no reason to assume the G20 will somehow be magically exempt from that rule.

BTW, unless a display is absolutely terrible, reviewers are always going to say "it still looks good". They want people to stop worrying about the purchase they made instead of rubbing their noses in it. OP clearly is unhappy with his present set so if he's going to get another one anyway, may as well get one with one less issue. You're also neglecting floating blacks that all current Panasonic plasmas have. The other brands don't. So even if post-rise black level is hypothetically still in competitive range on Panasonics, the black level in practice will be higher because with content it will float whereas Samsung or LG panels will not (or if they do, they have the option to turn off that mode).
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post #12 of 109 Old 11-17-2010, 06:19 AM
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Originally Posted by dlplover View Post

They only measured it for 1/3 of a year. According to the patents themselves and other measurements, Panasonic sets triple. There's no reason to assume the G20 will somehow be magically exempt from that rule.

BTW, unless a display is absolutely terrible, reviewers are always going to say "it still looks good". They want people to stop worrying about the purchase they made instead of rubbing their noses in it. OP clearly is unhappy with his present set so if he's going to get another one anyway, may as well get one with one less issue. You're also neglecting floating blacks that all current Panasonic plasmas have. The other brands don't. So even if post-rise black level is hypothetically still in competitive range on Panasonics, the black level in practice will be higher because with content it will float whereas Samsung or LG panels will not (or if they do, they have the option to turn off that mode).

Samsung and LG's have their own problems. LG's (IR and reflective) reliability and poor customer service and Samung's buzz and higher black levels to start out. 2700 hours is a ton of tv time. That is about 2 years for normal people. Hardly any noticeable increase after that many hours is a sign the problem is hardly there. All tv's will deteriorate over time but it looks like it won't be any quicker with a Panasonic than anyone else. Panasonic's have the lowest failure rate. It's been consistent in Consumer Reports.
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post #13 of 109 Old 11-17-2010, 06:26 AM
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Having seen both many times, The PN50C550 won't make you any happier. If you had said PN55C6500 I might say differently. My number one question is what are you feeding it? Noise and graininess often comes from the source.

There's no such thing as a PN55C6500, at least not in the US.

The S model Panasonics are quite noisy and grainy in any mode but Cinema. Standard and Vivid are unwatchable. Try Cinema and see if you prefer it.

As far as the Samsungs, I personally prefer PQ of samsungs much much more than those of the Panasonic S models. Owned a professionally calibrated S1 for a year, found the PQ grainy and soft. I currently own the Sammy B650, and picture is much clearer and sharper. If you do pick up a Samsung, make sure it has a solid return policy in case you get a buzzer.

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post #14 of 109 Old 11-17-2010, 08:11 AM
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Samsung and LG's have their own problems. LG's (IR and reflective) reliability and poor customer service and Samung's buzz and higher black levels to start out. 2700 hours is a ton of tv time. That is about 2 years for normal people. Hardly any noticeable increase after that many hours is a sign the problem is hardly there. All tv's will deteriorate over time but it looks like it won't be any quicker with a Panasonic than anyone else. Panasonic's have the lowest failure rate. It's been consistent in Consumer Reports.

With any of them you can get a cheap 3rd part warranty. Also, you're neglecting the fact that while Panny has the lowest failure rate, it's only by a percentage point or two. They're all about the same for reliability and Panasonic support has been deteriorating as well. You're also misunderstanding what deteriorating PQ means. Normally plasmas lose brightness over the course of their 20-odd year fall to half-brightness. Black levels rising is entirely separate from that and only Panasonics are engineered to do it. It's entirely avoidable. One test that hasn't been published online yet isn't indicative that a problem doesn't exist. All other professional testers have seen the rise in black level and Panasonic's own patents confirm that it's there.

If you choose to believe otherwise, you're simply ignoring the facts. Don't get me wrong, overall I like Panasonic. If they would fix floating and rising blacks, I'd have nothing against them.
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post #15 of 109 Old 11-17-2010, 08:24 AM
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With any of them you can get a cheap 3rd part warranty. Also, you're neglecting the fact that while Panny has the lowest failure rate, it's only by a percentage point or two. They're all about the same for reliability and Panasonic support has been deteriorating as well. You're also misunderstanding what deteriorating PQ means. Normally plasmas lose brightness over the course of their 20-odd year fall to half-brightness. Black levels rising is entirely separate from that and only Panasonics are engineered to do it. It's entirely avoidable. One test that hasn't been published online yet isn't indicative that a problem doesn't exist. All other professional testers have seen the rise in black level and Panasonic's own patents confirm that it's there.

If you choose to believe otherwise, you're simply ignoring the facts. Don't get me wrong, overall I like Panasonic. If they would fix floating and rising blacks, I'd have nothing against them.

I haven't even noticed floating blacks and the rising blacks are very small now. I think it is still a good deal that Panasonic offers superior blacks for a long time. Maybe they could've stopped the blacks from rising but it would probably make their tv's more expensive. Having a warranty helps but you probably don't want to have to bring it in and not have a tv for awhile. I think having a tv that is reliable would be best. I'd play the percentages as Panasonic is 2-3% consistently while Samsung is 3-5% and LG 5-6%. The problem was more severe in 2009. No one has proof that the problem is as bad for the 2010 models statistically. Maybe in 10 years time it will rise to the point D-Nice says it will. Who knows how long it will be. It's so gradual now that I think it is worth it.
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post #16 of 109 Old 11-17-2010, 09:12 AM
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You could just stop at "I haven't noticed". The second rise would probably be more like 2-3 years out tops (which is also nicely consistent with the time frame for when they want you to throw out your old tv and buy a new one), not 10 years. Next, it would make them more expensive???????? WHAT??????? Panasonic already charges more for a comparable product than either LG or Samsung, both of which don't exhibit rising black levels, floating blacks or any changes in PQ.
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post #17 of 109 Old 11-17-2010, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by neoshredder27 View Post

I haven't even noticed floating blacks and the rising blacks are very small now. I think it is still a good deal that Panasonic offers superior blacks for a long time. Maybe they could've stopped the blacks from rising but it would probably make their tv's more expensive. Having a warranty helps but you probably don't want to have to bring it in and not have a tv for awhile. I think having a tv that is reliable would be best. I'd play the percentages as Panasonic is 2-3% consistently while Samsung is 3-5% and LG 5-6%. The problem was more severe in 2009. No one has proof that the problem is as bad for the 2010 models statistically. Maybe in 10 years time it will rise to the point D-Nice says it will. Who knows how long it will be. It's so gradual now that I think it is worth it.

You must really be in denial.


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post #18 of 109 Old 11-17-2010, 09:28 AM
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You must really be in denial.

Denial of what? I said they will change. No one know how quickly it will change. To me it sounds like the change isn't drastic enough to worry. I'll stop at that.
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post #19 of 109 Old 11-17-2010, 09:49 AM
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I think he also was referring to your "haven't even noticed floating blacks". This is probably the most obvious problem with current Pannys. So what Panny model do you own where there are no floating blacks?



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post #20 of 109 Old 11-17-2010, 09:52 AM
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I think he also was referring to your "haven't even noticed floating blacks". This is probably the most obvious problem with current Pannys. So what Panny model do you own where there are no floating blacks?

Panasonic tc-42px24 I had for a month. I had no noticeable issues with the picture quality. I decided I wanted to upgrade though since I wanted a higher end Plasma. I guess only some here let it bother them.
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post #21 of 109 Old 11-17-2010, 09:57 AM
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Denial of what? I said they will change. No one know how quickly it will change. To me it sounds like the change isn't drastic enough to worry. I'll stop at that.

What do you mean no one knows when they will change. Thats already been documented.

Whether or not it is dramatic enough depends on your personal preference and your eyes.


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post #22 of 109 Old 11-17-2010, 10:05 AM
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What do you mean no one knows when they will change. Thats already been documented.

Whether or not it is dramatic enough depends on your personal preference and your eyes.

Well the one documented on Cnet as of late shows very little change of the 2010 models. There's no guarantee a tv will last more than 5-10 years as you've said before anyways. The black levels are the least of your problems at that point.
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post #23 of 109 Old 11-17-2010, 10:14 AM
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There's no guarantee my mp3 player will still work in 10 years. That doesn't mean I don't want one with good sound. Not everybody figures on upgrading every two years.

My speakers are another example. I plan on keeping them as long as they still work and if they stop, I'll see about repairing them unless they're prohibitively expensive. If you get good products that are reliable both in terms of basic functionality and quality of functionality you're far less likely to feel compelled to upgrade as soon if at all.

My parents bought a tv in the 80's and it still works to this day, even though us "kids" have upgraded them to a plasma. That's roughly 25-30 years of stable picture quality and going strong. You assume very wrongly that everyone who comes here figures on buying a cheap disposable POS set. Many people still shop for sets long term, especially after the recent major recession.

The cnet article only measured the first change and was pretty consistent with other readings (though a little on the conservative/low end for measuring the change). Here's the article: http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-...#ixzz146OroFiG

Black levels doubled after the first change on both G20 and V25. They'll have trippled by the final change @ 1000-2000 hours later. So that's hardly 10 years and it's also higher than the competition. 2-3 years with fair usage. Light usage obviously would stretch that out so people wouldn't notice as soon, but if people are only using their tv 2 hours a week they probably aren't going to care about black levels since their only concern is that the thing turns on.
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post #24 of 109 Old 11-17-2010, 10:25 AM
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There's no guarantee my mp3 player will still work in 10 years. That doesn't mean I don't want one with good sound. Not everybody figures on upgrading every two years.

My speakers are another example. I plan on keeping them as long as they still work and if they stop, I'll see about repairing them unless they're prohibitively expensive. If you get good products that are reliable both in terms of basic functionality and quality of functionality you're far less likely to feel compelled to upgrade as soon if at all.

The fact is that Panasonic's black levels are very low to start with. A little rising will not kill the quality. It might not be the product you bought but I wouldn't think you would have to buy a new tv over it. I just think this issue is exaggerated.
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post #25 of 109 Old 11-17-2010, 10:30 AM
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Well the one documented on Cnet as of late shows very little change of the 2010 models.

Again, you are in denial.

First off, CNet and Home Theater magazine have documented increased black levels on their samples. Second, what is your definition of very little change as I do not think you grasp how going from 0.004fL to 0.007fL or 0.007fL to 0.011fL visually appears. Based on your posts, it seems as if you are looking at the numbers in absolute format. I think you need to put a VT25 next to your X25 and compare the black levels. If you do not see a difference, great. However, if you do see a difference, how can you expect an owner of a VT25 to accept the the black levels of your X25 after 2500 hours of use when they paid a higher price for their display for 2x better black levels... especially if they planned on keeping the display for 4-6 years.


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post #26 of 109 Old 11-17-2010, 10:34 AM
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The fact is that Panasonic's black levels are very low to start with. A little rising will not kill the quality. It might not be the product you bought but I wouldn't think you would have to buy a new tv over it. I just think this issue is exaggerated.

Right, you bought the bottom of the barrel Panasonic plasma and claim to have deep knowledge of PQ, despite all evidence presented to the contrary.

I just disproved your claim that there's no/minimal change. The measurement you cited (cnet) in actuality shows black levels doubling. You first bought a cheap set and didn't care, congratulations. That's a joe six-pack tv for those who don't care about PQ and absolutely exhibits both behavoirs. There's nothing wrong with that and if you're happy with that set that's always the optimal situation, but this is avs forums and just because average joe could care less about PQ doesn't mean it doesn't matter. Same way as average joe would care less if they were listening to 96kbps or 320kbps mp3 files.

So at some point you subconsciously admitted that the X25 was a little low on the PQ front so you upgraded to the VT25... and now you feel the need to justify it. Understandable, but doesn't change facts.

At this point, there's no doubt as to whether rising MLL exists in Panasonic displays. The level of rise is known and if you claim otherwise, you're simply spreading false information. Don't get me wrong, I want you to be happy with your set. But do that by watching it, not by misrepresenting its characteristics online.
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post #27 of 109 Old 11-17-2010, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by neoshredder27 View Post

The fact is that Panasonic's black levels are very low to start with. A little rising will not kill the quality. It might not be the product you bought but I wouldn't think you would have to buy a new tv over it. I just think this issue is exaggerated.

Very low to start with? Based on what reference?


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post #28 of 109 Old 11-17-2010, 10:40 AM
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Very low to start with? Based on what reference?

The article I just read and all the info I've heard for a long time now. Are you saying those measurements are lies? I think Pasasonic is being held at too high of a standard and other companies should be tested more as well on how the picture is in the long term. And the 42px24 had a great picture but I decided to upgrade to the G25.
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post #29 of 109 Old 11-17-2010, 10:46 AM
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Right, you bought the bottom of the barrel Panasonic plasma and claim to have deep knowledge of PQ, despite all evidence presented to the contrary.

I just disproved your claim that there's no/minimal change. The measurement you cited (cnet) in actuality shows black levels doubling. If you have a cheap set and don't care, congratulations. You're joe six-packs who cares little about PQ. There's nothing wrong with that and if you're happy with your set that's always the optimal situation, but this is avs forums and just because average joe could care less about PQ doesn't mean it doesn't matter. Same way as average joe would care less if they were listening to 96kbps or 320kbps mp3 files.

So then you subconsciously admitted that the X25 was a little low on the PQ front so you upgraded to the VT25... and now you feel the need to justify it. Understandable, but doesn't change facts.

At this point, there's no doubt as to whether rising MLL exists in Panasonic displays. The level of rise is known and if you claim otherwise, you're simply spreading false information. Don't get me wrong, I want you to be happy with your set. But do that by watching it, not by misrepresenting its characteristics online.

I'm not misrepresenting anything. I just think you would have to be awfully picky to get upset with black levels increasing over time to the point you have to buy a new tv over it. It does sound like it was bad in 2009 but 2010 seems a lot more unnoticeable. If you are going to make a big deal about that, there are plenty of things that LG and Samsung don't do perfectly that will bother you as well. Not a perfect tv out there but I would still choose Panasonic again if given the choice.
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post #30 of 109 Old 11-17-2010, 10:50 AM
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The article I just read and all the info I've heard for a long time now. Are you saying those measurements are lies? I think Pasasonic is being held at too high of a standard and other companies should be tested more as well on how the picture is in the long term. And the 42px24 had a great picture but I decided to upgrade to the G25.

He's saying you don't understand the meaning of the measurements, which is pretty accurate.

Panasonic sets are engineered to look good initially so that you want to buy them... so that in stores and in reviews they appear to have the deepest blacks. It's basically a built-in "dynamic black level" if you want to compare it to false claims on "dynamic contrast" except that it's built-in so that reviewers wouldn't notice (and didn't for several years) until after it'd left their hands. AFAIK, those with other brands HAVE measured their sets and found no evidence of black level rising. Had they, there would be a major stink on avs. And I wholeheartedly disagree with you on Panasonic being held to too high a standard. Pioneer in 2008 was able to produce very deep blacks, blacker than even the VT25's starting point. Panasonic now owns those patents and carried over a number of Pioneer's engineers. They could redesign to allow the black levels to stay black. Basically, at this point they are choosing not to.
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