Originally Posted by Tigerriot
I've decided I'm going plasma, but this fluctuating blacks issue is the only thing keeping me from buying this TV.
Plenty of owners have posted here and elsewhere that their GT30s don't seem to have much if any Fluctuating Brightness issues, while others do have it and do see it.
It's blows my mind that Panasonic would allow this to happen, and then not even acknowledge the problems exists and offer to fix it via firmware, which could obviously be done.
According to Panasonic insiders, Panasonic is aware of the problem and is looking into it, but if it turns out to be a hardware problem then a firmware fix wouldn't be possible.
Now I'm learning that this has been a problem for a couple years now, and people just put up with it?
No, this Fluctuating Brightness issue is only on the 2011 models is the opposite of the Floating Blacks issue that plagued most of the 2010 models and other random models going back as far as 2006. My 2009 G10 and 2007 PZ700U do not have Floating Blacks. Do not confuse the 2011 Fluctuating Brightness (FBr) issue with the previous Floating Black (FB) issue. They're completely opposite - and apparently a by-product of them correcting the FB issues from last year.
How on earth is Panasonic considered the plasma leader when they've got these kinds of problems?
It could mean that Panasonic's issues are less impactive than the other brands' issues. All it takes to be the plasma leader is to make a plasma that sucks less than the competition, they don't have to be perfect.
Is there any chance this is a TV by TV situation, and some don't have the problem? I'd suspect this is highly unlikely, as it's most likely a problem within the software, but I guess it's possible there is more to it?
The GT30 seems to be more affected than the ST30 and VT30, and some examples of GT30 are not as bad as others so there is apparently some variation.
I spent about a half hour auditioning a 50GT30 and 60GT30 at Magnolia a few weeks ago, reclining on the sofa in a dark room with the remote while watching ESPN-HD over DirecTV, and i did not see one single instance of Fluctuating Brightness on that content. I was really looking for it, but it never reared it's ugly head. Some owners have reported seeing maybe one or two instances of FBr during a movie while others have seen it a lot more. It's possible that if they were playing a Blu-Ray movie then the FBr problem would have shown up, but they didn't have players connected to the TVs yet.
There is no one single answer to the whole FBr issue - it could come down to manufacturing variances, source, content, settings, etc.