Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Hollywood, Florida
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I am long time member who is an infrequent poster. I initially joined this great forum while doing research for my first HD television purchase and received outstanding information and guidance that led to a successful decision.
I have owned a Toshiba 40H80 since mid 2001, calibrated by Gregg and has served me without issue for all these years. Recently, the old lady has begun to show her age. The drifts in convergence are more frequent and the inability to properly align the outer gridlines is slowly creeping in towards the center.
Most frustrating however is the set’s restriction of only component inputs, preventing connections to newer appliances and video cards. This coupled with the lack of an internal tuner and the increasing scarcity of stand alone set top boxes, should my current LG STB fail, has exhausted my tolerance of these shortcomings and provoked the quest for a replacement.
So once again I began the mission of researching for the acquisition of a new unit and once again I turned to my favorite place AVS. With a handful of aspirin I began reading all I could find about recent technology. The swirl of information was overwhelming. LCD vs LED vs plasma caused me to incur countless hours of squinting as my rapidly aging brain, interpreted the data.
I stumbled upon the threads touting the Samsung plasma model PN51E4500. On paper, it fit the arbitrary criteria I had established in my mind and I took a trip to Walmart (who had it on sale) to see the physical set. I brought it home and placed it temporarily in my HT to put it through its paces and see how it performed in my environment.
Now I am far from an expert and remembering that I am upgrading from a primitive HD television, I was blown away by the image this set produces right out of the box. Being ‘old school’, I did a few minor adjustments (turned down contrast, brightness) and tweaked a few other settings to produce an acceptable image while allowing the unit to ‘break in’.
A few of the concerns I had regarding this 720p choice were:
1.My viewing distance is 7 feet
2.How will it handle broadcast 1080i signals?
3.Display quality of HD files (720p/1080p) streamed from my PC.
Of these concerns, only the PC streaming required a bit of additional effort to produce a result I was pleased with. By creating a custom resolution setting of 1366 x 768 @120 hz (Ge8600gt video card) the streaming files displayed in breathtaking clarity.
For about half the cost (<$500.00) of the dinosaur it is replacing, it appears as if the research information and my selection were correct . Now if this unit provides the longevity of the Toshiba RPTV, the decision will be impeccable. I intend to attain an extended warranty (via Walmart) as a longevity ‘hedge bet’ insurance policy.
Just as stated within the threads on this great forum, this Samsung PN51E4500 television appears to be a truly a phenomenal unit at a bargain price.