Official Panasonic ST50 Series Discussion Thread [No Street Price Talk] - Page 73 - AVS Forum
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post #2161 of 9989 Old 05-01-2012, 12:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Joxer View Post

Does it support MKV videos with subtitles in separate files at least?

I haven't explored that yet since the one file I copied over with an external .srt file was an .avi file which the player wouldn't even look at.
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post #2162 of 9989 Old 05-01-2012, 06:14 AM
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can ST50 be calibrated to be just as bright and/or better colors than GT50's THX bright mode?
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post #2163 of 9989 Old 05-01-2012, 07:34 AM
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@eagle

You know what sucks about buying a display based on features and media player support? Features are a moving target and your tv is a big ticket item.
I can understand your frustration-- to a point. The simple fact of the matter is that you can get all the features you want in an external box that costs a fraction of what you paid for the set. I understand the "money is tight" situation but it seems a little forced when you own two displays that are well into the 1500+ territory (and less than a model year apart at that) especially considering the price of an external box would run you less than 250! Look at it this way: in 2 years just about anything you buy today will seem hopelessly outdated. What would you rather upgrade: your tv that still has an excellent picture, or that set top box that will only cost you around 2 bills to upgrade?

It might not help now but I'll impart a little of my fathers wisdom: select your speakers first and then make sure you have enough left over for your amp.

"For small creatures such as we the vastness is bearable only through love."

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post #2164 of 9989 Old 05-01-2012, 07:58 AM
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Anybody has settings for 3d mode?
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post #2165 of 9989 Old 05-01-2012, 07:58 AM
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Normally something like this is completely out of our price range (me and my girlfriend). However, our old CRT (which cost us new around $400 a few years ago) just up and died last year, and we needed a new set. After trying several Samsung LCDs and being very displeased with the weird motion and awful clouding and flashlighting, we decided that we'd spend the extra money and buy a nice set. That only happened thanks to tax returns.

After all the problems with the D7000, we decided to take advantage of Best Buy's buy back program and trade in the set while we still could get a good amount back on it. That's how we ended up with this set. It's the most expensive single item we have ever bought (besides a car). Just because a couple dips into their account and spends some extra cash on a set like this doesn't mean that we have all kinds of extra money for a ton of accessories also. We also bought a nice Yamaha receiver from Newegg last year which was normally $800 but with some crazy discounts we got it for $400 new so we splurged for that to go with the tv. We also had to pitch in a few hundred more with the trade-in to get the ST50.

The point is that they advertise a media player, which leads us to believe that it should play a descent variety of formats, just like Samsung advertises a media player too. Yet t feels like a half-baked add-on at the last minute. They had a whole year since last year to polish it and improve it and add more support for more common codecs. How does Panasonic even consider this a media player when it doesn't play .avi, .wmv, divx, or xvid, not to mention no DTS support (after I was told by a rep that it did)?

And at the very least if the tv would play mkv files without adding that dreadful frame interpolation, but alas, I can't really use the media player for anything.
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post #2166 of 9989 Old 05-01-2012, 08:00 AM
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Are you using the stock stand? How high is the bottom if the screen from the furniture it is standing on? I thought I would only get 2" of clearance based on the specs. More than 3" or 4" inches would be great news as my DVD/cable box stack may fit under it!
Please measure for me.
Thank you!!!
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post #2167 of 9989 Old 05-01-2012, 08:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brianshaun85 View Post

Anybody has settings for 3d mode?

I was just thinking about asking this over on the settings thread. I think we definitely need some advice on what to use for 3D settings. I tried just raising the brightness and contrast to compensate for the darker image with the glasses on but that made the image look a bit washed out. I wonder if screen brightness should be set to high for the 3D mode?
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post #2168 of 9989 Old 05-01-2012, 08:07 AM
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Originally Posted by eagle_2 View Post

Okay I finally hit my 100 hours and got to try out a variety of media today on my ST50.

I'm not especially happy at the moment, but since I'm gonna concentrate on the negatives, let me get this out of the way first:

The picture looks amazing. I'm comparing this to my previous D7000, so I'm rather used to the image I was watching on that, which was also amazing (except for the horrendous fluctuating brightness in dark scenes which is why I own the ST50 now). I've also gone from a 50" D7000 to the 55" ST50 so the screen is larger as well, so of course things will look different. Since I've been watching the new Galactica on my D7000 I watched an episode of that tonight on the ST50. I was very happy with the image (I tried CNET's and D-Nice's settings to compare and they're both quite similar overall). Exceptional black levels as far as I could tell (I'm certainly no expert), and not a single instance of fluctuating brightness! That alone made want to get up and cheer after the episode was over. I can't tell you how annoyed I was with the fluctuating brightness issue with the D7000 - not a hint of it here. Every single scene remained solid throughout. The color was deep and rich (in fact I might even back off slightly on the color saturation since I don't like the color too saturated but that's a matter of personal preference - for now I'm leaving it alone and seeing how I like it as is for a while). So picture-wise, I am so far very happy. I saw no sign of that weird line on the right of the screen, but then I didn't expect to since it's so hard to see even on the slides. I'm still wondering what that's about though.

So why am I not especially happy then? Because I was going to be relying on the built-in media player to handle my media playback, since money is so tight after this purchase. And all I can say is - shame on Panasonic for this media player.

Where do I begin? Well, the first thing I noticed after I copied a bunch of different file types onto a memory stick and inserted it into the USB port is it didn't play a whole bunch of files on it - it did not play any .mov files. Nor did it play any avi files (xvid/divx5/divx3, etc.). No .wmv playback either. The media player informed me that it doesn't support internal .mkv subtitles. Seriously? Is this a joke? It also couldn't play a .vob file (from a DVD) encoded in 25fps without stuttering wildly every half-second. It wouldn't play .wav files either. At least it played flac which is a plus. But no .ape support (which I already knew).

It gets worse. I tried playing an mkv file with DTS audio. It said audio format not supported and played the file with no audio. I tried another mkv file with DTS and it also wouldn't play the audio. A third file with DTS also didn't play audio. I then tried an mkv file with AC3 audio and it played. So DTS is not supported - even though when I asked a few days ago when I called Panasonic, the customer service rep said yes, not only will it play DTS, it will pass it through optical and HDMI ARC. WRONG! No DTS. The D7000 supported 5.1 DTS and passed it through optical.

Then I started playing an mkv with AC3. As I feared after an earlier post here - it does do frame interpolation when playing any 23.976fps MKV files when 24p Direct in is set to 60Hz. Even with frame smoothing turned off in the video player mode, and the tv set to 60Hz, (3:2 pulldown is greyed out for some reason), if you play any 23.976 material from its internal media player, it will still apply some frame interpolation when converting to 60Hz. - that means nasty "soap opera effect". At first it looked much worse but after I realized the media player mode had independent settings and I turned the motion smoother to off, it improved greatly. It does still appear to apply some interpolation though, and that's very unfortunate. It's somewhat mild yet still distracting and unpleasant for anyone who doesn't like that look. I'm considering calling Panasonic about this tomorrow to see what they say (like it matters). I'm not sure why 3:2 pulldown is greyed out for the video playback mode though.

I also hated the interface for the player - if it encountered a long file name, too bad - instead of scrolling it, it just cuts it off so you get to guess what it says. The D7000 scrolled the filename automatically. The D7000 also didn't apply this dreadful frame interpolation. Of course the D7000 also had a proper 96Hz mode, unlike the poor 48Hz mode in this set and the GT50.

Another thing is the "info" button which tells you nothing useful. It doesn't even tell you the framerate of the file you're playing.

So yeah, I'm disappointed with the media player, big time. The media player is crap, and Panasonic lied to me about DTS support. That means I have no media player until I fork over some money which I don't have for a media player. How can Panasonic screw up a media player this badly? And what were they thinking using frame interpolation even when it is turned off?

I also tried out some jpeg images in the photo viewer and selected auto transition effects, and I noticed that it struggles with the effects, often exhibiting "tearing" and slight stuttering. Why include transition effects if they look awful? Just include fade and be done with it, at least that looks good. The wipe effect just don't look so good - maybe the dual-processor GT50 handles that better?

I'm not giving up yet on this tv, and like I said, the picture so far is gorgeous, but this media player is worthless to me, and the forced frame interpolation of 24fps material is a major kick in the head for those of us who hate that effect. If it's set to off then it should be off, plain and simple.

And lastly, I'm not trying to offend anyone here - please don't hit me with "you should have researched this more blah blah blah" because I did - tons of research, even calling Panasonic, which just led to misinformation. And nowhere do they boast about their forced interpolation of 24fps material. I'm just letting others here know up-front some of the issues they are likely to experience with this set. The image is indeed fantastic, and that is certainly the most important thing, but why include a media player that is so crippled?

I have a WDTV Live HD media player and about 400 blu ray files and it plays them flawlessly. A lot of the files are .264 and mkv files and almost never a hiccup. I have also heard that the popcorn 3d movie player is great and especially considering you can play back 3d movies as well as remux and iso files.
Here are the links to the media players:
http://www.amazon.com/Western-Digita...5884678&sr=8-1
http://www.amazon.com/PopBox-3D-Mult...5884730&sr=1-1
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post #2169 of 9989 Old 05-01-2012, 08:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MoggSquad View Post

My TV was just delivered and set up 45 minutes ago. 60ST50

It will run the slides for 4 straight days in the Office on the stand 1 foot from my head. I can hear a buzz when it's quiet enough on the white sildes but does not bother me since I'm so close.

I decided not to inspect the screen too closely while the slides are running, and will wait until they complete to make my judgement after calibration on tv/blu-ray/gaming content.

I like the looks of the tv. It's probably as thin as the 60" Sharp I returned last month, but the Sharp's bezel may be slightly thinner, but not noticeable.

When I first turned on the set the menu seemed a little jittery or fuzzy, but that was being a foot or two away from the tv.

My main complaint right now is how low the tv is. It's 3.75" from the tv stand to the screen where my center channel is about 5" tall.

Sorry all, I meant to quote MoggSquad:

Are you using the stock stand? How high is the bottom if the screen from the furniture it is standing on? I thought I would only get 2" of clearance based on the specs. More than 3" or 4" inches would be great news as my DVD/cable box stack may fit under it!
Please measure for me.
Thank you!!!
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post #2170 of 9989 Old 05-01-2012, 08:42 AM
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It's ~3.75" from your entertainment center table to the tv screen, I'm not referring to the stand(base) that attaches to your tv.

My current entertainment table is deep enough where I can fit my center speaker in front of the tv base attached to the tv instead of being on top.

I may be getting a couple Ikea Hemnes stands this week and put my center channel in one of the shelves instead. Just hoping my AV Receiver can fit into it. I sent the two people who own them in this thread PM's to see how high the shelf drawers are.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rgh71 View Post

Sorry all, I meant to quote MoggSquad:

Are you using the stock stand? How high is the bottom if the screen from the furniture it is standing on? I thought I would only get 2" of clearance based on the specs. More than 3" or 4" inches would be great news as my DVD/cable box stack may fit under it!
Please measure for me.
Thank you!!!

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post #2171 of 9989 Old 05-01-2012, 08:55 AM
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Quick, Ikea is having a sale on Hemnes right now through Sunday!
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post #2172 of 9989 Old 05-01-2012, 09:05 AM
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About an hour ago my 60ST50 was hauled off to the TV hospital. Got it on 4/10 and a week later a narrow green vertical line appeared near the left side of the screen. After about 15 minutes it vanished but last week it came back as a green band (a couple of inches wide) and this time it decided to stick around.

This kind of misadventure can happen with virtually any product. What counts is how the manufacturer comes through with support. I called support last Wednesday and getting through was pretty easy. Justin, the guy that came to my house, said that they will attempt to repair the panel and if I'm feeling lucky, I might even see it back by Friday. My guess is that that is very unlikely but ya never know.

Years ago I had a Zenith plasma (think LG Electronics) go south and resolving that took somewhere around three or more months and dozens of phone calls. No matter how this episode plays out, it will be unlikely to match that.

Anyhow I will post a follow up as to how Panasonic does with getting things fixed.
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post #2173 of 9989 Old 05-01-2012, 09:10 AM
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@eagle

Used Xbox 360! Lol! That's my best recommendation. It's either that or a used PS3 but if your priority is codec support I've found the Microsoft to be a little better in that regard and it's priced below the ps3 if you don't need Blu. Seriously, every time I go to buy one of those slick little roku boxes or a fancy new slimline bluray player I'm faced with the issue that a game system just does more and, thanks to the healthy secondary market on these items, they're CHEAP!

Please don't misunderstand me-- I can understand being upset about not receiving what you feel was promised to you. But at the same time I'm a big believer in product specialization! Your tv was designed to display an image, your DVD player was designed to play DVDs-- while it's nice when they do MORE the fact of the matter is they typically do it worse than even the cheapest POS that was made/marketed/sold with that specific purpose in mind. It's one of the reasons I still won't buy an apple-- I have to believe the money I've saved just upgrading a monitor here or a disc drive there has saved me a bundle over having to buy a brand new "packaged" iMac every time a single component needs upgrading.

Anyway, I hope you figure something out.

"For small creatures such as we the vastness is bearable only through love."

--Carl Sagan
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post #2174 of 9989 Old 05-01-2012, 09:16 AM
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"For small creatures such as we the vastness is bearable only through love."

--Carl Sagan
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post #2175 of 9989 Old 05-01-2012, 09:28 AM
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What do you guys think, is the GT50 worth the extra money compared to the ST50?
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post #2176 of 9989 Old 05-01-2012, 09:30 AM
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Originally Posted by sage11x View Post

Look, not to be a dick but you realize that you've just broken forum rules by advocating piracy right? I mean, "everyone does it" yada yada-- but some of us don't and I assume ALL of us don't want the involvement of the forum mods (whose job it is to protect the forum-- sometimes from itself) or the possible locking of this thread just because of that post-first-think-later reply?

It's not my job but I'd delete your reply.

Sorry I just edited my post.
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post #2177 of 9989 Old 05-01-2012, 09:36 AM
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Quick, Ikea is having a sale on Hemnes right now through Sunday!

Yep, picked up one of the TV stands for my new GT50. Great deal.
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post #2178 of 9989 Old 05-01-2012, 09:42 AM
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Sorry to go off topic, but hoping to find an answer tonight about the Ikea Hemnes tv stand since my g/f will be near an Ikea (the closest is 5 hours away).

My Stereo Receiver is 6" tall , 17" wide and 12" deep, will it fit in one of the shelves on that stand? I notice there is a lip that blocks part of the shelf height, but would it fit in if that is not in the way?
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post #2179 of 9989 Old 05-01-2012, 09:56 AM
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New 55ST50 owner, happy with the set so far after finally completing the 100-hr prep.

Doing some 3D viewing for the first time last night, I encountered a problem. Watching a 3D program on Comcast OnDemand, everything was working fine until in the middle of the program, the TV kicked itself out of 3D mode back to displaying the top and bottom images. I had to manually turn 3D mode back on with the remote. This happened 4 times during 30 minutes of viewing. Is this a problem with the TV or with Comcast?

Separate 3D question... I have the Panasonic glasses... I had to cycle them off and back on again every time I started a new program... is this normal?
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post #2180 of 9989 Old 05-01-2012, 10:13 AM
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Originally Posted by acevesf View Post

What do you guys think, is the GT50 worth the extra money compared to the ST50?

Being a value oriented shopper the price of a 60ST50 was my sweet spot. I'm not a hardcore videophile so I dont think I would have noticed a difference based off of my readings, but have never seen a GT50 in person.

I game, watch blu-ray, hdtv and think the ST50 will work great for me.
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post #2181 of 9989 Old 05-01-2012, 10:19 AM
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I just left BB and viewed a 55st50 and the picture was dull. Got the sales fellow to let me adjust it and it was on vivid to start with and really couldn't be helped with the usual brigthness, contast ,etc settings. It was about one half of the brightness of the Samsung es7500 led that was sitting next to it which I thought was adjusted fairly well. That was the first st I had seen and very surprised.
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post #2182 of 9989 Old 05-01-2012, 10:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MoggSquad View Post

It's ~3.75" from your entertainment center table to the tv screen, I'm not referring to the stand(base) that attaches to your tv.

My current entertainment table is deep enough where I can fit my center speaker in front of the tv base attached to the tv instead of being on top.

I may be getting a couple Ikea Hemnes stands this week and put my center channel in one of the shelves instead. Just hoping my AV Receiver can fit into it. I sent the two people who own them in this thread PM's to see how high the shelf drawers are.

Thanks Mogg! That's terrific news. Based in the with/without stand Pana specs, there's only a 2" difference, so this is very good news. I have a pretty deep furniture base, but it'll be nice to hide the components (time warner dvr, thin DVD player, appletv) back under/behind the tv a bit to leave space for a sound bar and clear things up a bit. I was even trying to research FiOS and TIVO box heights to accomodate. Thanks a lot!
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post #2183 of 9989 Old 05-01-2012, 10:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rgh71 View Post

Thanks Mogg! That's terrific news. Based in the with/without stand Pana specs, there's only a 2" difference, so this is very good news. I have a pretty deep furniture base, but it'll be nice to hide the components (time warner dvr, thin DVD player, appletv) back under/behind the tv a bit to leave space for a sound bar and clear things up a bit. I was even trying to research FiOS and TIVO box heights to accomodate. Thanks a lot!

Also keep in mind I mean TV screen, not bezel. I'll do a picture from home tonight.
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post #2184 of 9989 Old 05-01-2012, 10:34 AM
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Okay so I ordered my set from Abe's of Maine on Thursday 4/19. It took a whole 24 hours before the pushy sales guy called me back trying to sell extras for dollars on the penny. I refused other extras but did pay $50 extra for the white glove delivery, down from the initial $150 he offered. I was on the cusp of cancelling and just going Amazon, but my card had already been charged and god knows how long I would have had to wait for a refund.

I was very disappointed when I finally received a tracking number on Tuesday the 24th. Still I figured I was only 3-5 buisness days away from a TV at my door. Well Today after waiting an entire week for any kind of shipping update, the tracking still said departed Edison NJ 4/26, I decided to call the shipping company. Well I got a quick response that they would be "in my area" early next week because they don't have enough deliveries this week!! Are you effing kidding me? The TV should be here at the very latest tomorrow, but because they don't have any other deliveries in my area they are going to sit on it for an extra week. Basically they have had the TV in the regional warehouse since 4/26 or 27 and are just not delivering to my area all week due to lack of buisiness. No wonder they have no buisiness if they just decide to deliver stuff whenever they please!

Needless to say I am not ordering from Abe's again. I should have done more vendor research before buying. I did research Abe's when I almost bought my Canon 60d from them, and as a Camera seller their ratings were spotty, but not bad at all. Now I am going back and looking at them as a TV seller and all I see is bad news. Please do yourself a favor and buy from one of the forum sponsors or Amazon!

P.S. Just to make me feel better/worse can anyone tell me how long it took from inital order to see your set arrive at your door?
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post #2185 of 9989 Old 05-01-2012, 10:37 AM
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The ST50 at my local Best Buy looks horrible, and for some reason is set extremely dim. I got mine delivered from Amazon yesterday and it looks absolutely gorgeous. It's a shame that some people are probably swayed away from such a great TV due to bad in-store settings and lighting.
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post #2186 of 9989 Old 05-01-2012, 10:58 AM
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I agree that the ST50 at my local Best Buy looked awful. Very dull and lifeless. Plus the video they were playing was absolutely full of jaggies. They're idiots at Best Buy and it's no wonder they lost a billion dollars last year - they have no idea how to sell their products, so they get tons of returns.

Sage11x, I agree that these devices with built-in media players are mostly garbage. They would be better off not even marketing them as having it, then it wouldn't lead to such a disappointment. If I knew ahead of time that I would need to have extra money for a media player, at least we would have been prepared for that, instead of counting on the tv's hype and getting disappointed. They claimed that they had improved their media playback this year - I can't imagine how it was last year.
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post #2187 of 9989 Old 05-01-2012, 11:00 AM
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I ordered a Sharp in March and it took 10 days. My ST50 took 12 days. The Sharp was shipped via Pilot and the second via Home Direct. They bring the tv to a local delivery company (I live in a somewhat remote town). The one who delivered the Sharp is in town every Tuesday regardless, the other only comes when they have enough cargo.

The 1st company only unboxed it, the company that delivered the ST50, unboxed, assembled and put the TV on my stand for no extra charge. I did tip them well for their superior service.

I think delivery times really vary on your location.

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Originally Posted by HD70GUY View Post

Okay so I ordered my set from Abe's of Maine on Thursday 4/19. It took a whole 24 hours before the pushy sales guy called me back trying to sell extras for dollars on the penny. I refused other extras but did pay $50 extra for the white glove delivery, down from the initial $150 he offered. I was on the cusp of cancelling and just going Amazon, but my card had already been charged and god knows how long I would have had to wait for a refund.

I was very disappointed when I finally received a tracking number on Tuesday the 24th. Still I figured I was only 3-5 buisness days away from a TV at my door. Well Today after waiting an entire week for any kind of shipping update, the tracking still said departed Edison NJ 4/26, I decided to call the shipping company. Well I got a quick response that they would be "in my area" early next week because they don't have enough deliveries this week!! Are you effing kidding me? The TV should be here at the very latest tomorrow, but because they don't have any other deliveries in my area they are going to sit on it for an extra week. Basically they have had the TV in the regional warehouse since 4/26 or 27 and are just not delivering to my area all week due to lack of buisiness. No wonder they have no buisiness if they just decide to deliver stuff whenever they please!

Needless to say I am not ordering from Abe's again. I should have done more vendor research before buying. I did research Abe's when I almost bought my Canon 60d from them, and as a Camera seller their ratings were spotty, but not bad at all. Now I am going back and looking at them as a TV seller and all I see is bad news. Please do yourself a favor and buy from one of the forum sponsors or Amazon!

P.S. Just to make me feel better/worse can anyone tell me how long it took from inital order to see your set arrive at your door?

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post #2188 of 9989 Old 05-01-2012, 11:03 AM
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P.S. Just to make me feel better/worse can anyone tell me how long it took from inital order to see your set arrive at your door?

I ordered mine on a Friday from Amazon and had it delivered the following Thursday. I could have had it as early as Tuesday but scheduling it for Thursday worked better for me. Sorry!
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post #2189 of 9989 Old 05-01-2012, 11:04 AM
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The ST50 at my local Best Buy looks horrible, and for some reason is set extremely dim. I got mine delivered from Amazon yesterday and it looks absolutely gorgeous. It's a shame that some people are probably swayed away from such a great TV due to bad in-store settings and lighting.

100% agreed. I took the local set and placed it on vivid for a couple that was dogging it for lack of brightness next to the eye-searing Samsung LCD next to it.

"For small creatures such as we the vastness is bearable only through love."

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post #2190 of 9989 Old 05-01-2012, 11:09 AM
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I was a bit disappointed with how long the TV took to arrive from Amazon. It was roughly a week and a half. After dropping nearly two grand I was pretty geeked to get my TV, and it was a bit agonizing waiting that long.

I finally got my set yesterday, and placed the order on April 20th.
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