Is buying a HDTV a minefield these days? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 39 Old 04-21-2012, 08:15 AM - Thread Starter
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I am following a few threads as I hunt for a new 65/64" plasma TV.

Looking at the Samsung or Panasonic threads, hmm... is it just a small handful of user with issues that are vocal or it is a plasma TV with many unresolved issues?

When you look at the things highlight here, or even in the GT50 thread, each TV seems filled with issues?

I don't know... I bought my Kuro KRP 500A without looking too hard at the threads... and I am very happy with it.

Likewise when I bought a LG PQ10 42" plasma TV, it was also trouble-free.

Until I bought my Oppo BR player, I have not done any firmware updates on Anything I own.

Can I expect that my new TV will also be trouble free or should I expect a boatload of firmware updates, QC issues, and other problems?

I do statistics for a living, and I know each brand can have lemons, but after reading about:
Buzz, Peel, FBr, Blobs, Black levels, etc etc

It seems every TV has so many issues????

Can I walk into a store and score a TV and have more than 95% confidence that it will work?
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post #2 of 39 Old 04-21-2012, 09:28 AM
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Buzz - Plasmas buzz, even i'm sure your kuro does. 99% of the time this buzzing is not noticeable outside 1ft from the screen and is also dependent upon your own hearing capabilities and room set up. Some users claim to hear it from normal distances, but it's a very small minority. If you notice buzzing from normal distances w/ normal content playing (not silent test patterns) it'l be there from day 1 so you can always return it.

Peel - if you're referring to samsungs filter peeling off the screen this was resolved.

FBr - Fixed. Some claim to see it in hockey games, but it's been determined that they are mistaking it for camera flashes.

Blobs - apparently still there, but for very very few and for the most part only noticeable in test patterns like most "issues"

Black levels - Not certain what the concern is here. You wont get Kuro blacks if that's what you're wondering. If you're worried of black level rises, this too has been fixed. The blacks will actually at first get better as the tv ages vs new, but then may climb back up over years to their initial level when it was new.

The problem with judging issues on forums is that few people come online and shout about how happy they are with their purchase. They only come on to scream about a problem or do research prior to buying. Then when they come across this research and read about the problems with a tv, they make the stupid mistake of looking for those issues instead of just enjoying the set. Not to mention these forums are also full of hyper critical people. Not that that's a bad thing, but it makes issues seem way worse than what they really are.

"Don't worry, be happy"

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post #3 of 39 Old 04-21-2012, 10:29 AM
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maygit is right. Don't worry, be happy.

It's never been a better time to buy a new display. (Well -- maybe a month ago, when the model year-end closeouts were in full effect.) Don't get hung up on potential "issues" with a particular unit. You'll probably be happy with almost anything you decide to buy.

WIth that in mind, I would say that it's also a good moment in time to take a step back and maybe reassess your viewing horizons and expectations. By that I mean: take a fresh look around at all of the possibilities. One rule I would keep in mind (and forget sometimes) is: Bigger is better.

Give 3-D a fresh look. 65-inch 3-D plasmas are a bargain right now. The new Passive 3-D LEDs are, I think, impressive (and go up to 65 inches). And finally, you might think about a dedicated (dark) home theater room which can accommodate a wall-to-wall screen (or just a painted wall!) and one of the new, bright 3-D ceiling-mounted projectors. Incredibly, any of these can be had for under $2K if you shop judiciously.
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post #4 of 39 Old 04-21-2012, 10:42 AM
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The last part of maygit's post is dead-on-balls. If you want to read arrogance and "I'm right and you're wrong" discussions, pop over to the DispCal forums. Take everything you read here with a grain of salt because when the lights are out, and you're watching your new set, the ONLY person who's opinion truly matters as far as money well spent is you.

The suggestion about looking at 3D is not a bad one either. Even if you don't have any plans on viewing 3D content, the panels are usually better because of the 3D requirements so 2D will be excellent. Better than a 2D set, hard to say, but certainly not worse.
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post #5 of 39 Old 04-21-2012, 11:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks, if you read about pops, it's almost hysterical and at crisis levels in the forum...
And so many seem bent on returning their sets, it's like a disaster zone out there...

I do have a screen, tried a Mit HC 4000, and it just wasn't what I wanted, and keeping things pitch dark is not easy.

So the biggest thing I can have is a 70" flatscreen, but the cost goes up exponentially.

I actually had a VT30 65" on my wall for two days (got a shop display set for a lot less than retail)... but it was faulty, so I had to return it. Not the issues I mentioned, but just damaged. Even so, the 3D was not bad, although with a big head, wearing those glasses just wasn't comfy.

And of course the older VT30 requires you to keep looking at the screen, as contact will be broken otherwise. I enjoy the spectacle offered by such a large screen and I look forward to getting either the Sam E8000, or the GT50 / ST50 in the next couple of weeks. On the side I need to resolve the issue of the remote sensor being blocked, so whichever TV is reliable, offers decent PQ, and no issues or faults, and lastly can be used with my big centre speaker not blocking the sensor, gets my money.

I don't mind paying for the VT50 65" but I doubt if we will see it by May, and I am tired of peering at my tiny 24" monitor
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post #6 of 39 Old 04-21-2012, 11:54 AM
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Yeah, the projector people are even more neurotic than the plasma guys. I think they are single-handedly pushing Best Buy into the Mobile Phones Only paradigm. And if you can't have a dark room, projectors are probably a no-go.

If you find that you like 3-D, though, I think that the 65" LG passive is the way to go. Plasmas, alas, aren't really bright enough to show off 3-D as well, and the Passives eliminate most of the annoying things about current 3-D tech.
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post #7 of 39 Old 04-21-2012, 04:50 PM
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And the passives give reduced resolution. IMO, the best is either a Kuro (if you can still find one) or the VT50. And yes, anybody reading this forum would be scared to buy anything. Just sit back and enjoy.
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post #8 of 39 Old 04-21-2012, 06:08 PM
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Think about the support companies give you, Samsung doesn't even promote their 2012's on their web sites yet.
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post #9 of 39 Old 04-25-2012, 12:47 AM - Thread Starter
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I have been following three threads here, and I see "crossovers" from one brand to another in almost equal numbers.... interesting...
There is always something to be unhappy about... sigh, truly a minefield... It really doesn't make my decision process any easier...
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post #10 of 39 Old 04-25-2012, 08:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by petetherock View Post

I have been following three threads here, and I see "crossovers" from one brand to another in almost equal numbers.... interesting...
There is always something to be unhappy about... sigh, truly a minefield... It really doesn't make my decision process any easier...

If you're any kind of videophile, the experience of buying a display has ALWAYS been like this and it always will be.
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post #11 of 39 Old 04-25-2012, 08:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by petetherock View Post

I am following a few threads as I hunt for a new 65/64" plasma TV.

Looking at the Samsung or Panasonic threads, hmm... is it just a small handful of user with issues that are vocal or it is a plasma TV with many unresolved issues?

When you look at the things highlight here, or even in the GT50 thread, each TV seems filled with issues?

I don't know... I bought my Kuro KRP 500A without looking too hard at the threads... and I am very happy with it.

Likewise when I bought a LG PQ10 42" plasma TV, it was also trouble-free.

Until I bought my Oppo BR player, I have not done any firmware updates on Anything I own.

Can I expect that my new TV will also be trouble free or should I expect a boatload of firmware updates, QC issues, and other problems?

I do statistics for a living, and I know each brand can have lemons, but after reading about:
Buzz, Peel, FBr, Blobs, Black levels, etc etc

It seems every TV has so many issues????

Can I walk into a store and score a TV and have more than 95% confidence that it will work?




Dude, most of these people on the forum either sell for, represent for, or own their own business. With that in mind, I would not read too much into what is said on these forums. Don't get me wrong, there are some very good info on this forum, but do your reserch on other sites. Listen, I purchased a $3,200, 65in plasma that many people on this forum talk about, I have had not one issue with it. NOTHING. Just make sure when you go and purchase your new set, buy a new one in a box from a good reliable store. (except B**TB*y) Also, if you plan to spend a boat load of money on a TV, get the extended warranty. Pay the money and be done with it. This will save you a huge head ack later on "if" your TV has issues. One last thing, do not buy your $3,000 TV on-line, you are just looking for issues there. Buy local. The reason is "if" you have issues with your $3,000 TV, you can return it with ease. Most TV companies have good R&D. Most companies sell reliable TV's and most do not have many issues. Even inexpensive TV's now are very good quality compared to the older tube TV's from the 80's.

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post #12 of 39 Old 04-25-2012, 08:50 AM
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My recommendation is this: Do a little reading on the TV that you are interested in and read some reviews. If anyone mentions a problem just note it and then buy the TV. I over-read everything when I was looking and all the problems and issues people were talking about just sucked the fun and excitement out of the TV. I ended up with the Samsung 64d7000 and was expecting a living nightmare between all the buzzing and screen peeling and IR and tons of other stuff I had seen people complaining about. I honestly expected to be returning it only to get the TV in my home Theater and not experience a single issue anyone complained about. I broke in my TV for 120 hours before really watching anything on it and I have absolutely no complaints. The buzz is not audible at all unless I am actively listening for it, I don't get FBr at all. I have no image retention at all which surprises me especially since I use my PC on the TV (for some reason even though the pc outputs in 1080p there is a small black outline of the computer screen which is smaller than the the screen size so there is a constant black border around the windows desktop. Need to research how to get rid of that...) overall I am now happy with my purhase but all the reading made it hell.
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post #13 of 39 Old 04-25-2012, 09:02 AM
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I am now just going through this. However, I did it backwards as it was a few days from my birthday and my wife says to me, lets get a new TV for your birthday. Well enough said. However, I like to research but while in Best Buy we purchase in Magnolia a 60 inch Sharp 3rd 835U. So now after $3,000+ and still going higher I.E. calibration appointment, BA VR12 coming, etc., I am researching things and I feel like I made the wrong decision, wrong place to buy, wrong TV, receiver, etc. The funny thing is that we look at this picture without touching a single setting so far and we both sit their and saw wow. That picture is amazing. I guess the bottom line is don't overthink this thing, get informed but just enjoy the journey. One other word of advice that was already stated, try not to go smaller if you can. Have fun.
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post #14 of 39 Old 04-25-2012, 09:38 AM
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If you could find a store that has two plasma's sitting next to each other, have the sales person play a fast action clip from a good movie. while watching the movie on both TV's take note on how each TV looks. Also, if you can find a TV that is THX certified, I would go with that. These TV's are factory calibrated and have a perfect picture. I just leave my plasma in THX mode all the time and I love the picture. THX is a wonderful thing to have on a TV.

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post #15 of 39 Old 04-25-2012, 09:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amazonracer View Post

I am now just going through this. However, I did it backwards as it was a few days from my birthday and my wife says to me, lets get a new TV for your birthday. Well enough said. However, I like to research but while in Best Buy we purchase in Magnolia a 60 inch Sharp 3rd 835U. So now after $3,000+ and still going higher I.E. calibration appointment, BA VR12 coming, etc., I am researching things and I feel like I made the wrong decision, wrong place to buy, wrong TV, receiver, etc. The funny thing is that we look at this picture without touching a single setting so far and we both sit their and saw wow. That picture is amazing. I guess the bottom line is don't overthink this thing, get informed but just enjoy the journey. One other word of advice that was already stated, try not to go smaller if you can. Have fun.




Take it back and get a THX certified TV. You will not be dissapointed. Factory calibrated to reproduce a perfect picture. I do not understand why more people do not buy a THX certified set? Most reviews I have read from guys who calibrate these sets come to a conclusion that these sets do not need any tweaking and most say just to leave the setting alone.

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post #16 of 39 Old 04-25-2012, 09:45 AM - Thread Starter
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I know THX is nice, and certainly a boon for those with less than a physic PhD in calibration... but not all sets offer this, and I like to think the cinema mode works well for the non-THX brands...

I also see more returns and issues for TVs compared to speakers, subs, amps or other HT equipment in general... that never ceases to amaze, and also stress me out...
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post #17 of 39 Old 04-25-2012, 10:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeBlow74 View Post

These TV's are factory calibrated and have a perfect picture.

Do you have a link to this information?

It's my understanding that these displays will meet THX standards. I seriously doubt that thousands of displays are calibrated at the factory.

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post #18 of 39 Old 04-25-2012, 10:20 AM
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[quote=joeblow74;21949269] these tv's are factory calibrated and have a perfect picture

LOL
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post #19 of 39 Old 04-25-2012, 10:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeBlow74 View Post

Take it back and get a THX certified TV. You will not be dissapointed. Factory calibrated to reproduce a perfect picture. I do not understand why more people do not buy a THX certified set? Most reviews I have read from guys who calibrate these sets come to a conclusion that these sets do not need any tweaking and most say just to leave the setting alone.

THX certification has nothing to do with "factory calibration".
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post #20 of 39 Old 04-25-2012, 10:36 AM - Thread Starter
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So... what does the THX badge buy you then? I am curious to know...

EDIT:

got this off the THX website:

"What are the Key Benefits of THX Certification?

Exclusive THX Movie Mode: Comes as close as possible to reproducing the HD Color Standard used by filmmakers in the studio with THX Movie Mode.
Smooth motion for every type of content: THX certification improves de-interlacing and scaling performance, ensuring smooth motion for action-oriented content.
Optimized video scaling: Presents all content in the best resolution possible, including standard definition video.
...
"

http://www.thx.com/consumer/home-ent...vs-projectors/
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post #21 of 39 Old 04-25-2012, 10:40 AM
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It means is that the THX display mode meets the minimum specifications set by THX. It's more of a marketing tool than anything else, and is no substitute for a real calibration performed by a professional ISF calibrator.
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post #22 of 39 Old 04-25-2012, 10:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by petetherock View Post

So... what does the THX badge buy you then? I am curious to know...

EDIT:

got this off the THX website:

"What are the Key Benefits of THX Certification?

Exclusive THX Movie Mode: Comes as close as possible to reproducing the HD Color Standard used by filmmakers in the studio with THX Movie Mode.
Smooth motion for every type of content: THX certification improves de-interlacing and scaling performance, ensuring smooth motion for action-oriented content.
Optimized video scaling: Presents all content in the best resolution possible, including standard definition video.
...
"

http://www.thx.com/consumer/home-ent...vs-projectors/




Do not lisaten to these nay-sayers. THX really does do a good job at displaying excellent picture quality. "IF" you can find a THX set someplace at one of your local electronics stores, have the sales person give you a side-by-side comparison of two TV's, one without and one with THX. You will see for your own eyes what THX does. I mead do a critical comparison, if you can.

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post #23 of 39 Old 04-25-2012, 10:52 AM
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http://www.thx.com/test-bench-blog/g...your-new-hdtv/




I am not saying that anybody should not get their set calibrated, but if you do not wish to pay for calibration of your THX set, or do not care, a TV that is THX certified produces the best picture out-of-the-box. IE, most people.

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post #24 of 39 Old 04-25-2012, 10:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeBlow74 View Post

Do not lisaten to these nay-sayers. THX really does do a good job at displaying excellent picture quality. "IF" you can find a THX set someplace at one of your local electronics stores, have the sales person give you a side-by-side comparison of two TV's, one without and one with THX. You will see for your own eyes what THX does. I mead do a critical comparison, if you can.



Please get your facts straight.

You can't do a critical comparison of displays in a retail store environment.

I never said that "THX" doesn't do a good job at giving you great PQ right out of the box. I challenged your assertion that a THX certified display is "factory calibrated". It is not.

You can get equally good results as "THX Mode" by using a simple calibration disc such as Disney WOW or Spears & Munsil and spending 15 minutes with your display.

If you don't want to spend 15 minutes doing a basic calibration of your TV then "THX Mode" is definitely for you.

"THX Mode" does not give the same result as a professional calibration. Not even close.
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post #25 of 39 Old 04-25-2012, 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by maygit View Post

Buzz - Plasmas buzz, even i'm sure your kuro does. 99% of the time this buzzing is not noticeable outside 1ft from the screen and is also dependent upon your own hearing capabilities and room set up. Some users claim to hear it from normal distances, but it's a very small minority. If you notice buzzing from normal distances w/ normal content playing (not silent test patterns) it'l be there from day 1 so you can always return it.

Where do you get this 99% stat from? Do you have data for this? My ST30 buzzes audibly from 6' away on bright screens. Didn't start buzzing until after about 8 months of ownership. My Kuro doesn't audibly buzz at 6'. Guess I'm in the 1%. Seems to be a LOT of people in that 1%...would love to see the data you apparently have on that.

Quote:


FBr - Fixed. Some claim to see it in hockey games, but it's been determined that they are mistaking it for camera flashes.

Who has determined this? The FBr that people "claim" to see is absolutely NOT "camera flashes". There is a video on this forum of the FBr while watching hockey and it is clealy, well, FBr. Thankfully this appears to only happen in "Standard" mode on the ST50, but weird that you would make a claim that's verifiably false just by reading this forum.

Quote:


The problem with judging issues on forums is that few people come online and shout about how happy they are with their purchase. They only come on to scream about a problem or do research prior to buying. Then when they come across this research and read about the problems with a tv, they make the stupid mistake of looking for those issues instead of just enjoying the set. Not to mention these forums are also full of hyper critical people. Not that that's a bad thing, but it makes issues seem way worse than what they really are.

To be honest it goes both ways. There are people that come on to complain. There are other people that do come on to shout about how happy they are. Countless posts with "I have NO issues", or "Picture is FLAWLESS and blacks INKY!". I guess the all-caps on certain words help people convince themselves that their ST30 really has no flaws and "inky" blacks. At the end of the day some people really want to justify their expensive purchases so they pretend that their set drastically fluctuating in brightness is "camera flashes", or the audible buzzing they hear "doesn't bother them".

These are flawed displays, but generally their shortcomings are outweighed by their positives.
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post #26 of 39 Old 04-25-2012, 10:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeBlow74 View Post

http://www.thx.com/test-bench-blog/g...your-new-hdtv/




I am not saying that anybody should not get their set calibrated, but if you do not wish to pay for calibration of your THX set, or do not care, a TV that is THX certified produces the best picture out-of-the-box. IE, most people.

read this section "THX Certified Professional Calibration"

@JoeBlow I'm not trying to say that the THX mode is not good because I'm sure it is. Enjoy your set.

Mike

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post #27 of 39 Old 04-25-2012, 11:30 AM
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Hard to see the op's problem. If he "does statistics", it seems it's taking a long time to realize that statistically, large screen tvs are about the most problem free things you can buy these days.

Tony
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post #28 of 39 Old 04-25-2012, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by maygit View Post

Buzz - Plasmas buzz, even i'm sure your kuro does. 99% of the time this buzzing is not noticeable outside 1ft from the screen and is also dependent upon your own hearing capabilities and room set up. Some users claim to hear it from normal distances, but it's a very small minority. If you notice buzzing from normal distances w/ normal content playing (not silent test patterns) it'l be there from day 1 so you can always return it.

Peel - if you're referring to samsungs filter peeling off the screen this was resolved.

FBr - Fixed. Some claim to see it in hockey games, but it's been determined that they are mistaking it for camera flashes.

Blobs - apparently still there, but for very very few and for the most part only noticeable in test patterns like most "issues"

Black levels - Not certain what the concern is here. You wont get Kuro blacks if that's what you're wondering. If you're worried of black level rises, this too has been fixed. The blacks will actually at first get better as the tv ages vs new, but then may climb back up over years to their initial level when it was new.

The problem with judging issues on forums is that few people come online and shout about how happy they are with their purchase. They only come on to scream about a problem or do research prior to buying. Then when they come across this research and read about the problems with a tv, they make the stupid mistake of looking for those issues instead of just enjoying the set. Not to mention these forums are also full of hyper critical people. Not that that's a bad thing, but it makes issues seem way worse than what they really are.

"Don't worry, be happy"

The Kuro's definitely buzzed and if you search back 3 years or so you will find a very long survey topic on people with buzzing Kuro's.

The thing about buzz is it affects some people more than others. There are people who will insist every Samsung they get is "a buzzer" and other's who haven't encountered one with what they would call a "problem buzz" level. It has more to do with the people than defective products -- not that its their fault they hear buzz, but that some are more sensitive to it than others.
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post #29 of 39 Old 04-25-2012, 01:31 PM
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+1, I've seen first hand that not everyone can hear it. I can.

HOWEVER, I have also found instances where the same model plasma (e.g., my friend's) does NOT buzz but there are large numbers of buzzing complaints for this model.
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post #30 of 39 Old 04-26-2012, 07:48 PM
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Originally Posted by petetherock View Post

So... what does the THX badge buy you then? I am curious to know...

Ask Not what the THX Badge can do for You.
Ask what You can do for George Lucas.


...and what the THX Badge buys George Lucas is yet another new BMW.

(/Envy...)
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