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post #361 of 13782 Old 05-09-2012, 12:18 PM
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The Panasonic TC-P65VT50 is the brand new flagship of Panasonic’s plasma line. It sports all the web based features you’d expect in a Smart TV, and it’s glass over bezel design gives it the looks to match the brains. The screen filter is very effective, minimizing distinct reflections without smearing them and remaining commendably dark even under harsh fluorescent lights. Chris from Cleveland Plasma had the VT50 finishing up a few days of break in and ready for some serious attention.

Before calibration:

Standard mode is the mode the VT50 comes in out of the box. In this state, the VT50’s picture was extremely dim and drab. I saw brightness pumping and line bleed in the DVD menu, and pans had the fake-looking Soap Opera Effect smoothing. Skin tones were overly ruddy, though bearable. Shadow detail was somewhat lacking and colored, with charcoal gray suits looking a bit too dark and bluish toned. On the positive side, blacks were very deep and the picture had a good sense of depth. Clearly, any owner who wishes to get the best performance from the VT50 will have to make switching to a better picture mode a top priority.

One of those better picture modes is Cinema. Switching to Cinema brought a breath of fresh air to the picture, with much more acceptable brightness and color. Speaking of color, bright colors did appear to be a bit hot, and the overall feel was too earthy-toned. Brightness stability appeared good, though I noticed a hint of the Dirty Screen Effect in panning whites. Shadow detail was very good, with dark objects easy to see (possibly a bit too bright) and fairly neutral toned. The SOE was present again, giving movie pans an overly smoothed look. Depth and black levels continued to impress. Cinema had a lot of promise, though a careful calibration would be required to alleviate the somewhat earthy toned cast and slightly over rich colors.

Switching to THX Cinema brought slightly sharper definition over regular Cinema mode, and movie pans looked excellent. There was a bit more life in the image, and colors appeared to be slightly better balanced. Dark images appeared neutral and well balanced, though there was still a slightly earthy toned look to the image. There appeared to be just a bit of added graininess. THX Cinema had a lot going for it: there was a ton of pop, excitement, and dimension in the image.

Game and Custom modes looked very similar, the difference being that Custom opens up many more calibration options in the advanced picture menu. These modes showed some promise, with a bright, punchy picture, but whites looked a bit hard and dark images appeared too dark and tended to sink down into a black blob. The picture appeared overly enhanced and processed in these modes, though the VT50’s excellent blacks were evident.

Though most of the viewing was done in a dark room, I turned the lights on to check out the THX Bright Room mode. This mode is intended to punch through ambient light while still retaining a good deal of accuracy, and I am impressed with how well this mode worked in moderately bright lighting. Shadow detail was easily visible, though the beginning of chapter 2 in The Dark Knight showed some layers of blue in extremely dark objects. The picture had a lot of pop and punch; blacks blended in with the bezel, giving a great sense of contrast. Reds were not quite rich enough, and if I had to nit pick I’d say highlights were a bit greenish, but overall this mode did it’s job very well.

Calibration:

I began by calibrating the THX mode’s white balance in the service menu, which was a familiar, easy task. The results were good, and fairly similar to what I obtained with the GT50 I reviewed recently. It is worth noting that the VT50’s THX mode is better tuned than the VT30, measuring better in significant areas even after calibration on both sets.

The VT50 adds some significant calibration adjustments in the VT50’s Custom and ISF Day/Night modes that could possibly improve upon the performance of THX mode. Since Panasonic did not include a serial port on the VT50, I had to use the Ethernet connection method to calibrate the VT50’s ISF Day and Night modes with CalMAN. I found several problems once I started the Day mode calibration. First, when I started CalMAN’s auto calibration routine, I noticed that while it was having success smoothing out the grayscale, it tried and tried to adjust gamma with no change. I watched as CalMAN read the 90% step, found it was too high in level, and brought the 90% luminance control down, down, and down some more; all the while not making the slightest bit of difference in the reading. CalMAN finally gave up and went down to the next step and repeated the process at 80% on down. The end result was an improvement in grayscale tracking but little improvement over most of the gamma, which was in fairly bad shape (much worse than THX mode) to begin with.

I discovered that, strangely, any of the luminance (multipoint gamma) controls, whether 10%, 60%, or 100%, controlled only the luminance in the 0-15% range. For instance, the 80% control had no impact whatsoever at 80%, but it had a significant effect from 0-15%. That happened whether or not I had the brightness and contrast at the CalMAN recommended 50 and 100 starting points.

I thought that I would try leaving all the luminance adjustments at their default positions and just take all 3 colors up or down to calibrate the gamma. At that time I discovered that there was a strange interaction preventing the success of that technique. If I lowered green, red and blue were raised. If I raised red, blue and green were lowered. If I lowered all 3 colors simultaneously, there was absolutely no change in any respect.
Similarly, there was no change in gamut luminance with the CMS luminance control.

 

Update:  The latest version of CalMAN has been updated to correct the 10 point gamma adjustment, and ControlCAL works properly as well.  Both software programs can be used to correctly adjust the 10 point controls.  The CMS luminance control remains broken.

 
Interestingly, the Custom picture mode, which the ISF modes are based on, did not have these problems. Panasonic has some refining to do to the calibration adjustments for the ISF modes.

In the end, through careful manipulation of the controls, I was able to improve the gamma somewhat, so it was only marginally poorer than in THX Cinema mode.

Black level measured a superb .0025 fL in 60 Hz mode and .002 fL in 96 Hz mode, the lowest figures I have ever obtained; though the Pioneer Elite Kuro was lower still, as measured by others. The modified ANSI contrast ratio was 8309:1, with black steady at .0025 and white at 20.95 fL in 60 Hz mode. In 96 Hz mode, the ANSI contrast improved to 10554:1, with black at .002 and white at 21.2 fL.

In THX Cinema mode, there was no significant color differences between 96 Hz and 60 Hz modes, which is very good news.
The VT50 did almost as well on the AVS 709 Dynamic Brightness test as the 50GT50, which means it did better than the Samsung PN-E8000 and LG PM6700.

After calibration:

Comparing THX Cinema, THX Bright Room, and ISF Day revealed that THX Cinema had the richest picture. ISF Day mode, despite the calibration problems, was absolutely gorgeous, striking a balance between the rich look of THX Cinema and the brighter look of THX Bright Room.

Overall, I preferred the color balance and smoothness of ISF Day mode over THX Cinema in a dark room. Apparently the smoother grayscale tracking and stronger light output of ISF Day took a slight precedence over the better gamma of THX Cinema.

I was struck by the easygoing yet exciting and immersive look. THX Cinema is excellent in it’s own right, and quite similar to the GT50; but ISF Day had a slightly more natural looking color that I found captivating. Viewing my 1080P/24 Blu Ray material in 96 Hz mode, the pans and motion were satisfyingly film like.

Black levels were the best I’ve seen on a plasma since the last generation of Kuros, and I would venture to say any remaining differences in black levels between the 60” 9G Kuro and the 65VT50 would be extremely hard to see except during direct comparisons of mostly black screens in a very dark room.
Shadow detail was excellent, with dark objects appearing to be about the right brightness and very neutral in color tone.

Brightness and blacks appeared to be stable, and resolution was very crisp.

I did see hints of DSE at times, though it was not serious and was easily overlooked. While I’m on the down sides, I should add that the color purity I enjoyed was not present until after careful calibration, since the out of the box settings all had color that was either too cool and clinical or too earthy toned.

How does the 65VT50 stack up against this year’s best high performance sets?

Samsung’s PN-E8000 is the only worthy plasma contender. While it has very natural color and other excellent traits, it’s black level remains pretty close to last year’s model with cable and satellite sources, whereas the VT50’s black level has significantly improved. That leaves the E8000 falling behind the VT50 in dynamic range and contrast, with other areas very close.

The Sharp Elite, which remains unchanged this year, has the VT50 beat in black levels and contrast; but it’s off axis deterioration and the Dirty Screen Effect can be crippling. The Elite’s color can be made pleasant enough with a good calibration, but it’s color can never be accurate across all saturation and brightness levels.

Sony’s HX929, also unchanged from last year, remains my favorite current LED LCD, with excellent color and overall picture quality. As with the Elite, the HX929’s black levels and contrast can beat the VT50, though the HX929’s blooming and off axis degradation are enough to at least even the score.

LG has plans to roll out new full local dimming and OLED sets soon, but these will be limited to smaller screen sizes when they become available.

The VT50 has some serious “Wow!” factor. When you get that rare combination of accuracy and excitement, it makes being called a nerd by your friends (or maybe even your wife) worth it after all.

Update:

I am told that the calibration issues were specific to CalMAN and it's interaction with the current VT50 FW, and a fix is in the works. Meanwhile, ControlCAL is said to function correctly, and I will update the review as soon as I get to test it with ControlCAL.
LL
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LL

 

 

Panasonic TC-P65VT50 THX Cinema.pdf 264.447265625k . file

 

 

 

Panasonic TC-P65VT50 ISF Day.pdf 264.626953125k . file
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post #362 of 13782 Old 05-09-2012, 12:24 PM
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Nice!

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post #363 of 13782 Old 05-09-2012, 12:30 PM
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Thanks Chad.
If you were to put a percentage on how much better the VT50 is versus VT30.
What would that be in your expert opinion?

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post #364 of 13782 Old 05-09-2012, 12:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrJai View Post

Thanks Chad.
If you were to put a percentage on how much better the VT50 is versus VT30.
What would that be in your expert opinion?

I'm sorta surprised that the VT50 only hit 45 ftl in ISF Day (if I'm reading that right). Everyone has gone on about how much brighter this panel is supposed to be.

Anyone recall what the VT30 could hit with ISF Day?
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post #365 of 13782 Old 05-09-2012, 12:33 PM
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10554:1 ANSI is awesome! I was hoping for that number! Great review Chad thanks!

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post #366 of 13782 Old 05-09-2012, 12:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrJai View Post

Thanks Chad.
If you were to put a percentage on how much better the VT50 is versus VT30.
What would that be in your expert opinion?

As it is now, I'd say maybe 15-20%... If Panasonic fixes the ISF modes maybe 25-30%. That is assuming it is watched in a dark room where the black level improvements would be more visible. Black level is approximately half from the VT30, and I felt the colors and smoothness may have been slightly better.

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post #367 of 13782 Old 05-09-2012, 12:40 PM
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I'm surprised how high the color temp was in isf day before calibration, was it the same for custom? Also I noticed the improvement in thx's gamma. I didn't know the gamma could be adjusted for thx mode.

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post #368 of 13782 Old 05-09-2012, 12:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hhaller View Post

I'm sorta surprised that the VT50 only hit 45 ftl in ISF Day (if I'm reading that right). Everyone has gone on about how much brighter this panel is supposed to be.

Anyone recall what the VT30 could hit with ISF Day?

I get about the same from the VT30 in ISF Day.

However, there's a wrinkle in my maximum light output measurements.

I just found out about a week ago that when I specified in CalMAN I wanted 10% sized windows with my pattern generator, I was actually getting something smaller. It was a bug in the way CalMAN interfaced with my generator. So all the while I thought I was measuring with 10% windows, but I was actually measuring with something like 5-6% or so. That can make a slight difference in the maximum measured light output. The problem was just recently fixed with the latest CalMAN version, and this is the first review I've done with the correct (yes, I actually measured them this time) 10% window size.

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post #369 of 13782 Old 05-09-2012, 12:45 PM
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Oh man. I was all set on an ST50, but the VT50 black levels and ANSI contrast are just that much better.

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post #370 of 13782 Old 05-09-2012, 12:47 PM
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Chad, can you please go into more detail about the DSE on the VT50? I haven't owned a lot of plasmas, so I haven't seen many examples of this. Can you describe it and/or show some photos of this issue?

Also, after calibration, we're you getting any brightness pops? Have you tried watching hockey on it yet?

Thanks in advance!

Calibration Equipment:

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Software: Spectracal Calman DIY, ControlCAL

 

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post #371 of 13782 Old 05-09-2012, 12:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mnc View Post

I'm surprised how high the color temp was in isf day before calibration, was it the same for custom? Also I noticed the improvement in thx's gamma. I didn't know the gamma could be adjusted for thx mode.

The ISF Day before measurements were different than the Custom and Game mode before calibration measurements. I will attach the Custom/Game mode before cal measurements here.
The THX mode before cal was actually THX Bright Room. I made a mistake and forgot to save the THX Cinema before cal measurement data and overwrote it with THX Bright room measurements and data. I discovered I did that after I calibrated THX mode, so I couldn't go back and remeasure THX Cinema before calibration.
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post #372 of 13782 Old 05-09-2012, 12:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chad B View Post

I get about the same from the VT30 in ISF Day.

However, there's a wrinkle in my maximum light output measurements.

I just found out about a week ago that when I specified in CalMAN I wanted 10% sized windows with my pattern generator, I was actually getting something smaller. It was a bug in the way CalMAN interfaced with my generator. So all the while I thought I was measuring with 10% windows, but I was actually measuring with something like 5-6% or so. That can make a slight difference in the maximum measured light output. The problem was just recently fixed with the latest CalMAN version, and this is the first review I've done with the correct (yes, I actually measured them this time) 10% window size.

Thanks, Chad. I remember there being some discussion at the time about how the VT30 actually "looked" brighter than what it actually measured, due to the way the panel was driven. Do you think that the ISF Day mode on the VT50 behaves the same way?
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post #373 of 13782 Old 05-09-2012, 12:51 PM
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Chad - thanks for the awesome review. Do you think one will be happy with VT30 if they are doing majority of their watching in a lit room or do you still recommend VT50? I am not picky about my picture quality but just want the best so i can go ohh ahhh wow. I am currently using a 21 inch LCD monitor :-(
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post #374 of 13782 Old 05-09-2012, 12:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tempest261 View Post

Chad, can you please go into more detail about the DSE on the VT50? I haven't owned a lot of plasmas, so I haven't seen many examples of this. Can you describe it and/or show some photos of this issue?

Also, after calibration, we're you getting any brightness pops? Have you tried watching hockey on it yet?

Thanks in advance!

The DSE shows up in large panning white objects, like hockey or clouds. The object will look fine until it starts to pan across the screen, at which time it will develop what look like greasy finger smudges in the white. The effect is fleeting and dynamic, so I don't think they could be captured in a screenshot. Actually, I've seen it much worse on some otherwise excellent LED sets like the Elite (gulp!) and the LG 55LHX.

I did look for brightness pops, and everything looked stable.

I am trying to make hockey a regular addition to my testing material, but with the extra time spent attempting to troubleshoot the ISF modes it was 3:30 AM before I knew it. I'll update the review as soon as I get a chance to calibrate another one and view some hockey on it.

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post #375 of 13782 Old 05-09-2012, 12:57 PM
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Chad,

With actual content, could you see the benefit of the additional gradations of colors???

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post #376 of 13782 Old 05-09-2012, 01:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by curiousdude View Post

Chad - thanks for the awesome review. Do you think one will be happy with VT30 if they are doing majority of their watching in a lit room or do you still recommend VT50? I am not picky about my picture quality but just want the best so i can go ohh ahhh wow. I am currently using a 21 inch LCD monitor :-(

I think you'd be very happy with the VT30.

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post #377 of 13782 Old 05-09-2012, 01:02 PM
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Quote:
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Chad,

With actual content, could you see the benefit of the additional gradations of colors???

I got the impression of a slightly smoother image than what I normally see on the VT30, but whether it was due to that or not I can't say.

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post #378 of 13782 Old 05-09-2012, 01:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hhaller View Post

Thanks, Chad. I remember there being some discussion at the time about how the VT30 actually "looked" brighter than what it actually measured, due to the way the panel was driven. Do you think that the ISF Day mode on the VT50 behaves the same way?

I would like to see more direct face to face comparisons before I comment on that.

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post #379 of 13782 Old 05-09-2012, 01:06 PM
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Thank you Chad. As always, a great service to the community.

There is no difference in HDMI cables. If you can see the picture without visible dropouts or sparklies, the cable is working at 100%. No other cable will display a better version of that picture. You're simply wrong if you think there is a better digital cable than one that is already working. (Oh, and plasma didn't die because of logistics problems, nor does OLED ship in big boxes because it comes from Korea.)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chad B View Post

The Panasonic TC-P65VT50 is the brand new flagship of Panasonic's plasma line. It sports all the web based features you'd expect in a Smart TV, and it's glass over bezel design gives it the looks to match the brains. The screen filter is very effective, minimizing distinct reflections without smearing them and remaining commendably dark even under harsh fluorescent lights. Chris from Cleveland Plasma had the VT50 finishing up a few days of break in and ready for some serious attention.

Before calibration:

Standard mode is the mode the VT50 comes in out of the box. In this state, the VT50's picture was extremely dim and drab. I saw brightness pumping and line bleed in the DVD menu, and pans had the fake-looking Soap Opera Effect smoothing. Skin tones were overly ruddy, though bearable. Shadow detail was somewhat lacking and colored, with charcoal gray suits looking a bit too dark and bluish toned. On the positive side, blacks were very deep and the picture had a good sense of depth. Clearly, any owner who wishes to get the best performance from the VT50 will have to make switching to a better picture mode a top priority.

One of those better picture modes is Cinema. Switching to Cinema brought a breath of fresh air to the picture, with much more acceptable brightness and color. Speaking of color, bright colors did appear to be a bit hot, and the overall feel was too earthy-toned. Brightness stability appeared good, though I noticed a hint of the Dirty Screen Effect in panning whites. Shadow detail was very good, with dark objects easy to see (possibly a bit too bright) and fairly neutral toned. The SOE was present again, giving movie pans an overly smoothed look. Depth and black levels continued to impress. Cinema had a lot of promise, though a careful calibration would be required to alleviate the somewhat earthy toned cast and slightly over rich colors.

Switching to THX Cinema brought slightly sharper definition over regular Cinema mode, and movie pans looked excellent. There was a bit more life in the image, and colors appeared to be slightly better balanced. Dark images appeared neutral and well balanced, though there was still a slightly earthy toned look to the image. There appeared to be just a bit of added graininess. THX Cinema had a lot going for it: there was a ton of pop, excitement, and dimension in the image.

Game and Custom modes looked very similar, the difference being that Custom opens up many more calibration options in the advanced picture menu. These modes showed some promise, with a bright, punchy picture, but whites looked a bit hard and dark images appeared too dark and tended to sink down into a black blob. The picture appeared overly enhanced and processed in these modes, though the VT50's excellent blacks were evident.

Though most of the viewing was done in a dark room, I turned the lights on to check out the THX Bright Room mode. This mode is intended to punch through ambient light while still retaining a good deal of accuracy, and I am impressed with how well this mode worked in moderately bright lighting. Shadow detail was easily visible, though the beginning of chapter 2 in The Dark Knight showed some layers of blue in extremely dark objects. The picture had a lot of pop and punch; blacks blended in with the bezel, giving a great sense of contrast. Reds were not quite rich enough, and if I had to nit pick I'd say highlights were a bit greenish, but overall this mode did it's job very well.

Calibration:

I began by calibrating the THX mode's white balance in the service menu, which was a familiar, easy task. The results were good, and fairly similar to what I obtained with the GT50 I reviewed recently. It is worth noting that the VT50's THX mode is better tuned than the VT30, measuring better in significant areas even after calibration on both sets.

The VT50 adds some significant calibration adjustments in the VT50's Custom and ISF Day/Night modes that could possibly improve upon the performance of THX mode. Since Panasonic did not include a serial port on the VT50, I had to use the Ethernet connection method to calibrate the VT50's ISF Day and Night modes with CalMAN. I found several problems once I started the Day mode calibration. First, when I started CalMAN's auto calibration routine, I noticed that while it was having success smoothing out the grayscale, it tried and tried to adjust gamma with no change. I watched as CalMAN read the 90% step, found it was too high in level, and brought the 90% luminance control down, down, and down some more; all the while not making the slightest bit of difference in the reading. CalMAN finally gave up and went down to the next step and repeated the process at 80% on down. The end result was an improvement in grayscale tracking but little improvement over most of the gamma, which was in fairly bad shape (much worse than THX mode) to begin with.

I discovered that, strangely, any of the luminance (multipoint gamma) controls, whether 10%, 60%, or 100%, controlled only the luminance in the 0-15% range. For instance, the 80% control had no impact whatsoever at 80%, but it had a significant effect from 0-15%. That happened whether or not I had the brightness and contrast at the CalMAN recommended 50 and 100 starting points.

I thought that I would try leaving all the luminance adjustments at their default positions and just take all 3 colors up or down to calibrate the gamma. At that time I discovered that there was a strange interaction preventing the success of that technique. If I lowered green, red and blue were raised. If I raised red, blue and green were lowered. If I lowered all 3 colors simultaneously, there was absolutely no change in any respect.
Similarly, there was no change in gamut luminance with the CMS luminance control.

Interestingly, the Custom picture mode, which the ISF modes are based on, did not have these problems. Panasonic has some refining to do to the calibration adjustments for the ISF modes.

In the end, through careful manipulation of the controls, I was able to improve the gamma somewhat, so it was only marginally poorer than in THX Cinema mode.

Black level measured a superb .0025 fL in 60 Hz mode and .002 fL in 96 Hz mode, the lowest figures I have ever obtained; though the Pioneer Elite Kuro was lower still, as measured by others. The modified ANSI contrast ratio was 8309:1, with black steady at .0025 and white at 20.95 fL in 60 Hz mode. In 96 Hz mode, the ANSI contrast improved to 10554:1, with black at .002 and white at 21.2 fL.

In THX Cinema mode, there was no significant color differences between 96 Hz and 60 Hz modes, which is very good news.
The VT50 did almost as well on the AVS 709 Dynamic Brightness test as the 50GT50, which means it did better than the Samsung PN-E8000 and LG PM6700.

After calibration:


Comparing THX Cinema, THX Bright Room, and ISF Day revealed that THX Cinema had the richest picture. ISF Day mode, despite the calibration problems, was absolutely gorgeous, striking a balance between the rich look of THX Cinema and the brighter look of THX Bright Room.

Overall, I preferred the color balance and smoothness of ISF Day mode over THX Cinema in a dark room. Apparently the smoother grayscale tracking and stronger light output of ISF Day took a slight precedence over the better gamma of THX Cinema.

I was struck by the easygoing yet exciting and immersive look. THX Cinema is excellent in it's own right, and quite similar to the GT50; but ISF Day had a slightly more natural looking color that I found captivating. Viewing my 1080P/24 Blu Ray material in 96 Hz mode, the pans and motion were satisfyingly film like.

Black levels were the best I've seen on a plasma since the last generation of Kuros, and I would venture to say any remaining differences in black levels between the 60 9G Kuro and the 65VT50 would be extremely hard to see except during direct comparisons of mostly black screens in a very dark room.
Shadow detail was excellent, with dark objects appearing to be about the right brightness and very neutral in color tone.

Brightness and blacks appeared to be stable, and resolution was very crisp.

I did see hints of DSE at times, though it was not serious and was easily overlooked. While I'm on the down sides, I should add that the color purity I enjoyed was not present until after careful calibration, since the out of the box settings all had color that was either too cool and clinical or too earthy toned.

How does the 65VT50 stack up against this year's best high performance sets?

Samsung's PN-E8000 is the only worthy plasma contender. While it has very natural color and other excellent traits, it's black level remains pretty close to last year's model with cable and satellite sources, whereas the VT50's black level has significantly improved. That leaves the E8000 falling behind the VT50 in dynamic range and contrast, with other areas very close.

The Sharp Elite, which remains unchanged this year, has the VT50 beat in black levels and contrast; but it's off axis deterioration and the Dirty Screen Effect can be crippling. The Elite's color can be made pleasant enough with a good calibration, but it's color can never be accurate across all saturation and brightness levels.

Sony's HX929, also unchanged from last year, remains my favorite current LED LCD, with excellent color and overall picture quality. As with the Elite, the HX929's black levels and contrast can beat the VT50, though the HX929's blooming and off axis degradation are enough to at least even the score.

LG has plans to roll out new full local dimming and OLED sets soon, but these will be limited to smaller screen sizes when they become available.

The VT50 has some serious Wow! factor. When you get that rare combination of accuracy and excitement, it makes being called a nerd by your friends (or maybe even your wife) worth it after all.

Excellent review Chad, impressive in every way, that is some great greyscale in Day mode very flat.

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post #381 of 13782 Old 05-09-2012, 01:15 PM
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I got my 65VT50 this morning and the silver bezel was no problem whatsoever with me. It made me wonder what all the fuss was about. When I saw the red power light located in the bottom center I thought why didn't they put it left or right but when watching the TV it too didn't intrude. Compared to the Samsung 64D8000 I had, I found the picture sharper and brighter which was a relief. From what I've heard the E8000 has a sharper and brighter picture also. I'm getting my set calibrated in June but am very satisfied with the 65VT50. I just wish Panasonic had come out with at least a 75" model.

I was glad the BB guys who came to put it on the stand knew what they were doing. One of them knew exactly how to put the stand on unlike when I got the Samsung last year and they some how broke one of the screws trying to put the stand on while holding it instead of laying it flat per the manual. The VT50 didn't have to be attached to the screen lying down. I got a pair of $20.00 Samsung 2012 3D glasses (SSG4100) to see if they worked on the Panasonic and am happy to report that they did. I've also ordered a couple of pairs of Panasonic glasses from Amazon which has them much cheaper.
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The DSE shows up in large panning white objects, like hockey or clouds. The object will look fine until it starts to pan across the screen, at which time it will develop what look like greasy finger smudges in the white. The effect is fleeting and dynamic, so I don't think they could be captured in a screenshot. Actually, I've seen it much worse on some otherwise excellent LED sets like the Elite (gulp!) and the LG 55LHX.

I did look for brightness pops, and everything looked stable.

I am trying to make hockey a regular addition to my testing material, but with the extra time spent attempting to troubleshoot the ISF modes it was 3:30 AM before I knew it. I'll update the review as soon as I get a chance to calibrate another one and view some hockey on it.

Thanks Chad. It might be premature to ask this question, but if you were going to buy a 2012 set for *yourself*, would it be the VT50? If not, which set and why?

Calibration Equipment:

Meters: X-rite i1 Pro 2, X-rite i1 Display Pro

Software: Spectracal Calman DIY, ControlCAL

 

Televisions:

Panasonic TC-P65VT50 (currently own)
Samsung UN55D8000 (returned) Calibration and Settings Thread

 

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post #383 of 13782 Old 05-09-2012, 01:29 PM
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As it is now, I'd say maybe 15-20%... If Panasonic fixes the ISF modes maybe 25-30%. That is assuming it is watched in a dark room where the black level improvements would be more visible. Black level is approximately half from the VT30, and I felt the colors and smoothness may have been slightly better.

Thank you Chad. I guess is time to schedule a calibration for my VT30 I was so fixed on upgrading to a VT50 not so much any more. Anyway I'll send you an email to book my calibration.

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post #384 of 13782 Old 05-09-2012, 01:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Tempest261 View Post

Thanks Chad. It might be premature to ask this question, but if you were going to buy a 2012 set for *yourself*, would it be the VT50? If not, which set and why?

Well, I already bought a 55GT50. I just mounted it the other day. I liked it's THX modes well enough and I figured if I really had to have 10 pt adjustments I'd put my Lumagen in the signal chain.
But if I hadn't already gotten that, and if I had the budget, I would go for the VT50.

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post #385 of 13782 Old 05-09-2012, 01:35 PM
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As it is now, I'd say maybe 15-20%... If Panasonic fixes the ISF modes maybe 25-30%. That is assuming it is watched in a dark room where the black level improvements would be more visible. Black level is approximately half from the VT30, and I felt the colors and smoothness may have been slightly better.


Chad could you tell me how much the black level and overall PQ is better compared to the GT50 or even the ST50? Is it significant enough to notice it without a side to side comparison therefore justifying the higher price of this flagship plasma?
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post #386 of 13782 Old 05-09-2012, 01:39 PM
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if I had the budget, I would go for the VT50.

Is a 65VT30 worth considering at $1000 cheaper than the 65VT50?
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post #387 of 13782 Old 05-09-2012, 01:41 PM
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Is a 65VT30 worth considering at $1000 cheaper than the 65VT50?

Sure! It all comes down to if you want to spend $1K on the improvements. Some will, some won't. Either position is valid.

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post #388 of 13782 Old 05-09-2012, 01:44 PM
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Chad , great work as always. I appreciate your knowledge and honesty.

In your opinion should new VT50 owners wait til ISF modes cals are corrected before getting the panel professionally calibrated? Will it make much of a difference?

Also, compared to the EU(UK) reviews and cal reports do you see much of a difference in post cal results?
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post #389 of 13782 Old 05-09-2012, 01:51 PM
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Chad could you tell me how much the black level and overall PQ is better compared to the GT50 or even the ST50? Is it significant enough to notice it without a side to side comparison therefore justifying the higher price of this flagship plasma?

The ST and GT50s I've reviewed have been the smaller models, and there has in the past been a trend to see higher black levels on the smaller sizes of the same model. So I will have to refrain from comment here until I see some more samples of various sizes and models.

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post #390 of 13782 Old 05-09-2012, 01:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by airgon74 View Post

Chad , great work as always. I appreciate your knowledge and honesty.

In your opinion should new VT50 owners wait til ISF modes cals are corrected before getting the panel professionally calibrated? Will it make much of a difference?

Also, compared to the EU(UK) reviews and cal reports do you see much of a difference in post cal results?

In some ways it depends on your calibrator and his skills and abilities. But I would expect a working ISF mode calibration to be a visible improvement over THX mode, which is already excellent. Even with the controls not fully working I slightly preferred the ISF mode.

I haven't looked at the EU reviews yet.

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