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Plasma Flat Panel Displays

Harry6's Avatar Harry6
06:29 PM Liked: 10
post #1 of 25
05-16-2012 | Posts: 9
Joined: Mar 2010
Was looking at Panasonic 50" 720P on clearance today at Costco. Given the state of the new technologies, I wonder if I would be better off paying more for a 1080p set. In the past, it seems 50" was around the breakpoint for value in 720 / 1020. But the articles on this are old.

Have there likely been other worthwhile technology changes advancements in the time between models.


Right now, the price is about $500 versus $750.

Thanks for your thoughts
RandyWalters's Avatar RandyWalters
07:16 PM Liked: 500
post #2 of 25
05-16-2012 | Posts: 17,521
Joined: Feb 2003
If i had to make the choice of buying a 1080p Plasma for $1,600 or buying a "720p" Plasma for one dollar, i'd gladly pay the $1,600.

But that's just me. There are people here who have chosen a "720p" model over a much better 1080p model when the price difference was only a measly hundred bucks. "720p" Plasmas all look relatively poor and are unacceptable to me.

How far from the screen will your eyeballs be?

Exactly what kind of content do you watch?

Do you watch your TV in a bright environment?

Are you willing to sacrifice picture quality to save a few hundred bucks?
Dierkdr's Avatar Dierkdr
07:38 PM Liked: 52
post #3 of 25
05-16-2012 | Posts: 849
Joined: Dec 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harry6 View Post

Was looking at Panasonic 50" 720P on clearance today at Costco. Given the state of the new technologies, I wonder if I would be better off paying more for a 1080p set. ...
Right now, the price is about $500 versus $750.

Randy has asked the pertinent questions - especially the ones about Program Material and DISTANCE from the set.

FWIW, we have a somewhat older Panasonic 50" 720p set, and it still looks fine at any seating distance between 9 - 12 feet.
Although it looks rather small compared to our 60" set, FOR OUR EYES (wife agrees on this) MANY "HD TV" shows look better on the 50" than on the new 60," and the same tends to be true of Upconverted SD DVDs. (The larger panel is simply capable of showing off more flaws in the source material.)

That said, personally would NOT buy one of the newer Panasonic 720p sets - IN THE 50" size: the older panels, like ours, ran a resolution of 1366x768, but the newer ones run only 1024x768. That is a different even my wife noticed when we looked at the newer panels.

LG and Samsung WERE maintaining the higher resolution - but recall reading that at least one of them has also moved to 1024x768, so would check before buying.

Then again, as much as we used to "push" 720p sets as a viable option, have to agree with Randy that the Overall Quality between 720p and 1080p panels has widened in recent years - for reasons beyond mere resolution - and would be hard pressed to Recommend a 50" 720p panel at this time, unless Budget was THE overriding concern.

Best of luck with your decision!
mailiang's Avatar mailiang
09:46 PM Liked: 355
post #4 of 25
05-16-2012 | Posts: 6,883
Joined: Jan 2005
It's simple. 50'' inch, go with 1080p. Smaller screens are just fine unless you sit less then 6ft and then you may have to deal with SDE. Others here may feel differently, but I have a 46'' well tuned 720p Panny and it suits me just fine. Whatever you choose, enjoy your new TV.



Ian
Harry6's Avatar Harry6
10:07 PM Liked: 10
post #5 of 25
05-16-2012 | Posts: 9
Joined: Mar 2010
I was surprised to find such a high level of agreement in asserting such strong preferences for the 1080p versus the less costly 720p 50" plasma. I must admit I'd hoped your answers would go the other way - $500 seems a very attractive price. Money is on the tighter side - a higher price point delays my purchase.

I doubt it would alter your views much, if at all, but my viewing conditions are:

Lighting ........... ..........Dim or night

Viewing Distance . ..... 10 feet

Program materials......Mostly Broadcast HD via IO digital cable from Optimum

/ Cablevision. Zero sports. National Geographic kinds of things, HD Broadcast Movies, Downloaded via digital cable, or rentals.

Have a conventional DVD player, Would likely pick up a Blue Ray down the road.

Estimated use............ about 2 hours a day.

But I think you've already kindly answered my questions, and I do very appreciate your time and insights in doing so!
kray's Avatar kray
01:05 PM Liked: 10
post #6 of 25
05-17-2012 | Posts: 402
Joined: Dec 2002
Can you easily afford the extra $250?

If so, I say it's a no brainier to go with the 1080p set.

3yrs ago I chose a 720p over a 1080p plasma, but today I'd just go with 1080p which I just did.. New panny plasma 50U50

I would say the 1080 is a bit more future proofed than the 720. I doubt they ever make 720p plasmas again. Especially at the marginal price difference.
wallijonn's Avatar wallijonn
01:55 PM Liked: 17
post #7 of 25
05-17-2012 | Posts: 449
Joined: Mar 2007
[quote=Harry6;22032048]Viewing Distance . ..... 10 feet [quote]

If your viewing distance is 10' then you should be looking at a 65" TV. 10'=120" 65"x1.65=107.25". 70" diagonal = 70"1.65=115.5". Yep, you should be looking at a 70" TV.

Quote:


Estimated use............ about 2 hours a day.

For 2 hours a day viewing, and with the inferior cable resolution to OTA HD, and not having a BD player, a 720p would be fine, imo. Heck, you could probably get away with an LED TV.

$250 difference is nothing when comparing that $500 720p to a $1800 Pani 55ST50. Then you're talking of a $1300 difference. But only the most serious videophiles should apply. They will probably be doing more than 2 hours a day viewing. Once they start detecting dropouts and black blotchiness or blobs, they will probably drop the cable. Justification: yearly cable bill "saved" will pay for the TV set in under 2 years. (ROI) Reality: they will likely spend that $100 a month on BD movies. But after 5 years they will have a very nice library, at least 300 BD movies to choose from.

A 50" TV would be 50"x1.65=82.5"=6.875', so about 7' would be the correct viewing distance, from centre of screen to tip of nose. ymmv.
Mathesar's Avatar Mathesar
02:02 PM Liked: 13
post #8 of 25
05-17-2012 | Posts: 1,322
Joined: Feb 2004
I think the picture is fantastic on my 720P 8G 5080HD Kuro but it's running 1366x768 instead of 1024x768 found on a lot of cheaper 720p models.

However I bought it in 2007 and plan on buying a 1080p model on my next TV purchase.
mailiang's Avatar mailiang
02:36 PM Liked: 355
post #9 of 25
05-17-2012 | Posts: 6,883
Joined: Jan 2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mathesar View Post

I think the picture is fantastic on my 720P 8G 5080HD Kuro but it's running 1366x768 instead of 1024x768 found on a lot of cheaper 720p models.

However I bought it in 2007 and plan on buying a 1080p model on my next TV purchase.


Actually, the highly rated Pioneer PDP-428XG 720p 42'' Kuro had a resolution of 1024X768 as well as other higher priced smaller screen PDP's, back in the day.


Ian
Dierkdr's Avatar Dierkdr
06:43 PM Liked: 52
post #10 of 25
05-17-2012 | Posts: 849
Joined: Dec 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harry6 View Post

I was surprised to find such a high level of agreement in asserting such strong preferences for the 1080p versus the less costly 720p 50" plasma. I must admit I'd hoped your answers would go the other way - $500 seems a very attractive price. Money is on the tighter side - a higher price point delays my purchase.

I doubt it would alter your views much, if at all, but my viewing conditions are:
Lighting ........... ..........Dim or night
Viewing Distance . ..... 10 feet
Program materials......Mostly Broadcast HD via IO digital cable from Optimum

/ Cablevision. Zero sports. National Geographic kinds of things, HD Broadcast Movies, Downloaded via digital cable, or rentals.

Have a conventional DVD player, Would likely pick up a Blue Ray down the road.

Estimated use............ about 2 hours a day....



Feel bad that no one has provided the answer you were hoping for!

It is YOUR MONEY that will be spent - and YOUR EYES that have to be happy (or at least Satisfied!) with the TV you buy.

And, FWIW, your Viewing Distance, Lighting, and Program Material all seem to favor the odds of being happy with a 50" panel - I just wish you were looking at one with 1366x768 instead of 1024x768 resolution.

Is the set at CostCo up & running? If not, are they willing to set it up for you? (We had great luck with requests to "Demo" sets at 2 local CostCo outlets last year - including opening boxed units up!)

Try to get a look at the set you are hoping to buy - even if you have to run to another store to see one in action. Stand a few feet away from it (Yes, this is closer than your intended viewing distance), and see whether or not YOU can spot the "Screen Door Effect" that the widely-spaced pixels create on a 50" 1024x768" panel.

Now step back a few feet, and look again: if you do NOT see SDE - OR if you are Absolutely Convinced that it will NOT bother you from your Normal Seating Position - then this may well be the right set for you.

And, if possible, try to find another 50" panel (or 51", if a Samsung...) that is running 1366x768 & see whether or not you think you'll still be happy with the Panasonic....

Sure, $500 to $750 is "only" a $250 difference - but for many of us that is a significant amount. (It is also a 50% Difference in cost...)

We pondered this same question at one time, and made a decision IN FAVOR of the "720p" panel - taking some of the (then MUCH Greater) cost savings & "investing" in a blu-ray player & a handful of BR DVDs, which look Great on the 50" - and even better on our new 60" Pan ST.

And the COMBINED cost of both the 50" and the 60" panel was less than we would have paid for a single LARGE set (58", per memory).

Turned out to be a Great Decision - FOR US. Hopefully your decision - one way or the other - will work out as well!
Adamd's Avatar Adamd
07:41 PM Liked: 71
post #11 of 25
05-17-2012 | Posts: 561
Joined: Jul 2010
Me and my wife got my aunt a 50 inch 720p Panasonic for her wedding gift and the picture looked great for the money, I've had a vt30 so I know what a high end plasma looks like and I was shocked what kindaL of tv you can get for under 600 taxes in.
WaveBoy's Avatar WaveBoy
09:11 AM Liked: 40
post #12 of 25
05-18-2012 | Posts: 2,051
Joined: Aug 2008
I plan on getting a Panasonic UT 55" 1080p 3D Plasma in November, but for now I'm looking to replace my 2011 LG 42" PTK Plasma. It's a pretty decent set, with the black levels being it's only downside '720p' resolution aside....Which i honestly don't care about to be honest, unless I'm bumping up the 50" mark. But this set is for another room.

I'd be sitting at around 9 - 9 1/2 away, via HDMI from a 42"
Funny thing is, i still have my other LG 42" 1080p LCD and i can't for the life of me stand watching movies on it....The weak sauce contrast ratio/black levels, the horrible motion handeling and slightly artifical looking picture completely ruin movie experiences for me. The LG 'Plasma' however completely schools it...Giving off a 'much' more natural look, with CRT-like motion handeling and slightly better blacks resulting in a picture that looks just like my older 2 CRT's(weaker black levels aside and 'slight'y weaker motion handeling, but it's close!)

Anyways! the 42" Panasonic X5 is what i have my eye on. I want better black levels, better than my LG plasma at least....Plus I hear last years X3 only had 16ms for gaming lag(I'm nintendo only, so in this case for the wii where 720 or 1080p would yield zero benifit)

That aside, how are panasonics 720p displays lousy? HDTV Test.Uk said the X3 was a good set delivering good black levels and extremely low input lag. The downside apperantly was the slightly milky gamma.
The X3 was going for $499 until bestBuy removed it from their site and replaced it with the 'X5' which is going for $649...which was only $579 just a week ago. weird.
Volfo's Avatar Volfo
10:24 AM Liked: 10
post #13 of 25
05-18-2012 | Posts: 66
Joined: Oct 2006
I'm not an expert, just a regular guy. But I have a 6 year old Pioneer 5070 50 inch 720p plasma. It has problems where it sometimes won't turn on - but as far as picture quality goes, I enjoy it equally to my new Panasonic 60st30. I sit 12 or so feet away from the tv, and at that distance, there is no discernible lack of resolution.

If we are only talking about resolution as the difference, I'd have to say buy the 720p and don't think twice. I'm guessing what is informing the expert opinions above is that they are just now generally building the 1080ps better and thus they may be worth the price premium for reasons other than resolution? If you are a casual tv watcher, and are sitting 10 feet away from a 720p - I guarantee you won't be able to tell whether it is 1080 or 720 if that is the only difference in the sets (but it sounds like maybe there are others).
tripod39's Avatar tripod39
01:22 PM Liked: 13
post #14 of 25
05-18-2012 | Posts: 182
Joined: Jan 2009
1360x768 is what my 51D450 has.I also have a 1080 51D6500.I put the 2 side by side and there is a definite difference.Sharper with basic settings out of box on each.If $ is a matter get the 720.
fatuglyguy's Avatar fatuglyguy
03:08 PM Liked: 136
post #15 of 25
05-18-2012 | Posts: 1,453
Joined: Dec 2007
Simply put, I wouldn't get a 720p set in 2012 and I can't believe they're still making them. To me, the cost difference between a 720 and 1080p set in 50 inches isn't big enough anymore to justify purchasing the 720p set. True, a 720p plasma will probably still look superior to a cheap 1080p LCD, but resolution still plays a large part. If you're thinking about adding a blu-ray player there's absolutely no reason you should even be considering a 720p TV.
mailiang's Avatar mailiang
03:58 PM Liked: 355
post #16 of 25
05-18-2012 | Posts: 6,883
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fatuglyguy View Post

Simply put, I wouldn't get a 720p set in 2012 and I can't believe they're still making them. To me, the cost difference between a 720 and 1080p set in 50 inches isn't big enough anymore to justify purchasing the 720p set. True, a 720p plasma will probably still look superior to a cheap 1080p LCD, but resolution still plays a large part. If you're thinking about adding a blu-ray player there's absolutely no reason you should even be considering a 720p TV.

The price difference, as the OP noted, is about $250.00. For some, that's a mere snippet, but it's still 50% more, and for others, especially those on a budget, the difference in PQ is not worth the extra bread.


Ian
ratpacker's Avatar ratpacker
04:16 PM Liked: 38
post #17 of 25
05-18-2012 | Posts: 767
Joined: Nov 2006
If you're patient, you might have the chance to cheap out and get a 1080p set. Just wait until this years models go on clearance and you might catch a deal. I got a 2011 50in 1080p plasma earlier this year that originaly listed for $899 for $550. Sometimes it pays to wait.
mailiang's Avatar mailiang
04:24 PM Liked: 355
post #18 of 25
05-18-2012 | Posts: 6,883
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ratpacker View Post

If you're patient, you might have the chance to cheap out and get a 1080p set. Just wait until this years models go on clearance and you might catch a deal. I got a 2011 50in 1080p plasma earlier this year that originaly listed for $899 for $550. Sometimes it pays to wait.



Really? New? What brand?


Ian
Dierkdr's Avatar Dierkdr
04:48 PM Liked: 52
post #19 of 25
05-18-2012 | Posts: 849
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fatuglyguy View Post

Simply put, I wouldn't get a 720p set in 2012.... the cost difference between a 720 and 1080p set in 50 inches isn't big enough anymore to justify purchasing the 720p set...... If you're thinking about adding a blu-ray player there's absolutely no reason you should even be considering a 720p TV.


For many of us, absolutely agree with your inclination to avoid a 50" 720p panel: the cost savings over an entry level 1080p panel usually SEEM "insignificant" - but then "Significance" in Monetary terms means different things to different people!

We think our 60" ST50 is a Wonderful HDTV. However, I am certain that a VT50 would be even More Wonderful - but, for us, the cost differential between the two is Significant Enough that the VT series never entered into the conversation. (I do like sleeping in the house.... )


Will disagree somewhat with your last statement though: at a viewing distance of 9 - 10 feet, with our 50" 1366x768 Pan Plasma, blu-ray movies look Distinctly Better than Upconverted SD DVDs.

In fact, we've only had ONE person who has seen a blu-ray on the 50" panel who did NOT think it was a 1080p set (until we informed them otherwise).
Perhaps not coincidentally, that also happens to be the only person who has viewed a movie with us (that we know of) who ALSO posts on AVS...

Sure, if you know what you are looking for it may be "easy" to tell the difference - but for MOST people (and at a 9 - 10 ft viewing distance) the distinction is NOT that obvious.


Now, it is certainly true that those same blu-rays look Even Better on our 60" ST50 - at the same 9 - 10 ft viewing distance. But is is ALSO true that MOST Upconverted DVDs, as well as most Not-Really-HD "HD TV" shows, look BETTER on the 50" Panel than they do on the 60"!

As prices have fallen on 1080p panels, the price gap between entry-level 1080p & 720p sets has narrowed to the point where it is difficult to maintain sales of the latter. And in trying to maintain SOME price advantage for the 720p models, manufacturers have either cut-corners on the 720p sets and/or failed to incorporate the latest improvements that the 1080p panels enjoy.

But - other than Panasonic's decision to go with only 1024x768 on their 50" model - these distinctions have less to do with Resolution than with other areas of picture quality.
Dierkdr's Avatar Dierkdr
05:01 PM Liked: 52
post #20 of 25
05-18-2012 | Posts: 849
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Quote:


Originally Posted by ratpacker View Post
If you're patient, you might have the chance to cheap out and get a 1080p set. Just wait until this years models go on clearance and you might catch a deal. I got a 2011 50in 1080p plasma earlier this year that originaly listed for $899 for $550. Sometimes it pays to wait.


Quote:


Really? New? What brand?


Pretty certain the 50" S30 reached that price point - think the darn 60" S30 was selling as low as $800!

Of course, a lot of the Really Low Year-End Prices were on items that were also Very Low on Stock: a few lucky people scored great bargains, but there was also a lot of running around & "Where Can I Find One?!?" angst....
Millott's Avatar Millott
05:54 PM Liked: 10
post #21 of 25
05-18-2012 | Posts: 10
Joined: Jan 2010
I have to agree that at 50 inches now with the 720P being at a much lower resolution now down from 1368x768P to just 1024x720P panels that its hard to recommend them now and even harder with the values found in 1080P panels these days.

I chose a 50X1 just a few years ago when money was tight as I needed a stop gap solution for our HDTV after we had our JVC HD-ILA set have unexpected problems as it seemed that everything else we owned was breaking down at the same time.

It turned out to be a fantastic purchase and turned me into a plasma guy to be honest but in my opinion they made better 720P sets a few years ago, the supreme value is the UT this year in my opinion and is easily worth saving up for.

It compares favorably to any set that Panasonic made before 2010's VT20/25 sets. It may even be favorable to many 2011 sets.
WaveBoy's Avatar WaveBoy
06:53 PM Liked: 40
post #22 of 25
05-18-2012 | Posts: 2,051
Joined: Aug 2008
At 50" i wouldn't bother going the 720p route mainly because of the lower 1024x768 resolution....Personally though i honestly don't care about HD when it comes to most movies. The horror genre imo fairs better when things aren't as clear and crisp. Call me old school, or maybe because i'm still living in the 80's but whatever. XP on a '42" 1080p and 720p means nothing to me..There isn't too much of a difference anyways at 9 1/2 feet. Besides MOTION Handeling and black levels ect ect matter more than a resolution bump imo.
But still, i need 1080(a native res) for the upcoming Nintendo Wii U, so this future 42" plasma i'm buying is just as 2nd TV on the side.
ratpacker's Avatar ratpacker
08:52 PM Liked: 38
post #23 of 25
05-18-2012 | Posts: 767
Joined: Nov 2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by mailiang View Post



Really? New? What brand?


Ian

Zenith Z50PV220, a rebadged LG. I found out about it by periodicaly checking the "Found Deals" subforum. Even though the original post was a week old by the time I stumbled across it, Sears still had several left. Even my tightwad brother grabbed one, as it was too good of a deal to pass up. In fact, most of the gear in my humble home theater was bought on clearance. Saves a lot of money.
WaveBoy's Avatar WaveBoy
09:37 AM Liked: 40
post #24 of 25
05-21-2012 | Posts: 2,051
Joined: Aug 2008
Somebody PLEASE give me the juicy details on the new Panasonic 42" X5 720p plasma. 8)
I plan on getting a 55" UT 1080p 3D Plasma in Nov, but for now i want to replace my other 42" LG PTK plasma in my other bedroom. The LG is a wonderful set!
at 9-9 1/2 away Bluray material looks gorgeous, and blows away 'any' 1080p 42" LCD or LED imo. The only downside is that the blacks could be better and gaming lag is just horrible on this set.


Panny' X5

The X3 UK model has the lowerst input lag you can get and good black levels, but it's been discontinued so that's where the X5 comes into play. Has anybody played around with it?
The gamma on the X3 was a bit milky apperantly based on HDTV UK.com's review, but that aside the TV produced very good black levels...But yup, i wonder if you can turn off the Auto dimming
on the X5, that should 'be' on option on all plasma's without going into the service menu....
sboychuck's Avatar sboychuck
07:56 PM Liked: 10
post #25 of 25
05-23-2012 | Posts: 116
Joined: Nov 2010
FWIW, my Panny 42X3 is fine in a bedroom. It does best when not in direct sun. If you can still find somebody who has one, you may consider it. Got mine for $420 out the door. At that price point, I bought one for me and one for my mother-in-law. She can only say good things about it. Hope you find what you are looking for...
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