Plasma Recommendation Please - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 06-06-2012, 07:26 AM - Thread Starter
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1. How far away will you be from the display when watching it? 9'

2. What TV will it be replacing? 2 year old 50" budget Panasonic Viera

3. What will you be watching on it? 1/3 TV, 1/3 Bluray movies, 1/3 gaming on PC

4. Will a computer be connected to use the display as a monitor? If so, what percent of the time? up to 1/3 for PC gaming

5. Will you be getting a Blu-ray player to watch movies and will you be getting any HD service from cable/sat, or will you just be watching SD programming, and an upscaling SD DVD player? HD service from directv, cambridge 650BD for blu-ray

6. Are you looking for the best in class display, the best bargain display, or best bang for the buck in the middle display? Best in class, but not the professional series with all the bells and whistles that I would never use for my purposes.

7. Are you interested in seeing 3D with the new 3DTVs? No, I think 3d is contrived and gives me migraine headaches

8. What is the room lighting situation? (i.e. can you control the lighting? Complete light control, basement with great window treatments

9. What is your budget range? $2500-4000
10. Will people be watching at multiple viewing angles or just usually one person sitting directly in the center? primarily me in the center

11. When will most viewing be done on the display (i.e. Daytime or after sunset)? After sunset.

I have people telling me VT30, VT50, GT, ST, its all greek to me. All I know is my budget panny plasma that I picked up from best buy Christmass 2011, is showing its well, budget.

And Its hard for me to make out enemies on the games I play from my viewing distance on the 50", 65" minimum for my next one.

I really l was wowed by the Kuros way back when but couldn't afford those kinds of prices. I love the black levels of plasmas and not the biggest fan of LCD/LED.
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post #2 of 6 Old 06-06-2012, 02:46 PM
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If you want the best 2012 model, it's the VT50. But the ST is pretty close to it at a significant cost savings. Many recommend skipping the GT50 (not much benefit over the ST50). Go look at them in stores and see which better meets your needs. Sitting 9' away, the 55" model will be fine (and bigger than what you have). Even though you're not interested in 3D, the 3D displays offer the best 2D PQ.
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post #3 of 6 Old 06-06-2012, 03:19 PM
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At 9' away and considering you're coming from a 50", I would at least go with a 60", but 55" is OK.
Considering your budget, I would go with a Panasonic 60/65ST50, 60/65GT50 or Samsung PN60E7000/8000. If you want the best and don't mind spending the money, the 65VT50 is the best PDP overall, but as BillP said, price/performance wise, the ST and GT have much better value and offer PQ fairly close to the VT50.

The advantages of the GT50 over the ST50 are: THX cinema and brightroom (decent picture presets), better styling, dual-core processor (apps, menus will be snappier), extra shades of gradation (doesn't really make a difference), and an extra HDMI and USB port. The VT50 has (arguably) even better styling, more picture controls (ISFccc, so slightly better color after calibration) and 96Hz mode (better motion for film/24p). There is some minor flickering with 96Hz, so you might end up preferring 60Hz anyway.

As mentioned, THX modes are decent presets/picture modes that are better than the presets on the ST50. But both the ST50 and GT50 have more or less the same picture quality after calibration. Because the GT50/VT50 have the THX modes, it gives you better options if you want separate settings for day and night viewing. The ST50 can also have two good modes for day/night (using Cinema and Custom modes), but Cinema mode on the ST50 isn't quite as good as the other picture modes (gamma is slightly low).

So basically if you want the best and are willing to pay a premium for slightly better PQ and some extra features, the VT50 is the best Plasma. Between the ST/GT, If you're not getting it calibrated, the features of the GT50 appeal to you and/or you want 2 good modes for day/night, the GT50 is the better choice. If you're getting it calibrated, you only need one mode (or you can live with Cinema mode for night viewing) and the features of the GT50 aren't needed, the ST50 is the better choice. The money saved from the ST50 can be put towards a pro calibration which will have much better picture than an uncalibrated GT50 (or even VT50 for that matter).

I know the Samsungs have slightly better color than the ST/GT (VT50 is better than any of them), but the blacks aren't quite as good as the Panasonics. I would personally lean towards the ST/GT/VT, but the E7000/E8000 aren't bad choices either.
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post #4 of 6 Old 06-08-2012, 08:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks guys. Sounds like I need to do a side by side of the VT50 vs the ST50 and see if the ends justify the means.

I've got one output off my preamplifier, going to the TV. It does all of the source switching.

Would you calibrate it once for all sources?

Is there a need to calibrate it differently for different sources, for e.g. HTPC (Gaming), Cambridge 650BD player, and Direct TV HD satellite?

Or am I good to go after a one time calibration for all sources?

Never spent the money on a calibration before because I was able to get pretty close on my budget panny using some settings I found on the web, but if I go for the gusto, I definitely want to get my moneys worth.
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post #5 of 6 Old 06-08-2012, 09:02 AM
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If you want to save some money and since you don't care for a lot of the bells and whistles, you may want to really look into the UT50 series, especially since you have a light controlled room. The PQ across all of the models this year is very consistent with all of them offering outstanding PQ with minute differences.
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post #6 of 6 Old 06-08-2012, 11:46 AM
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The 55VT50 is currently under $2k at Amazon right now. wink.gif

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