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post #1 of 22 Old 06-27-2012, 07:30 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi all,

I'm looking to replace my Samsung pn50b550 plasma with something bigger. Right now it's mounted above a fireplace (not ideal, but it's the best spot for my living room).

I've been fumbling around the Internet looking at reviews, and it seems Samsung and Panasonic are still the better of the brands, even though LGs look pretty (design wise).

I'm going to end up buying a 60" I think. I don't know if jumping from 50 to 55" will be much, and I think a 60" will fit okay in the space I have (since my current plasma has a 3" deep bezel around the sides).


I know the Panasonic vt series is very highly regarded, but given that it's not available in 60", I think it's out of the picture.

The Thx mode of the GT series is appealing, as I don't plan on having a calibrator come in and mess around with it...

But Samsung has been good to me in the past.

Basically I'd like to know if one brand is better than the other? Is there a model I can take out of the box and enjoy without having to pay for calibration? Is plasma burn in still an issue?

And as this will be my first 3d tv, any tips on what to look for?

Thanks,
Gizzy
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post #2 of 22 Old 06-27-2012, 07:44 AM
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Originally Posted by gizzygone View Post

Hi all,
I'm looking to replace my Samsung pn50b550 plasma with something bigger. Right now it's mounted above a fireplace (not ideal, but it's the best spot for my living room).
I've been fumbling around the Internet looking at reviews, and it seems Samsung and Panasonic are still the better of the brands, even though LGs look pretty (design wise).
I'm going to end up buying a 60" I think. I don't know if jumping from 50 to 55" will be much, and I think a 60" will fit okay in the space I have (since my current plasma has a 3" deep bezel around the sides).
I know the Panasonic vt series is very highly regarded, but given that it's not available in 60", I think it's out of the picture.
The Thx mode of the GT series is appealing, as I don't plan on having a calibrator come in and mess around with it...
But Samsung has been good to me in the past.
Basically I'd like to know if one brand is better than the other? Is there a model I can take out of the box and enjoy without having to pay for calibration? Is plasma burn in still an issue?
And as this will be my first 3d tv, any tips on what to look for?
Thanks,
Gizzy

You can always get the Panasonic 60ST50. With the money saved over the GT/VT series you can pay a calibrator.

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post #3 of 22 Old 06-27-2012, 08:09 AM - Thread Starter
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You can always get the Panasonic 60ST50. With the money saved over the GT/VT series you can pay a calibrator.

I just don't know if I'm sold on the entire calibration thing! First off, I don't know where to find somebody. I wouldn't know what they cost (although after reading around it seems ~$300 or more), and finally I'm no videophile!

I bought my current Plasma for about $1100, and it came with a HTIB. I used the factory settings and I couldn't be happier. But, being somebody who reviews the heck out of everything, I ended up liking the idea of the VT series, or the GT series, even though the price is a bit nauseating!

I know the reason I purchased the Samsung in the first place, was I found the Panasonic plasmas on display seemed to have a green tinge to them... Which I didn't like. I went to look at some TV's quickly yesterday, and didn't notice anything like that, although they were all very dim, in comparison to the $6000 LED panels they were next to.
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post #4 of 22 Old 06-27-2012, 08:25 AM
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Calibrating your tv is a personal decision and can be a very contentious issue. If you tweak the controls and are happy with the results, then that's fine, because the only person you have to satisfy is yourself. However, to fully appreciate what your tv is capable of in faithfully displaying your source material as it was meant to be seen, then a calibration is necessary. Calibrating an $800 tv is probably a waste of money but when you get above $1200 or so, especially with the level of consumer controls available on some sets (no need to do the Service Menu thing), calibrating should be seriously considered. Finding a good calibrator in your area is not that difficult. There's folks here who can probably help you and there's a sticky at the top on ISF calibrators in the Display Calibrations forum.
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post #5 of 22 Old 06-27-2012, 11:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gizzygone View Post

I just don't know if I'm sold on the entire calibration thing! First off, I don't know where to find somebody. I wouldn't know what they cost (although after reading around it seems ~$300 or more), and finally I'm no videophile!
I bought my current Plasma for about $1100, and it came with a HTIB. I used the factory settings and I couldn't be happier. But, being somebody who reviews the heck out of everything, I ended up liking the idea of the VT series, or the GT series, even though the price is a bit nauseating!
I know the reason I purchased the Samsung in the first place, was I found the Panasonic plasmas on display seemed to have a green tinge to them... Which I didn't like. I went to look at some TV's quickly yesterday, and didn't notice anything like that, although they were all very dim, in comparison to the $6000 LED panels they were next to.

I've always been happy with my results using a calibration disc like Disney WOW or one of the several others available. I've also been fairly realistic regarding my budget and never gone for the most expensive set in a mfgs. line (at least in the last 20 years).

Right now, if asked to make a recommendation for someone in your particular situation (wanting good pq but not made of money:)) I'd recommend the ST50 and self calibration with one of those discs.

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post #6 of 22 Old 06-27-2012, 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Steve S View Post

I've always been happy with my results using a calibration disc like Disney WOW or one of the several others available. I've also been fairly realistic regarding my budget and never gone for the most expensive set in a mfgs. line (at least in the last 20 years).
Right now, if asked to make a recommendation for someone in your particular situation (wanting good pq but not made of money:)) I'd recommend the ST50 and self calibration with one of those discs.

You can certainly get most of the way there with a calibration disc, however once you cross that line and get a professional calibration or learn to do it yourself there is no going back smile.gif

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post #7 of 22 Old 06-27-2012, 03:39 PM
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Once you think you've made your mind up about a particular set, make sure you go and check it out in store with a variety of content. I recently bought a new TV and found the whole process very frustrating. Originally bought a 55" LG LW4500 which I returned due to flashlighting. Very average, didn't think much of it. I actually paid a $150 restocking fee just to be shot of it.

Then we got an ST50 Panasonic which was great but had a noticeable amount of flicker in both 50hz and 24p. In Australia and Europe even the ST runs 24p at 96hz so I would not expect the VT50 to be any better in this regard. Some people notice it, some people do not - I would strongly recommend checking for yourself in store if you watch a lot of 50hz content or want true 24p playback without any motion interpolation, which is apparently how the ST50 achieves correct film cadence at 60hz.

I now have a Samsung E8000 - the black level isn't quite as deep as the ST50 but it's still a very nice set. Doesn't flicker at any refresh rate than I can see. On the other hand, the automatic brightness limiter appears to have an issue when panning from a very light scene into a dark one - the brightness takes noticeable steps instead of transitioning smoothly. I am hopeful this might eventually be fixed but I'm not sure. Overall I find it the least annoying flaw of the three TV's I've purchased, however if you cannot detect any flicker on the ST50 in 50hz or 24p, or if those playback modes aren't important to you, that is the TV I would recommend for sure.
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post #8 of 22 Old 06-27-2012, 04:24 PM
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Why not buy the "WOW Disney Calibration disk" for $25 off amazon? It will not be nearly as good as a pro calibration, but it should get you fairly close to your satisfaction. People get really good results from it.

Also if you can afford the ST it would be a nice upgrade. People are giving it the best value for a tv this year. The VT and GT are great Tv's but you don't get much as far as the price to performance goes as you do with the ST. So if your budget minded go with ST, or cheaper if you need.
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post #9 of 22 Old 06-27-2012, 04:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hotthree View Post

Why not buy the "WOW Disney Calibration disk" for $25 off amazon? It will not be nearly as good as a pro calibration, but it should get you fairly close to your satisfaction. People get really good results from it.

Agreed. You can use a calibration disk to set contrast and brightness levels on your own without a calibrator. You can also set color saturation using this disks (generally you will end up with a higher number than you are supposed to so you will want to dial it back a few notches and check what others are using). A pro will be able to get the right grey scale tracking and color luminance. Both of these are very important.

What I suggest is doing it yourself using a calibration disk, tweak it a bit further based on your personal preferences and enjoy! You could also copy other peoples settings to help you get in the right ball park.. however it might lead you the wrong way as well. Everyone's TV is different.

At this point, if you are unhappy with the PQ, you can pay a pro to do it or find a local enthusiast with a meter to help you out

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post #10 of 22 Old 06-27-2012, 06:22 PM
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And, if you do get a pro calibration, it more than likely won't last more than 3 or 4 great years. Then you'll probably need it re-calibrated. You may want to add in that cost if you're really sold on maintaining the PQ until you replace it with an OLED in 6 or so years..
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post #11 of 22 Old 06-27-2012, 07:18 PM
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Originally Posted by gizzygone View Post

I just don't know if I'm sold on the entire calibration thing! First off, I don't know where to find somebody. I wouldn't know what they cost (although after reading around it seems ~$300 or more), and finally I'm no videophile!
I bought my current Plasma for about $1100, and it came with a HTIB. I used the factory settings and I couldn't be happier. But, being somebody who reviews the heck out of everything, I ended up liking the idea of the VT series, or the GT series, even though the price is a bit nauseating!
I know the reason I purchased the Samsung in the first place, was I found the Panasonic plasmas on display seemed to have a green tinge to them... Which I didn't like. I went to look at some TV's quickly yesterday, and didn't notice anything like that, although they were all very dim, in comparison to the $6000 LED panels they were next to.
Don't compare "TV's" in stores!
[unless your able too adjust them in the store]
You've picked two fine brands: Panny & Sammy.
You can save money w/o sacrificing quality by checking features throughout a brands line.
Some plasmas use the same panels & prices reflect 'options' not PQ.
Good Luck!

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post #12 of 22 Old 06-27-2012, 09:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hotthree View Post

Why not buy the "WOW Disney Calibration disk" for $25 off amazon? It will not be nearly as good as a pro calibration, but it should get you fairly close to your satisfaction. People get really good results from it.
Also if you can afford the ST it would be a nice upgrade. People are giving it the best value for a tv this year. The VT and GT are great Tv's but you don't get much as far as the price to performance goes as you do with the ST. So if your budget minded go with ST, or cheaper if you need.

Not a bad idea. $25 is something I'd feel comfortable buying.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BIG ED View Post

Don't compare "TV's" in stores!
[unless your able too adjust them in the store]
You've picked two fine brands: Panny & Sammy.
You can save money w/o sacrificing quality by checking features throughout a brands line.
Some plasmas use the same panels & prices reflect 'options' not PQ.
Good Luck!
Fr:: A Panny owner now, lOOking for a 3D Sammy; as well!

Yeah, they seem to be the best brands, but the more I look into them, the more I flip flop!
Issues with Panasonic flickering and green tint, vs samsungs loud buzz, dead pixels and cracking sub screens....
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post #13 of 22 Old 06-27-2012, 11:06 PM
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Buy the one you like and do not look back. You only hear of the problems so much because people are more willing to express there discontent. I'd say actually problems w/ tvs are probably under 20% of all buyers, if not less. I mean why else make the tv's if there all bad.

Do not let it hinder your purchase, because you read what all these ultra videophiles say. You can give them a perfect tv and they could find something to critique.
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post #14 of 22 Old 06-27-2012, 11:52 PM
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The st50 is the best value set and the vt is the best set.. I say from the sounds of what your saying go to the 65st50 and at least grab the Cali disc if not a pro. I just came from a 50b860 to a 65vt50 and you'd be amazed how quick you can adjust to the size change.
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post #15 of 22 Old 06-28-2012, 06:55 AM
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I got the 60" Panasonic ST30 (last years) and I couldn't be happier. I am not a videofile either although I do appreciate a good TV and I can tell you that the ST series is a great value. I would suggest looking at Amazon though, here in virginia there wasn't online sales tax and with my prime membership I got free shipping. Think I got it for around $1399, compared to the Best Buy price of $2199 at the time (Jan. 2012).

If you're worried about shipping don't be I have bought three TVs online, two from amazon and one from Paul's TV. Both were great and let me set it up and test it first. There are some horror stories out there but I think more people complain than complement service. Also, I've heard Amazon and Paul's stand by there shipments and take care of you if there are issues.

Good luck!
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post #16 of 22 Old 06-28-2012, 08:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hotthree View Post

Buy the one you like and do not look back. You only hear of the problems so much because people are more willing to express there discontent. I'd say actually problems w/ tvs are probably under 20% of all buyers, if not less. I mean why else make the tv's if there all bad.
Do not let it hinder your purchase, because you read what all these ultra videophiles say. You can give them a perfect tv and they could find something to critique.

I guess you're right. I guess it may come down to price. Although it seems Samsung has some gimmicky features, making me wonder if Panasonic has better components...
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Originally Posted by rwingace View Post

I got the 60" Panasonic ST30 (last years) and I couldn't be happier. I am not a videofile either although I do appreciate a good TV and I can tell you that the ST series is a great value. I would suggest looking at Amazon though, here in virginia there wasn't online sales tax and with my prime membership I got free shipping. Think I got it for around $1399, compared to the Best Buy price of $2199 at the time (Jan. 2012).
If you're worried about shipping don't be I have bought three TVs online, two from amazon and one from Paul's TV. Both were great and let me set it up and test it first. There are some horror stories out there but I think more people complain than complement service. Also, I've heard Amazon and Paul's stand by there shipments and take care of you if there are issues.
Good luck!

We have a Paul's tv store within one of our furniture store chains. I stopped by, and they seemed like good guys. But with a best buy right down the street, it's tempting to buy it and get it myself... I know they are pretty good at price matching, so maybe I'll see where that gets me...

Sometimes I like getting things myself, so I don't have to worry about being here for shipping, or having people I don't know in my home...
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post #17 of 22 Old 06-28-2012, 09:10 AM
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And, if you do get a pro calibration, it more than likely won't last more than 3 or 4 great years. Then you'll probably need it re-calibrated. You may want to add in that cost if you're really sold on maintaining the PQ until you replace it with an OLED in 6 or so years..
I would disagree with this. I've had two RPTV's ISF calibrated one in 1995 and the other in 2005 and sold both to siblings and and the PQ on both is still very, very good. Granted both could use a tweak but that's another nice thing about calibration is that most pros will come back whenever you think you need it an tweak the display for a reduced price. I also had my 65PZ850U in my home theater calibrated two years ago and it still looks amazing. (consider also that most pros will calibrate three inputs; mine did anyway) To be fair, both my 42ST30 and new 55ST50 both looked so good out of the box with a few minor tweaks ( I used settings posted by people in this forum) that I decided to not get them calibrated.

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post #18 of 22 Old 06-28-2012, 09:22 AM
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Gizzy,

Just remember that you will either need a SUV or Truck to haul your tv in where it can stand "upright". You do not want to lay it flat. Also if you ship it yourself, you become liable for damage during transportation.

Just my two cents I would much rather have someone deliver in case something was broken etc. Sometimes stores may give you trouble if it does get damaged during your travels (but you really cannot prove it wasn't either unless you open it at the store).
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post #19 of 22 Old 06-28-2012, 09:27 AM - Thread Starter
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Gizzy,
Just remember that you will either need a SUV or Truck to haul your tv in where it can stand "upright". You do not want to lay it flat. Also if you ship it yourself, you become liable for damage during transportation.
Just my two cents I would much rather have someone deliver in case something was broken etc. Sometimes stores may give you trouble if it does get damaged during your travels (but you really cannot prove it wasn't either unless you open it at the store).

I have a pickup... And best buy is literally a 2 minute drive down the road. Hopefully I'll be fine!!! (although I probably just jinxed myself)
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post #20 of 22 Old 06-28-2012, 11:53 AM
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I would disagree with this. I've had two RPTV's ISF calibrated one in 1995 and the other in 2005 and sold both to siblings and and the PQ on both is still very, very good. Granted both could use a tweak but that's another nice thing about calibration is that most pros will come back whenever you think you need it an tweak the display for a reduced price. I also had my 65PZ850U in my home theater calibrated two years ago and it still looks amazing. (consider also that most pros will calibrate three inputs; mine did anyway) To be fair, both my 42ST30 and new 55ST50 both looked so good out of the box with a few minor tweaks ( I used settings posted by people in this forum) that I decided to not get them calibrated.

I appreciate your experience. I was only echoing what D-Nice had commented earlier this month about the need for future re-calibration. Some will assume one calibration will last the life of the set.. Of course, each set is different.
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post #21 of 22 Old 06-28-2012, 01:25 PM
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I understand. I'm by no means an expert and just going by what my displays still look like. I'm amazed how good this new generation of displays look without calibration, though, hence saving a few dollars for now.

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post #22 of 22 Old 06-28-2012, 03:43 PM
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I understand. I'm by no means an expert and just going by what my displays still look like. I'm amazed how good this new generation of displays look without calibration, though, hence saving a few dollars for now.

I agree. The ST50, VT50 and my 60GT50 do have amazing PQ. I'm waiting for D-Nice to post his settings and hoping that in Custom mode, like the ST, the GT will eclipse the THX mode PQ.
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