Panasonic TCP60ST50 vs. Samsung PN60E6500 - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 08-22-2012, 08:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Which is better? Each one seems to have issues. The Panasonic and IR and the Samsung and buzzing/not as bright. My room is bright in the day time and has windows that will directly reflect off the TV from behind the sofa so I need a brighter TV. I am coming from a 42PZ700U that I bought 4 years ago. The reflections off the window on it are pretty bad. I assume they will be better on either of these sets?

Thanks.
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post #2 of 13 Old 08-22-2012, 12:09 PM
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Both are great TVs, but you pretty much covered it. Panasonics are brighter and have better black levels but are more susceptible to IR. Samsungs seem to have more buzzing issues and aren't nearly as bright. Both have good screen filters, but the lack of brightness of the E6500 would definitely concern me in a bright room.

On the topic of IR, I haven't left logos for very long periods of time, but so far I haven't seen any IR on my 60ST50.
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post #3 of 13 Old 08-22-2012, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by rahzel View Post

Both are great TVs, but you pretty much covered it. Panasonics are brighter and have better black levels but are more susceptible to IR. Samsungs seem to have more buzzing issues and aren't nearly as bright. Both have good screen filters, but the lack of brightness of the E6500 would definitely concern me in a bright room.
On the topic of IR, I haven't left logos for very long periods of time, but so far I haven't seen any IR on my 60ST50.

I know you have read this review (full URL at bottom) which is not written by Katzmaier but by Pendlebury who, in several reviews, seems not to necessarily articulate his views terribly well. To repeat a few of his points:

[From page 1] "If I were buying a TV now, I would seriously consider the PNE6500 for its more mature styling and better bright-room performance, but some may prefer the overall contrast boost that the Panasonic ST50's brighter screen is able to bring,"

[All this and below from Page 2] "Black level: For the price, the Samsung offers excellent levels of black and is every bit the equal of the excellent ST50 in this regard, albeit worse than the VT50."

" Bright lighting: In the past, I have always recommended that people with bright, sunny rooms buy an LCD, but TVs such as the Samsung E6500 have made me rethink this. Thanks to innovations such as Panasonic's louver filter and Samsung's Real Black Pro, the bright-room performance of many 2012 plasmas rivals that of LCDs. LCDs can still get brighter, especially in larger screen sizes, but modern plasma screens handle ambient light better than ever, and aside from the VT50, I haven't seen any TV do it better than the PNE6500.

With the curtains open and the summer sun streaming through the windows, the Samsung performed very well with contrast rivaling the Sony HX850. Surprisingly, the PNE6500 also outperformed the E8000 at maintaining a deeper level of black -- a mystery to us since the two TVs supposedly have the same screen filter.

The ST50 showed slightly gray blacks compared with the E6500 under full sunlight, with the screens facing an open window during daytime. If you had a toss-up between the two plasma TVs and daytime usage in a very bright room was one of the main considerations, this difference would tip us in favor of the Samsung. In more common, moderate bright-room situations, however, the two were almost impossible to tell apart and did an equally good job of handling reflections and preserving black levels."


What I gather from all the above is that although the E6500 (at least in 60" and larger size) may not have the ultimate luminance output of the ST50 it has a better filter in terms of handling brighter rooms.

Here is the full review for others:

http://reviews.cnet.com/flat-panel-tvs/samsung-pn60e6500/4505-6482_7-35159642.html
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post #4 of 13 Old 08-22-2012, 12:30 PM - Thread Starter
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^ I had read that review before, and read it again just now independent of you posting that. Definitely interesting.

I wonder why my 42PZ700U is so bad in the room? I know it was meant as a dark room TV, but dang the light just glistens off of that thing. I guess it'd be better for my bedroom TV!
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post #5 of 13 Old 08-22-2012, 01:02 PM
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Regarding the Cnet review, the E6500 does not match the ST50 in terms of black levels. First of all, they reviewed the 60E6500 and 55ST50. The 60ST50 measures between 0.0022 - 0.0026fL and Cnet measured the 60E6500 at 0.0044fL... that's about double. The larger panels have better black levels so it's not a fair comparison.

Now as far as light output, the ST50 is capable of over 50fL while the E6500 is capable of ~35 - 38fL. I don't care how good the filter is, that's not bright enough for a bright room IMO. And that's ignoring the fact that the ST50 has a very decent filter in its own right.

edit: Here's some quotes from Chad B's comparison between the GT50 and E8000. The ST50 and E6500 have the same filters as the GT50 and E8000 respectively and they also perform pretty much the same. I trust Chad's opinion FAR more than Cnet.

"Lights on, TV off:

GT50 is slightly better at reducing reflections. Both stay quite dark, but the GT50 is slightly better in that regard."

"The GT50, like the ST50, has an excellent ability to soak up ambient light and preserve contrast in normal lighting. Even with bright lights on, reflections were very muted with the TV powered off, and the screen stayed commendably dark. If your spouse insists on turning the overhead light on while watching TV, as my wife does, the GT50 just may help keep peace and sanity in your home."

"Lights off, Blu Ray:
Black levels are more similar than different, though the GT50 is darker by a hair. Certain times the black difference is more easily seen that other times."

Note: Chad compared the 60E8000 vs the 50GT50, so again, the black level of the 60GT50 would be even better.

"Conclusion: The E8000 is my preference by a nose for Blu Ray movies played in light controlled environments, with a slightly more cinematic, relaxed, and lifelike image. However, in other instances the GT50 is a very clear winner: viewing in typical living room lighting is much better on the GT50, as is hockey. "


Full Review
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post #6 of 13 Old 08-22-2012, 01:25 PM - Thread Starter
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^ I guess I understand that. Trust me, I want the ST50 more, but I am pretty frightened by the IR problems people seem to be having. I am not the type of user that wants to train or babysit my TV. I love a good looking TV, but I just don't feel I should have to do much maintenance on one. I wish I knew more about how widespread the problem is, if it only affect certain manufacture dates, etc. but I don't. I am not sure anyone does - here at least. Last thing I want to do is spend $1700 on a TV and realize 3 months later that it has a serious IR problem. I will be playing a lot of games on it, most of which have HUD's that are static. Also watch a ton of sports which tend to have static logos and scoreboards. The idea of switching channels at commercials to protect my TV does not seem grand.

Please tell me this is an exaggeration because I would pull the trigger in 2 seconds flat on the ST50.
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post #7 of 13 Old 08-22-2012, 01:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rzanwu36 View Post

^ I guess I understand that. Trust me, I want the ST50 more, but I am pretty frightened by the IR problems people seem to be having. I am not the type of user that wants to train or babysit my TV. I love a good looking TV, but I just don't feel I should have to do much maintenance on one. I wish I knew more about how widespread the problem is, if it only affect certain manufacture dates, etc. but I don't. I am not sure anyone does - here at least. Last thing I want to do is spend $1700 on a TV and realize 3 months later that it has a serious IR problem. I will be playing a lot of games on it, most of which have HUD's that are static. Also watch a ton of sports which tend to have static logos and scoreboards. The idea of switching channels at commercials to protect my TV does not seem grand.
Please tell me this is an exaggeration because I would pull the trigger in 2 seconds flat on the ST50.
Keep in mind that Panasonic is the more popular brand around here so there are more owners of Panasonic plasmas and naturally there will be more complaints. I'm not saying they're not more susceptible to IR, but don't think that they have IR issues based on complaints on these boards, especially because there are a few members here that don't own a Panasonic plasma and are just making the situation sound worse than it really is (aka trolls). Just think how many Panasonic owners there are on these boards without IR issues, myself included.

I was really debating between the ST50 and E6500 because IR was a huge concern for me as well, but ultimately I was willing to take the chance because PQ is so important to me. Needless to say, I'm very happy with my choice.

If you leave the same static logos for several hours every day and are willing to sacrifice brightness, then I would have to recommend the E6500. But if your viewing patterns are 'normal' and you mix it up, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend the ST50 and say that IR won't be an issue. Remember, IR varies from panel to panel... there are MANY Panasonic owners who game for hours a day without any IR issues. Find a store with a good return/exchange policy and if you see IR that takes an unusual time to get rid of, then either exchange it for a new one, or if you're worried about it, exchange it for the E6500.
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post #8 of 13 Old 08-22-2012, 01:52 PM - Thread Starter
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^ Thanks for the responses. Do you and the others you've talked to without IR issues have to run slides, channels, or other things on the TV that you aren't watching to prevent IR? I want to use my TV when I want to use it for what I want it for. I am just not ready to have to run slides or DVD's or stations I am not watching to prevent damage.

I would consider my usage normal. I will play a game for a few hours, watch TV for a while, and watch Apple TV for a while. Occasionally a movie. NFL Sundays I will pretty much watch NFL all day long. Though the games usually come on different channels so would have different watermarks, scoreboards, and logos. I am guessing all versions of the ST50 would have the same level of proneness to the IR? I am considering both the 60 inch and the 65 inch (I wonder if 8ft is too close for that though - most guides say no but I am not so sure). The 65 inch at a $2100 price point seems like a good deal.
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post #9 of 13 Old 08-22-2012, 02:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rzanwu36 View Post

^ Thanks for the responses. Do you and the others you've talked to without IR issues have to run slides, channels, or other things on the TV that you aren't watching to prevent IR? I want to use my TV when I want to use it for what I want it for. I am just not ready to have to run slides or DVD's or stations I am not watching to prevent damage.
I would consider my usage normal. I will play a game for a few hours, watch TV for a while, and watch Apple TV for a while. Occasionally a movie. NFL Sundays I will pretty much watch NFL all day long. Though the games usually come on different channels so would have different watermarks, scoreboards, and logos. I am guessing all versions of the ST50 would have the same level of proneness to the IR? I am considering both the 60 inch and the 65 inch. The 65 inch at a $2100 price point seems like a good deal.
That's one of the misconceptions of plasmas in general... slides or 'break in' images are not meant to prevent or remove IR. The phosphors in plasma TVs change the most during the first 100-150 hours, which is why it's recommended to wait this long before you pay for a professional calibration. If you calibrate it out of the box, you have to calibrate it again after 100-150 hours, so it will be money wasted (unless you have your own calibration equipment). The slides are basically meant to uniformly age the panel during this 'break in' period. D-Nice uses the slides when he posts his reference calibration settings so that everyone can at least prep their panel using the same method. Plugging in calibration settings is never perfect, but at least that removes one variable.

As for your second question, no... not all ST50's have the same resistance to IR. That's what I meant earlier when I said it varies from panel to panel and to take the complaints on these boards with a pinch of salt. There's no doubt the Samsungs are more resistant to IR, but most Panasonic owners have no IR issues. That's also why I said to shop at a store with a good exchange / return policy. When you get your TV home, use it as you normally would and if you see IR issues, then exchange it.

My advice to you, for whatever set you decide to buy, is to not look hard for IR. If you don't notice it in regular viewing content, then who cares. Some people are too paranoid about it and go out of their way to look for it. Also keep in mind that some people find that IR is more noticeable during the first 100-200 hours of use.
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post #10 of 13 Old 08-22-2012, 02:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rahzel View Post

Regarding the Cnet review, the E6500 does not match the ST50 in terms of black levels. First of all, they reviewed the 60E6500 and 55ST50. The 60ST50 measures between 0.0022 - 0.0026fL and Cnet measured the 60E6500 at 0.0044fL... that's about double. The larger panels have better black levels so it's not a fair comparison.
Now as far as light output, the ST50 is capable of over 50fL while the E6500 is capable of ~35 - 38fL. I don't care how good the filter is, that's not bright enough for a bright room IMO. And that's ignoring the fact that the ST50 has a very decent filter in its own right.
edit: Here's some quotes from Chad B's comparison between the GT50 and E8000. The ST50 and E6500 have the same filters as the GT50 and E8000 respectively and they also perform pretty much the same. I trust Chad's opinion FAR more than Cnet.
"Lights on, TV off:
GT50 is slightly better at reducing reflections. Both stay quite dark, but the GT50 is slightly better in that regard."
"The GT50, like the ST50, has an excellent ability to soak up ambient light and preserve contrast in normal lighting. Even with bright lights on, reflections were very muted with the TV powered off, and the screen stayed commendably dark. If your spouse insists on turning the overhead light on while watching TV, as my wife does, the GT50 just may help keep peace and sanity in your home."
"Lights off, Blu Ray:
Black levels are more similar than different, though the GT50 is darker by a hair. Certain times the black difference is more easily seen that other times."

Note: Chad compared the 60E8000 vs the 50GT50, so again, the black level of the 60GT50 would be even better.
"Conclusion: The E8000 is my preference by a nose for Blu Ray movies played in light controlled environments, with a slightly more cinematic, relaxed, and lifelike image. However, in other instances the GT50 is a very clear winner: viewing in typical living room lighting is much better on the GT50, as is hockey. "

Full Review

I have been looking at Chad B's reviews at High Def J and he confirms the much higher brightness of the 55" ST50 (54 fL) over the 60" E8000 (38 fL) and the black levels when looking through his ST/GT/VT reviews. I do see that, unlike the Samsungs, brightness hardly diminishes with larger sizes in the Panasonics, with the 65" VT50 being able to get essentially 46 fL in ISF Day and the 50" GT50 47 fL. I wonder why the E8000 does not offer another decent mode for calibration other than their Movie Mode. Comments re Standard mode surprise me as according to all reports it is *dark* and seemingly with its profile you are unable to get a proper calibrated picture.
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post #11 of 13 Old 08-22-2012, 02:27 PM
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Plasmas have to have a mode that meets energy star requirements AFAIK. Panasonic's Standard mode is also incredibly dim.

It's also curious why Samsung lowered their brightness this year compared to their D series last year. Panasonic managed to increase efficiency / brightness and lower black levels. This translates to a better dynamic range and a higher contrast ratio.
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post #12 of 13 Old 08-22-2012, 02:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rahzel View Post

Plasmas have to have a mode that meets energy star requirements AFAIK. Panasonic's Standard mode is also incredibly dim.
It's also curious why Samsung lowered their brightness this year compared to their D series last year. Panasonic managed to increase efficiency / brightness and lower black levels. This translates to a better dynamic range and a higher contrast ratio.

Regarding your first point, it seems that none of the larger Samsung or Panasonic plasmas meet the current Energy Star requirements:

http://downloads.energystar.gov/bi/qplist/tv_prod_list.pdf?dc05-6509

I wonder why they reduced brightness too. Perhaps it was to help with IR smile.gif
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post #13 of 13 Old 08-22-2012, 03:03 PM
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The larger panels are simply too power hungry. But at the same time, it doesn't make much sense to make Standard mode brighter vs the smaller panels. Standard mode is pretty much useless anyway.

I doubt they lowered brightness to reduce IR. Even the D series was pretty resistive to IR. Might be due to power consumption, or possibly to lower black levels. I dunno, I'm no engineer. smile.gif
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