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post #1 of 17 Old 09-05-2012, 05:35 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm looking at the P50X5 and the P50U50. The U50 has received good reviews but also comments to the effect that it's a bit dim.

The X5 hasn't really been reviewed, but as I understand it, a 720p display of the same size and same price should theoretically be a little brighter (I plan on doing a little daytime watching, though lighting will mostly be under control). And it's a little cheaper (I can get the U50 on corp discount for $575). And I'll be sitting about nine feet away from it, so theoretically the resolution difference shouldn't be distinguishable.

Does anyone, by any chance, have experience with one or the other or both? It doesn't seem like there's much else out there at $500-$600, but do let me know if there are other panels I should be looking at.

Thank you/sorry for starting a boring budget plasma thread.
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post #2 of 17 Old 09-05-2012, 06:56 AM
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People moving from lcd to plasma are generally those who complain of dimness with plasma. So I wouldn't give those statements weight. Have you read the thread for those models yet?

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post #3 of 17 Old 09-05-2012, 06:59 AM
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If you use the search options you can often find a lot of answers. wink.gif

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1410013/the-official-panasonic-u50-54-owners-thread

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post #4 of 17 Old 09-05-2012, 07:12 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks! Missed that thread before.
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post #5 of 17 Old 09-05-2012, 08:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bort99 View Post

I'm looking at the P50X5 and the P50U50. The U50 has received good reviews but also comments to the effect that it's a bit dim.

The U50 is not dim so i don't know why anyone would claim that (unless they're used to an LCD which are abnormally bright). All of the 2012 Panasonics are the brightest plasma TVs ever made in history. The U50 could even be a tad brighter than their mid-to-high end models (ST50/GT50/VT50) since it doesn't have a louver filter on the outer glass. Personally i like a bright TV and i watch a lot of Speed Channel on the weekends with my big windows open and i'm running my GT50's panel brightness at the middle setting (not high), and i run my screen brightness (Contrast setting) at about 85%. Most people that post their 2012 Panasonic settings run theirs between 70% to 85%. I can't remember anyone posting settings in the 90's or at the maximum of 100.

Quote:
The X5 hasn't really been reviewed, but as I understand it, a 720p display of the same size and same price should theoretically be a little brighter (I plan on doing a little daytime watching, though lighting will mostly be under control).

The X5 could indeed be brighter, but the U50 can be adjusted to be plenty bright enough. If any 2012 Panasonic plasma isn't bright enough for you in your own home, then you either (A) have unreasonable expectations of how bright a TV should be, or (B) have a TV watching environment that is way too bright to be watching TV in, or (C), both.

Put it this way - if you try a 2012 Panasonic in your home and find that it's not bright enough, then your only choice at that point is to return it and get an LCD or LED LCD TV - but you'll end up having to pay a lot more even for the crappiest brand/model. Seriously, panel brightness is not an issue on any 2012 Panasonic. Even the 2010 and 2011 models were plenty bright enough for just about everybody and they're not nearly as bright as the 2012s.



Quote:
And it's a little cheaper (I can get the U50 on corp discount for $575).

I'd rather pay a hundred bucks more for a TV that i'll enjoy more, rather than save a hundred bucks on a TV that i won't enjoy as much. I do not enjoy watching my 42" 720p Panny nearly as much as watching my 42" 1080p Panny and that is solely because of the lower resolution. My last remaining 720p Plasma will soon be going to live at my mother-in-law's house and i'm moving my spare 1080p unit into that room. She's 87 and thinks it looks great.

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And I'll be sitting about nine feet away from it, so theoretically the resolution difference shouldn't be distinguishable.

Only if you have substandard vision. I can see the resolution difference and the Screen Door Effect (SDE) on my 42" 720p Plasma at ten feet, and on my friends' 50 inchers i see it beyond 12 feet even with my old eyes (which are still pretty good). But yeah some people won't be able to see the difference at 9 feet unless they know what to look for. But there is more to a 1080p model than just resolution - they also have better processing and better colors and that improvement is visible beyond the range of SDE. Go to some stores and look at the 50" 720p Panasonic and also at the various 720p Samsungs up close (like 4 feet) and identify the SDE, then slowly back away from the screen until it disappears and the image smooths out. You may find that distance is more than 9 feet. My 61 year old SIL originally set out to get a cheap entry level 720p 50" C2 model a few years ago until we did this test at BB, then she immediately upped her budget and chose the 1080p 50" S2 next to it. She called the C2 "harsh" and deemed the S2 as "smooth".

Quote:
Does anyone, by any chance, have experience with one or the other or both? It doesn't seem like there's much else out there at $500-$600, but do let me know if there are other panels I should be looking at. Thank you/sorry for starting a boring budget plasma thread.

The ONLY advantage to buying a bottom-of-the-barrel 720p model is to save a little money, but if my budget were that low where i'd have to settle on a substandard model then i'd just wait and save up more money and get the better, more enjoyable TV instead of settling for a lesser-performing model.

Randy
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post #6 of 17 Old 09-05-2012, 08:39 AM
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Was also looking at the Costco Samsung "5 series" 1080p plasma-was pretty bright, even in the harshly lit display area, along with deep, gorgeous coloring! It's in the same price range as the Panny U54-was wondering if there is any objective comparisons or reviews between these 2 reasonably priced 1080 panels? I think the Sammy may be more reflective, but oooh those colors! Also, if one were budget conscious (say, sub $400), how 'bout Sam 450 vs. Pan X5?
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post #7 of 17 Old 09-05-2012, 08:50 AM
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I'd grab the Panasonic 50U54 at Costco for $599.99 if I were you.
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post #8 of 17 Old 09-05-2012, 09:35 AM
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How is that superior to the Samsung 535 for essentially the same price? The U54's invariably looked washed out vs. the one Costco Sam 5 series (must have been a single store special) on display under similar conditions. I am nut susceptible to known Samsung "buzzing" effects, due to longstanding "Rock n Roll hearing" deficits. Only interested in maximum overall pq!!
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post #9 of 17 Old 09-05-2012, 09:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by burghdood View Post

How is that superior to the Samsung 535 for essentially the same price? The U54's invariably looked washed out vs. the one Costco Sam 5 series (must have been a single store special) on display under similar conditions. I am nut susceptible to known Samsung "buzzing" effects, due to longstanding "Rock n Roll hearing" deficits. Only interested in maximum overall pq!!

Not sure what you mean:

1) There's no way either of these sets will look anywhere close to the same in your living room. Costco's warehouse lighting as well as the settings used on the display sets are not going to give you an accurate gauge of how you can expect these sets to look in a home environment.

2) The Panasonic plasmas are the brightest ever and I can't imagine them looking washed out with some corrected settings.

3) I've owned both Panasonic and Samsung plasmas and I will probably never make the mistake of straying from Panasonic again.
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post #10 of 17 Old 09-05-2012, 09:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by burghdood View Post

How is that superior to the Samsung 535 for essentially the same price? The U54's invariably looked washed out vs. the one Costco Sam 5 series (must have been a single store special) on display under similar conditions. ...

Try CNet: they have reviews of the U50 and Samsung's E550. Don't know what the distinction is between the E550 and the E535, but presumably the former Adds Something (although that Something may or may not be Performance Related).

CNet gives the U50 a slightly better total score - the two sets rank next to each other - but by reading the reviews you should be able to determine WHY each set got the score they did, and then determine what factors are (are not) important to you.

I would avoid the 50" X5. We have an older 50" Pan that runs 1366 x 768, and - Yes - we find that PQ is Very Good from a distance of Greater Than 9 Feet, with 10 - 12' being about "ideal."

HOWEVER - and this is a BIG "However" - the newer 50" 720p panels from Panasonic have been reduced to only 1024 x 768p, AND appear to have been Cheapened in other PQ areas as well. While a 42" panel can work quite well at 1024 x 768, the SDE seems Overwhelmingly Obvious on at 50" panel with that resolution.
We championed "720p" panels for several years, but they really don't make a lot of sense now - at least in the 50" size.

The last time we looked, Samsung still had a 1366 x 768 model, so that might be an option. But the pricing we've seen - even locally (SE MI) - on 50" 1080p panels seems to make a 720p set a dubious option.
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post #11 of 17 Old 09-05-2012, 07:46 PM
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Thanks for the CNet capsule review-revisited a Costco today that had both the Sam & Pan 1080,s-THIS TIME the Samsung 535 looked absolutely horrible! It was dim, faded, almost like a 10yr. old set ready for the scrap heap; easilythe worst pic in their collection! Tried to adjust the settings, but no buttons or remote to work with. You'd think the Electronics manager would make sure they all are pretty much set to optimum settings (unless they are "pushing" certain stock-who knows?) ANYWAYS, THAT WAS A LESSON TO ME-DON''T BASE YOUR CHOICE ON JUST ONE VIEWING, unless you can tweak the settings!!!
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post #12 of 17 Old 09-05-2012, 07:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by burghdood View Post

Thanks for the CNet capsule review-revisited a Costco today that had both the Sam & Pan 1080,s-THIS TIME the Samsung 535 looked absolutely horrible! It was dim, faded, almost like a 10yr. old set ready for the scrap heap; easilythe worst pic in their collection! Tried to adjust the settings, but no buttons or remote to work with. You'd think the Electronics manager would make sure they all are pretty much set to optimum settings (unless they are "pushing" certain stock-who knows?) ANYWAYS, THAT WAS A LESSON TO ME-DON''T BASE YOUR CHOICE ON JUST ONE VIEWING, unless you can tweak the settings!!!

Trust me, don't base your choice on how ANY set looks in ANY store environment.

Your best bet is to read professional reviews and ask the members here - unless you can get to a specialty store and see the sets under living room conditions.
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post #13 of 17 Old 09-05-2012, 09:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMUdukes07 View Post

Trust me, don't base your choice on how ANY set looks in ANY store environment.
Your best bet is to read professional reviews and ask the members here - unless you can get to a specialty store and see the sets under living room conditions.


I agree. My 720p Panny looks better then many 1080p sets I've seen on display, but I have to admit I also spend a lot of time calibrating it. The biggest issue for me isn't the resolution, but the lack of picture controls. Setting them up properly is a bitch.biggrin.gif You can find a 1080p PDP today for not much more then what a 720p set went for just a couple of years ago. There really isn't any reason to go for a 720p TV anymore, even if you're on a tight budget. You're not saving very much. Personally, I believe if you shop around you will find that the U50 offers one of the best bangs for the buck. Good luck!


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post #14 of 17 Old 09-06-2012, 12:41 AM
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I have the 42" X5. And the brightness is pretty bloody amazing 'in Game mode' when gaming of course. You don't
want to use game or vivid for film for the reasons below. It's not as bright as an LED/LCD of course, but
it's brighter than 'any' plasma i've ever seen.

For film....You're basically going to be stuck with Cinema mode which does kind of produce a bit
of a dim picture. The other modes when watching film create this nasty weird
Noise in the picture, to the point where faces look noisy, unatural and artifical...
Even when the sharpness is knocked down to 0... I'd prefer to use Custom becuse
of the slightly higher brightness and balanced gamma but i wont because of the distracting video noise. Cinema however has a slightly milkier gamma,
and the picture is a bit dimmer...But it's easily the most natural looking
picture and the noise is geatly reduced....Trust me, you're going to be stuck tinkering with that mode
as the others will greatly dissapoint you because of the disracting video noise.

With that said, this set has an amazing color gamut, and again it's thee brightest
plasma in 'game mode and more so in vivid' that i've ever seen. If you're just into film, then
forget about using either mode though.tongue.gif

The downsides.....Again, all of the modes outside of cinema produce a lot of noise, cinema itself
is a bit on the milky and slightly dim side, the motion handeling while good isn't as good
as my LG 2011 plasma which i've compared it to, and while the Black levels of the X5 look great in a dim room, in pitch dark
they're more like a dark shade of grey....Doesn't quite cut it for me to be honest. With all of that out of
the way i wouldn't recommend the X5...It's a nice set, but the U50 yields better black levels because
of the NeoPanel, aside from getting true 720p/1080p and the UT bumps it up a notch with 2400hz motion handeling
and 3D.

Anyways, I've gone back to my 32" Tube CRT using component cables until i figure out the right set i want in NOV for movies and the Wii U.
my CRT may be lacking progressive scan, a big screen, HDMI, flatscreen and 720p(lower res 720p that is) but honestly the fantastic
black levels, slightly higher brightness for film, great gamma and perfect motion of my CRT have made movie experiences more enjoyable
and natural to watch. Temporary set though! XP i'm down to these 3 sets below > I'd love a 60", but i'll most likely
have to cave and get a 50" considering i don't want to go over $1,200.


Panasonic S30 - (Worried about the black levels, panasonic 600hz sets don't have the greatest motion either)
Samsung E550 - (Dimmer picture? ho hum blacks?)
Last resort >
Panny' UT50 (Phenomenablacks apperantly, worried about the soft PQ of 480p & 720p conent.
This set shines in 1080p apperantly and that's that. also worried about the input lag for gaming)
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post #15 of 17 Old 09-06-2012, 12:44 AM
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Yep i'm curious what the black levels are compared to 2011. Resolution only matters when you play a PC Game on the thing, otherwise you won't notice.

Is this the most models they've ever had? X, U, UT, ST, GT, VT, you've got resolution and the "louver filter" on the ST as pretty much the only differences. Maybe the VT has something that makes a tad better but how many people are actually going to drop that kind of coin?

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post #16 of 17 Old 09-06-2012, 06:01 AM
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Saw the ST50 on sale at Sears for 1099-may be your moderate priced solution...ever consider a LED VIZIO from Costco? They look pretty amazing (in the store), are moderately priced, and best of all, can be returned, no questions asked, if dissatified.within 90 days.
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post #17 of 17 Old 09-06-2012, 12:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WaveBoy View Post

I have the 42" X5. And the brightness is pretty bloody amazing 'in Game mode' when gaming of course. You don't
want to use game or vivid for film for the reasons below. It's not as bright as an LED/LCD of course, but
it's brighter than 'any' plasma i've ever seen.
For film....You're basically going to be stuck with Cinema mode which does kind of produce a bit
of a dim picture. The other modes when watching film create this nasty weird
Noise in the picture, to the point where faces look noisy, unatural and artifical...
Even when the sharpness is knocked down to 0... I'd prefer to use Custom becuse
of the slightly higher brightness and balanced gamma but i wont because of the distracting video noise. Cinema however has a slightly milkier gamma,
and the picture is a bit dimmer...But it's easily the most natural looking
picture and the noise is geatly reduced....Trust me, you're going to be stuck tinkering with that mode
as the others will greatly dissapoint you because of the disracting video noise.
With that said, this set has an amazing color gamut, and again it's thee brightest
plasma in 'game mode and more so in vivid' that i've ever seen. If you're just into film, then
forget about using either mode though.tongue.gif
The downsides.....Again, all of the modes outside of cinema produce a lot of noise, cinema itself
is a bit on the milky and slightly dim side, the motion handeling while good isn't as good
as my LG 2011 plasma which i've compared it to, and while the Black levels of the X5 look great in a dim room, in pitch dark
they're more like a dark shade of grey....Doesn't quite cut it for me to be honest. With all of that out of
the way i wouldn't recommend the X5...It's a nice set, but the U50 yields better black levels because
of the NeoPanel, aside from getting true 720p/1080p and the UT bumps it up a notch with 2400hz motion handeling
and 3D.
Anyways, I've gone back to my 32" Tube CRT using component cables until i figure out the right set i want in NOV for movies and the Wii U.
my CRT may be lacking progressive scan, a big screen, HDMI, flatscreen and 720p(lower res 720p that is) but honestly the fantastic
black levels, slightly higher brightness for film, great gamma and perfect motion of my CRT have made movie experiences more enjoyable
and natural to watch. Temporary set though! XP i'm down to these 3 sets below > I'd love a 60", but i'll most likely
have to cave and get a 50" considering i don't want to go over $1,200.
Panasonic S30 - (Worried about the black levels, panasonic 600hz sets don't have the greatest motion either)
Samsung E550 - (Dimmer picture? ho hum blacks?)
Last resort >
Panny' UT50 (Phenomenablacks apperantly, worried about the soft PQ of 480p & 720p conent.
This set shines in 1080p apperantly and that's that. also worried about the input lag for gaming)


Very interesting observation. The problem I've had with my Panasonic 720p C2 is it's lack of gamma control and poor color accuracy. The Cinema mode has the most accurate gamma, but regardless of the temp setting, runs way too warm. Light blue looks almost turquoise in the warm setting.eek.gif Custom and standard offer more contrast and brightness, but the gamma is too high which reduces shadow detail and induces more banding. I found that the cinema mode is the easiest to calibrate, since it offers the best gamma and color accuracy when set to normal. It still renders very good inky blacks with out sacrificing detail or looking milky, but you have to get the brightness and contrast just right. It's just not quite as bright, which is just fine under normal lighting conditions.


Ian

Correction made^. Was referring to the cinema mode not standard.

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