Is plasma right for me? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 09-29-2012, 02:14 PM - Thread Starter
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About a month ago, I bought a Sony KDL-55EX640. It had TERRIBLE clouding issues, so I exchanged it for a second one. This one has TERRIBLE flashlighting in both upper corners. I can mostly get them to go away if I tweak my settings and drop the backlight to minimum, but I don't think I should have to do that to enjoy my new TV.

I've been looking into the Panasonic TC-P55ST50. It's gotten very good reviews. I can get it for $100 less than what I paid for the Sony.

What I truly care about is picture quality, black level, and screen uniformity. The Sony looks fantastic in bright, colorful scenes, but terrible in dark ones because of the flashlighting/clouding. I keep reading that plasmas have the best picture quality, black levels, and screen uniformity. Other than the burn in/image retention (which seems to be a non-issue these days) why aren't plasmas the first choice for everyone? What am I missing?

I have 15 days to make up my mind. Is it worth switching? Will I be happier? I don't watch TV. I watch Blu-rays, DVDs, Netflix and some downloaded videos. I occasionally play video games, but not more than a few hours a week. I watch in a mostly darkened room.

I think I've answered my own questions, but I'd love some input. Thanks!
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post #2 of 16 Old 09-29-2012, 03:58 PM
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Plasmas are an excellent choice if your primary viewing environment is darker and especially if you enjoy watching movies in the dark and appreciate a good black level with no flashlighting issues.
LCD/LED sets are good for a brighter lighting viewing environment where a brighter white level is needed.
I have a Panasonic ST50 plasma in my media room which is for dark environment viewing, perfect for movies.
I also have a 2011 Samsung LCD in a secondary room for more casual TV (not movies) viewing during the day.
That way I get the best of both worlds. smile.gif
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post #3 of 16 Old 09-29-2012, 04:17 PM
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I use a Samsung 58" plasma (PN58C7000) for movie watching and I have yet to find a led that compares to it in terms of picture quality.

It certainly buzzes when it's not playing a video but that does not bother me.
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post #4 of 16 Old 09-29-2012, 05:16 PM - Thread Starter
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I thought I knew everything I needed to know about TVs, but this plasma stuff has opened up a whole new can of worms for me. So, it's generally agreed upon that you get the best black level and picture quality out of a plasma, but they have problems with brightness in light-intense rooms. Other than that, which isn't an issue for me, there are a few things I'm concerned about.

What is this buzzing you speak of? Do you mean that when the TV is off, it buzzes? Is that normal?

I know IR/burn in isn't the problem that it used to be, but it's still a problem, right? Do you guys actively do anything to ensure it doesn't effect your set? What would I have to be doing?

I have heard that the reason LED/LCD sets have added 120Hz and 240Hz modes are to combat the judder that is inherent with LCD technology, but how are plasmas with 24p material? Will I notice a difference?

I'm just curious, because if plasmas are so much better than LCDs (except the brightness thing), why doesn't everyone buy plasma?
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post #5 of 16 Old 09-29-2012, 06:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AsthmaticZero View Post

I thought I knew everything I needed to know about TVs, but this plasma stuff has opened up a whole new can of worms for me. So, it's generally agreed upon that you get the best black level and picture quality out of a plasma, but they have problems with brightness in light-intense rooms. Other than that, which isn't an issue for me, there are a few things I'm concerned about.
What is this buzzing you speak of? Do you mean that when the TV is off, it buzzes? Is that normal?
I know IR/burn in isn't the problem that it used to be, but it's still a problem, right? Do you guys actively do anything to ensure it doesn't effect your set? What would I have to be doing?
I have heard that the reason LED/LCD sets have added 120Hz and 240Hz modes are to combat the judder that is inherent with LCD technology, but how are plasmas with 24p material? Will I notice a difference?
I'm just curious, because if plasmas are so much better than LCDs (except the brightness thing), why doesn't everyone buy plasma?

You are going through the same process I was going through a few years ago. I started with the goal of finding the biggest LED TV with best possible PQ that I could afford in my budget. But then I started reading professional reviewes (CNT etc) and all top-10 TV lists (in terms of PQ) had at-least 8 plasmas smile.gif

Plasmas are rather old technology (but the older generation plasmas had issues that no longer exists). People seem to buy more LEDs because they are marketed well, and most people are impressed by inaccurate "eye popping" displays rather than a more accurate representation with deeper blacks.

My TV doesn't buzz when it's off. But if you turn it on and browse Internet / play around with Samsung apps interface without playing an actual video, it buzzes which is audible when you stand close to the TV. The buzz disappears as soon as you play any video, and I am not bothered by it.

I don't do anything special to avoid IR. I just turn off my TV when I am not using it.

My TV is in a room that doesn't get direct exposure to sun. If you are in a similar situation I would strongly recommend that you go with a plasma. You will not regret it.
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post #6 of 16 Old 09-29-2012, 06:09 PM - Thread Starter
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I appreciate the reply. The situation with the Sony LED has left a bad taste in my mouth. I want the best picture for my money, and it seems like this is the way to go. Thank you.
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post #7 of 16 Old 09-29-2012, 08:06 PM
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If you are concerned about screen uniformity, you can forget about LED/LCD. If you dislike the screen going dimmer, contrast dropping, and colors shifting when viewing off angle, you can forget LED/LCD. If you dislike the screen being grey, when it should be black, you can forget about LED/LCD (except for the Sharp Elite). If you want full resolution during motion, you can forget LED/LCD. Plasma is the solution for those problems.

Plasma is not the solution for every issue, or for everyone's eyes. LED/LCD sells better in stores, because they are brighter, and the colors are pumped up. Most people apparently like that. Personally, it hurts my eyes. It doesn't look realistic either. Even if I had an LED/LCD, I would have to turn everything down.

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post #8 of 16 Old 09-29-2012, 08:24 PM
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I love my 65" VT50. It's my first hdtv and plasma. Couldn't be happier with it.
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post #9 of 16 Old 09-29-2012, 08:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Like I said, I'm looking at the Panasonic TC-P55ST50. Are there any other TVs in that price range ($1200-$1400) that I should be looking at?
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post #10 of 16 Old 09-29-2012, 09:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AsthmaticZero View Post

Like I said, I'm looking at the Panasonic TC-P55ST50. Are there any other TVs in that price range ($1200-$1400) that I should be looking at?

Don't know current price range, but if we were to lose our 60ST50, and for some reason NOT be able to replace it with another Panasonic, the Samsung E6500 would be at the top of our list.
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post #11 of 16 Old 09-29-2012, 10:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AsthmaticZero View Post

Like I said, I'm looking at the Panasonic TC-P55ST50. Are there any other TVs in that price range ($1200-$1400) that I should be looking at?
That is an excellent value choice.
The 2012 Panasonic plasmas have been rated at the top.
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post #12 of 16 Old 09-30-2012, 10:53 AM
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I initially went from a Samsung 58" plasma to a 70" sharp led (seduced by all that real estate ) 2 days later back it went to Costco and bought a 65" 30vt from amazon for 2300. Much better picture than the led especially at angles. Plasmas are Slowly disappearing. I recently had to replace a 42 inch plasma and had a hard time finding a replacement. I was Not going to go for an LED but finally went with a Panasonic plasma for 380. LED LCD is good for 32 inch or lower But any higher and I would go with the plasma. With all that being said I would definitely go with the Plasma that you're looking at you will not be disappointed.
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post #13 of 16 Old 09-30-2012, 09:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Well, I took the plunge and exchanged my Sony for the Panasonic ST50. Before I even turned it on, I prepared everything I needed for my 100 hour "break in" period. Simply turning it on with the out-of-the-box settings, I was very impressed with the black levels and screen uniformity. Once it's broken in and calibrated, I hope to have the best picture I've ever had. Thanks for all of your help, guys.
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post #14 of 16 Old 09-30-2012, 10:05 PM
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I really doubt you are going to be disappointed. The lower priced ST has nearly the same picture quality as their top of the line VT50, for a lot less money. It will beat any LCD in picture quality except maybe an Elite at four times the price, and even then its close.

Enjoy the new set!

Michael
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post #15 of 16 Old 10-02-2012, 01:17 PM
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I love reading these threads because this was me in mid-August, researching Samsung LEDs without even thinking about plasmas. Now I own a 50UT50 while my friend went for a 50ST50, both paying way less than comparable LEDs and blowing away the image quality. All the friends who have been over to watch them notice immediately how much better they are than LCD/LED.
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post #16 of 16 Old 10-02-2012, 03:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James DePaul View Post

I initially went from a Samsung 58" plasma to a 70" sharp led (seduced by all that real estate ) 2 days later back it went to Costco and bought a 65" 30vt from amazon for 2300. Much better picture than the led especially at angles. Plasmas are Slowly disappearing. I recently had to replace a 42 inch plasma and had a hard time finding a replacement. I was Not going to go for an LED but finally went with a Panasonic plasma for 380. LED LCD is good for 32 inch or lower But any higher and I would go with the plasma. With all that being said I would definitely go with the Plasma that you're looking at you will not be disappointed.

What tv model did you end up with? I'll guess the 42x5 which is what I'm considering for an exercise/game room. I have two other plasmas and don't need a large tv there. I need a smaller tv and not to worried about black levels but need fairly accurate colors. Not worried about reflections, any serious viewing will be on another tv anyway. I'm a little worried about screen door effect on a 720p tv and cnet's review of this tv, it had a terrible green picture for them, first I heard of that problem.
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