I'm confused. I just purchased 2 Panasonic 50" TC-50PU54 1080p TV's from costco about 10 days ago. Is my model one of the newer models Panasonic claims is exempt from this terrible black degration issue or do I have 2 tv's that are going to have to go back? I've been reading a lot of horror stories past 9 days. The same day I purchased them someone told me about this black level issue.
So I wonder, am I safe with this model or am I screwed and doomed to see the blacks begin to fade over time? cnet has an updated article for 2011 that say's Panasonic has claimed that black levels will no longer give way and weaken over time, then followed another article months later in 2011 that debunks Panasonic's claim that their 2011 models and beyond will not suffer from deminished blacks, but rather they will be less inky but will not fade as severely or quickly.
I can tell you this, the first day I plugged the 50PU54 in I did a basic calibration in cinema mode and turned down the lights to darken the room completely. even with a basic calibration which included dropping the contrast to 50 instead of leaving it at 100, when black was black I could not detect any glow in the screen at all in a totally dark room. 3 days later with the same situation I was seeing very very subtle dark grey light with a totally black screen in a dark room. Just after 3 days there was a rise in blacks, but very subtle as I said. 3 more days later and that rise had doubled. the screen literally if meant to be totally dark showed a very deep grey, a little deeper than a decent Sony Bravia LCD viewed at it's sweet spot.
Now 6 days later the screen is glowing a very dull gark gray in a totally dark room with a totally dark image. Not a good sign to me at all. first virtually no detectable light was seen on the first day,and it took less than a week for that to fade into what I would call a very dark dull glowing gray. Since then another 4 days have passed and thus far I see no further deterioration. At this point I am wondering if my model is one that is said to be exempt from the severe drop in blacks as I've read about some that have lost blacks so much that they fare no better than the average LCD TV. Last night I watched 'Tears of the Sun', the perfect movie to test when it comes to demanding blacks due to those numerous scenes that take place at night in a dense jungle. I have to say the blacks suffered more than I expected. Dull deep grey nearly black glow was present in those scenes rather than the expected deep black. I was dissapointed enough that I turned on mild light in the room to compensate. So am I doomed to watch the blacks fade even further on these plasmas or not? One other thing the problem is identicle on both TV's. Though black seems a little deeper on the one that has been used less hours.
Another problem is I am seeing brightness fluctuations when viewing some hdtv. Like the image looks brighter when there are different colors on the screen with some dark areas and some bright white, but if there is a lot of white or mostly white the screen dims considerable instantly then stays dim and the image looks dull and muted some until this changes to another image with bright. mid and darfk areas. However I do not see the issue with DVD or BLu-Ray ever. This issue is present on both TV's but only when veiwing HDTV. Any idea what that is all about also?