Simple yet quality 42" plasma? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 41 Old 12-03-2012, 08:57 PM - Thread Starter
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My parents are in the market for a new TV and 42" is as big as they can go for the space they have. I'm not at all familiar with the 2013 models so any advice is appreciated. They definitely don't need 3D but internet apps (just Netflix really) would be nice. Mostly they are looking for something that will last. Their Sony 34" XBR CRT didn't last as long as it should have in their opinion (although 6 years really isn't too terrible, IMHO). Their budget is <$700.

So to recap:

42"
Plasma
Good build quality
Internet Apps
Good price
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post #2 of 41 Old 12-03-2012, 09:18 PM
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There is only one 42" Panasonic Plasma and one 43" Samsung Plasma this year, and neither are internet capable. And both are 768p.

You should be able to find some decent 40" to 42" 1080p LCD TVs or LED LCD TVs with internet apps in your price range.

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post #3 of 41 Old 12-04-2012, 09:26 AM
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If you really like Plasma, I would also consider an entry level 50'' set which isn't that much bigger and is within your budget, like the Panasonic U50, but you need to shop for discounts like those offered by Amazon. As far as internet apps are concerned, there are plenty of streaming devices like the Roku box and BD players which are now pretty cheap.



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post #4 of 41 Old 12-04-2012, 09:31 AM
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42" is all they can fit per the post.


Either of the Panasonic or Samsung 720P sets are great TVs and pretty cheap. Would leave you plenty of money left over from that $700 to pick up a Roku, Apple TV, etc for apps.
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post #5 of 41 Old 12-04-2012, 11:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3In2Out View Post

42" is all they can fit per the post.


It's possible they may be able go a bit bigger if the price is right. Not sure what his parameters are.



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Originally Posted by 3In2Out View Post

Either of the Panasonic or Samsung 720P sets are great TVs and pretty cheap. Would leave you plenty of money left over from that $700 to pick up a Roku, Apple TV, etc for apps.


If they have to go smaller, I would recommend the Samsung 43'' 450 series. The X5 Panny doesn't seen to offer the same quality as their former entry level 768p TV's, especially in terns of black levels and color accuracy.


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post #6 of 41 Old 12-04-2012, 12:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anodyne View Post

My parents are in the market for a new TV and 42" is as big as they can go for the space they have. .....internet apps (just Netflix really) would be nice. ......

As already suggested, Ignore "Apps" feature on TV - you are better off buying an external box.


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If they have to go smaller, I would recommend the Samsung 43'' 450 series. The X5 Panny doesn't seen to offer the same quality as their former entry level 768p TV's, especially in terns of black levels and color accuracy.

As the owner of 3 Panasonic Plasma sets, have to (sadly...) agree with this advice. We stopped recommending 768p Panasonic sets a couple of years ago, whereas previously felt they represented great bargains (50" & under).

Don't know whether LG makes a 42" Plasma set currently, but - if so - would at least take a look at it to see what features it offers.


One thing that I do not recall seeing mentioned: What is their Viewing Distance, and how good is their Eyesight?

Some viewers will notice a "Screen Door Effect" when sitting "too close" to a 768p panel - and the definition of "too close" seems to vary widely from viewer to viewer. Recall reading that the "typical" LR viewing distance is somewhere between 9 - 12 feet, & SDE shouldn't be a problem with a 42" screen at those distances.

Personal preference is Beyond 7 Feet for a 1024x768 42" panel, even though can "see" SDE on some content from farther away.
(Or Beyond 9 Feet for a 1366x768 50" panel. Alas, Panasonic cheapened their 50" panels to only 1024x768 a few years ago, and the reduction is painfully obvious.)
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post #7 of 41 Old 12-04-2012, 02:16 PM
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Our 7 year old Hitachi in the living room died on Thanksgiving. It was good timing(Black Friday), so that night I went and bought the 43 inch Samsung 450. After I bought it, I found out they were putting the 50 inch X5 on sale later that night for a cheaper price. I ended up with both TVs for a few days, so I compared them. I also have a 50 inch C2(2010 low end Panny). Both had deeper blacks than my C2, with the Samsung's being the best. The X5 had a green push, but the Samsung had a red push. The Panasonic had a lot less glare than the Samsung.

We ended up keeping the Panny for the size. And in my past experiences, Samsung's plasmas are a lot more prone to image retention, and I noticed that the Panny was a lot better with it when they were side by side.
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post #8 of 41 Old 12-04-2012, 03:42 PM
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Originally Posted by GoogleAndroid View Post

Our 7 year old Hitachi in the living room died on Thanksgiving. It was good timing(Black Friday), so that night I went and bought the 43 inch Samsung 450. After I bought it, I found out they were putting the 50 inch X5 on sale later that night for a cheaper price. I ended up with both TVs for a few days, so I compared them. I also have a 50 inch C2(2010 low end Panny). Both had deeper blacks than my C2, with the Samsung's being the best. The X5 had a green push, but the Samsung had a red push. The Panasonic had a lot less glare than the Samsung.
We ended up keeping the Panny for the size..


Sorry but I have to respectfully disagree. The reviews on the X5 are are very disappointing, and although the ones I have seen haven't seem all that green as some have suggested, I have found that the blacks leaned toward grey, nothing like the inky ones I have experienced on my old C2 . But then again, I've spent a lot of time calibrating it and the cinema mode is the only one you can adjust with any real accuracy.

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Samsung's plasmas are a lot more prone to image retention, and I noticed that the Panny was a lot better with it when they were side by side.
confused.gif


According to most IR tests that I have read, the Samsungs seem to be less prone to IR than the Pannys.


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post #9 of 41 Old 12-04-2012, 05:04 PM
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Originally Posted by mailiang View Post

Sorry but I have to respectfully disagree. The reviews on the X5 are are very disappointing, and although the ones I have seen haven't seem all that green as some have suggested, I have found that the blacks leaned toward grey, nothing like the inky ones I have experienced on my old C2 . But then again, I've spent a lot of time calibrating it and the cinema mode is the only one you can adjust with any real accuracy.
confused.gif
According to most IR tests that I have read, the Samsungs seem to be less prone to IR than the Pannys.
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My C2 is also calibrated and on Cinema. Although, I guess comparing a calibrated TV to two that were set to Cinema/Movie isn't fair. But don't forget that we were replacing a 7 year old 42 inch Hitachi. Both TVs look significantly better than it did, and the X5 was $80 cheaper and 7 inches bigger. It was a no-brainer, especially since I won't really be watching it.

I put them on Cinema and Movie and I was watching a Law and Order marathon to compare TVs. After a few episodes, I switched to a black screen. They both had the USA logo in the corner. I switched channels and went back to a black screen 2 minutes later. The USA logo was still on the Samsung. Faded, but still there. It was gone on the Panny. And my brother bought the low end Samsung at the same time I bought my C2. It's always been worse with IR, and still is to this day.
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post #10 of 41 Old 12-04-2012, 08:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoogleAndroid View Post

I put them on Cinema and Movie and I was watching a Law and Order marathon to compare TVs. After a few episodes, I switched to a black screen. They both had the USA logo in the corner. I switched channels and went back to a black screen 2 minutes later. The USA logo was still on the Samsung. Faded, but still there. It was gone on the Panny. And my brother bought the low end Samsung at the same time I bought my C2. It's always been worse with IR, and still is to this day.


I've had very few issues with my set, but many members here have reported stubborn IR issues on some higher end panels. (See IR threads) Also, tests run by sites like CNET have found IR to be less problematic on Samsung's: http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-33199_7-57449881-221/samsung-plasma-wins-cnets-accidental-burn-in-test/ BTW, welcome to AVS!


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post #11 of 41 Old 12-04-2012, 08:59 PM
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Originally Posted by mailiang View Post

I've had very few issues with my set, but many members here have reported stubborn IR issues on some higher end panels. (See IR threads) Also, tests run by sites like CNET have found IR to be less problematic on Samsung's: http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-33199_7-57449881-221/samsung-plasma-wins-cnets-accidental-burn-in-test/ BTW, welcome to AVS!
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Interesting. That's the opposite of my experience, but maybe Samsung TVs have gotten a lot better with IR.

And thanks for the welcome smile.gif I've read this site since 2009, and I finally decided to register since I plan on purchasing a new TV soon. I had the money saved for a 65ST30, and then I went and bought a car instead rolleyes.gif I bought an LG LCD in 2009. Then I got my plasma a year later. Now, I can't stand to watch LCDs and won't purchase anything but a plasma.
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post #12 of 41 Old 12-08-2012, 03:01 PM - Thread Starter
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As is probably the case with most Luddite persons, my parents defy logic when it comes to their preferences. That being the situation, they flat refuse to accept anything over 42" (they've seen my 50" and they swear it's "just too big"). This despite the fact that their living room is approx. 15' x 25'.

As to the idea of an external box, I've already tried that with buying them an AppleTV to encourage them to cut the cord. Again, they are just to averse to the idea of adding in components and something like the VieraCast system probably has better odds of being adopted by them. But honestly, if apps aren't available in 42" plasmas, it's no big deal and they won't miss it.

I appreciate the feedback and will probably just look for a good deal on either a Panny, Samsung, or LG and then look up reviews on here before pulling the trigger.
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post #13 of 41 Old 12-08-2012, 07:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anodyne View Post

As is probably the case with most Luddite persons, my parents defy logic when it comes to their preferences. That being the situation, they flat refuse to accept anything over 42" (they've seen my 50" and they swear it's "just too big"). This despite the fact that their living room is approx. 15' x 25'.
As to the idea of an external box, I've already tried that with buying them an AppleTV to encourage them to cut the cord. Again, they are just to averse to the idea of adding in components and something like the VieraCast system probably has better odds of being adopted by them. But honestly, if apps aren't available in 42" plasmas, it's no big deal and they won't miss it.
I appreciate the feedback and will probably just look for a good deal on either a Panny, Samsung, or LG and then look up reviews on here before pulling the trigger.
I have noticed this to, most older folk don't like there entire field of view being taken up by the TV they just want something big enough to see the people on. Id go with the Samsung plasma for like $500ish, other wise for 1080 its LCD. Or a used ST30?
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post #14 of 41 Old 12-11-2012, 11:57 AM
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The Panasonic UT50 is available at 42". I know at least Sears carries it.

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post #15 of 41 Old 12-11-2012, 03:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RandyWalters View Post

There is only one 42" Panasonic Plasma and one 43" Samsung Plasma this year, and neither are internet capable. And both are 768p

Could you verify this statement please? I'm getting conflicting info

http://www.sears.com/panasonic-42inch-smart-viera-174-plasma-3d-hdtv-tc/p-05726748000P?prdNo=24&blockNo=49&blockType=G49
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post #16 of 41 Old 12-11-2012, 03:58 PM
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He's referring to the 42X5, a base model. The one at Sears shows up but not sure it's available.

Someone tried the link and it was out of stock. Sadly they quit making the 42UT50 early in the year.
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post #17 of 41 Old 12-11-2012, 04:53 PM
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OK, that's what I was thinking. My local Sears has a 42UT50 in stock, but they want $800 for it and right now they've got a 50UT50 for the same $800 (plus they still have a couple of the Avatar 3D glass kits in stock http://www.sears.com/panasonic-avatar-3d-kit/p-05775720000P?prdNo=6&blockNo=6&blockType=G6 that they'll still give away with purchase of the 50"). This Sears is scheduled to close soon so I'm hoping to still pick it up. Unfortunately, my wife seems to have other plans for all our money for Xmas.
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post #18 of 41 Old 12-11-2012, 05:18 PM
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As whipit said, the 42UT50 has been discontinued. And sadly, the 42X5 is junk. Black level hasn't improved on Panasonic's 720p models in years. In fact, I think it was lower (at least initially) in 2009 than it is now. Their color accuracy is also extremely poor -- definitely much worse than Samsung and LG 720p models. Black level would also be better on a Samsung, and if pots adjustments are still working on LG's plasmas, then an LG would probably also be capable of better black level (my 2010 720p Zenith has better black level than current 720p Panasonics after adjusting two of the pots). And FWIW, avjunkie has admitted that 42" Panasonics will be "not good" in 2013, so don't expect any improvement below 50". Your best option for a 42-ish inch plasma now (if you can't find a UT50) or next year is probably a 720p Samsung. Internet stuff can be found in a separate device, like a Roku or a Blu-ray player. OP's parents could buy a device like that in addition to a 720p 43" Samsung and still very easily stay under $700.
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post #19 of 41 Old 12-11-2012, 05:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheKnave View Post

OK, that's what I was thinking. My local Sears has a 42UT50 in stock, but they want $800 for it and right now they've got a 50UT50 for the same $800 (plus they still have a couple of the Avatar 3D glass kits in stock http://www.sears.com/panasonic-avatar-3d-kit/p-05775720000P?prdNo=6&blockNo=6&blockType=G6 that they'll still give away with purchase of the 50"). This Sears is scheduled to close soon so I'm hoping to still pick it up. Unfortunately, my wife seems to have other plans for all our money for Xmas.

If a 50" size is completely out of the question, and you can still get the 42" UT50 from your local Sears then i'd grab it ASAP before they're gone forever. It was reported several months ago that Sears was finally completely out of the remaining 42UT50 units, so maybe they found some in the back of a warehouse or distribution center. There isn't a store within 500 miles of my house that has one.

Regardless, it's the last good 42" Plasma that we'll ever see, and beats any similar sized LCD TV you can buy regardless of price.

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post #20 of 41 Old 12-12-2012, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by RandyWalters View Post

It was reported several months ago that Sears was finally completely out of the remaining 42UT50 units, so maybe they found some in the back of a warehouse or distribution center. There isn't a store within 500 miles of my house that has one.


I don't think they found any in a warehouse, just in their stock. I was looking at the 50" and the sales girl told me that if I purchased it, they still had a couple of the Avatar 3D glasses kits and I could get one for free. And she only knew that herself because her boyfriend got the same deal the week before. So I asked her what else did they have in the back and she said they had the same series (UT50), but in a 42" size.

I have to stress though that this store is scheduled for permanent closure in the near future. Many reasons were given for closure, one of them being slow sales. The sales girl told me that the whole store has been inventoried in preparation for a final sale coming up (????) and that's why she knew of the 42". And if I had the money (again, wife HAS IT ALL) I would purchase the 50" because they're both same price at $800 and the 50 comes with those 3D glasses.
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post #21 of 41 Old 12-12-2012, 11:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheKnave View Post

And if I had the money (again, wife HAS IT ALL) I would purchase the 50" because they're both same price at $800 and the 50 comes with those 3D glasses.

FYI, the 50" UT50 is $713 through Panasonic EPP, and it includes a free DMP-BDT220 Blu-ray player.
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post #22 of 41 Old 12-12-2012, 01:12 PM
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Panasonic pro plasma? Wireless, 3d, 1080p, superior build quality, & expensive, but vs. the 42" UT series at sears, for $800?!

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=&sku=886838&is=REG&Q=&A=details

Or buy a 50" for half that, replace stickers & specs graphics on the box with 42", then "whoa this looks too big for a 42, what happened here? Guess we can either try to make it work, or send it back & don't take advantage of panasonic's mistake."
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post #23 of 41 Old 12-14-2012, 06:46 AM
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Which of the 768p plasmas would be better for viewing SD material, The 42 Panasonic or the 43 Samsung. Also which set should last longer?
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post #24 of 41 Old 12-14-2012, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Super Eye View Post

Which of the 768p plasmas would be better for viewing SD material, The 42 Panasonic or the 43 Samsung. Also which set should last longer?

I'd be leary of the panasonic. It has a bad green push, check out the 42X5 review at cnet. I was looking at these and after reading the review I couldn't believe it.
So I headed to the store and sure enough the one I saw a Sears was very green. The remote was there and it wouldn't clean up all the way, still looked bad. There was the samsung right next to it and the 50X5 on the next isle that I saw clearly. Those looked fine. That was my dealbreaker.
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post #25 of 41 Old 12-14-2012, 10:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whipit View Post

I'd be leary of the panasonic. It has a bad green push, check out the 42X5 review at cnet. I was looking at these and after reading the review I couldn't believe it.
So I headed to the store and sure enough the one I saw a Sears was very green. The remote was there and it wouldn't clean up all the way, still looked bad. There was the samsung right next to it and the 50X5 on the next isle that I saw clearly. Those looked fine. That was my dealbreaker.


Funny, the ones that I've seen weren't green at all. I'm wondering if this issue is limited to a certain lot, or production date.



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post #26 of 41 Old 12-14-2012, 10:23 AM
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Not sure, but the one I saw at wallmart didn't look to bad. I'm guessing there's two bad ones anyway,lol.
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post #27 of 41 Old 12-14-2012, 11:24 AM
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We've seen this before. Some older Panasonic plasmas also had a green cast issue -- at the very least, too much green in the default settings for color temperature. When I was shopping for plasmas a few years ago, the 720p Panasonics looked much worse than 720p Samsungs or LGs in stores. Even higher models sometimes looked terrible, with an ugly green cast using the default settings. You can see it mentioned in some old reviews from 2009 - 2010. I think it was especially bad in 2009. Of course, the higher models don't have that issue anymore. I don't know if it's still this way, but in the past, I would also notice SDE on Panasonic's 720p models, but not on Samsung's or LG's. And I'm guessing that an X5 would be pretty dim in cinema mode, while LG and Samsung models should be able to get much brighter with decent color.
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post #28 of 41 Old 12-14-2012, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by MechanicalMan View Post

We've seen this before. Some older Panasonic plasmas also had a green cast issue -- at the very least, too much green in the default settings for color temperature. When I was shopping for plasmas a few years ago, the 720p Panasonics looked much worse than 720p Samsungs or LGs in stores. Even higher models sometimes looked terrible, with an ugly green cast using the default settings. You can see it mentioned in some old reviews from 2009 - 2010. I think it was especially bad in 2009. Of course, the higher models don't have that issue anymore. I don't know if it's still this way, but in the past, I would also notice SDE on Panasonic's 720p models, but not on Samsung's or LG's. And I'm guessing that an X5 would be pretty dim in cinema mode, while LG and Samsung models should be able to get much brighter with decent color.


I compared a 50'' Panny X5 and a 51'' Samsung D450 side by side last week, and they were very close in terms of color accuracy and brightness. Both had noticeable SDE under about 10ft. Neither had the deepest blacks, but the levels were acceptable, at least to me which seemed better then some edge lit LCDS I've seen without local dimming. The X5 had no hint of excessive green like the one on CNET.



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post #29 of 41 Old 12-14-2012, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by mailiang View Post

I compared a 50'' Panny X5 and a 51'' Samsung D450 side by side last week, and they were very close in terms of color accuracy and brightness. Both had noticeable SDE under about 10ft. Neither had the deepest blacks, but the levels were acceptable, at least to me which seemed better then some edge lit LCDS I've seen without local dimming. The X5 had no hint of excessive green like the one on CNET.
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A Samsung or LG plasma would get brighter than a Panasonic plasma in cinema mode. I think that is safe to say. One of the U50 or UT50 CNET reviews says that the TV maxes out at only 33 fL in cinema mode, there are lots of complaints from owners about those TVs being too dim, and I think it is probably safe for me to assume that the X5 is not significantly brighter than the 1080p models. I'm pretty sure my Zenith from a couple years ago would hit at least 50 fL with sub contrast at default (I never measured the max, but it was 36 - 40 fL with contrast at 80), and that can be increased in the service menu. It can also reach about the same black level (0.012 fL) as 720p Samsungs with a pots adjustment, and based on measurements I've seen in reviews, that is lower than the black level on any 720p Panasonic from at least the past three years. As for color, I'm not sure exactly what the Samsungs are capable of, but even the very cheapest LG/Zenith plasmas have elaborate white balance settings and a color management system. Color should be pretty good on them after calibration. Even if the TVs all looked similar in vivid mode in a store, I highly doubt that a Panasonic, with virtually no color controls, would have color as good as the competition after calibration. I have never seen any LG or Samsung plasma that demonstrated SDE the way that Panasonic 720p plasmas do. It's a night-and-day difference whenever I've compared them. The only other time that I remember seeing such bad SDE was on a 2008(?) Insignia... perhaps also on an old Vizio plasma.
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post #30 of 41 Old 12-14-2012, 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by MechanicalMan View Post

A Samsung or LG plasma would get brighter than a Panasonic plasma in cinema mode. I think that is safe to say. One of the U50 or UT50 CNET reviews says that the TV maxes out at only 33 fL in cinema mode, there are lots of complaints from owners about those TVs being too dim, and I think it is probably safe for me to assume that the X5 is not significantly brighter than the 1080p models. I'm pretty sure my Zenith from a couple years ago would hit at least 50 fL with sub contrast at default (I never measured the max, but it was 36 - 40 fL with contrast at 80), and that can be increased in the service menu. It can also reach about the same black level (0.012 fL) as 720p Samsungs with a pots adjustment, and based on measurements I've seen in reviews, that is lower than the black level on any 720p Panasonic from at least the past three years. As for color, I'm not sure exactly what the Samsungs are capable of, but even the very cheapest LG/Zenith plasmas have elaborate white balance settings and a color management system. Color should be pretty good on them after calibration. Even if the TVs all looked similar in vivid mode in a store, I highly doubt that a Panasonic, with virtually no color controls, would have color as good as the competition after calibration. I have never seen any LG or Samsung plasma that demonstrated SDE the way that Panasonic 720p plasmas do. It's a night-and-day difference whenever I've compared them. The only other time that I remember seeing such bad SDE was on a 2008(?) Insignia... perhaps also on an old Vizio plasma.


There is quite a variation with Panasonic panels when it comes to brightness levels. Their 720p sets are pretty bright and although not quite as bright as the Sammy PDP's under normal viewing conditions, it shouldn't be problem. With the X5, it's the blacks and color accuracy that I'm more concerned about. The Panasonic U and UT50 series are the only models that I have issues with when it comes to brightness, especially in the cinema mode, or if your viewing room is pretty bright. However, I recently viewed a UT50 at Sears, changing the settings, which included putting it into the cinema mode, and I was surprised how good it looked, even under bright florescent lights. All 720p plasma TV's today will have SDE issues, which is dependent not only on the manufacturer, but how well the set is calibrated, the distance from the viewer, content and picture size.


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