Originally Posted by MechanicalMan
I think that's a little misleading. I don't own an ST50 (at least not yet), but having seen it in bright showrooms at +100 contrast, it doesn't appear to be a remarkable leap forward for plasma in terms of maximum luminance. I've read that it can reach 60 fL. My 2010 LG is calibrated to 40 fL, but it could definitely go higher, perhaps to 50+. The problem is that, because it is a plasma, it is still going to drop to like ~20 fL at times due to ABL. And the ST50s that I've seen in stores seemed to be doing the same thing. That is why plasmas look so anemic in bright showrooms next to a bunch of LCDs running in vivid mode at luminance levels that are far higher than plasmas being affected by ABL. IMO, plasmas make sense in dark rooms where they will be calibrated to around 32 - 40 fL. But no matter how good the anti-reflective louver filter is, a plasma can't produce images bright enough to look good in a very bright environment, and pushing the peak luminance to something very high (like 60 fL) will just serve to make the fluctuations in brightness more noticeable and aggravating. While a plasma like the ST50 may be much better suited for occasional
bright room viewing than something like the U50 or my LG, I don't think plasma is a good choice for someone like the OP who will be using the display in a bright room frequently
It definitely is a little misleading. However, I will say that outside of direct light, my ST50 handles a blinds open room very well. Not to the level of a cranked up LED (obviously), but who watches TV with the luminance and contrasts that high anyway?
The ST50 can look pretty muted in showrooms when it's set on standard or cinema mode, FTR -- it looks much different in-hom/calibrated.
Regardless, I wouldn't put a plasma in a definitively bright room...I've always been a plasma fan, but I've been unable to get one (until recently) due to the amount of light that came into our previous house's living room. It was a hard pill for me to swallow, but it was the right choice due to how much light that room let in...even with the curtains drawn, light would leak all over.
Again, with that said, the ST50 is not much more reflective than my 2010 Samsung LED, and it easily outperforms my friend's 2012 Vizio 65" (M650VSE) in a bright room due to the immense amount of reflection the Vizio produces with any light (it's still 'brighter' in a bright room, however). I'm not saying that to sell the OP on plasma, but rather to caution him that some LEDs are not much better than plasmas in bright rooms (for various reasons).