Brightest Plasma December 2012 - AVS Forum
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Old 12-07-2012, 06:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Hello Everyone,

First time poster looking to replace a 3 yr old Mitsu LCD that died recently. I've just started looking, finding the plasmas to be a little dim, but wanting to give them a shot.
I have a large west facing bay window in the TV room that makes the room VERY bright during the afternoon. We do a lot of afternoon watching with the kids. I'm on a budget too, so looking for the 50 or 51" models. 3D and wireless access not important, PQ in a bright room being the deciding factor.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks in advance
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Old 12-07-2012, 06:41 AM
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You may be disappointed with a plasma if you plan to watch during the day and have that much light. I own a plasma with huge windows (the entire south wall is floor to ceiling windows) and we tend to draw the curtains during the day if we wacth TV. We normally don't watch TV during the day that is why the advantages of a plasma made sense to us. Some others with more insight maybe be able to help more.
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Old 12-07-2012, 08:50 AM
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I would not buy a plasma for a "VERY bright" room. Unless you're willing to blackout the window, I suggest looking for an affordable 55" LCD, preferably with a matte screen.
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Old 12-07-2012, 09:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by innerlight View Post

Hello Everyone,
First time poster looking to replace a 3 yr old Mitsu LCD that died recently. I've just started looking, finding the plasmas to be a little dim, but wanting to give them a shot.
I have a large west facing bay window in the TV room that makes the room VERY bright during the afternoon. We do a lot of afternoon watching with the kids. I'm on a budget too, so looking for the 50 or 51" models. 3D and wireless access not important, PQ in a bright room being the deciding factor.
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks in advance

I'd agree with the above posters to be careful, however, I will point you in the direction of the plasma that's generally considered to handle bright rooms well due to its filter and overall brightness: Panasonic ST 50
"The old adage "LCD for bright rooms, plasma for dark ones" isn't very meaningful in the case of the ST50. It handles bright lights better than any plasma we've tested and can also produce a bright picture for a plasma--albeit not as bright as that of most LCDs."
~Ty Pendlebury, CNet
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Old 12-07-2012, 10:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the responses so far.
I have had my eye on that E601i LED from Vizio, but I've also read the reviews on the Panny ST50 and the Samsung d7000 and e7000. I've seen the ST50 in person (retail) and it just doesn't look right. My Mitsu LCD was bright, I'm realizing now maybe a little too bright with poor blacks but the ST50 looks dim. I happened to see part of a Ravens game at my local BJ's on an LG (4500?) plasma and it looked brighter than the ST50 and had AMAZING blacks. I know how different the settings can be on the sets from store to store too so I am not putting too much stock in just viewing one model one time.
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Old 12-07-2012, 11:19 AM
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It... can also produce a bright picture for a plasma--albeit not as bright as that of most LCDs." ~Ty Pendlebury, CNet
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.
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Old 12-07-2012, 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted by MechanicalMan View Post

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).
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