Dilemma - Panasonic TX-P50GT50 or TX-P55ST50? Is it PQ vs Size?? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 3 Old 01-03-2013, 05:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Hey all,

I have to put my hands up now and say that I am sure that I may well be asking a very similar question to many others already posted, but my question is short and sweet so any short and sweet advice you can offer would be very much appreciated! smile.gif

My situation is this – I am usually seated circa 8’ from the screen and currently have a 36” CRT that I have been very happy with but I am looking for a new TV while the sales are on, and from what I can tell, the Panasonic ST/GT/VT Plasmas are pretty much some of the best you can get.

I have found 4 possible options in the shops/online:

TX-P50ST50B for £900
TX-P50GT50B for £1000
TX-P55ST50B for £1300
TX-P50VT50B for £1500(ish)

The guy in the Panasonic shop was pushing me towards the VT but, realistically, I don’t have the equipment to get the best out of it and I doubt I will be able to get it calibrated in the near- to mid-future. Oh, and I can’t really afford it…

Therefore, out of all of those I am most tempted by the 50GT50 or the 55ST50, so it is the usual trade-off of quality versus quantity! lol

Going from the Amazon comparison:
and the Panasonic website

the only differences in PQ between the ST, GT and VT that I can see are:

- the GT and VT have 24,576 Shades of Gradation whereas the ST has 12,288;
- the GT and VT have 2,500 Hz Field Drive whereas the ST has 2,000Hz
- the VT has an Infinite Black Ultra filter whereas the GT and ST have Infinite Black Pro;
- the GT and VT have THX Mode and can be THX calibrated fully (I think?) whereas the ST doesn’t and can’t;

So… I think the questions I am asking are:

Does the PQ on the 50GT50 win over the desire for a 55” screen that may not be quite as good but, hey, look at the size!!

And is that extra 5” worth an extra £300-£400 at the expense of PQ?

(I am ignoring for the moment the potential issues with IR and buzzing that I have read about… lol)

Your considered opinion would be very gratefully received, thank you very much in advance! smile.gif
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post #2 of 3 Old 01-03-2013, 06:06 PM
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While I love my 60GT50, at the time of purchase, the difference between it and the 60ST50 was only $100. In addition, I also received a free Panasonic BDP that was a Panasonic Promotion specific to the GT. Due to employee error the GT ended up being marked down an additional $150 to offset the price of the Panasonic BDP. This in turn allowed me to purchase Best Buy's Product Service Plan for $180 less. Truly a dream scenario.

That being said, the difference in PQ is so slight that never in a million years would I sacrifice screen size by getting the GT. While I vastly prefer the industrial design of the GT, it certainly would not make me get the smaller model. Questions like this have been brought up literally hundreds of times so do not take offense if there are not many responses.
This is truly a situation where you can't go wrong. While I would decidedly go with the 55ST50 regardless, in Europe you cannot even get the GT50 larger than a 50 inch and the VT is a great deal more expensive.

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post #3 of 3 Old 01-04-2013, 12:51 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you for your reply smile.gif

I went back to the Panasonic shop and the salesmen were decent enough to just let me sit and assess screen size for perhaps 20 minutes with no high pressure sales waffle (which makes a change).

They only had a 55VT50 and a 50GT50 on display so I couldn't assess the PQ of the 55ST50 next to the 50GT50, but I did visit another retailer earlier in the day that had both the 50ST50 and 55ST50 on display. TBH the STs looked dull compared to the rest of the wall of TVs in that shop, but I was well aware that they were probably all on retina-burning mode so did not worry about it too much. It did at least give me a chance to check out any IR / screen burn issues on them because they all seemed to be on a looped display disk of not-great quality, which only lasted about 5 minutes. The STs showed some IR/burn in, which was a little worrying, but then if they have been on the wall for 6 months running a 5-minute loop for 12 hours a day, I am not that surprised... lol

Anyway, after trying to visualise how the 50 and 55 inch models in the Panasonic shop would look in my room (it's a struggle when they are on a wall with other TVs!), I decided that the GT50 would be great if it was 55" or 60" but at 50" was probably just a touch too small to be completely immersive, even though I could have bought it and also the calibration for it within the cost of the 55ST50. Also, I would always have thought "I wonder how big the 55" would have been..." if I had got the 50", so I had to resist the lure of lower price and slightly better PQ but smaller size, and went for the 55ST50 at £1319 + £25 delivery + free 6 Year Panasonic warranty + two free pairs of glasses (by redemption).

It was not what I would call cheap, especially when it seems that $ prices convert straight over to £ with no change due to exchange rates (!!) so I feel like we are being robbed in the UK, but the jump in price once you get to 60" in decent TVs is quite substantial so I think it is a relative bargain smile.gif

I would have loved the VT but at almost £700 more for the 55", it was out of budget...

Thanks everyone for the informative posts across this forum, I hope I have a good set and no issues with Bzzing or IR! smile.gif
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