Help deciding on a new plasma TV - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 02-11-2013, 01:57 AM - Thread Starter
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Hey, I first came here about 3+ years ago, learn a ton about tv's, and thanks to all the advice, settled on a Panasonic P42S1. Now the time has finally come to get a bigger, better set with my tax return smile.gif

The return won't be here for another 2 weeks however, so I'm just gonna have to hope these TV's are still in stock. I've been back in this forum and reading many, many pages here about them, but I wanted to ask specifically in this thread too.

The set will be mostly for late afternoon/nightime viewing. I sit about 7 feet away. I found after I owned my S1 for awhile that overall accurate color is actually top priority for me (does white look "white" without a color push? Do skin tones look accurate?) and after that is black levels/contrast. I know any one of these sets will be a major set up from what I have now in black levels (especially with the rising blacks issue these sets had!), but I can't stand anymore to watch sets that have noticeable color pushes that only go away with service menu calibration.(I did a poor man's calibration of the S1 with calibration settings taken from 3 different users here at AVS and then went with the best looking one, which eliminated the yellow push this set had). I watch blu rays via PS3 and also gaming too.

I have a budget of about 2000 or so, maybe a hair more if needed. I'd like to also get some sound to finally go with my displays too. So I'm trying to decide if I want to go with the 55st50, get it calibrated for 200-450 (depending on who does it), and spend the rest on some not too great but ok sounding soundbar or HTIAB...OR try and step up to the 60ST50, maybe cut out or scale down the extras...OR the 55GT50 on Amazon is only a meager 100 bucks more right now, so I'm thinking if the picture (THX or otherwise) is significantly better color accuracy wise after user adjustments right out of the box, maybe get that and have a slightly larger budget for audio stuff & skip calibration...ORsince reading about some of these absolute fire sales on the 55VT50, do I just get the top of the line model if the price is good enough, buy a small bit of audio, and use the out of the box settings (with maybe calibration to come later on)?

I know it all comes down to user preference, but I hope I've provided enough info about my environment, setup, and desires that you guys who own these sets can help point me in the right direction. I'm looking for this set to last a good 4 years or so at least before I shell out more cash for whatever tech is available then, but I don't want to wait till next year's sets to buy since they only seem to be slight improvements. I'd rather have the best deal on one of these amazing quality sets now.

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post #2 of 6 Old 02-11-2013, 04:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Any advice?

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post #3 of 6 Old 02-11-2013, 04:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Omni009 View Post

Hey, I first came here about 3+ years ago, learn a ton about tv's, and thanks to all the advice, settled on a Panasonic P42S1. Now the time has finally come to get a bigger, better set with my tax return smile.gif

The return won't be here for another 2 weeks however, so I'm just gonna have to hope these TV's are still in stock. I've been back in this forum and reading many, many pages here about them, but I wanted to ask specifically in this thread too.

The set will be mostly for late afternoon/nightime viewing. I sit about 7 feet away. I found after I owned my S1 for awhile that overall accurate color is actually top priority for me (does white look "white" without a color push? Do skin tones look accurate?) and after that is black levels/contrast. I know any one of these sets will be a major set up from what I have now in black levels (especially with the rising blacks issue these sets had!), but I can't stand anymore to watch sets that have noticeable color pushes that only go away with service menu calibration.(I did a poor man's calibration of the S1 with calibration settings taken from 3 different users here at AVS and then went with the best looking one, which eliminated the yellow push this set had). I watch blu rays via PS3 and also gaming too.

I have a budget of about 2000 or so, maybe a hair more if needed. I'd like to also get some sound to finally go with my displays too. So I'm trying to decide if I want to go with the 55st50, get it calibrated for 200-450 (depending on who does it), and spend the rest on some not too great but ok sounding soundbar or HTIAB...OR try and step up to the 60ST50, maybe cut out or scale down the extras...OR the 55GT50 on Amazon is only a meager 100 bucks more right now, so I'm thinking if the picture (THX or otherwise) is significantly better color accuracy wise after user adjustments right out of the box, maybe get that and have a slightly larger budget for audio stuff & skip calibration...ORsince reading about some of these absolute fire sales on the 55VT50, do I just get the top of the line model if the price is good enough, buy a small bit of audio, and use the out of the box settings (with maybe calibration to come later on)?

I know it all comes down to user preference, but I hope I've provided enough info about my environment, setup, and desires that you guys who own these sets can help point me in the right direction. I'm looking for this set to last a good 4 years or so at least before I shell out more cash for whatever tech is available then, but I don't want to wait till next year's sets to buy since they only seem to be slight improvements. I'd rather have the best deal on one of these amazing quality sets now.

I'd stick with a 55 at that viewing distance, either the ST or GT would be and excellent choice.

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post #4 of 6 Old 02-15-2013, 12:56 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the help Chunon. My tax return posted early today, so this weekend it's TV shopping time! Narrowed it down to an ST50 (funny, cause apparently the GT50's near me are almost totally sold out everywhere anyways) that I'll have calibrated, unless I can get a really awesome deal on a closeout VT50.

Question, I know the ST50 custom mode seems to be the preferred mode people are having calibrated. But I've been reading the cinema mode has not too great gamma. Is there another mode on the ST50 that has good gamma so I can have a day and night calibration? I know my old P42S1 also has "standard" (not great) and "Game" (identical to custom).

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post #5 of 6 Old 02-15-2013, 03:08 AM
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I havent heard that about cinema on the st50 i dont think there is a gamma issue you should be fine i have the 2011 st30 and have cinema setup for night but rarley use it my custom is calibrated at output 41 ftl for peak output and i find this to be a good overall day and night mode.com i think youll enjoy the st50 great set i amy be upgrading myself in the next few weeks good luck and enjoy

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post #6 of 6 Old 02-15-2013, 10:13 PM - Thread Starter
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So I went out all ready to get what I wanted, but have been frustrated in my efforts. I got my tax refund as fast as I could, but the TV's near me are all frickin gone basically!

So I had decided to go with a 60 inch ST50 and pro calibration. But that's probably the hardest thing to find! Best Buys near me are all sold out of every size ST50 AND GT50, minus the possibility they could order a 60 inch GT50 for 1899 (no thanks). I didn't hear over the phone about open box when I called, guess I'd have to go in. Sears has the 55ST50 listed as out of stock. Pauls no longer lists the 60ST50 either.

Only place I had any luck was a local store, Video Only. They too were sold out of ST50's and GT50's.Turns out that though they originally told me they did have some, they actually had "reboxed" 55ST50's left. They have a 30 day return policy, so none of them would be used any longer than that. And the price...1050. Not terrible. Oh, and they can sell me a new 55VT50 for 1599...they'd LOVE to sell me a new 55VT50 at 1599...told me all about how great it was, award winning, have them brand new...lol.

So now a new dilemma. I'd rather not settle this time, I really want a 60 inch tv. But the deal is tempting, the TV is great, the leftover money would more than cover some nice beginner audio gear AND a calibration...So do I jump in? Or maybe try Paul's TV for a 60GT50 at 1699 (no tax free shipping)? Never used them before, a bit nervous for a major purchase like this. And I have no Amex card to protect me unfortunately...Or option 3. Wait till next year, grab an ST60 many months from now when there's a sale. Been patient for a long time now, and would have to be a little more...Ugh...eek.gif

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