Originally Posted by Bond 007
+1 He is a new guy though so that makes people suspicious. Im sure you can understand that.
Why would it matter if I'm new? What would you be suspicious of?
I haven't told anyone to buy anything. I made no recommendation at all. I simply said that the F8500 blew away the VT60 and ST60 in my own living environment, which has tons of light (glass walls in living room and lots of skylights). I also said that I greatly prefer its image and it's punchy colors and excellent detail. If you think I'm lying, just go into your local TV store like I suggested and look at TVs for yourself. That is all I have suggested in this thread. I think it's obvious, even in a bright store like Best Buy, if you just trust your own eyes - it is extremely obvious what I'm talking about. In my local Video Only, they have the VT60 and F8500 sitting right next to each other. You can instantly easily see the added detail and more vivid colors on the F8500. The only arguments I've heard from the "experts" is that the colors are less accurate on the F8500. I gave credence to that nonsense and almost ended up with a TV that I didn't like.
It actually reminds me of the time I ignored my electrical engineer father and bought a $10k Krell amplifier because some stereo magazine said it had "unmatched warmth and clarity." I got it home and it didn't sound any different than an old Yamaha receiver with my Focal Grande Utopia speakers. My dad kept telling me that amplifiers can only introduce more or less distortion per watt, and that neither cables nor amplifiers could violate the laws of physics and magically add "warmth" or "clarity" to the signal. As he said, a watt is a watt, until you introduce distortion. So I followed his advice and returned the Krell and bought a Crown Audio amplifier for $500 from Guitar Center that actually sounded better than the Krell to my ears (according to dad, because it was producing greater wattage with less distortion). And ya know what happened when I brought over a few audiophiles and did blind tests? They all picked the Crown. Then argued that the Krell was vastly superior because of its better capacitors, even after I explained they had picked the Crown PA amplifier when blindfolded.
Many videophiles are the same way. They'll ignore their eyes because a piece of paper says one option is 0.001% better than another, and treat anyone who disagrees with them as a moron and mock them. Never mind that their measurements and graphs are generally beyond the human brain's ability to differentiate. It is tiring, and the main reason why I was only a lurker here until recently.
Back to the TVs...
With the Panasonics, I said the ST60 and VT60 had pretty awesome blacks and a great image in a really dark room, where you don't notice the dimness as much. I still don't think the colors are as "snappy", they don't pop as much, they're not as vivid. And it doesn't look as good, even in the dark, and even after being calibrated.
And to be honest, the ABL on the VT60 was extremely noticeable and annoying. For anyone using an HTPC, you're not going to be happy with the ABL, because it totally ruins the bright colors used in the Windows 7 Media Center interface, and makes web browsing almost intolerable. A big white screen on the VT60 looks dull grey-brown. PC games looked awful, because they use a lot of bright imagery, which gets totally crushed by the Panasonic's ABL. This becomes really obvious when you put the F8500 right next to it and compare directly. FarCry looks like garbage on the Panasonic, and I really don't care if you believe that or not because you've obviously never tried. Try it, next to an F8500, and tell me there isn't a drastic difference. Because there is. It was very obvious and bothersome to me and my buddy who was sitting there playing with me. He kept asking why FarCry looked so crappy on my TV compared to the LCD sitting right next to it. I kept trying to explain that away, telling him this was a vastly better panel for X reason. He was just looking at me like I was an idiot, which I was at the time because I was trying to justify what I had just spent on that TV.
I knew when I posted here, there would be a bunch of video nerds turning their noses up and laughing at me, and sure enough, there they are in this thread for everyone to see.
So if you're a regular guy like me, I suggest you just go look at these TVs in person at a local B&M store, and ignore everyone here. Stop listening to these self-proclaimed experts. You'll see how much dimmer the Panasonic is compared to the Samsung F8500 for yourself. And remember, it doesn't matter how you calibrate it, you're never going to get as bright and punchy an image as with the F8500.
So if you want a dim TV that puts out a great image in a really dark room, go for the ST60 I guess. I don't think the VT60 justified any cost premium. I couldn't tell any difference at all between the two.
If you want a TV that you can play games on, use an HTPC, perhaps do some casual browsing every once in a while, use in a daylit room, watch cartoons or colorful movies, and if you want to see detail in your movies and stuff... I don't think you can beat the F8500.
But again, try it for yourself. You don't have to take my word for it, and I'm glad if you don't. Just go try it for yourself and ignore the nerds.