Hello everyone - after reading countless threads and reviews on the internet, I decided to pull the trigger on a 65VT60 last week. Purchased at a standalone Magnolia store in Bellevue, WA. I thought I'd share my impressions on the VT60 for anyone that was on the fence like I was. I also own a Samsung 64" D8000 plasma (living room) and a 58" B860 plasma (bedroom). We just sold our Sammy LCD to make room for the Panny. Currently running the D-Nice slides to prep for a calibration next weekend..
So out of the box, none of the presets really float my boat. THX modes are not bad, but reds looked a little hot. I tried the CNET settings, which I found to be pretty good. I used the Disney WOW bluray to tweak the CNET settings, and now i'm pretty happy with the picture (at least before the professional calibration). I watched Dark Knight Rises, Dark Knight, and Avatar on bluray to compare to my Samsung Plasmas. The VT60 obviously had darker black levels, but its the way the black remains dark throughout the movie that really impressed me. No issues with brightness pops here. There is also no black level penalty when engaging 24p playback on bluray, like there is with my Sammy plasmas.
Hard to describe, but the colors on the VT are very saturated, but life-like, which in combination with the black levels really produced a fantastic film-like picture that I never really acheived with the Samsungs. To be fair, I love my Sammy Plasmas. Colors are rich and bright, and I find their screens are less reflective than the VT60. Also, I give the Sammys a slight edge on material from FioS (1080i). They producer a sharper image on most channels, which is especially noticeable on the menu screens and text. I find the VT to be a little lacking in the sharpness department, but only on non-1080p material.
However in my theater/rec room, where the VT sits, watching Blurays movies, my Sammys cannot produce the type of image the VT can. I'm sure the new F8500 plasma from Samsung would also easily outperform my older Sammys, but I was able to get my VT60 for $400 less than a comparable F8500, so I went with it. I'm not biased towards either company, and I simply wanted the highest performing plasma that I could afford, and that was the VT60 for me. The only other gripe is the fan noise. At normal listening volumes, it is not too noticeable unless you're trying to hear it. But at lower volumes, the fan noise is a bit more obvious than I would like. Oddly enough, the plasma buzz is much quieter on the VT60 than my Sammy plasmas, but that is offset with this fan noise. Oh well..
Other than that, the VT60 is an awesome set, and I can only imagine how much better it will be with a professional calibration. If the calibrator is able to find a way to sharpen up the image coming from FioS, I tell you now that I will never upgrade the VT60 (well, at least until a 100" 4K set is available for under $3K)..
Room1:Panasonic 65VT60/Yamaha A1010/Denon DBT1713/Definitive BP8, CLR2300, SM350/Martin Logan Dynamo1000
Room2:Samsung 64D8000/Yamaha A730/Definitive BP8040, BP6, Mythos 3/PS3, Xbox 360
Office:Audioengine N22/Fiio D3 DAC/Athena P5/Polk PSW10
Car:Acura ELS DVD-audio/Focal