Originally Posted by Ken Ross
Let me say this, I think the Dynamic mode (which most buyers won't use when purchasing this class of plasma) is better on the Panasonic than the Samsung. It's a bit more tame. Of course this is totally unadjusted, and out-of-the-box. But certainly the 8500 can look more LED'ish in that mode than the VT60. Perhaps not quite as bright as LED, but so obviously brighter than any plasma and with more pop than any plasma, I don't see why someone would pass on the 8500 if they're looking for the characteristics of plasma with the best pop by far of a plasma. I could see them passing on the VT60 if they're only after brightness, but not on the 8500 IMO. I for one would never have conducted any important A/Bs in torch modes. I just don't think it proves anything and simply shows which display looks better in their most horrific modes.
Not sure how you had these adjusted, but I do know the Westbury Magnolia had the poorest adjusted 8500 of any I've seen on Long Island. That's the truth. That was the only location where I saw the bad case of popping and I mentioned that weeks ago. It seemed to me that the Magnolia managers at most of the other Long Island locations were more concerned about getting at least some adjustments right than what I saw in Westbury. With that said, I saw little in the way of color saturation differences between the two when properly adjusted. I have zero
concern about this since I've already seen a Kevin Miller calibrated 8500 next to a Kevin Miller calibrated VT50. They were virtually identical from a color standpoint and I seriously doubt there's any significant difference in this regard between a VT50 and a VT60. So if out-of-the-box Dynamic Torch mode is important to someone, that perhaps the VT60 does better there. For me, and I suspect most buyers, this is totally unimportant.
The only thing I'd agree with here is the shadow detail on the VT60 was better in the two uncalibrated sets and I've seen that at multiple locations. But saying the VT60 blacks were definitely blacker...well, I don't know what to say. For that to be true, there would have to be an absolutely huge
difference in black levels for that to show up in the lighting of the Westbury store that I'm intimately familiar with. I saw no such difference in any Magnolia store. Not even close. We already know that there isn't much of a difference in measured black levels between these two sets (with the edge going to the VT60) and I'm talking about dark room viewing, not the ambient lighting of the Westbury Magnolia. So whatever you saw is the result of the modes you were viewing it in or misadjustment of the 8500. There simply is no big difference in black levels between these two. Again, I'd never do an A/B in Torch modes.
I too didn't notice any significant difference in reds. I did give a slight edge to the VT60 for just the slightest degree of a less orange red...but again, so slight that you'd need to carefully study the two. I frankly saw a bigger difference in reds between the demo at the Panasonic show between the Kuro and the ZT60. There I saw a fairly significant difference in reds with the ZT60 being the winner. I didn't notice any difference in blues or any other color for that matter between the VT60 & the 8500. I again refer to two professionally calibrated displays, the 8500 and the VT50. No difference and Kevin Miller said as much. I just think color is a non-issue when comparing these two great sets.
I never had any doubt from reading your posts.
For you the decision is the right one and I'm sure you'll be happy. The VT60, like the F8500, is a great display. My comparison were different and conducted in different modes. From my viewing I'm definitely leaning toward the 8500 because of what I perceived to be the better overall PQ, but I'm waiting for the ZT60 to see what it offers. I think the shootout will provide a more thorough evaluation of the ZT than I saw at the Panasonic show.
I also agree that any prospective purchaser should do an A/B if possible. But I would strongly suggest it never be done in Torch modes. Personally I would use the Movie mode of the Samsung and the THX mode for the VT60. If a prospective buyer is going to watch in Torch modes, I'd tell them to save their money and get a much cheaper display.