Plasma Shopping Settings & Advice Thread (while in store) - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 04-27-2013, 12:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi, I have decided I need to see all these plasma TV's in the wild.

I was hoping we could get a thread going that helps people when viewing 2013 models in store. Advice on what to look for, and what to do to get the best "test drive" experience so to speak.

I would assume some settings that avs members have come up with would be nice. And I think it would be nice if all different brands' settings were in one thread for comparison purposes while in store. So I am trying to help create that thread here.

Also any advice for the best way to get the "real" picture to come out while in those very bright stores. For example:

...should we just set one up for the the most vivid options if in an overly bright store like a Sam's or Costco, or should we still try to set up it up as if it was in our basement?

...do settings like, D-Nice's settings, work in store while testing out a tv?

...I'm sure there is plenty more advice others could offer up.

Hopefully this thread will really help out people, especially people like me that are looking at purchasing their first plasma and, just plain an simple, are not that familiar with all the different brands. A thread that helps alleviate the possibility into thinking that one tv is not that nice, but really it just needed some settings tweaked.

Any brands plasma settings and advice would be very helpful. Being almost May, would should probably limit this thread to 2013 models.

Thanks, and please jump in here and help if you can.
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post #2 of 12 Old 04-27-2013, 12:05 PM - Thread Starter
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post #3 of 12 Old 04-27-2013, 12:05 PM - Thread Starter
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post #4 of 12 Old 04-27-2013, 12:05 PM - Thread Starter
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post #5 of 12 Old 04-27-2013, 12:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Like for example would D-Nice's settings for the Panasonic ST60's work in store...http://www.avsforum.com/t/1466472/2013-panasonic-settings-issues-thread#post_23157979?

What about fairchild99's settings for the Panasonic S60's...http://www.avsforum.com/t/1461177/official-panasonic-s60-series-discussion-thread/900#post_23250082
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post #6 of 12 Old 04-27-2013, 12:20 PM
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Using Vivid or whatever other bright mode they have, would show which set has potentially the brightest output IN THAT MODE, but since you will not be using that mode at home, don't know if that's actually good for any comparisons.

I don't think using calibrated settings would be much help since those settings will be meant for an actual light-controlled cinema like environment (dim/dark). It might be good to take a USB stick with some demo material on it and maybe even some test patterns, specifically the sharpness and brightness and contrast patterns on the AVSHD 709 pattern so at least you can make sure overscan and the correct brightness/contrast settings are dialed in so you can see proper detail in dark/bright scenes.

But without proper calibration settings tuned for your TV, the grayscale and colors will not be accurate so you won't know for sure which set is producing the most accurate picture.

Just my 2cents.

Sony 32" EX400 calibrated settings

Panasonic 50" S60 calibrated settings

HTPC/Sony S5100 to Sony HT-CT150 to Panasonic 55" VT60, Sony 32" EX400, Panasonic 50" S60

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post #7 of 12 Old 04-27-2013, 12:30 PM
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In store I always set the TV to custom/standard, then turn off all the MPEG, NR, Motion, DCR, etc... crap. Set Contrast to around 90, color temp to warm 1, then adjust brightness a bit. Thats usually a very neutral setting thats quick and easy to compare TVs directly with.
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post #8 of 12 Old 04-27-2013, 12:30 PM - Thread Starter
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So I guess I would download the test patterns from this thread, and take them in possibly? http://www.avsforum.com/t/948496/avs-hd-709-blu-ray-mp4-calibration

Has anyone come up with a file for demo testing that we could link here, so we could download to a thumbstick for in store demo purchases?
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post #9 of 12 Old 04-27-2013, 12:31 PM
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If you apply calibrated settings to a plasma in store, and it's surrounded by LED's, you're probably going to give up on plasma. When I picked up my 65" S64 at Costco yesterday it was the dullest looking set in the row. Now it's at home, I applied some settings I like, and DirecTV and blu-ray's look amazing. Unfortunately testing TV's at big-box stores is simply difficult (to assess actual quality). I used to work at Ultimate Electronics, and that was a worth-while store to go test gear. Light-controlled rooms, could swap out blu-ray players, cable/sat feeds, different discs, all on the fly.
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post #10 of 12 Old 04-27-2013, 01:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mphfrom77 View Post

So I guess I would download the test patterns from this thread, and take them in possibly? http://www.avsforum.com/t/948496/avs-hd-709-blu-ray-mp4-calibration

Has anyone come up with a file for demo testing that we could link here, so we could download to a thumbstick for in store demo purchases?

Yes those mp4's, most modern tv's that have some sort of media player built in will play those MP4 files.

I also use the GCD disk, and it has alot of nice reference clips on it. Nothing with motion, just to see how grass looks, sky, dark scenes, etc:

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1406352/gcd-gamut-calibration-disk

Sony 32" EX400 calibrated settings

Panasonic 50" S60 calibrated settings

HTPC/Sony S5100 to Sony HT-CT150 to Panasonic 55" VT60, Sony 32" EX400, Panasonic 50" S60

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post #11 of 12 Old 04-27-2013, 01:20 PM
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Trying to judge modern plasmas vs LCD/LED sets in store environments is pretty futile.
The most you can get there is just the look of the bezel, size, etc. and controls of the set.
You can judge some things like the viewing angle (look from angles on the sides and above/below)
For actual viewing quality, you have to go by reviews to narrow the choice down to a few and then try it in your home viewing environment purchasing from a retailer with a good return policy if you need to swap for a different model.
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post #12 of 12 Old 04-27-2013, 05:47 PM
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Here's the solution to your problem. Don't look at TVs in stores at all. I never do -- too many problems. I go by reviews. I've just had to replace my 3 year old Samsung plasma, and I've ordered a Panasonic ST60 sight unseen, because of great reviews.
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