Just a quick update regarding gaming on the PNxxF4500. After having some more time to spend with it, I am now completely convinced that this TV has the best 480p output I have ever seen, and that includes the native 480p CRT sets that I used prior to buying this one.
In a previous post I stated that in 4:3 mode Super Mario Galaxy looked as good as or possibly slightly better than my previous 480p favorite, the Hitachi Ultravision Digital 36" CRT. After finding I had a problem with my cheap Wii component video cable (slight video noise/crawling dots visible on dark backgrounds) and replacing with a high-quality Rocketfish Wii cable (which, despite my skepticism, completely fixed the problem), the set now outputs the best Wii & Gamecube 480p I have ever seen, bar none.
Earlier I had mentioned the 4:3 mode looked a bit better than 16:9 mode for the Wii, even when playing games that supported 16:9 like Mario Galaxy. Well, not anymore-- Mario Galaxy and FZero GX, both set to 16:9 / 480p modes in game, TV set to 16:9, look absolutely stupendous!!! Its hard to describe how good they look-- absolutely no blurriness-- crisp lines, gorgeous colors, incredible contrast.
If you have ever tried to play a Wii or Gamecube on a 1080p LCD set, even using component cables and 480p output, you know how crap they look. A blurry, washed out mess. When I say these systems look good on this TV, I'm not just saying they look "good enough"-- I'm saying they look the best I have ever seen them, by far.
Also, I have a Genesis Model 1, SNES (Model 2), and N64 that I have modded to output RGB and going through a RGB/component converter and I must also say that this set handles them incredibly well without any fancy
upscalers or scan line generators. Sure they are missing the classic scanlines, but they are very very good looking without them, using 4:3 mode on the TV. No artifacts, no overscan/underscan problems, just a beautiful, sharp looking picture. The Genesis and SNES look as good as a PC running an emulator on the set. The N64 does not look quite as good as they do, but this set adds a slight bit of softening to the edges of N64 games that is absent when displayed on 1080p sets, which look overly sharp and pixelly when displaying its low resolution. This actually makes it look better.
I'm currently trying to figure out how to take good pictures of the set in game, and will post ASAP. In conclusion, I'd go so far as to say this may be the best HD set for SD gaming money can buy, assuming you have the right cables (component and RGB SCART).
I have the 51" version and Im completely satisfied with it. I'd definitely recommend it, dont be afraid of the size x 720p. We watch from about 9' away and it looks terrific. All broadcast terrestrial and satellite video is either 720p or 1080i anyway. Supersampled 1080p (PS4) for ex., looks great on it as well. For the money it can't be beat.
The TV's 480i deinterlacing is good for films and good enough for games, but it certainly performs better when fed a progressive signal. If you absolutely must have bars on the
side, set your player to output 480p, and if you are concerned about IR, set the 4:3 mode on the TV to have white bars on the side instead of black.
The TV can accept 1080p as well-- if you are feeding 1080p Blu-ray content, that is a 16:9 mode anyway. Also super-sampled (downscaled) 1080p should look the best on your 1024x768 set, being that the TV applies scaling to all other resolutions anyway. In the end, its really a matter of user preference.