Best current plasma option under 1k? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 08-15-2013, 06:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Hey everyone, first post...
I'm in the market for a 1080 plasma TV, the main reason I'm looking at plasma over led/LCD is I like the black levels on plasma displays, and I absolutely HATE the soap opera effect.

I had made up my mind today to swing by the B&H brick & mortar store and pick up the Samsung 64" E533 for $999, only to look it up this afternoon and see that they sold out.

Now that that deal is gone, what is my best option? I don't need 3D, the flicker seen in home systems gives me a headache. I don't need a smart TV since I run everything through a console (Xbox360).

So what's the best no-frills plasma with a decent image out there at the moment?

I'd mainly use it for movies and sometimes gaming. 60 inches would be the size sweet-spot...

I looked at the wall of displays at B&H the other day, and with factory settings the LGs had quite a bit of digital noise, can I tweak this or is that something of have to accept with the lower end or mid level displays from LG? The samsung also looked good (but dim next to the LCDs), and the Panasonic they had up some kind of frame interpolation cranked up so it was hard to judge...

This post turned out to be much longer than intended, but I hope you guys have some insight.
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post #2 of 19 Old 08-15-2013, 06:59 PM
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For a grand I don't think you could get better than the Samsung 60f5300 I bought mine as a kneejerk reaction when I smashed my 59d550 and I love it.
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post #3 of 19 Old 08-15-2013, 08:32 PM
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50" ST60 series is the best TV below $1,000 period.

If you want a bigger screen, you might be able to find a 60" S60 within your budget (maybe a bit more though).

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post #4 of 19 Old 08-15-2013, 08:45 PM
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If you can drop down to a 50" I'd agree. I've been unable to find a 60s60 for less than $1179 but I'm in Canada and our pricing can be a bit high.
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post #5 of 19 Old 08-15-2013, 09:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the Replies so far!

Can you dial the frame interpolation on Panasonic Plasmas down to zero?
The S60 looks good, but does Panasonic still make any Non-Smart, Non-3D TVs? I'd feel foolish paying for features I'd never use.

I saw a Samsung 5300 in the store, 50" I believe, It looked pretty good with the factory settings.

how does the Samsung 5300 series compare against the Samsung 530 series? The 530 TVs were listed higher, but are on sale right now in a few places so they're roughly the same price in matching sizes...

And what is it about the Panasonics' display that makes people prefer them?

...Still kicking myself for missing that deal on the 64" 533...
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post #6 of 19 Old 08-16-2013, 06:00 AM
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The 5300 is this years model of the 530. I notice a pretty decent bump in PQ from my D550, brighter picture, better blacks, and no buzz. The buzz may be entirely a set by set case but mine is silent.
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post #7 of 19 Old 08-16-2013, 07:06 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the explanation Thrillho.

So now I've got my options down to the Panasonic S60 series, and the Samsung 5300 series...

From all the reviews I've read it seems they both have good pictures for watching films, but is one more optimal for gaming than the other?

Also, like I mentioned in my first post the Panasonic plasma (Not sure of the model) that I saw on display had a pretty heavy "Soap Opera Effect" going on. Can you turn this 100% off? And is the frame interpolation there to correct some inherent motion flaw in the Panasonic, or just because some people like it?
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post #8 of 19 Old 08-16-2013, 09:41 AM
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I only want to caution you. when I bought my first plasma I did so for the exact reasons you just posted, and I also set my budget at about a grand. I ended up with a Samsung 50inch b530 plasma and was very disappointed to find out it had terrible blacks. in fact, the dynex 32inch LCD I bought for my bedroom was quite noticeably blacker.

i'm not saying you need to spend more, they have gotten better since my purchase. i'm just saying you can't assume just because it's a plasma it will have great blacks. make sure you check that out. even at the 2k-3k range I've seen plasmas with pretty terrible blacks.

and believe me, I don't want to talk you into an lcd, don't do it! haha. but make sure you do some research, and if necessary stretch your budget to get something like the st60 or s60. it really sucks when you bring a tv home and find out it's blacks suck compared to the tv you were replacing. I've done that once, and won't make the same mistake twice. I assume nothing now. it's totally possible to make a plasma look terrible, haha

NOW FOR HELPFUL STUFF:
the motion interpolation can be turned off. it's there to try and win back lcd buyers that have become accustomed to watching terrible motion, er, 'smooth' motion rolleyes.gif

as far as gaming goes, I know that input lag has been a rather big issue with the higher end models. seems they do have a lot processing that can not be defeated. the s60 has been reported as being better in this regard than the st60. I do not know how it compares to the 5300 though.

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post #9 of 19 Old 08-16-2013, 11:04 AM
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I also had a 50b540 before my 59d550 and fully agree that it was horrible. Poor blacks, soft almost fuzzy picture. The D550 was much better in every regard and the F5300 is much better than the D550.
I haven't gamed on mine yet, I sold my ps3 and 360 before I bought it and probably won't play anything on it until the ps4 comes out. My D550 was pretty good for gaming on. I hear that the S60 has really good input lag numbers so it should be great.
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post #10 of 19 Old 08-16-2013, 12:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks so much fierce_gt & thrillho.

The 5300 and s60 arent "smart" TVs, so lag shouldn't be much of a problem right?

I'm glad to know that the 5300 has a better quality picture than the 533, I don't feel so bad about missing the 999 deal. I'd rather have an awesome 50" image than a so-so 64" image.

This cnet review i read earlier today has me worried about motion on the s60, I didn't know judder was an issue with plasmas:




"Video processing: The S60 showed a couple of flaws in this category. Most importantly, unlike the ST60 it is incapable of correctly reproducing the correct film cadence of 1080p/24 sources when set to its standard (60Hz) mode. Instead, the pan over the Intrepid from “I Am Legend” (my standard cadence test) appeared relatively halting and choppy, compared with the smoother — yet not too smooth — look of the ST60 and other sets that handled film correctly. I tried the 48Hz mode but as usual it flickered too much for me to tolerate. Since those are the only two modes available, you have to choose between choppy motion and flicker. I’d choose the former every time.

As I mentioned before the S60 also lacks dejudder, so if you like the smooth look of the Soap Opera Effect (I don’t), you may want to choose another TV."

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post #11 of 19 Old 08-16-2013, 12:33 PM
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Blu-Rays look great for me. As far as I'm aware, my Blu-Ray player is doing the 24p conversion and not my television. I'm not sure if this is what CNET neglected to do, or if something's going on with my TV and I haven't noticed, but it looks great. If you want to see something stunning, just fire up the Lion King Diamond Edition Blu-Ray. Man. Gorgeous movie.

As for motion during games, I'll admit that it doesn't look as clear as I expected, but it's definitely better than that of an LCD screen. Text remains legible in motion. Any blurring seems to be the result of some dithering that occurs when objects accelerate. Again, it's not the substantial fuzzing out that you'd expect from an LCD.

The S60 is a smart TV but it only has a few apps. Netflix streaming is a bit slow but it's not out of line with what you can expect with some Blu-Ray players out there. I still just use either the Wii U or my BD player for Netflix.

The lag on the S60 is about 2 frames - it's measured at 34.1ms. I'm a gamer myself and find that it's more than adequate for all but the most precise games. If you know exactly how Mario or Mega Man feels on a CRT, then don't expect that kind of performance. IMO it's still certainly playable. For anything else, from shooters to RPGs to 3D action games, it works like a charm. In regards to a $600 TV with decent lag peformance, I don't know if I could've bought a better TV.
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post #12 of 19 Old 08-16-2013, 04:04 PM
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i can't comment on the 'judder', that's something i truly don't see. i absolutely hate the way frame interpolation looks though.

it's good to hear the picture quality has gotten much better over the years.

input lag isn't really directly related to 'smart' features. it's more a matter of processing, and typically higher end tv's have both smart features and a lot of processing. but that's neither here nor there, the important thing is that the s60 has tested with good input lag numbers. my f8500 has nearly double the input lag(when not in game or pc mode) and i still find playing games like COD 'normal'. playing kinect games was pretty tough though. there's definitely a large amount of personal sensitivity when it comes to input lag. when i went from CRT to plasma, i didn't notice anything. and when i went from 'simple plasma' to the f8500, i didn't notice anything either, except for the kinect stuff.

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post #13 of 19 Old 08-28-2013, 09:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the input, wound up getting a 50 inch S64 Panasonic from Costco. The price was too good to pass up. Very happy with the image so far.
Now I just need to find a way to hook up my headphones at night.
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post #14 of 19 Old 08-28-2013, 12:06 PM
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Dumb question.

Is the Panny S model from Costco same as the ST?

Thanks.
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post #15 of 19 Old 08-28-2013, 12:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dragonbud0 View Post

Dumb question.

Is the Panny S model from Costco same as the ST?

Thanks.

No the ST60 is higher end model to the S60 series.

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post #16 of 19 Old 08-28-2013, 03:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dragonbud0 View Post

Dumb question. Is the Panny S model from Costco same as the ST?

The Costco model is the S64 series and is discontinued so whatever is left in the supply chain is the last of them.

The S64 series is exactly the same as the S60 series, but adds the same AR Louver Filter that comes on the higher ST60 series.

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post #17 of 19 Old 08-29-2013, 12:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ContinentalOp View Post

Thanks for all the input, wound up getting a 50 inch S64 Panasonic from Costco. The price was too good to pass up. Very happy with the image so far.
Now I just need to find a way to hook up my headphones at night.

maybe try something like this: http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=104&cp_id=10423&cs_id=1042302&p_id=6884&seq=1&format=2
to convert the optical output to an analog signal.

then if your headphones don't accept the RCA there's a ton of simple convertors you can choose from that convert it to whatever your headphones require , for example: http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=104&cp_id=10429&cs_id=1042902&p_id=7191&seq=1&format=2

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post #18 of 19 Old 08-29-2013, 07:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fierce_gt View Post

maybe try something like this: http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=104&cp_id=10423&cs_id=1042302&p_id=6884&seq=1&format=2
to convert the optical output to an analog signal.

One big caveat to using these inexpensive Digital Optical-to-Analog RCA adapters is that they only decode 2-channel stereo thereby they only work properly when using external sources (such as a cable box or sat receiver or disc player etc) that are connected to the TV via HDMI or Component. If you're using the TV's internal tuner, that optical output is able to output 5.1 surround sound from the broadcast and these inexpensive converters won't decode that and you'll just get static. Gefen makes one that does decode 5.1 but it's like 4 times more expensive.

And any headphone or speaker system that you connect to such a converter will have to have it's own volume control since the TV's own volume controls don't control the optical output.

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post #19 of 19 Old 08-29-2013, 11:30 AM
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My Sammy has a setting for what kind of audio it outputs and when set to PCM I think this issue is bypassed, that is, everything out will be 2 channel.

The remote still won't control the volume though.

Oh, and some of the converters, like the one I got off Amazon, have a headphone jack.
Quote:
Originally Posted by RandyWalters View Post

One big caveat to using these inexpensive Digital Optical-to-Analog RCA adapters is that they only decode 2-channel stereo thereby they only work properly when using external sources (such as a cable box or sat receiver or disc player etc) that are connected to the TV via HDMI or Component. If you're using the TV's internal tuner, that optical output is able to output 5.1 surround sound from the broadcast and these inexpensive converters won't decode that and you'll just get static. Gefen makes one that does decode 5.1 but it's like 4 times more expensive.

And any headphone or speaker system that you connect to such a converter will have to have it's own volume control since the TV's own volume controls don't control the optical output.
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