It's been a while since I've spent much time poking around these forums, but I'm now in the market for a new display around 65" and my options certainly seem limited these days.
I've been enjoying my D-Nice tweaked and calibrated Pioneer 500M for a long while now, so in going to a larger size I'm trying to minimize my performance loss. That seems difficult to do given the fact that my current display measured a .0001 ftl black level, so at best I'm going to have to "live" with .001 ftl in a new Panasonic or even higher in an F8500.
Unfortunately, Panasonics are in short supply and I missed out on the VT60 fire sales a couple of weeks ago. I did manage to find *one*, brand new, for a pretty reasonable price...about $50 more delivered than the cheapest 64" Samsung F8500 that I've come across.
I'm counting out the ZT60 both because it's super expensive right now...almost a full $1000 more than the VT60 I came across, and given that this display will be living in a basement theater with no outside light to worry about, I can't imagine the heavier filter being worth even half of the additional expense. In the dark they are essentially 100% identical, with the VT actually capable of getting a little brighter if desired.
I will, however, be watching the display with a good amount of room lighting about half the time, so good anti-reflective properties and a good peak light output are still important. Now that Chad B has found a way to achieve over 50 ftl in a calibrated VT60, I'm wondering what other advantages a F8500 would even offer. I'm more than satisfied with that level of light output in the Kuro's Day mode, and it's in a much brighter room than the new display will be in.
I understand that the F8500 would have a somewhat better filter, certainly more peak light output (which I don't think I'd care about), and a less aggressive ABL (maybe something I'd appreciate). However, I'm a black-level junkie and I don't know that I'd be content with the F8500 with the lights out, especially with concerns about floating blacks, crippled light output in some later units (40 ftl max), as well as even worse blacks in these same units, etc.
So please, lay it on me...especially anyone who has tried out both in their homes. I'm no brand loyalist, I just want the display that will do the best at providing me with a satisfying and accurate image. I'm definitely leaning VT60 due to the superior dark-room performance, but I'm certainly open to suggestions.
Thanks in advance!