New Display Dilemma - F8500 or VT60 - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 274 Old 02-02-2014, 11:45 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi, all.

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!
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post #2 of 274 Old 02-03-2014, 03:07 AM - Thread Starter
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I guess this is a pretty stale topic around here. wink.gif
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post #3 of 274 Old 02-03-2014, 04:10 AM
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Originally Posted by tbird8450 View Post

I guess this is a pretty stale topic around here. wink.gif
Yes, this topic has been beaten to death and it usually just ends ugly for all parties so everyone is just staying away from it. You can find pro's and cons for each panel all over these threads. I suggest you do some reading.
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post #4 of 274 Old 02-03-2014, 05:35 AM - Thread Starter
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I've done a decent amount of reading on the subject, but it's difficult to know what to expect particularly from the F8500 due to several reports of different problems appearing and disappearing and perhaps reappearing depending on FW versions, etc.

The F8500 is tempting because no matter what, I'm giving up a decent amount of black level performance even with the Panasonics, so making it up with a much less aggressive ABL and much better screen filter might help lessen the "pain" involved. And even though this display will not be seeing any sunlight, the room will be moderately to brightly lit a decent amount of the time. With the VT60 it seems like the ABL will be even more aggressive than what I'm already used to, but with maybe a slightly better filter. How does the VT60 hold up in a room devoid of sunlight, but still reasonably well-lit? Particularly compared to a 500M?

I also think floating blacks would be a deal breaker, and in reading about it here it seems like they've been fixed (but maybe not in all cases) on the F8500. There are certainly no worries about this with the VT60.

It's really the bright-ish room performance that's causing the indecision. If this was to be viewed 95% of the time in total darkness, the F8500 wouldn't even be in contention. I do know that I'd enjoy world-class bright room performance when I need it, I just can't decide if that's worth giving up a bit more on the blacks when the lights do go out.

Here's how I have it broken down in my head right now when comparing each to the Pioneer:

1) VT60 - Just about everything about it will be equal to or worse than the 500M. The *only* improvement of note to me would be slightly better contrast with lights on due to the filter, per reports. I'm essentially giving up some performance in certain areas in order to get the bigger screen, without gaining much else.

2) F8500 - Worse blacks (possibly floating?), but welcome improvements in other areas, notably ABL and bright room contrast. I'm giving up MORE performance in some areas, but getting a decent gain in others that I may or may not appreciate.

Ugh, reasonably-priced OLEDs can't get here fast enough...
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post #5 of 274 Old 02-03-2014, 06:29 AM
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Okay, I am willing to get flamed here but I am going to give you my thoughts. I own a VT60, before my VT60 I also owned a Samsung LED, es7500 so I am aware of bright TV's. I have also seen the F8500 plenty of times on display and have read a lot about the TV as well. From pro's to users here.

My room has windows across from my TV, about 15ft away but they do have blinds on them. Afternoon sunlight still peaks though though. I never have a problem seeing the picture. The VT60 still has a pretty aggressive filter even though not as aggressive as the ZT60. When natural light fills the room, blacks will appear more gray and contrast will not be as high but the picture will still look good and the filter does a good job of soaking up reflections.

Once the sun goes away, I have high hat lighting in my room and the screen looks crazy good. Natural light and artificial light have very different effects on the TV. At night with all my lights on, blacks are as inky as they can be and contrast is very high. It looks just as good if you were turn off all the lights. So when people say you have to watch the VT60 in a bat-cave have never owned the TV and have no idea what they are talking about.

As for the F8500, it is not that it has a crazy good filter, it is just that the TV can get bright for daytime viewing. In a naturally bright daytime room, blacks won't be inky and will take on that grayish look to it also. Only difference is you can turn up the brightness. If the filter on the TV is good you won't need to turn the TV up as bright as the sun.

My LED during the day needed to have the brightness level turned all the way up as possible during the day just to cut through the reflections but the picture looked like crap like that. So sure, I can see the picture but I wasn't looking at a nice optimal viewing experience. If a TV is pumped up that high you are usually more worried about just seeing the picture. Again, this is just in a natural lit room. Once the sun goes down the VT60 will shine with or without lights turned on and still is very watchable during the day but definitely takes a hit on pq in sunlight.

As for floating blacks, I trust the people that say they see it but so many other people claim they don't so it might be there but it really doesn't sound like enough of an issue to worry about and wouldn't let it sway your decision.

The F8500 definitely has the better smart features and also the ability to upgrade via the evolution kit although I do not think you are to concerned about that.

The F8500 will also have more of an LED digital look to it while the VT60 will give you more of a cinema feel.

The VT60 will have slightly better blacks but to the eye might appear to be very similar. Even in a dark room the VT60 will have a glow on a black screen. It will not be pitch black and I think this is what a lot of people think they are going to see and then get disappointed so just be warned. It will not be OLED black where it looks like the TV is completely off. With some light in the room the TV will appear to be off when looking at a black screen, but not in a pitch black room.

Both TV's are great. I can't imagine anyone being unhappy with either one. I am trying to be honest here about both TV's and not giving a bias opinion on what I own but you should be able to weed out truth and BS from other things you read. Like I just read a post from someone saying his F8500 gets as bright as LEDs. We all know this is not truth and we have meters that can prove that statement wrong in a matter of seconds but some people will believe anything.

If you have any questions let me know but I might have just started a war. lol

And just another side note, no pro calibration will ever be set to go as bright as the F8500 or any LED can even go so the whole brightness thing is a moot point to a degree. Also, Chad B a pro calibrator here has been able to calibrate the VT60 to 50fl which is more then enough light output one needs. He also also said that the more recent F8500's he has calibrated were not even able to reach that high so might have some have some changes in the FW since the TV was originally released.

I am not hating on the F8500 I am just trying to sum up what has been discussed here for you, you can read more about it in the actual threads for each TV. In the VT60, the only complaint you will hear from people really is the panel wasn't bright enough for them. Me personally, I don't need anything brighter but if you like LED bright then the VT60 isn't for you although with Chad's readings I am not sure what it going on with the F8500 either but people still claim it is very bright.
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post #6 of 274 Old 02-03-2014, 06:47 AM
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I see one inaccuracy the F8500 filter is very good better than the VT on par with the ZT

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post #7 of 274 Old 02-03-2014, 07:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chunon View Post

I see one inaccuracy the F8500 filter is very good better than the VT on par with the ZT
So you think in sunlight black levels on the F8500 equal that of the ZT60? I think the ZT60 beats them both.

But I personally had not had seen them side by side in a daylight room so what you say might very well be correct. I can tell you watching the 2013 shootout they had the F8500 and VT60 next to each other with lights shining on top of them and they both had a similar grayish look to them.

But like I said, you might be very well correct but from what I have read, the ZT60 holds it blacks better. So maybe others can chime in on this one and not to start an argument but to have a discussion.

I most definitely respect what chunon says. Usually will keep it real.
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post #8 of 274 Old 02-03-2014, 08:29 AM
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Regarding glare, here is a picture I took of the F8500 and VT60 in my home.



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post #9 of 274 Old 02-03-2014, 08:36 AM
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Originally Posted by DavidHir View Post

Regarding glare, here is a picture I took of the F8500 and VT60 in my home.


Do you have a picture with the F8500 on the stand?
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post #10 of 274 Old 02-03-2014, 08:40 AM - Thread Starter
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So it's clear which is better at handling reflections, although maybe they'd be closer if both were in exactly the same position. How did you find that they compared in terms of maintaining their contrast in bright conditions? I'm on a tablet right now so it's difficult to see a difference in that picture.

Thank you for the replies so far.
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post #11 of 274 Old 02-03-2014, 08:51 AM
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No question the F8500 is superior for reflections and contrast in lighted room. Big difference. The VT60 holds its black well still in a lighted room, but glare is an issue unless you can at least moderately control the light. It's not too bad with low level lighting.

In a dark room, the VT60 was superior - hands down.

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post #12 of 274 Old 02-03-2014, 08:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eric3316 View Post

Do you have a picture with the F8500 on the stand?

No.

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post #13 of 274 Old 02-03-2014, 08:55 AM
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I think the picture above might be a little deceiving. Even I was like, wow that looks really good but it has to do with the location of the F8500 because the panel looked pitch black. Here are some pics from the F8500 thread.

The filter still looks pretty good but not immune to reflections like that above picture would make you believe.

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1463454/lightbox/post/23372258/id/216303

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1463454/lightbox/post/23477882/id/232748

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1463454/lightbox/post/23320853/id/208516

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1463454/lightbox/post/23112951/id/173148

And some VT60 pics for comparison:
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1467563/lightbox/post/23648424/id/261448

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1467563/lightbox/post/23289212/id/204059

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1467563/lightbox/post/24252077/id/359335

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1467563/lightbox/post/24194586/id/350744
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post #14 of 274 Old 02-03-2014, 09:08 AM
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In all fairness, true, the pic is not an apples to apples comparison since they are not at the same level and not exposed to the exact point of light coming in. However, I can tell you the F8500 is much better with reflections still.

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post #15 of 274 Old 02-03-2014, 09:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidHir View Post

In all fairness, true, the pic is not an apples to apples comparison since they are not at the same level and not exposed to the exact point of light coming in. However, I can tell you the F8500 is much better with reflections still.
Yup, I will give you that but after your pic I was ready to run out and buy myself one. lol

So since you had both at the same time, was the F8500 blacks actually inky black when the sun shined in on it or did it start to get they gray tint like the VT60?
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post #16 of 274 Old 02-03-2014, 09:31 AM
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The blacks were fairly close on both in light. However, 95% of my viewing comparisons were in a completely dark room. I did hours and hours of dark room viewing with the Blu-ray player feeding both displays the same image simultaneously on a wide variety of discs so that I could get a good feel of the ABL behavior, contrast, black stability, and overall black level at similar light output (low 30s ftL) on real content.

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post #17 of 274 Old 02-03-2014, 10:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eric3316 View Post

Yup, I will give you that but after your pic I was ready to run out and buy myself one. lol

So since you had both at the same time, was the F8500 blacks actually inky black when the sun shined in on it or did it start to get they gray tint like the VT60?

I found the F8500 filter to handle ambient light well and look dark as long as the light is not shining directly on the screen, otherwise it looks grey.

The ZT is more like my LCD. It handles direct light better and the filter looks darker.
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post #18 of 274 Old 02-03-2014, 10:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidHir View Post

The blacks were fairly close on both in light. However, 95% of my viewing comparisons were in a completely dark room. I did hours and hours of dark room viewing with the Blu-ray player feeding both displays the same image simultaneously on a wide variety of discs so that I could get a good feel of the ABL behavior, contrast, black stability, and overall black level at similar light output (low 30s ftL) on real content.

Assuming for a moment that you didn't see any floating blacks on the Samsung, how would you compare their dark-room performance? Did the less aggressive ABL make any difference to you? Was the black level difference easy to distinguish on dark material, or did you have to have the displays side-by-side to notice? Did you see any difference in motion performance?

Thanks again.
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post #19 of 274 Old 02-03-2014, 10:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tbird8450 View Post

Assuming for a moment that you didn't see any floating blacks on the Samsung, how would you compare their dark-room performance? Did the less aggressive ABL make any difference to you? Was the black level difference easy to distinguish on dark material, or did you have to have the displays side-by-side to notice? Did you see any difference in motion performance?

Thanks again.

The VT60 blacks, overall, are significantly better because they don't float. Only on an all black screen do both displays look close, but once even low APL content is presented, then you can see the fluctuation in content on the F8500 rather easily and the image loses contrast as a result. See Zoyd's chart for how the F8500 blacks float and track against APL. Even not watching side by side, I could tell the F8500 blacks floated because the on and off fluctuation became distracting during movies and the image looked a bit just less contrasted - and overall blacks and stability were just not even as good as my 65ST30.

I did see several instances of better ABL performance on the Samsung, but it didn't crop up too often. I saw a couple of times with the movie Castaway which has some very bright scenes - they were even brighter on the F8500. However, they still looked fine on the VT60 and the difference was only apparent by comparison. There was also a difference on Star Wars which I captured taken with my cellphone. VT60 on right, F8500 on left.

As far as motion, The VT60 can be a bit smoother at 96hz, but there is occasional false contouring that I didn't see on the F8500, so I would say they are about equal.


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post #20 of 274 Old 02-03-2014, 10:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tbird8450 View Post

Assuming for a moment that you didn't see any floating blacks on the Samsung, how would you compare their dark-room performance? Did the less aggressive ABL make any difference to you? Was the black level difference easy to distinguish on dark material, or did you have to have the displays side-by-side to notice? Did you see any difference in motion performance?

Thanks again.

The VT60 blacks, overall, are significantly better because they don't float. Only on an all black screen do both displays look close, but once even low APL content is presented, then you can see the fluctuation in content on the F8500 rather easily and the image loses contrast as a result. See Zoyd's chart for how the F8500 blacks float and track against APL. Even not watching side by side, I could tell the F8500 blacks floated because the on and off fluctuation became distracting during movies - and overall blacks and stability were just not even as good as my 65ST30.

I did see several instances of better ABL performance on the Samsung, but it didn't crop up too often. I saw a couple of times with the movie Castaway which has some very bright scenes - they were even brighter on the F8500. However, they still looked fine on the VT60 and the difference was only apparent by comparison. There was also a difference on Star Wars which I captured taken with my cellphone so it is not a perfect image, but does demonstrate the difference I was seeing in brightness. VT60 on right, F8500 on left. (Color differences are not too important since neither display was calibrated professionally calibrated with a meter at this point - the VT60 was in THX Cinema default and the F8500 in Movie mode. However, ABL can affect how the color appears).

As far as motion, The VT60 can be a bit smoother at 96hz, but there is occasional false contouring that I didn't see on the F8500, so I would say they are about equal.


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post #21 of 274 Old 02-03-2014, 11:20 AM - Thread Starter
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David, thank you.

How would you rate the two in the dark had you not experienced floating blacks? It sounds like they've been fixed through firmware updates, though perhaps not quite 100% according to one or two reports. Would you have been satisfied with the F8500 were that the case?
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post #22 of 274 Old 02-03-2014, 11:38 AM
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What size and price VT60 are you looking at? I feel like the F8500 is going to be $1,000 more then a VT60 assuming you are looking at an open box or floor model. For a new VT60 they looked to be priced pretty high if you can find one so obviously the price difference might be close to the F8500.

I know the F8500 hasn't really dropped in price much so just curious at the prices we are looking at between the two.
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post #23 of 274 Old 02-03-2014, 11:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tbird8450 View Post

David, thank you.

How would you rate the two in the dark had you not experienced floating blacks? It sounds like they've been fixed through firmware updates, though perhaps not quite 100% according to one or two reports. Would you have been satisfied with the F8500 were that the case?

If there were no floating blacks visible to me which would also mean no contrast differences apparent, I would give the VT60 a 9 and the F8500 an 8 or 8.5 for overall blacks. There was nothing else about the F8500 I found objectionable although I learned the colors are a bit less naturally saturated compared to the VT60 once both are properly calibrated. The VT60 color professionally calibrated is essentially reference level and better than any other consumer display on the market right now. But, the F8500 blacks still float according to one reputable poster (see Todd in the F8500 thread) especially with Black Optimizer on. Turning that off alleviates it to a degree (but not 100%), but then the overall MLL rises to where I would give the F8500 blacks more like a 6.5 to 7 at that point.

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post #24 of 274 Old 02-03-2014, 11:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Eric,

The VT60s are going for much more than the F8500s now that inventory is almost gone. I managed to find one NIB VT60 for $50 more than the cheapest F8500, so price is basically a wash.
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post #25 of 274 Old 02-03-2014, 12:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidHir View Post

If there were no floating blacks visible to me which would also mean no contrast differences apparent, I would give the VT60 a 9 and the F8500 an 8 or 8.5 for overall blacks. There was nothing else about the F8500 I found objectionable although I learned the colors are a bit less naturally saturated compared to the VT60 once both are properly calibrated. The VT60 color professionally calibrated is essentially reference level and better than any other consumer display on the market right now. But, the F8500 blacks still float according to one reputable poster (see Todd in the F8500 thread) especially with Black Optimizer on. Turning that off alleviates it to a degree (but not 100%), but then the overall MLL rises to where I would give the F8500 blacks more like a 6.5 to 7 at that point.

Could it be his display? Defective? Could it be he doesn't have the latest firmware installed? There are plenty of knowledgeable posters who say they don't see any floating blacks on their Samsung.

Ambient lighting, which the Thread Starter stated is part of his viewing environment, negates any black level advantage between the two displays.

Also, calibration can increase or decrease color saturation, if that is your preference. I find the Panasonics to naturally have oversaturated color.
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post #26 of 274 Old 02-03-2014, 12:05 PM
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Eric,

The VT60s are going for much more than the F8500s now that inventory is almost gone. I managed to find one NIB VT60 for $50 more than the cheapest F8500, so price is basically a wash.
Me personally, I would go with the F8500 and I like I said I own the VT60. My VT60 at $1,000 less then an F8500 was a no brainer for me. At the same price I think I would go with the Sammy but I can also live with a panel that does not have the blackest of blacks. It's blacks are still really, really good compared to the best out there and their levels are nothing to complain about.

I really think these panels are so close to each other and you can read one pro review who would pick the VT60 as a winner and the very next one will say they love the F8500. Obviously the number 1 thing that gets talked about is the brightness of the F8500. If the brightness did not exceed to the levels they did this year, I think it would have been interesting to see how the F8500 would really rate. I still think it is a great TV though.

Don't get me wrong, I love my VT60 and the picture is truly amazing and in no way do I think you can go wrong going that way as well. It is such a tough call for someone to really be able to say choose this one over that one.....This is really one that is up to each individual.
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post #27 of 274 Old 02-03-2014, 12:14 PM
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Originally Posted by dsskid View Post

Could it be his display? Defective? Could it be he doesn't have the latest firmware installed? There are plenty of knowledgeable posters who say they don't see any floating blacks on their Samsung.

Ambient lighting, which the Thread Starter stated is part of his viewing environment, negates any black level advantage between the two displays.

Also, calibration can increase or decrease color saturation, if that is your preference. I find the Panasonics to naturally have oversaturated color.

Zoyd has also accurately posted how and where the F8500 floats black - check out his link.

True, ambient light can help (personally, I don't like ambient light despite the benefits it can provide).

If we are talking as close to rec 709 as possible, the VT60 is more accurate compared to the F8500. My VT60 has been calibrated by Chad B with a Jeti 1211 and I don't find the color overly saturated. I find it looks remarkably warm and rich, but not overdone - natural is the word that comes to mind.

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post #28 of 274 Old 02-03-2014, 12:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dsskid View Post

Could it be his display? Defective? Could it be he doesn't have the latest firmware installed? There are plenty of knowledgeable posters who say they don't see any floating blacks on their Samsung.

Ambient lighting, which the Thread Starter stated is part of his viewing environment, negates any black level advantage between the two displays.

Also, calibration can increase or decrease color saturation, if that is your preference. I find the Panasonics to naturally have oversaturated color.

I have yet to see a F8500 report where the color was not undersaturated , my understanding is that it can not be calibrated to meet the "reference" rec709 standards at least as far as saturation goes. I am in the market for a Plasma right now and this along with the floating blacks/compromised contrast ratio is giving me pause in purchasing the F8500.

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post #29 of 274 Old 02-03-2014, 12:43 PM
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Here is Kevin Miller's report on the F8500, and what he.said.about the color saturation, amongst other things

http://www.tweaktv.com/in-dspth-hdtv-reviews/preliminary-review-of-samsung-s-new-pn60f8500-plasma.html


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post #30 of 274 Old 02-03-2014, 01:04 PM
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Kevin Miller really liked it although he chose the VT/ZT over the F8500 at the Shootout.

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Reply Plasma Flat Panel Displays

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Samsung Pn51f8500 51 Inch 3d Smart Plasma Hdtv , Panasonic Tc P60vt60 60 Inch 3d Smart Plasma Hdtv
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