As you can by the number of my posts, I have been on the search for a widescreen TV for some time. Started more in the DLP camp due to budget, but then the Plasma technology really started to see price reductions. When the 42" Panny 25U hit an MSRP of $2999 Sept 2004 I really started researching Plasma TVs heavily. Still above my WAF budget, but I knew the time was coming...
1. The "Model" you have.
42THPD50U - Panasonic 42" ED
2. What convinced you to purchase this particular "Model".
I carefully looked at all available 42" ED, including specs on the upcoming 2005 Hitachi and new Toshica 42"ED. Hitachi looks like it will have a DVI input, wanted HDMI. Toshiba does not appear to have a tuner, unknown glass or if HDMI and first generation. WAF ruled out any plasma with black glossy bezel. Limited to width of 44" so needed bottom speakers or no speakers. Fuji 42" ED out of my budget. Last year NEC consumer did not come out until Oct, so did not want to wait for 2005 NEC model to see if HDMI included.
Pannasonic consistently had the best PQ, silver color had WAF. I liked that the shiney black edge of the glass is covered by the bezel - so less reflections. Model has tuner, speakers and HDMI.
3. What do you like best about your Plasma.
Picture Quality - and the best black reproduction of plasmas.
4. What you don't like about your Plasma.
No per input memory settings for picture, possibly no 3:2 pulldown (I wish it were documented one way or the other for sure).
5. What "Feature(s)" you wish your Plasma had.
Cablecard, second HDMI, HD Zoom
6. What advice or suggestion would you make to the "Manufacture" about your Plasma.
Add HD Zoom + other items from 4 & 5.
7. What was your biggest "Surprise" after you received your Plasma.
Analog SD stations looked as good if not better than my existing 32" CRT.
8. What "Problems or Issues" have you had with your Plasma.
9. Do you really think that todays "Prices" are worth it.
They are still a little high. When MSRPs hit $2000 (for 42" ED) I think the value of the TV outweighs waiting for additional price reductions.
10. Any additional information that you want to add is encouraged.
I received my Panasonic TH42PD50U yesterday. All that analysis paralysis was somewhat for nothing - extremely satisfied with the plasma. I thought the limitation of effectivly three memory settings (Standard, Cinema and Vivid) would be too limiting - but I am finding the settings are actually close enough for both the DVD and SA8300HD. Using standard setting for the most part, but have set up vivid to punch up some of the NTSC stations.
First comments from the wife was how big the screen was. The delivery person gave her a look like your nuts lady. Although using a table top stand, I placed the TV at the furthest part of the TV cart. As we get used to the size I can bring it closer.
While hooking up the TV, Battlestar Galactica came on in HD. I thought the PQ looked great out of the box, although I know from reading here it will get better with calibration. The cablebox was on zoom, the PQ improved (obviously) even more when I took off the zoom.
Watched parts of Finding Nemo, Monsters Inc and Spiderman for 1:85 movies during break in. Spiderman is a great test disc for eyeball calibration, until I get a copy of AVIA or DVE.
Pleasantly suprised at the quality of the analog stations. When leaving in 4:3 mode the PQ as good if not better than my 32" CRT. During first 100 hours, using the ZOOM to eliminate black bars. Maybe after time and I can get used to JUST mode, not there yet.
HD looks outstanding. Using the PVR SA8300HD, watched "The Insider". Lots of dark suits, happy with the black levels on the TV.
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