Panasonic TH-50PZ700U or TH-50PX75U - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 18 Old 01-03-2008, 09:09 AM - Thread Starter
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Is the difference between these two sets worth the 700 bucks.I have no plans on geting a HD or Blue-ray player so i will not be receiving the 1080p resolution,will there still be a noticeable difference between these sets,i will siting about 7 feet away.TIA.
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post #2 of 18 Old 01-03-2008, 09:30 AM
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Originally Posted by JCCC View Post

Is the difference between these two sets worth the 700 bucks.I have no plans on geting a HD or Blue-ray player so i will not be receiving the 1080p resolution,will there still be a noticeable difference between these sets,i will siting about 7 feet away.TIA.

Broadcast/cable 1080i content makes use of all the pixels on a 1080p display. You don't need a HD DVD or Blu-ray player to enjoy all the resolution of a 1080p display.

That said, you need to sit close enough to the display to resolve all that detail. Looking at a 50" screen, I cannot see the resolution difference from farther than 5.5 ft. Of course, you may be more sensitive.
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post #3 of 18 Old 01-03-2008, 09:38 AM
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I've been debating this very same issue and it sounds like we both are in a similar boat.

Personally, I really don't care much about BR/HD DVD. I really just want a TV that can give me the benefit of HD programming....mainly sports. The wife will also watch alot of SD cable....and we also have alot of "normal" DVD's.

I've spent alot of time looking at both the 50PZ700U and the 50PX75U....mainly just staring at the pictures. Honestly, I don't see much difference in the stores when viewing from about 10-12 feet. You might start seeing it a bit at 7 feet in your case though. I actually kinda like the picture on the PX75 a tad bit better....I think it has a higher contrast ratio so maybe that's why.

I'm still undecided on which way to go. I do think the 50PX would satisfy my needs okay for the time being and for the next couple years. A local dealer who sells both sets has actually been trying to convince me that the PX model would be better for my viewing options and he doesn't think 1080P is really worth the money right now unless you plan on feeding it alot of 1080P source material (blue-ray/HD DVD). We rent some movies now and then, but I'm not going to be heavily into blue-ray....and also probably won't get a PS3 either. The local dealer is a guy I've dealt with for many years and is really the only salesman that hasn't tried to sell me on a 1080P set. Best Buy and CC people are all about the "new" sets.

On the flip side, there is also a part of me that does want a 1080P set just so that I'm not "behind" right off the bat. I know I'd be pretty set for quite awhile with a 1080P and even though I know the difference isn't always noticable, I think I'd feel alot better knowing that I've got the best available technology that should hold up for quite awhile.

Sorta get the feeling that 720P is just an "intermediate" step that is going to get quickly bypassed. Blue-Ray or HD DVD seems like it will be the next wave so why not get something that will be able to handle them when needed.

So as you can see, I'm totally on the fence and totally undecided. I do understand (I think) the differences in the two sets....and I don't think the difference is huge. But my problem is that I know a difference exists and I don't know if I can be happy with purchasing a PX75 while knowing a could've had a 1080P set for a little bit more. I understand that techology needs to catch up...and I think it will eventually.

Personally, we don't watch a ton of SD cable....our viewing is mainly primetime TV...sports on Sundays....and occaisonal movie rentals. I'm sure I don't NEED 1080P for that type of viewing on a 50 inch screen at 10-12 feet....but still might be nice to have the extra "horsepower"...even if it costs me a little.
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post #4 of 18 Old 01-03-2008, 09:43 AM
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Based on a number of professional reviews, including that of the 58PZ700U (58", 1080p) on CNET (where they couldn't see the added resolution of 1080p beyond 8 ft on a 58"), I would be willing to bet that the 75U is the better buy for you, especially since it will benefit from being brighter.

I personally own a 75U... and at this point if I would going to spend an extra $700, it would be for a Pioneer 5080, not a 700U.

I also think that the $700 difference would be MUCH better spent on an ISF calibration and blu-ray or hd-dvd player -- the hi-def formats are a HUGE improvement over HD cable and DVD, and after having just had my 75U ISF-calibrated, I can attest that the difference is truly remarkable. My primaries are now tracking within 5% of one another throughout the greyscale and my ISF tech found that my display was previously too dim by about 25% and got it up to 147 lux.
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post #5 of 18 Old 01-03-2008, 09:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JCCC View Post

Is the difference between these two sets worth the 700 bucks. I have no plans on geting a HD or Blue-ray player so i will not be receiving the 1080p resolution,will there still be a noticeable difference between these sets, i will siting about 7 feet away.TIA.

This has been discussed at length in various other threads, but at 7 feet i'm confident you'll benefit from 1080p at 7 feet. I see SDE on a 50PX75U even at 10 feet so for me the 1080p would be absolutely necessary at 7 feet.

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post #6 of 18 Old 01-03-2008, 09:52 AM
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Who did you have do the calibration? How much was that?

I also think I keep forgetting that you can still hookup BR/HD DVD to the 75U and get better PQ than "normal" DVD's. Guess I keep thinking that I have to get a 1080P in order to have Blue-Ray....but gotta remind myself that you just need 1080P to enjoy the full benefit of it....even on a 720P TV it's probably still going to look very good....Better than current DVD's.
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post #7 of 18 Old 01-03-2008, 09:54 AM
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Originally Posted by tts42572 View Post

On the flip side, there is also a part of me that does want a 1080P set just so that I'm not "behind" right off the bat. I know I'd be pretty set for quite awhile with a 1080P and even though I know the difference isn't always noticable, I think I'd feel alot better knowing that I've got the best available technology that should hold up for quite awhile.

Sorta get the feeling that 720P is just an "intermediate" step that is going to get quickly bypassed. Blue-Ray or HD DVD seems like it will be the next wave so why not get something that will be able to handle them when needed.

I think you're being plagued with a common misunderstanding between 768p and 1080p sets. The 75U is capable of fully handling a 1080p input from any blu-ray/hd-dvd player -- in fact, unlike the 700U, the 75U actually supports 1080p/24hz.

I own a 75U and a PS3 and I can tell you that pumping the high bit-rate 1080p input into this 768p plasma is absolutely stunning and will blow away HD Cable, and from beyond 6 feet or so, you'll never be able to see the extra resolution of 1080p if you had had that set instead.

If you don't believe me, find a store like a BB with a Magnolia where you can perhaps find a 768p Pioneer Kuro Elite sitting next to a 1080p 750U and see which one looks better. You'd probably take the Pio every time and would never see any extra detail in the 750U if you are standing 6 feet away.

The 75U also benefits from being slightly brighter than the 700U. So if you're going to spend more than the price of the 75U, then you might as well make that extra $700 count for an actual benefit to picture quality that you can see: Upgrade to the Pio 5080 in that case, or spend that money on hi-def source equipment or a calibration.
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post #8 of 18 Old 01-03-2008, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by RandyWalters View Post

This has been discussed at length in various other threads, but at 7 feet i'm confident you'll benefit from 1080p at 7 feet. I see SDE on a 50PX75U even at 10 feet so for me the 1080p would be absolutely necessary at 7 feet.

Indeed this has been discussed at length and I believe you were the only person who could see SDE at such a great length. I see SDE on the 75U to around 5 feet.

As I just mentioned, the OP can probably determine whether 1080p will be of any benefit to him by seeing a 768p set alongside a 1080p one at a high-end store running them blu-ray or hd-dvd feeds. The 768p Pio Elite vs. the 1080p Pio Elite will probably be impossible to distinguish, aside from perhaps the 768p flavor of it being a tad brighter.
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post #9 of 18 Old 01-03-2008, 10:10 AM
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Originally Posted by tts42572 View Post

Who did you have do the calibration? How much was that?

I also think I keep forgetting that you can still hookup BR/HD DVD to the 75U and get better PQ than "normal" DVD's. Guess I keep thinking that I have to get a 1080P in order to have Blue-Ray....but gotta remind myself that you just need 1080P to enjoy the full benefit of it....even on a 720P TV it's probably still going to look very good....Better than current DVD's.

I had it done by Chad Billheimer, he's ISF certified and it was $375. Expensive indeed, but after having watched the set as it originally was for 3 months, the difference is pleasantly shocking. I had tried to use DVE to calibrate it myself with the user menu previously, and my blues were way too weak and the set was WAY too warm. It's stunning now. Anyway, here's his site: http://hdtvbychadb.com/default.htm

And like I was saying, the 75U is capable of accepting 1080p/24 signals -- and for all practical purposes, you're getting the "full" benefit of them once you're 6 ft away. You absolutely will notice the difference between BD/HD-DVD over DVD.
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post #10 of 18 Old 01-03-2008, 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Zinthar View Post

Indeed this has been discussed at length and I believe you were the only person who could see SDE at such a great length. I see SDE on the 75U to around 5 feet.

Actually there are several other members here who also see SDE at 10 feet, but i do admit we are in the minority. But 7 feet on a 50" screen? C'mon, Mr. Magoo would be able to see SDE at such a close range

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As I just mentioned, the OP can probably determine whether 1080p will be of any benefit to him by seeing a 768p set alongside a 1080p one at a high-end store running them blu-ray or hd-dvd feeds. The 768p Pio Elite vs. the 1080p Pio Elite will probably be impossible to distinguish, aside from perhaps the 768p flavor of it being a tad brighter.

Other things to consider are how the PZ700U has more than twice as many colors as the PX75U as well as better processing so that comes into play as well.

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post #11 of 18 Old 01-03-2008, 10:22 AM
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Appreciate you thoughts.

The main reason I'm looking at Panasonic is because I have an Panny authorized dealer 5minutes from my house who has been in business in the area for over 20 years. So if I buy from him, he's also offering to toss in an additonal 3 year warranty included with the purchase. So I don't think I'd end up going to Pioneer.

So if I bought the Panny 75U, my cost is going to be about $1,500. If I step up to the 700U, my cost is going to be about $2,500. I know I could search around and get some better prices on-line....but I'm willing to pay a little bit extra from my local dealer knowing he would be right there to help me with any problem that comes up.

I fully hear what you're saying about the brightness of the PX75....I noticed this also. I sorta like that additional brightness.

Damn...I keep swaying back and forth....50PX.....50PZ. I really don't feel too comfortable spending $2,500 on a TV though. I'm gonna want perfection if I spend that much and I think I could be setting myself up for a letdown. I think I'll be much more "forgiving" with the 50PX75...if I need to be. I could probably get the PX now...and then 4-5 years down the road move that to our basement for gaming and get a 1080P set then (for probably $1000). So in 5 years, I could wind up with a 720P set and a 1080P and had spent $2,500 total.....instead of spending $2,500 now on a 1080P set that I probably won't see a huge benefit from.

Also need to add that this will be my very first HDTV purchase.....and I'm probably gonna be blown away no matter what going from my 27 inch console zenith. Just want something that I can enjoy HD broacasts and some movies.

I'm going tonight after work to sit down with the dealer and take a hard look at the 50PX75. I think he's gonna just take one out of the box and fire it up. Any specific settings I should have him adjust or should I get a pretty good idea about the set out of the box?

And as far as calibration, I'm kinda clueless about all that. Is this something that really needs to be done? If my dealer doesn't offer this, where else can you get it done? Would I have to call BB or CC or something?
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post #12 of 18 Old 01-03-2008, 11:33 AM
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If your dealer is firing it up for you, make sure he's plugging it into a high quality dedicated source -- ask him if he can hook it up to a blu-ray or hd-dvd player. Most definitely change the picture mode to "Cinema" and the color temperature to "Warm." Drop the contrast to maybe around +20 or so, and the brightness to about +8. Leave the blacks at "Light" and turn off color management. I can't give you a recommendation on the proper color and tint since they can often track quite differently -- I'd leave them both at 0 (the middle).

The 3 yr warranty is nice indeed, though keep in mind that Panasonic plasmas have a 2% failure rate, and Pio's are around 3% -- this technology is quite mature. So I would still propose that your choice should be between the 75U and the 5080, and the price difference is probably $500 between the two. The 5080 buys you better inputs (2 extra HDMI, 1 VGA), black levels, slightly better user-calibrated colors, processing, and a few extra features, but is usually 20-25% dimmer than the 75U.

Personally, when they were more like $1k apart in price, I chose the 75U. If I were instead buying today with a $500 difference, I'd probably spring for the Pioneer. But that's just me. The 75U is a fantastic plasma and I've been extremely happy with mine -- and certainly adding the ISF service menu calibration brings its color accuracy and greyscale tracking above what a 5080 can do without proper calibration.

As far as calibration goes -- if you get one done, you want someone who's ISF-certified and has the best equipment. Definitely not something that BB/CC people would do, and unless your dealer happens to be an ISF-certified tech, I would recommend searching for a professional calibrator in your area or finding someone who's acquired a good rep on the forums and seeing if they'll be touring in your area. I went with a guy who lives out in Ohio, but reguarly tours around the East coast/Midwest -- I just had to wait 3 months for him to get to the area.

That said, I would definitely recommend waiting until you have a blu-ray or hd-dvd player before considering a calibration -- it's something that really nails down the detail and depth in the picture, but I wouldn't spend so much on something like that unless you have a source that can really maximize your set's capabilities.
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post #13 of 18 Old 01-03-2008, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by RandyWalters View Post

Actually there are several other members here who also see SDE at 10 feet, but i do admit we are in the minority. But 7 feet on a 50" screen? C'mon, Mr. Magoo would be able to see SDE at such a close range

I fully agree. I'm in the market this year for a 50" pdp and recently compared a Pio 5080 and 5010. The difference in rez was visible to me at around 10'. SDE is especially noticeable in large text or other more static graphics on screen. With that said, during many scenes SDE was not as noticeable but once you know it's there you know you'll be shelling out more $$$.
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post #14 of 18 Old 01-03-2008, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by RandyWalters View Post

Actually there are several other members here who also see SDE at 10 feet, but i do admit we are in the minority. But 7 feet on a 50" screen? C'mon, Mr. Magoo would be able to see SDE at such a close range

I have decent vision and I cannot see any SDE until I get around 4 ft from a 50 inch (768p) screen. Even then, I only see it when watching a completely white field. I think some people are just more sensitive to this phenomenon than others.
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post #15 of 18 Old 01-03-2008, 11:51 AM
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Originally Posted by RandyWalters View Post

Actually there are several other members here who also see SDE at 10 feet, but i do admit we are in the minority. But 7 feet on a 50" screen? C'mon, Mr. Magoo would be able to see SDE at such a close range

Other things to consider are how the PZ700U has more than twice as many colors as the PX75U as well as better processing so that comes into play as well.

hahaha -- I swear I truly can't detect SDE at 7 feet on 50" at all. I dont even think I can see it from that distance on a 58".

The colors thing is great on paper -- but I'd bet a ton that if you had the two properly calibrated sitting side by side in a dark room with some great source material, you wouldn't be able to look at the 700U and say, "Hey, that one has more colors." The 75U isn't exactly starved for degrees of gradation -- I'd rather spend money having my greyscale tracking as accurately as possible.

And I'd never say no to better video processing, but from what I've read the difference isn't dramatic, and 5080's processing is better still, so it would be my choice if I were spending more than the 75U.
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post #16 of 18 Old 01-03-2008, 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by JCCC View Post

Is the difference between these two sets worth the 700 bucks.I have no plans on geting a HD or Blue-ray player so i will not be receiving the 1080p resolution,will there still be a noticeable difference between these sets,i will siting about 7 feet away.TIA.

Noboby has plans to get a Blu-ray or HD player, but you will, you will.
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post #17 of 18 Old 01-03-2008, 12:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the replies,i think i've narrowed my selection down to these two, Th50PZ700U or Th50PZ77U there is only a difference of 200.00 between these two sets for me, so my final question is which one?
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post #18 of 18 Old 01-03-2008, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by JCCC View Post

Thanks for all the replies,i think i've narrowed my selection down to these two, Th50PZ700U or Th50PZ77U there is only a difference of 200.00 between these two sets for me, so my final question is which one?

See this post and the three links i inserted into it:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showp...postcount=7072

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