VT30 or ST50? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 31 Old 02-22-2012, 08:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Looking for some input on a budgetary decision and display comparison.

Assuming I'm going to ignore the nice prices on the 55ST30 at around $1100 now, what would you do if the 55ST50 and the 55VT30 were say within $250 of each other....

I was originally thinking of waiting to see how good the new ST50s were and see what the discounts off MSRP would be at retail outlets. However, the VT30 at "about the same price" is very tempting.
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post #2 of 31 Old 02-22-2012, 08:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghoul View Post

Looking for some input on a budgetary decision and display comparison.

Assuming I'm going to ignore the nice prices on the 55ST30 at around $1100 now, what would you do if the 55ST50 and the 55VT30 were say within $250 of each other....

I was originally thinking of waiting to see how good the new ST50s were and see what the discounts off MSRP would be at retail outlets. However, the VT30 at "about the same price" is very tempting.

This is just my *opinion*

I agree with you. I am no expert or "videophile" by any means, but I have always been a firm believer in buying last year's top-end products, regardless of what you are discussing/comparing.

I assume you are in search of a nice PQ - I really doubt the "low-end-of-the-top-of-Panasonic's-line" will be greater than their top-end product given only 1 year of technological advancements and improvements.

FWIW, before I bought my ST30 I did a lot of shopping and reasearch. One employee of Best Buy described the differences to me like this, and I found it to be very creative:
Compare Panasonic to Mercedes-Benz; the ST = C Class, GT = E Class, and VT = S Class.

Personally, I would rather have an '11 S-Class than '12 C-Class!

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post #3 of 31 Old 02-23-2012, 10:29 AM
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I think it's hard to say without the ST50 actually being "out" yet in a retail outlet to see and compare. In 2011 initial reviews of the ST30 compared it very favorably with the VT25, and if I'm not mistaken it even matched/exceeded VT25 performance in many areas aside from black level. With the new driving scheme for 2012 panels, and interesting announcements like FFD 2500, increased gradation, and Bluetooth 3D glasses , it sounds like the ST50 may give the VT30 a run for its money.

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post #4 of 31 Old 02-23-2012, 11:30 AM
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FWIW,

I'm also a "late adopter" and a negotiator to boot, so I always wait until the circumstances are best for making a big purchase. I like to buy a product that has been tested in the real world and has had its issues addressed or resolved. I'm also more educated about the product I want to buy and will ideally get it in its best version if I buy it late in its model cycle.

This holds true for the VT30 model line right now. I originally purchased the Samsung 64PND8000 from BB on 1/30. Between the new models on the horizon and the Super Bowl sales they had going on, I was able to negotiate them down to their cost.

When I ran into the buzzing issue with two 64PND8000 panels in a row, I decided to cut bait and the sales manager that I was working with at BB offered me the 65VT30 at their cost, which turned out to be $200 over what I spent on the Samsung.

I just received the Panasonic yesterday and I am thrilled with it's performance so far. Great picture out of the box on THX setting, no buzz, just a barely audible electronic hum at around 1-2 feet.

With this set (and the Samsung for that matter) I figure I have a product that has been through the consumer ringer and most of the bugs have been worked out. I think the buzzing panel issue with the Samsungs was just bad luck, but it seemed that the VT30 line was more stable.

Both the Samsung and Panasonic panels have had their issues over the course of the year - buzzing, brightness pops, peeling for the Samsung, color accuracy, green/yellow blobs for the Panasonic - but they both have been addressed by the companies.

I think that you will run through the same growing pains type of cycle with the ST50s. I guess it boils down to if you want a product that is ideally issue-free at the end of its model year at a discount, or the newest tech in a product that may or may not be ready for primetime that is also priced accordingly.

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post #5 of 31 Old 04-06-2012, 11:29 PM
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I know im new and I hate to bump and old thread but it's better than starting a new one? Now that the st50 is out I was wondering if I could get some of your opinions. I've been reading through these threads about both and am stuck on which to get. 55st50 or 55vt30.

What I understand:

st50 has no thx mode, vt30 is only available to me online (harder returns if necessary) vt30 $200 more and last years model.

What im looking for:

Opinions from a videophile on which is overall a better choice PQ, options etc..

Help is amazingly appreciated!
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post #6 of 31 Old 04-07-2012, 12:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by melancholygypsy View Post

I know im new and I hate to bump and old thread but it's better than starting a new one? Now that the st50 is out I was wondering if I could get some of your opinions. I've been reading through these threads about both and am stuck on which to get. 55st50 or 55vt30.

What I understand:

st50 has no thx mode, vt30 is only available to me online (harder returns if necessary) vt30 $200 more and last years model.

What im looking for:

Opinions from a videophile on which is overall a better choice PQ, options etc..

Help is amazingly appreciated!

I'm no videophile but I'm having trouble falling asleep tonight so I dug this up for you. It's a quote from the "King of All Videophiles", the legendary D-Nice (if there's one thing I've learned from this forum it's that D-Nice is the man!!). Well, here's one snipit from him that might help you make up your mind:

D-Nice - "I just completed 5.5 hours of additional calibration time with the ST5t0 and it is truly a beast. Its colors are better than last year's VT30 (I got the colors to look very close to my reference PRO-101FD), blacks are inky and due to the additional brightness in certain APLs, the blacks actually look blacker than they actually measure. I recommend getting the ST50 and use the saved money to get it calibrated."
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post #7 of 31 Old 04-07-2012, 05:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by melancholygypsy View Post

I know im new and I hate to bump and old thread but it's better than starting a new one? Now that the st50 is out I was wondering if I could get some of your opinions. I've been reading through these threads about both and am stuck on which to get. 55st50 or 55vt30.

What I understand:

st50 has no thx mode, vt30 is only available to me online (harder returns if necessary) vt30 $200 more and last years model.

What im looking for:

Opinions from a videophile on which is overall a better choice PQ, options etc..

Help is amazingly appreciated!

Pretty much every review, as well as D-Nice have said the st50 is better than, and at worst as good as the vt30. Also, for most people here the THX mode is a non-issue because you are better off applying the settings posted by D-Nice or others on this forum which typically use custom mode anyway and not THX.
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post #8 of 31 Old 04-07-2012, 10:55 AM
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I saw that quote, but being new didn't know how much of the man he was! thanks for the input guys. Looks like the St50 it is and ill save to get it calibrated. Again thanks!
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post #9 of 31 Old 04-07-2012, 11:56 AM
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Please check back in with us in a couple of months to let us know how much you love it!!!
PS Search the forum for info. about break-in slides. Maybe some videophiles can jump in now and explain where to find them and whether or not you should use them.
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post #10 of 31 Old 04-08-2012, 09:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biggerdaddynj View Post

Please check back in with us in a couple of months to let us know how much you love it!!!
PS Search the forum for info. about break-in slides. Maybe some videophiles can jump in now and explain where to find them and whether or not you should use them.

I was reading about them but it seems pointless for my situation, I am buying the tv for my man cave but am not in the house to put it in until August. So I figured I'd break in the tv here for a couple months then when it gets pit in the man cave in August ill get it calibrated... Maybe im wrong?
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post #11 of 31 Old 04-09-2012, 05:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by melancholygypsy View Post


I was reading about them but it seems pointless for my situation, I am buying the tv for my man cave but am not in the house to put it in until August. So I figured I'd break in the tv here for a couple months then when it gets pit in the man cave in August ill get it calibrated... Maybe im wrong?

The slides are not designed primarily to speed up the break-in. Their real purpose is they cycle consistent solid color images over the whole set to assure more uniformity to the break-in than with normal TV watching. So they are not pointless for you.
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post #12 of 31 Old 04-09-2012, 09:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Citivas View Post

The slides are not designed primarily to speed up the break-in. Their real purpose is they cycle consistent solid color images over the whole set to assure more uniformity to the break-in than with normal TV watching. So they are not pointless for you.

ahhh okay, thank you for the good info.. Its easy to get lost in the thread debating and miss those types of points!
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post #13 of 31 Old 04-09-2012, 10:12 AM
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If I understand correctly, 2012 models are more brighter and that should help with 3D and daytime viewing. I was planning to get VT30 but now I am thinking of maybe just getting ST50 or GT50.
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post #14 of 31 Old 04-09-2012, 07:30 PM - Thread Starter
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I'll chime back in here on the thread I started. I actually purchased a 55ST30, the Target $850 deal I just couldn't pass up (well, I did then kicked myself until I tracked one down). I've since added a BTT490 to it. I'm very happy with the setup, however, I do plan on having it professionally calibrated to get rid of some of the little annoyances I'm not used to. I also had to pickup 4 pairs of glasses from HongKong/China as there was no way I was gonna pay close to $95 a set. The 2012 series TVs now use BlueTooth and I've seen the glasses actually for sale at BB for a decent price. The 55ST30 went in the bedroom (although the bedroom sure could have used a 65" in hindsight).

Now for the gaming/movie room, after reading all the reviews and forums on the 2012 series I am torn between a 65ST50 and a 60GT50. I'm thinking I will just go for the 65ST if I can fit it and pickup some additional audio gear instead of spending all that extra on the VT. I'm used to a 4x3 53" HD rear projector and getting something as tall as my existing set is rather difficult.

After I decide what I'm doing (maybe around memorial day) I will have both calibrated.
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post #15 of 31 Old 04-10-2012, 01:38 PM
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Let us know! I am going with the 55ST50 because I have read 21 pages of the Official Panasonic St50 Series thread so far and everyone says get the ST50 and get a calibration. I am only 26 so this should fit my budget and my 10x10 man cave room decently well. I am excited to purchase it soon
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post #16 of 31 Old 05-04-2012, 11:49 PM
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Guys,

Are you sure that D- Nice isn't saying get an ST50 instead of a VT50 ???

I'm looking at my options when I get back to the UK. I can buy a new 65VT30 for £2,500 online.

My other option was waiting for the 65ST50 which looks like being similar money.

Therefore as I would be spending the same money and getting the set calibrated, which would be the better option, tried and tested VT30 or new and untested ST50......

Thanks guys
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post #17 of 31 Old 05-10-2012, 12:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KtrainHurricane View Post

This is just my *opinion*

I agree with you. I am no expert or "videophile" by any means, but I have always been a firm believer in buying last year's top-end products, regardless of what you are discussing/comparing.

I assume you are in search of a nice PQ - I really doubt the "low-end-of-the-top-of-Panasonic's-line" will be greater than their top-end product given only 1 year of technological advancements and improvements.

FWIW, before I bought my ST30 I did a lot of shopping and reasearch. One employee of Best Buy described the differences to me like this, and I found it to be very creative:
Compare Panasonic to Mercedes-Benz; the ST = C Class, GT = E Class, and VT = S Class.

Personally, I would rather have an '11 S-Class than '12 C-Class!

I subscribe to this theory as well and ended up buying a 65VT30 for $2199.
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post #18 of 31 Old 05-10-2012, 01:54 PM
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I subscribe to this theory as well and ended up buying a 65VT30 for $2199.

Wow!! Cheap!! Open box or new?

Still looking for the perfect TV...
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post #19 of 31 Old 05-11-2012, 11:22 AM
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Wow!! Cheap!! Open box or new?

open box, they had just got it back a couple days ago and put it on display to sell. Even with being on for 12hrs/day for 2 days while on display, still only has 40 hours on it. So i couldnt pass it up. It looked good while in the store, hopefully all is well when i can test it more thoroughly when it gets to my house tomorrow. I also went with the geek squad extended warranty for 4 yrs, anybody know those are worth it. I have 30 days to return the extended warranty if i choose not to. But at $100 per year, it might be worth keeping the warranty just incase.
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post #20 of 31 Old 05-12-2012, 06:31 AM
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Ok guys,

What I would also like to know apart from the possibility that the ST50 may have darker blacks, is the colour reproduction and image quality that much better on the ST50. If not, then I would have to go for the VT30 also, to have the extra picture adjustments and flexibility in the settings is more important than having a TV with blacker blacks.

Thanks Col.
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post #21 of 31 Old 05-12-2012, 03:52 PM
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Quote:
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... I also went with the geek squad extended warranty for 4 yrs, anybody know those are worth it. I have 30 days to return the extended warranty if i choose not to. But at $100 per year, it might be worth keeping the warranty just incase.

$100 / year x 4 = $400 total for the warranty?

Might want to look at the square trade warranty from Costco: adds 3 years for a total of $100 (per memory).

They will sell it to you even if you bought the tv elsewhere - but you only have 60 days to make the purchase.

Might even be able to buy the warranty from Costco's web site - know that they at least have info on it there....
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post #22 of 31 Old 05-12-2012, 07:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Dierkdr View Post

$100 / year x 4 = $400 total for the warranty?

Might want to look at the square trade warranty from Costco: adds 3 years for a total of $100 (per memory).

They will sell it to you even if you bought the tv elsewhere - but you only have 60 days to make the purchase.

Might even be able to buy the warranty from Costco's web site - know that they at least have info on it there....

Geeksquad warranty covers more (dead pixels, burn-in etc).
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post #23 of 31 Old 05-14-2012, 01:32 PM
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Just want to double check before taking the plunge. I'm leaning towards the 65VT30 for $2299 over the 65ST50 for $2999 at BB. Anyone think I'm making the wrong decision?
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post #24 of 31 Old 05-14-2012, 04:36 PM
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Geeksquad warranty covers more (dead pixels, burn-in etc).

Good to know - Thanks!
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post #25 of 31 Old 05-15-2012, 04:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joshandcam View Post

Just want to double check before taking the plunge. I'm leaning towards the 65VT30 for $2299 over the 65ST50 for $2999 at BB. Anyone think I'm making the wrong decision?

Not when you are saving $700...
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post #26 of 31 Old 05-17-2012, 01:27 AM
 
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I've been trying to make this decision also. I'm torn between buying a manufacturer refurbished 55vt30 or a new st59. I've been over it a thousand times in my head.
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post #27 of 31 Old 05-17-2012, 09:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joshandcam View Post

Just want to double check before taking the plunge. I'm leaning towards the 65VT30 for $2299 over the 65ST50 for $2999 at BB. Anyone think I'm making the wrong decision?

hmm st50 can be had for 25 hundred. I would rather go for that given the black level performance reviews.

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post #28 of 31 Old 05-17-2012, 11:56 AM
 
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hmm st50 can be had for 25 hundred. I would rather go for that given the black level performance reviews.

Really? The one thing I really hate about the st50 is the glossy clear plastic encasing. While this is the most superfluous thing to worry about when purchasing a television, it's still important to me because I have to look at the thing when it's off too. For me, design+very similar pq to st50 makes the vt30 really compelling.
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post #29 of 31 Old 05-28-2012, 04:34 AM
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Everyone seems to be assuming the ST50 will be less. But what if I can get a VT30 of the same size for less than an ST50.

Also, is there not some value in the "adjustability" of the VT30 vs the ST50. Might it not be true that the ST50 is slightly better than the VT30 at "a point in time" when both are set up as perfectly as possible but that over time as things change the one that is easier to adjust will provide the better picture on average over the length of time one owns it? I doubt most people spend a few hundred dollars every year to get their sets recalibrated to keep them at that peak level of adjustment. Just curious on this point as the ability to adjust the VT30 was touted as one of its stengths.
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post #30 of 31 Old 07-18-2012, 11:45 PM
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I am seeing the Panasonic 65" ST30 at Sams for 1600.00. Is this not freakishly low.? Or is it lacking that many features. I do see that fundamentally its lacking in that it does not have the screen with 12000 shades like the ST50 ( which I understand can be tweaked up to V standards almost). And I dont think it has the smart functions. But am I missing something or is this a low price??

Nevermind - looks like a bait and switch by sams in that you have to buy if a club has stock locally and not avail online apparently...

And its a hungry bastard gobbling 500 watts... the newer ST 50 series 65" still gobbling 400 watts. But not bad for 65"
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