Plasma vs. LEDs... Pioneer PRO-101FD, Panasonic TC-P54v10 or Samsung 8500? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 31 Old 12-29-2009, 03:38 AM - Thread Starter
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This is my first post here... I need help, so I've come here to the experts.

Here's the deal: I'm on the fence about which of these TVs to buy. They all seem to be the best at what they do--the Samsung 8500 is the best LED, the Pioneer the best plasma of all time (if I believe all that I read), and the Panny the best plasma on the market today.

They all have pros/cons, and it's very tough to compare since it's not apples to apples. I also need to decide quickly since there is only 1 (ONE) Pioneer left in my area (about 50 miles away). I would need to go buy it today. It's a small mom and pop store and if I buy it, then I'm keeping it... No Best Buy-type return policy on this baby since it's discontinued. So I need to be sure about what to get. HELP ME!

The real problem is that seeing ANY of these in the store is deceptive. In the case of an LED or LCD, the TVs may be set to the max contrast and backlighting. A Plasma's reflective screen doesn't seem so bad in a darkened showroom. You don't get to spend an hour fiddling with the settings to see how good the picture can be. And sometimes, the TVs are just being fed off a coaxial cable--which doesn't help you gauge HD and the TV's true limits.

Here's my take:

1. Pioneer Pro 101-FD... $3000

Pros: supposed to be the best of the best... the holy grail of TVs. The Pro 101-FD has handpicked components, etc. and so it is supposed to be a step above the equivalent ELITE TVs. Reviewers still compare all new TVs to the Pioneer Kuros. This could be my last chance to get one of the best TVs ever made (if you believe everything you read).

Cons: Pioneer no longer in TV business; worried about continued support. No speakers since it's just a monitor (don't care about the tuner, but I'd need to shell $$ for a sound system day one)--I'd buy the equivalent ELITE TV model if I could find one. Reflective screen. Haven't been able to see one in person yet--may have the same lack of crispness that I've seen in the Panny plasma (could be common to plasmas?).

2. Panasonic TC-P58V10... $2700
Pros: Top rated TV of 2009. According to CNET, second only to the legendary Pioneer.

Cons: I feel like the picture definitely has smoother movement than an LED, but I also feel like it lacks a crispness or sharpness to the picture. The details don't seem to pop. I've tried playing with some of the settings, but I didn't have enough time with it to see if I could get the same crispness that the Samsung 8500 naturally seems to have.

3. Samsung UN55B8500... $4000

Pros: Phenomenal TV. I've spent the most time with this one. Super-thin. Extremely sharp, crisp picture. Samsung rep on TVs is great. Big improvement over the 8000. Second-best rated TV of 2009 (second to the Panny).

Cons: Perhaps still too early in LED technology? Pixelation/movement and the typical drawbacks of LCDs and LEDs. Some things--TV, movies, sports--look like they've been shot on a camcorder. It takes a lot of tinkering with the settings to get it to look "normal" or at least close to normal. I've played with turning the 240hz off and on to see if I could get smoother movement. Once you do get the settings right, movies seem to look great. I cannot get sports to look all that good.

----------------
OK... Not taking price into consideration, what's the expert verdict here? Would love to hear people's opinions and their votes about which way to go on this.

THANK YOU!!
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post #2 of 31 Old 12-29-2009, 04:12 AM
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Have you looked at the Samsung plasmas? Give them a serious look, seriously.

My untechnical, unscientific thoughts...

I have two Plasmas and an LED in the house, one 2009 Panasonic 42U1 1080p, one 2009 Samsung 58B560 and one 2009 Samsung LED 40B6000. Out of all 3 I would place the Panasonic last in overall pq. It is not as sharp as either of the Samsungs and the colors just do not have the pop compared to either of the Samsungs and occasionally looks washed out. Granted, it may not be fair to compare the Panasonic to the Samsung LED, but what the heck.

Now, in regards to watching these sets for extended periods, the Panasonic now is bumped to second and the Samsung LED to last place. I hate the soap opera effect of the set on certain material. For occasional viewing the LED set is great, it hangs in my bedroom so is not used that much.

But overall, I still give top props to the Samsung 58B560 in regards to overall viewing enjoyment. And when you break it all down to sq inches, the Samsung 58B560 was the cheapest of the lot at right around a grand + tax. Give the Samsung Plasmas a look.

As far as the LED, honestly I have a 2008 46" Sony KDL Bravia LCD that I enjoy watching more. It is 60hz and does not have that 3D soap opera look. It is not as nice as my new Panasonic in regards to color, but it is sharper, and it is much easier to view for long periods of time over the LED set.

I will not comment on the Pioneer, I don't own one and the few I saw in showrooms... I will not comment, as the source was not that good to give a fair review.

Just my .02
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post #3 of 31 Old 12-29-2009, 07:18 AM
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Quote:
It is not as sharp as either of the Samsungs and the colors just do not have the pop compared to either of the Samsungs and occasionally looks washed out.

The U1 is a low-teir Panasonic that doesn't use the NeoPDP panel as do the S1s and above. It's not really representative of the V10s PQ.

As to the OP...

Having spent time with all three, I would go

1) 101FD
2) 8500
3) V10

Although I would personally opt for a KRP-500M, as up until recently they were a lot less money than the 101FD. They use the same glass and PQ will be identical post-adjustment. Of course, it's a moot point if you can't find any.

I'm also assuming you will be doing critical viewing in a moderatly dim to dark room. The 8500 will look the best overall if you have a highly bright room, but if that's where most of your viewing is done, you could save a lot of cash by going with a lesser panel, like say the 8000 lower. The 8500 (and the plasmas) require some degree of light control to really strut their stuff.
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post #4 of 31 Old 12-29-2009, 07:37 AM
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I'd go with the 101. Especially if you value black levels, which I'm thinking you do. Exceptional build quality, Pioneer is a top notch company in the audio visual industry. You could get a good speaker system for surprisingly little. Their product support is excellent.

There won't be a tv that surpasses that my a wide margin for years- if ever.

The V10 seems to have the black level problems that all Panasonics do from this year. Their black levels rise over time. Supposedly this is being worked on and will not be an issue with the 13 generation of panels.

However, if you find yourself liking the look of lcd, take that into consideration. There is a crispness to lcd that isn't always there with plasma, but Pioneer will deliver a sharp picture, actually it'll deliver a true picture.

"If you weren't such an ignorant troll, you'd be adorable" -rogo
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post #5 of 31 Old 12-29-2009, 08:28 AM
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Pick up the pioneer while you can, although the led's with local back light may har more "pop" and brightness and equivalent contrast... The picture doesn't stay true to what the movie maker intended... That's the soap oprah effect.

I've got a krp-600m, previously coming from LCD... I got convinced to pick up the pioneer after noticing that the picture on my $600 panasonic 42 inch plasma was better than the 52 inch 120hz Sony LCD that we got 1 year ago for $1800... At parties the LCD had tons of wow factor when taking advantage of the 120hz... Buy movie watching it had lots of issues that I am sure are much less with the new LEDs.

Now with the pioneer, the picture is just perfect and I forget the t. And just get into the movie.

Worst case scenario... You get the pro fd-101... If you don't like it I am sure you can sell it for more than you got it for... My AD sold the last of their krp-600m's for $1000 more than what they where charging me.
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post #6 of 31 Old 12-29-2009, 08:38 AM
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I own a 58v10 - purchased it for 2150 a week after it came out. I mostly watch sports/movies - the 8500 is very 3d like but just seems unatural. Can't comment on pioneer didn't look at it too much - but have owned panny plasmas since 2006 and definately like them overall

QUOTE=wildpanda86;17806619]Pick up the pioneer while you can, although the led's with local back light may har more "pop" and brightness and equivalent contrast... The picture doesn't stay true to what the movie maker intended... That's the soap oprah effect.

I've got a krp-600m, previously coming from LCD... I got convinced to pick up the pioneer after noticing that the picture on my $600 panasonic 42 inch plasma was better than the 52 inch 120hz Sony LCD that we got 1 year ago for $1800... At parties the LCD had tons of wow factor when taking advantage of the 120hz... Buy movie watching it had lots of issues that I am sure are much less with the new LEDs.

Now with the pioneer, the picture is just perfect and I forget the t. And just get into the movie.

Worst case scenario... You get the pro fd-101... If you don't like it I am sure you can sell it for more than you got it for... My AD sold the last of their krp-600m's for $1000 more than what they where charging me.[/quote]
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post #7 of 31 Old 12-29-2009, 09:01 AM
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Why do people think the Samsung 8500 doesn't look "natural"??? If anything it looks MORE natural than anything offered on the plasma range! Plasma simply gives you a CRTish feel in motion... which I personally have a distaste for! It seems people are desiring more unnatural motion rather than more realistic/natural motion offered by the Samsung 8500.
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post #8 of 31 Old 12-29-2009, 09:48 AM
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It doesnt look natural because it is too bright. Atleast to me. Because of this excessive brightness it looks fake and the colors are not as lifelike. My friend has a really nice LCD and he likes his picture bright. I tried watching "The Dark Knight" at his house and the majority of the time the picture looked almost computer animated because of the way that the screen is backlit.

I then showed him a lower end samsung plasma that I had calibrated from the settings that can be found here on AVS and he was blown away by how much better and lifelike the picture looked.

Trying to enjoy the simple things in life.

 

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post #9 of 31 Old 12-29-2009, 10:24 AM
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Localnet, the OP is asking about the V10. Your comments about the U1 (the worst of current Panny plasmas) are irrelevant.

Studioboss, you left out the biggest con of the 8500: poor side angle viewing (as with other LCDs/LEDs). Just last week, I saw the V10 plasma, Sammy 860 plasma, and 8500 LED on the same wall in Magnolia. Head on, they all looked great. But from the side, the 2 plasmas maintained their PQ while the 8500 dimmed dramatically. IMO, it is very overpriced.
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post #10 of 31 Old 12-29-2009, 10:33 AM
 
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First, let's get this out of the way: plasma > any sort of LCD

Go with either a Pioneer or Panasonic display, consider Samsung plasmas as well.
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post #11 of 31 Old 12-29-2009, 02:05 PM
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studioboss,

It looks like you've done your research well. If it were me, I'd go with the 101FD. I own a 600M (very similar to the 101) and I think it definitely lives up to the Pioneer reputation as being the "best of the best" (though obviously not everyone will agree with that, which is fine, its all about personal preference). The Signature Elites like the 101 have arguably the best AR coating around so reflections aren't really a concern for me. I also feel that the 101 will give you the most natural picture. What I mean by that is although there is no arguing that LCDs/LEDs are certainly eye-catching, when I watch tv, I prefer the images I see to resemble those that I see when I look through a window or am walking outside. For me, the LCDs just have this pop that is unnatural, neon green grass, blindingly bright whites, that's just not what I see when I'm walking outside. I realize that not everyone feels this way and lots of people are drawn to the LCDs because they are so eye-catching but at least to me, the Pioneers produce images that most closely resemble what I see in real-life and if you also prefer that, then you should go with Pioneer. However, if you like the look of LCDs (and there's nothing wrong with that), then by all means, definitely consider the 8500. Given your inability to get sports to look satisfactory to you with that tv though, I would really spend a lot of tv tweaking the tv at the store until you are 100% sure that you can get it to your liking as far as motion resolution goes because that seems to be a pretty important aspect of the picture for you (as it should be).
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post #12 of 31 Old 12-29-2009, 02:11 PM
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since when being too bright becomes a shortcoming of LCD TVs? Not everyone likes the dark and dull picture on most plasma TVs. I am sure high end pioneer or panasonic plasma TVs have superb pictures but Samsung 8500 is a high end LCD TV that offers comparable picture quality. Every time I go to fry's, I always find people standing in front of 8500 and amazed by its picture. I will also argue when you watch movies, maybe they are not supposed to look like what you will normally see in your real life. For example, when you watch the animated movies (like Cars, Kung Fu Panda) or those movies with lots of computer generated CG effects (like Transformers, Star Trek), why will you expect to see such things in your normal life? Being eye-catching isn't the fault of LCD TVs. It is just a different TV viewing taste.

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Originally Posted by Kimeran View Post

It doesnt look natural because it is too bright. Atleast to me. Because of this excessive brightness it looks fake and the colors are not as lifelike. My friend has a really nice LCD and he likes his picture bright. I tried watching "The Dark Knight" at his house and the majority of the time the picture looked almost computer animated because of the way that the screen is backlit.

I then showed him a lower end samsung plasma that I had calibrated from the settings that can be found here on AVS and he was blown away by how much better and lifelike the picture looked.

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post #13 of 31 Old 12-29-2009, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by arthurking View Post

Samsung 8500 is a high end LCD TV that offers comparable picture quality. Every time I go to fry's, I always find people standing in front of 8500 and amazed by its picture.

Only from right in front of the display. From the side, PQ suffers dramatically. If you have a viewing room with no side angle seating, then it's a great choice (although, IMO, difficult to justify the price -- the LG 90 LED is just as good for a lot less $$). But if you have a set-up with off-angle viewing, IMO it's not the best choice.
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post #14 of 31 Old 12-29-2009, 02:20 PM
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That I have to agree, although it is not such a big deal to me. LG 90 is a better deal for money (sometimes can be found at 1/2 price of Samsung) but the picture is definitely not as good as Samsung. LG90 still has this lip-sync problem.

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Originally Posted by BillP View Post

Only from right in front of the display. From the side, PQ suffers dramatically. If you have a viewing room with no side angle seating, then it's a great choice (although, IMO, difficult to justify the price -- the LG 90 LED is just as good for a lot less $$). But if you have a set-up with off-angle viewing, IMO it's not the best choice.

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post #15 of 31 Old 12-29-2009, 03:28 PM
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I think the 8500 offers (in a controlled-light environment) performance slightly inferior in most important aspects to the Kuro panels, and at a higher price. The 8500 isn't 1300 bucks better than the V10 either, for that matter. They are pretty close. The V10 does motion better, possibly the best of any flat panel on the market, but the 8500 has more "pop". Get the V10 and save your money.
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post #16 of 31 Old 12-29-2009, 05:06 PM
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I would stay away from the Samsung. I would go with the Pioneer first, the Panasonic second, then anything but Samsung third.
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post #17 of 31 Old 12-30-2009, 05:48 AM
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Well, I had the same dilemma, and chose the panasonic v65 for these reasons.

-Pioneer is now out of the TV business; if they are getting back in, it remains to be seen, but I dont want to worry about parts/repair/recall/service issues a year or 2 from now
-Samsung is awesome straight on, but suffers when viewed from an angle..Plus, I have a 70 inch sony sxrd now, and going down to 55 INCH wont cut it. Plus, I recently was told that Samsung is PULLING THAT TV off the market, due to losing a lawsuit against Sharp for patent violation..not sure if its true, but just another reason to get the Panasonic

The panasonic gets wonderful reviews in print, on line, instore, and everywhere else, so it was really an easy choice once I put all of these factors into place...
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post #18 of 31 Old 12-30-2009, 11:23 AM
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I would get the 101FD, no question. Even with a sound system it would come out cheaper than a 8500. It will have much better motion handling and viewing angles, in addition to the best black levels. It's also worth mentioning that the 8500, like a lot of LCDs these days, has a glossy, highly reflective screen, so the plasmas might even be better in that regard as well.

As for the V10, it is my experience that all non-Z1 Panny plasmas have a very narrow range of ambient lighting conditions under which they look good and not washed out and gray. IMO, if you can spend up to $4000, I would be looking out for deals on the 54Z1 instead. That one gives a picture that is much closer to the KURO.
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post #19 of 31 Old 12-30-2009, 11:37 AM
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If you can't find a Kuro and want a plasma, wait 4-6 months and get a better plasma than what is currently available (Kuros not included).
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post #20 of 31 Old 12-30-2009, 03:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D-Nice View Post

If you can't find a Kuro and want a plasma, wait 4-6 months and get a better plasma than what is currently available (Kuros not included).

You mind telling us in what regard are Kuros excluded? All but MLL and the nth degree of color accuracy?
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post #21 of 31 Old 12-30-2009, 08:45 PM
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You mind telling us in what regard are Kuros excluded? All but MLL and the nth degree of color accuracy?

Ansi, on/off, native contrast? Those seem like pretty important aspects of PQ to me.
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post #22 of 31 Old 12-31-2009, 09:05 AM
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I had it narrowed down to the same panels as you have listed and I probably would have bought one already if it weren't for this forum !! I started looking at the 8500 which admittedly is a nice set but there's something about the color/rendering/whatever that is not to my liking...also, the local dimming 'feature' is one that I would turn off right away as it drives me crazy! Instead, I seem to be drawn to the warmer/softer colors and rendering that the plasmas produce. I considered your option #1 but when I was considering it there was a larger cost difference vs. the V10 which I couldn't justify.

The only problem now is that the V10's are hard to find in some sizes although one of the sponsors of this forum has a couple in stock. I've decided that I'm going to wait until I hear the results of CES coming up in January. If there are no major enhancements announced for LCD/Plasma tech I'll probably try to find a V10 or maybe the Sammy 860. Of course, if something good is announced, I'll have to wait until they release the larger panels which usually happen later in the year.

It also depends on your viewing environment and what you plan to watch most on it of course. Some may argue this but if you're putting it in a sunroom you might want to go with a set that is brighter. Otherwise, this isn't much of a factor. It sounds like you've done the research and put some thought into this which is good...let us know what you decide!
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post #23 of 31 Old 12-31-2009, 09:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fanaticalism View Post

Ansi, on/off, native contrast? Those seem like pretty important aspects of PQ to me.

Meh... the vague statement makes me think there are still remaining stock to be calibrated!

Besides, if the high-end Panasonic PDPs for '10 resolve the reservations I've had with Kuro displays, all but the most faithful followers would be happier with a '10 model...
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post #24 of 31 Old 12-31-2009, 09:47 AM
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Meh... the vague statement makes me think there are still remaining stock to be calibrated!

If this little snide remark was directed towards me, I calibrate a lot more than Pioneer displays. I cannot help it if I calibrate more Pioneers than the majority of the other calibrators.

Quote:


Besides, if the high-end Panasonic PDPs for '10 resolve the reservations I've had with Kuro displays, all but the most faithful followers would be happier with a '10 model...

If you have reservations with the Kuros (or any of the current PDPs), you have no business looking at the '10 Panasonics.
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post #25 of 31 Old 12-31-2009, 10:06 AM
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What I meant by kuro's looking more natural than led lit lcd's... I meant that plasma (especially the kuro's) look closest to what the director intended... Sure directors likely edit movies using 24 inch mac led lit LCD displays... But when they watch the final result... They likely watch it on a big plasma or projector.

In fact pioneer used to have a loft in long beach setup just for this so that directors could see and hear how their movies would be in a hometheater.

If the director intended it the movie to really "pop" and look like a sitcoms or documentary they would do that in the editing room.

Although you can minimize these effects with LCD/ led... Plasmas and projectors will still look closest to what the movie was intended to look like.
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post #26 of 31 Old 12-31-2009, 02:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D-Nice View Post

If this little snide remark was directed towards me, I calibrate a lot more than Pioneer displays. I cannot help it if I calibrate more Pioneers than the majority of the other calibrators.


If you have reservations with the Kuros (or any of the current PDPs), you have no business looking at the '10 Panasonics.

That post was not made to offend you, sorry if it was taken that way.

So, if I frequently notice phosphor lag on the Kuros, notice it less on the '09 Neo PDPs/VX100, will it be a thing of the past with any of the '10 Panasonic PDPs? What about ABL? Will this restriction on all existing PDPs be lifted any? Those are my main reservations. Forgive me if these items are non-existent concerns for others on this forum...
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post #27 of 31 Old 01-02-2010, 06:16 AM
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Originally Posted by D-Nice View Post

If you can't find a Kuro and want a plasma, wait 4-6 months and get a better plasma than what is currently available (Kuros not included).

Wow if only this could have been said about 10 months ago.

Panasonic plasma no good? Who woulda thunk it

Be a fan of displays, not companies or technologies!
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post #28 of 31 Old 01-02-2010, 06:24 AM
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Originally Posted by rgb32 View Post

What about ABL? Will this restriction on all existing PDPs be lifted any?

That's a good one. If they find any way to lower power usage they'll take it and will sacrifice brightness for it as usual. Panny is more interested in showing nice numbers to power conscientious customers then they are producing a bright display.

Be a fan of displays, not companies or technologies!
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post #29 of 31 Old 01-02-2010, 07:52 AM
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This forum has become such a cesspool of fanboys, trolls, and otherwise whiny manbabies.
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post #30 of 31 Old 01-14-2010, 02:08 PM
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Someone brought up an interesting point. How does the Samsung plasmas compare? I don't want to pay close to $4000 for a Pioneer, but Panasonic and Samsung both have plasmas in the 55" to 58" class in the price range I'm looking for. How do the V10 compare to the Series 8?
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