Is ghosting a thing of the past? Perhaps a new TV will make me happier. - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 29 Old 07-13-2012, 08:52 PM - Thread Starter
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I own a Sony KDL32BX300 LCD TV and have been getting upgrade-itis lately for a couple of reasons. First off, the screen size is 32" which isn't a bad thing considering my viewing distance. I just measured from the top and front of the couch cushion to the tv and it's 117 inches (so like 9 3/4 feet). Second I think a new TV that isn't in the budget/economy section will give much better detail in both color (vibrancy/vividness) and contrast (nice deep black levels). Also, I know it may not be discernible, but 1080p will be welcome over 720p. And last but not least, the title of the thread, ghosting. Recently, I've been playing my old collection of Half-Life/Counter-Strike games and noticed some pretty wild ghosting, primarily a dark object moving into an lighter area. I assume this is because my screen is a low end Bravia that doesn't have a great contrast ratio and/or response time. I can't find a spec for response time but Amazon does show a contrast ratio of 40,000:1, which no doubt has to be dynamic - and I have that disabled.

So I was considering going to a plasma TV, but noticed that they don't make a 46-inch model anymore (if manufacturers ever did). They have 42-inch and 52-inch. And as I mentioned above, my viewing distance isn't very far away - not to mention my living room is only a moderate size of 13' x 13'. I'm weary that 42" wouldn't be that great of an improvement over my 32" and 52" would seem beyond enormous in my living room.

Anyway, I was hoping for some recommendations for what kind of screen might be best for me. I like the idea that plasma should be able to have richer blacks and more vibrant colors but even more that since it's not CCFL or LED backlit that the bright and dark areas can be specific to the actual pixels on the screen. But as someone who enjoys games (Mostly PC) but uses the TV for probably 95% movies, would an LCD handle fast image movement better or worse than plasma.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
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post #2 of 29 Old 07-13-2012, 09:02 PM - Thread Starter
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I should have done some more looking first, I just saw that Panasonic does indeed have 46" and 50" plasma TVs, although I'm not familiar with Panasonic's line ups S, ST, and X. On Best Buy's website they don't have 46" but I think I would be biased toward a Panasonic for a plasma screen anyway.
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post #3 of 29 Old 07-14-2012, 12:40 AM
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If you find ghosting to be a problem with LCDs, you will probably have an issue with "Phosphor Lag" on Plasmas, and image retention is a problem for anyone that does a lot of gaming.
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post #4 of 29 Old 07-14-2012, 08:27 AM
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You "may" have an issue with phosphor lag, or you might except it for what it is and notice that it becomes less and less noticeable the more you watch and as the panel ages.
For me phosphor lag is nothing in comparison to ghosting, I specifically stopped using lcds because of the terrible ghosting on most of them.

I used a Panasonic plasma as a computer monitor for a month and hardly ever saw any imAge retention, it was a 2008 model though that already had 1000's of hours on it and all Plasmas should be broken in with mixed content and care for the first 100 hours.

There aren't a lot of 46" Plasmas around right now, I think your pretty much limited to the x3 s30 and st30 all of which are last years models (the st30 is the best followed by the s30 and then the x3).

If you move down to a 42 inch or the 46" x3 then you lose the 1080p resolution for the odd resolution of 1024x768 (companies stopped using 1366x768 or the very rare 1280x720 to cut costs and power draw)

If your set on 46" rather than 50" then you should try to track down the s30 or st30 I'm not entirely sure of the difference between the 2 but they are both highly rated displays.
Don't go back any further than 2011 for Panasonic Plasmas as they had issues with rapidly rising black levels.

You could also look into a 50" 2012 model like the u50, ut50, or st50
Or even a full 720p (1366x768) Samsung pn51d450 from last year on the cheap if you can find one, last year was when Samsung got serious about black level and contrast but this is an average display in most other areas. The d550 apparently has lighter black levels so if you go above a d450 or d490 for 1080p youd want at least a d6500.

Samsung's Plasmas this year seem a little pricey to me and a lot of last year models had issues with fluctuating brightness which may have had something to do with dynamic contrast (you can't disable dynamic contrast completely on Samsungs as far as I know). The do appear to be the best this year for Image retention though.

You shouldn't have any problems with a plasma as long as you have a light controlled room to put it in and vary your game content with video for the first 100 hours so you don't burn in a health bar biggrin.gif
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post #5 of 29 Old 07-14-2012, 09:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks Mic, that was really helpful. I did a bunch of looking at various retail's websites last night and saw the only store that has the 50" st50 was Fry's. I know the the st50 is better than the ut50 because it has Panasonic's infinite black, or whatever it's called, but the ut50 is far more common in stores and a better price. I think I'd like this to be the last TV that I buy for some time (until it breaks) which will hopefully be 10+ years. I was also surprised to find how little energy the 2012 plasma TVs use. It may be more than LCD/LED-LCD but it's less than my current TV. I calculated that the 2012 50" Panasonic screens run at 106 watts based on the EPA annual energy cost sheet, and my 2010 32" Sony is listed in the manual as using 135 watts. Efficiency sure has come a long way in 2-3 years. I think I would much rather have a 50" than a 42" screen since the 42" would only be a slight upgrade in screen size. But also because the few electronics retailers I have nearby (primarily Best Buy) doesn't have Panasonic screens smaller than 50" and shipping on something so exciting would feel like forever. I'm glad to hear about your lack of issues with PC use and gaming, and I've been working on my HTPC more often lately, but the TV is used at least 95% for video playback. Since a 50" is so large for a viewing distance of 9-10 feet, do you think that non HD content will look significantly worse? I suppose that would just be something that goes along with the territory. It is possible to move my sofa back, but I would have to have my Monitor 30s wall mounted and angled down, which is something I don't want to do. But on the plus side, subtitles will be much easier to see!
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post #6 of 29 Old 07-14-2012, 10:25 AM
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50 inch won't be to big for your distance.

Panasonic's have better MLL (how dark blacks seem) then Samsung plasmas. If you don't watch in complete darkness though the difference will hardly be noticable.

Samsung's have less crosstalk and far less expensive active 3D glasses.

Anecdotal evidence says the Samsungs have less IR then the Pansonic's this year, but who knows. It sounds like it depends on the specific set.

Same thing with "buzzing". Samsung's seem to have a worse reputation then Panasonic's.

Also, people seem to like the picture quality of Standard Def pictures on Samsung plasma's over Panasonic this year.

One last thing, lower model Samsung's have more color adjustments for calibration then Panasonics, some say Panasonic's don't really need those adjustments anyway. If you plan on getting your TV calibrated that may figure in to your decission.

Best thing to do is try and find a Magnolia around you and watch the TVs for as long as you can.

Good Luck!

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post #7 of 29 Old 07-14-2012, 11:11 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks David! As for calibration, I would just use the AVS test disc for the main settings like I did for my current TV, and unless a similar Samsung happened to be cheaper than Panasonic I might consider it. It's good to hear they've done well for themselves this year. Maybe I've been reading on AVS too long, but in my mind Panasonic is for plasma and Samsung is for LCD. I don't look at other brands anymore. I know Sharp, Sony, and LG can make some good sets, but I consider them a little behind the other two.
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post #8 of 29 Old 07-14-2012, 11:24 AM
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Don't worry about sd content, it'll look like sd content biggrin.gif Think how much more immersive that 50" will be for hd though wink.gif
You shouldn't have to worry about calibration adjustments as I believe any certified technician will adjust through the service menu, the extra adjusments are only useful for you for ease of use and if you plan on calibrating yourself but don't feel comfortable in the service menu.
For 95% video ir shouldn't be a problem, the st50 has a brighter screen and a better filter for bright rooms. If you will be watching during the day it will be worthwhile, if not then you should go with the ut50 or u50(no 3d).
Plasma's definetly have come a long way and they haven't used any tricks to get there like using fewer lights and placing them around the edge of the screen resulting in poor light uniformity (i'm not a huge fan of most edge lit led/lcds) From what i've heard the really low number may only apply to the standard mode though which is relatively bright but can dim the screen on bright scenes (you should use cinema in a light controlled room)

It sounds like price isn't an issue for you and you'll be putting the tv in a room that isn't drenched in sunlight, if that's not the case then i know of a few lcds that might fit the bill with limited ghosting and deeps blacks:
Samsung lnd630; An lcd from last year with great uniformity and deep blacks (not as deep as the panasonic plasmas) should have good bright room performance and good motion performance.
Sony nx720: An edge lit led/lcd with good blacks, low power draw and good uniformity for an edge lit.

Sometimes I have a tendancy to ramble tongue.gif

Edit: Just read your last post, i put sony in here because from what i have read they make some very good lcds, even better than alot of recent Samsungs.
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post #9 of 29 Old 07-14-2012, 12:34 PM - Thread Starter
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That's good to know about Sony, my thought on Samsung go back to the earlier days of pc LFE monitors and Samsung was a king back then 8 years ago or so. I wouldn't buy and led lit tv just because it seems the majority are edge lit. I'm glad you give the u and ut a good recommendation because those are much easier to find than the st50. I have a price range in mind but it's not that much of a concern because I'm not buying soon and most plasma screens are in the range I'm looking, a gt50 is beyond what I want to spend, and from what I've read, not that great over the st50. Usually there is a light on when watching movies but our most of our windows have awnings that limit the amount of sunlight coming in. But I do like movies with theights off. It just depends on if I'm doing anything else.
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post #10 of 29 Old 07-14-2012, 01:25 PM
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Shouldn't be a problem for the ut50 or u50 I think the prima plasma i had before my panny didn't have a screen filter and it did ok in a room with some sunlight. I not sure that any lower priced plasma worth buying has a good anti glare filter in it unfortunately.
I think it goes like this:
Vt50: Top of the line, most probably wouldn't see the difference between it and the gt in most situations (might have a slightly better screen filter?) Value for dollar goes out the window when compared to anything other than an elite. Smart tv and 3d
Gt50: Slightly better then the st50, will give a better picture if your not getting them calibrated, probably wouldn't be noticebly better after even a basic calibration with the disc your using. Smart tv and 3d
St50: Touted as the best overall performer in a variety of situations therefore earning it the best bang for buck. I believe it has some advanced calibration features that are easier to do than service menu adjustments (don't quote me on this) Smart tv and 3d
Ut50: Some say it actually gives a better picture in a dimly lit or completely dark room do to the lack of a screen filter. Smart tv and 3d I don't think there are any advanced cal features other than white balance in the service menu.
U50: Completely stripped down panel no 3d no smart tv great bang for buck if you don't want 3d (average on the panasonics) and you don't mind service menu adjustments even then i think they only offer white balance.

It's a tough choice
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post #11 of 29 Old 07-14-2012, 02:06 PM
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I would recomend the Samsung PN51E6500 51-Inch.
This year it has the 'Real Black Panel Pro' and it's very resistant to IR.
Also the 'Micro Dimming' anti-reflective filter is even better than the the 'Clear Image'
filter's great ability to ward off reflections in the day time.
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post #12 of 29 Old 07-14-2012, 10:44 PM - Thread Starter
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I was just wondering what a brightly lit room would be considered. In our living room we usually only run one light, it's a ceiling fan with four 60 watt replacement CFLs (12 or 15 watt, I forget which) centered in the room. It's not dimly lit, but I don't think I would call it brightly lit like a "Sun" room facing south (or north if you live in the southern hemisphere) with a big bay window. I noticed the ST50 has twice as many gradation shades, does that matter any, or is that again with bright and dim rooms?
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post #13 of 29 Old 07-15-2012, 08:15 AM
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Well it is a case of better safe than sorry for a brightly lit room it's probably
around half the ambient light that you would find outside on a sunny day,
I have probably half that light level in another room in the house and the plasma I had that didn't have a coating did fine (it had washed out blacks to begin with)
There are features that the st50 has that the ut50 doesn't other than the screen filter and I've seen the st50 selling for as little as 100$ more than the ut50, if daytime viewing is important to you and you don't want to live with slightly washed out blacks during the day then the st50 is the best option but this is what a return policy is for smile.gif from what I've heard the shades of gradation shouldn't make a huge difference but that could have been 12000 vs 24000 for the st50 and gt50 not 6000 vs 12000. If you wanted to you could get a smooth grayscale image (a grayscale that ramps in brightness rather than going up in steps) plug it in to the tvs at the store and see if you can see a difference.
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post #14 of 29 Old 07-15-2012, 12:15 PM
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The pn51e6500 is an excellent option but the tcp50st50 is every bit as good if not better and at a better price. Samsungs upp pricing doesn't allow very competitive pricing. I have the st50 on my sales floor tagged at $999. Pretty damn nice value for a brick and motar store. Btw micro dimming refers to samsung led's.
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post #15 of 29 Old 07-15-2012, 12:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toby1015 View Post

The pn51e6500 is an excellent option but the tcp50st50 is every bit as good if not better and at a better price. Samsungs upp pricing doesn't allow very competitive pricing. I have the st50 on my sales floor tagged at $999. Pretty damn nice value for a brick and motar store. Btw micro dimming refers to samsung led's.


The 2012 Real Black Panel is VERY resistant to IR unlike the current Panasonic line.
Also the image-signal processing is vastly better than the Panasonic
and that's a deal breaker if you watch a lot of cable-satellite and it
works wonders on standard definition and old dvds movies.

It's easy to get confused.
The 'Real Black Panel' is used for the E450, E530, E550.
The 'Real Black Panel Pro' is used for the E6500 and E8000.
Micro Dimming is what Samsung calls the new anti-reflective
filter for the E6500 and E8000.
Clear Image is the new anti-reflective filter for the E450, E530, E550.

Samsung 2012 Plasma Step Chart Version 3.0

http://ramsaysmarthomes.ca/info/Samsung%202012%20Panel%20Chart.pdf
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post #16 of 29 Old 07-15-2012, 03:15 PM
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I'm not arguing that the e6500 isn't a good tv but micro dimming is not a filter. Its processing tool used on there led's that varys the power in different zones of the panel to enhance black level and contrast. And as far as standard def is concerned, when the tv was reviewed on cnet he said "the tv is merciless with noisy images and displays them as is". Not that u should be worried about standard def any. Both brands are fine with ir. On top of it the st50 is a brighter punchier image. And the e6500 costs $250 more.
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post #17 of 29 Old 07-15-2012, 07:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toby1015 View Post

I'm not arguing that the e6500 isn't a good tv but micro dimming is not a filter. Its processing tool used on there led's that varys the power in different zones of the panel to enhance black level and contrast. And as far as standard def is concerned, when the tv was reviewed on cnet he said "the tv is merciless with noisy images and displays them as is". Not that u should be worried about standard def any. Both brands are fine with ir. On top of it the st50 is a brighter punchier image. And the e6500 costs $250 more.

The term Micro Dimming on the Samsung plasma may not be a filter but it is a feature...never underestimate the power of those in marketing...their job seemingly is to dumb it down to the lowest denominator....hey kinda like our government these days. From their website: Using the 600Hz subfield motion technology with Micro Dimming, Samsung Plasma TV flashes a single image up to 600 times a second. The result is smooth images with exceptional picture quality.

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post #18 of 29 Old 07-15-2012, 07:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks, everyone, this is really helpful. Toby, which store has the st50 for $999? That is a great deal, but so few stores even carry it. Mic, thanks for the comments about brightness. Since I want this to be the last TV I buy for a long time I would rather pay the little bit extra instead of regret it later. I'm interested in hearing about Samsung plasma TVs, but will probably still choose Panasonic.
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post #19 of 29 Old 07-15-2012, 08:09 PM
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You pretty much heard all their is to hear about the Samsung tvs tongue.gif last years models had some issue with fluctuating brightness and buzzing and this years models aren't very competitively priced, there may be a hidden gem in their lineup for price performance but it isn't the pne6500.
"the pne6500 is merciless with noisy sources" Wow I feel like an idiot biggrin.gif I must have read that review 5 times and it only sunk in that it would translate to poor performance with sd content after you said it.
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post #20 of 29 Old 07-16-2012, 11:21 AM
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We are no where near Illinois nor do we have online shopping. I would sooner not divulge where i work. It is a privately owned chain on the west coast. You gotta be able to find the st50 in a store near you for somewhere in the $999 ball park. Or see if Best Buy will match a low ball online price. Mik, it is my job to know these things so I can help my customers make a smart buying decision. And yes samsung is the king of marketing propaganda.
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post #21 of 29 Old 07-21-2012, 08:31 PM - Thread Starter
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I went to my local Best Buy today and looked at the Plasma TVs. I don't know why they have them looking so crummy. The white backgrounds are grey and the TVs next to them are much brighter and the whites look whiter but definitely cooler/blue looking. Anyway, they said they could always order a P50st5 but it would take a week to get it. I think I'd rather choose the P55st50 because it's carried regularly in the store. I also think it will be much more worth it so choose the st50 over the u50 or ut50. Likewise, I don't think the price and features of the gt50 are where the best value is at. Hopefully in the next few months there will be a good deal. We watched a scene of On Stranger Tides with passive 3D glasses and I thought it was okay, but I could swear I saw horizontal lines like when articles explain interlacing/de-interlacing and show the horizontal lines. The salesman didn't really explain active 3D, though. Is it much better than passive?
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post #22 of 29 Old 07-22-2012, 01:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anikun07 View Post

The salesman didn't really explain active 3D, though. Is it much better than passive?

Some prefer passive since the glasses are lighter, more comfortable, and cheaper. I prefer active since passive has reduced resolution (I want to watch 1080p on my 1080 display), and reviews confirm that active has the better PQ. Go with whichever looks better to you.
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post #23 of 29 Old 07-22-2012, 02:44 PM - Thread Starter
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I didn't think the demo TVs at Best Buy were that great since the 3D glasses are fixed on the display mount and it's just the Best Buy reel playing back. I think if it were an actual movie it would have been better. I do take consolation in the fact that the TV they were using for the 3D demo was the ST50, so I feel good in the making that my choice for a TV.
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post #24 of 29 Old 07-22-2012, 06:36 PM
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The 2012 active 3D glasses from Panasonic and Samsung are much lighter and more comfortable this year.
All 3D plasma TVs use active, so passive isn't a choice for them anyway. Samsung's 3D LED models also are active only.
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post #25 of 29 Old 07-22-2012, 08:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Are you sure? Because the salesman at Best Buy gave us passive 3D glasses to view a UT50 and it was 3D. Do passive glasses work with active even if your not using active 3D glasses?
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post #26 of 29 Old 07-23-2012, 10:48 AM
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No passive glasses will not work for a UT50, you either had active glasses on or were not viewing a UT50.

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post #27 of 29 Old 07-23-2012, 02:54 PM - Thread Starter
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I posted this over on the ST50 Thread but nobody responded. Anyone care to answer any of my questions?

Hello All ST50 owners, I'm looking at purchasing a 50" or 55" ST50 in the next few months but wanted to ask what some of you liked about the TV and why you chose it? I've read a number of different thread and articles but I think the best way to get information about the ST series is to ask current owners. One of my main questions is about pictures settings. I've read that the TV is a little limited in what users are able to adjust. I will most likely use the AVS AVCHD Calibration Disc to set the color, brightness, and contrast when I get my new TV and wanted to make sure that the options are available to do all this? Is there a blue filter mode (I know at least certain Samsung LCD TVS have) to adjust tint properly? I was also wondering if the HDMI ARC worked well? I would expect the GUI for apps like Netflix to be better than my Sony S580 but would definitely want the audio going to my receiver and not the TV speakers. Does the TV Perform well with this kind of setup? Another settings question I was wondering about was the 600 Hz sub refresh rate, does this make the picture motion look abnormally fluid? I remember being at Best Buy a couple years ago when LCD TVs were coming out with 120 Hz and 240 Hz refresh rates and thought the motion seemed off, which I didn't like. It felt like there was something strange about how the content moved but I couldn't point my finger at it. I know most everyone says to turn off any image processing features such as dynamic black levels (I hate that setting), can all that stuff be turned off? I hate when bright scenes suddenly get brighter and dark scenes get suddenly darker because the TV senses a change in the brightness.

My last question is why would I want to choose the ST50 over the UT50? I have no problem waiting longer or financing a more expensive TV, but I also like saving money when I can. I've looked at the compare sheet on Panasonic's website and they look the same for the most part besides the ST50 having "Pro Settings" and having twice as many grayshades. In terms of picture quality and performance I would naturally assume the ST50 is the better TV.

Thanks for any help, I'm really getting excited about getting my first big screen!
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post #28 of 29 Old 07-23-2012, 03:52 PM
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Originally Posted by anikun07 View Post

I posted this over on the ST50 Thread but nobody responded. Anyone care to answer any of my questions?
Hello All ST50 owners, I'm looking at purchasing a 50" or 55" ST50 in the next few months but wanted to ask what some of you liked about the TV and why you chose it? I've read a number of different thread and articles but I think the best way to get information about the ST series is to ask current owners. One of my main questions is about pictures settings. I've read that the TV is a little limited in what users are able to adjust. I will most likely use the AVS AVCHD Calibration Disc to set the color, brightness, and contrast when I get my new TV and wanted to make sure that the options are available to do all this? Is there a blue filter mode (I know at least certain Samsung LCD TVS have) to adjust tint properly? I was also wondering if the HDMI ARC worked well? I would expect the GUI for apps like Netflix to be better than my Sony S580 but would definitely want the audio going to my receiver and not the TV speakers. Does the TV Perform well with this kind of setup? Another settings question I was wondering about was the 600 Hz sub refresh rate, does this make the picture motion look abnormally fluid? I remember being at Best Buy a couple years ago when LCD TVs were coming out with 120 Hz and 240 Hz refresh rates and thought the motion seemed off, which I didn't like. It felt like there was something strange about how the content moved but I couldn't point my finger at it. I know most everyone says to turn off any image processing features such as dynamic black levels (I hate that setting), can all that stuff be turned off? I hate when bright scenes suddenly get brighter and dark scenes get suddenly darker because the TV senses a change in the brightness.
My last question is why would I want to choose the ST50 over the UT50? I have no problem waiting longer or financing a more expensive TV, but I also like saving money when I can. I've looked at the compare sheet on Panasonic's website and they look the same for the most part besides the ST50 having "Pro Settings" and having twice as many grayshades. In terms of picture quality and performance I would naturally assume the ST50 is the better TV.
Thanks for any help, I'm really getting excited about getting my first big screen!

The ST50 has plenty of regular custom picture settings and pro settings available, you can easily set all the key settings with the AVSHD test patterns, in addition to gamma.
There is no blue-only display mode like some Samsung TVs have, so you would need to get a separate blue filter to use test patterns for color and tint.
However the color and tint on the ST50's are pretty much right on at their default settings with tint=0, and color=50, you can reduce the color setting a few points if you wish.
The UT50 lacks the custom mode pro settings of the ST50 which include gamma and white balance - they are nice to have for better calibration.
The ST50 also adds a screen filter to reduce glare from overhead lighting - the UT50 lacks that so is best used only in a dark room.
The ST50 has 3 HDMI ports, the UT50 only has 2.
In recent sales the ST50 and UT50 have been under $100 difference, so the ST50 is a bargain with the extra features you get.
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post #29 of 29 Old 07-23-2012, 04:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you, that really helped!
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