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post #1 of 19 Old 11-30-2012, 08:03 PM - Thread Starter
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As the title says, I'm fairly new to serious AVS tech and could use some help...

Out of college a year or so, finally nailed that first job. Just me and the dog so I have some extra cash to finally get the TV of my dreams. Got some furniture from Rooms to Go when I moved here, and as part of the deal they included a $480 dollar card to Best Buy. I DESPISE Best buy, but what can I do? Was included with the furniture.

So I am looking for a new TV to replace my 32" Sharp. Love the TV, never let me down and I've had it for over 4 years. It's just too small for my living room. I sit right around 10' from the TV, so I am looking in the 50-60" range. My price point is 1,300 max (but Id really prefer to get below that by a few hundred).

I spent some time in a BB while home for Thanksgiving and am leaning towards Plasma. I am a bit concerned as to the longevity of that technology though. I don't want to purchase something will be obsolete in a year or so. Is this the way Plasma is leaning? The possibility of glare issues in my home is relatively low as I generally only watch at night, lights off. I have no opposition to LED LCD, as long as its within my budget.

I was intrigued with 3D. Is this a passing fad, or is 3D capability more than just a gimmick at this point? Smart TV, I do not really need, any streaming I do is through Xbox Live.

It seems like at 50-55" , I am looking at hitting the top of the range in quality at my max price limit, but at the 60" range, I will be relegated to the basic bare-bones TV. Is it worth it to sacrifice screen size for a few more bells and whistles?

I feel these are fairly "newb" questions, but as my first official big investment, I want to make sure I am thorough. I can browse reviews all I want, but they don't offer the insight a forum does.

Thanks for any help.
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post #2 of 19 Old 11-30-2012, 08:43 PM
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My suggestion is focus on the display and forget the bells and whistles -- the truth is they can be had in a MUCH better form outside the display. A decent media streamer will bury whatever is built in and hobbled by the manufactures. DLNA is a total joke and needs to have a stake driven through it's heart.

As to plasma, that is my favorite method of watching TV. I don't see it going anywhere for a few years, but what does that matter? I would expect the display to last for 10 years easily, so what does it matter if they are still making plasma in 10 years? My other suggestion is buy bigger, displays magically shrink after you view them for a couple of weeks.
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post #3 of 19 Old 12-01-2012, 10:41 PM
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Plasma, plasma, plasma. For the price range you're looking at you've got some awesome choices.

Here's an awesome article for those on the fence about display technologies and needing a push in one direction or the other
http://hdguru.com/the-case-for-plasma-vs-ledlcd-hdtv/9373/#more-9373

Being that you have no glare issues, the Panasonic 60" TC-P60UT50 is a great TV and performs pretty darn well, one of my faves for 2012 personally.

If you wanted to a step above that you can do the 55" TC-PST50, which is just one series above the UT, gives you a full web browser, which IMO is useless, and built in wifi. Which I like because I'm a fan of DLNA. Performance wise in relation to PQ, both are fairly similar though the ST50 has the Infinite Black Panel pro which in turn gives you better black levels and overall better panel performance.

I'd recommend a couple of Samsung PDP's for you here but with your price range you're going to better performance from the Panasonic options listed because Samsung only offers 51" and 60" screen sizes for their PDP's and the only 60" model that sits in your price range does not perform as well as the aforementioned models above. Though the 60E550 model comes with 2 pairs of free 3D glasses which is cool, but then again they're only $20 anyways.

If I were you I'd do the 60UT50, mainly because I believe bigger is better, but the ST50 is a hell of an FP for the $

Good luck!

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post #4 of 19 Old 12-01-2012, 11:54 PM
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Quote:
I spent some time in a BB while home for Thanksgiving and am leaning towards Plasma. I am a bit concerned as to the longevity of that technology though. I don't want to purchase something will be obsolete in a year or so. Is this the way Plasma is leaning?
It depends on what you mean by "obsolete". The best mainstream flat panel television was a Pioneer Kuro plasma that was released about 4 years ago. The old Sony XBR960n CRT from 2006 can probably best anything you will find on display in the shops now. OLED televisions will come out some time but it may be a long while before they're affordable. LCDs aren't catching up with plasma any time soon so even if 2013 ends up being the last year for plasma that doesn't mean there'll be anything better to replace it.

If you're not in any particular hurry the 2013 models will probably be out in March.

In terms of picture quality and black levels Panasonic is the leader in 2012. The area where Samsung plasmas often have an advantage is image retention which may or may not be a consideration for you.

If you only watch in the dark an anti-glare filter may not mean much to you but if you move to a sunnier house you may find a plasma without one unwatchable. The ST handles glare alot better than the UT.
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Is it worth it to sacrifice screen size for a few more bells and whistles?
It depends on what's important to you. Personally, the flicker on a 60" plasma would drive me mad and I wouldn't find any advantage to a larger size as it'd exaggerate defects in standard definition and low quality HD which is the majority of content. For others the size counts above everything else.
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post #5 of 19 Old 12-02-2012, 12:55 AM
 
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On the topic of filesharing, DLNA is only good if your streamer is crippled something fierce. Direct file sharing via the likes of a Samba server (built in to the likes of Windows) to a capable streamer cuts out the middle man and provides for a smoother overall experience.

I have one of those almost 5-year-old plasmas of which homerging speaks, and I've yet to be obsoleted in the realm of where it matters most when using it, 2D PQ. The only real breakthrough in PQ will come from OLED, which may or may not be released just around the corner and will be over 7.5 times the price you're seeking to pay.

The only LED that comes close to matching the overall PQ of the Panasonics is the Elite series from Sharp, the 60" panel of which is over 3.5 times your price limit.

Bells and whistles should all come secondary to PQ as far as I'm concerned, and I have little doubt that many here would disagree.
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post #6 of 19 Old 12-02-2012, 08:32 AM - Thread Starter
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Plasma it is then. That was really more where I was leaning to anyways.

Crunching some numbers, I think that realistically 1,300 is out of the ballpark, at least for now. I'd really like to get this TV in the next few days. I'm thinking 1000 is more of a realistic number.

Therefore, I am looking at the Panasonic ST-50 right now. Actually it looks to be the best compromise to get everything I want, and get a much higher quality TV in the process. Its got the 3 HDMI ports as opposed to the 2 on the UT60. Its got the ST panel, its got the 3d capability, WI-FI enabled (not things I really need, but if they are there, why not?)

I could technically go up to the 55" ST, but Im just not sure the 300 dollar price bump is worth 5" more in screen size....what do you guys think?

It seems my 10' max viewing distance is spot on for a 50-55. I think any larger and Id just be sacrificing picture quality for a larger screen...
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post #7 of 19 Old 12-02-2012, 10:03 AM
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Quote:
I could technically go up to the 55" ST, but Im just not sure the 300 dollar price bump is worth 5" more in screen size....what do you guys think?

It seems my 10' max viewing distance is spot on for a 50-55. I think any larger and Id just be sacrificing picture quality for a larger screen...

If you primarily view blu-rays, and nearly all of the TV viewing you do is "HD TV" programming, would recommend the larger panel.

However, if you still have an extensive SD DVD library, or limited HD TV programming, than the smaller size might be a better fit.

If nothing else, you could take the $$ saved in buying the smaller screen & "invest" them in your library of blu-ray disks... smile.gif

Our LR set is a 50" Panasonic, viewed at around 10 - 12 ft (varies by seating position), and we often choose to watch "HD TV" programming on that panel, as opposed to the 60ST50 that sits in our "HT" area - with a primary seating distance of 9ft.

Blu-rays are great on the 60", but many of the "HD TV" shows are only marginally "HD" and often look distinctly better on the 50" panel. (I often watch tv on the 60" from a high "computer table" - just big enough for a laptop & some papers - at about 12 feet away, which is far enough to "hide" the source flaws when watching TV - or SD DVDs, for that matter.)

YMMV - as probably does your eyesight & ability / willingness to overlook PQ Flaws....
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post #8 of 19 Old 12-02-2012, 11:59 AM
 
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Based on this chart, you could definitely get away with 55" (requiring a viewing distance of approximately 7-1/2 feet to fully enjoy the benefits of 1080p, with a 50" requiring a maximum viewing distance of just over 6 feet). Whether its worth $300 from your sitting distance (max of 10") is more difficult to ascertain. Obviously, if you're going to be sitting 10 feet from the screen more often than not, you might as well save $300. Interestingly enough, an approximately 77.5" TV is what's recommended to fully enjoy 1080p from 10 feet out. wink.gif
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post #9 of 19 Old 12-02-2012, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by AG74683 View Post

Plasma it is then. That was really more where I was leaning to anyways.
Crunching some numbers, I think that realistically 1,300 is out of the ballpark, at least for now. I'd really like to get this TV in the next few days. I'm thinking 1000 is more of a realistic number.
Therefore, I am looking at the Panasonic ST-50 right now. Actually it looks to be the best compromise to get everything I want, and get a much higher quality TV in the process. Its got the 3 HDMI ports as opposed to the 2 on the UT60. Its got the ST panel, its got the 3d capability, WI-FI enabled (not things I really need, but if they are there, why not?)
I could technically go up to the 55" ST, but Im just not sure the 300 dollar price bump is worth 5" more in screen size....what do you guys think?
It seems my 10' max viewing distance is spot on for a 50-55. I think any larger and Id just be sacrificing picture quality for a larger screen...

I'd say the extra 5" inches is worth it, but it's going to be a matter of preference. Based on where you're sitting I'd say 55" is almost perfect, and IMO 50" might be a little "small"

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post #10 of 19 Old 12-02-2012, 04:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Well went to Best Buy today to check out the 50 and 55" ST-50's

They had 2 Panasonic's on display, 2!!!

Left disappointed, was a 30 mile drive for me. Worst Best Buy I've ever been in. I'll try again next weekend. I think the 55 is the way to go.
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post #11 of 19 Old 12-02-2012, 04:36 PM
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Originally Posted by AG74683 View Post

Well went to Best Buy today to check out the 50 and 55" ST-50's
They had 2 Panasonic's on display, 2!!!
Left disappointed, was a 30 mile drive for me. Worst Best Buy I've ever been in. I'll try again next weekend. I think the 55 is the way to go.

BBY has to carry what the mass consumer wants, and unfortunately the mass consumer wants an LCD. They should have the U50, UT50, and ST50 though? At least my local BBY does.

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post #12 of 19 Old 12-02-2012, 04:53 PM
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You can order online via Best Buy mind you, which has a much greater selection, and your gift card will work plenty fine through that channel.

To tap the breaks on the plasma lovefest for a moment, how much to you game? If not a lot, then I agree plasma is probably the way to go. If you do though, you may want to reevaluate, as plasmas would tend to exhibit their idiosyncrasies more in gaming environments.
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post #13 of 19 Old 12-02-2012, 05:00 PM
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You can order online via Best Buy mind you, which has a much greater selection, and your gift card will work plenty fine through that channel.
To tap the breaks on the plasma lovefest for a moment, how much to you game? If not a lot, then I agree plasma is probably the way to go. If you do though, you may want to reevaluate, as plasmas would tend to exhibit their idiosyncrasies more in gaming environments.

I second the online channel. Another nice avenue for choice.

And to go back to the gaming comment. I've heard this fairly consistently and I'd like to know what inherent flaws PDPs have with gaming? I own the PZ950 from last year and do a fair amount of gaming and I've had nothing but near flawless performance, at least as flawless as my set allows. And I've also gamed quite a bit on my friends S30 from last year and again same results, pretty flawless performance with no complaints (other then maybe they can be a bit dim at times, which is an easy fix)

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post #14 of 19 Old 12-02-2012, 05:04 PM - Thread Starter
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You can order online via Best Buy mind you, which has a much greater selection, and your gift card will work plenty fine through that channel.
To tap the breaks on the plasma lovefest for a moment, how much to you game? If not a lot, then I agree plasma is probably the way to go. If you do though, you may want to reevaluate, as plasmas would tend to exhibit their idiosyncrasies more in gaming environments.

Yeah I will most likely go the online route.

I game often enough, but nothing like 5 hours a night or anything. Id say, maybe a few hours a week.
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post #15 of 19 Old 12-02-2012, 08:25 PM
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You mention the one panel having 3 HDMI inputs, that's good as an introduction but odds are you will graduate to a decent AVR and let it do the input switching, so all you really need is one. Keep in mind that ANY source with high quality sound DD 7.1 or DTS will require an HDMI audio feed, and no panel will pass it so everything needs to be routed through an AVR. Even a RoKu box that streams Netflix will only output DD + via HDMI,so for anything other than basic 2 channel sound you will need more equipment.

Maybe a good use for your tax refund.....wink.gif
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post #16 of 19 Old 12-03-2012, 06:31 AM
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Originally Posted by hoozthatat View Post

And to go back to the gaming comment. I've heard this fairly consistently and I'd like to know what inherent flaws PDPs have with gaming? I own the PZ950 from last year and do a fair amount of gaming and I've had nothing but near flawless performance, at least as flawless as my set allows. And I've also gamed quite a bit on my friends S30 from last year and again same results, pretty flawless performance with no complaints (other then maybe they can be a bit dim at times, which is an easy fix)

The issues would usually be IR on in-game static elements such as HUDs or whatnot, and ghosting in some instances. But of course the game types and play time are the biggest determiners of whether this turns into an issue or not.
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post #17 of 19 Old 12-03-2012, 04:06 PM
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The issues would usually be IR on in-game static elements such as HUDs or whatnot, and ghosting in some instances. But of course the game types and play time are the biggest determiners of whether this turns into an issue or not.

I've never experienced issues with either. Maybe I'm lucky.

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post #18 of 19 Old 12-14-2012, 07:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Update to this.....just ordered the 55" ST50.

Got it for 800 out the door, which I think is a smoking price (granted I had the gift card....) Looking forward to picking it up tomorrow!!
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post #19 of 19 Old 12-15-2012, 07:36 PM - Thread Starter
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So for those who are looking at what to buy and check out this thread....

Make sure your vehicle can fit the TV in there! Almost had a panic attack when we couldn't get the TV into my Cherokee. Discovered I could remove the bottom of the back seat so all worked out, but these boxes are far bigger than I thought.

On that note, make sure you have assistance to help you set it up! TV is sitting in the box because I cant set it up myself tonight.
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