Originally Posted by Koho
Noob here, comparing Pioneer 5020 and Samsung LN52A750. After sifting through the info here (thanks for the very helpful info, everyone!), I got a nice side-by-side demo at a local high end HT shop. Low- med room light from above, blue ray movie + HDTV content. Sets set up to match pretty closely (no LCD torch mode). The knowledgeable sales technician claimed the Pio was set up optimally. Comments to follow; these are IMO - no blasting the noob or asking me to "correct facts", please. My mind is not totally made up, so if you have thoughts that you think will help enlighten me beyond what's already been laid down in this long thread, please post 'em!
- the 5020 indeed had very slightly better shadow detail. On a few scenes, there was a (very slightly) better sense of depth, as many have said. But the blackest blacks did not appear darker than the LCD - a surprise (maybe they would in a dark room?) Also, I've read Chad xx refer to dark colors "blooming" on LCD's - I couldn't detect this.
- color: toss-up. I could convince myself that the LCD had more "accurate" color as reviewers have said, but this seemed content-dependent (and certainly dependent on the Mode" chosen, i.e., the LCD's Movie mode picks a warm temp).
- otherwise PQ was similar. On some content I preferred the LCD, others the Pio. I doubt I'd be able to tell much difference without the sets side by side. KDF, please hold your fire.
- viewing angle: total non-issue unless you were *way* off-angle (60 deg +). I think the plasma-heads here who keep haranguing about LCD viewing angle issues are prisoners of their own dogma - or maybe out of date (it was worse on other LCD's).
- glare/reflection: LCD was a little worse than the plasma for reflection, but not at all bad. No difference for glare that I could see, unless the LCD was set to ridiculous brightness levels (only done for fun). I never thought about either once I stopped comparing. A total non-issue.
- smoothing/Auto Motion Plus (LCD) - I actually liked the AMP on some movies, if set to "medium". On "high" it did look a little video-ee, but I was surprise by how compelling this looked on some good content. Clearly a matter of taste. To anyone considering a similar choice, look for yourself! Also, with AMP off, I did not see a significant difference in motion quality between the two sets - again, on some content LCD motion actually looked better than the plasma (though this was not true for some lower-end LCD's.) I was surprised by all this, so I must advise those deciding, don't take the plasma-heads' comments on this as gospel! See for yourself.
- "noise" - I could occasionally see some on the plasma, a sort of "fizz" in medium-dark regions of uniform color where the pixels seemed to jiggle around a brightness level. "Noise" in quotes since it was not random. Mind you I have good eyes, it was not common, and hardly noticeable at 8 feet. I did not see this in the LCD.
- "trivial" stuff: I like having the USB input. Handy to pop in a flash drive with pix and see a great slide show - worked beautifully. And I found the Samsung remote/interface easy to use. Pio was OK, to.
Anyway, a few surprises, not many. If my wife really likes the AMP it will be hard to justify the Pioneer with the Sammy to be had for $1800 and falling. Plasma-heads, rejoice, you can still count the plasma as a (very) slightly better pic if only for the black levels/detail. But I can see how someone can credibly find some of the LCD features can balance out this very fine difference.
One negative - I've mentally compiled a short list of posters here whose comments I have to ignore or de-emphasize for their obvious dogma and bias. Probably not alone here. Still, thanks again to everyone for sharing their knowledge in an incredibly helpful thread!