Originally Posted by mastermaybe
^ yeah, ok. All the experts are wrong and you're right. sigh.
CNET (among others):
You're exposed as a fanboy who has no objectivity whatsoever. You conveniently cherry-picked selections and left out important parts that don't suit your argument. CNET has left out a few important points too.
"the Samsung UNB8500 delivers the second-deepest black levels of any display we've ever tested, after the Pioneer Kuro plasma from 2008."
Pretty much what I've been saying as well, except CNET should qualify that you MUST have a totally light-controlled room. How convenient that they left that part out of their review. If you have any light in front of the Pioneer reflecting off the screen, even just a meager amount of artificial light, the black level advantages rapidly EVAPORATE and the 8500 looks deeper.
"Black level: When seen from the sweet spot directly in front of the TV, the black levels of the Samsung UNB8500 series were the darkest and most realistic of any display in our lineup, with the exception of the Pioneer plasma."
Pretty much also what I've been saying. Once again, he is only talking about in a dark room, with little to no light reflecting off the front of the screen.
"Like other local dimming LED-based LCDs we've tested, the 8500 evinced some "blooming," where a brighter object will bleed into a darker adjacent area"
Everyone knows this. But where does David talk about the phosphor trails that can be seen on the plasmas, including the Pioneer Kuro? If David is going to criticize the 8500 and all local-dimming LED's for blooming, then he ought to talk about the phosphor trails he should be noticing on the plasmas. He never mentions line-bleed on plasmas either, which admittedly are rarely distracting on the Kuros, but not totally non-existent.
"Color accuracy: The UNB8500 scored very well in this category, albeit not up to the standards of our reference Kuro"
Well, my 8500 has not been professionaly calibrated, but I acknowledge that it does need some work. But when he says (after calibration) that the 8500 scores "very well," what he is saying is that 98% of the public wouldn't be able to recognize or care about the minute differences in color accuracy.
"Uniformity: The biggest weakness of LED-based LCDs comes in the arena of off-angle viewing, and the 8500 follows suit. When we moved just one couch cushion to either side, the blacks lightened considerably, becoming brighter, more washed-out, and less realistic, and taking the rest of the image quality down with them."
Why oh why did David not talk about the biggest weakness of plasmas? Why didn't he mention that even one lamp in front of your plasma (let's forget natural light for a moment which is infinitely brighter) washes out the blacks on those? The problem here is what I have complained about CNET reviews on multiple occasions now. They conduct all their testing in sterile environments and describe all their findings which are found in sterile dark rooms. With ambient light in the room, the 8500 does not wash out by simply moving one seat cushion. He is exaggerating when he talks about the whole image quality going down and washing out and such in the dark. It's obvious that David is a plasma fanboy at heart. If he really wanted to do his readers a service, he would tell them how easily plasmas washout, no matter if you are front-and center or off to the side, and how the image quality went right down in the daylight on the plasmas like he claims it does on the LED's (in the dark). All you need is some light on in the room, in front of the display or enough of it reflecting off the walls and the image quality erodes on a plasma. In brighter daylight conditions you can sit quite a ways farther than one seat cushion to the side of the 8500 and it will hold its contrast ten times better than the plasma. The 8500 looks much better even a reasonable amount off-axis in the day than the Kuro, save for a bit of color washout, which can be remedied by simply bumping up the color several clicks. You can also dial down the brightness a few clicks as well, to take care of any lightening of black levels.
Pay attention. These rising or elevated black levels and washout and increased brightness that David mentions because you're off-angle MAKES LITTLE DIFFERENCE in brighter rooms, because the ambient light is much greater than the MLL on the 8500, even after it rises and the contrast falls off when you move a bit off-axis. So the blacks still look jet black even off-angle, because the filter is jet black, and MLL doesn't come into play except in dark rooms. The Kuro looks gray no matter where you sit the more light that comes into the room, because the screen washes-out to a greenish-gray on the plasma, and the contrast falls precipitously. Too bad David conveniently leaves that part out of his man-cave reviews.
"Bright lighting: When we turned up the lights and opened the shades in our testing facility, it became obvious that the 8500's glossy screen behaved much like those of other Samsung sets. It reflected significantly more ambient light than the matte-screened Sony and LG LCDs, or even than either of the plasmas."
yeah. Noticing a trend here?
Yes, I am noticing a trend. I notice you are a disingenuous fanboy and your comments are not worth paying attention to. You DELIBERATELY left out the very next part of what he said in that paragraph, which unfortunately with David is just an afterthought. Apparently David believes everyone is like him and watches 1080p BD's in a man-cave like he does for his reviews."On the flipside the Samsung was definitely superior to the plasmas, and to the matte LCDs to a much lesser extent, at preserving black levels and contrast under bright lighting."
There you have it. One little sentence about how the superior contrast and superior black levels erodes on even the Kuro plasmas under bright lighting. It even erodes under a 50 watt lamp. But David is obviously not interested much in any of this, because he assumes that everyone always watches in a man-cave like he does for his reviews of blu ray movies.
By the way, in the next paragraph he goes on to praise the processing on the Samsung. Here is the summary at the beginning of the review.The good: Deeper black levels than any HDTV available aside from Pioneer Kuro; solid shadow detail; reduced blooming compared with other local dimming LED-based LCDs; accurate, highly saturated color; excellent video processing with adjustable dejudder; numerous picture adjustments; extensive interactive features including Yahoo widgets; beautiful styling with 1.6-inch deep panel; extremely energy efficient.
So you see, your expert David (rightfully) praised the Samsung for its excellent video processing and the adjustable de-judder with AMP. Notice how he also praised the 8500 for "accurate, highly saturated color".
Now. let's revisit the review of the Pioneer Elite 111:"The bad: Extremely expensive; mediocre standard-definition processing."
Standard-definition: Unlike other aspects of its picture quality, the Elite's ability to handle standard-def sources was underwhelming according to our tests with the HQV DVD
. Details were fine, both in the color-bars resolution pattern and in the stone bridge. But the set didn't eliminate as many jaggies from moving diagonal lines like a waving American flag as the Samsungs did
, but it was still quite good and better than the Panasonic in this department. We really liked having those four noise reduction controls, and they worked extremely well to clean up moving motes in skies and sunsets. Surprisingly, the Elite failed our test for 2:3 pulldown, allowing moiré to creep into the grandstands after eliminating it briefly, regardless of the Film Mode or I-P mode we chose
. As always, standard-def performance is irrelevant if you're connecting to a source that scales 480i to a higher resolution before connecting to the TV.
By the way, they were comparing the 2008 Kuro to 2008 Samsung processing. The Samsungs are even better now, and clearly have superior processing in 2009-2010 than the Pioneer. This is a bit unfair, because if Pioneer was still in the business, their processing would be better now. But it is what it is. This is 2010, not 2008. I can't help it that Pioneer is no longer advancing the processing for their Kuros. The processing is clearly superior on the Samsungs (which you'd be able to tell if you had Samsung's best PDP's and LED's side by side with the Kuro like I have), and the gap will continue to widen every single year that goes by.
Motions handling: Kuro.
False! The 8500 is better, thanks to the excellent AMP. Even PDP manufacturers are finally getting the clue and starting to offer MCFI on their displays. Pioneer even realized the value in this, because they offer a Pure Cinema "smooth" de-judder setting on their plasmas back in 2008. The only problem is that it doesn't work well at all. They are even starting to offer FI on projectors now. People are getting sick and tired of blurry, jerky, stuttery pans, and MCFI can make motion much more pleasing and reduce blur, even on scenes without pans.
I could see why people who don't have an excellent implementation of a fast 2ms 240hz display with custom AMP controls side-by-side with the best plasmas in their home may be skeptical of the benefits. But I have had experience with both side by side and I can say without hesitation that I prefer the motion on the 8500 over any plasma. My cheap 60 hz HP LCD monitor is another story. I do recognize that motion blur can be an issue with LCD's. But the 8500 is the best--the creme de la creme--it is not your typical blurry 60hz cheap PC monitor
I even used the motion resolution test from the 2007 Kuro demo disc, where they have the camera zoomed in on the license plates of cars driving by, and where they pan across text of an old manuscript. With anti-blur on 10 the Samsung looked even better than the Pioneer. You want to know why? The letters and numbers on the license plates looked just as legible as the Pioneer as the cars whizzed by, but since the license plates were zooming past the screen with fast motion I could see visible yellowish-green phosphor lag on the trailing edges of the white license plates on the Pioneer. So the 8500 beat the Pioneer at its own motion resolution test. The Samsung B860 and B8500 also beat the Pioneer on other video processing tests from its own test disc. Of course CNET conceded that the 8500 (as well as the similar 2ms panel on the 240hz 8000) has the best motion of any LED/LCD they have ever tested. They said it was the only LED or LCD they have ever tested that could resolve all 1080 lines of motion resolution with anti-blur engaged at the full setting of 10.
Off Axis image quality: Kuro.
Not during the brighter daylight hours. You can move off-axis on the 8500 and it still holds it's contrast better than the Kuro. The contrast on the Kuro plummets when light hits the screen. In daylight conditions the FILTER is EVERYTHING, and trumps all. I will concede that the colors on the 8500 do fade a bit as you move more than 10-15 degrees off-axis, so you need to bump up the color control if you move more than a seat or two away from center.
None on the 8500 either, Bub. This is not an edge-lit.
Correct. No clouds on the Kuro. Just buzzing. Another thing that David over at CNET omits to mention in his reviews.
Of course, I could point out many more weaknesses that both you and your expert over at CNET conveniently leave out. The Kuro has a more noisy picture than even the Samsung 860 PDP, let alone the 8500 LED. I usually recommend turning all the other extra junk off, but one thing that the Kuros can benefit from is to turn on some noise reduction.
The 8500 has no line bleed, which is better than the rare and mild form of it that occurs on the Pioneers. I do give Kudos to the Pioneer for not showing nearly as much line bleed when comparing to other brands of PDP's, but now we are talking about comparing to an LED which has none.
Furthermore, the LED has nice crisp bright whites when there is a lot of white content on the screen. You can notice this on many commercials which have white backgrounds, or some scenes during the Winter Olympics. The Kuro shares the weakness that all PDP's have...ABL.
The 8500 is currently (but surely not for long) the pinnacle of LED-LCD technology, and the 500M is the pinnacle of PDP technology. Both technologies have their strengths and weaknesses, advantages and disadvantages, pros and cons. I try to be honest about all of them, and not act like a fanboy like some around here.
The 8500 is better to actually use as a television all day long when it's light out. If people have the need to watch widely off-axis then I can accept why it would not work for some. To each his own. I think I can manage the viewing angles in my environment, although it would be nice if I didn't have to hassle with it.
The 500M is best suited for watching films in the dark, and still looks great even for watching TV in the dark, although it could have a bit less noise and better processing to be perfect for nighttime TV watching. But for people who absolutely have to have wide viewing angles and like to watch a lot of TV in the dark or with a little bit of light from a bias light, as long as they can control the lighting in the room the Kuro remains unsurpassed. It also works well for people that don't mind drawing the shades in the middle of the day and having a dimmed room where they watch their TV.
The 8500 looks great all day long and I don't worry about blooming or viewing angles during daylight. If you turn on a couple lights in the room while you watch TV at night, as long as the lights are strategically placed so they are not reflecting right back at you on the screen, things like blooming and off-axis are greatly minimized. The 8500 works very well at night for people that like to watch TV and movies with the lights on.
I happen to like to shut off the lights if I can help it, so I prefer the 500M after dark, because it usually (but not always) has a bit better blacks on those challenging scenes, and it can squeeze out a little extra shadow detail, while remaining deep black, even though CNET praised the 8500 for "solid" and "superb" shadow detail.