Originally Posted by pepperjinks
Thanks for the quick response, guys! Yes, I figured this was probably the wrong place, but it was unfortunately after I'd posted it... I feel sheepish...
OldSchool: Thank you for your detailed response! I read up on the FBr issues with the STs, and I hear that Panasonic fixed the problem rather handily, so I feel confident in that arena at least. I hope you have luck in your own search!
I definitely feel that an LCD would be the safest, smartest decision at this point, so I'd like some "bang for the buck" suggestions for some of those. Were I to get a plasma, however, I would definitely go for the ST30.
The fluctuating brightness has not been fixed by Panasonic. People are confusing another fix. What Panasonic has fixed is a voltage issue. As Panasonic Plasmas age, they tried to manipulate the brightness so that they last longer. As they age, they will get brighter in the black levels. Panasonic fixed this brightness issue by alleviating it all together. As far as my research has shown, there is no other brightness fix.
The fluctuating brightness I spoke of is an inherent trait of the plasma technology. Is is needed so that the power supply circuits do not have an overload condition trying to supply to much current. With plasma, bright overall screen require a lot of power that their power supplies just can't handle so they have a circuit that tries to adjust brightness for the overall best picture while not overloading the power supply. I think Panasonic way of implementing the circuit is the best as many say the issue is definitely there, but not as bad as some sets. Also, the sensitivity of an individual set in the same model line can vary. Meaning one can be more noticeable than another, it's a crap shoot.
I've read several complaints of fluctuating brightness in Panasonic threads and Samsung threads. Surprisingly I've read less of it in LG threads BUT some had said that it's more dominant or perceivable in the LG plasmas. I will say that within the first 10 minutes of setting it up, I noticed flickering and strobing brightness that reminded me of the early days of DVD players that had a similar looking defect expecially in the "DIVX"/DVD players pushed and created by "Circuit City Stores".
I just bought and brought home the LG 47LW5600 LED Plus 3D LCD TV. I know this TV has issues as all TVs but I think they will be more livable. I just really want a HD TV that doesn't have the inherent analog noise in an electronic beam fed CRT TV. I also would like the much better geometry in a fixed pixel display.
BTW, the brightness is much much lower in a plasma than even a CRT TV. My LG Plasma set at 80 on the contrast and 53 on the brightness didn't have the white output of my JVC 36" CRT TV set at 50 on the contrast and 45 on the brightness, both on a scale of 100. My sons 32" CCFL LCD has a much higher white output. There tons more 'pop' in the brighter colors or outdoor scenes with the CRT and LCD but the Plasma, as always, has the richest and deepest color pop.
I was able to get the LG 47LW5600 for the same price as the 47LW5300 because of a situation that happened. The manager gave me a great price as a "I'm sorry, we'd like to keep your business" gesture. However Walmart and HHGregg both have the 47LW5300 well under their MSRP by hundreds. The 47LW5300 is basically the same TV as the 47LW5600 but with a 4M contrast ratio opposed to the 5600's 8M contrast ratio. Also the 5300 has less inputs and drops the smart TV functions along with the motion remote. The BD645 Blu-Ray player that comes in the 5300 package is a low end model. It has no smart app features and only has network for BD live and firmware upgrades. Also it only has composite video output and HDMI output so when you would want to upgrade it, you could not use it with higher performance on an older analog (component video input) HD TV. That is why I bought the 5600. The BD645 was to low end and I do enjoy watch YouTube on the TV. I also like having 7.1 analog outputs (that my Panny Bluray player has) so that I can feed DTS Master audio to my Denon AVR-3803 Receiver.
I don't care for Samsung, my father in laws LED LCD 55" had ton of problems, my friends Samsung DLP had rainbow effects right out of the box, and I've seen my fair share of Samsung burnt pixels on other LCD screens. I also noticed their TV screens were more reflective and I was not fond of that.
I didn't look at Sony because of lower refresh rates and no local dimming. Sharp didn't have a lot of selection in the stores in my price range and I tried to stay with the bigger names as I found chinese made sets have inferior video processing with more digital artifacts/noise. Others sets I was just not impressed with. My mom has a 47" LG LED TV and just loves it, hope I made the right decision.
Good luck in your decision.