Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
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Do you know if there is a best buy with your panel and a decent lcd next to it, or close to it in your area? If so, you can go look thru the calibration threads for both panels, write down the most popular or generally approved settings, then go to your best buy and ask one of the salesman to set both panels to your settings. Then ask to see decent content. Preferably some you are familiar with. If they don't want to help you, tell them you'll be returning your panel because "bob" (or whatever his or her name is) wasn't cooperative. Smile as you say that.
Other than that, I don't know how much you can expect. Best buy etc. are not ideal places to view. We don't have Magnolia as part of best buy here, so perhaps that is a much better env. The biggest problem with the showroom floor is the fact there are so many panels next to the one you are interested in, all at different settings. They can be distracting. You are also so much closer than you'd usually be at home. The tv sections of best buy here are usually dimly lit, so I personally don't find the lighting in the stores to be much of a factor.
I recently bought a Panasonic P60U50. I went to best buy to see if I should exclude it than anything else. The problems I saw there on the panel there, I don't actually have with mine. That is why I made my decision more from what I read here than from a side by side comparison. Also, that is a pretty inexpensive panel, and is reported to have very good picture quality for the price. So I didn't think I could go too far wrong. Fairly happy so far, but had it less than a week, so time will tell.