How can I really compare an LED/LCD to Plasma at a place like Best Buy? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 01-25-2013, 07:41 AM - Thread Starter
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I actually bought a Panasonic 50" GT Plasma at Best Buy less than 30 days ago (within return time frame). I was impressed with the picture quality in the Magnolia sub-store and am generally happy with it. But I have a nagging voice in my head smile.gif that wishes I could really see it side by side next to an LCD **with reasonably calibrated settings on both sets**.

I was trying to compare it next to a Samsung, either the ES or EH series. But the Samsungs were in a different place and showing different content. Where I live, except for the high end home theater stores Best Buy is my only bet. I have membership at costco, but the lcd and plasmas are even more out of calibration there.

I know the general arguments for/against each, but want to see it with my own eyes. I think there the line is for me whether I want the more smooth and refined "theatrical" look of plasma or the more crisp and sharp look of lcd.

Time is ticking and I want to be certain of my purchase.
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post #2 of 11 Old 01-25-2013, 10:31 AM
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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.

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post #3 of 11 Old 01-25-2013, 10:38 AM
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That Panasonic GT will blow away any LCD panel at Best Buy including the Sharp Elite. Stop listening to voices and enjoy your TV.

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post #4 of 11 Old 01-25-2013, 11:15 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Dropkick Murphy View Post

That Panasonic GT will blow away any LCD panel at Best Buy including the Sharp Elite. Stop listening to voices and enjoy your TV.

rolleyes.gif Ha ha. Too funny (about stop listening to the voices).
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post #5 of 11 Old 01-25-2013, 11:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by sstephen View Post

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.................................

Yeah, well, sort of tried to do that. When I noticed that the Panasonic looked really dim and washed out I asked for the remote. Non of the Panansonic remotes could be found. The sales guy mentioned something about the remotes being hod so people didn't mess with the settings (I guess people even means sales reps?). Which, is ironic. "We lock the settings down on the HDTVs, irregardless of how p*ss poor their set up in the first place" biggrin.gif

Going to the Magnolia sub store was more helpful though. But it seems like equipment in Magnolia is better maintained and calibrated, but the main store is the "wild west". Odd.
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post #6 of 11 Old 01-25-2013, 11:56 AM
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Well, I can only tell you what you've already read elsewhere. In a dimly lit room, the thing should have plenty of brightness and extra "pop", if you are inclined to go that route, rather than "accurate". In a sunny livingroom, I would have gone with lcd, but just for the extra brightness to watch sports in the afternoon. Though sports are usually pretty bright in the first place, so maybe that wouldn't be necessary. I never watch movies or shows during the day. Or at least not so often that it would bother me if the image where too dim once in a while.

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post #7 of 11 Old 01-25-2013, 12:03 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm not too concerned with brightness, the Panny set up in my living room is bright enough. I was just saying that the one in Bestbuy wasn't setup right.

BTW, people always talk about how plasmas are better for watching movies, but what about tv shows? Does it matter so much when comparing plasma to lcd?
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post #8 of 11 Old 01-25-2013, 04:05 PM
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My comment about sports is just that it is normally brighter than prime time tv, therefore light output may not be a problem with plasma in the living room even though it might be for dramas, at least for me. And no, I don't watch "daytime dramas". smile.gif

I see no reason to think that movies vs. prime time tv would be significantly different on plasma. At least not the dramas, and I personally don't care about video quality of game shows, reality tv, or talk shows.

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post #9 of 11 Old 01-26-2013, 08:33 AM
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Well, I ended up 'demoing' Samsung/lg's latest and greatest 46-47" screens in my living room and after returning those for a 50UT50 I knew within minutes of making te right choice. In other words, I couldn't make the distinction without binging the sets home as like you, the plasmas were set to dim mode at BB. Must be some stupid EPA reg that forces them to do that.
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post #10 of 11 Old 01-26-2013, 09:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by magbarn View Post

Well, I ended up 'demoing' Samsung/lg's latest and greatest 46-47" screens in my living room and after returning those for a 50UT50 I knew within minutes of making te right choice. In other words, I couldn't make the distinction without binging the sets home as like you, the plasmas were set to dim mode at BB. Must be some stupid EPA reg that forces them to do that.

So what were your observations in terms of quality and picture between the Samsumg and Panny? I've considered buying both, just dont want to deal with the hassle.
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post #11 of 11 Old 01-30-2013, 10:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magbarn View Post

Well, I ended up 'demoing' Samsung/lg's latest and greatest 46-47" screens in my living room and after returning those for a 50UT50 I knew within minutes of making te right choice. In other words, I couldn't make the distinction without binging the sets home as like you, the plasmas were set to dim mode at BB. Must be some stupid EPA reg that forces them to do that.


.......OR.......they want to lessen their chances of BI/IR? Nothing sells a TV quite like a ghost image of an ESPN logo.....

Send this to all your friends! When will this stupidity end? So hysterical: Vertical Video Syndrome --- a PSA.
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