Why can't I see plasma PQ advantage?? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 28 Old 07-04-2013, 03:43 PM - Thread Starter
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First of all, this is not a question of which technology is "better." Rather, I just want to understand if I'm missing something. Despite staring at a lot of high end plasmas in the store, I cannot discern the advantage over the high end LCD/LED. They always look dull/dim and not as sharp in comparison.

After reading quite a bit, I understand some of the reasons that could lead to this are: 1. Inappropriate/unrealistic store lighting, 2. Improperly optimized settings 3. Various factors that would not exist in a living room environment. As far as #1 is concerned, I live in Orange County, Southern California, and the only places I've been able to find these sets on display is Magnolia within the local best buys. I went to two stores, one had the florescent lights overhead, and the other had the Magnolia portion of the store more separate with low ceilings and somewhat dimmed halogen lighting--the perception was the same..

I have been blissfully ignorant to new TV technology for the last 5 years until my DLP TV went kaput, and now I'm forced to purchase a new TV against my will (minimum 65"). Queue up the hours and hours of research and review reading, and I was sure I would want to purchase a Panasonic ZT60 or VT60, or possibly the Samsung F8500. After going to the stores and actually viewing the sets, it seems like the F8000 is the best choice. Brighter colors, crisper picture, comparable viewing angles and motion, even deeper blacks in some cases!

The problem is that everything I've read is contrary to my experience. Is it possible that it really does just come down to personal taste, and mine happens to be completely different than almost every professional reviewer? Or am I missing something? This is a large expense, and I don't want to screw myself for the next 5-7 years (hopefully it will actually last that long... pretty pissed at Samsung for the terrible durability of my last set).
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post #2 of 28 Old 07-04-2013, 03:50 PM
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It's very possible that you are falling for "anchoring bias" in stores, where the bright things seem better to you. I can't really say, but a tremendous amount of study around audio found that people overwhelmingly prefer the component or speakers that are played louder in A/B testing.

I will tell you that I have a 2012 plasma which is occasionally not the sharpest thing in the universe. Yet, it turns out that lack of sharpness is pretty source specific and with good sources, it's more than plenty sharp. As for "dullness and dimness", it's not the brightest screen going, yet alone in my home I more or less never find it dull or dim, except when commercials fade to white.

I also don't have a wall of 12 other TVs here to compare it to.

There is no difference in HDMI cables. If you can see the picture without visible dropouts or sparklies, the cable is working at 100%. No other cable will display a better version of that picture. You're simply wrong if you think there is a better digital cable than one that is already working. (Oh, and plasma didn't die because of logistics problems, nor does OLED ship in big boxes because it comes from Korea.)
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post #3 of 28 Old 07-04-2013, 04:37 PM - Thread Starter
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So, you're telling me that if I were a fish, I would have been captured long ago by the first shiny lure that floated by.... Fair enough.

I will say that one of the things that bothered me on the plasmas was white screens (i.e. a shot of the sky w/ white clouds), where the the pictured almost seemed like a light gray in comparison to the LED/LCD. I wanted to say that the motion was somewhat smoother on the plasmas, but in a lot of cases it was so close, any difference was imperceptible. Viewing angle was even hard to really tell a big difference.

I wonder if there are any good stores to visit in SoCal that have better lighting environments and optimized settings, and perhaps an area stocked with shiny things in case I get bored.
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post #4 of 28 Old 07-05-2013, 06:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aesir5 
I will say that one of the things that bothered me on the plasmas was white screens (i.e. a shot of the sky w/ white clouds), where the the pictured almost seemed like a light gray in comparison to the LED/LCD.
Plasma whites are ok only full screen white is a problem. The Samsung Plasma PNXXF8500 whites/look is LCd like.
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Originally Posted by Aesir5 
I wanted to say that the motion was somewhat smoother on the plasmas, but in a lot of cases it was so close, any difference was imperceptible. Viewing angle was even hard to really tell a big difference.
LCd viewing angle is not good. In general Plasma has better viewing angle, better motion, better blacks and color is more natural.
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I wonder if there are any good stores to visit in SoCal that have better lighting environments and optimized settings, and perhaps an area stocked with shiny things in case I get bored.
Best comparisment can be done when TVs are pro-calibrated in a dark room using a clean source (blu-ray). In a dark room you will get the best PQ.
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post #5 of 28 Old 07-05-2013, 10:22 AM
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PDP generates gray levels via spatial and temporal dithering (ie - error diffusion/halftoning....etc). This can be argued to be a source of percieved sharpness reduction in PDP vs that of LCD.

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post #6 of 28 Old 07-05-2013, 04:33 PM
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I have an LCD and a PDP. Both have very good pictures. I find when comparing the two, that the plasma has more detail, (especially shadow detail) better more inky type blacks and more pop to the color. The plasma seems to be prone to more visible compression artifacts like color banding and dithering. Both seem just as bright under low level lighting conditions. I never watch TV in a brightly lit room, it's counter productive. biggrin.gif



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post #7 of 28 Old 07-05-2013, 08:15 PM
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Originally Posted by mailiang View Post

I find when comparing the two, that the plasma has more detail, (especially shadow detail)
That is surprising to me, because Plasma's limited gradation tends to severely diminish the visibility of shadow details in my experience.
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Originally Posted by mailiang View Post

Both seem just as bright under low level lighting conditions. I never watch TV in a brightly lit room, it's counter productive. biggrin.gif
They should be just as bright when adjusted for viewing in low light conditions - or it could be argued that the plasma goes brighter in some cases, because the brightness of the panel is variable depending on the brightness of the image being displayed when using a plasma display, whereas an LCD is able to maintain a fixed brightness whether only a small portion of the screen is lit up, or the entire screen is white.

This is most obvious with animated content or video games, where scenes are generally brighter than filmed content. It can also be a problem with bright outdoor scenes with filmed content though, particularly if it's 16:9.
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post #8 of 28 Old 07-05-2013, 10:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Chronoptimist View Post

That is surprising to me, because Plasma's limited gradation tends to severely diminish the visibility of shadow details in my experience.

I believe it may have to do with the type of the LCD. General speaking, plasmas have for the most part look more detailed to me.

From Home Theater's on line magazine:
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The most obvious difference between LCD and plasma has been how well they reproduce deep blacks and shadow detail. Plasma has long held the upper hand. Since plasmas are self-illuminating, pixels in black areas of the image may approach complete shutdown. But even when they’re reproducing black, a small charge remains on each pixel to keep it energized for the next scene, leaving some residual brightness visible on a dark image in a dim room. This will be most visible on the black screens used to transition between TV commercials or in the black letterbox bars on some widescreen movies. But the best plasmas can achieve awfully dark blacks without sacrificing shadow details. Conversely, LCD panels by nature can’t fully block the light from their backlight. For many years, the “always-on” fluorescent tube backlights used in LCD HDTVs produced noticeable bleedthrough that made LCD blacks look more like gray, at the expense of contrast and shadow detail.

The same can also be said for many LED/LCD's without local dimming. However, I have found their improved black levels more satisfying.


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post #9 of 28 Old 07-06-2013, 01:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Aesir5 View Post

So, you're telling me that if I were a fish, I would have been captured long ago by the first shiny lure that floated by.... Fair enough.

I will say that one of the things that bothered me on the plasmas was white screens (i.e. a shot of the sky w/ white clouds), where the the pictured almost seemed like a light gray in comparison to the LED/LCD. I wanted to say that the motion was somewhat smoother on the plasmas, but in a lot of cases it was so close, any difference was imperceptible. Viewing angle was even hard to really tell a big difference.

I wonder if there are any good stores to visit in SoCal that have better lighting environments and optimized settings, and perhaps an area stocked with shiny things in case I get bored.

By the way, Aesir, I meant to finish my thought the other day but got distracted... I kind of agree with you with on some cloud scenes. I disagree with you a good deal on viewing angle.

But, if you do find a good store (maybe Ken Cranes?) and still prefer the LCD, you should buy it. Sincerely, I believe that.

There is no difference in HDMI cables. If you can see the picture without visible dropouts or sparklies, the cable is working at 100%. No other cable will display a better version of that picture. You're simply wrong if you think there is a better digital cable than one that is already working. (Oh, and plasma didn't die because of logistics problems, nor does OLED ship in big boxes because it comes from Korea.)
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post #10 of 28 Old 07-06-2013, 02:02 AM
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I disagree with you a good deal on viewing angle.
In a bright room, viewing angle is largely a non-issue with the better LCD panels. It's only once you start watching in the dark or very low illumination that viewing angle starts to become a problem. (same with the lower contrast that a lot of LCDs have - non-issue in a bright room)
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post #11 of 28 Old 07-06-2013, 07:35 AM
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I have one of the pioneer Elite plasmas (2009). Until this year's panasonic plasmas, it was considered to have the best black levels of any commercial television (some say it still handles motion and overall brightness better than the panny's). The reason I bought it was for the black levels. When I watch a movie that is letterboxed, I wanted the black bars to disappear into the bezel. That was the only TV to achieve it. To me, having that level of black levels was necessary to create that "3d-pop" that most other televisions lacked in an image. Are the whites equivalent to the whites on a sheet of paper? I guess not. But if I consider the ratio of times i've seen an all white image compared to dark scenes, it became clear which mattered more to me. To be fair, the pioneer suited my purposes and may not suit your needs. The windows in my room stand perpendicular to the TV panel. Also I primarily watch TV (and care about image quality) at night and not during the day. If I had the TV in a bright room (say a sunroom/porch) and watched primarily during the day, then I may choose another television. But remember that your eyes are then being distracted by ambient light all around you in that environment, so how critical is the viewing experience to being with (In a bright room, i'd also be looking for a matte finish to the TV).

Motion was another thing that I considered. LCD's/LED have improved much since then but I cannot get used to the 120hz/240hz look and often turn off that effect when I'm over my parents house. It makes the image look very video like and motion looks unnatural. But I think the technology affects people differently. For example, I never saw the rainbow effect on a DLP television but it bothered others.

This year's panny's have actually got me considering a new TV. I love my Pioneer but its 50". While a good enough size for the room, I wouldn't mind bigger. At the time, $3500 for a discontinued TV line was all I was willing to pony up. I wouldn't mind paying $3K for a 65" today and moving the pioneer to a different room. The only thing holding me back is the advent of OLED TV if and when that becomes available.
Just some things to consider.
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post #12 of 28 Old 07-06-2013, 08:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chronoptimist View Post

In a bright room, viewing angle is largely a non-issue with the better LCD panels. It's only once you start watching in the dark or very low illumination that viewing angle starts to become a problem. (same with the lower contrast that a lot of LCDs have - non-issue in a bright room)

I find the problems with LCD viewing angles apparent in both bright (e.g. typical store) conditions and dark conditions. I can see the image washing outt, color draining, contrast diminishing, out as I move off center. It's always especially apparent if the LCD is right beside a plasma, as off-angle the plasma remains rich looking and the LCD looks washed out. The best LCDs I've seen are getting better with the viewing angle thing, but still ain't there.

Depends on how picky one is about this issue, though.
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post #13 of 28 Old 07-06-2013, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Jason Priestley View Post

I wanted the black bars to disappear into the bezel. That was the only TV to achieve it.
It doesn't achieve that. As with all plasmas, the panel still glows in a dark room. The only sets to achieve true black are local dimming LED sets. But they don't achieve total darkness all the time either. (and certainly not edge LED sets - only full array ones)
The new Panasonics (and your Kuro - assuming it's a 9/9.5G) will have better contrast in a dark room than any LED set on sale today though. I don't think anyone is selling full array local dimming sets any more.
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But remember that your eyes are then being distracted by ambient light all around you in that environment, so how critical is the viewing experience to being with
I find bias lighting incredibly distracting when watching a TV, but I don't find that to be the case with ambient lighting in a room - whether that is daylight or lamps that are out of your eyeline. I don't have any visual distractions around my TV either though.
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In a bright room, i'd also be looking for a matte finish to the TV
That will kill the contrast performance of the TV and you will have a very washed out image. As long as you can avoid direct reflections (e.g. bright objects behind you reflecting back on the panel) a glossy screen will put out a significantly better image in a bright room. It's a common misconception.
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Motion was another thing that I considered. LCD's/LED have improved much since then but I cannot get used to the 120hz/240hz look and often turn off that effect when I'm over my parents house.
As you have found out, it's optional. Backlight scanning is the real thing which improves motion handling on LCD and it does not introduce that "soap opera" effect. (neither does Sony's MotionFlow set to Clear or better)
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This year's panny's have actually got me considering a new TV. I love my Pioneer but its 50". While a good enough size for the room, I wouldn't mind bigger. At the time, $3500 for a discontinued TV line was all I was willing to pony up. I wouldn't mind paying $3K for a 65" today and moving the pioneer to a different room. The only thing holding me back is the advent of OLED TV if and when that becomes available.
Unless you want to spend a lot of money or wait a number of years, you might as well get the Panasonic if you're just looking for something bigger with similar performance to your Kuro. OLED is still years away from large sizes at affordable prices.
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I find the problems with LCD viewing angles apparent in both bright (e.g. typical store) conditions and dark conditions. I can see the image washing outt, color draining, contrast diminishing, out as I move off center.
I wouldn't be surprised if Samsung panels are still doing that, but Sharp (UV2A) or LG (IPS) panels shouldn't be doing that any more. (generally it's one of those three or equivalents in a TV these days)

The cheap Sony and Sharp sets we had here certainly had serious problems off-axis, but none of the Panasonic LCDs (IPS) or the main Sony TV (UV2A) have problems with viewing angle when there's ambient light in the room.

It's a significant problem in low levels of lighting though, but I am always sitting in front of the TV, or 10-15 degrees off to the side at most when I watch it...
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post #14 of 28 Old 07-06-2013, 10:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Chronoptimist View Post

It doesn't achieve that. As with all plasmas, the panel still glows in a dark room. The only sets to achieve true black are local dimming LED sets. But they don't achieve total darkness all the time either. (and certainly not edge LED sets - only full array ones)
The new Panasonics (and your Kuro - assuming it's a 9/9.5G) will have better contrast in a dark room than any LED set on sale today though. I don't think anyone is selling full array local dimming sets any more.
I find bias lighting incredibly distracting when watching a TV, but I don't find that to be the case with ambient lighting in a room - whether that is daylight or lamps that are out of your eyeline. I don't have any visual distractions around my TV either though.
That will kill the contrast performance of the TV and you will have a very washed out image. As long as you can avoid direct reflections (e.g. bright objects behind you reflecting back on the panel) a glossy screen will put out a significantly better image in a bright room. It's a common misconception.
As you have found out, it's optional. Backlight scanning is the real thing which improves motion handling on LCD and it does not introduce that "soap opera" effect. (neither does Sony's MotionFlow set to Clear or better)
Unless you want to spend a lot of money or wait a number of years, you might as well get the Panasonic if you're just looking for something bigger with similar performance to your Kuro. OLED is still years away from large sizes at affordable prices.
I wouldn't be surprised if Samsung panels are still doing that, but Sharp (UV2A) or LG (IPS) panels shouldn't be doing that any more. (generally it's one of those three or equivalents in a TV these days)

The cheap Sony and Sharp sets we had here certainly had serious problems off-axis, but none of the Panasonic LCDs (IPS) or the main Sony TV (UV2A) have problems with viewing angle when there's ambient light in the room.

It's a significant problem in low levels of lighting though, but I am always sitting in front of the TV, or 10-15 degrees off to the side at most when I watch it...

This is true. There is still a black glow but barely noticeable when watching content on TV and I do have one of those cinemaquest back lights attached to the television at times. The Kuro Elite that I have (9th gen) was the closest at the time to achieving this effect. A bit disappointing to hear that most TV's even today cannot achieve that.

I also agree with having a glossy screen vs. matte. I guess I was just talking about in the event that you have no choice but to pace a TV where the window is behind you. Perhaps angling the TV down would help in that instance. But again, if you are in a room that is super bright with windows everywhere and you only watch during the day, then I still think Matte may be the way to go. But for serious viewing, I'd like to find ways to view in th dark.

I've been waiting for OLED to hit the market but its been taking forever. If there was a 1080P OLED that was $7K in price (Like that new Sony 4K TV), I'd be at a store right now buying one (assuming that the PQ does live up to the quality as the last time I saw one was at CES 3 years ago and it was a prototype in a bright room).
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post #15 of 28 Old 07-06-2013, 11:29 AM
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As to glossy vs matte screen, I suppose I have to agree in general. It's when you get down to specifics that there may be exceptions.

My LG 65LW6500 has a highly glossy screen. OTOH, my Sharp 70LE640U has a matte, (or perhaps a somewhat semi-gloss) screen. The Sharp beats hell out of the LG for PQ in bright or darkened room. I presume because the native contrast is so much better. (Supposedly 1:1,600 vs 1: 2,200). Both TVs are using calibration settings posted on the dedicated threads. (Yes, I know, but I'm not investing in the equipment or having a pro calibrator do it.) Viewing angles are comparable: about 40-45 degrees either way from dead center before I can detect any washout in normal viewing

Anyway, yeah, a glossy screen can be annoying to deal with.
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post #16 of 28 Old 07-06-2013, 01:19 PM
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If I had room light control at all, even just a little bit, I would buy the new Samsung 64F8500. It should handle reflections almost , maybe equally, as well as a LCD and when you reach a point where you've narrowed your choices down to your top LCD and the Sammy plasma you're probably nit picking to the point of driving yourself nuts. Two terrific pictures that offer slightly different perspectives. Better blacks, better whites, better shadow detail, better color saturation. personal real world opinion and yours is the only one that counts. My opinion, the Sammy.
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post #17 of 28 Old 07-06-2013, 01:31 PM
 
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I have some light in the living room but prefer nighttime viewing, so the ZT60 is the more obvious choice for Plasma aficionados like me.
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post #18 of 28 Old 07-06-2013, 04:15 PM
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I have some light in the living room but prefer nighttime viewing, so the ZT60 is the more obvious choice for Plasma aficionados like me.
The entire line of Panasonic ST series are awesome but I don't see the return on investment with the Z. I'd go with the V unless somebody else is paying for it. It's a real toss up between the Panny and the Sammy but I prefer the brighter picture and the less sensitive ABL of the Sammy. Can't miss with either though.
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This much ballyhooed complaint about extreme ABL is just not something I can be bothered by. The Z has the best filter making it good for environments with medium lighting. That's the biggest area where one will see the ROI. The Z is plenty bright for my main viewing preferences and will go darker than the F8500 when I do serious viewing. Easy choice coming from a Kuro.
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post #20 of 28 Old 07-07-2013, 10:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aesir5 View Post

So, you're telling me that if I were a fish, I would have been captured long ago by the first shiny lure that floated by.... Fair enough.

I will say that one of the things that bothered me on the plasmas was white screens (i.e. a shot of the sky w/ white clouds), where the the pictured almost seemed like a light gray in comparison to the LED/LCD. I wanted to say that the motion was somewhat smoother on the plasmas, but in a lot of cases it was so close, any difference was imperceptible. Viewing angle was even hard to really tell a big difference.

I wonder if there are any good stores to visit in SoCal that have better lighting environments and optimized settings, and perhaps an area stocked with shiny things in case I get bored.

I am not going to defend plasma to you. You've obviously already made up your mind. It's a waste of time to defend plasma technology to people like yourself. This isn't to put you down. To each his own.

Edit:
When Coke changed their formula because people preferred Pepsi, they made a big mistake. The moral is that what looks/ tastes good immediately isn't necessarily going to provide long term satisfaction. I personally could never live with an LCD screen yet. They still need to become more plasma-like before I would consider it. Eventually it would simply be better and easier to buy a plasma than a copy-cat technology.

My equipment: Panasonic 2012 GT55", iScan Duo Processor, Dish Satellite, B&K AVR 507 Receiver, Magnepan speakers, Velodyne SPL800 Sub-woofers X2, home built HTPC, PS3, purchased and waiting for delivery of Darbee Darblet.
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post #21 of 28 Old 07-07-2013, 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted by andy sullivan View Post

The entire line of Panasonic ST series are awesome but I don't see the return on investment with the Z. I'd go with the V unless somebody else is paying for it. It's a real toss up between the Panny and the Sammy but I prefer the brighter picture and the less sensitive ABL of the Sammy. Can't miss with either though.

A lot of reviewers point out the filter justifies the Z just fine. And as for "less sensitive" ABL, I think you really need to multiply that by a function called "viewer sensitivity." Most people on most content will never experience ABL issues. We survived a decade just fine not discussing this "shortcoming" of plasma technology until a small and noisy minority made it a cause celebre, presumably to justify their own preferences.
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Originally Posted by vinnie97 View Post

This much ballyhooed complaint about extreme ABL is just not something I can be bothered by. The Z has the best filter making it good for environments with medium lighting. That's the biggest area where one will see the ROI. The Z is plenty bright for my main viewing preferences and will go darker than the F8500 when I do serious viewing. Easy choice coming from a Kuro.

All that said, I think the Samsung or either Panasonic is a "do no wrong" for most people and one should shop all three. Having a 2012 Panasonic, I can tell you it performs fantastically in daytime and at night. The only shortcoming is when light directly hits the screen (or one is 90 degrees from incident light).

There is no difference in HDMI cables. If you can see the picture without visible dropouts or sparklies, the cable is working at 100%. No other cable will display a better version of that picture. You're simply wrong if you think there is a better digital cable than one that is already working. (Oh, and plasma didn't die because of logistics problems, nor does OLED ship in big boxes because it comes from Korea.)
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post #22 of 28 Old 07-07-2013, 02:30 PM
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I have owned a rear projection TV, Plasma, and LCD/LED TV. They all have their pro's and con's and everyone will have their personal preferences. I have always been a plasma guy and was set on getting another plasma TV until I moved to Hawaii and had three big windows in my family room. So I went with the LCD/LED combo and I wanted to go the Sharp Elite path but I didn't have the Sharp Elite money either lol; especially with 4K around the corner and other advancement in the making. I find that plasma picture to be more lifelike and a softer look to it. While I do like the sharpness of my LCD TV for my anime shows, the movies are too digital in my opinion and while my TV is not professional calibrated yet I hope to give it a more realistic look once I get it dialed in. I do not regret getting my Sharp TV and love the colors it can produce but the biggest thing I notice at night time viewing is the black level, but the trade is during my daytime viewing my TV is not being washed out and the glare is not an issue as well.

You have to remember as humans we are attractive to bright shiny objects and with LCD/LED they produce the bright color especially when its an all white screen which plasma will always have an issue in doing.
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post #23 of 28 Old 07-08-2013, 12:38 AM
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Originally Posted by rogo View Post

And as for "less sensitive" ABL, I think you really need to multiply that by a function called "viewer sensitivity." Most people on most content will never experience ABL issues. We survived a decade just fine not discussing this "shortcoming" of plasma technology until a small and noisy minority made it a cause celebre, presumably to justify their own preferences.
I seem to remember ABL being discussed back in the CRT days (though I wasn't on this forum then) but towards the end of CRT you were only looking at 5-10% brightness loss due to ABL. With Plasmas you can be looking at 50% brightness loss, and it behaves in a more "digital" fashion rather than being a smooth gradient as pattern size varies.

I still don't understand why reviewers aren't measuring and graphing ABL performance of the plasmas they are reviewing - it's going to remain an issue when plasmas are replaced with OLEDs. Back when I was doing reviews, it was something that I tried to push for, but had little success. I did at least get things shifted more towards measured performance than subjective performance at the site I was writing for though. Even if you don't consider it to be an issue, it is important to see if "efficiency improvements" are really just brought about by more aggressive ABLs, and as a tool for comparing various plasmas against each other.

I still think plasmas should offer the option to disable their ABL, even if that means limiting their peak brightness. If a set can put out 500 nits peak white, and that dims by 50% with a full white screen, give us the option to have a constant 250 nits instead. Really, I only want a constant 100 nits from any display viewed in low level lighting, but you can't have that. When you set it to 100 nits peak white, you end up at 50 nits with a full white screen because the ABL is still active. With CRTs, as you reduced contrast, you also reduced the aggressiveness of the ABL on most sets.
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post #24 of 28 Old 07-08-2013, 03:52 PM
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Chron, interesting points as usual.

There is no difference in HDMI cables. If you can see the picture without visible dropouts or sparklies, the cable is working at 100%. No other cable will display a better version of that picture. You're simply wrong if you think there is a better digital cable than one that is already working. (Oh, and plasma didn't die because of logistics problems, nor does OLED ship in big boxes because it comes from Korea.)
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post #25 of 28 Old 07-09-2013, 01:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Well, I found another store (Paul's TV in Irvine) and for whatever reason, the difference between the 65" Samsung F8000 and the 65" Panasonic VT60 became much closer to my eyes than it had in the Best Buys. One interesting thing, the viewing angle on the F8000 seemed very good, but when the video was paused and I stepped to the side, I noticed a massive color washout. Then they started playing again, and I didn't notice it as severely anymore. Clearly I'm crazy..

Anyhow, the VT60 was very tempting, but they were able to give me a good deal on the Samsung F8000 (not to mention, my girlfriend also preferred the F8000), so I bought it. Unfortunately, after getting it home, I noticed the left corner of the screen housing has light showing through, and somehow that light is radiating through the corner of the picture causing it to wash out blacks (and to a lesser extent any color) in that corner of the screen. It's clearly defective, and now I'm just hoping Paul's TV is going to take care of me in this regard. It's actually got me thinking of going back to the VT60... (I'd like the ZT60, but I can't see paying an extra $1k for such a little difference). Even though I'm normally watching TV in a low light scenario (evening time), my living room is bright during the day, and hence need to have something bright enough to compete with all the windows during the weekend.

Other than the faulty corner on the F8000, blacks seem very, very good--maybe the local dimming?
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post #26 of 28 Old 07-09-2013, 08:42 PM
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The F8000 has really good blacks with room light or ambient light. If you like the blacks on an F8000 in low light, I mean no disrespect, but your standards on blacks aren't that severe.

By the way, Ken Crane's had a great rep which is why I recommended them in the first place. I suspect they'll take care of you. Flashlighting like you're experiencing is way too common on Samsung LCDs.

There is no difference in HDMI cables. If you can see the picture without visible dropouts or sparklies, the cable is working at 100%. No other cable will display a better version of that picture. You're simply wrong if you think there is a better digital cable than one that is already working. (Oh, and plasma didn't die because of logistics problems, nor does OLED ship in big boxes because it comes from Korea.)
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post #27 of 28 Old 07-25-2013, 09:35 PM
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First of all, this is not a question of which technology is "better." Rather, I just want to understand if I'm missing something. Despite staring at a lot of high end plasmas in the store, I cannot discern the advantage over the high end LCD/LED. They always look dull/dim and not as sharp in comparison.

After reading quite a bit, I understand some of the reasons that could lead to this are: 1. Inappropriate/unrealistic store lighting, 2. Improperly optimized settings 3. Various factors that would not exist in a living room environment. As far as #1 is concerned, I live in Orange County, Southern California, and the only places I've been able to find these sets on display is Magnolia within the local best buys. I went to two stores, one had the florescent lights overhead, and the other had the Magnolia portion of the store more separate with low ceilings and somewhat dimmed halogen lighting--the perception was the same..

I have been blissfully ignorant to new TV technology for the last 5 years until my DLP TV went kaput, and now I'm forced to purchase a new TV against my will (minimum 65"). Queue up the hours and hours of research and review reading, and I was sure I would want to purchase a Panasonic ZT60 or VT60, or possibly the Samsung F8500. After going to the stores and actually viewing the sets, it seems like the F8000 is the best choice. Brighter colors, crisper picture, comparable viewing angles and motion, even deeper blacks in some cases!

The problem is that everything I've read is contrary to my experience. Is it possible that it really does just come down to personal taste, and mine happens to be completely different than almost every professional reviewer? Or am I missing something? This is a large expense, and I don't want to screw myself for the next 5-7 years (hopefully it will actually last that long... pretty pissed at Samsung for the terrible durability of my last set).


I suggest that you don't base your decision at all on your experience in a store. Reviews are more helpful and as you've already noted, the contenders for best display you can buy today come down to the Panasonic VT60 or ZT60 on one hand, and the Samsung F8000 on the other..

Your decision may well hinge on what you value most in a display. The F8000 can get quite bright but do you really need it to be that bright? If given the choice between one set which is able to get brighter and the other which can get noticably darker, I would go for the blacker black level any day. Are you able to control the lighting at all in the room where the tv will be positioned? Some ambient light is NOT a problem for either set, but I think the F8000 advantage would be in a situation where there is a LOT of light that cannot be controlled, large windows and so forth. If you will do your critical viewing at night or with the lighting controlled, then the Panasonic models will clearly outclass the Samsung.

My personal suggestion would be to go with the consensus and get a VT60 or ZT60. One other option would be if you could find a Pioneer Kuro in good condition for a cheap price. A KRP-600m, for example, can be made both blacker and can get noticably brighter than the Panasonic models. But of course, there are risks associated with that kind of purchase but I would suggest that if a Kuro has gone for several thousand hours with no problems it is highly unlikely to have problems in the future. It is a risk, to be sure, but if you can get a 600m for significantly less than you could get a ZT60, I think it would be a good risk to take.


Either way, don't bother comparing displays in the stores. I would say you should make sure there is a return policy, take a Panasonic display home with you, set it up properly, and if you are not satisfied with it take it back and replace it with a different model.
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post #28 of 28 Old 07-29-2013, 12:08 AM - Thread Starter
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So I've come full circle... Paul's TV came through and stood by their product. And partly by coincidence, for various reasons, it worked out a bit better to get a Panasonic TC-P65VT60 Plasma as a replacement to the F8000. Based on the good reviews, and feedback I'd gotten here, I decided to give it a shot. And..... I'm glad that I did!

I just got it, but after watching a little bit of test material, I already notice some things that I like better.. Most noticeably, the plasma does not seem to have the same picture stutter and pixelation artifacts showing up that seemed to happen with the LED/LCD. This issue alone is enough to make me vastly prefer the plasma. I'd read about the "soap opera" effect, and seeing it in the LED/LCD initially was actually kind of neat--it seemed very sharp, but maybe it was interesting for the sole sake of being different. However, having experienced both now, I think I much prefer the smoother picture in the plasma. For some reason though, I just couldn't really make this distinction in the store comparison, but seeing both in my living room really made the difference noticeable. Also, in my home environment, the brightness does not really seem to be an issue, and while the LED/LCD was certainly brighter, I don't think the plasma will be less bright to the point of being distracting or really that noticeable.

After the brief testing, I began running some slides that I found in another discussion about calibration. I'm trying to get the best settings I can without spending $400+ on a professional calibration, since as it has been pointed out, my standards may not be "severe" enough to visually appreciate such an expensive service. But who knows? At this rate, I may be pointing out deep blacks like fine wines in no time! But that may be a topic for another thread...

I really appreciate all the feedback from everyone.
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Panasonic Viera Tc P60zt60 60 Inch Plasma Tv , Panasonic Tc P60vt60 60 Inch 3d Smart Plasma Hdtv , Samsung Pn51f8500 51 Inch 3d Smart Plasma Hdtv , Samsung Ue40f8000
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