Originally Posted by JHHKauthor
Week 1 With My New 50 G10
I bought my Panny local, set it up on a stand in my den, and started playing. I don't do math or science for a living, and I'm not an anything-ophile. I'm a full-time author in the action-adventure genre. I've read AVS for years, and this is my first post. My 50 G10 Panasonic plasma replaces a seven-year-old 26 Samsung crt, which still works fine, but has been demoted to wife-content.
I have twenty hours on the G10, and it's not yet ISF calibrated. I don't use the speakers in the TV at all. For now, I still have an old, 6.1 Onkyo HTIB. My room has white walls/ceiling and one small window with dark blinds. I only consume entertainment product at night. It's dark, but not bat-cave dark. I have a 7'6 viewing distance, screen-to-balls.
I left THX mode alone (it does look antiquey) and went straight to custom. I watch little TV. Every night it's either Xbox 360 or a DVD. I adjusted my user-menu settings with the help of a stack of DVDs and HD DVDs. (As soon as God of War 3 and the Lord of the Rings Blu-rays come to market, I'll get a PS3.) For now, everything goes through the Xbox 360 via component cable at 1080i.
On HD DVD I watched... 300, Troy, King Kong, Beowulf, Alexander, The Last Samurai, and The Bourne Ultimatum.
On DVD I watched... Lord of the Rings, Matrix, West Wing, Looney Tunes, Battle Royale, Amelie, X2, Jurassic Park, Iron Monkey, Wonder Woman, Spartan, Ronin, Way of the Gun, Battlestar Galactica, Redbelt, Hannibal, and The Dark Knight.
On Xbox 360 I played... Mass Effect, Oblivion, Halo 3, Soul Calibur 4, Resident Evil 5, GTA IV, Fallout 3, Bioshock, and Fable 2.
- My Personal Settings -
Color: + 30
Temp: Warm 2
Black level: Light (for HD DVDs) Dark (for DVDs)
HD Size: Size 2
Everything else set to: Off
And here are my general impressions thus far...
Black levels are very good. Not quite Kuro-good. Not crt-good (though I've never seen a 50 crt). When I watch in the dark, I can see the black bars on 2:35 content, if I look. Most of the time I just don't notice them. I've tried other people's brightness settings, but in my room, with my discs, I'm happy with +30. I drop it into dark mode for DVDs. I don't know if the Xbox 360 via component sends too bright a signal, but +30 gives me blacks instead of greys, without destroying shadow detail.
Comparing my setting to others, it seems I have the color quite low. I guess I just prefer the less-saturated look. I'm going to assume that saturation is very much a personal preference, and that it could vary greatly person to person, room to room. That said, the colors on my G10 pop. Blue sky, green grass, red blood. They say it, and it's true... You haven't seen a beheading, until you've seen a beheading on a G10. Every color is rich, deep, and, to me, quite accurate. Maybe not reference-perfect, but I'm beyond pleased. Skin tones look real-life realistic. At this point, I don't know if getting it calibrated would make me enjoy the picture more. It might be prettier mathematically, but I see no flaws.
Except for the flaws in the content. Beowulf in 1080p at 50 at 7'6 is a beautiful thing. Every single HD DVD I watched has had a better-than-a-movie-theater, 5-star quality. Movies on DVD, that have good transfers, like LOTR, look good, but soft. There is a lot of information encoded in these 480p discs that I just couldn't see on my 26 screen. It almost makes movies feel new again. On the other hand, a bad transfer, in 480p, like Ronin, sucks. Every flaw is magnified. It's soft and blocky and artifacty and just ugly. Of course, the solution is to sit 15' away. But right now my couch is against my back wall. I have a small den. And with babies on the way, I'm not going to be getting another room. So for now I'll watch a tiny bit of ugly content on a beautiful G10, until I go all HD.
Video games are mostly excellent. It depends on the game. Resident Evil 5 looked crisp. Mass Effect had all its graphic flaws heightened, textures popping in late, etc... It's like the G10 is the ultimate Truth Teller. Good content looks good, ugly content looks ugly, and the G10 will say that to your face. Ugly content can no longer hide like it could on my 26 Samsung crt. Soul Calibur 4, for example, has half-naked warrior girls with incredibly interesting breasts. On the 26 crt, the breasts look mostly round and boob-like (I believe that's the ISF term). On the 50 G10, the breasts, while only four-times bigger (which one might think would be a good thing...) appear to bounce more wildly, and look to be made of ginormous polygons. It's a little disturbing. Obviously, I expect this TV to last ten to fifteen years, so the Xbox 720, 1440, and 2880, digital-boob-wise should look classy. Maybe this week I'll dig out my SNES to see how that action looks. Flopping-female-body-parts aside, I love playing HD games on this set. It's thrilling.
My Week 1 Conclusions...
I'm in my thirties, and thus was raised to use words like Cool and Awesome. I have only good things to say about my G10 so far, and if she continues to behave, I'll keep up with the sweet-talk. I enjoy the DVDs I own, and look forward to Netflixing Blu-rays. I'm not going to make the argument that plasma spanks lcd, or led lcd, or fed, or oled, and I don't know if Joe The Fifteen-Year-Old will get more sex with a 50 G10 or a 60 Kuro. I just know that I like reading TV reviews on AVS, so I thought I would contribute my own initial experience. I don't have one dollar of buyer's remorse. I'm in Happy Camp. I don't know what I'm going to watch tonight... I just know that I will be liking it.