Originally Posted by Megalith
I'm sure this has been asked, but is the jump in black level really that bad? I smell a bunch of people who simply want a free 3D TV.
Are we talking embarrassing LCD black levels?
I (we) have a 50v10 purchased in August 2009, with just over 1000 hours on it. One evening in January we noticed that the lovely inky blacks we used to have are no longer there. Is it that bad? It all depends on your viewing setup and your expectations, and according to the official line from Panasonic "it is not visible to a person". It well may be that not all sets are affected, although I personally believe that they all are but not everyone will notice it in their viewing environment.
We watch movies in a completely dark room with the wall behind the TV gently illuminated with LED strip lighting. In that setup, when new, the black of the panel was almost like ink. Not quite as dark as the display frame (we could see some faint glow), but very dark and satisfying nonetheless. Right now, the "black" of the panel is brighter than the illuminated wall behind it and it emits a definite glow. For comparison purposes, it is noticeably brighter than the LED backlit display of my MacBook Pro.
We bought a "high end" display and expect high end performance. What we have now in terms of the black level is comparable to an inexpensive LCD panel. Do we want this fixed? Of course! Do we want a "free" 3D display? Personally we could not care less - until the technology allows 3D viewing without the need for any glasses or other cumbersome attachments we are not at all interested. We want a TV that that performs like it did when we purchased it for a reasonable amount of time. We understand that phosphor based displays will age over time and the image quality will slowly degrade. We have a 7 year old 1080i CRT that simply blows away the V10 in terms of contrast ratio on both ends (black and white).
Most products have issues, not just televisions. What is important is the manufacturer's response and support in resolving these issues. What is infuriating about this particular issue is Panasonic's disgraceful denials and refusal to acknowledge that this is a real issue for some people. All I can say is that if this is not resolved for us to our satisfaction then this will be the last Panasonic display we spend our hard earned money on. Panasonic customer support is in dire need to learn the principles of customer support and brand loyalty from companies like Apple. And this last statement is based on my own personal experiences.