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Please Help Me Decide: Pan TC-P58V10 vs. Sam PN58B650 vs. LG 60PK550

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 
I'm ready to "bite the bullet" on a new TV, and am having the hardest time making a decision.

It seems like no matter which one I choose, there's the potential for some issue to bug the hell out of me.

I'm concerned about Panasonic's rising black levels, as well as Samsung's "buzz", the LG seems good, but the black levels don't seem to come close to the others.

I don't do much (if any) gaming, and am primarily interested in watching Blu-ray movies along with HDTV content (if that helps).

I loathe the "soap opera" look many HDTVs give movies, so I like the fact that the LG does 3:3 pulldown, and also that I can get a bigger screen at roughly the same wall-space and price as the others.

So, at the end of the day, my nagging questions are:

How bad are the black levels on the LG really? How would they compare to a Panasonic with the higher black levels active?

I plan on buying over the internet, so the prospect of getting a "buzzing" Samsung, then having to deal with returning it concerns me greatly. Have there been reports of the 2010 models doing this as well? If so, any idea what the odds are of getting a "buzzer"?

OK, I think that's enough for now. Sorry for rambling, all of this has my brain in a jumble.

THANKS in advance for your assistance!
post #2 of 31
have you read the review of the pk550? the black levels are very competitive.
post #3 of 31
Thread Starter 
I did read the review, after starting with the 750's review (which turned me on to the 550 as a better alternative).

However, I've also read a lot of comments here about LG's black levels being "not even close" to Panny's. Though I'm not sure if that's pre, or post Panny's seemingly inescapable level rise.
post #4 of 31
Its just the 750. The 550 and 950 have excellent black levels.
550 is worse than panny pre-rise. But better post-rise. Where did you read the lg's are bad?
post #5 of 31
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by shaddix View Post

Where did you read the lg's are bad?

It was on one of the threads here. Not so much "bad", it was more along the line of "lower build quality" / "playing catch-up with Panasonic and Samsung", along with IR issues.

If I can expect the LG to hold its black levels, and eventually better those of a "risen" Panasonic, then I think my decision will be much easier. That said, I'm still a bit concerned about the IR issues, but I suppose I'll learn how to cope with/avoid them (and teach the family the same tricks).
post #6 of 31
Thread Starter 
Hmm... Now you've got me thinking about the 950.
The specs look promising, has anyone actually run one through its paces yet?

[edit] Is it even available yet? I see it listed at one store (only), but they don't mention anything about it actually being in-stock (though they don't mention pre-order either). ???
post #7 of 31
I just helped my buddy bring home a brand new Samsung PN50C450 to set up in his new apartment! After spending a couple of hours setting it up and looking at a few bluray movies as well as playing some xbox I came home and decided that, having seen his beautiful new plasma, I would watch a movie on my own Panasonic C46FD18 (46" 1080p).

While watching the credits, waiting for the movie to start, I was reminded of how my display has already experienced the notorious black level raise-- My Panny now barely competes with my 4yr old Olevia LCD...

I shut the movie off after 15 minutes.


I speak for many emotionally destroyed Panasonic owners when I say this: Don't buy a Panasonic.
Seriously, don't do it to yourself.

F*cking Panasonic...
post #8 of 31
Dude sell that 46 and get what you want. If you can. Life is too short to put up with that if it annoys you that much.
post #9 of 31
For what it is worth, I spent a long time looking at a side-by-side P58V10 and PN58B860 yesterday at a Magnolia. They both seemed to be set up well (tucked into a dark room, no torch mode) and the pictures were very nice. The color on the Sammy seemed to me to be more vibrant (bluer blues, etc) and the blacks were noticeably darker as well. They were running identical material and the Panny was more washed-out looking. This V10 has been there for a long time, so it no doubt has 1000+ hours on it.
post #10 of 31
If I remember right, the B650/pk550 blacks are both in the 0.013 area, whereas the Panasonics are 0.008 initially, but soon doubles, then triples

The LG is a dark room only set though, it's a complete mirror. No point having good blacks if you can't see them.

LG is especially good if you get it calibrated, with that 20 point greyscale.
post #11 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by brittnell View Post

Hmm... Now you've got me thinking about the 950.
The specs look promising, has anyone actually run one through its paces yet?

[edit] Is it even available yet? I see it listed at one store (only), but they don't mention anything about it actually being in-stock (though they don't mention pre-order either). ???

.. crutchfield (very good online vendor) preorder.
post #12 of 31
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by daniel'son View Post

.. crutchfield (very good online vendor) preorder.

Crutchfield doesn't seem to have it listed. Adorama is the only place I've seen it so far, and even let me go so far as to add it to my cart and prepare to pay for it.
LG's site says it's "Coming Soon", so maybe I'll just wait until it appears more "officially" at other vendors.
I had originally told myself I could wait until August, but even though I'm getting antsier then expected, I think I can hold out another month or so.
BTW: According to the review I found on Flatpanelshd.com, the 950's black levels come in at around .04 (after calibration, .05 out-of-the-box). Looking pretty good!
Also, after re-measuring my space again, I think I'm going to go with a 50" instead.
Thanks all for the input!
post #13 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by brittnell View Post

BTW: According to the review I found on Flatpanelshd.com, the 950's black levels come in at around .04 (after calibration, .05 out-of-the-box). Looking pretty good!
Also, after re-measuring my space again, I think I'm going to go with a 50" instead.
Thanks all for the input!

That one is using a different measurement.

Most on here use fL (foot lambert)
.04 cd/m2 converted is about .010fL if i'm correct. not bad either.
post #14 of 31
Thread Starter 
Ah, good catch, and good to know!
post #15 of 31
post #16 of 31
Thread Starter 
Thanks daniel'son. Weird that I can't seem to find that via normal navigation of their site. I also can't find the 50" (which I'm now considering a more realistic size for my space).
I don't see a lot of incentive to lock in a pre-order at this point, as I doubt the set will sell out when it finally does appear across multiple retailers.
I'm shooting for Amazon, as I've had good experiences with shipping cost and returns from them (should any unforeseen issues arise with this set).
post #17 of 31
^^ .. yes, concur; though excellent online vendor, pricing is much like any B&M. have purchased fm latter in past & they are good, but 'bigriver' has nice balance. good luck.
post #18 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by shaddix View Post

Its just the 750. The 550 and 950 have excellent black levels.
550 is worse than panny pre-rise. But better post-rise. Where did you read the lg's are bad?

Do you have a source for the 950's black level measurement?
post #19 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by brittnell View Post

I'm concerned about Panasonic's rising black levels, as well as Samsung's "buzz", the LG seems good, but the black levels don't seem to come close to the others.

I plan on buying over the internet, so the prospect of getting a "buzzing" Samsung, then having to deal with returning it concerns me greatly. Have there been reports of the 2010 models doing this as well? If so, any idea what the odds are of getting a "buzzer"?

Then I would not buy a samsung. Yes, there are reports of the 2010 models buzzing in the 2010 Samsung threads.
post #20 of 31
Buzz volume aside, which if loud enough to be heard with normal viewing is a defect, most of the buzz is extremely directional. Which means if you sit close, front and center, with your head at the same general height of the screen, you are likely to hear some buzz, if present at all. I have this kind of buzz but the volume level is not an issue with mine. I only hear a buzz with no audio. The combination of the swivel stand and having more seating than just front and center makes it a non-issue for most of those that have a buzz of whatever level. If I did have only that seating, the slightest swiveling of the set removes the buzz, at least with mine. It is that directional.
post #21 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by PoorGuySansTV View Post

Do you have a source for the 950's black level measurement?

http://www.avforums.com/reviews/LG-5...TV-Review.html
post #22 of 31
Samsung
post #23 of 31
Samsung has seemed to add little improvement this year except add 3D. Some are reporting buzz, I saw someone report the Cinema Smooth option is still broken, etc. The black levels has not improved it seems. If 3d is not important to you, i would look for a good deal on an 09 b650 if it has to be a Samsung.

If your room is not too bright, and you want the best bang for your buck, the 60PK550 is a ridiculously good deal.
post #24 of 31
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the advice.
No, I am not interested in 3d at all. I've tried it, and don't find the benefits to outweigh the drawbacks.
Seems like the significant (non-cosmetic) differences between the 550 and 950 are the TruBlack filter, widgets, wireless, networking, and an extra HDMI port. I'll have to think a bit about whether those things are important enough to warrant the wait and extra expense. Hmm...
post #25 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by barrist View Post

If your room is not too bright, and you want the best bang for your buck, the 60PK550 is a ridiculously good deal.

Agreed. You won't get the internet streaming, though, if that is important to you.
post #26 of 31
Thread Starter 
I plug everything into a media center PC, so most of the widget stuff is fairly redundant.

What do you all think about the supposed 5M:1 vs. 3M:1 dynamic contrast ratio difference (apparently via the TruBlack filter)? Is it just marketing hype? If not, is that difference even in the realm of perception? Can I calibrate a 550 to within the same standards?

Thanks again. Getting closer!
post #27 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by brittnell View Post

I plug everything into a media center PC, so most of the widget stuff is fairly redundant.

What do you all think about the supposed 5M:1 vs. 3M:1 dynamic contrast ratio difference (apparently via the TruBlack filter)? Is it just marketing hype? If not, is that difference even in the realm of perception? Can I calibrate a 550 to within the same standards?

Thanks again. Getting closer!

The listed dynamic contrast ratios mean nothing in my opinion.

Chad B measured the ANSI contrast ratio (i believe a more practical measurement) for the 550 at 2000:1, and the 750 at less than 1000:1. As far as i know, a filter (trublack, real black, infinite black etc) won't help measured black levels. it just helps a bit with daytime viewing (in a bright rooml) and glare.

For comparison, the Samsung c7000 he measured was also around 1000:1 and a similar black level as the 750 (0.026)

As for calibration, unless LG comes out with a firmware fix, the 550 is easier to calibrate to the right level than the 750. Chad had trouble calibrating the 750.
post #28 of 31
I was just at costco as i heard they had a 60pk550 on display. I had thought it would be a washed out mess under the lights, but it held up surprisingly well. it looked very good.

what was apparent was how natural it (and most plasmas) is compared to some of the LEDs beside it. even after playing with settings, the Sony edgelit LED 60" beside it just looked cartoonish and way too much image processing in comparison.
post #29 of 31
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by barrist View Post

... Chad B measured the ANSI contrast ratio (i believe a more practical measurement) for the 550 at 2000:1, and the 750 at less than 1000:1.
...
As for calibration, unless LG comes out with a firmware fix, the 550 is easier to calibrate to the right level than the 750. Chad had trouble calibrating the 750.

From what I've heard, the 950 (the model I'm currently considering) has the better panel, similar to the 550 rather than the 750. The Flatpanelshd.com review up above lists the contrast ratio (ANSI?) for the 950 at 1840:1 out-of-the-box.

I think the main things I'm concerned with at this point are IR (supposedly not as good as Panasonic or Samsung), and a fix for the default sharpening filter. I've got a couple kids, and a technophobe wife, so I'm a little worried about them leaving the screen on some menu all day while I'm away.
post #30 of 31
I'm in the same boat on purchasing a plasma online its between the Sam PN58b650(refurbished) or a LG 60PK550 both fairly close in price /w shipping... My only concern is the sammy buzz vs the LG mirror?

The flat screen will be mounted above the fireplace(gas) as the fireplace is in a corner but at a angle and the only window in the room is probably 4 ft. to the right of the fireplace and same height its a big south facing window. Viewing distance is min. 6ft and max is maybe 10ft.
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