Originally Posted by kwazeo
I'm pretty new to the HDTV flat-panel scene. I recently got a Sharp LC60835U as my first flat-panel, but I'm sending that back to Amazon since I didn't like the non-uniform brightness of the screen. And since that seems to be a problem with most LED-LCD TVs, I've decided to try a plasma, and I've narrowed it down to either the Samsung PN64D8000 or Panasonic TC65VT30. But I'm having a hard time making a decision on some issues I haven't seen heavily discussed before, especially since there's only ~$400 difference right now between the two on Amazon, so I thought I'd solicit others' opinions and advice:
1.) I don't have a home theater setup, so I'm relying on the built-in TV speakers for sound. But which one is better? The Panasonic has a built-in subwoofer and has listed more powerful speakers, so I'd assume it has better sound, but can anyone confirm or deny that?
2.) I kinda like the "soap opera" effect of the dejudder on my Sharp LED-LCD, but the Samsung doesn't have dejudder processing whereas the Panasonic does. At least according to CNET. Does this make any difference in motion processing between the two, since they're plasma? Or is the Samsung's CinemaSmooth the same thing as a dejudder processor?
3.) I like that the Samsung has a swivel stand and seems to have a better media player that can read NTFS partitioned drives, which is an advantage over the Panasonic. But if the Panasonic has better sound quality, motion processing, and black levels, is this worth the higher cost when it lacks the aforementioned advantages of the Samsung?
Thanks all for your input!
I'd go with the VT30. Both TVs comes with issues of their own, as long as you don't go looking for them you'll be happy. I purchased the UN558000 LED sammy, and like you, I wasn't happy with the non-uniform brightness so I exchanged it for a 55VT30. The VT30 does not have that vibrant color the LED had (which caught my wife's eyes and override my decision to buy the VT30 the first time around), but once you set it up you will start to appreciate the smooth motion and the more accurate colors are easier on the eye. The vt30 has a THX mode for 2D and 3D which is pretty close to a calibrated screen - although not perfect. So if you don't plan to calibrate your screen anytime soon, the THX mode helps a lot.
The Samsung PND8000, although looks flashy with the thinner bezel, I wasn't really impress with it. The TV at BestBuy was showing Megamind (Again my wife likes the vibrant and flashy color) and I asked them to switch it to a movie (TRON) and compare it with the VT30. If you are using the display for OTA/Cable shows it's fine, but once you put in movies with dark scenes like Dark Knight and Tron? This is where the VT30 really shine. Not to say that the Sammy plasma can't do it, but if you put the Samsung PND8000 into 1080p/24 mode, the blacks will not compare to the VT30.
In a nutshell, if you watch a lot of cartoons and TV shows, the Samsung is a fine choice. If you are using it for watching movies, VT30 all the way. And since you are not using a speaker system, the VT30 will have slightly better sound. I wouldn't worry too much about the media player. I'd think that you plan to get a BD-player which is where you can select a player with better media playing capabilities. I always thought the SmartTV thing is overrated. I can definetly see it for smaller tvs that goes in the bedroom or smaller places, but large TVs? Most people will use a media box like PS3 or Bluray Player.