Originally Posted by sl1200mk2
Been lurking here for years, but not posted much. My 7yr old Sammy 52" DLP recently died. Worked perfectly until just recently (never replaced anything). Could probably fix it with a new color wheel and bulb, but figure it's time for an upgrade. Still watching only DVD's and everything hooked up via component!
After much agonizing, countless hours of reading reviews, hundreds upon hundreds of forum posts and several hours at stores staring various sets, I've settled on a Panny 55" VT30. It was between this and the Samsung D8000 LCD. I was entirely Samsung biased at first, but actually looking at them in person changed things. Even in the store, only being able to roughly change settings (to THX mode), the VT30 just looked so good. Sure, the Samsung really "popped" and definitely was (much) brighter, but I kept coming back to the VT30. I was genuinely worried about the overall reliability on the Samsung (reading those threads was scary) and I could see the uniformity issues in store. Honestly, I don't catch (see) half of what you guys talk about in regards to anything, but I could pretty easily see several defects (limitations?) on just about any Samsung LCD. I didn't pursue Samsung plasma's much after seeing the Panasonic.
I normally don't buy major purchases from the big box stores, but BB had a really decent sale on the VT30, so after taking the wife down for a look and her much preferring the VT30 as well, it was a done deal. Wasn't in-stock to take it home the same day, but I should have it by the end of the week. This will be my first plasma and only 2nd HD set.
I was initially OCD about burn-in, IR, doing the special slides, calibrations and , but I've decided to just roll with it. I'll just set THX mode (levels 50 or less) and enjoy full screen content (HD or stretched) for the first 100hrs. Calibration seems like a worth while investment after I pick up a Blue-Ray player and finish break-in.
I wanted to thank everyone for all the information in these threads. It's genuinely helped out!
Well, I got my 55VT30. After blowing my budget on this set and a Oppo BDP-93 Blu-Ray player, I cheaped out and skipped on delivery from BB. I got the set on sale, so they wouldn't budge on delivery. I didn't fight it... thought "big deal -- I'll handle it". I was used to my 52" DLP which is basically a big empty plastic shell that's not heavy at all.
After stuffing the VT30 into a borrowed Suburban, which barely
allows it to stand upright in the box (we're talking millimeters) I got it home and realized exactly how heavy this thing is! Took over an hour just to get it out of the box and into the stand. Just me and the wife available to do this mind you. Now for the journey up stairs. Yeah, that's right... up stairs. Those small, up, then 90 deg turn, then up again deals. After thoroughly measuring and making sure we had clearance (again, barely) we began the operation. Believe me, there was several moments of terror, agony and thought for sure my back was going to be shot for a month.
Cutting to the chase, set made it up stairs perfectly, never touching anything but our gentile and now sore hands. Moral of the story... don't cheap out on the $100 delivery. I'll never attempt that again!!
Boy was this thing worth it though. Absolutely. Drop. Dead. Gorgeous. Out of the box on THX mode with a couple levels dialed down a little bit for break-in, it's still simply stunning. Been watching a few hours of HD channels. Also tried out the Oppo player and saw a Blu-Ray disc for the 1st time -- Tron. WOW!! I hardly remember the movie because I couldn't get over the PQ. I must of paused it 10 times and asked the wife "are you seeing this?!!" I did zoom too wanting to avoid the letterbox during break-in, so I'm sure it looks even better as originally intended. The Oppo player is another must buy. I'll never buy another $150 Costco player again!
I don't know if I saw any fluctuating issues or not, everything so far has looked amazing. I've seen nothing that's made me think "what was that?" Could be my set is fine, but probably that I just don't notice these "issues" readily unless it's pretty obvious and blatant. After a couple hundred hours of normal viewing I plan to get it calibrated.
I can honestly say I've never really seen an HD set until now. The DLP was great for its time and I thoroughly enjoyed it, but I'm over the moon so far with the Panasonic. If anyone (like me) who was on the fence about plasma vs. LCD or this set in general (I was between this or the Samsung D8000 LCD), go with the plasma and Panasonic. You won't regret it.