Originally Posted by jeffs2
As for the question about black level, there is no doubt that the Elite had better black level and better contrast than the VT50. There is no question about this, it was clearly visible at the shootout. I think the gap has been narrowed to the point where _some_ could argue its close enough in black level that its not worth the tradeoffs, but there is still a noticeable difference.
This is why I've said I put less stock in the ratings by attendees, whether is was last year or this year. At HTS, a link was posted to the "Big Picture, Big Sound" website. Over there, a Chris Boylan said this: "In my opinion. the Panasonic plasma had the best overall black levels - a deep inky black that has been improved even over last year's VT series set. This was followed closely by the Samsung plasma and then the Elite LCD."
So he claims the Elite was 3rd. Perceptions are so different and it's the old 'beauty is in the eyes of the beholder'.
On another note, I just got back from BB to have my first look-see of the VT50. I have very mixed feelings, but part of that may be due to the relatively poor placement of the display at the Magnolia section.
First off I noticed a flicker that I can't recall seeing on my Kuro. It was enough to be a bit distracting and obviously not at all related to placement.
Although the peak whites have been improved, I don't think they're even close to the Elite. They were using Avatar as their demo and the display was initially in THX night mode and I had them change it to THX day mode.
There it had more pop, but I just didn't get the same sense of depth I get with my Elite. Here it could have been a placement issue, but I'll look elsewhere for another Magnolia with better placement. When I came home I popped my Avatar disc in and the difference in depth was far from from subtle. On the other side of the VT50 was the Elite showing some nature disc. There were full-screen scenes of snow that were brilliant and believable. Very impressive. It's this dynamic range I don't see any plasma matching.
I saw a bit of motion judder on the Panny, but I saw the same thing on the Elite, so I'd say it's inherent in the disc. Comparing the scenes I saw, I saw little difference in overall color quality, but this was far from a true A/B. Likewise it was difficult for me to assess detail relative to the Elite, both were excellent.
The styling was hit & miss for me. I like the full glass application but I thought it was really brought down by the bright silver surround. I don't know why they did that, but whatever.
As I said, first impression was nice, but not a replacement for me if I were looking for that screen size. I'll try to see it at another location.