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Black Friday deals on cheap 50" plasmas

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I am looking to buy a 50"-class plasma for my parents. They have a 32" CRT and the set is just too small for the viewing distance. They have DirecTV right now, with only SD service.

I am considering 3 panels that are all priced $499:
  • Zenith Z50PV220 50" 1080p plasma (knock-off of the LG 50PV450)
  • Samsung PN51D430 51" 720p (no reviews anywhere yet)
  • Insignia NS-50P650A11 50" 720p (knock-off of a Samsung?)

I have a 42" 720p Insignia I bought over a year ago, and at the time it was a Samsung knock-off, so I went with it. So far, so good. I figure Zenith sucks these days, except that this panel is basically a dumbed-down version of the LG 1080p plasma. I just saw the 51" Sammy, and I have found nothing on it yet. Seems to be a Black Friday special at several outlets.

I suppose sound is important for aging parents, but I suppose I can always add a sound bar later on if necessary. SD performance is also important since they have SD directv now, and to upgrade to HD will cost them $100, plus monthly fees. Not sure the parents will go for it.

Sears is selling the Zenith, BestBuy has the Insignia, and three outlets have the (apparently) new Samsung 51" (BB, Walmart, and HHGregg).

Any thoughts on these panels? I just want to get the one that has good reliability, good sound quality, and good SD performance (for now), and decent HD performance.

I have a D-Nice calibrated Kuro (600M), so I know I am asking about inferior panels, but at black Friday prices, what the heck.

Larry
post #2 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by kennelm View Post

I am looking to buy a 50"-class plasma for my parents. They have a 32" CRT and the set is just too small for the viewing distance. They have DirecTV right now, with only SD service.

I am considering 3 panels that are all priced cheap:
  • Zenith Z50PV220 50" 1080p plasma (knock-off of the LG 50PV450)
  • Samsung PN51D430 51" 720p (no reviews anywhere yet)
  • Insignia NS-50P650A11 50" 720p (knock-off of a Samsung?)

I have a 42" 720p Insignia I bought over a year ago, and at the time it was a Samsung knock-off, so I went with it. So far, so good. I figure Zenith sucks these days, except that this panel is basically a dumbed-down version of the LG 1080p plasma. I just saw the 51" Sammy, and I have found nothing on it yet. Seems to be a Black Friday special at several outlets.

I suppose sound is important for again parents, but I suppose I can always add a sound bar later on if necessary. SD performance is also important since they have SD directv now, and to upgrade to HD will cost them $100, plus monthly fees. Not sure the parents will go for it.

Sears is selling the Zenith, BestBuy has the Insignia, and three outlets have the (apparently) new Samsung 51" (BB, Walmart, and HHGregg).

Any thoughts on these panels? I just want to get the one that has good reliability, good sound quality, and good SD performance (for now), and decent HD performance.

I have a D-Nice calibrated Kuro (600M), so I know I am asking about inferior panels, but at black Friday prices, what the heck.

Larry

I'd go with the Sammy if the prices are all in the same range.
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by techowiz View Post

I'd go with the Sammy if the prices are all in the same range.

Even though the Zenith (LG) is 1080p for the same price?
post #4 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by kennelm View Post

Even though the Zenith (LG) is 1080p for the same price?

Unless your parents will be watching blu-ray discs, streaming some 1080p media, or watching 1080p pay-per-view on their satellite they will not have any 1080p sources anyway. There are many picture characteristics that are more important than resolution in determining picture quality in an HDTV. These include contrast, color saturation and color accuracy. If I was buying tomorrow I'd go with one of the 50" Panasonic or Samsung 720p sets for $499.
post #5 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Buckeye911 View Post

Unless your parents will be watching blu-ray discs, streaming some 1080p media, or watching 1080p pay-per-view on their satellite they will not have any 1080p sources anyway. There are many picture characteristics that are more important than resolution in determining picture quality in an HDTV. These include contrast, color saturation and color accuracy. If I was buying tomorrow I'd go with one of the 50" Panasonic or Samsung 720p sets for $499.

I agree. And even most Blu-Rays look stunning on a 720p plasma.


Ian
post #6 of 11
Picture on the LG and Zenith versions of the 1080p set should be virtually identical aside from a few mostly useless menu features they're pretty much the same.

Samsung is probably just stripped of a few inputs as a Black Friday deal.

Insignia is probably a Samsung rebadge of a lower end model.

Even if watching regular HD the 1080p on the Zenith has noticably smaller pixels. It really doesn't look that bad at all. Unless they're living out in the country somewhere they should be able to get regular stations OTA, or possibly with the QAM tuner.
post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks, guys. I think I'll go either Samsung 51", or this 50" Panasonic TC-P50X3 that also just popped up for $499:

http://www.hhgregg.com/panasonic-50-...-/item/TCP50X3

Sammy 51", or Panny 50"....decisions, decisions.
post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by kennelm View Post

Thanks, guys. I think I'll go either Samsung 51", or this 50" Panasonic TC-P50X3 that also just popped up for $499:

http://www.hhgregg.com/panasonic-50-...-/item/TCP50X3

Sammy 51", or Panny 50"....decisions, decisions.


The Sammy has a little bit better horizontal resolution (1360 verses 1024) then the Panny. At closer seating distances, this may be distracting due to the larger pixels which are more visible in terms of SDE. However, I believe that Panasonic offers better over all quality.


Ian
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kennelm View Post

Thanks, guys. I think I'll go either Samsung 51", or this 50" Panasonic TC-P50X3 that also just popped up for $499:

http://www.hhgregg.com/panasonic-50-...-/item/TCP50X3

Sammy 51", or Panny 50"....decisions, decisions.

I pulled the trigger on the Panasonic TC-P50X3. Seems like the safest bet for the parents....
post #10 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by kennelm View Post

I pulled the trigger on the Panasonic TC-P50X3. Seems like the safest bet for the parents....

Congratulations, your parents should be very pleased with you.
post #11 of 11
I just picked up the Samsung 51" at HH Gregg for the $599 price. It's going to replace my 2 year old Sammy 42B430 in my MBR. The 42" is stunning but just a little too far away from the bed. As soon as I some starving college kid to help be carry it up, I'll hook it up and compare it with the 42".
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