Originally Posted by DoctorM
I was shocked to see Cnet's review of the UT50 panel.
They actually gave it 4 out of 5 stars and said it is pretty much identical to the ST50... as long as you turn the lights out while watching it.
Samsung's top plasma only got 3-1/2 stars.
I don't think I'd want to sacrifice the upgraded sound, the ability to watch in a brighter room and the extra HDMI ports, and I'm sure a bunch more features.
Just surprising though.
The UT50 may well be the Bargain Panel of the year (and probably is - but not all of the 2012 sets have been reviewed yet), and CNet certainly gave it a glowing review.
However, do not think that one can safely "compare" the desirability of two TVs simply on the basis of how many "Stars" CNet gives it.
MEMORY tells me that they used to provide a Category Breakdown - something along the lines of Performance; Design; & Features: each of these received its own rating, and the Overall Rating was an aggregate of these sub-ratings (presumably not factored in equally...).
Thus two TVs could end up with the same OVERALL Rating - and yet one might offer better PERFORMANCE, whereas the other could lag in PQ, but "win" in Design & Features.
Cnet has now added a "VALUE" component to their Overall Rating - and factoring "Value" into the equation certainly has to help the UT50 as compared to many other 2012 panels, including the ST50.
Therefore, just because CNet ends up assigning "4 Stars" to a number of TVs, it does NOT mean that those TVs are Completely Equal and thus Interchangeable.
Please note that this analysis could apply to ANY HDTVs that Cnet reviews: the UT50 and ST50 are simply Examples.
Certainly, if I owned a UT50 (or was considering buying one) - I would take GREAT PRIDE (or ENCOURAGEMENT) in the CNet review.
At the same time, ST50 owners (or potential buyers) can take comfort in the following quote from CNet's UT50 review:
...we recommend that videophiles pay for the ST50 and use our calibration settings -- it's worth the difference in price.
Sounds like two Excellent Choices, based upon individual preferences, viewing environment, and budget...