I have had my 55ST50 for almost a full week now and thought I would post some thoughts on the set compared to the LG 55LW5600 LED I returned.
The LG had a very good detailed picture but the clouding, bleeding and flash lighting was driving me crazy. Letterbox movies being the worst. The final straw was when I was watching Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark and the dark scenes(which is half the movie) glowed around the edges like a frosted window which ruined the movie. I also noticed that movies like Rambo First Blood which I know are very grainy, the LG would smooth out all of the grain even in THX mode with all the enhancements off.
I set the Panasonic using Dnice's out of the box settings and have watched full screen video or run slides all week long. Tonight I finally popped in some bluray's and was blown away. Started with First Blood and it looked great, 35mm film grain and all. The cave scenes with the rats looked better than I have ever seen it, nice and dark with inky blacks. The letterbox bars seem to just disappear in to the bezel. The LG had ruined this scene with the flash lighting and fluctuating black bars. The next Bluray I popped in was Blade Runner the Final Cut and right from the opening scene I was blown away. Deep blacks and popping colors. This is my third Plasma and I never really noticed how red Sean Young's lipstick is before!
Next I tried a few 3D movies, first was Tangled and it looked good but the cross-talk was definatly there. The LG passive wins on this movie. Second was Tron Legacy and I think this looked better on the Panasonic. I could see no crosstalk and the extra resolution of active 3D showed itself here. It just looked more detailed and the LG had pretty bad flash lighting on this movie. I will need to rent Tin-Tin 3D again and compare it because it looked really good on the LG a few weeks ago. I am not sure yet on the 3d, I think I preferred the LG for 3d but the Panasonic's 3d is growing on me. It just seems that it takes longer in to a movie for my eyes to adjust to the 3d with the Panasonic where as the LG it felt comfortable right of the bat. That being said I probably will only watch 3D maybe 5 percent of the time and the Panasonic is so much better with 2D that I can live with it's 3D performance.
I watched some hockey during the week and did notice some weird flickering during some of the games. The weird thing is I only seen the flickering on the NBC sports networks games. When I watched the Blues game on Fox Sports Midwest I did not see any of the flickering. Maybe something different in the cameras or broadcast used by NBC? Either way it is not a deal breaker for me, I have not seen it in anything else including some scenes from a DVR recording I had of White Out with full white snow scenes.
I compared the build quality between the sets and I would have to give the upper hand to the Panasonic. The LG seemed cheap and flimsy when setting on the mount where as the Panasonic seemed solid and rigid. This is probably due more to the difference between Plasma screens and LCD but I thought it is worth mentioning. The build quality just seems better. The built in speakers on the LG were worse than my 5 year old work laptop where as the Panasonic speakers are actually not half bad. They are pretty good for watching the nightly network shows.
The smart TV features are pretty much a wash between the two sets. I like them both for different reasons but they are more alike than different here.
The one thing I wish the Panasonic had is the ability to turn off the screen when using an app such as Pandora. I really like Panasonic's interface on Pandora but I am not going to leave the still image on my screen while listening to it. The LG had an option to turn off the screen but leave everything else running. Not a huge deal since I have 5 other devices that can run Pandora but maybe something for them to think about.
Excellent set so far, the pluses far outway the minuses. Now to make time to re-watch my Bluray and HD-DVD collection!