Got my 55" ST50 in today from Amazon and I'm really disappointed. There's a big fat band of purple and black pixels stretching the entire width of the screen, and a solid line of discolored pixels running through the middle of that.
If I let the TV run for 20 minutes or so, most (but not all) of the pixels will clear up, but the solid line never goes away. And as soon as you change inputs or turn the TV off and back on, the whole thing comes back. This is my first plasma, but I'm preeeeetty sure this is not normal behavior, right?
On top of that, my receiver only takes analog audio inputs, but this TV only has an optical audio output, so I got one of these audio converters:
The audio from the Xbox and PS3 through that box is scratchy with a ton of hiss behind it, and changes to an awful high-pitched tone as soon as it stops getting any sound (i.e. dropping from a game back to the dashboard). Meanwhile broadcast HD channels aren't passing any sound through at all. My guess is that the converter box doesn't like the audio format the TV is passing to it, but the TV's audio settings are so bare bones there doesn't seem to be anything I can change to help that, and both consoles are set to output simple 2ch stereo already anyway. Does anyone have any other advice on this audio issue besides buying a new receiver? The one I have works great and does exactly what I need, it's just that the ST50 can't send an analog signal to it.
I was planning to initiate the return process with Amazon and hopefully get them to send me another TV right away while they arrange to pick up this one, but if it turns out I'm gonna have to spend another $300 on a new receiver just to make up for the lack of one common output, I may just send it back and look for something else. I went for this model because of the value and picture quality (the picture does look fantastic, other than the defect, and you can't beat the price) but with this much hassle involved just to make it work right, it's losing a lot of its appeal. Any advice appreciated.