Originally Posted by Bran81
Hey all, I've been pouring through several LED and plasma related threads. I'm within a few days of clicking the buy button on something and have been leaning toward this TV. It's come down to the LM7600 or the Panny ST50, 55" models. I purchased a 5000 series Infinia LED last year for a relative and I'm still impressed with it every time I visit. I feel like I'm on shaky ground with the 7600 because of the thread and pro reviews, as if it might be a step backwards from last years lineup. I don't know what to do, pull the trigger and hope for the best in terms of uniformity, flash-lighting, clouding, etc., or swing over to the Panasonic and baby it for 200+ hours while I break it in and pray to avoid IR or worse, not something I'm exactly happy to do.
When it comes to professional reviews, most of the top sites seem to hold the 7600 in high regard relative to LED competitors of this year; although, David Katzmaier over at CNET was thoroughly unimpressed with the 6700. This wasn't something I had to deal with back in the day, you'd think we'd be in a better position now.
I know the concerns about the units, I suppose I'm just looking for a reason why people would choose the 7600 over the ST50, which is cheaper and no one seems to have anything bad to say about PQ. TIA
I have been through several (9) tvs this year so I consider myself somewhat experienced to the pros and cons, but take my opinion with a grain of salt. I had a 720p Pansonic plasma for about 7 years so I always considered myself a plasma guy. First and foremost, if you are exceptionally picky about black levels and uniformity, read no further. Order the ST50 and be done. Now if you are interested in other features, read on:
I started with an LG 60PM6700 plasma due to a local sale at a retailer I am quite happy with. I bought my Paradigms there and I really like my salesman. I had it delivered and it immediately blew my old Panny out of the water. 3D, plex, THX modes...I was thrilled. I was a little iffy to begin with as I wasn't a fan of LG and I wasn't sure that I would like them. Well, two days later I noticed some debris between the glass layers and my eye went to it every time I looked at the screen. Exchanged it for the same model, same issue, different spot. QC must have been sleeping that day. Also, audio was out of sync with 24p content and some concert discs encoded 1080i had framerate issues as well. I kinda got hooked on the 3D in that time, so I swapped for a 55LM6700 edge lit LED.
Now, I just couldn't get a good picture on the LM6700. The passive 3D was amazing, but since I never owned a LCD set, I just wasn't happy. I also had uniformity issues which drove me nuts. I had it about 2 days and decided for $1500 I wasn't going to be happy with it. This was also before the trumotion update which also irritated me. I now see a few things that I did wrong back then. I was watching Mad Men on AMC which always seems to have crappy HD. I also never adjusted the picture settings with anything more than the picture wizard. By this time, the retailer was getting fed up with me (rightfully so) and gave me a refund and I went elsewhere.
Decided to scrap the 3D (even though I loved it!) because anything else, IMO, compared to the passive 3D was garbage. Gave me a headache to watch active 3D for more than 15 mins. Went to Sam's and got a LG 60PA6500. Cheap. Well, you get what you pay for because the dithering was very, very noticeable. More than any other plasma I had ever seen unless you crushed the blacks completely. It was so bad that letterbox bars actually had line distortion. May have been defective. Not sure. Back it went.
Headed to Best Buy and ended up with a PN64E550. It got delivered and buzzed like hell. Out of the box, the picture was great. Also virtually no IR at all which I was quite impressed with. 3D was mediocre compared to the passive 3D of the LG, but slightly better than the LG plasma I had. I didn't pay for Paradigms to have buzz when I watched tv. Also, anything other than bluray looked like garbage. Directv HD, my 720p bluray rips, SD programming was all garbage. I also had "clay face" bad. So back it went. Exchanged for a Sammy PN60E7000. I was excited. I got a call the day of delivery saying that it missed the truck and they were very sorry. I took that as a sign and cancelled my order. (Wife was getting tired of all the tvs coming and going.) Had front projection for years. Went with the Epson 8350.
Great projector. All was good. But I still itched for 3D. Was hooked on LG passive 3D. Convinced the wife to let me go back to dual displays. Bought another LM6700 (post trumotion update) for 3D. My thought was that any shortcomings with picture quality was ok due to the fact the for the "theater experience" I had the Epson. Well, I ran into issues with the 3D and didn't want to mess with spoofing to get everything to play well together with my display switch, so I had to choose. Back went the Epson and I kept the 6700. During this time, I had bought a Disney WOW disc so I threw it in.
The LM6700 didn't look like the same tv that I had tried a few months back. Tweaking the settings made a huge difference in PQ along with bleed and flash lighting issues. I was happy. Until I used my Apple TV. I have a lot of 720p bluray rips that I stream (easier for kids to watch and my discs stay safe!!) and I had a stutter every 20 secs or so. Specifically with camera pans and fast motion. I chalked this up to the 60hz panel. Otherwise I was happy. As luck would have it, Best Buy ran a sale on the 7600 for what I paid for the 6700. Back it went.
The 7600 was great. Super happy. Apple TV worked perfect (probably due to the 120hz panel). I ended up with light bleed along the top that no matter what I did, I couldn't get rid of. Swapped one last time and this one is good after adjustment. Not a one of the four LED sets that I had could ever be watched without local dimming IMO. Nature of the design.
Now, if you have read through all of that, here is my point. To me, the 7600 represents everything that I was looking for. The sharpness, color and overall picture looks great to me. I am perfectly content with the black levels. It needs basic calibration to really shine. Not necessarily an expert calibration but at least a cal disc of some sort. I am happy with the motion on it as well. I don't have to worry about IR. I never worried about it on my old plasma, but when that new one gets unboxed and set up, instinct is to keep logos and video games off of it. Regardless of whether you think it is an issue or not (I never did), you will be paranoid about your new baby getting it. I got hooked on 3D. Some people don't care for it. I love it. The 3D is amazing on this set. Watched Journey 2 last night with the kids and I was in awe numerous times looking at the picture quality. The TV turned off looks beautiful (least of all). Now, I have my backlight turned down because I am in a light controlled room. I run it at 37 with the lights on and 25 with them off. I don't want a TV that is hurting my eyes with the lights out. I suspect lots of the uniformity issues are due to screen settings. The higher the backlight, the more noticeable they will be. If you love torch mode and want it super bright, stay away from these ultra thin LED sets regardless of manufacturer. Unless it is full array, you will have issues. For me, the I have finally settled. If you want the pic quality of the ST50 but without the IR issues, look at the Samsung E6500 or 7000. Reviews are pretty close between the two and the Sammy has a more durable panel. Just hope for one that doesn't buzz.
FYI, I don't trust cnet for anything. Ever since a few years ago when they reviewed mid range AVRs and knocked the Denon for issues because they didn't understand or have it set up correctly. I tried 3 of the 4 they reviewed that year so I was familiar with them and the Denon was far superior. They didn't set the mains to small and complained that it didn't set the distance on the sub properly. (The sub measurement with Audyssey is not a true measurement but takes into account delay when it lists the number.) Then picked a pioneer for better sound quality?? Anyway, that's another story. I would take what they say with a grain of salt. Their 6700 review was pre trumotion update and everyone knows that IPS panels have lower black levels. Black levels seems to be all that they care about anyway. If we listened to what they said, we would all be using Vizio sets for passive 3D.
Like I said, I have always been a plasma guy. I looked at everything this year regardless of design under $2500. I chose the 7600 because it was a good all around performer. Every set you look at will have an issue of some sort. Uniformity, IR, buzzing, etc. You have to decide which one you can live with.
Best of luck in your search.Edited by cjsiv - 8/25/12 at 8:37am