Originally Posted by dmercer3
These are not plasma TV's solely marketed to CNET and 'Cleveland Plasma' (for example). You are speaking of a technology that has been marketed to the public at large for decades now. Let me ask you a question, what percentage of the marketed public has the expertise (or even the monetary funds) to afford or conduct a proper calibration?
You can argue that people can buy a calibration disc for 20$, and calibrate their tv, however, again the same question. How many of those people do you actually think have the know how, the ability, and the acumen to actually get a decent calibration from a simple "one size fits all" calibration?
These tv's have to be judged off the shelf, out of the box, and however else the MAJORITY of the consumers are utilizing them.
By all means, judge them post calibration, but don't act like it makes a difference at the end of the day.
The people spending 2-4k on tv's can't afford a calibration? They can afford thousands a year in content but won't squeeze the best performance out? Their car runs funky but they refuse to take it to a mechanic or if they're handy get the tools out? While ideally the technology could be perfect out of the box and entirely uniform from set to set, they aren't. I'm not priveleged to have the info on what it takes to get there from a manufacturer's viewpoint, but the one that got closest got to the point they figured it wasn't worth it and stopped making and selling them (Pioneer)....probably due to those same people who don't want to spend top dollar for the best performance. Sometimes there aren't enough people to justify putting the best product possible out. You're buying basically a nice Chevy sedan and expecting it to be an AMG Mercedes or something IMHO. The technology is what it is and seems these sets need some tweaking, and they come with extensive controls to do so.
You can buy into calibration equipment/software for a reasonable price and maintain your own best possible picture relatively easily but it does take an investment in time and money. Agreed, though, it would be nice for some sort of rock-solid out-of-the box calibration, or even a self-calibrating tv, but that's not the reality. Personally mine does't take much tweaking for the best pic, but it does definitely help (until you update your firmware and get lazy about doing settings again
Plasmas are notorious for not coming out of the box or on the showroom floor with an ideal picture, or even start on the best settings. You at least need to turn a bunch of the extras off. If you need something less fussy but nice and bright maybe an LCD is a better choice. Maybe a DLP suits your fancy, or even a good ol' CRT. Starting with what you want in terms of product expectations because you spent x$ is a nice ideal but it doesn't necessarily have anything to do with reality.
I bought a plasma then started learning and the set I have only has one issue and that cropped up just recently after 14 months (a small start of a peel on a 59D8000 but not into the pixel area...yet) Been too slammed at work to sit on the phone for a long time to call Samsung (figuring on extensive waiting/transferring time until I get the right person to talk to since I'm out of warranty). These tvs are still amazing, the picture can be frikkin' awesome but they're complicated machines. Perfect in every respect, no. QC is certainly an issue for enough to be a concern and should be considered before purchase just for own's own sanity if anything