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55VT30 vs 55UT50? (dont like filters)

post #1 of 55
Thread Starter 
How does the UT50 stack up to the VT30 from last year? They didn't have a VT30 on display but the ST30 looked like it didn't have that coating or filter on it. The ST30 looked like it had the same screen as the UT50 but it was hard for me to tell with the bright lighting of the store. Does the VT30 have an anti-reflection filter and if so is it aggressive like the ST50? I DO NOT LIKE THEM.

Bottom line is that I'm trying to get a plasma with a combination of the best blacks and no coating or filter on the screen. Are the blacks that much better on last year's VT30? I'm comparing only to UT50. This is bargain bin/low end model but it sure didn't look like it to me. The only thing putting me off is the lack of Pro Settings. Was D-Nice or anyone able to get a good calibration of the UT50? Basically unable to set Gamma and Black level controls but otherwise every other option is there I think.

Also which set would give the best motion? This is tricky because the VT series is the highest end, but this year Panasonic upgraded processing quite a bit yes? Doesn't this include the UT series? I wonder if motion is better or not.

Thanks for reading.
post #2 of 55
Since the UT50 doesn't use an "Infinite Black" panel, I dont think it benefits from the improvements made to the 2012 ST/GT/VT models. I doubt it holds up to a VT30 since, to me, it doesn't look as good as even the ST30 did.

I really don't understand what you mean about the filter on the ST. It does tend to darken a bit off axis as it diffuses light but you make it sound as if the panel is matte.These are not LCDs we're talking about here... It's still a piece of glass and to me still seems pretty reflective. The louver filter is there to preserve black levels during daytime viewing and should not affect viewing in a dark room at all. The UT50 blacks tend towards gray under bright/direct lighting because there is no filter. At night it should also not look as good as the ST because it is a different panel.
post #3 of 55
Thread Starter 
You mention it's there to preserve blacks during the daytime, but it doesn't effect them at night. Well this is good to hear because I never watch tv with any sun out. All my critical viewing is done in a darkened room. I was thinking that this louver filter would decrease the amount of pop, sharpness, and overall wash out in a dark room versus a panel without a filter. I don't know for certain because I can't tell at BB and I've never had a panel with a filter like this. Your right it's not a matte screen. I know it's glass but if you can only confirm again for me that it will not effect things with the lights out that would be wonderful.

This is the only thing holding me back from ordering it now (free glasses to boot). I'm just anal about things and truth be told I miss my old Samsung 46A950 which was a local dimming LCD. The clarity on that thing was unreal. I know plasmas can match it because for instance the Kuros, and just about any quality panel with glass can look phenomenal with a 1080p source. By that I mean a razor sharp pixel mapped picture. I was sorta turned off by the ST50 because it had a slight muddy appearance. It could have been the excessive lighting, could have been the settings, or anything.

Also I didn't know the UT50 doesn't have this 'infinite black' panel. I don't mind it having grey blacks during the day since I won't be seeing that. I'm only concerned with nighttime viewing.
post #4 of 55
The difference between a VT and a UT is significant, and not just the filter.
  • Infinite Ultra Black Panel vs G15 Progressive Panel
  • Pro Cal settings (including ISFccc), vs standard settings (yes, it makes a difference)
  • The addition of THX modes (more accurate out of the box if not calibrating)
  • 96Hx playback of 24p
  • 4 HDMI ports instead of 2
  • Built in WiFi instead of WiFi ready
  • Better sound, black level, grayscale, gamma, color accuracy, 3D (if interested), etc.

Sure it costs more, but the VT50 promises to be one of the best displays of 2012. The UT50 is a budget display...no offense intended.

What you value most will dictate how much you're willing to spend.
post #5 of 55
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dsskid View Post

Sure it costs more, but the VT50 promises to be one of the best displays of 2012.

Do you think the black level will be that much better on the VT50 than ST50? I would spend the money if it's going to give me an obvious difference in a dark room. But not if it's a small leap.
post #6 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by PathofNeo View Post

Do you think the black level will be that much better on the VT50 than ST50? I would spend the money if it's going to give me an obvious difference in a dark room. But not if it's a small leap.

I don't have a measurement on the UT50, but the VT should come in around .002 or so. The UT doesn't have the real pro panel or real pro ultra panel.
post #7 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by PathofNeo View Post

Do you think the black level will be that much better on the VT50 than ST50? I would spend the money if it's going to give me an obvious difference in a dark room. But not if it's a small leap.

We don't have a review of the NA VT50 yet, but the black levels on the EU models are essentially the same between the ST50 and VT50. Over the ST50, you get:
-Infinite Black Ultra vs Infinite Black Pro
-THX modes (good presets if you're not getting it calibrated)
-96Hz/60Hz vs 60Hz/48Hz
-Dual-core processor (probably mostly used for apps)
-CMS and 10pt grayscale vs 2pt and no CMS (so slightly better gamma, grayscale and color)
-Better styling
-Extra shades of gradation

Unless you're really picky or you have the money to spend and want the best, the ST50 is good enough for most people, and that includes videophiles.
post #8 of 55
Are you sure there's light drop-off from the side? I have an ST50, and the light drop-off is extreme from above. The point of this is to block light and reflections from ceiling lights. There's no reason you should be viewing the TV from those angles under normal conditions. I haven't noticed any issues when viewing the TV from the side, although maybe I haven't really looked for it.
post #9 of 55
I would like to know what you were looking at in the store, because I don't think it was an ST series TV. I can view from a 90* angle (or very close, you know what I mean) and the screen never dims, hazes, or blacks out. And the screen is shiny, not matte, and there's no "coating". You can see the reflection off the mantel and fireplace in this picture. This is a 60ST50.

post #10 of 55
I'm not sure the UT50 doesn't benefit from the basic improvements with this year's panel. It is 3D with that feature set, and should have the new phosphors as well. Of course it is missing the features noted from the higher line models.

FWIW with just a couple hours viewing after running slides for 100 hours and then adjusting custom- visually. I'm pleasantly surprised and impressed with my 42" UT50, with the 42" size there was no other choice for this year.
post #11 of 55
I don't think anyone is disputing that the UT50 may have improved over the previous generation. The question was how does it stack up against the flagship model, ....and later in the thread, compared to the ST50 model.
post #12 of 55
Well, technically he asked vs. the VT30, which was last year's flagship. The 30 series will not have this year's improvements obviously, that's why I went with the ST50 over VT30s that were lower priced in the stores.
post #13 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by TornadoTJ View Post

Well, technically he asked vs. the VT30, which was last year's flagship. The 30 series will not have this year's improvements obviously, that's why I went with the ST50 over VT30s that were lower priced in the stores.

Technically....I thought I covered this when I stated, "I don't think anyone is disputing that the UT50 may have improved over the previous generation. The question was how does it stack up against the flagship model."

I don't know the availability of the VT30, so in my previous posts, I compared it to the VT50.
post #14 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by TornadoTJ View Post

I would like to know what you were looking at in the store, because I don't think it was an ST series TV. I can view from a 90* angle (or very close, you know what I mean) and the screen never dims, hazes, or blacks out. And the screen is shiny, not matte, and there's no "coating". You can see the reflection off the mantel and fireplace in this picture. This is a 60ST50.

Agreed. I looked at my P50ST50, and there's absolutely no change going from straight on to the most extreme side angle. The only change is going vertical. Perhaps you were standing up with the ST50 below and looking down? Then you might see decreased brightness.
post #15 of 55
I'm curious as to the UT50 vs. ST50 as well, seems to be almost no information anywhere on the UT50 for actual reviews, video, etc. I do sole viewing in darkened rooms, so the filter is virtually useless for me. Is the only reason for the filter to secure black levels with a lighted atmosphere? I guess I really want to know if the absolute black level in a dark room would be identical from the UT50 to ST50 since they both use the same panel, except with the filter on the ST50.
post #16 of 55
According to Panasonic, they are NOT the same panel, and do not have equal black levels. The UT does not have the "Infinite Black Pro" panel.
post #17 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by TornadoTJ View Post

According to Panasonic, they are NOT the same panel, and do not have equal black levels. The UT does not have the "Infinite Black Pro" panel.

They are both G15 progressive panels, "infinite black pro" just relates to the filter. Also, the st50 having the additional 'neoplasma' moniker. What that entails i'm not sure, just the additional filter?
post #18 of 55
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TornadoTJ View Post

According to Panasonic, they are NOT the same panel, and do not have equal black levels. The UT does not have the "Infinite Black Pro" panel.

Yes but are you 100% certain of that? I understand the ST50 has Pro Settings, along with a few more bells n' whistles but I think we need a reading on the UT's blacks. I'm thinking since they did such a good job with the ST50 then why would they half ass the UT50? Different panels would have different results but maybe the blacks are closer than we think? Oh well.. it looks like I'll go with at least an ST series to get the more accurate picture. The price is right as well.
post #19 of 55
Thread Starter 
Guys I retract my statement of the picture blacking out on the sides. The display was setup beside an LCD (4 total) showing off 3D content with glasses. So it was below my eyes when I checked it. I did look down when I checked. The picture posted above suggests it looks good from normal level even at extreme angles. For that I apologize.

I'm rather glad you posted that pic because it put most (if not all) of my worries aside about the ST50. Will go check it out one more time and probably pull the trigger on it.
post #20 of 55
Nope, that's why I said "According to Panasonic". So, I'm 100% certain that it is what Panasonic is saying, but I personally have not compared the ST to the UT in a controlled environment. I wouldn't say they'd half-ass it, but they certainly want to have a line of sets at different prices, and a lower price item is going to have to be missing something that costs more than a few cents.

What I am sure of is that off-axis viewing on the ST is not compromised, and the set doesn't have a matte finish.
post #21 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by PathofNeo View Post

Guys I retract my statement of the picture blacking out on the sides. The display was setup beside an LCD (4 total) showing off 3D content with glasses. So it was below my eyes when I checked it. I did look down when I checked. The picture posted above suggests it looks good from normal level even at extreme angles. For that I apologize.

I'm rather glad you posted that pic because it put most (if not all) of my worries aside about the ST50. Will go check it out one more time and probably pull the trigger on it.

The effect of the filter when looking from above really is jarring. When I was running D-nice's pre-calibration slides, I had the TV on the ground and facing a wall. Whenever I would peak over the top to see if the slides were still running, I couldn't even tell if the display was on if it was showing a black, gray, or white slide. Ideally, retailers should mount this TV at eye level or higher.
post #22 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by PathofNeo View Post

Thanks for replying. What your saying makes sense but allow me to elaborate and then see what you think.

What I mean about the louver filter is that if you stand either to the side of it or look down then you will see the screen black out before your eyes. As you move closer, higher, or to the side you can actually see the picture vanish. Now this is extreme conditions obviously since most ppl don't watch tv like that. So this is a moot point.

You mention it's there to preserve blacks during the daytime, but it doesn't effect them at night. Well this is good to hear because I never watch tv with any sun out. All my critical viewing is done in a darkened room. I was thinking that this louver filter would decrease the amount of pop, sharpness, and overall wash out in a dark room versus a panel without a filter. I don't know for certain because I can't tell at BB and I've never had a panel with a filter like this. Your right it's not a matte screen. I know it's glass but if you can only confirm again for me that it will not effect things with the lights out that would be wonderful.

This is the only thing holding me back from ordering it now (free glasses to boot). I'm just anal about things and truth be told I miss my old Samsung 46A950 which was a local dimming LCD. The clarity on that thing was unreal. I know plasmas can match it because for instance the Kuros, and just about any quality panel with glass can look phenomenal with a 1080p source. By that I mean a razor sharp pixel mapped picture. I was sorta turned off by the ST50 because it had a slight muddy appearance. It could have been the excessive lighting, could have been the settings, or anything.

Also I didn't know the UT50 doesn't have this 'infinite black' panel. I don't mind it having grey blacks during the day since I won't be seeing that. I'm only concerned with nighttime viewing.

I have owned the UT50 for a month and this does not in any way display more towards gray black in a room that has sunlight coming into it (maybe if it was shining right directly in the screen but who watches TV in those conditions especially a plasma) & at night the blacks are inky black.
post #23 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by fatuglyguy View Post

Since the UT50 doesn't use an "Infinite Black" panel, I dont think it benefits from the improvements made to the 2012 ST/GT/VT models. I doubt it holds up to a VT30 since, to me, it doesn't look as good as even the ST30 did.

I really don't understand what you mean about the filter on the ST. It does tend to darken a bit off axis as it diffuses light but you make it sound as if the panel is matte.These are not LCDs we're talking about here... It's still a piece of glass and to me still seems pretty reflective. The louver filter is there to preserve black levels during daytime viewing and should not affect viewing in a dark room at all. The UT50 blacks tend towards gray under bright/direct lighting because there is no filter. At night it should also not look as good as the ST because it is a different panel.

The panels are all new for 2012. The underlying panel for the UT should be the same as the ST,GT, and VT. It's a "G15" Plasma. The reason it isn't an "Infinite Black" panel is that it does not contain the AR filter. In addition it doesn't have the improved drive that conveys the extra gradation steps. I haven't seen any evidence that other aspects are missing.

As with the ST,GT,VT the pre-discharge control should be improved, faster phosphors are employed, brightness levels are the same/similar ST50, 2500FFD is employed. At night the blacks are inky, although I don't have a measurement. With 0 IRE the screen is visible, but this is the case with every plasma including the Kuro. With most materials black bars fade into the bezel, in a light controlled room, and this performance is maintained in a pitch black room.
post #24 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by TornadoTJ View Post

Nope, that's why I said "According to Panasonic". So, I'm 100% certain that it is what Panasonic is saying, but I personally have not compared the ST to the UT in a controlled environment. I wouldn't say they'd half-ass it, but they certainly want to have a line of sets at different prices, and a lower price item is going to have to be missing something that costs more than a few cents.

What I am sure of is that off-axis viewing on the ST is not compromised, and the set doesn't have a matte finish.

They are the same panels, with different drives, with one lacking AR filter. I think it's important to distinguish what the "panel" is. If we're just talking about cells/phosphors/sandwich that is likely the same. I also doubt pre-discharge current is different, since that would be dependent on cell geometry and phosphor choice, and since the panels share the same phosphors/brightness improvements, that is likely the same. In addition competitive pressure at that price point likely means Panasonic can't gimp UT50 black levels to be worse than ST30 levels, which is quite good. My guess is dark room black levels are the same between ST50 and UT50, if not in favor of the UT50, as the ST50 will have to run more electricity through the phosphors to compensate for reduced light output due to filter. At least that was the case with the ST30 vs UT30 according to some AVforum readers; in addition this has been confirmed either by Panasonic reps or in-the-know calibrators (the extra current).
post #25 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by dsskid View Post

The difference between a VT and a UT is significant, and not just the filter.
  • Infinite Ultra Black Panel vs G15 Progressive Panel
  • Pro Cal settings (including ISFccc), vs standard settings (yes, it makes a difference)
  • The addition of THX modes (more accurate out of the box if not calibrating)
  • 96Hx playback of 24p
  • 4 HDMI ports instead of 2
  • Built in WiFi instead of WiFi ready
  • Better sound, black level, grayscale, gamma, color accuracy, 3D (if interested), etc.

Sure it costs more, but the VT50 promises to be one of the best displays of 2012. The UT50 is a budget display...no offense intended.

What you value most will dictate how much you're willing to spend.

Show me black level measurements where the UT50 is worse than the VT50 in a dark room. In direct sunlight sure. And of course it will have better accuracy across grayscale, gamma, color. 3d accuracy? What does that mean.
Everything else cannot be contested. And it is possible that the VT50 has a lower pre-discharge current, better 0IRE emittance. However, thus far I don't see any evidence pointing to that, beyond Panasonic's marketing materials, which are notoriously unreliable.
post #26 of 55
is the UT's bezel matte or glossy?
post #27 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by leftyguitar1963 View Post

is the UT's bezel matte or glossy?

Glossy
post #28 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by PathofNeo View Post

Okay so now that you know I like a clear screen.. how does the UT50 stack up to the VT30 from last year?

Don't forget the original question, from post 1.
post #29 of 55
Thread Starter 
You guys are making it hard on me lol. Getting mixed answers here. I agree with Tornado that there will be obvious differences including several extra picture enhancements, anti-glare filter, etc other thing that I'm not interested in but otherwise a step up. However I stand by what I saw and what I saw at BB was the 50UT50 kicking the crap out of every other display.

It was sandwiched in the middle of a wall full of LED LCDs and there no comparison. It also looked to have a better picture than any Samsung or LG plasma on the wall or display. The 55ST50 was setup in the middle of the floor but walking back and forth a couple dozen times between the two I came to the conclusion that the UT50 had the better picture (for me). I've gone twice now and this time I was able to get the remote (same one operated both). I plugged in the recommended settings on the ST50, and pretty much matched the settings on the UT50. I've used D-Nice's settings on my 5020FD for years so I know what I'm looking for.

Your probably wondering why I'm even considering it. Well my Kuro has been good to me but I'm looking at getting a display for another room plus more size. I'm not easily impressed and really nothing comes close to the Kuro. But the UT50 did...sorta. The colors were superb, shadow detail phenomenal (thanks to no filter helped it further), had more pop, and blacks looked downright inky. Granted the lights in the store are no ideal condition to review tvs but that's all I had to work with. I judged by plugging in good settings with others tvs and the blacks didn't seem to match it.

I may be all alone in saying this but I truly believe that UT50 may actually have a deeper black level than anything else currently available (minus Kuros and a few LCDs that shut pixels off which isn't accurate).

I'm in no way saying the ST50 isn't good or worth it. Quite the contrary. I think the ST50 is tremendous bang for the buck and one the best ever if you want to go that route. As a Kuro owner, my eyes were glued to the UT50.

I didn't forget my original question on post 1. I got sidetracked but not forgotten. Thanks for reading though! I'd still like to hear your thoughts. Am I crazy?
post #30 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by TornadoTJ View Post

Don't forget the original question, from post 1.

Now that's funny!
Quote:



I'm in no way saying the ST50 isn't good or worth it. Quite the contrary. I think the ST50 is tremendous bang for the buck and one the best ever if you want to go that route. As a Kuro owner, my eyes were glued to the UT50.

I've seen the UT50 and except for the reflective screen it looked just as good as last years ST30. How much better is the ST50? Until it's available or there's a professional review, nobody really knows.



Ian
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