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Samsung PN59D7000 or Panasonic TC-P60ST50. Which one ?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I'm about to pull the trigger on a plasma TV. I've spent about 3 weeks researching and studying plasma's and the latest technology. I'm looking to spend about $1800. The choice has narrowed to two models, the Samsung PN59D7000 and the Panasonic TC-P60ST50. I've spent hours staring at both models on BB's, Fry's electronics and Sears trying to see and hear what the difference, pro's and cons are for both these models. I'm not looking at the 2012 models from Samsung "e7000 and e8000, too expensive and I think that the D7000 looks just as good as the E7000.

During my research online I've read a lot about the "Samsung Buzz" that seems to run rampant in their plasma's but while in the stores, I couldn't hear any buzz, I put my ears right up against the glass panel and I do hear a buzz coming from the panel but I'm told that its normal, what I was looking for was any abnormal buzzing that would be irksome and irritating and I couldn't hear any. I live in Los Angeles CA so I'm right about at sea level for the most part so perhaps that may have something to do with it as plasma are supposed to buzz louder at higher altitudes.

After comparing the Samsung PN59D7000 to the Panasonic TC-P60ST50, to my eye's, the Samsung looks better. It has more clarity, detail and it looks a little brighter than the Panasonic but it's a close comparison between the two. The Panasonic TC-PST30 from last year were criticized for being to dim, i guess Panasonic has made the ST50 a little better in contrast this year but the D7OOO looks brighter to me. The pro reviews from CNET and others like the Panasonic ST50 but I can't get over liking the D7000. I've decided to go ahead and try the D7000. Yes, I know about the buzzing, brightness POP's and banding issues that where reported. There is supposed to be a firmware upgrade that fixes some of that.

I'm willing to give the D7000 a chance because of it's outstanding picture quality so I'm going to order one from Crutchfield.com and see what happens and when I get it delivered and set up I'm going to look and listen very closely for any abnormal sights or sounds coming from the panel, if anything comes up that can't be easily fixed then back to Crutchfield's it goes as they have a 60 day return policy which should be enough time to tell whether or not I got a bad unit or not and I will order the ST50 but I'd like your take on this and any other opinions that you have regarding these two models. You replies will be appreciated.
post #2 of 16
I think that's a mistake man. The st50 has black better than last years flagship models, and it does get brighter than the d7000. I've own Samsung and Panasonic TVs, Panasonic have much better build quality IMO, plus, if u game Samsungs have horrible input lag unless put in game mode, which destroys the picture quality, panasonics have low input lag across all picture settings. Rethink this one.
post #3 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by airman23 View Post

I'm about to pull the trigger on a plasma TV. I've spent about 3 weeks researching and studying plasma's and the latest technology. I'm looking to spend about $1800. The choice has narrowed to two models, the Samsung PN59D7000 and the Panasonic TC-P60ST50. I've spent hours staring at both models on BB's, Fry's electronics and Sears trying to see and hear what the difference, pro's and cons are for both these models. I'm not looking at the 2012 models from Samsung "e7000 and e8000, too expensive and I think that the D7000 looks just as good as the E7000.

During my research online I've read a lot about the "Samsung Buzz" that seems to run rampant in their plasma's but while in the stores, I couldn't hear any buzz, I put my ears right up against the glass panel and I do hear a buzz coming from the panel but I'm told that its normal, what I was looking for was any abnormal buzzing that would be irksome and irritating and I couldn't hear any. I live in Los Angeles CA so I'm right about at sea level for the most part so perhaps that may have something to do with it as plasma are supposed to buzz louder at higher altitudes.

After comparing the Samsung PN59D7000 to the Panasonic TC-P60ST50, to my eye's, the Samsung looks better. It has more clarity, detail and it looks a little brighter than the Panasonic but it's a close comparison between the two. The Panasonic TC-PST30 from last year were criticized for being to dim, i guess Panasonic has made the ST50 a little better in contrast this year but the D7OOO looks brighter to me. The pro reviews from CNET and others like the Panasonic ST50 but I can't get over liking the D7000. I've decided to go ahead and try the D7000. Yes, I know about the buzzing, brightness POP's and banding issues that where reported. There is supposed to be a firmware upgrade that fixes some of that.

I'm willing to give the D7000 a chance because of it's outstanding picture quality so I'm going to order one from Crutchfield.com and see what happens and when I get it delivered and set up I'm going to look and listen very closely for any abnormal sights or sounds coming from the panel, if anything comes up that can't be easily fixed then back to Crutchfield's it goes as they have a 60 day return policy which should be enough time to tell whether or not I got a bad unit or not and I will order the ST50 but I'd like your take on this and any other opinions that you have regarding these two models. You replies will be appreciated.

Add another vote for the ST50, curious what setting those two sets were on in the store. Depending on setup that could be slanting your perception.
post #4 of 16
Yeah, if the price is roughly the same, I would be tempted to go with the ST50. That said, I love my PN59D7000 that I've had since October. I don't think you will be disappointed in the picture quality (just hope you don't have any buzzing issues). The FBr has been addressed in a firmware fix, but I would suggest you live with the set for a while and only install the fix if you decide it's needed. You can find all the info here:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1389562

Biggest advantage over Panasonic - this TV can be calibrated by a novice with a basic colorimeter (the Pannys are known to be difficult to work with, especially for a DIYer). After spending $100 on an i1D2 and some hours learning the ropes, I have a nearly reference quality picture and can touch up the calibration whenever I want instead of bringing a pro back in every 500 hours to recal at $300+. No, I can't calibrate as well as the pros (at least not the big guys here on AVS), but I can get close enough - the improvement in picture quality from default movie mode is dramatic. What's even better is that there is now a very clearly written, Samsung-specific workflow to guide you through pretty much all the steps to a very thorough calibration:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...6#post21753936

(the above link is to the calibration thread where you can also find recommended initial settings and guidance on calibrating)
post #5 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by AvidHiker View Post

After spending $100 on an i1D2 and some hours learning the ropes, I have a nearly reference quality picture and can touch up the calibration whenever I want instead of bringing a pro back in every 500 hours to recal at $300+.

Interesting! I didn't know you could use these kind of devices on your TV. Can you provide any more info on 'learning the ropes?' Sorry, don't mean to hijack the thread.
post #6 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by AvidHiker View Post

Yeah, if the price is roughly the same, I would be tempted to go with the ST50. That said, I love my PN59D7000 that I've had since October. I don't think you will be disappointed in the picture quality (just hope you don't have any buzzing issues). The FBr has been addressed in a firmware fix, but I would suggest you live with the set for a while and only install the fix if you decide it's needed. You can find all the info here:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1389562

Biggest advantage over Panasonic - this TV can be calibrated by a novice with a basic colorimeter (the Pannys are known to be difficult to work with, especially for a DIYer). After spending $100 on an i1D2 and some hours learning the ropes, I have a nearly reference quality picture and can touch up the calibration whenever I want instead of bringing a pro back in every 500 hours to recal at $300+. No, I can't calibrate as well as the pros (at least not the big guys here on AVS), but I can get close enough - the improvement in picture quality from default movie mode is dramatic. What's even better is that there is now a very clearly written, Samsung-specific workflow to guide you through pretty much all the steps to a very thorough calibration:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...6#post21753936

(the above link is to the calibration thread where you can also find recommended initial settings and guidance on calibrating)

You can accomplish a pretty good calibration using a entry level meter, it just takes some interations. Would agree more flexibility in controls with the Samsungs but even the coarser cuts and drives on the Pannys yield pretty good results. Just my take after trial and error on my Panny.
post #7 of 16
Well, if a 2 point grayscale is all you want, then yes. That's usually pretty easy on most sets if you can access the adjustments. But the whole calibration process is a breeze on the Samsungs, and all necessary controls are in the normal user menu (at least for the D6XXX and higher models, lower models I think can be enabled in the SM).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Donkey_Lips View Post

Interesting! I didn't know you could use these kind of devices on your TV. Can you provide any more info on 'learning the ropes?' Sorry, don't mean to hijack the thread.

Read Larry's workflow (link I posted above), I think he lists everything you need to get into DIY calibration. If you have further questions, post in that thread (D7000/8000 Settings and Calibration) and we'll help you along.
post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDB30 View Post

I think that's a mistake man. The st50 has black better than last years flagship models, and it does get brighter than the d7000. I've own Samsung and Panasonic TVs, Panasonic have much better build quality IMO, plus, if u game Samsungs have horrible input lag unless put in game mode, which destroys the picture quality, panasonics have low input lag across all picture settings. Rethink this one.

I hear what your saying, It's just that Crutchfield.com has a promotion on the D7000. Your get a free Samsung 26" LED with the purchase of the D7000
http://www.crutchfield.com/p_30559D7....html?tp=36003 which sweetens the deal but I haven't brought anything yet so I'm still open to suggestions. Thanks for your input.
post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chunon View Post

Add another vote for the ST50, curious what setting those two sets were on in the store. Depending on setup that could be slanting your perception.

While in the stores, i used different display settings. As your know all of the TV's on display in the stores are usually set to "Vivid" or a special "Demo" mode, with the contrast setting all the way to maximum but I experimented with the uncalibrated settings on the televisions that I would most likely used at home to try to get a clue as to what the unit would look like at home which is all I could do short of buying the TV.
post #10 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by AvidHiker View Post

Well, if a 2 point grayscale is all you want, then yes. That's usually pretty easy on most sets if you can access the adjustments. But the whole calibration process is a breeze on the Samsungs, and all necessary controls are in the normal user menu (at least for the D6XXX and higher models, lower models I think can be enabled in the SM).



Read Larry's workflow (link I posted above), I think he lists everything you need to get into DIY calibration. If you have further questions, post in that thread (D7000/8000 Settings and Calibration) and we'll help you along.

Those two point controls are availible in custom mode on the S models and up for Pannys. I found using calman's worklflow to be pretty easy as well.

To the OP i still think you are getting more bang for the buck with the ST50 but the D7000 is certainly an excellent set.
post #11 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDB30 View Post

I think that's a mistake man. The st50 has black better than last years flagship models, and it does get brighter than the d7000. I've own Samsung and Panasonic TVs, Panasonic have much better build quality IMO, plus, if u game Samsungs have horrible input lag unless put in game mode, which destroys the picture quality, panasonics have low input lag across all picture settings. Rethink this one.

I am in the same boat (sort of) as the OP. My issue is I cant seem to get the ST50 bright or sharp enough. I have tried D nice and David K Cnet settings and they just seem dull. If I bump up the panel brightness to high, it washes out the detail. I have viewed and used a Samsung p60E6500 that seems to have a sharper picture in my eyes. How can I get the Panny to look a little brighter?

I want to love this ST50 but just cant seem to get the picture right. How many great reviews can there be for a tv and you not want it! This is my second one as the first one had artifacts and ghosting issues. Could I have an issue with this one too....

Sorry to highjack/rant - frustrated here...
post #12 of 16
Surprised you feel that way. I feel my ST50 is really bright, and that's coming off a Samsung LCD. Did you move the gamma to 2.6? If you lower it back down to 2.0 it will seem brighter, sharper, and more contrasty. You might also download the free AVS HD 709 calibration disc, invest in a WOW disc, or something along those lines and try setting your brightness/contrast yourself on your own set.
post #13 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by TornadoTJ View Post

Surprised you feel that way. I feel my ST50 is really bright, and that's coming off a Samsung LCD. Did you move the gamma to 2.6? If you lower it back down to 2.0 it will seem brighter, sharper, and more contrasty. You might also download the free AVS HD 709 calibration disc, invest in a WOW disc, or something along those lines and try setting your brightness/contrast yourself on your own set.

Tornado - really appreciate your feedback.

I will try to lower the gamma. I didn't try it at 2. I have the WOW disk. I adjusted the brightness PLUGE in beginner mode then went into advanced. When I am adjusting the black and white checkerboards, I can only get close to ideal white at 100 contrast. The black checker board stays close to to ideal. If I have contrast at say 80, then the white checkerboard shows stars at +2-3%. Does this seem odd?

Thanks again - should I move this to a newpost?
post #14 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by chunon View Post

Those two point controls are availible in custom mode on the S models and up for Pannys. I found using calman's worklflow to be pretty easy as well.

To the OP i still think you are getting more bang for the buck with the ST50 but the D7000 is certainly an excellent set.

Good to know. Bonus is Larry's workflow and ColorHCFR software are free, so minimal investment for someone just looking to get their feet wet and see how they do.
post #15 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by AvidHiker View Post

Good to know. Bonus is Larry's workflow and ColorHCFR software are free, so minimal investment for someone just looking to get their feet wet and see how they do.

Thanks for the tips guys. Wouldn't it be nice if these tv's could work in conjunction with one of these inexpensive calibration tools, and save a calibration profile, but i digress
post #16 of 16
Certainly more complicated than it needs to be in this day and age. We'll get there eventually.

I supposed if you happen to be using a HTPC as your main source then you could in fact use the automatic profiling software that comes with the eye one.
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