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The Official Panasonic U50/54 Owners' Thread - Page 2

post #31 of 1056
I'm planning on buying this tv (the 50pu54 model number which I believe is the same as the 50u50) today at sams. What is a good affordable mount for this? I see some sub $30 ones on Amazon. Are those good? Thanks!
post #32 of 1056
I've been watching this thread some and just noticed an official editorial review and testing has been posted at TelevisionInfo.com

I'd like to hear thoughts from the owners on the critiques they give, especially their claim on the viewing angles.

Thanks!
post #33 of 1056
I did buy the 50pu54 at Sam's today and just mounted it on the wall. For some reason I can't get any audio out of it? I'm just using an HDMI from tv to cable box/dvr. My other tv was hooked up same way and worked fine. This tv does have speakers doesn't it? I checked the setup menu and the tv speakers are selected so I assume it does. I'm sitting here watching the NBA game in silence and am not too happy.

The other issue I notice is the screen keeps changing the brightness every few seconds and it's really annoying. It's as if it's going back and forth from standard to vivid (not quite that bright) without me touching anything. Maybe it's a setting but I can't figure it out as it says it's in standard mode.

I can't comment on picture quality as I'm over this tv right now and am going to go up and watch the game on my 60" Sony.
post #34 of 1056
Quote:
Originally Posted by dhauser View Post

The other issue I notice is the screen keeps changing the brightness every few seconds and it's really annoying. It's as if it's going back and forth from standard to vivid (not quite that bright) without me touching anything. Maybe it's a setting but I can't figure it out as it says it's in standard mode.

This problem can be fixed by taking it out of standard mode. That's the worst possible mode to be in. Right off the bat you can try Cinema and see if that clears things up for you. Better than that.. I recommend you visit my UT50 settings thread here and plug in my settings. I realize it's for a UT50, but I think these panels share common traits and it's going to give you a much better picture.

As for you audio issue: Have you tested it with anything else? Plug in something to test the speakers, and then we'll go from there.

Just take a deep breath, everything's going to be alright.
post #35 of 1056
Quote:
Originally Posted by PathofNeo View Post

This problem can be fixed by taking it out of standard mode. That's the worst possible mode to be in. Right off the bat you can try Cinema and see if that clears things up for you. Better than that.. I recommend you visit my UT50 settings thread here and plug in my settings. I realize it's for a UT50, but I think these panels share common traits and it's going to give you a much better picture.

As for you audio issue: Have you tested it with anything else? Plug in something to test the speakers, and then we'll go from there.

Just take a deep breath, everything's going to be alright.

Thanks PathofNeo. I was going to give up on it for the night and work on it in the morning. I hooked up a dvd player with component and it worked so I rebooted my cable box and voila. I tried Lefty's and it looks pretty good. I will try yours as well. Question, I know we are supposed to keep the contrast down for the first 100 hours do I also want to keep it in zoom so that I don't have the side bars? I noticed that Lefty is running his in full but on some channels that leaves mine with the side bars and I figured it would be better for the screen if the image filled the screen. This is my first plasma so I'm new to this. Thanks.
post #36 of 1056
How you treat your plasma in the early life cycle is going to determine how healthy it will be overall in it's lifespan. You can run full as long as you mix it up. Like if you watch a 2 hour movie with anamorphic bars then switch over to full screen cable content for the same length of time. This way it wipes away the image retention. People complain about image retention, but it's only because they don't prevent it within the first few hundred hours of usage. By preventing I mean running different content. Don't worry about a little IR, it'll go away as long as you don't run excessive for too long. If you keep something on screen static (or bars) for more than 4-5 hours then yes it's going to be problematic, and most likely haunt you. Plasma is still an overall picky platform, but it's worth the tradeoff.

Best just use common sense and don't worry. You have about the best plasma your dollar can buy. If your at the point where you see burn in then start wiping by watching full video, or some screen savor of sorts. Usually it takes a night for it to go away but it's no big deal. Five years ago it would have been a big deal because that hint of retention most likely would have stuck.
post #37 of 1056
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gracepreacher View Post

I've been watching this thread some and just noticed an official editorial review and testing has been posted at TelevisionInfo.com

This review site has some inconsistencies on a few of their reviews. The 1 that stands out on the U50 review is this statment.......However, there are some negative quirks to this model—such as its poor viewing angle, and inability to swivel—that consumers should be wary of.

The viewing angles, as with any pdp, are outstanding on the U50/54. As far as the ability to swivel, the UT50 doesn't either, but this isn't a big deal.

They actually went on to compare the U vs it's 3d cuz, the ST50 and here is what they said......Both of these TVs are from 2012, but sit far apart on the price spectrum. The P55ST50 is a 3D-ready plasma with internet connectivity, and is about $1000 more expensive than the P50U50. However, the P50U50—while lacking these extra features—was the stronger performer in contrast and color. Essentially, if you just want a strong basic performer, you’re better off with the U50 series. But if you feel you’d miss 3D and internet options, it might be worth your while to spring the extra cash for the higher-end ST50.

And I couldn't agree more with this statment. If you're able to control your lighting in your viewing room and have a ps3 or smart blu-ray device & don't care about 3d or the 50" screen size cap===> then you're NOT going to be disappointed with this pdp.
post #38 of 1056
Thanks Lefty for the reassurance. I went back and ready "how" they do their testing and it sheds some light. They basically use meters to get the color as accurate as they can and THEN they test black levels, brightness, etc. Anyway, I do appreciate them having a clear method to test things and faithfully explaining the method. But from the feedback on this thread, it sounds like this TV performs incredibly in the "real world" (in controlled lighting) - especially for the money.

I'm told that the Costco deal goes until June 2, so I've got a week to decide if I'm ready to pull the trigger.

By the way, I'll share a little trick I learned about Costco (if you have them in your area). A non-member can shop at Costco by using a Costco cash card. It does not matter if the cash card has $2 or or $2,000 on it, you can just make up the remainder in CASH or American Express (No checks, Visa or MC on this deal). So, if you know someone who is a member and can get them to pick up a small gift card for you, you are in the door and ready to shop as much as you want for that visit. I do suggest you call and verify this, just to make sure it's not store or region specific.
post #39 of 1056
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gracepreacher View Post

I've been watching this thread some and just noticed an official editorial review and testing has been posted at TelevisionInfo.com

I'd like to hear thoughts from the owners on the critiques they give, especially their claim on the viewing angles.

Thanks!

Take everything you've seen on that site and toss it out the window-- positive and negative. That site is completely and absolutely useless for assisting in the selection of a display.

And while I appreciate Neo's enthusiasm for his UT, picking and choosing which positions to agree and disagree on with anything in that 'review' is similarly useless as there is no credibility to be had in any of their assertions or measurements. The site is simply taking advantage of you, the consumer, to give the illusion of providing buying advice in order to sell advertising. They are NOT a real review site and should be ignored.
post #40 of 1056
Quote:
Originally Posted by sage11x View Post

Take everything you've seen on that site and toss it out the window-- positive and negative. That site is completely and absolutely useless for assisting in the selection of a display.

And while I appreciate Neo's enthusiasm for his UT, picking and choosing which positions to agree and disagree on with anything in that 'review' is similarly useless as there is no credibility to be had in any of their assertions or measurements. The site is simply taking advantage of you, the consumer, to give the illusion of providing buying advice in order to sell advertising. They are NOT a real review site and should be ignored.

That's actually really good to hear; I was about to create an account to ask about exactly the same review and whether there's any truth to its claims about poor viewing angles.

Basically, I've spent the last decade with a CRT HDTV -- a Sony KV-34HS510 that's still chugging along -- so I'm very sensitive to the bad viewing angles, blurry motion, and not-really-black blacks of most flat-panel TVs. Aside from that, I don't need a lot of bells and whistles (I have a PS3 for Internet access, and I have zero interest in 3D), so the P50U50 seemed like an ideal choice for me to finally update my set. But not if it has a crummy viewing angle, which would drive me crazy even if everything else about the picture quality is amazing.

Does everyone agree that the TelevisionInfo.com review is completely wrong on this point?
post #41 of 1056
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dev F View Post

Does everyone agree that the TelevisionInfo.com review is completely wrong on this point?

I've owned several CRTs, LCD/LEDs, Pdps over the last 10 years & I can assure you the viewing angles are NOT an issue on this U50/54! Just go into your local retailer & you decide for yourself. Whether I look dead center, way off to the right/left, hell on the very side of the tv, the color & black levels do NOT change one bit!
post #42 of 1056
Viewing angles are not a problem at all with plasmas. They never have been as far as I know.
post #43 of 1056
All plasma displays have so-called unlimited viewing angles. Meaning you can go as far off to the side as you'd like and the color and contrast of the set will remain as they do when viewed dead on. The ONLY issue with viewing angles is panasonic's new louvre filter which can ever do slightly dim the picture if viewed from above (horizontal angles are not affected)-- playing Wii or guitar hero on a set mounted not mounted to an adequate height is an example of when this could come into play. The louvre filter, when viewed at the appropriate eye level, is all but invisible and does a fantastic job of rejecting ambient light and allowing plasma to compete better with LCD for bright room viewing.

Claiming anything to the contrary is yet another reason that Televisioninfo should be ignored and only referenced for the occasional chuckle at their 'reviewers' astounding incompetence.
post #44 of 1056
Thanks, guys. That's the sense that I had from checking out plasmas in general and this set in particular, but I'm enough of a newb that a review that seemed very detailed and technical was enough to make me question my own lyin' eyes.
post #45 of 1056
I've had the 50pu54 for a couple of days so I'll make a few comments. I haven't given a review so far since I'm far from an expert, don't know all of the technical terms and don't have a specific method for comparing one tv to another. The tv looks great hanging on the wall. The image is good but doesn't blow me away. Keep in mind this is my first plasma so I'm not sure what to expect and I have a few things going that are skewing my results so take all this with a few grains of salt.

So far I like PathofNeo's settings for the UT50 the best although I personally feel that the image is more crisp with content type set to auto as opposed to graphics. Can you explain why you state it's mandatory to put it in graphics setting because to my eyes it goes from standard def to sort of high def when I put it in auto.

That's kind of how I've felt about this tv from the beginning....it looks almost high def but not quite. Then I realized my Brighthouse cable that I just joined is only 1080i which really sucks. I may have to cancel and go to Direct tv as I'm paying for high def but not getting it. Once I learned that I started using my PS3 to compare games and watch Blu-rays. Again, it looks good but not mind blowing. I have to keep in mind this tv is much cheaper than other tv's I've owned and it has other areas where it is much better. Standard def programming looks much better on this tv and the blacks are really good. I also haven't noticed those little blocks when watching high speed action in motocross or the NBA.

I think it comes down to I had 1 tv (Sony 60xs955) that I bought in 2005 that paired with Cox cable in Arizona had an image so insane that everything I've seen since then pales in comparison. Watching NBA on TNT I could see every pore and drop of sweat or every blade of grass watching NFL. I gave this to my sister in 2007 when I "upgraded" to a newer Sony 60" and it was no where near as good as my 60xs955. I think if I hadn't had that tv to compare the panny to I would think it was awesome but it's just hard to get excited when the image is no where near what I've had in the past. Again, I realize the panny is much cheaper but tv's have come down a ton in price and it's a 50" plus my old Sony was only 720p. People would come over and freak out over that tv and I had a several people over on Sunday and the comments were "looks pretty good" or "nice", but not, holy crap that is a an insane tv like I used to get with my old Sony.

It's been so long since I've been shopping for a tv that I don't know what to expect from current tvs. I know I was disappointed with my second Sony because I expected an improvement since it was newer and basically the same tv in 1080p. I'm not necessarily disappointed in this panny and am not trying to bash it because I do recognize that there are big positives in the blacks and while watching standard def and sporting events. Can you guys help me understand if my experience is normal for people switching from LCD to Plasma. I'm one of those guys who isn't looking for perfection so once I get the best settings I can, I won't keep tweaking it or dwell on the purchase and just roll with it like I did my very mediocre 2nd Sony.

Thanks!

Again, I don't want to discourage anyone from getting this tv as I'm so far from an expert and am just trying to get a better understanding of what to expect out of a plasma.
post #46 of 1056
After utilizing several calibration disks, I've decided on these settings. Amazing picture quality with a PS3 as the source.

Picture mode - Custom

Contrast - 95
Brightness - 57
Color - 60
Tint - 0
Sharpness - 67
Color Temp - Warm 1
Color Mgmt - Off
C.A.T.S. - Off
Video NR - Off

Aspect adjustments

Screen format - Full
HD size = Size 2

HDMI Settings

RGB Range - Nonstandard
Content type - Off

Advanced

Mosquito NR - Off
Black Level - Light
post #47 of 1056
How is this TV on dithering? I picked up a LG 50PA5500 last week for $600 (BJs) and after ~50 hours, the dithering is really bothering me. I can see it from ~9 feet away, which is about as far back as I want to sit. Looks OK when things are in motion, however once things stop and I am looking at a flat wall or something on the screen, I can see the dithering from my seat as the flat surfaces "flicker" a bit. Hard for me to explain, I have 20/15 vision and I pick up on stuff like this easily.

Also the LG doesn't have the best black levels. Panasonic seems to have great black levels, so this could be the TV for me. My playback device is a PS3, I've tried full range and limited RGB output, every mode on the TV, and some quick calibration on the TV and I just can't get it to where I am happy with the blacks. I will spend an extra $100 at Sam's Club for a 50PU54 to get something with less noticeable dithering and a better black level.

Thanks for any feedback!
post #48 of 1056
Quote:
Originally Posted by sage11x View Post

And while I appreciate Neo's enthusiasm for his UT, picking and choosing which positions to agree and disagree on with anything in that 'review' is similarly useless as there is no credibility to be had in any of their assertions or measurements.

Hey, it's all good. I think I spoke to soon in that thread about Cnet's comment. Your right they did praise it, and I probably should have refrained from saying anything. Basically I was trying to imply not taking reviews seriously (as you've said) because of inaccuracies. The meters, room condition, and reviewers themselves will vary greatly and the only way you know for sure is to line em up in your ideal situation. I try to do this best I can to provide what I *think* is the best feedback on the board. But what I think doesn't apply to all and I know that.

I have however seen all the models this year in a bright/dark environment.. and believe they'll all satisfy videophiles. The low end models hold their weight more than ever this year. My next project is getting a meter to calibrate the 2pt white balance of the UT. As soon as I do I'll post in the settings thread.

So yeah Sage I acknowledge my error and have picked myself up and continue to provide support to the U/UT club.
post #49 of 1056
Quote:
Originally Posted by ocellaris View Post

How is this TV on dithering?

I also have 20/15 vision (after lasik correction) and am like you can notice dithering in 90% of plasmas. Samsungs are usually the best in this regard, with my Kuro the worst. Good news here because I feel the U/UT is basically like a quality Samsung plasma in which I hardly see it. Now, a lot of it has to do with your brightness settings because if it's too high then you'll get unnecessary dot crawl. But with proper settings I rank the U/UT as one of least showing dithering sets available. It's very crisp!
post #50 of 1056
Quote:
Originally Posted by dhauser View Post

So far I like PathofNeo's settings for the UT50 the best although I personally feel that the image is more crisp with content type set to auto as opposed to graphics. Can you explain why you state it's mandatory to put it in graphics setting because to my eyes it goes from standard def to sort of high def when I put it in auto.

First of all your set will only look as good as the source you feed it, and the least processing the better. By setting content type to graphics, your cutting down processing and putting the gamma curve closer to the ideal target. You may not be adjusted to, or prefer accuracy but this puts our set closer to reference level. It's okay if you like Auto.. set it to how you see best.

Also I haven't calibrated a U50 yet, so my settings will only get you close to where you need to be. There's bound to be a variation somewhere so this is why I tell ppl to start with my settings and adjust from there. I've made it a priority to get a hold of this model, and hope to do so soon.
post #51 of 1056
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PathofNeo View Post

I've made it a priority to get a hold of this model, and hope to do so soon.

Can't w8! Lookin' 4ward 2 your observations..............
post #52 of 1056
Quote:
Originally Posted by PathofNeo View Post

I also have 20/15 vision (after lasik correction) and am like you can notice dithering in 90% of plasmas. Samsungs are usually the best in this regard, with my Kuro the worst. Good news here because I feel the U/UT is basically like a quality Samsung plasma in which I hardly see it. Now, a lot of it has to do with your brightness settings because if it's too high then you'll get unnecessary dot crawl. But with proper settings I rank the U/UT as one of least showing dithering sets available. It's very crisp!

Alright got a U54... First observation is that right out of the box, the black level is incredible compared to the LG 50PA5500 I had previously. With some ambient light from another room and the U54 showing a black screen, it was hard to tell where the screen edge was.

Second observation was that the dithering/dot crawl in gradient gray areas we pretty bad. Worse than the LG definitely, at least with the gray thing I was looking at. I haven't touched any settings on the TV, it is running the stock "Standard" mode which is 50 contrast and 50 brightness. I turned off CATS too since that seemed really aggressive with the dimming.

And the Panasonic makes more plasma hum compared to the LG...

Just running some slides on the U54 right now...
post #53 of 1056
That would be because your in standard mode. Custom and tweaked to your liking will rid of the dot crawl and provide a better picture.
post #54 of 1056
Quote:
Originally Posted by PathofNeo View Post

That would be because your in standard mode. Custom and tweaked to your liking will rid of the dot crawl and provide a better picture.

What setting(s) gets rid of dot crawl?
post #55 of 1056
Check out the U54 at Sams Club . . . .
post #56 of 1056
U54 for $649 at Costco while supplies last. Picked mine up today!
post #57 of 1056
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gracepreacher View Post

U54 for $649 at Costco while supplies last. Picked mine up today!

I just picked one up yesterday!
post #58 of 1056
Can someone provide the Costco item number for this set? The nearest one to me doesn't stock it, but there are 3 more within easy driving distance I'd like to check.
post #59 of 1056
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Murse View Post

Can someone provide the Costco item number for this set? The nearest one to me doesn't stock it, but there are 3 more within easy driving distance I'd like to check.

Item # 950054
post #60 of 1056
For Canadians, the Costco item number is 999511. Saw it today on display at my local Costco. FWIW it was by far the best TV on display, it looked really good even with the bright warehouse lighting.
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