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Which Panasonic model is the "best bang for the buck"?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I did a search in this forum, and surprisingly didn't find anything. Is there a consesus as to which model Pansonic is the best "bang for the buck"? I am either going to get a 55" or 60" (10' seating distance). I know the VT50 line is the best, but I honestly can't say that I do a lot of critical watching, so I'm not too worried about having "the best." That said, I want a good TV, and cost isn't a huge issue. Unfortunately, the quality of each line of plasmas doesn't seem to correspond to alphabetical or any other logical order. So, any help here would be much appreciated. Thanks!
post #2 of 16
Pretty much everybody who's anybody had deemed the ST50 series the best bang for the buck for 2012 - it's been stated here so many times i'm surprised that you haven't seen it mentioned.

Production of the 2012 models has ended so whatever is left in the inventory chain is the end of the run. Next year's ST60 series will probably debut in March but it's initial MSRP will surely be higher than the low prices i'm seeing on the ST50.
post #3 of 16
While I personally wouldn't want to buy anything lower than the ST50, I think you can easily make the argument that the U50 is just as good of a value -- at least for cheapskates. Basically, I wouldn't want a U50 (or UT50) because I've heard that they can only achieve decent color in cinema mode and that they are well below 40 fL with contrast maxed in cinema mode. For me, that is a deal breaker. But they are dirt-cheap (significantly less than the ST50) with truly impressive black level, so they have to be considered a pretty great value. A lot of people (though I'm not one of them) would also want 3D and/or good bright room performance, which would eliminate the U50 from consideration. There are some other issues with them as well (color and gamma are apparently worse than the ST50, and you must access the service menu to adjust white balance). I frankly don't find the GT50 appealing, and the VT50 is obviously for people who are willing to pay a large premium to have the best. So the ST50 gets my vote, but honorable mention for the U50. I would suggest that you choose the 60" ST50. smile.gif
Edited by MechanicalMan - 12/7/12 at 2:36pm
post #4 of 16
If ONLY in the DARK maybe a U or UT but otherwise ST50 al the way its got the loover filter thing
post #5 of 16
UT50 all the way.
post #6 of 16
While the U50 and UT50 are great values, they don't bang like the ST50 and higher models do and afterall, the OP is looking for the best bang and isn't limiting his budget to entry-level model range. The UT50 is the best bargain, but it's not the best bang.

The ST50's picture quality is roughly 90% as good as the VT50 on pristine content like when watching Bu-Ray in a very dark room, and pretty much equal for all other content like HD programming with a light on. And during the daytime, i dare say that the ST50/GT50 may even be better for watching sports since they're a teensy bit brighter than the VT50.
post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 
Hey, thanks for all the replies. I think the 60" ST50 is the way to go for me. FYI I am replacing an 8 year old pioneer 5060. Was still going strong when I left it in our last house as part of the package.

Looks like amazon has a competitive price on it - significantly cheaper than my 5060, actually. Looking forward to the upgrade in size - I'm guessing it will seem enormous at first after 8 years of a 50" panel
post #8 of 16
How much linger do you think the ST50 will be available for purchase? I plan on buying one within the next few months. My friend said to just keep an eye out for "close outs" on them, but I guess I'm a little concerned.
post #9 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by hashey View Post

How much linger do you think the ST50 will be available for purchase? I plan on buying one within the next few months. My friend said to just keep an eye out for "close outs" on them, but I guess I'm a little concerned.

None of us can tell you for certain if/when prices will drop, by how much, or how much longer the ST50s will be available. I do believe that prices are going to drop, but obviously, you take a chance if you wait. Checking price history from last year, it looks like these were the best times to buy an ST30:

50": Late November '11 through early December '11
55": Late December '11 through mid February '12
60": Early December '11 through early February '12
65": Early April '12

Of course, this year may be different. But looking at last year, it would seem pretty risky for you to wait a "few months" to buy an ST50 (<65"). If you don't want to wait for '13 models, then you should probably start tracking prices now and plan to buy between now and the Super Bowl.
post #10 of 16
The local BB had some new in the box VT30 65's for $1999.

Even being a year old I'd call that a deal.
post #11 of 16
Thank you, I totally understand about the whole uncertainty surrounding that. This helps!
post #12 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by RandyWalters View Post

While the U50 and UT50 are great values, they don't bang like the ST50 and higher models do and afterall, the OP is looking for the best bang and isn't limiting his budget to entry-level model range. The UT50 is the best bargain, but it's not the best bang.
The ST50's picture quality is roughly 90% as good as the VT50 on pristine content like when watching Bu-Ray in a very dark room, and pretty much equal for all other content like HD programming with a light on. And during the daytime, i dare say that the ST50/GT50 may even be better for watching sports since they're a teensy bit brighter than the VT50.

He literally said "best bang for the buck." That's the UT50 all the way.
post #13 of 16
ST50
post #14 of 16
ST50 would be the best value for 2012
post #15 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by QuiGonJosh View Post

He literally said "best bang for the buck." That's the UT50 all the way.

But he also said: "I know the VT50 line is the best, but I honestly can't say that I do a lot of critical watching, so I'm not too worried about having "the best" and "cost isn't a huge issue"

Since he indicated that he doesn't need the VT50 i'm presuming that he would probably like something with roughly similar picture quality, and since he said cost isn't a huge issue then i'm also presuming he's not limiting himself to an inexpensive entry level model.

Knowing first hand that the ST50 has better picture quality, i would not buy a UT50 unless i absolutely could not afford the ST50.

We've given the OP two very different recommendations so hopefully he will look into both these models and see which one fits his needs best smile.gif
post #16 of 16
Thread Starter 
You nailed it Randy - I already ordered the 60ST50 from Amazon. Should arrive on Thursday! Thanks for all the advice. Now to download those D-Nice slides and make my way through his ultra-long thread on... er high def junkzzzz
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