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GT50 (etc.) suitability as a 'regular' TV (Brightness/etc.)?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

I've been looking to replace my 17 year old 31 inch Panasonic CRT television (which seems like it just won't die despite daily use, so I plan on a forced retirement smile.gif ). I want an all-around replacement that I can watch Cable T.V., play video games, watch movies, etc. in my 'normally' lighted living room without having to be concerned about special pampering.

I've looked at lots of reviews and forum entries, but I see what appear to be lots of contradictory conclusions...

I saw that the Panasonic 55GT50 plasma generally gets high ratings, but from the problems people list on forums (including here) it appears like this series might be best suited to a pampered, darkened environment. Is that correct?

The reason I ask is that I saw

A) Multiple people complaining about "Image retention" ranging from 'medium' duration issues caused by simply displaying a channel with a corner logo
to something lasting over 6 months from leaving a paused image on (accidentally) for several hours.

B) The only set from this series that I could see at a local store was an 55ST50 set up for 3D, and it looked very dim. (Sure, it was next to a Samsung LCD 55ES7100
which I imagine was cranked up, but it still seemed dim anyway, at least in the fairly well lit store).

I then saw that many reviewers calibrate this type of set to only about 70 nits/20 fl. This might be great for a darkened room, but seems dim for what I thought
would be 'normal' viewing, especially in the daytime.

The only reference I have are my computer monitors which I have calibrated to 140 nits/41 fl. This seems to be closer to what I've been getting
with my old CRT T.V. (at least judging from just looking at it in comparison).

So, as best as I can tell, it seems like 140 nits would be considered very bright for a GT50, and might be likely to lead to a higher chance of notable image retention/burn in issues.

Anyone use their set (GT50/ST50) around this brightness without issues (I.R., buzzing, etc.)?

post #2 of 6
It's really difficult to advise when each persons tastes are so polar opposite in just about every respect. The best advice imo is to try it yourself and see if it will work for you and your environment. Buy from a reputable r/etailor with a good return policy (even better if local to you).

I can say from my experience with 2 plasma sets over the last 5 years (both Panasonic and now have the 65gt50), I have no IR issues (at all) and it is more than enough bright for me. Do you have to practice "safe watching" the first ~150 hrs with pdp? I would and do, but you might not want to.

Have you gone to a local store to view all your options? Be sure you grab the respective remotes and change the store display mode off "vivid/eye searing" and to something more standard. Even then it will be tough to tell until your get the set into your environment. It'll get ya started on the journey though. Good luck
post #3 of 6
I had a Samsung E6500 (switched out from a ST50 becuz of IR) and i had to max Contrast and Cell lighting to look decent - and this was in a controlled dark room. My 60ST50 can reach that with room to spare (about 77 Contrast, 47 Brightness). I've read reviewers were not able to hit their target 40fl and got about 30fl? Whatever that means.

There is definate IR on the ST50, but there was also IR on the E6500 which was surprising. I did not baby the Samsung as much, but i can tell you that it buzzed like a bee-hive on ALL content and came from the front of the panel itself. Both ST50s i had, had slight buzzing from the back and only on pure white/light grey solid backgrounds.

I definately prefer the ST50 by quite a margin - blacks/contrast and overal PQ looks better, then again i only feed it HD content...720p HDTV minimum. Which look great to me.

Switching up content, and running scrolling bars every so often will minimize IR - and for particularly bad cases id run noise overnight for a few days. IR is definately manageable where the buzzing is not.
post #4 of 6
I was in your same situtation, more or less, just before Christmas. Wonderful 32" CRT that looked as good as the day I bought it in 2003...just would not die...its in another room now.

I dont game at all so I cant speak to that aspect.
I read all the opinions and experiences here , elsewhere and was down right concerned about some of the possible issues...IR / Buzz / Reflections.

It came down to this:
This is my first HD / large display. I am used to the perfect wink.gif picture and low maintnence of the CRT.
Everything I read said that a plasma was as close to a CRT (image) you can get at the current time.
First hand veiwing of LCD/LED told me I would not be happy with one and I certinally wouldnt give up my CRT for one.

I got my GT50 right before Christmas, did the break in slides as it "might" reduce the chance of IR/BI.
Normal buzz that was less than my CRT made and can not be heard from over 3 feet in silence and not at all if their is normal volume.
Lectured the familty about static images/logos

I made the right choice for me and my family. We love this display. You can sit next to the TV, as far off center as you can get, and the picture is still great.
No IR...not one bit and we watch all network/cable programs via Tivo (no commercials so no break from the logos). We never zoom so we watch with bars if they are present.
I check it with the slides evrey once in awhile

Hope this little "personal" review helps you make your choice. The members here have been a godsend to someone as OCD as I am about things like this.
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
> I was in your same situation, more or less, just before Christmas.


Can you say how the brightness is compared to what you used to have on your old CRT? Is the GT50 about the same as you used to have?

When I first got my old TV I remember using a DVD (whose name escapes me, but came with an optical filter) to set up the various color/brightness/contrast settings. At the time, this resulted in a relatively dimmer (but better) picture than it initially came with.

I wasn't sure if I would have to go further dimmer if I get the GT50.

> I've read reviewers were not able to hit their target 40fL and got about 30fl?

I would think that this meant that the peak white level they could achieve was only 30 'Foot-Lamberts' of light intensity (instead of the 40 they were trying to achieve). (This should be about 103 cd/m^2 measured on that scale).
post #6 of 6
D-Nice's calibrated settings for the GT50 achieved 40fl on custom mode. You might not be able to achieve that kind of light output on cinema mode however, I'm not sure. Honestly, plasma TV's are plenty bright though, there really is no issue matching the brightness of other sets. If anything, where you're going to run into problems with plasma is the ABL when you're talking about brightness. The set is perfectly capable of being bright enough, but the question is whether or not the ABL will allow the set to remain at the desired level of output. I have heard the ABL on the higher end models is better than the cheaper U50 model, but the ABL has gotten more aggressive in newer models every year. At any rate I made the leap recently and bought the GT50 myself, so I'm hoping the set is adequately bright.
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