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Buying Decision 2011 Samsung PN59D8000 vs Panasonic TC-P60ST50

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Hello Everyone,
What better way to start off my first post than with an opinion on 2 Plasma TV's. I purchased the Samsung PN59D8000 about 2 weeks ago from HHGregg. It was an open box special that seemed like a good deal at $1,200 so I grabbed it. Being from an LCD exposed background, I was hesistant to buy a plasma at first, but upon educating myself I figured it was a good idea. I would say I do love the picture quality but the "cleanliness" and brightness of the white levels leave a little to be desired. My question is this, how much better is the picture quality and white levels on the Panasonic TC-P60ST50? I still have 2 weeks to return the Samsung and wanted to possibly entertain swapping it for the Panasonic which is currently $1,699 on Amazon. I don't mind spending the extra $500 if it means increased picture quality and white levels..which the latter has a "greyish" hue to it no matter how much calibration I do.

Now if I'm being silly and the Samsung and Pana are almost indiscernible in terms of picture quality, I'd rather not have to go through the trouble of reboxing the Sammy to take back to HHGregg.

Thanks in advance for the help!


-Dan
post #2 of 14
I am new to the forum as well. I recently purchased the Samsung PNe550 from Amazon. I know its not the PN59D8000. I found it PQ fine in low to no light. I was coming from LCD so at first the dull picture was bothersome. But I quickly got use to it and found the picture more realistic as compared to my LCD. I did return it because, even though the TV sits in my basement, the glare was a bit much. I have had the P60ST50 for two weeks now. I am using D-Nice settings and the screen is very bright. I ran break-in slides for the first week and so far I am enjoying the set. I am having the set professionally calibrated on March 16th and am interested to see what the PQ looks like after.
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
So it is considerably brighter than the Samsung?
post #4 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by DReyesGraphics View Post

So it is considerably brighter than the Samsung?

It sounds to me like you're referring to the ABL or automatic brightness limiter. This is a standard feature on all plasmas and cannot be turned off. A full white screen on a plasma will not be as bright as the full white screen of an LCD/LED TV. However, whites will look perfectly natural and bright just so long as they don't occupy too large of a portion of the screen. It's not limited to just white though, the ABL will trigger if there's too much overall brightness on the screen at any given time. Here's an example on an LG Plasma.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rHndICrpxqs
post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
@JSpectre88, thanks for the input. So with the ABL standard on all Plasma televisions I should not expect any improvement in the white levels no matter which route I go (plasma wise). This now leaves me with PQ on the Sammy vs Pany. So if anyone has seen both these models in person, I'd love feedback smile.gif.
post #6 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by DReyesGraphics View Post

@JSpectre88, thanks for the input. So with the ABL standard on all Plasma televisions I should not expect any improvement in the white levels no matter which route I go (plasma wise). This now leaves me with PQ on the Sammy vs Pany. So if anyone has seen both these models in person, I'd love feedback smile.gif.

I'm not sure if you were asking me a question or not. The ABL feature won't change, but the severity of the ABL can change depending on the model. I don't know how the ABL is on the Sammy at all, so I can't comment. What I do know is my Panny GT50 had a much better ABL than the lower end U50 model. The GT50 stayed brighter on a full white screen, and therefore it stayed brighter during normal TV viewing in scenes where the U50 would have been dimmer. I can tell you that the ST50 has better blacks and overall better PQ, but it is probably more susceptible to image retention than the Sammy.
post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by DReyesGraphics View Post

@JSpectre88, thanks for the input. So with the ABL standard on all Plasma televisions I should not expect any improvement in the white levels no matter which route I go (plasma wise). This now leaves me with PQ on the Sammy vs Pany. So if anyone has seen both these models in person, I'd love feedback smile.gif.


There are other factors besides ABL at play here, if you are coming from an LCD you are probably used to a bluer white which tricks the eye into being brighter and whiter although it really isn't. Once you get used to the more technically accurate white it won't be such a dramatic difference. Also white balance plays a definite role in the purity of white, its probably a toss up in that area between the Samsung and the Panny. Only way to fix that is thru a grayscale calibration, you might get lucky with someone else's setting but no guarantee. I have heard the abl on the Samsungs is more aggressive this year than last, also as Jspectre pointed out if can vary even within the same series of models, u50 vs gt50 for example.

As far as picture quality goes that is largely subjective, some prefer the increased sharpness of the Samsungs, they also have superior video processing for poorer source material. ST50 definitely has superior blacks and contrast ratio so it really depends on what your criteria is for picture quality. I prefer Panasonic myself but have owned some lower end Samsung's the picture quality was really good. Where I have an issue with Samsung is the build quality, tales of firmware update problems etc.
post #8 of 14
I know there's other factors that influence whites, but I could tell he was only referring to the ABL. wink.gif
post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 
@chunon, thanks so much for the informed response. I appreciate all the feedback. I think I'm leaning towards keeping the Sammy, it really does have an excellent picture, the whites did throw me off, but does not overshadow excellent picture I get with a blueray in and cinema smooth on.
post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by DReyesGraphics View Post

@chunon, thanks so much for the informed response. I appreciate all the feedback. I think I'm leaning towards keeping the Sammy, it really does have an excellent picture, the whites did throw me off, but does not overshadow excellent picture I get with a blueray in and cinema smooth on.

Your whites do look good when they aren't taking up a lot of the screen though, right?
post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 
Yes, they look great most of the time. I mostly notice it during commercials when the screen is almost 100% white, like an apple commercial.
post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by DReyesGraphics View Post

Yes, they look great most of the time. I mostly notice it during commercials when the screen is almost 100% white, like an apple commercial.

Yep, that's what I thought, just the ABL at work. Don't worry, your eyes will thank you. biggrin.gif
post #13 of 14
@DReyesGraphics, I would say it is considerably brighter than the Samsung. In fact, I found it to bright at first. I currently use D-nice settings over CNETs as I found them less bright and better for my environment.
post #14 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cuda1169 View Post

@DReyesGraphics, I would say it is considerably brighter than the Samsung. In fact, I found it to bright at first. I currently use D-nice settings over CNETs as I found them less bright and better for my environment.

His concerns with brightness stemmed from the ABL. I don't believe he is unsatisfied with the overall brightness of the Samsung.
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