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Advice on my first Plasma TV.

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
I'm looking for a budget TV... I honestly don't care too much about a SMART TV since I have an HTPC connected directly to my TV and I just want a nice picture and under $700.

I'm looking at either the 2012 model PN51E550 (refurb) or a 2013 model PN51F5300A.

I've never bought a refurb TV before, so I don't know if that should scare me or not.

Reviews look great on the PN51E550 but there aren't many out yet for the PN51F5300A since its new...

I know the older refurb model has 3D which would be nice, but not a huge deal breaker for me if its not going to be as good of a Television...

Anybody have any advice between these two models?

Thanks!
post #2 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by thePWNin8r View Post

I'm looking for a budget TV... I honestly don't care too much about a SMART TV since I have an HTPC connected directly to my TV and I just want a nice picture and under $700.

I'm looking at either the 2012 model PN51E550 (refurb) or a 2013 model PN51F5300A.

I've never bought a refurb TV before, so I don't know if that should scare me or not.

Reviews look great on the PN51E550 but there aren't many out yet for the PN51F5300A since its new...

I know the older refurb model has 3D which would be nice, but not a huge deal breaker for me if its not going to be as good of a Television...

Anybody have any advice between these two models?

Thanks!

If you can live with out 3D my money is on the Panasonic 50S60.
post #3 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by JSpectre88 View Post

If you can live with out 3D my money is on the Panasonic 50S60.

/co-sign

or go for the 50ST60 for $1000 if you can afford to spend a little outside of your budget.
post #4 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JSpectre88 View Post

If you can live with out 3D my money is on the Panasonic 50S60.


Any particular reason? I like the Samsung name as a whole because I have done well with a lot of their other electronics. Also the 1 inch extra screen is a nice feature.
post #5 of 29
I do not recommend the D550 series Samsung plasmas due to many consistent reliability problems (and the E550 is more or less the same), with a refurb you may have trouble getting a warranty. Heard nothing on F series though too new.

The Panasonic would be my pick by far. Even their lower end models are built better than Samsung's higher offerings.
post #6 of 29
I concur. I've had 2 Panasonic Plasma TV's and they are easily the best Television's i'v ever had.
post #7 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by thePWNin8r View Post

Any particular reason? I like the Samsung name as a whole because I have done well with a lot of their other electronics. Also the 1 inch extra screen is a nice feature.

It's a great TV, beats the E550 easily, and more than likely the F5300 too.
post #8 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JSpectre88 View Post

It's a great TV, beats the E550 easily, and more than likely the F5300 too.

Anything particular it beats it in? Sadly these are so new I can't any reviews....
post #9 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by thePWNin8r View Post

Anything particular it beats it in? Sadly these are so new I can't any reviews....

The E550? Everything. I don't honestly know much about the F5300 though.
post #10 of 29
The E500 series is a decent budget plasma. However, it is plagued by pretty noticeable fluctuating brightness.
post #11 of 29
My advice is to go look at an S60, I don't think you will be disappointed. smile.gif
post #12 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by thePWNin8r View Post

I'm looking for a budget TV... I honestly don't care too much about a SMART TV since I have an HTPC connected directly to my TV and I just want a nice picture and under $700.

I'm looking at either the 2012 model PN51E550 (refurb) or a 2013 model PN51F5300A.


What is the warranty on the E550?

Would be leery of a "refurb" unless the Manufacturer was willing to back it up with a Warranty at least equal to their new sets.
-- If you opt for the refurb, are you still able to purchase an extended warranty for it? CostCo sells SquareTrade 3-yr warranties at a reasonable cost - you don't have to purchase the set from them either.
HOWEVER, have no idea whether a Refurb would qualify for the warranty.

Think the E550 did pretty well in Reviews - for example, CR gave the 60" E550 the 3rd highest ranking in the 60-inch & Up category (plasma models) - just edging out the 60" Pan GT & ST models.
The 64" E550 placed behind the Pannys, and by a fair margin -- it just beat out a trio of LGs.

Note that the above is based upon CR's Total Score, which includes factors Beyond Picture Quality (such as Sound Quality, Remote, "Smart TV" & other Features): the Pans tend to do Very Well in the PQ area, but less so in the other areas.

Overall, Pan's reputation for Reliability beats that of Samsung - and they both beat LG. That is, of course, Historical Data, but has remained true for some years now.

Still, given the good reviews that the E550 received - AND a good warranty - I would not be adverse to buying one.
As with any HDTV purchase would want at least a 30-day Return / Exchange Policy, if only for a bit of added "protection" against Infant Mortality Issues.....

(Don't know anything about how the 2013 models stack up, either against each other, or their 2012 counterparts.)

PS: FWIW, we own 3 Panasonic Plasma sets, and have been as Pleased as Punch will all of them.
post #13 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JSpectre88 View Post

My advice is to go look at an S60, I don't think you will be disappointed. smile.gif

I tried... in best buy they all look the same though cuz of the crap feed...
post #14 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dierkdr View Post

What is the warranty on the E550?

Would be leery of a "refurb" unless the Manufacturer was willing to back it up with a Warranty at least equal to their new sets.
-- If you opt for the refurb, are you still able to purchase an extended warranty for it? CostCo sells SquareTrade 3-yr warranties at a reasonable cost - you don't have to purchase the set from them either.
HOWEVER, have no idea whether a Refurb would qualify for the warranty.

Think the E550 did pretty well in Reviews - for example, CR gave the 60" E550 the 3rd highest ranking in the 60-inch & Up category (plasma models) - just edging out the 60" Pan GT & ST models.
The 64" E550 placed behind the Pannys, and by a fair margin -- it just beat out a trio of LGs.

Note that the above is based upon CR's Total Score, which includes factors Beyond Picture Quality (such as Sound Quality, Remote, "Smart TV" & other Features): the Pans tend to do Very Well in the PQ area, but less so in the other areas.

Overall, Pan's reputation for Reliability beats that of Samsung - and they both beat LG. That is, of course, Historical Data, but has remained true for some years now.

Still, given the good reviews that the E550 received - AND a good warranty - I would not be adverse to buying one.
As with any HDTV purchase would want at least a 30-day Return / Exchange Policy, if only for a bit of added "protection" against Infant Mortality Issues.....

(Don't know anything about how the 2013 models stack up, either against each other, or their 2012 counterparts.)

PS: FWIW, we own 3 Panasonic Plasma sets, and have been as Pleased as Punch will all of them.

Hmm.. its only a 90 day warranty which was what scared me... I have 60 day return policy with BB though as a silver rewardzone member. And squaretrade only does new TVs (I checked)
post #15 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by thePWNin8r View Post

I tried... in best buy they all look the same though cuz of the crap feed...

I see. I would buy it anyway as it's going to be the best option. BB has a good return policy.
post #16 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by thePWNin8r View Post

I'm looking for a budget TV... I honestly don't care too much about a SMART TV since I have an HTPC connected directly to my TV and I just want a nice picture and under $700.

I'm looking at either the 2012 model PN51E550 (refurb) or a 2013 model PN51F5300A.

I've never bought a refurb TV before, so I don't know if that should scare me or not.

Reviews look great on the PN51E550 but there aren't many out yet for the PN51F5300A since its new...

I know the older refurb model has 3D which would be nice, but not a huge deal breaker for me if its not going to be as good of a Television...

Anybody have any advice between these two models?

Thanks!

Get an ST 50 55inch.
post #17 of 29
Refurbs are basically repaired/rebuilt/repurposed TVs - and their short little 90 day warranties show how little faith they have in their own refurbs and the extended warranty companies typically won't sell you a warranty on a refurb so they don't have any faith in them either.

I would buy a good used Plasma over a refurb any day.

The only TV i would consider within your budget is the TC-P50S60 - so far it's getting great feedback from owners:

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1461177/official-panasonic-s60-series-discussion-thread

And right now it's one penny under your max budget at BB wink.gif
post #18 of 29
Have you considered buying from Amazon? If you qualify for their store card, they offer special financing for anywhere from 6 months to 2 years without interest, often based on the total amount spent. I only suggest it because $300 more can buy you one of the best tvs.
post #19 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sheshechic View Post

Have you considered buying from Amazon? If you qualify for their store card, they offer special financing for anywhere from 6 months to 2 years without interest, often based on the total amount spent. I only suggest it because $300 more can buy you one of the best tvs.

I have $350 of Best Buy giftcards... so I'm stuck there really... not into buying a TV on credit though.
post #20 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by thePWNin8r View Post

I have $350 of Best Buy giftcards... so I'm stuck there really... not into buying a TV on credit though.
You could try and sell the cards on eBay for a little loss but the money you would save probably by purchasing a TV somewhere else would most likely make up for it.

Or look for something new from other online retailers and have BB price match it. In general BB is priced higher then most others.
post #21 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by eric3316 View Post

You could try and sell the cards on eBay for a little loss but the money you would save probably by purchasing a TV somewhere else would most likely make up for it.

Or look for something new from other online retailers and have BB price match it. In general BB is priced higher then most others.

BB will price match other online retailers (especially Amazon) so its worth a shot trying wink.gif
post #22 of 29
S60 has better black and brighter white than E550. E550 may have an edge in glare filter but I would get an S60 over E550 anyday. By no means is E550 a bad TV, it's just that it's last generation compared to U50/S60. For Samsung, F8500 will be the start of a new generation.

...except, I'm still on the fence until I find out the input lag on the S60. As great and bargain as they are, sadly, I just had to rule out ST60 because of terrible input lag.
post #23 of 29
Thread Starter 
I've looked around and for these newer TVs Best Buy has the same price as virtually everybody else...

But apparently everybody on this forum are Panasonic Junkies... the sales guy at Best Buy was a Panasonic Junkie... so there may be something to that. :-)

I think one of the leading things I've heard that's starting to turn me to the Panny though is they are quite a bit more reliable...
Edited by thePWNin8r - 4/3/13 at 7:36am
post #24 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by thePWNin8r View Post

I've looked around and for these newer TVs Best Buy has the same price as virtually everybody else...

But apparently everybody on this forum are Panasonic Junkies... the sales guy at Best Buy was a Panasonic Junkie...

I think one of the leading things I've heard that's starting to turn me to the Panny though is they are quite a bit more reliable...

Panasonics are well respected...Samsungs are now slouch, but in your particular case I would choose the S60/S64 (Id probably go for the S64 since it will have the same filter as the ST60)....Reliability is a toss up really, Panasonic and Samsung are both very good...
post #25 of 29
My vote goes for Panasonic.
From my experience with Samsung is not good. I have had quite a few higher end Samsung products take a dump right out of warranty period. Dealing with them is horrible too.
post #26 of 29
My vote also goes to Panasonic (and I am currently a Samsung C8000 owner). If you are really trying to stay under $700, the Panasonic TC-P50S60 outshines the "comparable" Samsung model PN51F5300 in pretty much every way (PQ, black level, features). If you could spend a little more ($850), I'd definitely consider the PN51F5500 (Samsung's new "mid-range" 3D dual core plasma TV). And if you can squeeze out a little more money ($999.99), the Panasonic TC-P50ST60 is looking to be a real winner. Would not surprise me if the ST60 wins even more awards than the ST50 did last year, and is the best all around "bang for the buck" plasma TV of 2013.
post #27 of 29
Thread Starter 
Well... just ordered me a S50S60 due to 0 votes for Samsung... Sounds like a got a great TV. Thanks for your help!
post #28 of 29
just a followup are you still happy with your s60? I had a 65" s60 I swapped for a 60st60, but now shopping for a bedroom set: mostly night viewing so glare not as much an issue now.
post #29 of 29
Thread Starter 
I love the TV its FANTASTIC... only problem is the glare if I'm watching a day baseball game or something. But it's bright enough I can still live with it.
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