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The Plasma I wanted is sold out. Now what?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Hi all. I'm a long time lurker. I've got an old Pany HD CRT (CT32HX41) that works great, but I'm setting up a HTPC, and getting the picture sorted is a PITA. So I've decided that it's time to upgrade to a more modern TV. I did some research and decided on a plasma because our basement is rather dark even at the brightest, and the lights are arranged in such a way that reflections shouldn't be a problem if on when viewing. I did further research. Lots of research. I decided on either Samsung or Pany, though I'm leaning towards Panasonic because the current TV has been great, and I settled on around a 55" TV.

The info on size is crazy. If you look at resellers, they'll tell you that if you sit any more than 2' away from your TV, you need at least a 1000" TV. wink.gif So finding unbiased info on size is tough. Our room is a long, skinny room with the TV at one end. The couch is across the middle of the room. That's from where most of the viewing takes place, and that is almost exactly 15' from the TV. However, 90% of the time, my wife is on the couch, casually watching TV and I'm sitting at my computer desk which is on the side wall behind the couch. So I'm watching TV from about 24' away. The couch viewing is the primary concern as that is where we'd sit while watching movies, but I'd like to get be able to appreciate the TV from my desk when just watching TV shows and the like. I think 55" would do for that. I know larger would be better, but larger also means more expensive, and I'm on a tight-ish budget. Since the 32" works, even from my desk, I don't really need a monster TV just for my viewing from my desk.

We mainly use the TV for cable TV and watch movies occasionally. We don't have a blu-ray player, but I may get one for my HTPC (we'll see about that as it's a linux box). We do game sometimes, so input lag is a concern. We only have a Wii and some legacy consoles, so it's not much gaming, but I may include gaming on the HTPC. Regardless, the input lag is a concern for me. We don't really want 3d at all, but I know the 3d screens are better than the 2D screens.

Based on all of that stuff, I had sort of decided on the Panasonic TC-P55S60. I was psyched when I saw that it was on sale at some east coast store for about $800, but at the time, I didn't have the money set aside for the purchase. Now that I do, it's out of stock everywhere. So this is where I come to my questions.....

I'm assuming that because that TV is sold out everywhere that it's the last we'll see of that TV since it's a 2013 model. If that is the case, when do the 2014s start coming out? When they do come out, will the price of the 2013s drop significantly, or not much? Will Black Friday deals generally be 2013 stuff or new models (assuming they come out before then), or something else?

My budget is a bit flexible, and though I can go up to around $1500, I'd rather not go that high. I see that I can get the 50" of that same TV for about $650 right now, but I think if I do that I'll be disappointed that I went with a smaller TV. OTOH, the 60" is going for about $1,000. That's pretty good, though $200 more than what the 55" was. I wonder if I get that will I regret spending the extra $. Will my wife hate that the TV is so big? Will it overwhelm the room (14' x 30' with 7' ceilings)?

So I'm looking for some feedback if you all would be so kind. What do you recommend on size? For me, I'm struggling with spend the extra $ against the size thing. Being who I am, larger is always better. OTOH, so is saving some $. What about waiting for Black Friday? Will I just find the TVs that are on around now on sale, or will they be something different?

Sorry if this post is rambling and asking a million questions. I'm feeling very frustrated that I missed that deal, and now that I've saved some money to get a plasma, I want one now. biggrin.gif
post #2 of 16
The 2013 panny plasmas have been selling well. You may catch a deal on Black Friday but who knows? The better sellers are less likely to go on sale (Black Friday or otherwise) than the models that aren't moving as well... Importance of size is a personal thing. I limped along for many years with a small tv, viewed at a close distance (4 ft) but have so enjoyed moving up to a 50 inch tv at 8 ft viewing distance. I can see football plays so much better and spend far less time rewinding plays to see what really happened. At 24 feet, I would look at buying as large a screen as possible. The 65s60 or 60s60 would not be bad choices given your viewing situation and would be under your max budget. Goto a big box store and stand 24 feet away from a 60 or 65 inch tv. You'll see more detail with a larger screen at that viewing distance.
post #3 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yippee38 View Post

.....I had sort of decided on the Panasonic TC-P55S60. I was psyched when I saw that it was on sale at some east coast store for about $800, but at the time, I didn't have the money set aside for the purchase. Now that I do, it's out of stock everywhere. So this is where I come to my questions.....

I'm assuming that because that TV is sold out everywhere that it's the last we'll see of that TV since it's a 2013 model. If that is the case, when do the 2014s start coming out? When they do come out, will the price of the 2013s drop significantly, or not much? Will Black Friday deals generally be 2013 stuff or new models (assuming they come out before then), or something else?

My budget is a bit flexible, and though I can go up to around $1500, I'd rather not go that high. I see that I can get the 50" of that same TV for about $650 right now, but I think if I do that I'll be disappointed that I went with a smaller TV. OTOH, the 60" is going for about $1,000. That's pretty good, though $200 more than what the 55" was. I wonder if I get that will I regret spending the extra $. Will my wife hate that the TV is so big? Will it overwhelm the room (14' x 30' with 7' ceilings)?

So I'm looking for some feedback if you all would be so kind. What do you recommend on size? For me, I'm struggling with spend the extra $ against the size thing. Being who I am, larger is always better. OTOH, so is saving some $. What about waiting for Black Friday? Will I just find the TVs that are on around now on sale, or will they be something different?

It does seem like the 55" S60 has been discontinued early - it's no longer available for purchase on Panasonic's online store and that's usually a sign that they've stopped making it (like they did with the 42" version several months ago).

Panasonic usually ends production on the more popular models in November or December, then during January they re-tool the factory for the new models which usually debut around March/April.

Forget about Black Friday - usually the TVs that go on sale are smaller ones, and in limited numbers. Demand for Panasonic Plasmas seems to be exceeding the supply so i wouldn't expect prices to fall, and i wouldn't wait around hoping for a sale or you might miss out on getting the right TV altogether. Prices right now are already very low.

Based on everything you wrote, i think you should get the 60" S60, and do it soon in case it also gets discontinued wink.gif
post #4 of 16
I bought my 65vt30 Black Friday week and didnt see it go lower until the vt50 was out. I also bought my gt50 the following year same week which was also low. Panasonic plasmas have been offered every year on sale. This year I didn't want to wait so I bought the vt60 already. I think I'm done for a couple years or at least until I see a 70 inch plasma from them.
post #5 of 16
you sit farther away from your tv than i do from my 120" projection screen.

you will be WAY outside recommended viewing distances, and i've never heard of anybody being upset they bought too big of a tv. the only way i'd be going with a smaller size is if it's the choice between a large 'crappy' tv and a smaller 'great' tv. quality over quantity every time imo. but if you can get both, do it.

in your scenario, my rule of thumb would be to buy the largest 'good' tv you can afford and hope you don't think it's small 2yrs from now. but realistically it sounds like you're going to be too far off the 'rule of thumb' anyway. so if you like watching on a 55" screen, then go for it. i mean, it's not like you won't be able to see what's going on, it's just that you COULD get a larger image without any pq sacrifices(you won't see pixels)

if it helps you any, the worst purchase i ever made was the one i 'saved' the most money on. sometimes you're better off buying the 'right' product even if it costs a little more up front, because you won't have the urge to replace it as quickly, and you'll save money in the long run. ie, you're better off buying a 60" now for an extra 300-400bux than to buy a 55" now, and want to upgrade to a 60" next year. buy better, and buy less often and you'll get both better quality and spend less
post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the good info. I am definitely leaning toward the 60". I did some measurements and though the 60" is friggin' huge, it's not that much bigger than the 55" that I was originally hoping to buy. The size of the TV is the one objection my wife raised. Well, not an objection, but a concern. Going to talk to her about it at lunch. We'll see what she says. (But I know her, and she'll end up saying, "Whatever you want to do is fine," because she's awesome that way.)
post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 
heh. As expected, she said, "That's huge! It will take up the whole wall." I showed her the difference between the 60" and the 55" and the 50", so she could see that any of them are way bigger than what we have now.

I then explained that my other option was to go with the 55ST60. Nicer TV, but with a bunch of stuff we don't need/want (3d, web stuff, extra jacks), but it's $300 more than the 60S60. While I wouldn't mind the ST60, I really would rather not spend the extra money (since it's about $500 more than I originally planned). That did it. I'll be ordering the 60S60 today.

Thanks for the help all!
post #8 of 16
60 is still way too small at 15 ft away. Realistically you shouldn't be looking at less than 65 and even that is close. Or just move the couch about 6 ft closer.
post #9 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Semp1 View Post

60 is still way too small at 15 ft away. Realistically you shouldn't be looking at less than 65 and even that is close. Or just move the couch about 6 ft closer.

good point, moving the couch closer is probably easier than looking at something big enough for a 15 ft distance (even 65" might not be much from that far away)

I currently sit no more than 7 ft from a 46" (LED-LCD) and I usually get 4-5 ft from it while gaming. I'm planning on going with a 50" Panasonic plasma though early next year (S60 or ST60 depending on my budget at that time). However, reading this thread has me worried these models could be gone well before then. I wonder what the 2014 lineup will be like and how many 50" 1080p options will be available at prices in the $650 to $1000 range.
post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 
I don't think we could go bigger than a 60". The wall isn't big enough (with speakers on the sides). We can't move the couch closer or it would block entrance to the room, and I'd have to move the side speakers.
post #11 of 16
I had the same concerns about my TV purchase. We had a 46" LED and I was looking at the Panasonic S64 at Sam's Club. My wife had said before that the 46" size was good for our room and she wouldn't want anything larger, and I wasn't sure I wanted a TV as large as 65" because I felt it might dominate the room. In fact, when I got it home I kept thinking, it looks bigger than it did in the store. I thought it was too big. But we quickly adjusted. After a couple of weeks I mounted it on the wall and it's perfect. I'd even say, I could go larger next time. But if I were you I'd go with the 60" since that is what is available. CNET praised the TV. Since you have a budget, are putting the TV in the basement, and it's a solid performer, move the couch a foot or two closer and enjoy.
post #12 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yippee38 View Post

heh. As expected, she said, "That's huge! It will take up the whole wall."

I have heard a lot of people are so "shocked" at the size of their TV the first day it is set up in their house.

When I set up my 58 inch Plasma, (my first WS TV), I felt like I was on the bridge of the Star Ship Enterprise! After a couple of weeks, it was "just" my TV. Cannot wait until I upgrade it to a 65 inch, and would go a little bigger if they made a plasma 70 inches!

(And I resisted a "That's what she said" comment!!!)
post #13 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by BuddTX View Post

I have heard a lot of people are so "shocked" at the size of their TV the first day it is set up in their house.

When I set up my 58 inch Plasma, (my first WS TV), I felt like I was on the bridge of the Star Ship Enterprise! After a couple of weeks, it was "just" my TV. Cannot wait until I upgrade it to a 65 inch, and would go a little bigger if they made a plasma 70 inches!

(And I resisted a "That's what she said" comment!!!)

I have our TV in the family room and the 'media corner' is set up in a 8' wide x 10' long area. I had a 42" set for the last 7 years, we watched it (movies/gaming) from about 80". I thought it was the perfect size for my setup. The TV died and I bought a 50" but when we saw how much better the bigger TV was, I went back and swapped it for a 65"! (Part of the story is that this is a Panny S64 and I saw this as a rare opportunity to own a decent 65" for $1300).

I was worried that it will prove to be too big, but... wow! It is like sitting at the cinema! I was also worried about gaming (checking the ammo counter in the corner would fatigue my eyes) but that also turned out to not be a problem. I also realized that I was leaning forward before while I was gaming and now I can lean against the back of the couch - better posture, healthier gaming smile.gif

So bigger is definitely better. I think anything up to the THX recommendation (viewing distance/1.2) will be perceived as an improvement.
post #14 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BuddTX View Post

(And I resisted a "That's what she said" comment!!!)

LOL
post #15 of 16
Recommended sizes are not "crazy". They are the smallest screen which at the given distance will allow the human eye to see all that is humanly possible. What is "crazy" is people who buy a much more expensive set is a smaller size or a greater distance than optimal and think they've accomplished something.
post #16 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by adone36 View Post

Recommended sizes are not "crazy". They are the smallest screen which at the given distance will allow the human eye to see all that is humanly possible. What is "crazy" is people who buy a much more expensive set is a smaller size or a greater distance than optimal and think they've accomplished something.
IMO, it really is preference. I sat 7-8ft from my 47inch panel. I upgraded this year to a 60ST50 and 8ft was to close. I now watch my 60inch panel from 9-10ft which seems perfect for letterbox blurays, 3D and gaming.
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