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Best 50-inch Panasonic Plasma available?

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
I currently have the Panasonic GT25 plasma 46-inch (it was a Costco floor model) and I love that thing to death. My living room setup can only accommodate up to 50 inches. However, I am uber-saddened about the discontinuation of Plasma.

What is the best 50-inch that I can buy right now? I really would splurge for the VT60 or ZT60 series but 55-inch is the smallest size available.

I would consider the current ST60 series but there seems to be a complaint about input lag.

Perhaps I should consider an older GT50?
  • I am a heavy gamer (I have my gaming PC hooked up via HDMI)
  • I am an AV enthusiast (I have a separate HTPC hooked up via HDMI)
  • I have a bay window on the rear of the living room, so anti-glare is an absolute must.
  • I'd like to avoid any models that have burn-in/image retention issues (I heard this was common with the newer Panasonic models -- strange since the ones from 3-4 years ago didn't). Plus, my girlfriend has a bad habit of leaving the TV on a stationary screen all the time and walking away... tongue.gif

My goal is to have this next TV purchase be the last one until 4k becomes mainstream.

Any advice is most appreciated!
post #2 of 24

I would have to go with the Costco/Sams Club S64. It has the anti reflective panel of the ST60 but the reduced input lag of the S60.

 

I haven't heard any reports of burn in with the S64 yet myself.

post #3 of 24
The 50 st60 is 999 & the PQ is unparalleled ; period.
post #4 of 24
I have a GT50 and the G25. I'm currently waiting to pull the trigger on an ST60. I might be wrong (if so please correct me), but I believe that D-Nice bought one for himself. IMO, that speaks volumes and helps with trying to decide (mental ticking off of pros and cons) which model to buy. The VT60 and GT60 have "problems" that I don't think I could live with, my tvs are silent and we sit fairly close. Another post helped me decide on whether to buy or not (since I already own a great tv) is reading Randy Walter's post. He loved his GT50 as much as I do, so his opinion was important too.

For me, the most difficult decision is which size to buy, the price difference between the 60" & 65" is a little too big, if it weren't the 65" would be on it's way. My 60GT50 has shrunk a little and I've been yearning for bigger.

Edit: Corrected GT25 to G25
Edited by sheshechic - 11/1/13 at 10:20am
post #5 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by RicFlair View Post

The 50 st60 is 999 & the PQ is unparalleled ; period.

it does look very good in the Sears store environment (and the S60 looked crappy in that environment due to no AR filter plus dimmer whites)... however, if you were to take both home and put them in a dark/dim environment and calibrate both fully, neither the lack of the AR filter nor the dimmer whites would matter and the PQ would be a lot closer
post #6 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by WarriorRelic View Post

I would have to go with the Costco/Sams Club S64. It has the anti reflective panel of the ST60 but the reduced input lag of the S60.

I haven't heard any reports of burn in with the S64 yet myself.

Nice, I didn't know that! I'll have to swing by Costco now. smile.gif Are there any "deficiencies" with the S64 model? E.g. would I lose any of the ST60 capabilities/features by going "down" to an S64?
Quote:
Originally Posted by sheshechic View Post

I have a GT50 and the G25. I'm currently waiting to pull the trigger on an ST60. I might be wrong (if so please correct me), but I believe that D-Nice bought one for himself. IMO, that speaks volumes and helps with trying to decide (mental ticking off of pros and cons) which model to buy. The VT60 and GT60 have "problems" that I don't think I could live with, my tvs are silent and we sit fairly close. Another post helped me decide on whether to buy or not (since I already own a great tv) is reading Randy Walter's post. He loved his GT50 as much as I do, so his opinion was important too.

For me, the most difficult decision is which size to buy, the price difference between the 60" & 65" is a little too big, if it weren't the 65" would be on it's way. My 60GT50 has shrunk a little and I've been yearning for bigger.

Edit: Corrected GT25 to G25

What are the mental pro's and con's that are holding you back from pulling the trigger? The ST60 worries me from an input lag perspective, though I did hear about the Youtube video and how the Input Lag disappears in "Game Mode."
Quote:
Originally Posted by PlasmaPZ80U View Post

it does look very good in the Sears store environment (and the S60 looked crappy in that environment due to no AR filter plus dimmer whites)... however, if you were to take both home and put them in a dark/dim environment and calibrate both fully, neither the lack of the AR filter nor the dimmer whites would matter and the PQ would be a lot closer

That's my worry about having a dark/dim environment. As mentioned, I have a bay window and it's a bit of a nuisance for afternoon viewing. Luckily for me and my girlfriend, we work during the day so it's only annoying during weekend afternoons.

What is the "previous" generation to the VT60? To my understanding, the VT60 has superior anti-glare (among other neat features) but, again, they don't make a 50-inch version. Perhaps the previous gen. is the one that I should go with?
post #7 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Comp625 View Post

Nice, I didn't know that! I'll have to swing by Costco now. smile.gif Are there any "deficiencies" with the S64 model? E.g. would I lose any of the ST60 capabilities/features by going "down" to an S64?
What are the mental pro's and con's that are holding you back from pulling the trigger?

For 50", you are basically between the S64 Costco or the ST60.

ST60:
-Edges out S64 in Picture Quality
-Edges out S64 in Max Brightness
-3 HDMI inputs compared to 2 on the S64
-Slightly thinner physically
-Handles motion of 24p video playback better

S64:
-King of low lag gaming
-Amazing price


Honestly, it's really a comparison between cost and/or your care about lag. If you play 2D fighting games or similar lag dependent genres, then the S64 is hands down the way to go. You also save a decent chunk of money.

If price isn't really an issue and picture quality is your main concern over lag in gaming, then the ST60 definitely wins. You get a slightly slimmer screen, better brightness and better motion.

The S64 series is the absolute king of value and the king of gaming for plasmas.
post #8 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Comp625 View Post


Nice, I didn't know that! I'll have to swing by Costco now. smile.gif Are there any "deficiencies" with the S64 model? E.g. would I lose any of the ST60 capabilities/features by going "down" to an S64?
 

 

You lose some of the "Smart" Features and 3D, but if you are a gamer you'll have a console, and most of those services will be available via Xbox One and PS4.

 

As for actual image quality, the ST Series features a 2500Mhz Field Drive while the S series features a 600Mhz subfield drive which means that the ST series has better contrast.

 

The difference in input lag is more than double, ~70ms for the ST and 34 for the S. 

post #9 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by WarriorRelic View Post

You lose some of the "Smart" Features and 3D, but if you are a gamer you'll have a console, and most of those services will be available via Xbox One and PS4.

As for actual image quality, the ST Series features a 2500Mhz Field Drive while the S series features a 600Mhz subfield drive which means that the ST series has better contrast.

The difference in input lag is more than double, ~70ms for the ST and 34 for the S. 

Oh yeah I forgot 3D which is a big difference for someone who wants it. I have absolutely no desire for 3D so I don't even really ever include it in my mental checklists.

Same with the "smart tv" features. I have no desire for my screen to do any of this. I would much rather use a roku, appleTV, TiVo, game console, blu-ray player or any combination of the above.
post #10 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by angle_theory View Post

For 50", you are basically between the S64 Costco or the ST60.

ST60:
-Edges out S64 in Picture Quality
-Edges out S64 in Max Brightness
-3 HDMI inputs compared to 2 on the S64
-Slightly thinner physically
-Handles motion of 24p video playback better.

The ST60 also has a higher Contrast ratio, Deeper Black Levels, a darker Black Filter, and has the superior NeoPlasma panel module that's used in the VT60.

Having extensively played with the S60 and ST60 side by side in a bright Best Buy and also in a darkened Paul's TV, the ST60 looks better and has more pop.

The S60/S64 is a good TV at a great price and is a good bargain, but the ST60 is the best 50" Panasonic TV performance-wise. Some people here think it's higher performance isn't worth the extra cost while others say it's extra cost is worth getting the higher performance. YMMV of course wink.gif
post #11 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by RandyWalters View Post

The ST60 also has a higher Contrast ratio, Deeper Black Levels, a darker Black Filter, and has the superior NeoPlasma panel module that's used in the VT60.

Having extensively played with the S60 and ST60 side by side in a bright Best Buy and also in a darkened Paul's TV, the ST60 looks better and has more pop.

The S60/S64 is a good TV at a great price and is a good bargain, but the ST60 is the best 50" Panasonic TV performance-wise. Some people here think it's higher performance isn't worth the extra cost while others say it's extra cost is worth getting the higher performance. YMMV of course wink.gif

those all are aspects that fall under PQ.

If you aren't a gamer and the $300 difference doesn't matter to you then ST is clearly the choice.
post #12 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by RandyWalters View Post

The ST60 also has a higher Contrast ratio, Deeper Black Levels, a darker Black Filter, and has the superior NeoPlasma panel module that's used in the VT60.

Having extensively played with the S60 and ST60 side by side in a bright Best Buy and also in a darkened Paul's TV, the ST60 looks better and has more pop.

The S60/S64 is a good TV at a great price and is a good bargain, but the ST60 is the best 50" Panasonic TV performance-wise. Some people here think it's higher performance isn't worth the extra cost while others say it's extra cost is worth getting the higher performance. YMMV of course wink.gif


Panasonic would still be making plasmas if they had only hired you as their marketing rep! wink.gif



Ian biggrin.gif
post #13 of 24
I should also note that the price gap widens a ton at the 65" level. At 50" you pay about 40% more for the ST60 over the S64. At 65" you pay nearly 70% more for the ST60 over the S64.
post #14 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by WarriorRelic View Post

As for actual image quality, the ST Series features a 2500Mhz Field Drive while the S series features a 600Mhz subfield drive which means that the ST series has better contrast.

I think those features affect motion resolution, not black level. The difference is black level is mainly due to a slightly darker black filter (infinite black pro vs. infinite black).
post #15 of 24
Thread Starter 
Hmmm...so I think I can squeeze in a 55-inch VT60.

1. It would be for the living room with a south-facing bay window; outside the window is our porch/awning but quite a bit of light still gets in. My current 46-inch GT25 is fine for day-time viewing but the glares can be annoying (I end up closing most of the curtains). Contrast = 90, Brightness = 75, Color & Sharpness = 50, Color Temp = Cool2, and everything else = Off.

Is the VT60 still a good choice? Or should I stick with the ST60? I hear the VT series is a bit dimmer, but remember, gaming is important to me.

2. I see that the ST60 and VT60 are sold at BestBuy and Amazon. Does anyone have an inkling as to when they'll start phasing these sets out?

(Optimally, I think the 50-inch S64 would be the best fit for me, but it's difficult to find. I checked eBay and they only have a 'Factory Refurbished' version......not sure how I feel about that).
post #16 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Comp625 View Post

Hmmm...so I think I can squeeze in a 55-inch VT60.

If you can make the 55 incher fit, by all means do so.


Quote:
1. It would be for the living room with a south-facing bay window; outside the window is our porch/awning but quite a bit of light still gets in. My current 46-inch GT25 is fine for day-time viewing but the glares can be annoying (I end up closing most of the curtains). Contrast = 90, Brightness = 75, Color & Sharpness = 50, Color Temp = Cool2, and everything else = Off.

The ST60/VT60 are a lot brighter than the GT25 so all things being equal in the room, either of these new TVs should punch through the ambient light even better than your old TV does.


Quote:
Is the VT60 still a good choice? Or should I stick with the ST60? I hear the VT series is a bit dimmer, but remember, gaming is important to me.

But the VT60 will still be a lot brighter than your old GT25, with the ST60 being a little brighter still. But i betcha you would run either the VT60 or ST60 at full screen brightness anyway (none of us do) so the ST60's extra little bit of screen brightness really isn't neccessary. That's what LCD TVs are for wink.gif



Quote:
2. I see that the ST60 and VT60 are sold at BestBuy and Amazon. Does anyone have an inkling as to when they'll start phasing these sets out?

Typically Panasonic starts winding down production in November, and sometimes in December. This year is reportedly no different but on the other forum AVJ has said they're going to have lean inventory until end of production, and that if we want to be sure to get a 2013 model to buy before November. It's possible that once Amazon or Best Buy runs out of stock, they may not be able to replenish it. The Panasonic online store says "only a few left, buy now" - it's never said that before in previous years.




Quote:
(Optimally, I think the 50-inch S64 would be the best fit for me, but it's difficult to find. I checked eBay and they only have a 'Factory Refurbished' version......not sure how I feel about that).

Never ever buy a "refurbished" large TV. Panasonic does not factory refurbish Plasma TVs, and they don't authorize any other companies to refurbish them so anybody on Ebay or whatever are making false claims. Sometimes it's nothing more than a TV repair shop building a complete TV out parts salvaged from leftover broken TVs and sells it as "refurbished".
post #17 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Comp625 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by sheshechic View Post

I have a GT50 and the G25. I'm currently waiting to pull the trigger on an ST60. I might be wrong (if so please correct me), but I believe that D-Nice bought one for himself. IMO, that speaks volumes and helps with trying to decide (mental ticking off of pros and cons) which model to buy. The VT60 and GT60 have "problems" that I don't think I could live with, my tvs are silent and we sit fairly close. Another post helped me decide on whether to buy or not (since I already own a great tv) is reading Randy Walter's post. He loved his GT50 as much as I do, so his opinion was important too.

For me, the most difficult decision is which size to buy, the price difference between the 60" & 65" is a little too big, if it weren't the 65" would be on it's way. My 60GT50 has shrunk a little and I've been yearning for bigger.

Edit: Corrected GT25 to G25

What are the mental pro's and con's that are holding you back from pulling the trigger? The ST60 worries me from an input lag perspective, though I did hear about the Youtube video and how the Input Lag disappears in "Game Mode."

My mental pro's and con's aren't so much about the product. They are more like the things you guys go through before you tell the wife and how you'll deal with the attitude. Also, whether to sell the GT50, or the G25 vs rotating out the worst tv of the bunch which is an old 30" Sharp Lcd sitting in the master bedroom. And lastly, where to buy it from since Amazon has to tax the purchase now. frown.gif

I decided to go with the 60ST60 and let it take the place of honor where the GT50 is. I worked my way up from replacing the 42G25 with a 50", then to the 55" and was all set to buy but noticed that the price difference between the 55" and 60" is less than $200. Now I'm considering selling the G25. I'll take my time with that decision.

Hubby now thinks I'm a bit crazier, but says little- he can't say much because he hasn't bought any of the electronics in our home. smile.gif

I want you to know that I did consider the ZT60 because our den is bright, I watch tv with a light on and the room opens up to the kitchen. I fell completely in love with it watching the shootout, however, I resigned myself to wait until next year. I'm glad that I did wait because I don't think I would have liked it as much in my home, or maybe I would have felt that the brightness didn't add enough to make it worth the money when I have the GT50. You see, I had the VT50 for a period before deciding to go back to the GT50. The picture is dimmer and I believe that is true of the VT60 & ZT60 vs the ST60. I also couldn't handle the fan noise, if I could then I'd have to consider the F8500 and that is a big No. I seriously don't think you'd regret buying the ST60, unless you plan to game on it. If you're a competitive gamer then the lag issue might be a problem. I've read reviews by avid gamers who say it really isn't as bad as is being said, I'm not a gamer but I have my opinions about why some have a problem and some don't. I do think that IR will be a bigger problem for gamers though. I think the ST60 is more prone to IR than last year's 50 series, but I'm not certain. Maybe Randy can chime in on this?

Good luck with your purchase and make sure that you have a great return policy before you do... just in case. wink.gif This is why I'm still going to buy from Amazon.
post #18 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by RandyWalters View Post



Quote:
2. I see that the ST60 and VT60 are sold at BestBuy and Amazon. Does anyone have an inkling as to when they'll start phasing these sets out?

Typically Panasonic starts winding down production in November, and sometimes in December. This year is reportedly no different but on the other forum AVJ has said they're going to have lean inventory until end of production, and that if we want to be sure to get a 2013 model to buy before November. It's possible that once Amazon or Best Buy runs out of stock, they may not be able to replenish it. The Panasonic online store says "only a few left, buy now" - it's never said that before in previous years.

The way that "the insider" is talking, and his responses to similar questions, make me think that replenishing isn't going to happen (which is why I've become anxious and I know I'm not alone). Best Buy is now only offering the 50ST60 through their Marketplace.
post #19 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sheshechic View Post

The way that "the insider" is talking, and his responses to similar questions, make me think that replenishing isn't going to happen (which is why I've become anxious and I know I'm not alone). Best Buy is now only offering the 50ST60 through their Marketplace.

Can you link me to the thread where "the insider" is participating in?

If the ST60 didn't have the gaming lag issue, I would have been all over it like white-on-rice. However, I game quite a bit and I am leaning towards the much more expensive 55-inch VT60. This insane idea requires me to reposition my left/center/right speakers and move my floating shelves farther apart (or else the "balance of the wall" is thrown off). The VT60 a bit out of my price range but I just found out that I am getting a new job (treat to myself biggrin.gif) AND this is probably the last ever quality plasma display panel (unless Samsung and/or LG step it up).
post #20 of 24
The gaming lag issue on the ST is argued by many to be the most overrated topic in TV history .
post #21 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Comp625 View Post

Can you link me to the thread where "the insider" is participating in?

The Insider posts on another forum, not here on AVS. It's not possible to link that forum on AVS (URL is blocked).

You may have to be a registered member on that forum in order to see his threads, but here are a few of his thread's titles for you to Google:


Panasonic Insiders' Thread - 2012/2013 (Please read sticky for thread policies)


PANASONIC INSIDERS THREAD -rumors hints and info!
post #22 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Comp625 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by sheshechic View Post

The way that "the insider" is talking, and his responses to similar questions, make me think that replenishing isn't going to happen (which is why I've become anxious and I know I'm not alone). Best Buy is now only offering the 50ST60 through their Marketplace.

Can you link me to the thread where "the insider" is participating in?

If the ST60 didn't have the gaming lag issue, I would have been all over it like white-on-rice. However, I game quite a bit and I am leaning towards the much more expensive 55-inch VT60. This insane idea requires me to reposition my left/center/right speakers and move my floating shelves farther apart (or else the "balance of the wall" is thrown off). The VT60 a bit out of my price range but I just found out that I am getting a new job (treat to myself biggrin.gif) AND this is probably the last ever quality plasma display panel (unless Samsung and/or LG step it up).

LG isn't going to get there in plasma and I would probably bet money that they're not going to offer one at least after 2014.

The probability that a Samsung will buzz is high and that is something you'll have to live with continuously, where as lag is something that you can adapt to, after all it's really not as bad as you probably think it is. However, if you have less than optimal hearing, buzz may not be an issue for you.
post #23 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sheshechic View Post

LG isn't going to get there in plasma and I would probably bet money that they're not going to offer one at least after 2014.

The probability that a Samsung will buzz is high and that is something you'll have to live with continuously, where as lag is something that you can adapt to, after all it's really not as bad as you probably think it is. However, if you have less than optimal hearing, buzz may not be an issue for you.

My Panasonic GT25 has the buzzing (more noticeable on screens where the picture is bright -- e.g. bright white background in iPad commercials) but the slight drone of my Gaming PC's fans and my HTPC's fans eliminate that buzz.

In your opinion, how is the Samsung 8500 Plasma aside from buzzing? The 51" version is going for the same price as the 55" VT60, according to BestBuy. Maybe there is a future for Plasma after all?
post #24 of 24
I haven't been reading the forums faithfully for a while, so I don' know if they fixed the fluctuating whites (is it whites or blacks?). If they've fixed those issues and buzzing aside, it's a sweet tv. If you google 2013 hdtv shootout you can watch it on youtube. I highly suggest reading most of the older posts in the owner's threads of any tv you're considering.

BTW, I changed my mind and bought the 50ST60 and will be keeping the 60GT50 in the den. The ST arrives tomorrow.
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