Originally Posted by nm4710
I have the 50 inch 60u and I am very happy with it. I think a lot of the people critizing its image quality have simply been looking at the vivid mode at BB/CC which is horrid. Adjust this TV properly and it is IMHO superior to everything else in its price range. The Samsung 4253 was also very good (I can see how some eyes would find it better), but its handling of 4:3 SD was disappointing. I do believe the pioneer was better, but certainly not $1000 better...and I was disappointed with the NEC models I saw.
As for the sony LCDs, I believe that the XBRs are the ones to get. Not only do they seem brighter, but their SD quality is head and shoulders above any other LCD I've seen. As good as it is though the XBR 40 inch LCD doesn't look quite as good on SD as a plasma. That said it is significantly brighter and the casing is more attractive than any plasma I've seen. I have always been a sony XBR guy...but the panny plasmas were able to lure me away. I can see why panasonic is the #1 plasma retailer worldwide.
I'll start by saying that I own a 500U, my friend has a 60U and we're both thrilled with the pictures and the sets in general...
With that said, I went to three local electronic stores today (Electronics Expo, CC, and PC Richard) and I'm surprised anyone ever chooses a Panasonic after seeing the extreme clayface at the out-of-the-box settings (Vivid with Sharpness at +17). The latter two stores had the 60U's on display and E/X still had the 50U, I think the extra contrast of the 60U's might make the problem look even worse but they all had it. Of course this can be cured in 10 seconds by turning down the Sharpness but how many people know that, or will insist on adjusting the TV's to their own taste? All of the sets were over-sharpened in my opinion but the Panasonics are by far the worst. Think how many they could sell if they tamed this adjustment and trimmed the consumer models like the commercial ones?
On the other hand, both Pioneer Elites had extremely bad IR and no other plasma in the store had any that I could detect... Guess I'll stick with Panasonic.