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Plasma advice needed  

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
So I am new to the AVSforums and to plasma TVs in general, but have decided it may be time
I am looking at 50" plasma TVs and have a budget of not more than about $2K.

It looks like the hot deals are on three major TVs (that are from brands I recognize anyway.) I thoughth I would throw them out along with the rumored prices to let you more knowlegeable folks give me your two cents.

1. Toshiba 50HP66 At Best Buy ~$300 less Must wait in line for a chance at this one too.
2. Panasonic TH50PX60U at Circuit City for ~my budget
3. Vizio P50HDTV10A ~$500 less after $200 rebate, and a wait in line too.

I will be runinng this with a nice THX system at a viewing distance of about 13-14 feet in a semi dark room. I will also be looking at a HD DVD player and the upgrade to my DirectTV system to use it correctly. Primary viewing is DVR TV and Movies at about 50% each.

My brief research led me here and suggests the Pannasonic may be the better choice but the Toshiba is a great deal cheaper. I have never heard of Vizo but the feature list seems deeper.

On a related note, the websites seem to comflict on what resolution is supported, can you clarify if these TVs can do any 1080 modes natively? That would make a deal breaker as I am hoping to be future proof for the near future.

Thanks in advance!
post #2 of 19
Thread Starter 
Let me add, I am sure each unit has its strengths. Good info lurks here after all, but I am really interested in the price vs performance aspect. If I am going to waste my morning+ waiting in the cold, I want to feel it was worth it!
post #3 of 19
Don't forget, $200 rebate on the Panasonic.
post #4 of 19
post #5 of 19
If there is a $200 rebate on the panny, AND no line waiting... no brainer, go with the panny. Even if you have to wait in line for all (so that's not a factor) the panny is still the best choice.
post #6 of 19
Thread Starter 
Edited the prices out! My bad. I thought rumored prices might be OK.

Thanks for the hot tip on the Panny rebate. I will check it out now. That will definately point me in that direction and skip the lines too.
post #7 of 19
None of those 50" plasmas do 1080p native, they're all 1366x768. 1080p native plasmas are just starting to enter the market and are quite expensive. With your viewing distance (13-14'), 1080p on a 50" screen is arguably not going to produce a discernably better image than 720p.
post #8 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the clarification. Is there a reason the specs would show 720p and 1080i on some sites but only 720p on others?
post #9 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by NrKissed
Thanks for the clarification. Is there a reason the specs would show 720p and 1080i on some sites but only 720p on others?
Depends on what they are quoting... the ones listing 720p only might be showing native rahter than supported input resolutions. I would also agree with above 12-13" seating distance means you will probably NOT see the added detail a 1080p set would provide.
post #10 of 19
Thread Starter 
So it seems like I will probably not miss the 10880p based on my viewing and price!

So now I am wondering about the Toshiba at a lower price. A quick search reveals tons of members have the Panny but I can't seem to find many owners sharing the Toshiba experience? Is this the subtle clue I need?

Also the rebate semms like a good excuse to have CC deliver and set up my unit. Does anyone have experience with the CC setup? I am pretty technical and feel confident I can get things setup and calibrated based on the advice given here. Or is this unadviseable due to warranty issues with my own delivery and setup?
post #11 of 19
check out the panny 50px9uk--if you don't need stand/speakers--can buy it for visual apex and dtvcity--both GREAT online dealers with great cust svc--<2000$, plus rebate i think, plus free 5 yr warranty. the panny 50px60 also is very cheap at dtvcity--if you need the consumer model. also check out tvauthority and clevelandplasma--both authorized online dealers with great cust svc-esp chris at clevelandplasma jeroldd
post #12 of 19
Check out the 50px60u at CC on that day.
post #13 of 19
please keep this to what to buy, not where to buy

And please, no black friday discussion either.

thanks all
post #14 of 19
NrKissed,

You have a PM.
post #15 of 19
The $200 rebate is only for the install of the plasma. I called panasonic today and thats what they told me.
post #16 of 19
Thread Starter 
Well with the CC install prices, I am pretty sure the Toshiba is winning the budget wars. The $200 rebate is only for installs and I will not be wall mounting at this time. (Wrong Room shape!)

I know the Panny seems to have the better picture acording to the forums majority bit it just isn't comnvincing me it is worth the differernce in $ on BF.

I will keep my eyes open until the BF prices are a reality early next week.
post #17 of 19
To install also means..to bring set inside the home and set it on a stand.
post #18 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by NrKissed
So it seems like I will probably not miss the 10880p based on my viewing and price!

So now I am wondering about the Toshiba at a lower price. A quick search reveals tons of members have the Panny but I can't seem to find many owners sharing the Toshiba experience? Is this the subtle clue I need?

Also the rebate semms like a good excuse to have CC deliver and set up my unit. Does anyone have experience with the CC setup? I am pretty technical and feel confident I can get things setup and calibrated based on the advice given here. Or is this unadviseable due to warranty issues with my own delivery and setup?
NrKissed, I spend about an hour playing with the Toshiba model when it first came out. While I could go in depth with everything I did, the most significant test I ran was hooking up a Toshiba HD-A1 to it with a demo disk that showed multiple HD trailers. To sum it up, I was very disappointed. The picture was soft and there was some significant banding that was definitely not coming from the player. I would stay away from that TV.
post #19 of 19
Thread Starter 
So I ended up with a Toshiba 50hp66 thanks to the Best Buy deal. I go the last one!

My first impression is it looks great. I had purchased a RCA upconverting DVD-R in advance through woot.com and with the HDMI signal the picture blows away my older Toshiba player. Today I am having my DirectTV upgraded to the Hi-def DVR and hope to see a similar improvement in my normal TV. (Or at least some new HD channel options.)

I do notice the default color calibration is a bit washed out towards an orange tint. I would love to learn how to do this myself. Can anyone post their setings on this model to give me a starting point? I am curently looking at a couple of commercial Calibration DVDs but I confess I have just started to research the picture tuning aspect of owning a Plasma TV.

Thanks for the help and discussion. I am sure this will be the source of hours of entertainment.
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