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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I found a 50" Panasonic Viera TH-50PZ800U used on CL for $600, and it came with a dual-arm wall mount (MSRP $500), so I feel that I got a good deal. CNET reviewed it back in '08 and I just wanted to share my findings - that the PQ isn't overly impressive.


I bought the Viera as my 2nd plasma TV because I found a '08 Pioneer Kuro 500M on CL for $1K and I've been very pleased with it so far
. And since CNET's review of the Viera was positive I thought I'd dive for the Viera as well. Well in actuality the Viera isn't very impressive - but keep in mind my only reference is against my Kuro (which most would say isn't fair).

Viera's Cons:
1) Even with back-&-forth calibration the Viera cannot successfully display shadowed detail, nor the darker areas of scenes
. It's almost as if the chroma range of 0-255 is just too wide for it, because the blacks simply can't be calibrated to show up, unless you want a bleached/noisy picture. Basically the Viera crushes a noticeable amount of its own blacks.

2) The pane of glass that protects the front of the TV adds a reflection of what's playing on the TV onto itself which is obvious when viewing bright things in dark scenes (it looks like a double image when seen from slightly off angle, almost as if it was trying to do some kind of funky 3D). I'm actually contemplating removing the front glass
.

3) The picture isn't very sharp, it's slightly soft; it's not a huge deal, but its still noticeable compared to the Kuro. And FYI, when maxing out the Viera's sharpness scenes get that "water color look," where as the Kuro at max sharpness doesn't. ...These TV's are obviously in different classes, I'm just sharing my findings.

4) This 50" TV gets pretty hot, it's even got 3, yeah three
fans at the top rear of the TV to help cool it. Luckily the fans are silent.

5) 24fps flicker is very noticeable, when the Viera is set at 48fps. 60hz is the only way to watch BluRays.

Viera's Pros:
1) Its' blacks are adequately black; but whatever material used by Panny to construct the physical "screen" is surprisingly gray when the TV is off. ...Where as the Kuro's screen is black when off. I doubt it affects the blacks when on, but still, it's odd to have a slightly gray screen.

2) The colors are pretty good, but not wow-inducing. Sadly the potential awesomeness of the colors is hindered by the slight-crushing of blacks mentioned earlier.


Bottom line: if you have the chance of buying this TV, don't; unless you find it for a price that you think is reasonable (for what it's worth I'm happy paying $600, but ~500 would've been better IMO). It's simply not all that amazing, and I'd venture a guess that most 2010 plasmas can do better. But for what it's worth, I'd say it was impressive for 2008
. ...On the plus side, I now have a ton more respect for my Kuro's PQ.


Anyone else own this TV? This is just my 2 cents!
 

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Well to be fair, two years ago the PZ800U was one of the best TVs you could buy compared to all the other offerings of the time, bested only by the Pioneers. If you had never owned a Kuro (especially a 500M) then you would still think the PZ800U looks pretty good for an older model, but the 2009 Panasonic was a big jump up in PQ and 2010 models raised that bar even further.


On the plus side, the PZ800U has a better built-in speaker system and better audio quality than any flat panel TV in history !!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by isendir /forum/post/19534643


The PZ800 can't display a 0-255 signal correctly (it crushes the blacks). You might want to change the output settings of whatever you have attached to the tv. I had the same problem

Thank you for mentioning that, because that's exactly what I had to do! ...On my Xbox 360 I had to set the reference level to "intermediate," which slightly narrows the chroma range to 10-245. Needless to say the 24fps flicker makes this TV a bad choice for watching BluRays.
 

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The 24fps flicker bothered me a lot at the beggining, but I guess I have just grow accustomed to it.


You can somewhat make the flickering less bad by decreasing contrast. At least that my experience. Hope that it helps!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by RandyWalters /forum/post/19533567


On the plus side, the PZ800U has a better built-in speaker system and better audio quality than any flat panel TV in history !!

That's why it's a perfect family room TV. You don't need any extra sound system or speakers. For a dedicated home theater, look eslewhere.
 

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I have the 58 800u in storage. It was replaced by my 65 S2 which has a much more brighter, cheerful, happy PQ to it than the dimmest HDTV ever created by Panasonic. I was only impressed once by it and that was watching The Dark Knight on Blu-Ray on it. And that was the only time, its is pretty awful with light and high contrast scenes.


And I agree with the other, the audio speakers are excellent. I might just keep it to play some music videos.
 
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