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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I bought a Philips 52" 7402, 120 Hz at Costco last week after my 20 month old Vizio Plasma died and Costco fully refunded me my original purchase price. I forked some additional money to get the Philips. Now after a week with the set, some rebooting problems, lack of adjustability, and some picture quality issues, I've decided to bring it back. So now I have the interesting dilemma of choosing another set.


The room it will be in is a large family room with an entertainment nook (space for RPT) with about 10-12 feet between the screen and the sofa, with one additional chair about 40 degrees to the right (as well as a bar and kitchen behind it). I say this because I want to be able to clearly see the set from the single chair and possibly bar, although its not really necessary beyond the single chair. I'd ideally like to clearly see the advantages of the 1080p sources I have, but not married to it. With the Philips it seemed like I need to sit a bit closer to the television to notice a difference.


The room has curtains/shades but is almost always lit (not by bright sunlight). We occasionally watch some movies with little or no ambient light. We never play video games, and generally liked the look of plasma over LCD (because of the blurring issues on the Philips and others we've experienced). I already have a stand/entertainment unit that can accommodate 58 inches horizontal (a 67 inch will over hang by approximately 2 inches on each side). Our sources are a DirecTV HR-20 DVR, a Samsung BDP-1400 Blu-Ray player, an Apple TV, a Tivo Series 3, and a Toshiba A30 HD-DVD player (and yes, we have an HDMI switcher). We also have a Harmony 880 that likes discretely switchable inputs....all of which worked great with our old Visio.


So my "local"/easily returnable/extended warranty choices for televisions are a Sony Bravia KDL-52WL35135 LCD, a Panasonic TH50PE700U Plasma or an 8G Pioneer Kuro 5010 Plasma (?)... the "online" choices that interest me are a Samsung PN58A550 Plasma or a Samsung HL61A750 or HL67A750 LED based RPT (I'll only consider LED based RPT).


Taking into consideration size, budget ($3k upper limit all inclusive), and the room/environment, which television would you recommend? I'm willing to take other recommendations that I may have overlooked in my price range. There is so much talk about the Kuros and their great contrast, but size with 1080p sources is very alluring. Maybe the Samsung PN58A550 is a happy medium (but at the upper threshold of my budget)?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
So, do you consider plasma having a bulb? That seems to be exactly what died with our Vizio plasma (the back lighting). How about LED RPT? We have other LED technology (in the pool) and understand its benefits (instant, very bright with a fraction of the power, longevity).


Does the contrast ratio of a 50 inch Kuro surpass the potential size difference with a 58-67 inch screen in overall experience? The difference between 50 and 52 inches seems negligible at this viewing distance (10-12 feet). Will the same be true between 50 and 58?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by rlay /forum/post/14349012


So, do you consider plasma having a bulb? That seems to be exactly what died with our Vizio plasma (the back lighting). How about LED RPT? We have other LED technology (in the pool) and understand its benefits (instant, very bright with a fraction of the power, longevity).


Does the contrast ratio of a 50 inch Kuro surpass the potential size difference with a 58-67 inch screen in overall experience? The difference between 50 and 52 inches seems negligible at this viewing distance (10-12 feet). Will the same be true between 50 and 58?

58" will give you better immersion, but the Kuro has much better picture quality than any of the TV's you listed even if it is only 720p & no it does not use a bulb, that is only for RPTV.


Your Vizio busted because.... well it's a Vizio.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'm leaning towards a plasma at this point. The Kuro that's available locally is a 1080p 50 inch, and it cost nearly as much as the Samsung 58 inch plasma that's available online once you throw in the tax. The Panasonic TH50PE700U is a great value and also 50 inches and 1080p.


The Philips LCD is getting a firmware upgrade that will fix some if not all of the issues I'm having....and a price reduction next month that I can cash in on. I'm going to give it another few days. How do you think the Philips (120hz, decent contrast for an LCD) compares to the Panasonic plasma?


So my current decision tree is:


Spluge - 50 inch Kuro or 58 inch Samsung

Budget - Panasonic 50 inch Plasma or keep the Philips LCD (if the firmware fixes the issues we're having)


I saw a 60 inch Kuro yesterday at a restaurant, and wow, CNN never looked so good, but I think the size is probably what made it so alluring.


What is the reliability like on the Samsung plasmas? Is an extended warranty necessary?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I went to a local CC here in Northern Virginia (where I'm vacationing) and got a good look at the Samsung PN58A550 58 inch plasma. Frankly I wasn't impressed. The colors seemed muted compared to a Panasonic TH-58PZ700U it was next to, which also had better contrast (even with some adjustment). The remote seemed awkward (no discrete input switching). Also, the difference in size between 52 inches and 58 inches was only a little bit noticeable at 10 feet away. It didn't seem dramatically bigger than a 50 inch either.


All of the Samsung's are now officially off my list. The kickers are that they are not easily returnable and do not come with the extended warranty....with picture quality that did not blow me away. The LEDs where just not sharp enough and the edge viewing angles was very noticeable.


The questions now are: Is the Kuro worth another extra grand over the Panasonic of the same size/features? And, can I live with the Philips after the firmware update?
 

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RPT's have bulbs, Plasma's do not. The light from a plasma panel comes from electricity passing through an ionized gas in a partial vacuum (otherwise known as "plasma"). LCD's have fluorescent backlights that seldom fail and last a long, long time.


I concur that the Panasonic plasma's look better than the Samsung plasmas. I concur that 1080p is desireable - some people settle for less resolution, and then spend forever and a day on this Forum telling everybody how it was the right decision. 1080p owners never look back and never have to convince themselves of anything, they have no buyer's remorse.


I would carefully compare the picture quality on the 1080p LCD to the 1080p plasma, and keep the one that pleases my eyes the most. Plasma's used to automaticly get the nod around here but frankly LCD's are a better choice in many rooms with brighter lighting and/or lighter furnishings because they are better at suppressing reflections, have brighter pictures, and more saturated colors. Which is why even here the Forum members are buying LCDs more often than plasmas, although not by the 3:1 margin the general public buys at.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks Gary. I really do feel like the Philips 7403 LCD is a great value and when everything is working properly, the picture quality is excellent in my viewing area. The fact that it has all the new features in an LCD (52 inches, 120hz, 1080p, etc.) means less chance for buyer's remorse down the road. The motion issues on LCDs are something that I notice (but it doesn't drive me crazy) and with 120hz it seems reduced. The color saturation does seem better to my eyes....although some times skin tones seem a little washed out, but I think it has more to do with the source video than the actual television. I've seen that washed out skin tone effect plasma as well, but maybe not as dramatically.


Also, getting a plasma means that it will stay downstairs in the big rooms....An LCD could eventually end up in a bedroom, and with its longevity, it will last long enough to get moved easily to another room once OLEDs are affordable.


We have a 720p projector in the bedroom, and the savings from not buying a Kuro could eventually subsidize a 1080p projector upgrade down the road, where the 1080p will make a dramatic difference.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I applied the latest firmware on the Philips, and it appears to fix all of my major gripes. There occasionally are some wash out faces in bright outdoor scenes and with sub par SD content, even after some heavy tweaking.... but Blu Ray and other HD content looks excellent, for the most part. There is not really any motion blur especially at 24 FPS.


The Pioneer Kuro 5010 they have at Costco definitely has better contrast, deeper blacks, and probably won't have any washed out faces... but its two inches smaller, much heavier, and potentially close to a grand more expensive.


I'm going to stick with the Philips for the next 80 days or so, and see what materializes at Costco between now and then.
 
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