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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Morning, folks -

First of, a little background - I haven't owned an LCD as a main display since 2008, when I used a Philips 47" (one of those with Ambilight). After that, I went plasma - enjoying 5 years of a Pioneer 5020 Kuro I bought in early 2009 for $2,000. In early 2014, I decided to upgrade to a Panasonic 65ZT60, which I owned for a further 10 months until the end of last year, when it died on me - unrepairable and unreplaceable, so I was issued a full $2,900 refund by Panasonic. Both of those were fantastic units - the Kuro did not give me a single problem until now, having developed red tint - and the ZT was an amazing TV until overheating distorted the panel & destroyed uniformity.

Afterwards, I went projector with the Epson 5030 and then the Sony VPL40, but in the end my viewing conditions messed that dream up, with screen door effect on the Epson due to my unalterable seating distance; and bright viewing conditions ruining the blacks on the Sony.

With this in mind, I'm considering going back to TVs - LED LCD, which seems to be the prevalent tech.

In an effort to make TVs slimmer, I think all the manufacturers went to edge lit technology, and then some sort of dimming process to alleviate the poor black levels. However, all I see - and this is on ALL manufacturers for most model TVs - are complaints about light leakage, flashlighting, blooming, lack of panel uniformity, etc. Samsung, Sony, LG, Panasonic - I've read reviews and threads here to find that most of the 55"-65" TVs in my price range (Up to $3k) I'm looking at suffer from these issues. It's a panel lottery, people say; and the fact that manufacturers readily replace problem TVs with new ones (I see people going through 2, 3, 4 units from the manufacturer without trouble) leads me to believe that these issues are inherent in edgelit LEDs under $3,000. I can't bring myself to believe that manufacturers ship the same consumer multiple units for free and not realize it's a problem with the units themselves.

Is this always the case right now? Is there no LED TV that does not suffer from issues in that price range? The Sony 950s, thanks to FALD, don't appear to, but those are $5k+, which I could never justify for a TV. Compromises have to be made between black level, image uniformity, color accuracy, etc. - but having come from two perfect (in terms of image quality) TVs below $3k, am I out of luck in this current market?

I see people go through the buy, demo, return process so many times it's exhausting. Does everyone here suffer through that? I know compromises are to be made - you can't have cheap, great quality, and size, you can only pick 2 of 3 - but wow. It's crazy what I read on here. Everyone goes through the same tech-related issues across all manufacturers.

What are your thoughts?
 

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Morning, folks -

First of, a little background - I haven't owned an LCD as a main display since 2008, when I used a Philips 47" (one of those with Ambilight). After that, I went plasma - enjoying 5 years of a Pioneer 5020 Kuro I bought in early 2009 for $2,000. In early 2014, I decided to upgrade to a Panasonic 65ZT60, which I owned for a further 10 months until the end of last year, when it died on me - unrepairable and unreplaceable, so I was issued a full $2,900 refund by Panasonic. Both of those were fantastic units - the Kuro did not give me a single problem until now, having developed red tint - and the ZT was an amazing TV until overheating distorted the panel & destroyed uniformity.

Afterwards, I went projector with the Epson 5030 and then the Sony VPL40, but in the end my viewing conditions messed that dream up, with screen door effect on the Epson due to my unalterable seating distance; and bright viewing conditions ruining the blacks on the Sony.

With this in mind, I'm considering going back to TVs - LED LCD, which seems to be the prevalent tech.

In an effort to make TVs slimmer, I think all the manufacturers went to edge lit technology, and then some sort of dimming process to alleviate the poor black levels. However, all I see - and this is on ALL manufacturers for most model TVs - are complaints about light leakage, flashlighting, blooming, lack of panel uniformity, etc. Samsung, Sony, LG, Panasonic - I've read reviews and threads here to find that most of the 55"-65" TVs in my price range (Up to $3k) I'm looking at suffer from these issues. It's a panel lottery, people say; and the fact that manufacturers readily replace problem TVs with new ones (I see people going through 2, 3, 4 units from the manufacturer without trouble) leads me to believe that these issues are inherent in edgelit LEDs under $3,000. I can't bring myself to believe that manufacturers ship the same consumer multiple units for free and not realize it's a problem with the units themselves.

Is this always the case right now? Is there no LED TV that does not suffer from issues in that price range? The Sony 950s, thanks to FALD, don't appear to, but those are $5k+, which I could never justify for a TV. Compromises have to be made between black level, image uniformity, color accuracy, etc. - but having come from two perfect (in terms of image quality) TVs below $3k, am I out of luck in this current market?

I see people go through the buy, demo, return process so many times it's exhausting. Does everyone here suffer through that? I know compromises are to be made - you can't have cheap, great quality, and size, you can only pick 2 of 3 - but wow. It's crazy what I read on here. Everyone goes through the same tech-related issues across all manufacturers.

What are your thoughts?
Honestly, you probably aren’t going to be satisfied with the performance of any of these TVs. It sounds like you are looking for a Perfect TV at a price point that is well below what a Perfect TV would cost to produce.

All TVs have pluses and minuses. Have you gone to the store and viewed the newest TVs? Was there anything that you saw immediately that made you say “I could never live with that” or “I definitely want that feature in my next TV”?

In reality the VERY expensive TVs are getting you from about 90% of what you want to about 97%-98%. However, they usually cost 2x-3x what the ones that can get you 90% of the way there. Right now no TV will truly get you 100% perfect performance in every scenario and in every single set produced.

It is always about compromises. If you want a 100% absolutely perfect TV in all areas and scenarios then be prepared to wait a long time and be prepared to pay an obscene amount for it.

However, if there are certain areas that are more important for you then find a TV that does those areas very well and give it a try. Return policies at most stores are very good now. You can only tell what will work for you when you get it in your home.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Honestly, you probably aren’t going to be satisfied with the performance of any of these TVs. It sounds like you are looking for a Perfect TV at a price point that is well below what a Perfect TV would cost to produce.


I know, and that's exactly my problem. I found perfect TVs before at this price point, and thought I could find it nowadays. Apparently I was mistaken.

All TVs have pluses and minuses. Have you gone to the store and viewed the newest TVs? Was there anything that you saw immediately that made you say “I could never live with that” or “I definitely want that feature in my next TV”?


I have. All I desire is above average PQ without problems. I'd love perfect blacks, but I could live with dark greys provided I don't have to suffer through flashlighting, blooming, and light bleed. I can't accept that, or having to play the panel lottery.

In reality the VERY expensive TVs are getting you from about 90% of what you want to about 97%-98%. However, they usually cost 2x-3x what the ones that can get you 90% of the way there. Right now no TV will truly get you 100% perfect performance in every scenario and in every single set produced.


Emphasis on the right now. It's my current problem. I hate it, lol.

It is always about compromises. If you want a 100% absolutely perfect TV in all areas and scenarios then be prepared to wait a long time and be prepared to pay an obscene amount for it.

However, if there are certain areas that are more important for you then find a TV that does those areas very well and give it a try. Return policies at most stores are very good now. You can only tell what will work for you when you get it in your home.

Responses above!


I'd also like to hear from current LED owners, the TVs they own, and whether they'd recommend them - besides what I've read on most of the Official Owners threads, which wax poetic - or complain about their issues.


Anyone here gone from plasma to LED?
 

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I've seen quite a few people In past few weeks transition from a
Plasmas to LED tvs that have been impressed with 2015 models so don't lose total hope. Doesn't mean their new tvs are perfect, but certainly acceptable. We'll see if any of them chime in. I know I just seen a member get a Samsung ju7500 and he still has his Panasonic zt/vt plasma and was pretty impressed by the new Samsung and said he was open to any questions.

As for right now, if u wanted a tv I would recommend the samsung js8500 65inch for 3999. Good black levels and good processing too. Stellar feedback on the picture so far. The new Sonys hit next month. The 2015 lg tvs have great pictures but ips panels so weak black levels.

The vizio p series is great for blacks but has sub Par motion and processing is weak on cable tv. If u can handle good blacks instead of great along with good colors/processing/motion the js8500 seems very solid along with doing hdr.
 

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You think you can just come crawlin back? After you abandon your LED brethren for 7 years? :)

My experience has been that the 4k TVs today make up for the LED's shortcomings with the better resolution. I've owned a few TVs in the past year, which some were sold/returned for reasons other than dissatisfaction. I own or have owned the following 2014 sets: Samsung 7150, Vizio P Series, Sony X850B & Samsung PN64H5000. None really top of the line sets, but probably in your considered price range. I preferred the X850B over the Samsung Plasma, but it wasn't a slam dunk. I gave up a little in motion and blacks for the 4k resolution and prefer the X850B for movie watching. The Vizio was good for native 4k content, but I wasn't impressed with the upscaling. Samsung 7150 would be at the bottom of the list. So, I think if I ranked these 4 based on my preference for them it would be:

Sony X850B
Samsung PN64H5000
Vizio P Series
Samsung 7150

Ultimately, I'd recommend either a Samsung or Sony 4k mid-range set, as my experience has been that they perform better at upscaling.
 

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I bought my first LED sets this year -- before it was always plasma (except for LCD computer monitors). I am moderately pleased with the 2014 Samsung HU8550 I got in January and very well pleased with the 2015 Samsung JS9000 I got earlier this month. I've never returned a TV. I think you have a very good idea about the current market. The LED sets have flaws which are minimal for the more expensive models. My new LED sets have terrible off-angle viewing, but are good otherwise. From straight in front, my JS9000 has the best TV picture I've seen, easily better than the Panasonic plasma it replaces. But it was very expensive.
 

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If you are used to plasma and like the deep blacks, I would look for a couple of things:

1. A high quality VA panel. Not IPS. If going Samsung, learn about the whole "panel lottery" game and pick the actual TV you take home based on the code of the panel on the serial number sticker.

2. Full array local dimming, or at least a truly effective edge lit local dimming implementation.

If you want really high quality color, look for something with an advanced backlight technology, either based on quantum dots or a wide-gamut two-phosphor LED.

I would skip over the Sony 850B series. I have one and I have a X900A. While the 850B is good, the 65X900A absolutely blows it away. The X900A (now B, soon to be C) is the minimum level you should look at if you are coming from a good plasma.

I was a long time plasma owner and the X900A really fits the bill. It has the contrast ratio of the AU Optronics panel, it has a native D65 white point and it has quantum dot backlighting that produces the most incredible color and wide gamut I've ever seen on a TV.

The Sony 850B I have in another room is a good set, but it has an IPS panel and is thus, black level challenged. The color rendition is good and off-axis viewing is also better. But coming from a plasma, you will absolutely notice the high black levels. They are however, incredibly well suited for a very bright room.

In Samsung, and I have one of those too, and returned one for the 850B, you really want to go the high end of their line. I'd look at the SUHD series - in a nice dark showroom, set to cinema mode, before choosing.
 

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I owned a Samsung PN64F8500 and sold it for a profit and have owned several sets worth mentioning listed below before settling in on a few.

Vizio P65 Very bad upscaling and poor color saturation
Samsung 55" 6830 motion issues, light bleed, poor black levels etc.
Samsung 65" 7250 Motion Issues, light bleed, poor black levels etc.
Samsung 65" 8550 Motion Issues, light bleed etc.
Samsung 78" HU9000 Motion Issues, light bleed etc.

I now own and use:

Sony 900b (Great Picture, upscaling and motion) off axis is still a issue
Samsung JS9000 (Great picture, motion issues greatly improved, min. light bleed) - Will have to get used to the CURVE ;)
LG 55" OLED (Best Blacks, vibrant colors, off axis is perfect)
 

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I'm in somewhat the same situation. We moved a *long* distance last fall to a place with *very* expensive electricity. Fearing the possibility of getting it here and having it not work or having to feed its voracious appetite for power, I left my 2007 Pioneer Elite Pro-110FD with my son. Right now all our viewing is on a 26" Sony LCD from 2008. I'm looking tor a 65" TV and have a hard stop on spend of $4k. It just seems crazy to spend that and over that seems beyond crazy to me. Like you, I feel very spoiled by the PQ from the plasma.

I was back where we moved from for two weeks in January and spent an afternoon at a Best Buy looking at TVs. (We don't have a Best Buy here. I'd have to fly to get to one. Only places with TVs here are Costco, WalMart, KMart, and Rent A Center. Certain concessions have to be made to live here…) Most 2014 LCDs of reasonable price were just somewhere between terrible and mediocre. Either motion or black level/shadow detail or color reproduction made most all of them look worse than 2007 vintage plasma. Some of this, no doubt, is based on the as-shipped demo settings that sell TVs to a *lot* of people. Oh, and without dragging a blue shirt around, you just get whatever demo material the set is displaying and lots of that is mediocre for any purpose beside seeing highly saturated color stuff. FWIW,

I thought the set that looked the best *overall*--without spending $5k or whatever for the Sony 950, was the Panasonic AX800. It wasn't perfect. But it had what looked like a "faithful" picture across the broadest range of the demo content. Some others looked better on some of the demo content.

I, too, was initially shocked to see all this product churn from some posters here. Trying set after set at home and finding something to complain about with every one of them. Back it goes, try another. This is very worrying to me since when I order one, I'll likely have to order it sight unseen. And getting them here and, worse if it comes to that, returned, is an expensive and time consuming thing. (Amazon won't ship TVs larger than 40" or so here, for instance.) I was so concerned by this that I even started a poll thread to find out how common going through multiple sets to get an acceptable one was. It got no traction and dropped off the front pages in a hurry.

Over time, I've concluded several things about this. First, the occurrence of churning through multiple sets appears more frequent than it probably is. Posters on AVSF are not a representative population and the people who are likely to go down that path are disproportionately likely to post about it early and often. Second, a lot of these people seem to have unreasonable expectations about what the images are supposed to look like in general and what is achievable with LCD technology in specific. People expect not to see any blooming around white characters on black fields on the credits. Heck, even film does this at the theaters. (Back when the theaters had film…) People expect a 18% grey screen viewed in total darkness to appear exactly uniform corner to corner and edge to edge. At consumer prices, CRTs couldn't do it, plasma couldn't, computer monitor LCDs can't do it. (Though a great monitor LCD gets closer because it's smaller therefore less of an engineering and manufacturing challenge.) And on and on. Oh, and what television we watch shows a static 18% gray screen? Third, reading AVSF may exacerbate the unrealistic expectations problem.

Am I saying LCD is great or that the people who have been through multiple sets (the highest count I've read here is 10) are just inventing things? No. Clearly LCD continues to suffer from its thee basic shortcomings. It's not fast changing states, it isn't all that opaque when it's opaque, and whatever light you see has to be forced through it. Most of the defects and most of the engineering effort spent developing LCDs for 20+ years now have all been about these limitations. But they are what they are and, since nothing better is on offer, you can skip TV or learn to live with them and try to find the best one for you and get on with watching and be done with pondering.

So, my advice--and what I'm trying to do:
  1. All reports suggest to me that 2014 was a year to rollout 4K and 2015 is a year to try to optimize it. Seems like most every 2015 model is getting much better reports on PQ than comparable 2014s. So think 2015 model.
  2. You have to decide if you want curved. If you do, it greatly narrows your choice space. I don't. The last cylindrical TV screen I had was called a Trinitron. If I were a gamer or wanted it just for the HT use case, I might feel differently.
  3. You'll have to buy a 4K whether you care about 4K or not. The manufacturers are pushing HD to the bottom of the line for PQ and features. So think 4K. (I think they are intentionally shortchanging the HD sets for PQ just to make it easier to upsell to the essentially content-less 4Ks, but that could be an entire other thread.)
  4. Expect to spend $3k to $4k or wait until after Black Friday. (Or, maybe, buy Vizio.) That seems to be the price point where the mass market stuff is gone and the stuff for us crazies really comes into its own.
  5. Be realistic in your expectations about black level, uniformity, and backlight artifacts. You can expect good. But don't expect perfect and don't think that what matters is test conditions not viewing actual content.
  6. Don't discount the brain's adaptive power to accept whatever it's fed visually and make sense of it and ignore the rest. Whatever something looks like when analyzed to death, if you are watching for content the brain will do its best. It's why "motion pictures" work in the first place.

My short list approximately in order of my current interest level--YMMV:
  • Panasonic TC-65CX850U -- price still unknown, assuming it comes in at or below the $4k price point
  • Sony XBR-65X850C -- if it really has a VA panel; black levels on the 850B were meh at best
  • Sony XBR-65X900C -- if it has better PQ than the $500 cheaper 850; not if it's just $500 worth of thinness
  • Samsung UN65JS8500 -- too bad it has that silver bezel and Tizen; otherwise it seems like one of the first Samsungs I can imagine buying

I could be full of s*. But that's what I think.

Oh, and don't call them LED TVs. That's Samsung marketing-speak for "LCD that suck a little less". They are LCD TVs with LED backlights. But they are still LCDs.
 

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The X900A (now B, soon to be C)
It's far from clear to me that the 900C shares much in common with the 900A/B except the number. Its claim to fame seems to be its form factor not its PQ. We'll see, but I'd not go out on that limb or recommend it to others just yet.
 

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The 930c is the replacement for the 900b. The 900c is a lower end model.
 

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It's far from clear to me that the 900C shares much in common with the 900A/B except the number. Its claim to fame seems to be its form factor not its PQ. We'll see, but I'd not go out on that limb or recommend it to others just yet.
True, I have not seen the 900C yet. I think the 900A is somewhat better in many respects than the 900B.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Ray0414,

Oh, I've given up on the quest for perfection. Hence why the main title of my thread involves the word compromises. I figure at $3,000 I can have minimal compromises - so I'm beginning my research in earnest.

The JUs are curved, no? I may have to skip past those given my seating situation.

I was eyeing the HU8550 though, as an alternative should I choose that route. Merits more research - but I cannot go over 3 to 4 for my budget. It just hurts my head to spend $1,000 more than a ZT for a lesser TV, in my eyes. But I haven't done the research yet.


Jmhockey23,

I'm not sure 100% I'm coming back. I have a last-ditch attempt to make my projector work in my viewing environment...if that fails, LCD time.

The Samsung I mentioned above and the X850B are units on my short list, along with the 800U from Panasonic. The issue I dont want to deal with is light bleed and flashlighting along with noticeable blooming.


GregLee,

I see you mentioned the HU8550 Im considering - why moderately pleased? I'm pricing myself out of the JS9000 - for an extra 2 grand I'd buy a JVC projector and call it a wrap. I'm curious as to off-angle viewing, I can't remember noticing this on the Philips I had. I'll have to stop by a Best Buy to investigate.


Nuke,

Yes, VA panels is what I want from what I've read. The panel lottery thing gives me a headache to evn think about having to do. I need to do more research and reading on the Official Samsung owners threads to get this issue down pat, if I decide to go with Samsung (which for personal reasons of products past, I'm hesitant).

FALD is what I want, and the 950 I saw at Best Buy before I tried projector was beautiful - but back then it was $8,000 and that was unjustifiable to me. The 900A is the 2013 line, if I'm not mistaken, no? The 850B worries me with all the edge-lit concerns I mentioned in my OP - I want no part of those issues at all.

For Samsung, the high end of my price range at 65" gets me the JU7500 curved one that Ray0414 mentioned, or the JU7100 and HU8550 I mentioned being on my list too. I can't find a clear answer on the set differences yet, still gotta read more...


Viper,

Just as I was wondering about the 7000 and 8000 series Samsungs you mention motion issues and light bleed.

Oy. I can't win. That light bleed is a primary con for me that I can't deal with. Dammit. And the other three sets you listed are out of my price range - save the LG, but I am unwilling to return to 55". The LG 65" OLED hasnt released yet, I think, but it wont be 3k. Or even 3.5k for me to consider anytime soon.


DickW, thanks for your post.

You outlined everything I wanted to read when I made this thread in one post. Men of the same mind. To respond to your numbered advice -

1. I Agree. The 2014 4K sets will be improved in their 2015 versions. I hope to see pricing soon. Even if it means being without a display for a while.

2. I do not want curved. Doesnt contribute anything to me or my seating arrangement.

3. Ive already concluded 4K is here to stay whether I want it or not, so I may as well include it in my list of must-haves on my TV.

4. Figures it's just over my price range to get what I want. I'm not going Vizio. Call it the elitist in me, I know they have great TVs now. Us crazies, indeed.

5. This is the hardest thing for me to wrap my head around. The Kuro was perfect in image quality. And remained so for many years. The ZT was the same until it died. For 2k and 3K respectively!! Sigh. It is what it is.

6. I'll have to keep this in mind.

And I will wait and see what 2015 brings and stop by a Best Buy this weekend to see what my current options are.

LCDs that suck a little less, indeed.
 

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Ray0414,

Oh, I've given up on the quest for perfection. Hence why the main title of my thread involves the word compromises. I figure at $3,000 I can have minimal compromises - so I'm beginning my research in earnest.

The JUs are curved, no? I may have to skip past those given my seating situation.

I was eyeing the HU8550 though, as an alternative should I choose that route. Merits more research - but I cannot go over 3 to 4 for my budget. It just hurts my head to spend $1,000 more than a ZT for a lesser TV, in my eyes. But I haven't done the research yet.


Jmhockey23,

I'm not sure 100% I'm coming back. I have a last-ditch attempt to make my projector work in my viewing environment...if that fails, LCD time.

The Samsung I mentioned above and the X850B are units on my short list, along with the 800U from Panasonic. The issue I dont want to deal with is light bleed and flashlighting along with noticeable blooming.


GregLee,

I see you mentioned the HU8550 Im considering - why moderately pleased? I'm pricing myself out of the JS9000 - for an extra 2 grand I'd buy a JVC projector and call it a wrap. I'm curious as to off-angle viewing, I can't remember noticing this on the Philips I had. I'll have to stop by a Best Buy to investigate.


Nuke,

Yes, VA panels is what I want from what I've read. The panel lottery thing gives me a headache to evn think about having to do. I need to do more research and reading on the Official Samsung owners threads to get this issue down pat, if I decide to go with Samsung (which for personal reasons of products past, I'm hesitant).

FALD is what I want, and the 950 I saw at Best Buy before I tried projector was beautiful - but back then it was $8,000 and that was unjustifiable to me. The 900A is the 2013 line, if I'm not mistaken, no? The 850B worries me with all the edge-lit concerns I mentioned in my OP - I want no part of those issues at all.

For Samsung, the high end of my price range at 65" gets me the JU7500 curved one that Ray0414 mentioned, or the JU7100 and HU8550 I mentioned being on my list too. I can't find a clear answer on the set differences yet, still gotta read more...


Viper,

Just as I was wondering about the 7000 and 8000 series Samsungs you mention motion issues and light bleed.

Oy. I can't win. That light bleed is a primary con for me that I can't deal with. Dammit. And the other three sets you listed are out of my price range - save the LG, but I am unwilling to return to 55". The LG 65" OLED hasnt released yet, I think, but it wont be 3k. Or even 3.5k for me to consider anytime soon.


DickW, thanks for your post.

You outlined everything I wanted to read when I made this thread in one post. Men of the same mind. To respond to your numbered advice -

1. I Agree. The 2014 4K sets will be improved in their 2015 versions. I hope to see pricing soon. Even if it means being without a display for a while.

2. I do not want curved. Doesnt contribute anything to me or my seating arrangement.

3. Ive already concluded 4K is here to stay whether I want it or not, so I may as well include it in my list of must-haves on my TV.

4. Figures it's just over my price range to get what I want. I'm not going Vizio. Call it the elitist in me, I know they have great TVs now. Us crazies, indeed.

5. This is the hardest thing for me to wrap my head around. The Kuro was perfect in image quality. And remained so for many years. The ZT was the same until it died. For 2k and 3K respectively!! Sigh. It is what it is.

6. I'll have to keep this in mind.

And I will wait and see what 2015 brings and stop by a Best Buy this weekend to see what my current options are.

LCDs that suck a little less, indeed.

Ju7100 and js8500 are both flat.
 

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I was eyeing the HU8550 though, as an alternative should I choose that route. Merits more research - but I cannot go over 3 to 4 for my budget. It just hurts my head to spend $1,000 more than a ZT for a lesser TV, in my eyes. But I haven't done the research yet.


The Samsung I mentioned above and the X850B are units on my short list, along with the 800U from Panasonic. The issue I dont want to deal with is light bleed and flashlighting along with noticeable blooming.



Nuke,

Yes, VA panels is what I want from what I've read. The panel lottery thing gives me a headache to evn think about having to do. I need to do more research and reading on the Official Samsung owners threads to get this issue down pat, if I decide to go with Samsung (which for personal reasons of products past, I'm hesitant).

FALD is what I want, and the 950 I saw at Best Buy before I tried projector was beautiful - but back then it was $8,000 and that was unjustifiable to me. The 900A is the 2013 line, if I'm not mistaken, no? The 850B worries me with all the edge-lit concerns I mentioned in my OP - I want no part of those issues at all.

For Samsung, the high end of my price range at 65" gets me the JU7500 curved one that Ray0414 mentioned, or the JU7100 and HU8550 I mentioned being on my list too. I can't find a clear answer on the set differences yet, still gotta read more...


1. I Agree. The 2014 4K sets will be improved in their 2015 versions. I hope to see pricing soon. Even if it means being without a display for a while.

2. I do not want curved. Doesnt contribute anything to me or my seating arrangement.

3. Ive already concluded 4K is here to stay whether I want it or not, so I may as well include it in my list of must-haves on my TV.

4. Figures it's just over my price range to get what I want. I'm not going Vizio. Call it the elitist in me, I know they have great TVs now. Us crazies, indeed.

5. This is the hardest thing for me to wrap my head around. The Kuro was perfect in image quality. And remained so for many years. The ZT was the same until it died. For 2k and 3K respectively!! Sigh. It is what it is.

6. I'll have to keep this in mind.

And I will wait and see what 2015 brings and stop by a Best Buy this weekend to see what my current options are.

LCDs that suck a little less, indeed.

Yes, the 900A is a 2013 4k. The 900b is 2014.

The lone 850B from Sony that you might like is the 70" model. It doesn't have an IPS panel and has better blacks.

Sadly, I think we have rapidly hit the point where "next years" model isn't necessarily better. The price points in 4k are rapidly coming down, as manufacturers rush in to capture consumers who are buying 4k because it seems like a good idea, though not necessarily sure why.

It's easy to peddle crap in the phase when the consumers are buying on a single spec, "4k" without any particular understanding of what they're really getting.

The black friday bargain 4k sets from right before Christmas were shear garbage in many respects. Pure crap.
 

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… The Samsung I mentioned above and the X850B are units on my short list, along with the 800U from Panasonic .… 4. Figures it's just over my price range to get what I want. …
The X850B is 2014 and probably getting scarce. The 65X850B I spent some time watching was good but by no means great, especially in black level/shadow detail. It did have good color. High hopes for the 65X850C. Especially if they changed the cell to VA. Depending on which 800U you refer to; The AX800U is on the way out and probably scarce. The new CX800U may be in your price range--when they release it. The JU7100 also is getting pretty good words except for lots of Tizen bleeding edge problems.
 

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GregLee,

I see you mentioned the HU8550 Im considering - why moderately pleased? I'm pricing myself out of the JS9000 - for an extra 2 grand I'd buy a JVC projector and call it a wrap. I'm curious as to off-angle viewing, I can't remember noticing this on the Philips I had. I'll have to stop by a Best Buy to investigate.
My HU8550 is only 50", and I bought it to replace a 6 year old 720p plasma. I'm pleased, because it's definitely better than that old plasma -- better resolution, good colors. I'm only moderately pleased, because the decay in picture quality when I stand up and look down at the TV from a slight angle is very noticeable. It's disconcerting. Also, the more recent JS9000 I got has a big edge in picture quality (but cost over twice as much).
 

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I'm in somewhat the same situation. We moved a *long* distance last fall to a place with *very* expensive electricity. Fearing the possibility of getting it here and having it not work or having to feed its voracious appetite for power, I left my 2007 Pioneer Elite Pro-110FD with my son. Right now all our viewing is on a 26" Sony LCD from 2008. I'm looking tor a 65" TV and have a hard stop on spend of $4k. It just seems crazy to spend that and over that seems beyond crazy to me. Like you, I feel very spoiled by the PQ from the plasma.

I was back where we moved from for two weeks in January and spent an afternoon at a Best Buy looking at TVs. (We don't have a Best Buy here. I'd have to fly to get to one. Only places with TVs here are Costco, WalMart, KMart, and Rent A Center. Certain concessions have to be made to live here…) Most 2014 LCDs of reasonable price were just somewhere between terrible and mediocre. Either motion or black level/shadow detail or color reproduction made most all of them look worse than 2007 vintage plasma. Some of this, no doubt, is based on the as-shipped demo settings that sell TVs to a *lot* of people. Oh, and without dragging a blue shirt around, you just get whatever demo material the set is displaying and lots of that is mediocre for any purpose beside seeing highly saturated color stuff. FWIW,

I thought the set that looked the best *overall*--without spending $5k or whatever for the Sony 950, was the Panasonic AX800. It wasn't perfect. But it had what looked like a "faithful" picture across the broadest range of the demo content. Some others looked better on some of the demo content.

I, too, was initially shocked to see all this product churn from some posters here. Trying set after set at home and finding something to complain about with every one of them. Back it goes, try another. This is very worrying to me since when I order one, I'll likely have to order it sight unseen. And getting them here and, worse if it comes to that, returned, is an expensive and time consuming thing. (Amazon won't ship TVs larger than 40" or so here, for instance.) I was so concerned by this that I even started a poll thread to find out how common going through multiple sets to get an acceptable one was. It got no traction and dropped off the front pages in a hurry.

Over time, I've concluded several things about this. First, the occurrence of churning through multiple sets appears more frequent than it probably is. Posters on AVSF are not a representative population and the people who are likely to go down that path are disproportionately likely to post about it early and often. Second, a lot of these people seem to have unreasonable expectations about what the images are supposed to look like in general and what is achievable with LCD technology in specific. People expect not to see any blooming around white characters on black fields on the credits. Heck, even film does this at the theaters. (Back when the theaters had film…) People expect a 18% grey screen viewed in total darkness to appear exactly uniform corner to corner and edge to edge. At consumer prices, CRTs couldn't do it, plasma couldn't, computer monitor LCDs can't do it. (Though a great monitor LCD gets closer because it's smaller therefore less of an engineering and manufacturing challenge.) And on and on. Oh, and what television we watch shows a static 18% gray screen? Third, reading AVSF may exacerbate the unrealistic expectations problem.

Am I saying LCD is great or that the people who have been through multiple sets (the highest count I've read here is 10) are just inventing things? No. Clearly LCD continues to suffer from its thee basic shortcomings. It's not fast changing states, it isn't all that opaque when it's opaque, and whatever light you see has to be forced through it. Most of the defects and most of the engineering effort spent developing LCDs for 20+ years now have all been about these limitations. But they are what they are and, since nothing better is on offer, you can skip TV or learn to live with them and try to find the best one for you and get on with watching and be done with pondering.

So, my advice--and what I'm trying to do:
  1. All reports suggest to me that 2014 was a year to rollout 4K and 2015 is a year to try to optimize it. Seems like most every 2015 model is getting much better reports on PQ than comparable 2014s. So think 2015 model.
  2. You have to decide if you want curved. If you do, it greatly narrows your choice space. I don't. The last cylindrical TV screen I had was called a Trinitron. If I were a gamer or wanted it just for the HT use case, I might feel differently.
  3. You'll have to buy a 4K whether you care about 4K or not. The manufacturers are pushing HD to the bottom of the line for PQ and features. So think 4K. (I think they are intentionally shortchanging the HD sets for PQ just to make it easier to upsell to the essentially content-less 4Ks, but that could be an entire other thread.)
  4. Expect to spend $3k to $4k or wait until after Black Friday. (Or, maybe, buy Vizio.) That seems to be the price point where the mass market stuff is gone and the stuff for us crazies really comes into its own.
  5. Be realistic in your expectations about black level, uniformity, and backlight artifacts. You can expect good. But don't expect perfect and don't think that what matters is test conditions not viewing actual content.
  6. Don't discount the brain's adaptive power to accept whatever it's fed visually and make sense of it and ignore the rest. Whatever something looks like when analyzed to death, if you are watching for content the brain will do its best. It's why "motion pictures" work in the first place.

My short list approximately in order of my current interest level--YMMV:
  • Panasonic TC-65CX850U -- price still unknown, assuming it comes in at or below the $4k price point
  • Sony XBR-65X850C -- if it really has a VA panel; black levels on the 850B were meh at best
  • Sony XBR-65X900C -- if it has better PQ than the $500 cheaper 850; not if it's just $500 worth of thinness
  • Samsung UN65JS8500 -- too bad it has that silver bezel and Tizen; otherwise it seems like one of the first Samsungs I can imagine buying

I could be full of s*. But that's what I think.

Oh, and don't call them LED TVs. That's Samsung marketing-speak for "LCD that suck a little less". They are LCD TVs with LED backlights. But they are still LCDs.
Nice post, I ventured into lcd land with 2014 models like the 8550 and the ax800 and ended up going back to 1080p plasma. If Panasonic can improve uniformity and low apl performance their 2015 sets should be excellent. Obviously Samsung has made strides as well.
 

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I came from a 50" Pioneer Kuro and am quite happy (given the known limitations of edge-lit LCD technology that I knew about ahead of time) with my 55" Samsung HU8550. I am enjoying it very much, especially the 3D (which the Kuro could not do).
 

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I have a 50" Samsung 8550... I love it except of course the off-axis image degradation. I do notice that my older Panasonic plasma set had better detail in darker scenes where the Samsung seems to crush the blacks. But this is rarely is noticeable.

What I do like is the improved color accuracy and better detail on the newer sets. A lot of people say you cannot see the difference with 4K and 1080P on a small set but my wife and I disagree.

Unless you are fixed on 4K, you might want to consider O-LEDs from LG. Right now, the 55" can be bought at $2500. It has better blacks than LEDs, off-axis viewing is awesome. I think that it the only real contender to beat the old Pioneer Kuros...
 
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