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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First of all, i'm a 'newbie' to the forum and would like to say 'Howdy' and that i've enjoyed reading the information here as a 'guest' for some time. Well, now it's time to jump in and gather valuable opinions from you out there. Before I get to my question, I'd like to say that my wife and I are finally in the construction stages of our 'dedicated' Home Theater room. Needless to say, I'm pretty pumped.


Not having the luxury of a large room to work with, we are dealing with a 'cozy' 13X14 space. My viewing distance will be around 10 feet. Picture quality at that givin distance is top priority for us. Considering 95% of the veiwing on this system (for the immediate future) will be my current collection of around 150 DVDs, we have been auditioning smaller size displays (42' - under) for the reason that on larger displays I see to many motion artifacts and things like that (at that viewing distance) when playing DVDs. I guess I'm just not patient enough to live with that until that day when all material will be HD, plus I have no intention of rebuilding my entire collection to HD DVD someday, so the display I choose will have to serve both worlds, even in the futrue.


So, UP TO NOW..... after auditioning tons of various displays over the past couple years , we had our sights set on the Sony 34XBR950 , an incredible set when properly calibrated, especially viewing DVDs at that distance., (albeit a little on the small side even for that small room) . HOWEVER.... just yesterday we happened to walk past a display that stopped us dead in our tracks. Receiving the same HD feed loop that all the other displays in the store had on, this set was head and shoulders above the rest. And mind you, there was a lot of 'highly touted' competition there to compare to at 2-3 times the price.

The set was the Panny 42PX50U plasma. We fell in love with this display! The HD feed was stunning to say the least, but the real test was DVD. In all honesty, I've never to this date , seen any display at ANY price , create a DVD image at that caliper. There were scenes from the disc Pearl Harbor that closely rivaled the HD feed loop!! Now before I get inundated with ('oh yeah ..... just look at this set) I understand there probably other sets out there just as good or better perhaps, i'm not trying to rain on anyones parade here, I'm simply relating MY experience with the many - many sets we have audititioned over the past couple years. This is the first time a display has passed my 'goose bump' test and gone to that next level from (wow, thats an incredible picture) --- to a kinda 'magical' experience. It was the closest thing to 'looking out the window instead of looking at a display, that either of us have seen. And we've audititioned a lot of plasma's before, at all price levels. I don't know if all the Panasonics were this good in the past and I just didn't notice, or they've really hit on something for this years models. But, kudos to them for a product this good at that price level! I'm sure some of this euphoria comes from the fact that I'm experiencing a picture this good in a set I can ACTUALLY afford , lol.


So my question(s) is...... (1) Have others out there felt this same way about this set?

(2) and for you Panasonic owners .... how is the reliability of this brand? I've never owned one before and would like some reassurance before I pull the trigger on this set. (3) Also, I recall a thread that mentioned something about a 'price drop' in the near future. Is this solid info?? If so, i'll wait to buy.


Thanks for any help to this 'newbie' to the forum.
 

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1) I certainly feel the same way. I continue to be awe'd by the picture on my PX500. (Same picture as PX50 with a few extra bells/whistles). I will say as an owner of the previous gen, Panny PQ was significantly enhanced with the new gen. My PD25 (last year's model) lacked sufficient color depth which produced false contouring and mediocre shadow detail. The new Panny really shines in this area. Virtually no false contouring and excellent shadow detail.


2. I actually got my PX500 as a replacement for my PD25 which had an uneven black level issue that Panny was unable to correct. That being said, Panny took very good care of me and I got a free upgrade. Also, both repair shops I worked with said they were surprised to see an issue with a Panny - They said they rarely see issues with their pdps. This forum has a huge number of Panny owners and I rarely see posts involving issues that require service.


3. Price drop appears solid info from a reliable source. Wait 2 weeks.
 

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i currently have a sony 34xbr800..while the hd picture looks great the set is too small..i have also been looking at the px50u..the 42px50u is $2325 online! i'm waiting for the 50 to drop
 

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I suggest you look at the 7UY models. especially the 50HD one. Panasonic is pretty much the best plasma set you can buy, at the moment. the 8th generation sets have started shipping. You might want to think about going 50 inches instead of 42, because then you'll get 720p (actually 768p, i think) instead of the ED resolution of the 42" plasmas. The ED looks good, and really excellent for DVD, but if SD standard TV isn't really going to be a concern (it shouldn't be in a dedicated theater room!), You might want to get the HD set now so you don't get upgraditis in a year or two when HD-DVD is finally up and running. the difference between 480i and 720p is much larger, to most people's eyes, than that between 720p and 1080i


You can find a panny 50" HD commerical version (7UY) for less than the 42" consumer version. You lose the built-in tuner and the cable card or whatever extra junk comes on the consumer ones, but you get a streamlined display device and customizable input options, along with much better calibration/tweaking potential. The 42" 8UK model has just started shipping, which is the next generation, and the 50" should be coming soon. I think you'll find that these displays will give you that same "wow" factor, if not more of one. Truly excellent displays. The only plasma maker who is even really close is Pioneer.


Good luck.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by benpatient
You might want to think about going 50 inches instead of 42, because then you'll get 720p (actually 768p, i think) instead of the ED resolution of the 42" plasmas.
The 42" PX50/PX500 are HD. They display over 720 lines of vertical resolution which makes them officially HD displays. But given, they don't quite have the horiz. res. to display all the detail in 720p. However, on a 42" this slightly lower res is unlikely to be detected by most.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dovetails
So my question(s) is...... (1) Have others out there felt this same way about this set?
I certainly did. However, eventually you'll be watching the *content*, not the screen, or at least I keep telling myself that. For one thing, the first thing you'll do when you get the set home is to change the picture setting from "vivid" (which is what you saw at the store) to "standard" (which works a lot better in a dark room). Also, you'll find that a lot of DVD's don't have the greatest picture quality.


But every once in a while a great one will come along and you'll understand why you bought the set. A few weeks ago we saw "A Love Song for Bobby Long" on DVD. This has got to be one of the most beautiful (and underrated) movies ever put on DVD. The colors and the scenes are just breathtaking. I felt sorry for people who watched on an ordinary set. After watching one of these, you'll sit there and wonder what ever took you so long to decide to buy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by housecor
The 42" PX50/PX500 are HD. They display over 720 lines of vertical resolution which makes them officially HD displays. But given, they don't quite have the horiz. res. to display all the detail in 720p. However, on a 42" this slightly lower res is unlikely to be detected by most.
I have to agree with you housecor, the native res on the 42px50 is 1024x768 and on a 42" display at a 10' viewing distance it is absolutely stunning! In fact, it just flat embarrassed the 5k 42" Pioneer sitting right next to it when we popped in the same DVD (Pearl Harbor). Even the salesrep was speechless,lol. Even compared to larger screens with more lines of res to work with, and standing back to compensate distance ........ just did not produce the magic.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
eventually you'll be watching the *content*, not the screen, or at least I keep telling myself that.



LOL, couldn't agree more, it's gonna take awhile before I return to just watching content. I took 3 of my DVDs over to auditition this set and while yes, some are reference material and some are not, I was more than pleased with the overall results of all the discs. One scene I like to use often to test dark scenes is chapter 12 on Pearl Harbor, a dark scene showing the deep rich navy blue uniforms on the Japanese officers against the black wall behind them. The extra detail in the uniforms and even the wall behind them I had not yet experienced on any prior set. Not even the highly detailed Sony 34XBR910.
 

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Based on the selection of plasmas currently available, you can't possibly go wrong with the new Panasonics. I work in an electronics store and the Panasonic sets are really the only ones anyone ever comes in specifically looking for...well, on a rare occasion, we'll get a customer looking for a Pioneer. All the other plasma brands sell to people who come in looking for plasma in general and see that the Panasonic is better but are willing to sacrifice the picture quality advantage in order to pay significantly less for another brand.
 

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I'm using a Panny S77 via HDMI @ 720p. The results are excellent and I have hardly any problems w/ MB. I typically see it at the very beginning of a movie for a couple seconds and then never again. It's strange - almost as though the player/pdp somehow corrects itself after a few seconds. Players I've run from best to worst in PQ:

1. Panny S77/Sony 975 (both via HDMI - tie but 975 broke)

2. Panny XP30 via component @ 480p

3. Denon 1910 - Horrid MB via DVI->HDMI and noisy picture.


I plan to try the new Sony NS90 when it's released just for kicks, but the S77 is certainly a winner. Once brightness is calibrated on both the set and the player, I've found MB to be a near non-issue w/ my setup.


And back on topic, last night I was watching Leno and just had to say wow. I've been watching it for the last year in HD but with this new PX500 I finally found the sweet spot of settings that I feel best produces the "looking out a window" feel. I'm very pleased with this set. It just looks impressively dimensional. FWIW, my settings on HD via CC:


Standard

22

8

-6

0

-23

CM - off
 
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