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Hi and Happy New Year to you. I have been researching TVs for months and thought plasma was the way to go, so a couple of weeks ago I pulled the trigger on a Panny 50px80u at a great holiday price.


I sit about 10 feet away from the TV, watch mostly DVDs on an upconverting DVD player in a dimmly-lit room, and occasionally watch sports.


I am an avowed perfectionist with better than normal vision (so said the eye doctor a couple of weeks ago), and I must say that I have been disappointed in this TV so far. The picture looks grainy on some DVDs; during dark scenes, the picture loses much of its detail; the blacks are not as black as I'd like; the HD picture isn't as sharp as I thought it would be; and the colors don't jump out at me. Not that I want saturated LCD-type colors--I just want red to be red and green to be green, etc. The colors on the px80u look a bit washed out.


I've tried adjusting the settings per recommendations on this forum, but I just can't get it to satisfy me. When I'm watching TV now, I'm distracted by all the imperfections I perceive in the PQ, instead of just enjoying whatever I'm watching. I know Blu Ray will help, but, from what I've read this TV is still limited in its capacity.


So, it may be that this TV is not for me, since I can't just relax and enjoy what it offers. Here are my options as I see them: Please comment on them and offer other possibilities that I haven't considered.


1) Return this TV (I have two more weeks) and buy an HD CRT off of Craigslist for 1/3 of the price. From what I've read, the old direct-view CRTs still give the best PQ, blacks, colors, etc. True, I'd be giving up a lot in size, but I'd rather have picture quality than a bigger screen. Also, I know the CRTs are heavy & bulky, but we just bought and moved into our house and will not be moving anytime soon. So, once the TV is in place, it won't be an issue. This way, I'll save my money for the OLEDs or whatever new technology is in the works that will transcend plasma.


2) Get the px80u calibrated. But, from what I've read, this TV is not a great candidate for calibration.


3) Buy a better plasma. This is not a great option because from what I've read the pz80u (which is at the upper end of our budget) isn't a dramatic PQ upgrade. I think only Pioneers or the high-end Pannys will satisfy me. These are about $1000-$1500 more than I spent on the px80u, and we don't have that kind of dough sitting around. Credit is not an option (my wife and I are committed to living debt-free, except for the house).


Besides, I've read that the best CRTs are still better than the best plasmas. True or false?


So, that's my story. I think I'm going to start a 12-step group for recovering TV buyers.


Thanks in advance for any feedback or suggestions you have.


Martin
 

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CRTs are not "better", per say, but the high-quality ones do have different strengths than plasma or LCD.


The CRT will obviously be a lot smaller. So have you shopped smaller models of better-quality flat panels? Like a 42"? Part of the reason people have such fond memories of CRTs is because their small size hid many flaws.


Your claims of the picture being "washed out" seems to indicate you have high ambient light or a set with very poor calibration out of the box. My pz80 does not looked washed out except in very bright conditions. So you may be a good candidate for an LCD.


In the end though, if your budget is fixed, your expectations can't be.
 

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The reality is that there is always something better than you can afford and whatever you buy will become obsolete 3 months after you buy it.

Buy the best you can afford and stop obsessing about its flaws.


I used to be this way about audio equipment. Now I listen to the music.
 

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I noticed a change in performance when I changed the black level setting from light to dark on my 42X80U. have you looked at some of the other users settings in the X80 owners thread?
 

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Quote:
buy an HD CRT off of Craigslist

I can't imagine a more frightening prospect than buying a used CRT-based TV from an unknown Internet seller, said set with who knows how many thousand hours on it and possibly having "issues" with convergence, geometry, focus, and yes, burn. But hey, that's just me.


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if your budget is fixed, your expectations can't be

I couldn't have said it better.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by MattyTee /forum/post/15440375


I noticed a change in performance when I changed the black level setting from light to dark on my 42X80U. have you looked at some of the other users settings in the X80 owners thread?

Unless you were using a PC (or an Xbox or PS3 set to PC levels), "light" is the correct setting. It sounds like your brightness was set way too high.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by NewOldVinyl /forum/post/15443571


I can't imagine a more frightening prospect than buying a used CRT-based TV from an unknown Internet seller, said set with who knows how many thousand hours on it and possibly having "issues" with convergence, geometry, focus, and yes, burn. But hey, that's just me.

I've actually had a great deal of success buying old CRTs from Craigslist. You can get incredible bargains. Just search for Sony CRTs and, no matter what they're asking, offer $100. Half the time they'll take it, since no one is interested in those things.
 

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Well OP you're not alone. My plasma experience was a total disaster.


You sound like more of a perfectionist than me.


But my advice hasn't changed buy a Samsung LCD LN52a550 and wait 5 years till something better comes along.


LCD was much less intrusive than plasma for me.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisherbert /forum/post/15443700


I've actually had a great deal of success buying old CRTs from Craigslist. You can get incredible bargains. Just search for Sony CRTs and, no matter what they're asking, offer $100. Half the time they'll take it, since no one is interested in those things.

There are some bargains to be had out there as I have seen several 51" Pioneer Elite RPTV's (the 510hd, 520hd and 530hd) on craigslist lately for some really bargain prices and they had arguably the best picture available and still do with a good quality cleaning and calibration. The only drawback is the size, but if a person has the room they can make for a pretty good display.


My first big screen was the Pioneer Elite Pro 98 and although it wasn't HD, the picture on that beast was very nice, but like any technology there were also some drawbacks. I'd still definitely choose my Pioneer plasma over any HD CRT though.
 
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