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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone,


I've been lurking for a little while, nice to meet you all. I'm deciding between these two sets for my living room. I've done my homework on these two sets and have managed to see them both in person at one time or another (although I didn't have as good a look at the A550).



My main uses in no particular order are:


1. Console gaming - Xbox 360, PS3 if I get one sooner or later.

2. Home Theater PC Connection - I recently (as in, a couple of days ago) purchased the components to build my HTPC. It has an HDMI connection and supports audio over HDMI, I'll be playing 1080p content through it from video files.

3. TV watching, SD content and some HD content. No I am not going to be paying for HD cable. Please save your keystrokes and don't even recommend it. My wife and I are even considering cutting out cable altogether and just going for rabbit ears, hulu.com, and media we buy online.



Our couch is only 7 or 8 feet from the TV, and when I'm gaming I'll probably be laying on the floor within 4 or 5 feet of the screen. My wife and I also regularly sit that close to watch TV or movies while having a living room picnic. All this sitting on the floor makes me sound like a hippie, but I'm a chemical engineer, so maybe the hippie in me is trying to offset all the chemicals I help to produce.



Samsung LCD (LN46A550) - $1365 w/4 year warranty


PROS

Picture seems "sharper"


CONS

Black levels leave something to be desired

Discernable motion blur


Panasonic Plasma (TH42PZ85U) - $1260 w/4 year warranty


PROS

Much smoother playback, no or very slight motion blur

Deeper blacks


CONS

Picture seems more grainy




To my eye the contrast ratios on the TVs are similar, the viewing angles on both are fine (I was worried about the samsung since my current lcd has a horrible narrow viewing angle, but it seems fine), and I don't really care about the 4" size difference. Honestly I can live with the black levels on either. Neither screen is too reflective for me, and the brightness and both is fine for the room.


Are there any points of contingency between the two sets that I haven't noticed? Are the pictures settings perhaps why I notice the graininess (I know this has been discussed) or the blur? The LN46A550 does not have the AMP feature of the 650 and higher models. I'll understand if the comments I get just tell me that I'm going to have to choose between a more-grainy or more-blurry picture, I'm just trying to avoid that if possible.


I'm not in any huge rush to purchase, I've got patience enough to wait, but I feel like the prices are becoming pretty stable, I've seen the panasonic especially fluctuate a bit lower and a bit higher than the current price, but not more than $100 lately. I'll probably pull the trigger within a few months.


If I go up one model (to the th46pz800u and ln46a650) I'll be around the $1500 mark without extended warranties. At that price I'd just have to buy it with a credit card that gave me a less-covered extended warranty for free. Would these TVs have more similar qualities? Would I notice less motion blur on the LCD and less grainy pictures on the plasma to a point where the decision would be more of a toss-up and not so much a lesser-of-two-evils decision and would warrant the 50% price increase? I am not looking for native 24p support or any of the other selling points of the higher end models, and I know that of course their pictures will be a bit better, but I haven't seen the displays in stores to compare them.


I hope that mentioning some relative prices doesn't count as "price talk." Price is obviously a deciding factor in purchase, and I couldn't discuss this without mentioning price ranges at all.
 

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I suggest you buy plasma from a local retailer.


If you get a plasma that floats blacks you'll want to return it.


BTW: My Samsung LCD 52a550 supports 24hz on Bluray. So I'm sure the 650 will.
 

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Make sure the pz85 picture mode is set to "Cinema". All other picture modes on this TV have excessive noise (grain). Then do your comparison.


Make sure you check vertical and horizontal viewing angles. And red push on the pz85, which is not easy to correct if it bothers you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by plmn /forum/post/15441515


Make sure the pz85 picture mode is set to "Cinema". All other picture modes on this TV have excessive noise (grain). Then do your comparison.

I didn't know about the Cinema mode issue until after I had the chance to see the set. Unfortunately, the nearest retailer is an hour away. I'll definitely do this before buying.

Quote:
Originally Posted by plmn /forum/post/15441515


Make sure you check vertical and horizontal viewing angles. And red push on the pz85, which is not easy to correct if it bothers you.

I didn't notice it really, so I assume it won't be a problem for me. In the shooters I play I especially doubt I'll notice the red push when contrasted with all that blood.
 
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