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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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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I've had a Panasonic 36HX41 36" CRT HDTV in the living room since '01. It is a good set, and I'll probably keep it until it dies, or until something else comes along (like OLED) that can produce as good - or better image.

I'm not a fan of LCDs, due to the over-bright headach I get when watching a movie on them. The Panasonic Plasmas that I've seen (42" PX80U/PZ80U/PZ85U/PZ800U) look much better than LCD, but I still think the 32HX41 has a better image. I have two old (early '90s) SD CRTs in the bedrooms I was looking to replace, and was leaning twards the Panasonic Plasmas.
 

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I've never heard of anyone going to an HD CRT after owning a plasma. If you knew you were so picky, why did you go with an entry level set? I was looking at Kuros and 800u plasmas for some time before I decided I'd be perfectly content with an entry level set for the price. So I bought a Samsung A450 series plasma with no buyer's remorse. I knew the black levels weren't top notch and the contrast wasn't quite as good and the processing and noise control. I did my homework, knew the differences, and I SAW the differences, then I decided I could live with them.
 

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you summed it up pretty well yourself. the non-elite pioneers will certainly provide a markedly improved black level over the px80u, and the elites will throw in the capability to reach perfect color and grayscale....but obviously this comes at a price, which it doesn't sound like you are able to reach (join the club
)


CRT's produce a great image in many respects, but are not without their flaws...limited screen size, weight, geometry, convergence, etc. if i were going CRT, i'd look around for the legendary Sony XBR's...and that's about it.


its a very subjective call. personally, the decrease in screen real estate would outweigh the gains in PQ (especially for HD content), but that's just me. sounds like that might not be the best route for you.
 

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Before you return the TV, ensure that the settings are correct. For one, are you in "cinema" mode? Is the sharpness control all the way down?


What DVD player do you have? Give an example of the DVDs that look grainy, as some DVDs simply don't look good. A CRT isn't going to fix that.


What do you use to get your HD channels? If it's cable, what is the model of the cable box? Are you sure it's connected and set up properly?


I've never heard of the PX80 giving "washed out" color. In fact, they are pretty oversaturated (neon greens, etc).
 

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1. What model tv did the plasma replace?

2. Save up & get a Pioneer

3. Get a Sony CRT XBR


No entry level model is going to make you happy especially a 720p model with your better eyesight. If I was you I would save up for a Pioneer or check Craig's List for some used Pioneer's or Top-Of-The Line Panny plasma's.


Bought my daughter the 50" PX80 & she loves her's & has had none of the problems you are talking about so I would check your sources & settings first & remember the bigger screen is going to show all the source problems a lot more than with a 36" CRT.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hi, thanks for the replies and suggestions. Answers to your questions:


1) Yes, I am in cinema mode, but sharpness is not at 0. Should it be?


2) I have a Sony upconverting DVD player (not sure of the model number) hooked up via HDMI.


3) HD source is a plain old rabbit ears antenna.


4) To me, all the DVDs we've watched look a little grainy. The grainiest has been the the TV series, "The West Wing." Maybe that's the source, though, not the TV. But movies have looked a little grainy, too.


5) Why did I buy an entry-level TV? $$$. Also inexperience. This is my first flat panel TV--it replaced an old 1991 Sony 27-inch tube. I have spent many hours standing at BB & CC, staring into these blessed screens, trying to discern the difference. As we all know, it's nearly impossible to really tell under those circumstances. It wasn't until I got it home that I noticed the imperfections that I'm having a hard time living with.


Still, it came down to $$$.


As far as saving up to buy a higher-end tv, that's what I've been thinking--get a decent CRT right now, save my $$$, and when the new models come out, grab a Pio 5020 or Panny PZ800u on closeout.


I'm just hesitant to give up on the px80u because I got such a good deal on it. I'm hoping that maybe there are things I can do to tweak it and make it more enjoyable, which is why I'm posting on this forum.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by yesodtiferet /forum/post/15441843


Hi, thanks for the replies and suggestions. Answers to your questions:


1) Yes, I am in cinema mode, but sharpness is not at 0. Should it be?

Try moving it to zero. On most TVs the sharpness control can really give the image a grainy look. I actually think that on most Panasonic TVs the sharpness control does absolutely nothing, but it's worth a try.

Quote:
2) I have a Sony upconverting DVD player (not sure of the model number) hooked up via HDMI.

What resolution is it outputting?

Quote:
4) To me, all the DVDs we've watched look a little grainy. The grainiest has been the the TV series, "The West Wing." Maybe that's the source, though, not the TV. But movies have looked a little grainy, too.

Who knows, an older TV show may look pretty bad. Some DVDs should look pretty good though.
 

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If you aren't watching an HD source other than OTA, I'm not sure a higher end TV will do much for you anyway. Possibly, a different TV, but not higher end, and certainly not a 1080p tv. The Samsung A450 series is about the same in price give or take fifty bucks. Both TV are a bit noisy/grainy but I thought the Samsung's color was slightly more realistic when turned down and not saturated like mad. Worth a look maybe, but it still won't net you much unless you're trying to go for reference quality picture with reference quality material (bluray).
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slabshaft /forum/post/15441993


If you aren't watching an HD source other than OTA, I'm not sure a higher end TV will do much for you anyway. Possibly, a different TV, but not higher end, and certainly not a 1080p tv. The Samsung A450 series is about the same in price give or take fifty bucks. Both TV are a bit noisy/grainy but I thought the Samsung's color was slightly more realistic when turned down and not saturated like mad. Worth a look maybe, but it still won't net you much unless you're trying to go for reference quality picture with reference quality material (bluray).

Actually OTA HD can definitely look better on a 1080p TV. CBS, NBC, and PBS are 1080i, and will be more detailed on a 1080p TV.
 

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Op welcome to the club, a HD CRT TUBE will offer the best PQ out there, Except with the Pioneer / elite series plasma that will offer the Best PQ at or beyond most HD CRT TUBES.


dvd are SD so therefore i feel your pain because i had a panasonic plasma 720p(stil have it at my room) when i went to the new pioneer elite everything in SD was o much better, even though that SD will look better in the smaller the size.


I know you arent asking about SD PQ but those dvds will improve on a better processing tv.


their is very little you can do to achive what you are looking for in that panny. you Like PQ and the fact is either live with the current set like most of us that lived with it until you upgrade for the better pioneer plasma or go back to HD CRT TUBE.


Also blu ray is soo much ahead that will make the difference but once again each tv has a limit.



Bottom line: your set has to a certain piont that you can improve/calibrated or not, you either have to live with it or get an HD CRT TUBE or a pioneer tv.


those blacks and detail sharpness all those points are all found even in the non elite pioneer.


Also have you talked to our forum sponsers? you can get the non elite around 2,500 ish and the elite around the 3500 ish....


whatever choice you make i wish you the best of luck
 

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I have a Sony direct view HD CRT and a 50" plasma. For a viewing distance of 10', Plasma all the way (though the CRT is fantastic up close). You got the cheapest 50" Panasonic plasma (a good brand) - sbut if PQ is important to you and you are picky about it, you'll have to spend more, sorry.
 

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Its a 700 dollar tv set??? There is nothing on the planet that will give you a better overall tv experience than the one you bought at that price.


Have you seen what a 50ish inch lcd for 700 bucks gets you?


This is a rediculous thread. You get what you pay for....for the money your tv is awsome. Maybe it is the rest of the junk connected to it that is letting you down.


The good news is you won't have any trouble selling it...because Panasonic is no loner shipping them, and when they are all gone...they are GONE. I'd give you 700 bucks for it sight unseen, because here in Canada...my step father wants one...and they are 1500 dollars here, and sold out. Shame about dollar conversion, and shipping.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by simplemath /forum/post/15442988


Its a 700 dollar tv set??? There is nothing on the planet that will give you a better overall tv experience than the one you bought at that price.


Have you seen what a 50ish inch lcd for 700 bucks gets you?


This is a rediculous thread. You get what you pay for....for the money your tv is awsome. Maybe it is the rest of the junk connected to it that is letting you down.


The good news is you won't have any trouble selling it...because Panasonic is no loner shipping them, and when they are all gone...they are GONE. I'd give you 700 bucks for it sight unseen, because here in Canada...my step father wants one...and they are 1500 dollars here, and sold out. Shame about dollar conversion, and shipping.

Actually, it's $910, not sure where you got $700. And it may be ridiculous to you; it's not to me. On this forum I've encounter dozens of posters full of indecision and anxiety about their TV purchase. That's where I am. This forum helps the afflicted by providing reasoned feedback, good questions, and experienced suggestions. Your judgment, on the other hand, is the opposite of helpful.
 

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feret,


We had a similar posting earlier, and the poster eventually realized she was looking at a Standard Def signal through her cable box rather than an HD signal. Things then changed dramatically.


Have you watched any Over The Air HD network broadcasts (CSI, Tonight Show) yet? They look significantly better than DVDs.


Forget about upconverting DVD players -- your set does a better job. A Blu-Ray might help, but you should be happy with what you see with broadcast HD before you cross that bridge.


If you're sure you've seen broadcast HD and you're still not happy, take the thing back.
 

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To paraphase my judgement. For your $$ output, nothing in the world will do a better job with hd content.


Satelite into a box hdmi out into the tv will be very good.


I think the problem is not the tv, but rather the lack of hd content being played on the set. Rabbit ears, and dvds are not the best measuring stick.


It is not the set, but perhaps the hd factor that was the mistake. When ready to view hd content, the hd tv will be the right tool.
 
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