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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, could you all help me make a decision in regards to which plasma to get? I recently returned my second defective Samsung pn51d550 and the sales guys at best buy have been recommending I go with Panasonic if I'm going to go with Plasma.


So with that in mind, I play games on my ps3(fifa, battlefield bad company etc...) and watch the occasional blu ray and I'd like to have the 3d option.


The Best Buy guy came up with some options. He showed me the 2011 midrange/lowend Panasonic TC-P50ST30. Pretty nice looking tv, pictures pretty good. I was surprised to see the motion smoothing option actually gave it the soap opera effect(which is usually only found on 120hz-240hz led/lcd tv's. This is something I wouldn't mind having. I know it's not a popular option but I dig it). Anyways he told me about all the internet widgets etc... although that stuff is pretty cool, I have a macbook pro so I could live without. He mentioned it wasn't THX certified.


Then he showed me the last TC-P50VT25 they had in stock. The ST30 does have a nicer bezel, but what's more important is the picture of the tv. Told me it is THX certified(at that point I didn't really know or care too much about that), it had motion smoothing as well, but wasn't sure if it was as noticeable or as soap operish as the st30. Pretty nice picture, 3D Avatar looked great. That is what originally caught my attention about this tv. He told me this tv lacked any internet features, but online Ive read that you can access youtube etc through it?


So those are my 2 options. He can sell me each tv for $1200.00 canadian. He added the psp yesterday and total came out to $1750.00. That is about 250 dollars over what i wanted to spend. He could knock off $100.00 off the psp and give me a 2 year instead of 4 year protection. In regards to psp is it worth it? Ive read a few horror stories and don't want to shoot myself in the foot. Can he work the price down even more or is that as low as he can get? He said he was basically selling the vt25 at cost.


Aside from that, which tv would be the best one for me? Ive read the horror stories about the fixable? st30 brightness fluctuation. Then Ive read horror stories about the non fixable vt25 floating blacks. Keep in mind I had no idea what these terms were before my first plasma tv. So would I even notice them? The fluctuation probably... the floating, not so sure. Which is better for gaming?


Top of the line 2010 vt25 or midrange/lowend st30. What exactly is the difference? Is the st30 worse than the vt25 or at least equal? To be honest, I would have gone with the st30 simply because it was a pretty sweet looking tv. Then in the back of my head, I thought but this is only a midrange/lowend versus the not so good looking top of the line 2010 vt25 lol.


I gotta make up my mind today, What do you guys think?
 

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ok first question is the VT25 a floor demo? if it is i would never buy a floor model.the st30 is an awesome tv and its 3d is much better then the VT25's because

panny is useing better 3d chips its the same chip in all there new plasmas this year. the st30 has the black panel which is pretty much even to last years VT series it has 3 hdmis 2 usb. memory card slot.check out the st30s onwers thread and the vt 25 owners thread this will help you good luck
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by cc781 /forum/post/20828368


Hey guys, could you all help me make a decision in regards to which plasma to get? I recently returned my second defective Samsung pn51d550 and the sales guys at best buy have been recommending I go with Panasonic if I'm going to go with Plasma.


So with that in mind, I play games on my ps3(fifa, battlefield bad company etc...) and watch the occasional blu ray and I'd like to have the 3d option.


The Best Buy guy came up with some options. He showed me the 2011 midrange/lowend Panasonic TC-P50ST30. Pretty nice looking tv, pictures pretty good. I was surprised to see the motion smoothing option actually gave it the soap opera effect(which is usually only found on 120hz-240hz led/lcd tv's. This is something I wouldn't mind having. I know it's not a popular option but I dig it). Anyways he told me about all the internet widgets etc... although that stuff is pretty cool, I have a macbook pro so I could live without. He mentioned it wasn't THX certified.


Then he showed me the last TC-P50VT25 they had in stock. The ST30 does have a nicer bezel, but what's more important is the picture of the tv. Told me it is THX certified(at that point I didn't really know or care too much about that), it had motion smoothing as well, but wasn't sure if it was as noticeable or as soap operish as the st30. Pretty nice picture, 3D Avatar looked great. That is what originally caught my attention about this tv. He told me this tv lacked any internet features, but online Ive read that you can access youtube etc through it?


So those are my 2 options. He can sell me each tv for $1200.00 canadian. He added the psp yesterday and total came out to $1750.00. That is about 250 dollars over what i wanted to spend. He could knock off $100.00 off the psp and give me a 2 year instead of 4 year protection. In regards to psp is it worth it? Ive read a few horror stories and don't want to shoot myself in the foot. Can he work the price down even more or is that as low as he can get? He said he was basically selling the vt25 at cost.


Aside from that, which tv would be the best one for me? Ive read the horror stories about the fixable? st30 brightness fluctuation. Then Ive read horror stories about the non fixable vt25 floating blacks. Keep in mind I had no idea what these terms were before my first plasma tv. So would I even notice them? The fluctuation probably... the floating, not so sure. Which is better for gaming?


Top of the line 2010 vt25 or midrange/lowend st30. What exactly is the difference? Is the st30 worse than the vt25 or at least equal? To be honest, I would have gone with the st30 simply because it was a pretty sweet looking tv. Then in the back of my head, I thought but this is only a midrange/lowend versus the not so good looking top of the line 2010 vt25 lol.


I gotta make up my mind today, What do you guys think?

If its not a floor model and the price is close, VT25 hands down !
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
tazz3: The VT25 is brand new unopened and sealed. Good to know about the ST30, but why would some people still choose the VT25 over the ST30 if the ST30 is sounding like the better tv?


I've also spent hours on the st30 and vt25 owners thread which is what led me to asking my questions. Sure the first few pages of the st30 thread sounded like it was a great tv, then I skipped to the last part and alot of people were talking about the brightness flucuation issue. Having to call Panasonic to get a tech to come out and replace the board because it is a known issue? Then I read the vt25, hit the 56th page and so on... it sounded good. Then I skipped to the end and there were a few people regretting the purchase of the vt25 due to the unfixable floating blacks issue.


Thus, leaves me in a jam. I'm tv-less and would like to pick one up today.


Thanks for the quick response though, much appreciated.
 

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Like the previous poster said I would check to see if the VT25 was a floor demo or not. After that for me to cut to the chase I would pick the ST30 if we are talking the same size tvs here. Home Theatre Magazine just did a big review in the August issue of the ST30, GT30, and VT30.


In came out looking very good for the ST30. Bsides some minor other differences the ST30 is basically the GT30 without THX. However there is a decent price premium difference. Even against the VT30 it held up pretty well except the obvious difference in black level. Interestingly enough they still had their VT25 from last year and from the two reviews sets they had last years VT25 actually measured better than the VT30. Take that as you will.


So I guess it comes down to how important is having THX mode for you, black level preference as the VT25 will beat the ST30 there even by the eye. Another thing to take into consideration is that the ST30 will only have 48hz for 24p material like blu-ray movies. If you were to use the 48hz you probably would see flicker. You would be better off leaving it 1080p/60 and letting it do 3:2 pulldown. So it depends on how sensitive you are to telecine judder and if it bothers you. The VT25 has 96hz mode for 24p material and will do 4:4 pulldown with no flicker.


I personally think the ST30 is one of the best bang for the buck value models on the market at this time. However depending on personal needs, black level, how much you want to utilize 3D, or THX this decision will be easier for some than others.


3D would be in favor of the ST30 but if you don't care about 3D, want THX, and prefer having the 96hz option then the VT25 might be the better purchase. Only you can make that call.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by cc781 /forum/post/20828496


tazz3: The VT25 is brand new unopened and sealed. Good to know about the ST30, but why would some people still choose the VT25 over the ST30 if the ST30 is sounding like the better tv?


I've also spent hours on the st30 and vt25 owners thread which is what led me to asking my questions. Sure the first few pages of the st30 thread sounded like it was a great tv, then I skipped to the last part and alot of people were talking about the brightness flucuation issue. Having to call Panasonic to get a tech to come out and replace the board because it is a known issue? Then I read the vt25, hit the 56th page and so on... it sounded good. Then I skipped to the end and there were a few people regretting the purchase of the vt25 due to the unfixable floating blacks issue.


Thus, leaves me in a jam. I'm tv-less and would like to pick one up today.


Thanks for the quick response though, much appreciated.

ST30 is a great set according to every thing I have read. But the VT25 was the tv of the year last year according to CNET. I have last years GT25 also a great set but I know it is not in quite the same class as the VT25. Black levels are superior on the VT25 that I can guarantee. Also the 24p playback is superior on the VT25 as well since it has the 96hz playback option. Another bonus is firmware update that will give you Viera Connect which gives you more options from a download perspective.


Floating blacks, depends on who you ask, some it bothers others dont ever notice it(like me). I wouldnt let that dissuade you from the VT25 myself. Thx mode is a valuable option, do yourself a favor and get it professionally calibrated, you'll be amazed at the results.


You are right, VT25 2010 flagship line vs ST30 low to mid level set, not knocking the ST30 at all just saying imo VT25 if price and screen size are equal is the better set.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by uni_panther /forum/post/20828513


Like the previous poster said I would check to see if the VT25 was a floor demo or not. After that for me to cut to the chase I would pick the ST30 if we are talking the same size tvs here. Home Theatre Magazine just did a big review in the August issue of the ST30, GT30, and VT30.


In came out looking very good for the ST30. Bsides some minor other differences the ST30 is basically the GT30 without THX. However there is a decent price premium difference. Even against the VT30 it held up pretty well except the obvious difference in black level. Interestingly enough they still had their VT25 from last year and from the two reviews sets they had last years VT25 actually measured better than the VT30. Take that as you will.


So I guess it comes down to how important is having THX mode for you, black level preference as the VT25 will beat the ST30 there even by the eye. Another thing to take into consideration is that the ST30 will only have 48hz for 24p material like blu-ray movies. If you were to use the 48hz you probably would see flicker. You would be better off leaving it 1080p/60 and letting it do 3:2 pulldown. So it depends on how sensitive you are to telecine judder and if it bothers you. The VT25 has 96hz mode for 24p material and will do 4:4 pulldown with no flicker.


I personally think the ST30 is one of the best bang for the buck value models on the market at this time. However depending on personal needs, black level, how much you want to utilize 3D, or THX this decision will be easier for some than others.


3D would be in favor of the ST30 but if you don't care about 3D, want THX, and prefer having the 96hz option then the VT25 might be the better purchase. Only you can make that call.

^^^^^ good summary, although we disagree on which is better
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by cc781 /forum/post/20828496


tazz3: The VT25 is brand new unopened and sealed. Good to know about the ST30, but why would some people still choose the VT25 over the ST30 if the ST30 is sounding like the better tv?


I've also spent hours on the st30 and vt25 owners thread which is what led me to asking my questions. Sure the first few pages of the st30 thread sounded like it was a great tv, then I skipped to the last part and alot of people were talking about the brightness flucuation issue. Having to call Panasonic to get a tech to come out and replace the board because it is a known issue? Then I read the vt25, hit the 56th page and so on... it sounded good. Then I skipped to the end and there were a few people regretting the purchase of the vt25 due to the unfixable floating blacks issue.


Thus, leaves me in a jam. I'm tv-less and would like to pick one up today.


Thanks for the quick response though, much appreciated.

Don't take this the wrong way as this is a GREAT website. However most of us who roam here are the pickiest of the picky and will find out any minor flaw. All tvs and every other piece of home theatre gear will have a flaw. Certainly all tvs do. It is just a matter of if the flaw is that important to you. What might be a deal breaker to one person is no big deal to another.


I can understand your trepidation, but pick a tv, any tv and go to a thread and you will find flaws, complaints, and things that might scare you. I remember starting to heavily research tvs in 2004, and I was literally on the fence and scared off waiting for "something better" until 2008 when I got my Kuro 151.


Even then I read about dead pixels, dead power supplies, horrible buzzing that could be heard from across the room, and I finally got my tv and everything was fine for me and it is the finest display I have ever owned.


I'm not saying those issues didn't exist, but they won't be cut and dry for every single panel for every person. Again this website is great but if you take everything on here as 100% you will be too scared to purchase. I was that first few years and from all the talk back then buying a tv was stupid since "OLED was coming out next year"


Either panel you choose will be a fine display and no doubt make you a happy person.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by uni_panther /forum/post/20828550


Don't take this the wrong way as this is a GREAT website. However most of us who roam here are the pickiest of the picky and will find out any minor flaw. All tvs and every other piece of home theatre gear will have a flaw. Certainly all tvs do. It is just a matter of if the flaw is that important to you. What might be a deal breaker to one person is no big deal to another.


I can understand your trepidation, but pick a tv, any tv and go to a thread and you will find flaws, complaints, and things that might scare you. I remember starting to heavily research tvs in 2004, and I was literally on the fence and scared off waiting for "something better" until 2008 when I got my Kuro 151.


Even then I read about dead pixels, dead power supplies, horrible buzzing that could be heard from across the room, and I finally got my tv and everything was fine for me and it is the finest display I have ever owned.


I'm not saying those issues didn't exist, but they won't be cut and dry for every single panel for every person. Again this website is great but if you take everything on here as 100% you will be too scared to purchase. I was that first few years and from all the talk back then buying a tv was stupid since "OLED was coming out next year"


Either panel you choose will be a fine display and no doubt make you a happy person.

^^^^Well said. For the OP I agree both are good sets, make sure to come back and let us know what you decide.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by chunon /forum/post/20828540


^^^^^ good summary, although we disagree on which is better

Actually I disagree with myself lol. I was hesitant because I was actually assuming the VT25 was going to be an open box, or floor model and I am always overly cautious and avoid those situations.


With it being sealed in the box I would choose the VT25. However if 3D is super important that would make a tougher call as the ST30 would be better there. I would also take any size differences into account. I'm guessing for the price the VT25 is a 50 inch one. Is the ST30 a 55 inch display or even a 60?


That would make a big difference too. A 60 inch display would be 44% more screen area over a 50 inch display though based on price I doubt we are talking 60 inches. Possibly 55 though.


*edite* Forgive me. He clearly stated 50 inch panels for both of them. I'm off my game this morning. Ignore everything I said about size.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
uni_panther: So the VT25 is better than the VT30? As far as THX mode goes, I had no idea what this was until I cam across the VT25. The best buy guy selected the mode and it dimmed the picture, of course in that store with all of their lights, it just looked like a dim picture. I couldn't really see anything spectacular in that viewing environment.


I ran my Samsung pn51d550 in 24hz mode for blu ray movies with cinema smooth on and it looked good. That's about all the experience I have with those types of settings.


The ST30 being one of the best bang for the buck value models is definitely something good to hear. Also the fact that I am a fan of 3D content and it having the newer 3D chips, that is also a plus.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by uni_panther /forum/post/20828596


Actually I disagree with myself lol. I was hesitant because I was actually assuming the VT25 was going to be an open box, or floor model and I am always overly cautious and avoid those situations.


With it being sealed in the box I would choose the VT25. However if 3D is super important that would make a tougher call as the ST30 would be better there. I would also take any size differences into account. I'm guessing for the price the VT25 is a 50 inch one. Is the ST30 a 55 inch display or even a 60?


That would make a big difference too. A 60 inch display would be 44% more screen area over a 50 inch display though based on price I doubt we are talking 60 inches. Possibly 55 though.


*edite* Forgive me. He clearly stated 50 inch panels for both of them. I'm off my game this morning. Ignore everything I said about size.

My assumption is same size, but if thats not the case that might change my opinion also. The 3d yeah that might sway me but I watch that content maybe 10% of the time, and the 3d is pretty darn impressive on my 2010 model.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by cc781 /forum/post/20828606


uni_panther: So the VT25 is better than the VT30? As far as THX mode goes, I had no idea what this was until I cam across the VT25. The best buy guy selected the mode and it dimmed the picture, of course in that store with all of their lights, it just looked like a dim picture. I couldn't really see anything spectacular in that viewing environment.


I ran my Samsung pn51d550 in 24hz mode for blu ray movies with cinema smooth on and it looked good. That's about all the experience I have with those types of settings.


The ST30 being one of the best bang for the buck value models is definitely something good to hear. Also the fact that I am a fan of 3D content and it having the newer 3D chips, that is also a plus.

I have heard the VT25 has some picture advantages over the VT30. I dont envy you tough call either way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
chunon: The ST30 is a great set but the VT25 is last years best tv. That's the problem. If the ST30 being a newer model, were at least equal to the VT25, than I think I would be able to make a decision. I can't help but think this is like buying a brand new so-so 2011 sports car or an awesome 2010 sports car. Ya? No?


As far as the firm wire update, since the 2011 models are out, have they stopped supporting the VT25 model with updates?


Thanks for your view on things.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by cc781 /forum/post/20828606


uni_panther: So the VT25 is better than the VT30? As far as THX mode goes, I had no idea what this was until I cam across the VT25. The best buy guy selected the mode and it dimmed the picture, of course in that store with all of their lights, it just looked like a dim picture. I couldn't really see anything spectacular in that viewing environment.


I ran my Samsung pn51d550 in 24hz mode for blu ray movies with cinema smooth on and it looked good. That's about all the experience I have with those types of settings.


The ST30 being one of the best bang for the buck value models is definitely something good to hear. Also the fact that I am a fan of 3D content and it having the newer 3D chips, that is also a plus.


I'm not claiming the VT25 is better than the VT30. I only was pointing out that in the HT Magazine review the VT25 they still had tested out with a better black level than the VT30 which surprised them. Again take that as you will.


As for the THX mode I don't recommend just turning it on THX and not touching it. It will still need to be calibrated. No out of the box settings are correctly dialed in on all aspects that make good PQ.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by cc781 /forum/post/20828654


chunon: The ST30 is a great set but the VT25 is last years best tv. That's the problem. If the ST30 being a newer model, were at least equal to the VT25, than I think I would be able to make a decision. I can't help but think this is like buying a brand new so-so 2011 sports car or an awesome 2010 sports car. Ya? No?


As far as the firm wire update, since the 2011 models are out, have they stopped supporting the VT25 model with updates?


Thanks for your view on things.

As far as firmware I dont believe that to be the case
The Viera Connect update for the VT25 just came out in the last two weeks or so. I understand your consternation believe me.


Are you planning on getting the set professionally calibrated ? Also the VT25 would have superior user calibration controls I think.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
uni_panther: Your right about this being a great website and I appreciate all of you guys helping me out. I just lol'd at "most of us who roam here are the pickiest of the picky and will find out any minor flaw." I totally understand where your coming from and I appreciate the different perspective in regards to flaws etc.


I think you pretty much nailed it on the head in regards to me being scared to pull the trigger for the 3rd time on a brand new tv. Everything you mentioned about the dead pixles, power supplies, BUZZING etc... are a nightmare.


I'd like to hope you were right in regards to something making me a happy person. My last 2 defective sets - pain in the butt - bringing them back for exchanges and returns within a span of 3 weeks.


They have one last boxed vt25 saved for me and I'm hoping, if I go with it, it was meant to be lol.
 
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