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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
...whatta great image!


I know it's more up to speed to be anticipating the new Panny 6UY 50" HD model, but I've got to say how incredibly impressed I was a few days by the current 5UY.


I'd seen the 5UY countless times displaying Hi-Def images, and it's always been at the top of my list as best HD monitor, beaten perhaps only by the Fujitsu model (my opinion of course, the Pioneer can look excellent too).

I'd also seen various DVD images on the Panny 50," but never my own reference DVDs, and never in a careful set-up.


My local plasma emporium had the Panny 50" in a nice, darkened home-theater-style room, in a dedicated feed. HD looked incredible, as always...and perhaps sharper than I'd ever seen it.


The Panny was being fed DVD signals from the component output of the highly revered (and expensive) Denon 900 DVD player. I spun my reference DVDs (in this case I'd selected an eclectic mix of: Jaws, Fifth Element Superbit, Black Sabbath - and old Mario Bava color horror flick, Stuart Little 2 - awesome combo of computer animation/life action with an incredible transfer, Lawrence Of Arabia superbit, and others...).


I was just plain freaked out by the picture. Which is so strange because I've tested so many plasmas, including the Fuji P50, and thought I'd been too jaded to be freaked out again. But holy crap was the picture as close to "perfect" as I could have wished: the first thing was the stunning richness of the color. For whatever reason I've always held the notion that Panasonic plasmas, in comparison to others like Pioneer, will have the more muted (and to my eye more realistic) color palette. But this thing just exploded with color richness...it was a smorgasbord and I was seeing a tapestry of color detail that is rarely apparent on my 42" (no matter what picture setting I use). As well, I was shocked by how sharp the DVD images were. They were virtually as sharp as my 42" model, with little apparent scaling softness or unsteadiness to image outlines. (I often find DVD images upscaled to higher resolutions suffer from a softening, subtle digital blockiness to fine details and outlines). The 50" model had that solid, sure look in that regard, with the added benefit of a denser pixel structure that made for a smoother look than the 42" ED plasma. The 42" plasma does not look "video" per se, but it looks a bit more video-like than the 50" plasma. This combination of smoothness AND sharpness allows the 50" plasma to appear more film-like, when applicable, AND more life-like on many images. Sometimes both at the same time.


And the black levels were of course superb. The combination of all these wonderful traits combined with the larger size just bumped the image into another viewing category over the 42." The depth and richness of the image was more overwhelming - there was an appreciably more cinematic spatial quality, slightly more like you are peering into a real-sized room to view the actors, rather than the more removed feeling of the 42" size.


So it looked film like, cinematic and also passed my "does it look real" test quite well. The scene in Spiderman were Peter talks to his Dad in the car on my plasma is the closest thing I've seen to people brought to life. Any artifacts will detract from this feeling. There was only one artifact that occurred in this scene, to drop it just a notch from what I see at home: a flickering of the image somewhat. Sort of like color noise, or a faint pulsing of the image. This one artifact was as close to an Achilles heel as I got from the 50" model with DVDs. I could discern this flickering of large patches of the image (video noise, whatever) quite often...sometimes I had to really look for it, other times it was in my face. It could therefore affect the solidity of the image...as opposed to my plasma which is notably free of that problem. It came close to ruining some images for me. But it was so subtle in most scenes that it rarely impeded the viewing experience.

And often the image did indeed look sharp, solid and fabulously rich.


For whatever reason, I'm not sure I'd ever been so stricken by plasma lust as when I saw my DVDs on this particularly unit (wondering if the Denon900 DVD player had anything to do with it too, as it is said to have a particularly smooth, sharp, rich image).


You people who own the 50PHD5UY are lucky devils. I will definitely be checking out the new 6UY version when it arrives. It could be absolutely killer.


Rich.
 

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Rich, your description of the 50" Panny is precisely what I see when watching HD or DVD on the Fujitsu 50". Not too surprising considering the same lineage. Considering that you've seen the same Panny before (as well as the Fujitsu) and were more impressed this time, it could be:

* Better ambient lighting than you've seen in other setups

* Better calibration of the plasma itself

* Better DVD player than you've seen in other store setups

* You were in a better mood :)


It could be a combination of the first 3. I know for sure that the "look" and PQ of my Fujitsu at home is better than I ever see it under retail conditions.
 

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Well Rich another great review from our infamous "Plasma LCD, CRT, RPTV Review Man". I have tried to explain these things that you have described in your post for over 18 months, i.e. Color Saturation, Picture Quality on a calibrated Panasonic, the Film-Like picture from DVDs, the richness, etc, etc. I know people will listen to you. Thanks to you I feel vindicated.


Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Has anyone been able to do a side-by-side of the Panny 50" vs the Fujitsu 50"? I've always had to do the comparison by moving from store to store. In store lighting conditions, sometimes I had the impression the Fujitsu looked a bit brighter, with greater color richness, other times there didn't seem to be much appreciable difference. If there is a difference, I'm starting to wonder how much it matters when viewing in a darkened environment is considered, because once the lights went down it was hard to fault the look of the Panny vs the Fuji in any parameter. But, again, I didn't have them side by side.


- ?
 

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Rich, I too can't recall seeing the two together. It seems that those dealers that carry Fujitsus generally don't carry Panasonics. I do believe the Fujitsu is brighter (not sure if the colors are brighter) and I do think it handles motion better than the Panny. However, as you've said, unless the 2 are side by side, it's very tough to say.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Mort,


Sorry, dropped a zero. I meant the flagship Denon DVD-9000 player.
 

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One would hope that this DVD player contributed something to the picture quality, considering that it goes for US$2500+. Great review/info, as always.


-Steve
 

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Nice take Rich - you're making some of us delay the purchase until your likely forthcoming comparison of the latest 6UY models in 42" and 50" size. :cool:
 

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Thanks again Rich. $2500 DVD player notwithstanding I am also glad that your observations tie in with mine. I have also been banging the drum for the Panny 50" for as long as Dave has and the lack of DVI/HDCP was the only thing wrong with it IMHO. Now that that issue is resolved I think the Fujitsu P50's defacto #1 ranking, though not necessarily lost, is being very strongly challenged. However, a side by side comparison by you, Ken, Dave, the Marks or any of the heavy hitters (i.e. those biased folks whose opinions always agree with mine ;)) would be really useful.
 
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