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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I went to my local best buy store to grab the last plasma they had before they are all gone (because I like the high refresh rates) but the display they had in the store looked terrible. I know that the whites won't be as bright as the other tvs but the blacks on this tv were gray! In fact, the other tvs in the store had really deep blacks compared to this tv where the blacks were literally dark gray. I thought the settings may be weird so I reset to default settings and it did nothing. Tried changing some settings but I still couldn't get anything but gray. This made no sense to me because I thought plasmas were supposed to have deeper blacks than led/lcd tvs..? Am I missing something here?

Thanks!
 

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either missing something, or it's a defective panel.


what was the brightness set to?
 

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I went to my local best buy store to grab the last plasma they had before they are all gone (because I like the high refresh rates) but the display they had in the store looked terrible. I know that the whites won't be as bright as the other tvs but the blacks on this tv were gray! In fact, the other tvs in the store had really deep blacks compared to this tv where the blacks were literally dark gray. I thought the settings may be weird so I reset to default settings and it did nothing. Tried changing some settings but I still couldn't get anything but gray. This made no sense to me because I thought plasmas were supposed to have deeper blacks than led/lcd tvs..? Am I missing something here?

Thanks!
High refresh rate?

Does sound like something wrong with the demo set. What viewing mode were you using?
 

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I went to my local best buy store to grab the last plasma they had before they are all gone (because I like the high refresh rates) but the display they had in the store looked terrible. I know that the whites won't be as bright as the other tvs but the blacks on this tv were gray! In fact, the other tvs in the store had really deep blacks compared to this tv where the blacks were literally dark gray. I thought the settings may be weird so I reset to default settings and it did nothing. Tried changing some settings but I still couldn't get anything but gray. This made no sense to me because I thought plasmas were supposed to have deeper blacks than led/lcd tvs..? Am I missing something here?
The Default settings never look good, and Plasmas displayed in a store never look good. You have to get that TV home into a proper viewing environment and come up with your own personal settings and that TV will look TONS better than it ever did in any store. Period. Even if you plug in the known good owners' settings as posted here on AVS, they still won't look good in the store.

This is one of the biggest reasons why Plasmas didn't sell well - even the reference quality models looked poor in the stores.

Just buy the F5300, bring it home and get it all set up properly and it will look better and have better deeper black levels than virtually any LCD TV. If you don't like it, you can return it.
 
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I had one more thought, since the f5300 has no screen filter whatsoever, it could also be that the bright store lights are really washing out the blacks. it can get weird at times, ambient lighting can make plasma blacks rise while making lcd blacks apparently get better. I guess the nature of lcd panels is like having a 'louvered filter' built in.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Turns out that's exactly what it was guys! It was so bright in the floor that it washed out the blacks. When I got it home it looked a little better and when I turned off all of the lights it looked a lot better. I still wasn't happy with the quality though. I think something was wrong with the set. If I look closely at the tv I can see little green lights flashing all over the place and probably the red and blues but the greens stood out the most. Keep in mind this is when displaying a still image. At about 2 feet from the screen it looks like some trippy sci fi thing. The reason I got up so close is because I noticed that the display was flickering ever so slightly ( I could only notice it when I had white on the screen). It messed with my eyes. My gf noticed it too without me even saying anything about it. Plus the quality just wasn't there compared to my 23" lcd computer monitor. The monitor displayed colors much better and there seemed to be more depth than the plasma, even in complete darkness.

Things I learned:
I don't like plasmas (at least one any in the $800 price range) compared to an lcd in the same price range
I need a tv with a high refresh rate and features that create the "soap opera effect"

The plasma had settings where you could make the image smooth and even clear. Whatever it did, it made it so that when I look around in videogames, everything doesn't get blurry. I loved it!

Speaking of videogames, I forgot to mention the horrible lag in this set. Twice as much as my lcd. Unplayable and since I use it as a computer it is not functional. I move the mouse and then wait to see where it went. If I type the word "the" it doesn't print the word until I finish typing. On my lcd, it types the word before I lift my finger off the last key.

A lot of people don't like the soap opera effect. And there are times when I don't like it. But there are also times when I do like it. So I like to have it there as an option, like when playing rpg games where I move around and look at things a lot and don't want it to be too blurry. And sometimes I like to watch movies with the soap opera effect if there is a lot of panning and/or action scenes.

Thanks for the help guys.
 

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^^based on this, you should run far far away from plasmas, haha.


the reason to buy a plasma is picture quality. if you're not looking for the best picture quality, there's no reason for plasma.


but fyi, the green dots is called dithering, it's the way plasma works, all plasmas. they are not made to be computer monitors, you are not supposed to sit 2-3feet away from them, and if you don't, then the dithering is no longer visible.
the lag on the f5300 is about average compared to current flat panels(including lcd). if the f5300 was 'unplayable' I would suggest lag being your primary focus. the number of choices you'll have with under 30ms of lag will be fairly small, and it'll save you a lot of returns to buy from that list only.
I'm not entirely sure what you mean when you say refresh rate, but most TV's these days have the frame interpolation stuff that gives the SOE. I guess really cheap '60hz' lcd's won't, but otherwise it's pretty common nowadays.
you should calibrate(at least a diy job) before judging a tv. the f5300 has been calibrated to reference quality colors. if your monitor is that much different, either the f5300 was not doing what it's capable of, or you don't want reference color.


nevertheless, the key here is you are using this as a computer monitor, and that is one task a plasma should never be used for. I mean, I have my htpc hooked up to my tv, and I use my plasma to surf the web and such, but I do that from my couch 10 feet away. a plasma as a dedicated computer monitor sitting on the desk 2 feet from your face will always be worse.
 

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Ive looked at multiple 5300s in multiple stores and they all looked bad. Ive come to the collusion that something with the fluorescent lights in the stores messes with the screen. Either way it should look fine when you get it home. Also keep in mind that TV was released as a budget plasma and its not going to look nearly as good as one of the high end ones that are all but long gone now. Also apparently there is an A and B model...anything you get is probably a B model but I suppose it a possibility that the displays are A models. A bit of searching here and you'll see that the B models have better black levels than the As.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I'm thinking about getting this one Vizio P502ui-B1 for a couple of reasons:
1. It has a special gaming mode and special port that can accept 1080p @120HZ and since I use this monitor with a PC I can run games at high frame rates and get more of a smooth motion picture
2. It has loads of features for smoothing out picture to my liking
3. It is very cheap (costco for $700)

It's a little smaller than I want, but I will just have to sit a little closer.

More on the plasma..
Games like call of duty require very low reaction times and input lag just adds to that. So, you are right, I should put a high focus on input lag. I think the plasma is not as good as the vizio I am considering.
And about the dithering, It wasn't really a concern, more of an observation. I will not in fact be sitting 2 feet from the screen, I just wanted to make sure that was the way it is and that something isn't wrong with the plasma itself. Also something I didn't know, if you leave something on the screen for a minute, it burns into the screen for a while! Like a ghost of the previous image. I though burn in was if you left something up for like an hour. Pretty interesting, but I don't like it.

I think I have learned that plasmas are great for a home theatre, or a darker living room, for watching tv, and not recommended to be used as a computer monitor, or for playing action games.

Thanks for all of the info guys.
 

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I think I have learned that plasmas are great for a home theatre, or a darker living room, for watching tv, and not recommended to be used as a computer monitor, or for playing action games.

Thanks for all of the info guys.
yup, you pretty much nailed it right there. at this point it's more about picking the right tool for the job, and in this case, i don't believe that's plasma. unfortunately, i had serious issues with LED backlighting, so i've basically ignored all lcd's for the past couple of years. can't help you at all with the vizio, it could be fantastic, it could be a bunch of marketing bs. you'll obviously get better help in the lcd forums on that, and i'm pretty sure vizio is a popular brand discussed because of it's price point.


fwiw, 'burn-in' is considered permanent 'ghosting'(as you put it) and would take a LONG time with today's plasmas. the short term, temporary ghosting is referred to as 'image retention' and despite all the improvements, it's still a common issue with plasma. it's another one of those things that isn't really an issue when used for watching tv, movies, even most gaming, but can be a real deal-breaker for a PC monitor.

i also believe the input lag is not an issue with plasma, but with the processing a lot of these newer tv's use. i have an old plasma that's nearly lag free. i mean i'm sure it's like 20-30ms, but in practice i didn't notice anything when it replaced my crt. my f8500 on the other hand has something like 120ms of lag and was painfully obvious. i also experienced the 'move the cursor and then wait to see where it lands' thing. even using game or pc mode only brought it down to an 'average' performance. this is one area where plasmas have for whatever reason gotten worse. it's almost like the higher end displays have 'too much' processing and higher input lag. but going off memory, the f5300 is somewhere between 40-50ms, so that vizio should be much better
 
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