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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Total rookie here guys, although I have lurked in the past a bit. I'm more of a mechanical gearhead than an AV gearhead (typing this on a ThinkPad T20
). Please be gentle



Trying to decide between two flat panel TV's for our first flat panel TV. Replacing a tube TV. The candidates:


Panasonic TH42PX80U 720p 42" Plasma


Toshiba 40RV525U 1080p 40" LCD


We are not gamers, we MAY like to hook up a computer so that we can have a "super size" monitor but this would be a bonus but seems desirable to me since it gives a future option for use of the panel if we get a bigger one in a few years, we could also just make this a bedroom set in a few years.


We mostly will just watch TV on it. Source signals from cable and OTA antenna. Lucky if we get to rent/watch DVDs a few times a year, maybe with the new panel and pending retirement we will do this more.


The room has windows to one side, not next to the TV and has what I would describe as moderate or average light levels during the day.


I know the moderator restricts price discussion here so I will just say that I can get these for nearly the same price, about a $35 difference, the Toshiba being slightly more than the Panasonic (which includes a wall mount) but the Panasonic involves a 3hr. r/t drive and the Toshiba is to my door.


I did search around a bit but didn't see these two debated head to head. If there are threads / guides I should read all links would be appreciated.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedRotors /forum/post/15467673


Total rookie here guys, although I have lurked in the past a bit. I'm more of a mechanical gearhead than an AV gearhead (typing this on a ThinkPad T20
). Please be gentle



Trying to decide between two flat panel TV's for our first flat panel TV. Replacing a tube TV. The candidates:


Panasonic TH42PX80U 720p 42" Plasma


Toshiba 40RV525U 1080p 40" LCD


We are not gamers, we MAY like to hook up a computer so that we can have a "super size" monitor but this would be a bonus but seems desirable to me since it gives a future option for use of the panel if we get a bigger one in a few years, we could also just make this a bedroom set in a few years.


We mostly will just watch TV on it. Source signals from cable and OTA antenna. Lucky if we get to rent/watch DVDs a few times a year, maybe with the new panel and pending retirement we will do this more.


The room has windows to one side, not next to the TV and has what I would describe as moderate or average light levels during the day.


I know the moderator restricts price discussion here so I will just say that I can get these for nearly the same price, about a $35 difference, the Toshiba being slightly more than the Panasonic (which includes a wall mount) but the Panasonic involves a 3hr. r/t drive and the Toshiba is to my door.


I did search around a bit but didn't see these two debated head to head. If there are threads / guides I should read all links would be appreciated.

Since you won't be watching much if any HD content, go for the 42PX80u.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
How will the Panasonic be as a monitor if we do decide to hook a computer up to it? Decide to play around with streaming content off the internet?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedRotors /forum/post/15469946


How will the Panasonic be as a monitor if we do decide to hook a computer up to it? Decide to play around with streaming content off the internet?

You're going to have to purchase an HDMI to DVI cable since that particular model doesn't feature a VGA port. The 40" Toshiba would be a better fit if you decide to connect your PC to it but the Plasma is 2 inches bigger and will more than likely have the better picture when viewing movies/shows/sports. It's up to you which is more important.
 

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I'll add my recent experience with a similar debate. My situation is close to yours, except we probably watch a more even blend of SD/DVD/HD content. Like you, this is my "upgrade" from a tube TV that was almost 9 years old and starting to show it. I was struggling with the 1080 vs 720 (or 768p as many on here will note) discussion and debating whether I could stomach the extra cash for the additional pixel count.


For a number of reasons, price included, I went with the 42X80U. To say i have been blown away is an understatement. Again, in perspective I am coming from a tube so comparatively speaking others may not be as impressed as I have been. I absolutely love the picture and find the menu adjustments fairly simple to use. I've been changing them around a bit over the last couple weeks and not settled on anything yet, but as others have noted Cinema seems to look the best from my perspective. I've only had it two weeks so that may change as time goes on.


In any case, for the money I spent I am extremely happy. I have also monkeyed around with my PC just to see if it works and of course it does. You do not need a DVI-HDMI cable if your PC has a s-video out. I am using an S-vid to component cable for now and it worked fine. You will need to adjust for overscan but if you have nvidia or ATI cards my understanding is that shouldn't be a problem.


Anyway, good luck with your purchase. My vote is to give the Panasonic a try and see how you like it. You can always up-size or "up-feature" if you're not happy.


Cheers,


Matt
 

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I cannot comment on the Toshiba, but I own the Pansonic and our viewing is all SD content. Before we moved, we had analog cable and got a few of the clear HD channels and they looked amazing. I found myself watching the Olympics when I rarely have before. Analog stations aren't so hot. Half the channels looked decent, while the rest were rather poor. But now that we moved we now have gone with digital cable, and the picture quality is great. It's not up to par with HD, but not that far off. And standard dvd's look great on our older progressive scan dvd player.


On a side note, my wife's uncle has the 1080P version of the Panasonic, and I really could not see a difference in PQ. I'm sure if they were side by side with the same content I could see the differences, but with this size TV I don't see the need for 1080P if it comes down to a choice of saving some $$.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks, I really appreciate the benifit of the experiences / debates of people in a similar situation, along with the resident expert's take.


My choices sort of encompass it all. Resolution (720p vs. 1080p), panel type (LCD vs. Plasma). It really seems like no one is making the case that the Toshiba model I named will have a "better" picture or is a "better" choice than the Panasonic EXCEPT in the case of using it with a computer as a monitor or as HTPC.


How do these two sets compare in OTA reception? Is one a noticeably stronger tuner/reciever than the other? OTA reception is important to me since the local cable service totally ignores the market/stations 55 mi. North of me in favor of stations 65-90 miles South of me and I have more interest in the Northern market.
 

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you can order the panny thru Sears and save a drive, though from what I read it may take awhile and they are backordered on the panny's, they have a good deal this week though, you can get the 50" version for a good price factoring the extra 8 inches you'd get.



also there is a samsun a450 plasma that some prefer to the Panny that can be found for well under $1k now and is 720p. supposedly it has better green primary color
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
42" is about the max. size for the wall/room. My budget is well south (by about $3-400) of $1000. I'll check out the price/features of the Samsung. I had a very bad experience with quality/customer service with a Samsung TV many years ago so I shy away from them - perhaps unfair but so it is.


Actually I was hoping Sears would raise the price of the Panasonic back up so I could get more on a price match from them.
 

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It seems as if the PC VGA input on the Toshiba doesn't go beyond 1368x768 for some reason so if you end up buying that HDTV, you'll more than likely have to purchase an HDMI to DVI cable if you want a resolution higher than 1368x768 or settle for a lower resolution and purchase an s-video cable. Thought I'd let you know this piece of info.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedRotors /forum/post/15474866


42" is about the max. size for the wall/room. My budget is well south (by about $3-400) of $1000. I'll check out the price/features of the Samsung. I had a very bad experience with quality/customer service with a Samsung TV many years ago so I shy away from them - perhaps unfair but so it is.


Actually I was hoping Sears would raise the price of the Panasonic back up so I could get more on a price match from them.


I had the exact same budget. I don't think i could have found a better mix of picture and features for the price. Also, Consumer Reports had it as a best buy.


As far as OTA, I made an antenna with instructions from a youtube clip and it worked great! Only cost me about $9 in materials and I was able to watch the OTA HD from the local stations before I got my HD cable box. Can't say for certain how well it picks them up vs others, but I can tell you I could not get any OTA without it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by MattyTee /forum/post/15475375


I had the exact same budget. I don't think i could have found a better mix of picture and features for the price. Also, Consumer Reports had it as a best buy.


As far as OTA, I made an antenna with instructions from a youtube clip and it worked great! Only cost me about $9 in materials and I was able to watch the OTA HD from the local stations before I got my HD cable box. Can't say for certain how well it picks them up vs others, but I can tell you I could not get any OTA without it.

Yeah, I've seen that youtube clip. Helped a friends father make one this fall because they are OTA only.


How far are you from the broadcast towers? Terrain?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by HomieDaClown /forum/post/15475038


It seems as if the PC VGA input on the Toshiba doesn't go beyond 1368x768 for some reason so if you end up buying that HDTV, you'll more than likely have to purchase an HDMI to DVI cable if you want a resolution higher than 1368x768 or settle for a lower resolution and purchase an s-video cable. Thought I'd let you know this piece of info.

Thanks for that tidbit. I definitely missed that.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedRotors /forum/post/15477815


Yeah, I've seen that youtube clip. Helped a friends father make one this fall because they are OTA only.


How far are you from the broadcast towers? Terrain?

I am about 10 miles from any of the towers as the crow flies. Terrain is not much of an issue around here, fairly flat and the towers are on hills. The major networks all came in 85-95%. I couldn't get the PBS station in town when I first built the antenna as I had it inside right behind the TV (like the guy in the video). I re-built it with 20" wires instead of 14" and moved it outside and was able to get PBS in the 70-80% range where before it was 0-30%.


I think to get any more reception from other cities I would need to move it to the roof. As it was I got some strange looks from my wife when I took it out to the back patio so I think the roof was definitely off limits so my experiment was pretty much over there. The cable guy was coming the next day too so that was that!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I'm 55mi. from the towers I care about. Plenty of good sized hills between me and them so I'm in a fringe reception situation.
 

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I was looking at these TVs as well. But probably the PZ and not PX Panny. But I have a question. My parents just got the TH42PZ80U, and I helped them hook it up. I am around a lot of LCDs but no plasmas.


My question is about black level performance. I have 2 Vizios which are known for great color acuracy, but black level performance is just ok. I am very happy with them but now need a 3rd TV. My parrents TH42PZ80U black levels are not any better than the Vizios I have, and might even be a little worse. Is there a setting on the Panasonics that would help with the black level performance. Maybe I expected too much from the plasma because of all the "great black level" talk. Or maybe I a just missing a setting some were.


Also is this Toshiba LCD good when it comes to black level performance?


Thanks for the help.
 

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I've narrowed our search down to the Panasonic Plasmas as well. My 1st choice is the TH-46PZ80U. It's a nice compromise between the 42" & 50". Also, it has the 1080p. With technology changing as fast as it is, I'm afraid I would regret getting the 720p. Especially since they are supposed to last 20+ years. Of course I'd like to spend less, but not sure the few hundred dollars is worth the sacrifice for as long as I'm going to have this TV??? Just another perspective...not right or wrong.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by MattyTee /forum/post/15474014



......

For a number of reasons, price included, I went with the 42X80U. To say i have been blown away is an understatement. Again, in perspective I am coming from a tube so comparatively speaking others may not be as impressed as I have been. I absolutely love the picture and find the menu adjustments fairly simple to use. I've been changing them around a bit over the last couple weeks and not settled on anything yet, but as others have noted Cinema seems to look the best from my perspective. I've only had it two weeks so that may change as time goes on.


........


Matt

Are you happy with your flesh tones? If so, share your settings, please.


Thanks
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by guest68 /forum/post/15552524


Are you happy with your flesh tones? If so, share your settings, please.


Thanks

go to the plasma PX80 thread and you'll see all the settings you could ask for. Flesh tones are good in cinema mode with the factory settings. I don't like the flesh tones in any of the other modes though which is why I usually stick with cinema mode.
 
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