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You didn't stop unwrapping there did you?
More pics please!


I am curious how this compares to the S1, which I own. Looking forward to seeing this thread grow!
 

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I just got stationed overseas in Korea. I don't have a TV and there is not much of a quality selection at my BX. With that said I am looking forward to picking up this TV tomorrow as it easily should outclass all the sets I have available to me to choose from.
 

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I had a chance to get together with with Chris from Cleveland Plasma and take a good look at the new Panasonic S2 plasma. I've worked with some of last year's S1 model, and was eager to see how the S2 compares, given the generally fast and steady improvements in plasma picture quality in the last few years.


While the S2 is not one of the super thin displays, it does run cooler than I have come to expect of a plasma; and it does that without the aid of fans. When I arrived, the white room was fairly bright with sunlight, and the S2's screen looked somewhat milky-gray with no image displayed. It picked up what I considered to be an average amount of glare for a plasma; it was easy to see my reflection looking back at me, though it was softer and more diffuse than on untreated glass. It suffered from the same "double image" at off axis angles as the V10, though I find that more of a curiosity than a flaw in normal everyday viewing.


Chris had run the break in DVD the week before my arrival, and I began by hooking up my calibration equipment and checking the S2's measured performance in different picture modes as it comes from the factory. Measurements sensitive to ambient light were performed either after sunset or with a black blanket covering the screen. Attachments 1 and 2 show out of the box performance in custom and cinema modes. I was surprised to see a distracting amount of graininess and video noise in standard mode, but fortunately it seemed to be limited to that mode. Standard also suffered from severe pumping and instability, so it was unusable in my opinion. Custom had it's own share of problems, which included less severe but still noticeable pumping, white crush, extremely poor gamma, and overly hot color. I tried several experiments and advanced adjustments while in custom mode; unfortunately, nothing could alleviate the poor gamma. Cinema mode brought relief; the image was rock solid, smooth, and bright. Cinema was the best (correction- the only) choice for an accurate picture.


In cinema mode, the S2 behaved somewhat like the S1 models I have calibrated, but with more light output capability. With the S1, cinema mode usually had modest light output capability, and in order to have a bright day mode I would have to use the less accurate standard or custom mode. However, with the S2's increased light output, custom can be made to be an acceptably bright mode for watching in brighter rooms if desired. I ended up calibrating to around 55 fL, though I could have gone higher or lower depending on the lighting conditions of the viewing room. I appreciate that flexibility, and it can be a significant step forward in picture quality if you like to watch with the drapes and blinds open.


Like the S1, the S2's color decoding is not perfect and requires some judgment calls when calibrating. Setting color to 43 brought the red to the correct level and was a good compromise on the other color's intensities. However, setting tint was more of a challenge. Each secondary color required a dramatically different tint setting, so I took the ideal tint setting for cyan, magenta, and yellow and averaged them together for a setting of +11. This technique resulted in a very pleasant but not quite perfect skin tone color. During the final viewing, I felt the skin tones were not quite ruddy enough; so I settled on a setting of +10. However, anything in the range of +8 to +11 would be an acceptable compromise.


The S2's gamma, or brightness ratio as it transitions from dark to bright images, was not quite as accurate as on the S1. This gamma behavior tended to emphasize the brightness of low and middle intensity images. There was also a bit of edge enhancement even with the sharpness turned all the way down. The S2 had perfect, strong resolution in 720P, 1080i, and 1080P. As with a few other Panasonic plasmas, especially older models, there was slightly more green in the white balance in full fields than in small windows. While I use small windows for nearly all my plasma calibrations, I do like to test for color shift with full fields, which showed this up. The issue was not nearly as pronounced as on older Panasonic plasmas like the 700u.


I measured the ANSI contrast ratio at 1203:1, which combined with the high light output, packs a pretty good amount of punch. Blacks measured .009 fL with my profiled Trichromat-1 meter, which I used only for contrast and black measurements due to it's rock solid performance at low light levels.


After the calibration was complete (attachment 3), I settled down for some 1080P/24 Blu Ray goodness. I had two powerful first impressions, which I'll explain below.


Dark images were very easy to see on the S2; too much so. When we hear talk about shadow detail and how one display is so much better than another, generally the set whose shadow detail is more visible is superior. However, there is a such thing as too much shadow detail, where things like dark suits look a little too gray. This can cause the image too look a little washed out and flat, but it is generally only an issue when viewing in a dark room. In a brighter room, the emphasis can be a welcome thing, making the image more palatable. Such was the case with the S2. This is a byproduct of the S2's measured gamma. I found that things which would ordinarily be a very dark shade were much more visible than normal.


My other impression was that skin tones looked very, very nice. That took me by surprise, because I knew how many inaccuracies and resultant judgment calls were involved in the S2's color. Color wasn't quite as rich as it is on a reference grade display, but the overall color was very pleasant. No unseemly yellowish "antique" casts or sunburnt flesh tones were visible.


The image has lots of pop, with bright whites and deep blacks. The image was smooth, with no trace of graininess or false contouring.


There really wasn't that much to complain about with the S2's overall presentation; it's flaws (shadow detail, color) are in the pleasantly inaccurate direction.


Since I also calibrated and reviewed a Panasonic G25 series the same day, I was able to make comparisons between the two. Though I couldn't have them both on at the same time, I was able to switch from one to the other quickly. Room lighting was dark, and I used demo material from DVE and The Dark Knight Blu Rays. Both displays were calibrated to the same light output with a 100% white window.


With both sets turned off and the lights on, the G25's screen looked significantly darker. The G25 picked up less visible reflection as a result. It was much harder to see my reflection in the G25 than in the S2.

Image quality was good on both, but had two very different perspectives. The S2's color was pleasing but less rich; the G25's colors looked more like how I know that material to look on reference grade displays.

The G25 looked more "contrasty", slightly richer, and slightly sharper. The S2, in comparison, looked very good but perhaps a little less exciting. There were a few occasions where I thought I detected some flashlighting or pumping in the G25, but not the S2. My overall impression was that the G25 is much more the Videophile's TV; it's accurate, and if that accuracy shows up flaws in the picture chain, that's the price you pay for having such a revealing display. On the other hand, the S2 is much more Everyman's TV; it's pleasant, looks very good, and never fails to impress your friends and family, but it's not quite being truly faithful to the image. If you are not a super picky videophile, the S2 may well be your dream come true. I would recommend it in a heartbeat to anyone who loves to watch TV but doesn't care to get caught up in the subtle nuances of being a picky video purist.

 

Pan S2 custom before.pdf 154.71484375k . file

 

Pan S2 cinema before.pdf 152.46484375k . file

 

Pan S2 cinema after.pdf 147.9248046875k . file
 

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Thanks for the report. Sounds like 1 step forward 2 steps back for the S2 this year. Certainly better light output but gamma is worse
 

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I just purchased a Panasonic 42S2 from Best Buy. My wife and I are happy with the TV; however, we both notice a brightness flicker. It appears to get brighter and then dimmer every 10-30 seconds (I haven't timed it). I have tried several inputs - Blu-Ray, DirecTV HD DVR, and our old DirecTV SD DVR. All have done this.


Has anyone else noticed this? Is it a common problem?


I will most likely return it; however, I want to know if I should get another of the same set or try a different set.


Thank you.


Mike
 

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I have a 46" S1 and am exchanging it because of a couple of dead pixels. I can either exchange it for another S1, or get a different model and pay the difference. I'm considering the S2 or the G20. Do you guys think the S2 is an overall improvement over the S1?


Thanks.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yukon Trooper /forum/post/18319705


Thanks for the review, Chad. Any measurements for luminance on the G25?

Yeah, it's in the text of my G25 review. It was .0083 fL.

Now, both the S2 and G25 black luminance did change a bit if I left the meter taking continuous readings for several minutes. The readings were about 10-20% higher a few minutes later. The readings I published were the average for the first 30 sec to 1 minute of measuring.
 

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Great review on the S2 Chad. Now I have to make a decision whether to go S or VT. I don't care about the 3d but certainly would love the better filter for blacks and the more accurate colors. But have to step down to 58" from 65" on the VT and hate the fact that Panasonic has limited our choices. A 58" option in the G series would have been nice. Good stuff, keep the review coming guys.
 

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Just picked up the p50s2 Sunday night and so far the TV is great. Turned the settings down pretty low, everything is below 50 to take it safe. I put in Eastbound and Down and notice a lot of static when watching it through my ps3. Anyone else have problem with static in the picture? Is this something that calibration in the future can change?


Running break in slides right now 23/7 taking a 1 hour break in the morning. Hopefully will be able to either love it or hate it in 30 days and exchange for something else if need be.
 

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I'm a fairly new board member here and I just wanted to say thanks to Chad for the extremely useful review of the S2. I'm currently saddled with an old 51" Sony rear projection and I have spent countless hours during the past six months trying to educate myself on my much needed upgrade. I would have happily snatched up a Kuro is one was available but I live in a pretty remote area and have to travel four hours to get to a Best Buy. Reviews like Chad's go a long way with the learning curve and buyer education.


With that said, my new tv would be for movies and gaming primarily in a walkout basement room with controllable light. I would like to get the largest one I can but I can do without the 3D capabilities of the V2x line. I'm not a picky video purist and anything would be an upgrade for what I have. At least early on, the S2 may be a perfect fit for me. I am definitely interested to see what the long term testing will be regarding black levels. Too bad the G2x doesn't come in 60+.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chad B /forum/post/18320306


Yeah, it's in the text of my G25 review. It was .0083 fL.

Now, both the S2 and G25 black luminance did change a bit if I left the meter taking continuous readings for several minutes. The readings were about 10-20% higher a few minutes later. The readings I published were the average for the first 30 sec to 1 minute of measuring.

Ah, I see. I peeked at your review index thinking you might have it there, but it doesn't seem to be listed yet. It's unfortunate to see the luminance hasn't improved since last generation. Hopefully, at least, Panasonic managed to adjust their voltage regulation so that the luminance doesn't rise considerably. Only time will tell, I guess. Have you had any experience with either of the new V panels?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigmike55 /forum/post/18310826


I just purchased a Panasonic 42S2 from Best Buy. My wife and I are happy with the TV; however, we both notice a brightness flicker. It appears to get brighter and then dimmer every 10-30 seconds (I haven't timed it). I have tried several inputs - Blu-Ray, DirecTV HD DVR, and our old DirecTV SD DVR. All have done this.


Has anyone else noticed this? Is it a common problem?


I will most likely return it; however, I want to know if I should get another of the same set or try a different set.


Thank you.


Mike

So I exchanged the set for another, and the new one does not have the brightness flicker that I saw with the first S2. I am happy with the set and plan to attempt to calibrate it soon. I only have a Sound & Vision Home Theater Tune Up calibration DVD, but that should be better than nothing.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by swiftmac /forum/post/18321838


Just picked up the p50s2 Sunday night and so far the TV is great. Turned the settings down pretty low, everything is below 50 to take it safe. I put in Eastbound and Down and notice a lot of static when watching it through my ps3. Anyone else have problem with static in the picture? Is this something that calibration in the future can change?.

So I watched another movie, That's it That's all , a snowboard film. Ran it from my external hard drive and through the ps3 and the TV still looked bad. Grainy enough to notice and bother you. Could it be a setting on my PS3 that is messing things up?
 

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I just got my 50S2 yesterday and so far it is everything I had hoped for. Yesterday I was playing with the settings and getting used to the remote. I like the cinema setting the best and have not yet played too much with custom. I only watched it for 6-7 hours so far, but the picture is great. i see no green tint whatsoever, Standard TV is OK as far as it goes, and HD is great. Last night i watched The Wild Thing on Blue Ray and the picture was great! The movie was Ok also.


I also watched the Hurt Locker on Std DVD and the picture looked really good also.


I am new to Plasma, coming from a Sony 36CRT clunker, and plan to play with calibrating the set when it is broken in and I figure out how to do it. Does anyone have any favorite Custom settings to share? I played with them a little bit, but couldn't really improve on Cinema. Also, i read there is a Service Menu and maybe some improvements can be in there. I know to record all the setting before changing anything in the SM and saw several settingd for last years G12 models. i will keep looking for S2 settings, but if someone can point me to them that would be great!


In the last week I picked up a Samsung BD1600, connected to the internet with Netgear ethernet over powerline, and now have Netflix to watch streaming movies. I will give my impression on how Neflix streaming looks in the next few days.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yukon Trooper /forum/post/18323470


Ah, I see. I peeked at your review index thinking you might have it there, but it doesn't seem to be listed yet. It's unfortunate to see the luminance hasn't improved since last generation. Hopefully, at least, Panasonic managed to adjust their voltage regulation so that the luminance doesn't rise considerably. Only time will tell, I guess. Have you had any experience with either of the new V panels?

Based on Panasonic's statements, and measurements to date of the S2 and G25 over time, I believe the only prudent assumption is that the MLL at 100-200 hour use will likely triple over 2-3 years. Panasonic's assertion that "The Black Level at this stabilized point will yield excellent picture performance. .." is certainly open to legitimate question.


Wes Sokolosky
 

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i just picked up the tv and the image is grainy. I had the lgpk550 and traded that in cuz it was a defective panel, but the lg looks way better then this panasonic. The motion was better and the image was sharper. Wonder why? Im tempted to return this on and get the LG again. THere were also much more calibrating options on the lg as well.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by swiftmac /forum/post/18328035


So I watched another movie, That's it That's all , a snowboard film. Ran it from my external hard drive and through the ps3 and the TV still looked bad. Grainy enough to notice and bother you. Could it be a setting on my PS3 that is messing things up?

Same here. *Sigh*
 

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My 50S2 is not grainy at all. My sources include Brighthouse SD and HD, Samsung Bluray and SD DVDs and lastnight I watched some of Willi Wonka from Netflix streaming (More to see how the colors looked than for the content
) and it was the best i have ever seen it. The 'quality' said 'HD' after it checked the connection speed and it was crisp, clear and the colors were great. The blacks were inky especially in the seen where they go on the Wonka ship through the tunnel. Perhaps the grainy you see is from your source? i have everything connected through HDMI on passthrough from the Samsung 1600 (through my Onkyo 805) and it is fine. Sorry to hear you are having problems. Are there any settings on the 360 to bump up the resolution perhaps?


BTW a google search on "xbox 360 looks grainy" gets several hits with the same issues you are having - so maybe it is the Xbox?
 
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