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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So this is my story..


I recently bought PN51D440 from Costco.ca for my in-laws. It was to replace Toshiba 46G310U 120Hz LCD, which they had for 2 weeks. My mom-in-law is very sensitive to smell, and there was some burning smell coming from the top left corner, which probably wouldn't bother 95% people (including myself) LOL This was my first plasma encounter and after setting it up (evening time) I was pleasantly surprised how well it processed their low quality internet TV and youtube comparing to Toshiba LCD. The black levels were pretty decent too. I haven't done any burn-in nor did I play with the settings I'll try to apply Grimmy's settings next time I visit them. I liked it so much I'm thinking about picking one up for my kids (living room) to replace 36 4:3 Sony CRT (HD ready) 220lbs beast. It would be mainly for cartoons/movies, OTA HDTV 1080i, Wii gaming and some 720P-mkv/xvid/divx rips from my DVD/bluray collection (via HTPC or WDTV live I haven't decided it). The viewing distance will be around 12-15ft, at which I don't think I would notice improvement in 1080P over 720P display


The room is pretty sunny in the morning, even my CRT is suffering, I'm sure LED LCD would have some issues. To fix this I'm planning to install some black-out curtains. Around noon sun goes away from the room and it is not an issue.


Upon returning Toshiba last night, I played a little bit with PN51D550 1080P unit and I was very disappointed, thus I haven't ordered Plasma yet. With a lot of lights on in Costco warehouse and some LCD TVs around, the plasma looked very grayish and dim I know LCD panels are brighter and plasma's do not fair well in well lit room. So is this just brain playing tricks on me, environment setup or reality? I just do not want to go into trouble of ordering it online and drag it back to Costco..grrrr Also I checked out 1080P LG Plasma and it looked awful (dim, no contrast, and blacks looked like grey)


I know Grimmy (if I'm not mistaken) said somewhere that this particular plasma is not god for a sunny room, so with help from blackout curtains on until noon would this be a good purchase/upgrade for my current setup?


For my main display I use Optoma 720P DLP PJ in the basement on 110 DIY screen and Sony Bravia 40 60Hz LCD in my bedroom The plasma would be for kids, when they play games, watch movies on the weekends. We are busy during weekdays so they don't watch any TV. Therefore I don't want to break a wallet as this TV would be used sparingly.


Is this the best cheap Plasma? Are there any other alternatives? Or should I look into LCDs


Please advise


Thanks so much in advance
 

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I was also firmly entrenched in the LCD/LED camp until i got my first plasma July of last year. They take a few weeks to get used to the picture quality coming from LCD. If you want a washed out super bright picture, then LCD/LED is the way to go and plasma cannot compete with that kind of light output. If you want a natural, less eye straining picture go plasma. I loved my first plasma so much, i have since bought a second.


You didn't give any sort of budget, but i have been recommending the ST30 series from Panasonic. Its a great TV and offers a ton of value for the money.


Mike
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by clark17 /forum/post/20836855


The room is pretty sunny in the morning, even my CRT is suffering . . . ,

CRT's are terrible in sunlight. Plasmas suffer from some glare issues as well, but in my experience are not nearly as bad as CRT's.

Quote:
Originally Posted by clark17 /forum/post/20836855


To fix this I’m planning to install some black-out curtains. Around noon sun goes away from the room and it is not an issue.

When I had a CRT, we had an outside awning installed to reduce glare. We had to use it constantly with the CRT -- virtually every time we watched TV in the morning up until mid-day. With my Panasonic plasma, I only use it intermittently when I'm watching something very closely and want to eliminate any glare whatsoever.

Quote:
Originally Posted by clark17 /forum/post/20836855


With a lot of lights on in Costco warehouse and some LCD TVs around, the plasma looked very grayish and dim… I know LCD panels are brighter and plasma’s do not fair well in well lit room…. So is this just brain playing tricks on me, environment setup or reality? I just do not want to go into trouble of ordering it online and drag it back to Costco…..grrrr…

The LCD's always look better in Costco than the plasmas. I recently had a friend tell me I was crazy for buying a plasma, as he saw a plasma and an LED-LCD in Costco, and the plasma looked washed out and gray, while the LCD looked vivid. I told him to go to BB to look at the sets in Magnolia, which is more representative of what a typical viewing environment would be. He called me a week later and said he went to BB and spent a lot of time looking at the LED-LCD and the plasmas on the exact same source material, and came away convinced that the plasma was much more realistic and the LED-LCD looked too artificial. He said he understood why people like plasmas and said he decided I was not crazy -- at least based on my choice of plasma.



P.S. I have an LCD in another room, which I like very much. Both technologies are capable of producing a very good picture, and preference plays a large part. I just wanted to point out that plasma's do not have a washed out or dull picture, and that the Costco environment is really a bad place to do a serious comparison of the respective technologies in terms of PQ.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks guys,


I would be paying $699CDN for Sammy 720P... i would like to stick with costco due to their return policy (just in case) and extened to 2 years warranty. Also I live in Canada where the prices are a "little" pricier... My other option if I recall is panny 720P x3 I believe for $750CDN or 1080P Sammy 1080P for $880 or something like that... if you can find me something better at Future Shop or Best Buy I might consider...


I could be wrong but when comparing LG plasma's at Costco, at least to my eye Samsung had better blacks... Also I found Panasonic 720P to be very green tinted when playing some demos (most likely setup issue)...
 

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The expensive sets tend to have good antireflective filtering that gives impressive blacks in a bright enivorment. However, in a dim room the black level is equal or in some cases worse than the D450. In a controlled dim room this set is absolutely great. Also because it i has a gamma option (uncommon on cheap sets) you can adjust it to the brightness in the room. Of course, this will not give a good black level during the day (that is impossible without a good filter) but you will see all the details etc. in the picture.


Sure it is reflective, but not as reflective as a CRT.


The way I see it, sure it may be better to buy a set that works good in a bright room. But you are gonna have to pay AT LEAST twice as much to get a set that has good filtering and is equally good in other aspects.


The LGs are typically good sets, but they tend to have lag issues (which is extremly bad for Wii gaming) and you thus need to be careful and look into which model has good input lag and which do not.


I do not want to comment on the Panasonics becuase the models (well the names anyway) are very diffrent in the US and Europe and I might just get things confused. However, they tend to be good choices. But the anti-reflective coating is only good on the really expensive models.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks Grimmy for your input and I think I'll go for it... the worst case scenario I'll just return it...


if it is not too much too ask please repost your plasma settings that would work best for my setup and needs.


thanks so much... :p
 
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