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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As with the majority of posts, this is another one of those: "I CAN'T DECIDE" posts. Here's what I have and what I'm trying to do.


I currently have a Hitachi 51UWX20B CRT/RPTV. It's about 6-7 years old. Professionally calibrated and actually still looks really good. But; almost everything thing I've read; including forum posts; most people say that even though my CRT/RPTV is at the top of it's game and couldn't look much better; that a newer model LCD/Plasma would still be a really good improvement. Here I am asking about Plasma. I asked the same question however in the LCD forum where I'm also considering a Sammy 650 lcd.


So; I like the idea of the TH50PZ85u and the TH50PZ800u. From what I've read, I like it. Of course Circuit City is terrible place to really check them out. The price is a little high on the 800u; ($2200); but I can get the 85u for about $1599.99. (Circuit City Prices). Them and sears, Samsclub is all I have here.


The other choice; from what I've read and the great price; is the Vizio 50" XVT plasma. Supposedly, it may be an option here soon. Now I've never really been a low budget manufacturer buyer, but the XVT seems to definitely have some good things about it. From what I've seen of the Samsungs, I don't like their plasma. I like their LCD, just not their plasma. If it's between the vizio and the 85u, I think the price difference is small enough to stick with the better known Panny brand. However; the $600 difference in price to the 800u is also compelling.


I think the problem is so many people try and say that there isn't any real difference between the 85u and the 800u except for THX (Which can be taken care of with a decent calibration); and a few extra bells and whistles. That the picture quality is the same. If that is true; then the answer is to get the 85u. If there is a big difference between the 85u and 800u; then is the Vizio a viable option?


In the plasma world; the Panasonic is really the only choice in my opinion. I don't like the Samsung and the Pioneer is too expensive. Panny seems the only way. In the LCD world, the choices open up quite a bit more With Samsung, Certain Sony's, Sharp, LG,etc... I'm still not 100% sure if I should go plasma or LCD; but I'm trying to at least narrow it down. Thanks Mike.....
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christcorp /forum/post/15527494


As with the majority of posts, this is another one of those: "I CAN'T DECIDE" posts. Here's what I have and what I'm trying to do.


I currently have a Hitachi 51UWX20B CRT/RPTV. It's about 6-7 years old. Professionally calibrated and actually still looks really good. But; almost everything thing I've read; including forum posts; most people say that even though my CRT/RPTV is at the top of it's game and couldn't look much better; that a newer model LCD/Plasma would still be a really good improvement.

A new TV will look much sharper than your CRT. Off-axis viewing will be much better if you get a plasmas and perhaps a little better with an LCD. ANSI contrast will be much better with either an LCD or plasma. Most likely you would prefer the look of a new technology TV.

Quote:
So; I like the idea of the TH50PZ85u and the TH50PZ800u. From what I've read, I like it. Of course Circuit City is terrible place to really check them out. The price is a little high on the 800u; ($2200); but I can get the 85u for about $1599.99. (Circuit City Prices). Them and sears, Samsclub is all I have here.

I think you can do better.

Quote:
I think the problem is so many people try and say that there isn't any real difference between the 85u and the 800u except for THX (Which can be taken care of with a decent calibration); and a few extra bells and whistles.

Unfortunately a calibration isn't going to make the 85u look like the 800. About the only thing that can be changed is the color temperature. The color points and color decoder are not adjustable at all.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisherbert /forum/post/15528786


A new TV will look much sharper than your CRT. Off-axis viewing will be much better if you get a plasmas and perhaps a little better with an LCD. ANSI contrast will be much better with either an LCD or plasma. Most likely you would prefer the look of a new technology TV.




I think you can do better.




Unfortunately a calibration isn't going to make the 85u look like the 800. About the only thing that can be changed is the color temperature. The color points and color decoder are not adjustable at all.

how do you know a calibration wont make an 85u look like an 800u? did you design the panels? do you own both? i wouldn't go with vizio just yet, you should wait for next year's model's if you're going to get vizio, they look promising..... i would go with the 85u, being the 800u is the better tv, i cant justify paying that much more....if you like the 85u, i suggest you get it here

http://www.amazon.com/Panasonic-Vier...730150&sr=8-1#
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeyraw /forum/post/15529085


how do you know a calibration wont make an 85u look like an 800u? did you design the panels? do you own both? i wouldn't go with vizio just yet, you should wait for next year's model's if you're going to get vizio, they look promising..... i would go with the 85u, being the 800u is the better tv, i cant justify paying that much more....if you like the 85u, i suggest you get it here

http://www.amazon.com/Panasonic-Vier...730150&sr=8-1#

Okay, show me the color decoder and color management system on the pz80 that will give it accurate colors. There isnt one. Just color temperature controls.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I appreciate all the suggestions. I prefer NOT to order online if possible. I've had issues in the past where an item is delivered and it didn't work out of the box. Of course, there's the PITA to return it and get a new on. I understand the issues later with warranty; but opening the box and it having problems is something that boils my blood. I'd rather go to a B&M store so I can take it RIGHT BACK if there's an issue. As I said; I have Sams Club, Circuit City, Sears to work with. i can drive about 50 miles and go to a best buy; but that's pretty useless when Circuit City will match their prices.


Now; as far the as the 80u goes. That's only about $100 less than the 85u, so that doesn't seem practical. The 800u is running about $500-$600 more than the 85u. I'd have no problem paying more if I was convinced that the 800u was worth the difference. So far it seems that other than THX, most of the difference in the 800u is in cosmetics and extra hdmi; and other non-important things. And I really do believe that a good calibration can compensate for the THX mode of the 800u. I've calibrated a lot of CRT/RPTV; but never an LCD or Plasma. But I do know that they can make a world of difference.


Of course; my other possibilities in all this is the LN52A650 Samsung LCD, The vizio plasma I mentioned; and the Vizio 47" LCD. This brings the prices from a low of $1298 for the Vizio LCD to $1599 for the Panny 85u to $1899 for the Sammy 52" 650; to $2200 for the Panny 800u. After some other reviews; I think the Vizio plasma might not be the best financial choice. But this definitely gets to be confusing.


Of course; it get's worse when there's others who say that my calibrated crt/rptv will have better blacks and motion than any of the flat panels. That it will do SD better than the flat panels. And that other than a little bit more sharpness and contrast, I won't really gain anything and will be wasting money. Argggggggg. Makes paying for the kid's college a breeze compared to these decisions. Thanks.... Mike.....
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christcorp /forum/post/15530357


Now; as far the as the 80u goes. That's only about $100 less than the 85u, so that doesn't seem practical. The 800u is running about $500-$600 more than the 85u. I'd have no problem paying more if I was convinced that the 800u was worth the difference. So far it seems that other than THX, most of the difference in the 800u is in cosmetics and extra hdmi; and other non-important things. And I really do believe that a good calibration can compensate for the THX mode of the 800u. I've calibrated a lot of CRT/RPTV; but never an LCD or Plasma. But I do know that they can make a world of difference.

The Panasonics have a small fraction of the calibration controls that most CRTs had. You can do the standard adjustments (contrast, brightness, tint, color) in the user menu and color temperature (RGB gain/cut) in the service menu. That's it. No color management system, no overscan adjustment, etc.


Now you may not care about the difference between the pz80/85 and the 800 (I probably wouldn't pay an extra $400 for it either), but the reality is that you can't make those cheaper models look like THX mode on the 800. It's simply impossible.


Note that this isn't true of all plasmas. Samsungs, LGs and to an extent the Pioneer Elite have extensive controls that allow much more adjustment of the picture.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisherbert /forum/post/15529948


Okay, show me the color decoder and color management system on the pz80 that will give it accurate colors. There isnt one. Just color temperature controls.

To be completely fair adjusting the drv's and cut's will help alot with the 80/85u's.

Also, isn't it true that in THX mode the 800u is lower in contrast?(albeit with accurate colors)
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by E-A-G-L-E-S /forum/post/15531609


To be completely fair adjusting the drv's and cut's will help alot with the 80/85u's.

Also, isn't it true that in THX mode the 800u is lower in contrast?(albeit with accurate colors)

Sure, but THX mode has way better color points than the 80/85 and there's nothing that can be done about that.


Yeah I think the peak brightness is lower in THX mode.
 

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always a give an take with TVs


The truth is, even the mighty 800u needs additional calibration to get it appropriate for your lighting environment.


More accurate colors doesn't mean squat to most people. People don't enjoy real life representations, e.g. straight raw from DSLRs. They want enhancements - satuated colors that pop, intense contrast,etc, i.e. better than real life (eg. Post processed photos)...This is why the lower rated 6020 in the enhanced Optimum mode gets alot more attention at my local store than the 58" Panny 800u in THX mode with the more accurate and realistic colors.


....And about the Vizio 505xvt.... that's a great price for this TV. You won't get a better value than that in the plasma world...and I get the impression that even Cnet agrees.


You know Vizio is playing a very good game against the big boys, is here to stay, gaining market share, offers a great warrenty service and supplies spare parts for after warrenty... so, it's just as good a buy as the big boys in my books....Unless you're trying to be an elitist.


But, Look at Bernard Madoff ...a Political Science graduate from a lowly college who rocked the entire financial investment world filled with elitists....(translated: stole all their money, more than 50 billion).


Leason learned: elitists always get burned.
 

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Just bought one of these VP505 and was impressed with the color and black level especially for this price range of plasma.


The only thing that I'm not happy about is the annoying video noise this set generates with 1080p material. Some sets do better on plasma video noise than others and this 505 just annoys me during dark scenes.


Tried turning the sharpness down to compensate but that cuts down the definition!
 

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^^^^

That's actually surprising. The REON chip is supposed to manage the noise..


You mentioned 1080p, so that's likely BD, or rips..


Also, some BDs are noisy...


Did you try mutiple BDs/rips, or even a different player?


Only reason I'm asking is because reviews never mentioned anything about exessive noise
 

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That was with Planet Earth (BBC version @ 1080p) playing through a panny bd35 - the scenes from the cave episodes was really bad. On the other hand, the jungle scenes were decent but regardless, the noise is there.


Tried regular dvd, nosie is better (same scenes in Planet Earth) though.


BTW, the 505 was in the Cinema mode with contrast turned down to 32 (viewing from a very dimly lit source in the back of the panel) with brightness at 48. CTI - off, Flesh tone -off, Luma-off. Color temp at normal.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jason34wx50 /forum/post/15532437


That was with Planet Earth (BBC version @ 1080p) playing through a panny bd35 - the scenes from the cave episodes was really bad. On the other hand, the jungle scenes were decent but regardless, the noise is there.


Tried regular dvd, nosie is better (same scenes in Planet Earth) though.


BTW, the 505 was in the Cinema mode with contrast turned down to 32 (viewing from a very dimly lit source in the back of the panel) with brightness at 48. CTI - off, Flesh tone -off, Luma-off. Color temp at normal.

Those scenes are just noisy, that's in the original source. By the way, you most likely should turn your sharpness down all the way. On most newer sets that doesn't blur the image, it just turns off all edge enhancement.
 

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The Vizio seems like a great deal, has great specs, etc. I just worry that the standard poor Vizio build quality will reveal itself in either short lifespan or bugs. I haven't heard of any problems with the 505 yet, which is encouraging. If they are solidly built then I'd say they are a great choice.
 

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Keep in my mind that not everyone likes THX mode. I definitely don't think it's worth it for an extra $400. I'm perfectly happy with Cinema mode on my 80u. I couldn't imagine the picture being any better.
 

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^^^^


Just did some reseach and....

appearently some copies/chapters of Planet Earth are unacceptably noisy due to manufacturing/encoding.

link 1

link 2


You should try several different movie BDs to confirm.


You're also going to see artifacts with regular DVDs on any 50" plasma, potentially less so with this one.


Just for groins and goggles, try the noise reduction modes...
 

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The actual build quality isn't poor. Amtron who build Vizios are also OEM contractors for 1st tier companies with famous S and P names - this is a smaller world than you were led to believe.


The hardware components are essentially the same as everybody else with the exception of cabinet style and more importantly; the processor which is proprietary to the brands which is why certian high end software features are missing like 48hz/72hz, THX, CMS, media, internet and etc. But Vizio is coming out with their own processor with some of these features later this year.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisherbert /forum/post/15532533


The Vizio seems like a great deal, has great specs, etc. I just worry that the standard poor Vizio build quality will reveal itself in either short lifespan or bugs. I haven't heard of any problems with the 505 yet, which is encouraging. If they are solidly built then I'd say they are a great choice.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yahwey /forum/post/15532811


The actual build quality isn't poor. Amtron who build Vizios are also OEM contractors for 1st tier companies with famous S names - this is a smaller world than you were led to believe.


The hardware components are essentially the same as everybody else with the exception of cabinet style and more importantly; the processor which is proprietary to the brands which is why certian high end software features are missing like 48hz/72hz, THX, CMS, media, internet and etc. But Vizio is coming out with their own processor with some of these features later this year.

In the past the build quality has been poor. And yes, they do use the same hardware components as the big guys. But as the former owner of a Vizio, I think there's a decent chance they'll manage to screw something up.
 
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