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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello to all as I am new around here. Excellent site with way too much information!
I've been prowling the threads and have a learned quite a bit. Enough to get me in trouble anyway. I have been away from home this last year and am looking forward to purchasing my first plasma when I return next month. I am truly getting a bit of information overload as I weigh the various choices, so I could use some advice from the members at large.


Here is what I want out of this plasma: a great viewing experience. Too easy, right? Not the best (can't afford that), but something I will not complain about. The thing is, I am starting to get too wrapped up in pixels, processing, chips, gamma ray this, black level that. Shew! How do I really choose? I'm just a regular guy that wants a good all-around TV. Movies, sports, sitcoms, and news are all on the menu. So I am not looking for the "best" - only some really good mid-range choices, and even the occasional low end steal.


Here are a few details on my setup:

1. 8-13 foot viewing distance in my family room.

2. Looking at a 50 inch plasma.

3. Will sometimes play games (well, my kids will) and use for computer output.

4. Trying to keep cost low (or mid-line reasonable). Say, 2K, but will spend more to get the better picture (if that makes sense; no use paying for a poor experience).

5. Not averse to last years model, if they can still be found.

6. Not concerned about brand names.


Here is what my research has turned up. This is only mildly accounts for budget limitations, nor is it exhaustive. I recognize that Panasonic, Pioneer and Samsung lead the way, but LG is sometimes mentioned and the Vizio 505 is highly anticipated. I expect every model line has at least one TV that is super and sometimes even a "best buy."


2008 Model choices:


Panasonic TH-50PZ800U

Pioneer PDP-5080HD

Samsung PN50A550

Vizio VP505F (is this new Vizio as good as a 2007 P, P or S?)



2007 Model choices:


Samsung 5084

Pioneer PDP-LX508D

Panasonic TH-50PZ700U

Samsung HP-S5073


Thanks in advance for any advice or comments.
 

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Well if the 2008 models fall within your budget, and all those models also fall within your budget, then go with the Pioneer. It will probably be the most expensive but it seems to have made your cut.
 

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If your sign-in name and info indicate what I think they do, thank you.


As for your question. I agree with the previous poster that if the Pioneer 5080 falls in your budget, grab it and don't look back. The Panasonic 800u is also well-regarded. I'm not as familiar with Samsung or Vizio models.


If you tend to watch a lot of standard-definition TV and DVDs, typically the models on the higher end of your budget will feature better video processing, which is what helps to deinterlace and upscale the 480i/p signals to its native 720p or 1080p display. Both the Pioneer and Panasonic do pretty well at this. They both should look stunning to you with high-definition sources.


If this is your first foray into HD TV's, honestly anything you get should serve you well. It would have been different 4 or 5 years ago, but things have improved and are typically more consistent. As you get a more critical eye and understand what better black level, more user control settings, etc. can do for you and your picture, then you'll be able to decide more easily for your SECOND set.
 

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Pioneer and Panasonic are both very good.


My only advice is not to use a plasma as a computer monitor. A static image for a long amount of time isn't good.


Many stores will allow you to bring in rabbit ears (they might even have them inside the store) so you can see what OTA HD looks like. Sometimes this is better than watching a blue ray player or some loop.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by RomeoTango /forum/post/14272169


Hello to all as I am new around here. Excellent site with way too much information!
I've been prowling the threads and have a learned quite a bit. Enough to get me in trouble anyway. I have been away from home this last year and am looking forward to purchasing my first plasma when I return next month. I am truly getting a bit of information overload as I weigh the various choices, so I could use some advice from the members at large.


Here is what I want out of this plasma: a great viewing experience. Too easy, right? Not the best (can't afford that), but something I will not complain about. The thing is, I am starting to get too wrapped up in pixels, processing, chips, gamma ray this, black level that. Shew! How do I really choose? I'm just a regular guy that wants a good all-around TV. Movies, sports, sitcoms, and news are all on the menu. So I am not looking for the "best" - only some really good mid-range choices, and even the occasional low end steal.


Here are a few details on my setup:

1. 8-13 foot viewing distance in my family room.

2. Looking at a 50 inch plasma.

3. Will sometimes play games (well, my kids will) and use for computer output.

4. Trying to keep cost low (or mid-line reasonable). Say, 2K, but will spend more to get the better picture (if that makes sense; no use paying for a poor experience).

5. Not averse to last years model, if they can still be found.

6. Not concerned about brand names.


Here is what my research has turned up. This is only mildly accounts for budget limitations, nor is it exhaustive. I recognize that Panasonic, Pioneer and Samsung lead the way, but LG is sometimes mentioned and the Vizio 505 is highly anticipated. I expect every model line has at least one TV that is super and sometimes even a "best buy."


2008 Model choices:

Panasonic TH-50PZ800U

Pioneer PDP-5080HD

Samsung PN50A550


Vizio VP505F (is this new Vizio as good as a 2007 P, P or S?)



2007 Model choices:


Samsung 5084

Pioneer PDP-LX508D

Panasonic TH-50PZ700U

Samsung HP-S5073


Thanks in advance for any advice or comments.

Demo those guys and take it from there. Reason why I say demo, and don't just give you my opinion in which way to go, is simply because you cannot go wrong with any one of those.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Appreciate the quick answers thus far. I will demo the sets as soon as I have the opportunity. Narrowing down the field will be a huge timesaver for me (NCAA football will be fast approaching by the time I return home!). A cursory look at the lower end sets will assure me that I am not missing some "sleeper" deal of the century (that Vizio is being very much looked forward to by some).


schroedk - you're quite welcome


Computer use would be sparse.


Thanks for digging out those threads, omelet.


Regarding the 5080, that is a great comment to make a point on. If the 5080 was great and Pioneer has even better sets out, does the average joe really need the latest? Would I even appreciate the difference or the additional cash outlay?


Thanks guys.
 

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Also to add, I have 2 Panasonics in my current inventory. I do believe that the Pioneer has better processing just from viewing both the Panasonic and Pioneer. I went with Panasonic because I was willing to sacrifice a minor drop in PQ to get the 65 incher. Otherwise I would have went with Pioneer if they offered a 65" set. But size outweighed PQ for the small increment in improvement.
 

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I got my first plasma this week, a 50" Vizio VP504F and I'm very happy with the quality and it's beautiful! Easy on the eyes and my wallet.
 

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I wouldn't bother with any of the 2007 models except for maybe the 5080HD but it's 768p and that may be a problem at your closer viewing distance.


Of the 2008 models you listed, the Panasonic TH-50PZ800U or Samsung PN50A550 look to be the top choices, but i'd also consider the less expensive Panasonic TH-50PZ85U (which should look almost as good as the PZ800U), or the more expensive Pioneer PDP-5020HD if your budget would allow it.


Personally, my first choice would be the Pioneer PDP-5020HD, followed by the Panasonic TH-50PZ800U, the Panasonic TH-50PZ85U, then the Samsung PN50A550.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by nolanski /forum/post/14273542


One thing that you might consider at 12' 50" might be a bit on the small side when watching letterboxed movies.

..yep, the Samsung 58A550 would work then & at a reasonable price.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by RandyWalters /forum/post/14273506


I wouldn't bother with any of the 2007 models except for maybe the 5080HD but it's 768p and that may be a problem at your closer viewing distance.

8 - 13ft is a close viewing distance...?


I sit 6.5 - 7 feet from my 5080 and never had any problems.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mathesar /forum/post/14273578


8 - 13ft is a close viewing distance...? I sit 6.5 - 7 feet from my 5080 and never had any problems.

Yet for me, the SDE on an even smaller 4280HD is intolerable at my 8 foot viewing distance, which is why i did a complete 180 and bought the 42PZ700U instead. I think the SDE on a 50" 768p set at 8 feet would make my head explode



Everybody's eyesight and sensitivity to SDE is different so it's important for an individual to see if he can see the pixel structure at his viewing distance(s) before deciding between a 768p set and 1080p set. Now that there are so many 1080p choices, i would never buy a 768p set again. YMMV of course
 

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From 8 to 13 feet, if you're set on a 50" model, get the 5080. You won't see much, if any, benefit of 1080p from that distance. Having said that, I can't comment on whether you'll notice SDE as mentioned above.


I have a similar family room and went with the Samsung 58A550 for the extra 8" of viewing area and am quite happy. Black levels could be better (love the Pio's for that), but in terms of color accuracy (post calibration) and processing, the A550 is an incredible deal.
 

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need help with pioneer.can buy a 4280 display at mom and pop store. .it has been on display for 6 months with sd channels.would it be worth the price.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by RandyWalters /forum/post/14273681


Yet for me, the SDE on an even smaller 4280HD is intolerable at my 8 foot viewing distance, which is why i did a complete 180 and bought the 42PZ700U instead. I think the SDE on a 50" 768p set at 8 feet would make my head explode

Ah ok I guess you're a rare case then, I dont see any SDE unless im around 3 ft from the screen and my vision is 20/20.
 
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