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Old 04-13-2012, 11:00 PM   #1
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Question Plasma HDTV *WTB*

I just got my tax money and I'm looking for a decent Plasma HDTV for under $800 (shipped)
I'm getting rid of my Sceptre 46" 1080P LCD which I had for over 4 years...

I'm looking for...
1080P
40" - Bigger = better
3D would be nice but not a deal breaker
New or used

Where are the best deals online right now?

Thanks!
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Old 04-14-2012, 05:23 PM   #2
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Definitely go for a panasonic.
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Old 04-14-2012, 06:14 PM   #3
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This would be a good starting point.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16889187247

I dont know US sites but be worth scouting around for either cheaper version of this model, or see if you can find a ST/GT/VT model of last years Plasmas for a bargain price.
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Old 04-14-2012, 08:44 PM   #4
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You can get a 51in Samsung 550 in that price range. I have the pn59D550, easily the best bang for buck. Sammy and Panasonic both have great plasmas, and both have their own issues/qualities, so just get whichever gives you the biggest size for the money.

Keep an eye on Dell, as they almost always have the Sammy's on sale + coupon deals + free 3D glasses or extras, and affordable extended warranties. They will also negotiate the price with you if you call them and tell them someone else has it cheaper. When I got mine the cheapest I could find was at Amazon and they priced matched plus included two sets of glasses.


I also got the PN43E450 for $400 at hhgregg for a nice bedroom TV, and its also great for the money.


EDIT: Here you go,
http://www.ebay.com/itm/SAMSUNG-PN51...757#vi-content

Last edited by Cecil : 04-14-2012 at 08:52 PM.
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Old 04-14-2012, 10:44 PM   #5
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I suggest panasonic because they practically always have the best panel for the price, considering they own most of the patents on the technology (so every other brand has to pay them royalties to even make plasma panels). In terms of image quality, they've been at the head of the pack in plasma ever since pioneer left the plasma game--a decision made when they discovered they couldn't compete due to panasonic being able to manufacturer tv's cheaper yet at the same quality level, as panasonic caught up IQ wise with the last pioneer plasma TV's for less than 1/3rd of the price.
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Old 04-14-2012, 11:07 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dil-tech View Post
I suggest panasonic because they practically always have the best panel for the price, considering they own most of the patents on the technology (so every other brand has to pay them royalties to even make plasma panels). In terms of image quality, they've been at the head of the pack in plasma ever since pioneer left the plasma game--a decision made when they discovered they couldn't compete due to panasonic being able to manufacturer tv's cheaper yet at the same quality level, as panasonic caught up IQ wise with the last pioneer plasma TV's for less than 1/3rd of the price.
Like I said, Samsung and Panasonic are the top two Plasma makers. They are both esentially tied as of last year (2010 both had issues with the move to 3D, and 2009 and earlier Panasonic had a strong lead). 2011 they fixed all the issues that were gained from 3D, and now in 2012 they are just optimising from there, but nothing new has really been brought to the table.

Without standing next to an equal model from each company, you wouldnt know a difference, and even with side by side, each has their own strong points and not so strong points. Reliabilty is also about the same for each, and both issue regular updates when there are small issues.

So all there is to go by now is price, size, and features. No reason to get a 43in Panasonic over a 51in Samsung for the same price.

Also, the D550 can "unlock" to a D7000 if you know how to properly set 10pt white balance and other more in depth calibration settings.
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Old 04-15-2012, 02:45 PM   #7
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Go to Best Buy and compare the ones you are looking at and buy them online. With shipping costs for online purchases and coupons, it may actually make more sense to buy from Best Buy.

Pioneer had the best panels when they left the market a few years ago. Panasonic had good quality panels that were significantly cheaper, but they were far from the level of blacks seen in the Kuros. The Panny's looked a bit faded compared to LCDs and the Kuro, but with noticeably better color reproduction than an LCD. Samsung's panels were not good at the time. Things have probably changed and everyone has their own opinion, which is why I say go look for yourself.
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Old 04-15-2012, 11:59 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dil-tech View Post
Definitely go for a panasonic.
I have been wanting a Panasonic 65' VT30 for quite some time now, I imagine I'll have it in a year or so especially if the price keeps dropping.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WiCKeD View Post
Go to Best Buy and compare the ones you are looking at and buy them online. With shipping costs for online purchases and coupons, it may actually make more sense to buy from Best Buy.

Pioneer had the best panels when they left the market a few years ago. Panasonic had good quality panels that were significantly cheaper, but they were far from the level of blacks seen in the Kuros. The Panny's looked a bit faded compared to LCDs and the Kuro, but with noticeably better color reproduction than an LCD. Samsung's panels were not good at the time. Things have probably changed and everyone has their own opinion, which is why I say go look for yourself.
I have have a lot of "online research" reading a ton of reviews and viewing videos etc... and I've come to learn that Panasonic is favored above all other sets in terms of video quality.

But to be honest I haven't seen any in person though so I can't say they are the best for sure.

I am a videophile at heart and would really like to do a thorough in store comparison but I'm not certain it would help. I read that the stores usually tend to set the brightness and contrast settings to the max so they can compete with the sets next to them. Also the lighting conditions would have to be darker to truly make distinct differences.

But most importantly I'm on a budget, I initially ran through several scenarios from upgrading from my 46" Sceptre 1080P LCD to a equal or greater Plasma display. I almost pulled the trigger in a 55" Plasma from a local Craigslist ad, they wanted $450 but it was 720P I believe. But I gotta have 1080P...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cecil View Post
So all there is to go by now is price, size, and features. No reason to get a 43in Panasonic over a 51in Samsung for the same price.

Also, the D550 can "unlock" to a D7000 if you know how to properly set 10pt white balance and other more in depth calibration settings.
I agree.

That is very good to know, thanks.

I just submitted an offer for the D550 eBay ad for $728 I hope he accepts. I want to keep the price as low as possible but also don't want him to think I'm trying to lowball him.

Going from a 60hz 5+ year old LCD to a new 0.0001ms Plasma 3D display is gonna be sweet indeed.
I can't wait to have that bad boy calibrated on my Digital Video Essentials BD. It did wonders for my X46BV and my cousin's Toshiba HDTV. However I wouldn't mind that $300 investment into an ISF calibration in the future.

Good job on the link Cecil that's one sweet deal
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Old 04-16-2012, 12:07 AM   #9
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http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1323243

Just make sure you get the firmware updated if it needs it. The older ones had brightness pop issues, but the new ones fixed that. Only "issue" with it is buzzing, but all plasmas do that.
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Old 04-17-2012, 11:10 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cecil View Post
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1323243

Just make sure you get the firmware updated if it needs it. The older ones had brightness pop issues, but the new ones fixed that. Only "issue" with it is buzzing, but all plasmas do that.
Cool, will do. The seller accept my offer but increased the shipping price to $132. Normally I would object but this time I let it go because it's still a great deal imo.

I should receive it sometime this week or next.
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Old 04-17-2012, 12:38 PM   #11
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I bought a Panasonic P65ST30 to replace my aging Sony 55A3000 recently. The Sony was a fantastic tv in its own right, probably the best LCD rear projector ever made. The new Panasonic, when properly calibrated and viewed in a light controlled room, is head and shoulders above the older Sony when watching high quality HD sources (BD). Watched Blade Runner (HD-DVD), Star Wars Ep III, Alien Resurrection and Lord of the Rings, Return of the King (rest on BD) over the past couple of weekends and the experience was a revelation. I am never going to a theater again!

That being said, a Plasma TV sucks in a bright room. The image and colors look washed out, and the TV emphasizes defects in the source, even with well mastered DVD sources. Some channels from my TWC source look good (typically higher bitrate movie channels with fewer compression artifacts), but it makes bad sources look really bad. The Panasonic plasmas are ideal if you are a videophile and willing to take the time to calibrate the set and watch high quality content at night, or in a heavily curtained room.

EDIT: forgot to add that I paid $1,580 shipped for it from Amazon. The first unit was damaged (the panel was cracked), and Amazon shipped me a new one the next day and arranged for Saturday delivery (which is usually not included in the price).
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Old 04-20-2012, 07:49 AM   #12
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What ever you do, do not run that television in Dynamic mode. Te thing will burn in like a mofo. Samsung set up Dynamic mode to get people to buy it in the store and they have the **** things preset to dynamic out of the box, put it in standard, and turn the cell lighting down the set will be a little darker but it will run cooler and last longer. It's a good set but you need to put it on an ups that can output enough power for it, Samsung's PSU can't take any surges. Other than that trn off all of the "Motion enhancement" features, Dynamic Contrast, and you should be okay.

Also when you do decided to buy the large Panny, look at the VT next to the GT and the decide. Most people can't tell the difference and go with the GT because of the price difference.

Enjoy the new set,
--Phil

Quote:
Originally Posted by General Zod View Post
Cool, will do. The seller accept my offer but increased the shipping price to $132. Normally I would object but this time I let it go because it's still a great deal imo.

I should receive it sometime this week or next.
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Old 04-20-2012, 12:56 PM   #13
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What ever you do, do not run that television in Dynamic mode. Te thing will burn in like a mofo. Samsung set up Dynamic mode to get people to buy it in the store and they have the **** things preset to dynamic out of the box, put it in standard, and turn the cell lighting down the set will be a little darker but it will run cooler and last longer. It's a good set but you need to put it on an ups that can output enough power for it, Samsung's PSU can't take any surges. Other than that trn off all of the "Motion enhancement" features, Dynamic Contrast, and you should be okay.

Also when you do decided to buy the large Panny, look at the VT next to the GT and the decide. Most people can't tell the difference and go with the GT because of the price difference.

Enjoy the new set,
--Phil
While Movie mode is best for the set, dynamic will not burn in either. The models from 2010 from Samsung and Panasonic (I had a Panny briefly but returned it) had burn in issues do to switching the panel types for 3D. But the 2011 models fixed that.

Keep it on Dynamic, set brightness and contrast up all the way, and run break in slides for 50 hours when not watching it (I did mine when sleeping or not home). Ive left mine on desktop for litterly hours and the worse I ever got was a bit of image retention from my calendar gadget in the corner cause its mostly white. Ran the built in IR remover and it was gone in about 30 min.

People on AVS have tried to burn in recent plasmas but havent been able to.
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Old 04-22-2012, 03:32 PM   #14
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I have have a lot of "online research" reading a ton of reviews and viewing videos etc... and I've come to learn that Panasonic is favored above all other sets in terms of video quality.
Year+ old, but I doubt things have changed. Panasonic may be the best that is currently manufactured. Either way, I would take a Panasonic plasma over an LCD any day.
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Old 04-22-2012, 03:40 PM   #15
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http://reviews.cnet.com/2795-6482_7-688.html

Best overall TV of 2011 (so far): Samsung PND7000
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Old 04-25-2012, 11:27 PM   #16
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Year+ old, but I doubt things have changed. Panasonic may be the best that is currently manufactured. Either way, I would take a Panasonic plasma over an LCD any day.
I will definitely own a Panasonic VT30 65" in the future however I am thrilled to have my 1st Plasma HDTV display to be a Samsung, especially considering my old HDTV was a 5+ year old Sceptre LCD.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cecil View Post
http://reviews.cnet.com/2795-6482_7-688.html

Best overall TV of 2011 (so far): Samsung PND7000
If I can get my D550 to be a true D7000 then I have an amazing deal on my hands, especially knowing that it competes with my dream VT30 display.
The D7000 wins overall however the VT wins in picture quality and that reason alone still makes it my #1 choice... when I have the $$$ that is.
I like the fact that the D7000 wins in color, I can't wait to see how it competes with the VT.

Today I received a call the from shipping company letting me know that they will be delivering my baby in 1 hour. They finally arrive 1+ hours later, delivered it then the guy asked me to sign it off...
I said sure, right after I open the box. After opening the box I found all the items to be there... but after I removed the plasma (which is so sleek, light and beautiful btw) I went to power it on before signing on and then....boom!

There was a 8+ inch crack on the edge of the screen... yup I was irked but I refrained from getting too upset and refused the package. Hopefully they send one to me overnight or next day but what are the odds lol.

Oh well, I gotta wait a little bit more and endure haha
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Old 04-25-2012, 11:47 PM   #17
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That sucks, but at least you caught it before signing for it.

Changing it to a D7000 is just a simple setting in the service menu, and it unlocks the extra calibration settings. The screens are a bit different though, so its not going to be exactly the same. Also, you lose 1 HDMI port in doing so. If you have one HDMI device, you need two plugged in, if you have two, you need three plugged in, etc... One has to be a dummy plug.
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Old 04-27-2012, 02:03 AM   #18
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I am considering ordering a pair of nVidia 3D Vision 2 glasses however I am not 100% sure if it will work or if I will need separate glasses to use with my tv.

I am aiming to use these glasses for PC 3D gaming and Bluray 3D viewing. I have an Onkyo TX-NR609 which is compatible (according to the website). The site states support for the D550 as well.

Some ads claim that a nVidia based GPU card is required. I have an AMD HD6800 series...

I'd like some feedback before I make the buy though, are these glasses worth it or should I get 2 3D glasses for the same price but no 3D PC games support like nVidia supports?
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Old 04-27-2012, 05:36 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cecil View Post
http://reviews.cnet.com/2795-6482_7-688.html

Best overall TV of 2011 (so far): Samsung PND7000
So, even though the panasonic won the most important part, image quality, the samsung still was given the win?

That article was more-or-less written like it was an assignment given to a guy who really didn't want to cover it (it IS cnet after all), so he just did everything he could to make it seem legit.

I'm not saying the samsung is a bad TV, just that CNet is horrible for articles.


Quote:
Originally Posted by General Zod View Post
I am considering ordering a pair of nVidia 3D Vision 2 glasses however I am not 100% sure if it will work or if I will need separate glasses to use with my tv.

I am aiming to use these glasses for PC 3D gaming and Bluray 3D viewing. I have an Onkyo TX-NR609 which is compatible (according to the website). The site states support for the D550 as well.

Some ads claim that a nVidia based GPU card is required. I have an AMD HD6800 series...

I'd like some feedback before I make the buy though, are these glasses worth it or should I get 2 3D glasses for the same price but no 3D PC games support like nVidia supports?
No NVidia card, No NVidia 3d. Simple as that. Unfortunately AMD users are stuck with Tri-Def. Tri-Def isn't bad per-se, but its support leaves a lot to be desired in comparison to NVidia 3d Vision. Some games cannot be played with certain settings with AMD in 3d. A few examples I know of for sure (my brother uses tri-def) is RE5 took over 4 months to work in DX10 mode in 3d using tri-def, Metro 2033 didn't work in DX 11 last time I tried, shadows don't work properly in bulletstorm (which is a shame, bulletstorm is SERIOUSLY amazing to see in 3d)... It's definitely light years behind NVidia in terms of compatibility, but ahead of iz3d.

Not like it matters for you anyway, since even WITH nvidia you aren't going to get what you want out of a 3d TV. NO TV ON THE MARKET ACCEPTS 1080p@120 hz. HDMI standards lack the bandwidth for 1080p 120hz, and NVidia 3d requires 120hz to run. The TV may claim 120hz, but it cannot accept a 120hz signal, it's just displaying it at 120hz. What this means is with NVidia you'd be limited to 720p for 3d. Why no TV company has fixed this blatant issue (since hdmi 1.4a CLEARLY supports this) I will never know.

Tri-Def isn't going to give a full 1080p per eye either unfortunately. It's just not possible to get a 1080p picture on a TV where each eye gets a full 1920x1080 until a TV manufacturer gets SMART and releases a TV supporting 1080p@120hz via HDMI, or has a DL DVI input on it... If you wanna verify my statement just set your TV as your monitor and be prepared to throw a brick through it when it won't let you set it beyond 60 hz even though the box says 120hz.

Last edited by Dil-tech : 04-27-2012 at 05:49 AM.
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Old 04-27-2012, 10:24 AM   #20
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The D7000 won best TV because of price, features, IQ, style, etc... The IQ is so close, unless setting side by side you would never know one was different from the other. And when you compare the entry 1080P 3D sets like the D550, the Panasonic actually isnt quite as good in IQ to most people. The difference is small enough that it comes down to the sample you get since no two TVs of the same model are the same. They all have some variance.



Just get the ones for the actual TV. I have 4 pair, and they work great, and are cheap. The TV will even do its own 2D -> 3D conversion which actually works better then I expected (for TV / Movies, not so much games). Games that are actually 3D are hit or miss, some are crappy like GT5, and some are great like Crysis 2 or Gears Of War 3.

Never tried any PC games in 3D though.

http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-SSG-30...5540225&sr=8-1


Any TV that states 120Hz is just inserting its own false frames, which gives it the SOE (Soap Opera Effect) which is absolutly awful to watch. Just keep Cinema Smooth turned off and it will be just like a normal 60Hz TV. Plus, CS causes a rise in black level as well.

Last edited by Cecil : 04-27-2012 at 10:29 AM.
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