I took the plunge on an HDTV

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I took the plunge on an HDTV

Postposted on Mon Sep 28, 2009 11:58 pm

Been using a 32" Sharp analog CRT television for the last few years. Just purchased what seemed to me like a sweetheart of a deal at Sears. 50" Panasonic 1080p plasma with Xbox 360 Pro, bundled together for $999. Obviously, I wanted the TV, and was planning to get the Xbox anyway to play Madden 2010 on. I had seen some good 42" and 46" LCD HDTVs for around $650-$800, but thought my purchase was still pretty darn good. Any thoughts on the display or the price? To be honest, although I am extremely picky about computer hardware, generally most TVs please me regardless of the reviews. :D

The TV:
http://reviews.cnet.com/flat-panel-tvs/panasonic-tc-p50s1/4505-6482_7-33490479.html
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Re: I took the plunge on an HDTV

Postposted on Tue Sep 29, 2009 2:14 am

I'm not too familiar with Panny displays but seems like a pretty good deal to me. Enjoy it, and get some good but cheap HDMI cables from monoprice.
When i shopped around for my LCD (or when i shop around for anything) i always price match with Amazon as they are almost always the cheapest option ("No tax" in CA + free shipping).
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Re: I took the plunge on an HDTV

Postposted on Wed Sep 30, 2009 7:28 am

To me, if I were to get a LCD TV it will have to be at least 120Hz with LED backlighting to make me happy with the IQ. Those TVs unfortunately are still much more expensive than a Panny plasma, hence my choice of last year's 46" TH80PZ. This year's model looks a bit better on the specs side and power consumption has improved (LCD still rules in that department but I don't quite care as much).

Edit: oops, didn't see you got it already. What if people say no? :P
Last edited by Flying Fox on Wed Sep 30, 2009 8:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: I took the plunge on an HDTV

Postposted on Wed Sep 30, 2009 7:59 am

You made the right choice and got an excellent deal. Plasmas are still better than LCDs for black level and contrast ratio; the picture is very close to CRT quality.

I bought a 42" Samsung plasma about two years ago and love it. I chose it over the 42" Panny because of the amount of inputs and massive tweaking options of the picture.
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Re: I took the plunge on an HDTV

Postposted on Wed Sep 30, 2009 11:07 am

Flying Fox wrote:Edit: oops, didn't see you got it already. What if people say no? :P


I would want to read about better options, then check them out, either to see what I was missing, or to be glad on money saved. Also hoping to hear from somebody with a similar unit who was happy with it.
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Re: I took the plunge on an HDTV

Postposted on Wed Sep 30, 2009 11:36 am

This is actually the model I was looking at. You got a great deal. BestBuy is selling the same unit for $1200. The best thing about Panasonics is their lack of lag. The game mode also helps a lot in this regard, but game mode or not the Pannys have the lowest lag of large screen HDTVs. The only problems with this unit, as well as all plasmas of this size, are energy use (if you care about that), heat, and weight. I worry about the weight because I move a lot and 75 lbs up and down stairs can be a bear.
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Re: I took the plunge on an HDTV

Postposted on Wed Sep 30, 2009 11:36 am

From one Panny owner to another: you got a great deal.
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Re: I took the plunge on an HDTV

Postposted on Wed Sep 30, 2009 11:42 am

Very good deal. I picked up a 50" Samsung Plasma 720p about a year ago now for $850 shipped from Amazon, and every one of my friends with an LCD comments on how the picture absolutely blows their LCDs out of the water. Plasma is the way to go, at least for the time being. In a year or two, maybe that will change... esp since a lot of manufacturers are no longer producing plasma displays for whatever reason. Pioneer has halted production on the Kuro displays, which is a shame as they were widely considered the best display money can buy.
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Re: I took the plunge on an HDTV

Postposted on Wed Sep 30, 2009 11:57 am

Corrado wrote:Plasma is the way to go, at least for the time being. In a year or two, maybe that will change... esp since a lot of manufacturers are no longer producing plasma displays for whatever reason. Pioneer has halted production on the Kuro displays, which is a shame as they were widely considered the best display money can buy.


I heard the same things from a good friend. I had always stayed away from plasmas, based on outdated notions of screen burn-in and short lifespan. But now, those problems seem to have disappeared. Although a plasma may not be as bright as an LCD, I typically dial the brightness down, anyway, and would prefer better blacks instead. As for energy consumption, I always enjoy a lower electric bill, but don't use my TV enough to really notice (it's on for maybe 4-6 hours a week at most).
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Re: I took the plunge on an HDTV

Postposted on Wed Sep 30, 2009 12:28 pm

I'm pretty happy with my 42" Pan plasma that we got last winter. I'd rather have gotten an LED-backlit LCD, but those were much too expensive.
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Re: I took the plunge on an HDTV

Postposted on Wed Sep 30, 2009 1:19 pm

Spyder22446688 wrote:I heard the same things from a good friend. I had always stayed away from plasmas, based on outdated notions of screen burn-in and short lifespan. But now, those problems seem to have disappeared. Although a plasma may not be as bright as an LCD, I typically dial the brightness down, anyway, and would prefer better blacks instead. As for energy consumption, I always enjoy a lower electric bill, but don't use my TV enough to really notice (it's on for maybe 4-6 hours a week at most).
That's pretty much what my standard advice is for people. If they are in an apartment and they do watch TV during the day with sunlight seeping through, plasmas may not be so good. But if you don't have that problem, plasma blows the non-LED LCDs out the water in terms of IQ.

As for image retention, I do the "debatable urban legend" and put my unit through ~100 hours of "breaking in". Even within that 100 hours I watch regular programs all the time and only switching to the break-in DVD when I am not. I did plug in a Win7 PC to the TV at one point (post break-in) and even at 1 minute screensaver interval, sometimes I do see some retention, but nothing the anti-retention moving bar feature or <30 minutes of break-in DVD won't solve.
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Re: I took the plunge on an HDTV

Postposted on Fri Oct 02, 2009 4:46 pm

I got a 42" 1080p Westinghouse from a guy on Craigslist for $400. What an amazing step up from the 22" 1080p monitor I'm using at work.
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Re: I took the plunge on an HDTV

Postposted on Fri Oct 02, 2009 4:50 pm

So Spyder, what's your impression of the Panny so far?
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Re: I took the plunge on an HDTV

Postposted on Fri Oct 02, 2009 6:15 pm

bdwilcox wrote:So Spyder, what's your impression of the Panny so far?


It's fantastic. The picture is great, setup was easy, and the speakers were not nearly as terrible as I had expected.

The screen is slightly glossy (not a matte finish), but there is minimal reflection, and does not bother me in the slightest. Colors are sharp, and the viewing angle is wide.

My big concern is about the potential for image burn-in. Like I mentioned, the TV came with an Xbox, and I intend to play a bunch of Madden football. There is a great EA Sports logo on a static spot on the screen. I plan to play for hours at a time. How concerned should I be? Is burn-in a myth, should I be breaking in the TV, etc?
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Re: I took the plunge on an HDTV

Postposted on Fri Oct 02, 2009 6:30 pm

Burn-in isn't a myth but it seems plasmas have two types of burn-in: temporary and permanent. Temporary comes from static images that sit there for a short while and leave a light afterimage. This type of burn-in is temporary. Permanent burn-in comes from the extended display of static images like you would see on airport terminal displays and this is permanent.

From the C-Net article you linked to:

Panasonic also offers ways to avoid temporary image retention, aka burn-in, and address it should it occur. A pixel orbiter slowly shifts the image around the screen, and you can elect to have it happen either automatically or in user-set periodic intervals. You can choose bright or dark gray bars alongside 4:3 programs. And if you do see some burn-in, chances are the scrolling bar function, which sweeps a white bar across a black screen, will clear it up after a while.

As for break-in, most manufacturer's have their own recommendations, but many people elect to use free break-in disks you can download from the Internet in order to ensure the best break-in possible.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=583089
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Re: I took the plunge on an HDTV

Postposted on Fri Oct 02, 2009 8:01 pm

Flying Fox wrote:As for image retention, I do the "debatable urban legend" and put my unit through ~100 hours of "breaking in". Even within that 100 hours I watch regular programs all the time and only switching to the break-in DVD when I am not. I did plug in a Win7 PC to the TV at one point (post break-in) and even at 1 minute screensaver interval, sometimes I do see some retention, but nothing the anti-retention moving bar feature or <30 minutes of break-in DVD won't solve.

bdwilcox wrote:As for break-in, most manufacturer's have their own recommendations, but many people elect to use free break-in disks you can download from the Internet in order to ensure the best break-in possible.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=583089


I post too much so people don't pay attention anymore? :o :-? :roll: :P
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Re: I took the plunge on an HDTV

Postposted on Fri Oct 02, 2009 8:03 pm

Flying Fox wrote:I post too much so people don't pay attention anymore? :o :-? :roll: :P

I'm sorry, did somebody say something? :P
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Re: I took the plunge on an HDTV

Postposted on Sat Oct 03, 2009 3:22 pm

Flying Fox wrote:I post too much so people don't pay attention anymore? :o :-? :roll: :P


I apologize. I guess I just wanted more conversation on the subject.
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Re: I took the plunge on an HDTV

Postposted on Wed Nov 18, 2009 1:54 pm

If only plasmas didn't have those headache inducing yellow/blue streaks, I'd be all over them. Cheaper than LCD per inch, better viewing angles, temporal resolution, screen uniformity, and blacks. LCDs generally appear sharper to the eye (this is mostly due to pixel structure, I believe) and give off less heat. Even cheaper LCDs have fairly impressive blacks these days (when viewed dead on, anyway), so plasmas don't have quite the trump there that they used to, but most folks wouldn't notice the difference unless it was a side by side comparison.
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Re: I took the plunge on an HDTV

Postposted on Wed Nov 18, 2009 2:04 pm

So far, I love my Plasma. Madden 2010 looks fantastic on it. Although the screen is right next to a large window, I have no issues with brightness, despite warnings to the contrary. Viewing angles are superb, and blacks are black. I have noticed no yellow/blue streaks, although haven't been looking for them.

My only gripe is the fear about screen burn-in. Prior to buying the screen, I operated under the assumption the screen burn-in was no longer an issue. I have since spent about 75 hours using the "screen burn-in DVD," and have enabled Panasonic's built-in "anti-burn" technology. However, I still worry that I will come home drunk, turn on a video game, pass out, and awake two days later to find an "EA Sports" logo burned into the screen. Sure, the screen is allegedly supposed to power down after three hours and do some other anti-burn things. But what if I decide to watch ESPN every evening for 100 days straight? Will the logo burn in? These things keep me up at night.
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Re: I took the plunge on an HDTV

Postposted on Wed Nov 18, 2009 3:19 pm

Spyder22446688 wrote:However, I still worry that I will come home drunk, turn on a video game, pass out, and awake two days later to find an "EA Sports" logo burned into the screen. Sure, the screen is allegedly supposed to power down after three hours and do some other anti-burn things. But what if I decide to watch ESPN every evening for 100 days straight? Will the logo burn in? These things keep me up at night.

That would happen with CRTs too, so it's not that different? ;)
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Re: I took the plunge on an HDTV

Postposted on Wed Nov 18, 2009 3:32 pm

Flying Fox wrote:That would happen with CRTs too, so it's not that different? ;)


Good God, I'm glad you didn't tell me that back when I owned a CRT. I thought the problem with CRT burn-in had been resolved a decade ago. Next thing I know, people are going to be telling me even crazier things, like that computer power supplies drop efficiency and power output with time.
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Re: I took the plunge on an HDTV

Postposted on Wed Nov 18, 2009 3:37 pm

Spyder22446688 wrote:Been using a 32" Sharp analog CRT television for the last few years. Just purchased what seemed to me like a sweetheart of a deal at Sears. 50" Panasonic 1080p plasma with Xbox 360 Pro, bundled together for $999. Obviously, I wanted the TV, and was planning to get the Xbox anyway to play Madden 2010 on. I had seen some good 42" and 46" LCD HDTVs for around $650-$800, but thought my purchase was still pretty darn good. Any thoughts on the display or the price? To be honest, although I am extremely picky about computer hardware, generally most TVs please me regardless of the reviews. :D

The TV:
http://reviews.cnet.com/flat-panel-tvs/panasonic-tc-p50s1/4505-6482_7-33490479.html


Eh, I went 1080P front projected to a 130" screen... :D
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Re: I took the plunge on an HDTV

Postposted on Wed Nov 18, 2009 4:12 pm

jinjuku wrote:Eh, I went 1080P front projected to a 130" screen... :D
I've dabbled in FP. If you have enough space, enough time, enough money, a way to route cables, enough patience, and enough light control, front projection is very nice. And DVDs will look pretty awful at 130", so that's another downside.
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Re: I took the plunge on an HDTV

Postposted on Wed Nov 18, 2009 7:55 pm

Vrock wrote:
jinjuku wrote:Eh, I went 1080P front projected to a 130" screen... :D
I've dabbled in FP. If you have enough space, enough time, enough money, a way to route cables, enough patience, and enough light control, front projection is very nice. And DVDs will look pretty awful at 130", so that's another downside.
All we need is more catalog titles on Blu to address that last concern :)

The space thing cuts both ways. A big display always needs a lot of space, and FP screens can be space-efficient. Time/money/cable-routing/patience are all as related to your level of analness and particular situation as anything else. You can exhaust them all setting up pretty much anything that you want "just right". FP certainly gives you the opportunity/excuse to go overboard on all of them and raises the ceiling, though. Light-control is what it is - FP needs it, but on the bright side it forces you to be aware of things you should pay attention to anyway.

FP's certainly a high-tradeoff option.
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