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Old 2011-11-10, 08:34 AM   #1
mnx
 
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Hi,

I'm moving in about a month and wanted to get your thoughts on a tv for my new place. It's a somewhat bright room, but most of our tv watching is done at night.

At this point I'm thinking 60" plasma (the price premium to go to ~65" is on the high side still). I don't care for 3d. Basically I want the largest screen size possible with the best picture quality for the best price. I've set the budget at an arbitrary $2000, but the less i spend the better. That way I can replace it when OLED comes out and not feel guilty. What are your thoughts on the following sets? I've scribbled down the best price I could find for each set locally beside it.

LG 60PV450 ~ $1300
- cons: CRsays the set is a little on the dim side.
- CR only gives it a very good rating on HD picture quality.
LG 60PZ550 ~ $1300
- cons: CR says "There was slight banding (unnatural contours) on scenes with subtly shaded light-to-dark areas, such as a sky during sunset, rather than a smooth transition in the shaded areas."

Panasonic TC-P60S30 ~ $1500
cons: would have to find a set manufactured after august to avoid fBR issue.
- CR says, "There was distinct banding (unnatural contours) on scenes with subtly shaded light-to-dark areas, such as a sky during sunset, rather than a smooth transition in the shaded areas."

Panasonic TC-P60ST30 ~$1900
- cons: CR says, "2d/3d content are both on the dim side"

Samsung PN59D550 ~$1500
- cons: CR says, "his TV did have some issues. Reflective screen can be annoying in bright lighting"
CR only gives it a very good rating on HD picture quality.

Samsung PN59D6500 ~ $1700 (online price, have to get it shipped)
- cons: CR says, "• Glossy, reflective screen
• Noise reduction causes visible blurring with standard-def content
• Image brightness on the dim side in 3D mode"

Based on what I've read on CR and elsewhere, the LG 60PZ550 seems like the best bang for the buck, it's probably my first choice at this point. It appears the Samsung PN59D6500 may have better PQ (no banding for example) but it's $400 more. The Panasonic TC-P60S30 seems to be well liked, but it seems to suffer from banding as the LG 60PZ550 does (and the LG is $200 less).

- matt
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Old 2011-11-10, 08:50 AM   #2
hugh
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Matt, congratulations on your hard work but you haven't yet done the most important part. Have you gone out to stores and viewed these sets? Have you seen the flaws that CR or other reviewers have pointed out? Have you used the respective menuing systems? Have you played with the remotes? Looked at the screens from different angles? Discussed the respective models with the sales reps?

My experience is that the specs and reviews are only half the battle especially when looking at budget level and mid priced panels.

Using the information you have, I'd go out and inspect these panels and form your own opinion.

If picture quality is not up to snuff, then you may consider a better quality 55" panel for near the same price.
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Old 2011-11-10, 09:04 AM   #3
mnx
 
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Thanks for the advice! I like to do as much prep as possible before heading out to the stores. I've only briefly visited costco and bestbuy so far but plan to check out the displays more in depth soon.

- mnx
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Old 2011-11-10, 09:11 AM   #4
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Opinions will vary on this because it really comes down to what looks best to you. For that size and price point you will get better value going with plasma even though 3D is of no interest to you (generally better on plasma).

From what I have researched on this subject, LG picture quality, though decent, is generally not as good as Panasonic or Samsung, especially with the entry level sets you are considering. The Panny S30 is regarded as being very good value for money if 3D is not an issue. I think the Panasonics give a more "muted" or natural look than some others, which is what CR may have called "dim". Personally, I like this look. The ST30 has a better picture but for more $, and MAY suffer from the FBr issue. I have not heard of the S30 having this problem because it uses a different panel, only the "T" line-up is affected to my knowledge. The Samsung is worth considering and is a little thinner if that is an issue. Simply turn off the noise reduction setting (as you should for all these sets).

Also, don't put too much emphasis on some of these test results and reviews. They are often looking at things with a magnifying glass to detect issues which they admit most users will never notice. It seems like CR aren't happy with anything
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Old 2011-11-10, 01:56 PM   #5
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I paid $849 for my Samsung PN51D550 from Best Buy with the 3D kit included, so I hope that's either a typo on the price, or you entered the wrong model number.
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Old 2011-11-10, 02:08 PM   #6
mnx
 
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It was a typo, I was copying/pasting and forgot to change 51 to 59 in the model number.
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Old 2011-11-10, 07:19 PM   #7
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Best 60 inch sets for around 2 grand would be:

Sharp 60LE 832 approx $ 2200

Panasonic 60 GT 30 approx 2200

Sony EX720 approx 2400

May be a bit more than you want to spend but its going to be a few years before OLED comes out at these sizes that won't break the bank. If your going to keep this set fo,r say 5 years or so, it might be worth it to spend a bit more and enjoy your new set. If you wait a couple of months you'll probably get these sets quite a bit cheaper as well.
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Old 2011-11-15, 08:22 PM   #8
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sounds like all the cons you have listed are indicative of a lot of plasma tv's dim screens,reflective screens. When i go to my brothers and watch his Panasonic plasma i hate the reflections, when we watch movies we take of all the lights off and shut the blinds. If your not 100 percent sold on getting a plasma maybe you might consider an lcd or an lcd led back lit.
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Old 2011-11-16, 08:40 AM   #9
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How does the Panasonic TC-P60S30 stack up against a Sony KDL60NX720? If I were to grab a LCD tv that is probably the one I'd get. It's over $1000 more expensive though, and it appears to have a glossy screen as well.... They both appear to have comparable picture quality with the plasma winning on viewing angle and the LCD wins on it's ability to pump out a ton of birghtness in a bright room...

The Sony appeals to my energy conservation side, but to make up the extra $1000 in purchase price, I'd have to run the set 8 hours a day for 20 years... (I realize electricity prices will rise a lot over that time, but I probably only watch 2-3 hours a day total.
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Old 2011-11-16, 10:22 AM   #10
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well most purist videophiles well almost always side with a plasma due to better dark levels, viewing angles and 600hz. But i think lcd's out sell plasma by a 9 to 1 ration.

Most people like the brighter screen the lcd has. viewing angles on lcd's can varry. I watch it straight on and like it a lot. when i have guests they often sit on a chair to the side of the tv. I tell them if you want sit on the couch to have the direct veiw. They tell me they like the chair and the tv still looks good from there.

As for Sony i have heard there can be a difference from there entery level stuff and medium to high end stuff. I found with my samsung lcd entery level i'm very happy. My only complaint would be that it handles sd content not as well as my brothers plasma. But with more and more hd channels coming i am not worried about it.

If you haven't already, check on here and other sites to see reviews of the tv's.

For me if i had to replace my tv, from a price point its really hard to turn down a 50 inch tv priced plasma under 800 bucks and i really don't want to go smaller to a 46 lcd for the same price. But for me personally i like lcd.

If the difference in the two tv's is 1000 dollars i think i would also investigate other tv's as well. Its a big purchase and no need to rush into it.
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