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Please help me choose

05-09-2010, 08:49 AM
I have wanted a new TV for a long time now. I am finally in the market. I am replacing a 15 year old 55" rear projection Toshiba. It is still a great TV. If I am going to buy, I don't want to go smaller so I am looking at 55" and up.

I had my heart set on the Samsung 55" LCD - LN55C630K1F. Before buying I decided to do research and found this and another forum. After all the reading, I am just confused. I keep flopping back and forth between wanting plazma or LCD. I switched to plazma but continue to read issues with Panasonic black levels. I am not sure it is something I want to deal with. I've read some posts where people say their black is not almost gray. I would not like that.

I have it narrowed down to the list below, but still cannot decide. I want this TV to last.

Here are the answers to questions I found in another thread:

1. How far away will you be from the display when watching it? (Be as exact as possible. A 5' range difference IS a major difference - Please limit the range to 2')

- about 10 - 11 ft

2. What TV will it be replacing (i.e. 27" tube TV, etc) (include TV age as well)

- 15 year old rear projection

3. What will you be watching on it (i.e. 1/3 movies, 1/3 TV shows, 1/6 Sports, 1/6 gaming console, etc)

- During the day will be cable TV. We will upgrade to Brighthouse HD
We are buying a PS3. Son will game and the family will watch both blue ray and DVD's. Most movie watching will be at night.

4. Will a computer be connected to use the display as a monitor? If so, what percent of the time?

- Son wants to, but not a big deal for me.

5. Will you be getting a Blu-ray player to watch movies and will you be getting any HD service from cable/sat, or will you just be watching SD programming, and an upscaling SD DVD player?

- Purchasing PS3. Upgrading to BH HD. We will still watch SD and SD DVDs.

6. Are you looking for the best in class display, the best bargain display, or best bang for the buck in the middle display?

- I guess best bang for the buck. I do want quality. I am not a videophile, but am picky and enjoy quality.

7. What is the room lighting situation? (i.e. can you control the lighting? Can you use light blocking blinds, etc to control it?)

- The wall to the left of the TV is all windows with blinds. The blinds block a lot of light, but the sun still comes into the room. We may buy curtains.

8. What is your budget range?

- Wife does not want to spend more than $2k + tax. I may be able to stretch this to $2250 + tax.

9. Will people be watching at multiple viewing angles or just usually one person sitting directly in the center?

- multiple angles

10. When will most viewing be done on the display (i.e. Daytime or after sunset)?

- all times

My choices


** Samsung 55" - LN55C630K1F (love the look. However, I wonder if it will be too bright once I get it home. Looks great to me in the store)

** Sony Bravia 55" - KDL55EX500 (heard Sony is better when it comes to using the PS3 for blue ray / DVDs)

** Sony Bravia 60" - KDL60EX500 (When it comes to LCD, I love the size of this one. However, by wife does not want to spend that much)


** Panasonic VIERA 58" - TC-P58V10 ($1,999.00 Clearance price) Loved this TV. However, it's picture was kind of dark for me. It was in THX mode. He put it in vivid mode and it was too bright. I'd like somewhere in between.

** Samsung 58" - pn58b860 ($1750 clearance price - only 11 left) The sales guy kept raving about this TV. It was nice. Didn't really care for the clear acrylic around the TV frame though.

** Panasonic VIERA 65" - TC-P65S1 ($2,199.99) I LOVE the size of this TV. However, the picture quality of the Best Buy display unit sucked compared to all the others. It was on the wall of LCDs and was very grainy / snowy. I assumed it was something with the setup. I would not buy this TV based on the BB display. I had planned on going to HHGreg to see if they have a display setup.

** Panasonic VIERA 58" - TC-P58S1 ($1,499.99) Love the price. Have not seen the TV in action.

So what do you guys suggest for me? I'd appreciate your input here. I know you probably get sick of these questions. However, I appreciate your time. Thank you in advance.

05-09-2010, 09:06 AM
Regarding the black level issue on Panasonic plasmas you should read my post #3 in this thread:


Another thing I noticed was that you were looking at 2010 model LCDs, but all the plasmas you were looking at were 2009 models. You should look at the 2010 models from both Samsung and Panasonic IMO. The 2010 model Panasonics are; S2 series, G20 Series, G25 series (basically the same as the G20but with more features), and the 3D VT20 series & VT25 series. Just a note about the THX mode on the 2010 models. It is much improved (along with the anti-glare coating) on the 2010 models over the 2009 models. THX mode gets much brighter on the 2010 models over the 2009 models with are mostly for a dimly lit rooms but the 2010 THX can work well in a normally bright room.

You also cannot go by the stores for PQ with plasmas in general because those stores even when they try to block the light from directly being on the screens is still much brighter than most home lighting by quite a bit. Trust me. Plasmas look BETTER in home lighting while my LCDs look worse in home lighting compared to how they looked in the store.

For Samsung 2010 plasmas here is a good chart of the models/features:


The 2010 Samsungs have a "C" in the model number and "B" is for the 2009 models.

With multiple viewing angles, plasma is the better choice IMO. Read this article:


Hope this helps!

05-09-2010, 09:43 AM
It does help a lot. I feel better about plazma again.

I chose the 2009 plazmas because of price. By going with an 09 I can get more TV for my budget. The BB sales rep said the new models will be way more expensive.

Any idea when they will be out?

05-09-2010, 10:15 AM
Some of them are already out with some of the larger sizes coming out over the next 2 months.