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Looking to Buy Panny Plasma

otter95
12-09-2010, 12:33 PM
Hi,

Finally decided to take the plunge to buy my first HDTV. :yippee: After researching for the last 2 - 3 weeks, I have narrowed down my choice to a Panasonic Plasma, at least 54 inches. These are the specific models I am considering:

TC-P54G25 ~ $1,400 at Amazon
TC-P58S2 ~ $1,300 at Amazon
TC-P65S2 ~ $1,900 at Amazon

I also talked to an AV pro who recommended the Professional series. Closest one to my budget is the TH-58PF20U for around $2,300. He says the professional models provide true HD (native resolution) and are more flexible to calibrate, but is it really worth up to $1,000 more than the consumer models? I should mention that I have installed the silver-plated cable in my home (purchased from same guy during my remodel three years ago).

Based on viewing distance of 15' it seems the 65S2 would be best, but that seems rather large. The 58S2 seems to hit the sweet spot for me in terms of size, but will the 54G25 deliver much better performance to justify the smaller size or am I mostly getting the extra features? Also, what are my calibration options with these sets?

Below are my answers to the standard newby questions...

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')

> 15'

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

> 27" Sony tube (12 years old)

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)

> 1/3 sports, 1/3 shows, 1/3 movies, have a Wii as well, but rarely use it. sports and movies are most important to me, which is why I want to go with plasma.

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

> no

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?

> Blu-ray, HD from sat

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

> best bang for the buck in the middle

7. Are you interested in seeing 3D with the new 3DTVs? If not, what about next year since TVs are usually kept for many years so consider that?

> no

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

> two windows east-facing windows in the back. one north-facing sliding door to the side. can block light from them. only get direct sunlight in the morning.

9. What is your budget range?

> up to $2000 (willing to go a bit higher if there is a model that justifies the higher price)

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

> multiple angles

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

> mostly after sunset

Thanks in advance for your help!

hmhertz
12-09-2010, 02:01 PM
Hi,

Finally decided to take the plunge to buy my first HDTV. :yippee: After researching for the last 2 - 3 weeks, I have narrowed down my choice to a Panasonic Plasma, at least 54 inches. These are the specific models I am considering:

TC-P54G25 ~ $1,400 at Amazon
TC-P58S2 ~ $1,300 at Amazon
TC-P65S2 ~ $1,900 at Amazon

I also talked to an AV pro who recommended the Professional series. Closest one to my budget is the TH-58PF20U for around $2,300. He says the professional models provide true HD (native resolution) and are more flexible to calibrate, but is it really worth up to $1,000 more than the consumer models? I should mention that I have installed the silver-plated cable in my home (purchased from same guy during my remodel three years ago).

Based on viewing distance of 15' it seems the 65S2 would be best, but that seems rather large. The 58S2 seems to hit the sweet spot for me in terms of size, but will the 54G25 deliver much better performance to justify the smaller size or am I mostly getting the extra features? Also, what are my calibration options with these sets?

Below are my answers to the standard newby questions...

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')

> 15'

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

> 27" Sony tube (12 years old)

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)

> 1/3 sports, 1/3 shows, 1/3 movies, have a Wii as well, but rarely use it. sports and movies are most important to me, which is why I want to go with plasma.

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

> no

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?

> Blu-ray, HD from sat

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

> best bang for the buck in the middle

7. Are you interested in seeing 3D with the new 3DTVs? If not, what about next year since TVs are usually kept for many years so consider that?

> no

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

> two windows east-facing windows in the back. one north-facing sliding door to the side. can block light from them. only get direct sunlight in the morning.

9. What is your budget range?

> up to $2000 (willing to go a bit higher if there is a model that justifies the higher price)

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

> multiple angles

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

> mostly after sunset

Thanks in advance for your help!



Sears has the 58S2 for $1100, 10% off more using a Sears card
on Thanx giving they were giving an additional 5% off with the card.
They might do the same on X-Mass

Terminal33
12-09-2010, 02:36 PM
65S2 if you're 15 feet away. I just got a 65V10 and I sit about 10 feet away and the cotton t-shirt effect has already taken place.

neoshredder27
12-09-2010, 07:43 PM
I would get the G25. Better picture is worth it to go a little smaller.

otter95
12-09-2010, 11:12 PM
Thanks. I appreciate the feedback. :) Hopefully my local Best Buy will have at least a couple of those on display to look at before I make my final decision. Looks like I really can't go wrong with any of the above choices, which doesn't make it any easier to decide. :confused:

Certainly any of them will be a giant leap from my existing 27" tube. Yes, I actually do watch that thing from 15' away, with closed caption on no less! Looking forward to relieving the eye strain. BTW, has any tried the captioning on these models and have any feedback?

otter95
12-24-2010, 05:30 PM
After much consideration, I finally pulled the trigger on the 54G25 at Amazon. :D Just couldn't resist the better PQ over the larger size of the 58S2. Should arrive in a couple of weeks. Picked up some Amazon Basics High Speed HDMI cables and a Panasonic BD85 player to go with it. Holding off on the sound system for now until I spend more time figuring out my setup for that.

Question: Is it necessary to have my HD service hooked up during break-in or I can just stretch the SD picture? I have had DISH for several years now and am happy with them. Any compelling reason to switch to DirectTV when upgrading to HD?

Thanks!

rbinck
12-24-2010, 06:37 PM
You can stretch the SD. It is just important to have full screen video for the first 200 hours or so. I'd also stay off of channels that have a crawl and other static graphics.

Since you already have Dish, I'd check them out for HD first.