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Buying new ~50 inch TV what technology?

bdubbs
10-12-2007, 02:05 PM
Alright I need to know if this is a solid TV.

Philips Model 47PFL7422D/37 for $1699

Or if it would be better to get this.

Panasonic Model TH-50PC77U for $1599

Any info on brands or experiences would be greatly appreciated.

I plan to play games with this TV and also would use it in brighter conditions because i have big glass doors with a deck outside. The sun doesn't shine in from that direction but the room may be bright.

unotis
10-12-2007, 02:29 PM
Well I would guess it depends on if you want a 1080p LCD or a 1366 x 768 plasma.

I would guess you are buying the Phillips 1080p LCD from www.savingslots.com for $1699.95 plus the $129.50 shipping (I think that was the least I could find if for).

The Panasonic plasma is a highly rated by cNet reviews as being one of the top plasmas available in 720p and anti glare coating (I think, I get anti- glare and anti-refective coatings mixed up on Panasonic plasmas).

I would suggest you actually go look at them and get and get an initial idea which you prefer (only you can ultimately decide).

Good luck! :hithere:

bdubbs
10-12-2007, 02:44 PM
Both of those prices are from costco. They seem to have very decent prices for TVs.

Anyone have information on how the brands compare. I've seen a "tier" system here but I don't know what the tiers are.

Allin4greeN
10-12-2007, 03:20 PM
Here's a fairly accurate observation of the "Tier" concept...

Any manufacturer who's name begins with an L, P, S, or T and/or costs at least $300 more when compared to the competitors in its class, are considered "Tier 1." Everything else should be avoided for fear of imploding, or exploding, once it reaches your home. That is, of course, unless it's acutally a quality piece of equipment...

If you put any credence into Consumer Reports, the Phillips LCD's have been reported as having higher than average return for repair rates.

If it were my decision, I'd also factor seating distance into the equation. If I were sitting between 8'-10' I'd probably go with a 42"-47" panel, and at 10'-12' I'd probably go with at least a 50" panel.

Also, if the vast majority of my time were spent gaming I'd probably go with an LCD panel but, if I planned on also watching DVD/or HD media and/or had HD cable or satellite, then I'd be inclined to go with plasma.

Finally, if I had to choose a panel resolution, based on the preceeding criteria, I'd probably select a 1080p model with at least two HDMI, two Component and one VGA input(s).

But, that's just me...

billinprinceto
10-12-2007, 05:20 PM
Here's a fairly accurate observation of the "Tier" concept...

Any manufacturer who's name begins with an L, P, S, or T and/or costs at least $300 more when compared to the competitors in its class, are considered "Tier 1." Everything else should be avoided for fear of imploding, or exploding, once it reaches your home. That is, of course, unless it's acutally a quality piece of equipment...

Great - that's the best definition of the "tier system" that I have ever read.

And . . . . it is totally correct!!!!

bdubbs
10-12-2007, 11:28 PM
I'm leaning towards LCD, will i be happy with HD and movie compared to my crt projection? I am not extremely picky. I may be leaning towards it for 1080p video games and I just want something better than what i currently have. Something less reflective which is very important.

Allin4greeN
10-13-2007, 09:21 AM
I'm leaning towards LCD, will i be happy with HD and movie compared to my crt projection? I am not extremely picky. I may be leaning towards it for 1080p video games and I just want something better than what i currently have. Something less reflective which is very important.Like unotis suggested, go check out the panels you're interested and take 'em for a test drive. Have fun!

tumbleweed
10-13-2007, 01:50 PM
I have owned one each of the exact models you are considering, both purchased from COSTCO. I returned the Phillips because in a lot of scenes the sky was turquoise and I could not make it blue and still have other things the right color. The other big problem I had with the Phillips was, what I will call, insufficient brightness and contrast. What I mean is it just wouldn't pull things out of the shadows, when I adjusted the contrast and brightness (white and black levels) to bring in detail from the shadows other areas would be to bright and look washed out. I adjusted every adjustment on the thing for over a month trying to solve these problems and I am convinced it's just the nature of the beast.

The Panasonic on the other hand does not have these problems, under most viewing conditions it has significantly better PQ. However the Panasonic has fewer pixels, 768 X 1366 vs 1080 X 1920 for the Phillips, so there are a few (very few) scenes that don't show as much fine detail. Chances are unless you are aware of this ahead of time you will never notice.

So for my viewing habits I much prefer the Panasonic. I watch more or less normal TV and car races. Mine will never be used for gaming but from what I have read on here the LCD may be better for that. The Panasonic anti-glare filter seems to work fine. Here is a link for a test of the Panasonic, I don't have one for the Phillips.

http://reviews.cnet.com/flat-panel-tvs/panasonic-th-50px77u/4505-6482_7-32317316.html?tag=also

The TH-50PC77U sold by COSTCO is the same at the TH-50PX77U sold other places.

EDIT: BTW I paid $1699 for the Phillips and got the Panasonic on sale for $1549. I told them exactly what I posted here when I took the Phillips back, that it wasn't broken but that there were things I just didn't like about it. They (COSTCO) took it back with a smile and didn't even ask any questions, which is one reason I like to shop there.

bdubbs
10-13-2007, 07:40 PM
Tumbleweed thanks a lot for that review. VERY informative. This decision is getting tougher and tougher.

Do you think it was a problem with that Philips panel or just a poor quality panel in general?

bdubbs
10-13-2007, 09:17 PM
How do JVCs compare to the Philips? there is a JVC for 200 more. I don't know how the brands compare. The help so far has been great guys.

jedi4141
10-14-2007, 08:41 AM
Tumbleweed thanks a lot for that review. VERY informative. This decision is getting tougher and tougher.

Do you think it was a problem with that Philips panel or just a poor quality panel in general?

I am a very satisfied 50"Panasonic plasma owner. Everyones situation is different but unless you are going to be a gamer 90% of the time, the decision should be easy. Panasonic is bigger, cheaper, and is usually the most highly rated on consumer reports. Enough said, enjoy.

tumbleweed
10-14-2007, 12:59 PM
Do you think it was a problem with that Philips panel or just a poor quality panel in general?

I really don't know, others have said that some LCD TVs have problems with color under some conditions. But I have only had the one and can't tell you if it's just Phillips or LCDs in general, or it may have been just the Phillips I had. The problem I was most bothered by was the inability of the Phillips to show detail in the shadows. I tend to believe this is a problem with a lot of LCD sets. Perhaps due to the lack of dynamic range between the maximum black and maximum white the set can display. I think this involves a parameter that people in photography (which I am not) call gamma. The ability to differentiate between different shades of gray.

One thing I am sure of though, you could spend all day in the store looking at HDTV sets and problems such as I had would most likely never show up. Most stores (including COSTCO) use a special DVD designed to "flatter" the TV sets plus the sets are adjusted in a way you would never use at home. I did find one local Sears store that had their display sets connected to Dish Network and they were willing to change channels for me.

bdubbs
10-14-2007, 03:37 PM
It seems that plasma is the way to go. If I got a panasonic plasma at 720p native. Is there anything I would be disappointed about?

z28rod
10-14-2007, 04:22 PM
It seems that plasma is the way to go. If I got a panasonic plasma at 720p native. Is there anything I would be disappointed about?Great decision, now go get the panny and give us a review, you will love it , trust us.............

Scottnot
10-15-2007, 09:00 AM
The problem I was most bothered by was the inability of the Phillips to show detail in the shadows. I tend to believe this is a problem with a lot of LCD sets. Perhaps due to the lack of dynamic range between the maximum black and maximum white the set can display. I think this involves a parameter that people in photography (which I am not) call gamma. The ability to differentiate between different shades of gray.

Actually, almost all LCDs are designed around 8 bit color. Which means that they are all capable of displaying 256 shades of gray. How well they display the these is a function of two things; screen contrast ratio and the correct settings of Brightness (black level) and Contrast (white level). The two are somewhat interactive in terms of normal viewing environment, so the best way to "fix" the "problem" is to carefully calibrate Brightness (black level) and leave it alone. Then, carefully calibrate contrast and be willing to turn it DOWN from the calibration point to accomodate various room lighting and programming variations.

tnyou
10-15-2007, 09:36 AM
Here's a fairly accurate observation of the "Tier" concept...

Any manufacturer who's name begins with an L, P, S, or T and/or costs at least $300 more when compared to the competitors in its class, are considered "Tier 1." Everything else should be avoided for fear of imploding, or exploding, once it reaches your home. That is, of course, unless it's acutally a quality piece of equipment...

If you put any credence into Consumer Reports, the Phillips LCD's have been reported as having higher than average return for repair rates.

If it were my decision, I'd also factor seating distance into the equation. If I were sitting between 8'-10' I'd probably go with a 42"-47" panel, and at 10'-12' I'd probably go with at least a 50" panel.

Also, if the vast majority of my time were spent gaming I'd probably go with an LCD panel but, if I planned on also watching DVD/or HD media and/or had HD cable or satellite, then I'd be inclined to go with plasma.

Finally, if I had to choose a panel resolution, based on the preceeding criteria, I'd probably select a 1080p model with at least two HDMI, two Component and one VGA input(s).

But, that's just me...

Yet, you have a VIZIO which can fit under your quality piece of equipment. Just an observation that you didn't mention that you considered VIZIO a quality piece of equipment.:2cents

tumbleweed
10-15-2007, 11:30 AM
Yes I agree Scottnot, black and white level adjustment and the total difference between the blackest black and the whitest white (contrast ratio) are very important. If there is a very large difference each of those 256 shades of gray will be easy to differentiate. If the difference between black and white is smaller the shades will be closer to each other and will tend to look the same. You will loose detail, especially in shaded areas where the grays will be close together.

I think this is why contrast ratio is important. How white the whitest white is or how black the blackest black is usually doesn't matter as long as they are not to bad. But getting them far enough apart so you can tell the difference in shades of gray is important. Unfortunately, I have read that different manufacturers have different ways of measuring them. And some of them even cheat, as hard as that may be to believe.

I think, at this time, plasma has the advantage over LCD. However the technology is changing very rapidly so in a couple of years, who knows.

bdubbs
10-15-2007, 01:14 PM
The black levels and level of nuance in them is whats making me get a plasma.

Allin4greeN
10-15-2007, 02:19 PM
Yet, you have a VIZIO which can fit under your quality piece of equipment. Just an observation that you didn't mention that you considered VIZIO a quality piece of equipment.:2centsThat's a fair observation/criticism. I do consider my Vizio to be a quality piece of equipment but, there are plenty of folks who would disagree with my opinion.

I was more interested in communicating the idea that one would be best served by researching and observing their purchase objectively, as opposed to putting their trust in perpetuating a myth that only ends up serving a few manufacturers (just my opinion). I think the "tier system" is too simplistic, given the variables people can base their purchasing decision upon.

Obviously Panasonic plasmas are well respected and perform well, and since I wasn't interested in persuading the OP toward a particular model, I kept my comments as "neutral" as possible. I believe Panny has received many accolades for its performance, especially where Contrast Ratio (not to be confused with Marketing Ratio) and exhibiting shadow details is concerned.

Given my own set of circumstances, I would choose the Panny plasma over the Phillips LCD, also. But, when I chose my Vizio P50, I considered other variables that influenced my decision. Now, if price were'nt an issue, you'd probably see a Fujitsu or Pioneer in my sig line :D

Scottnot
10-15-2007, 02:45 PM
The black levels and level of nuance in them is whats making me get a plasma.

While in almost all cases, plasmas do achieve better black levels than LCDs, (the nature of the beast, at this time), it is well to consider how "much" better and weigh all factors in your decision.

You may find this interesting:
http://www.plasmadisplaycoalition.org/results/brightness.php

Allin4greeN
10-15-2007, 04:33 PM
...You may find this interesting:
http://www.plasmadisplaycoalition.org/results/brightness.phpIt was an interesting read.The tests conducted by Roam Consulting Inc. “Roam” grew out of a desire by the Plasma Display Coalition “PDC” to acquire real-world, practical data on plasma TV performance. The goal of the PDC is to use factual data to dispel myths and misconceptions about plasma displays and plasma televisions.Wish I had a link to test results for LCD's, just to compare... or contrast ;) I'd be curious to see results for a similar sample of LCD's across a similar range of performance measures/indicators. It would be interesting to see how they compare to a reference CRT, and to plasma.

Do any LCD manufacturers have a coalition?

Scottnot
10-15-2007, 06:35 PM
Wish I had a link to test results for LCD's, just to compare... or contrast ;) I'd be curious to see results for a similar sample of LCD's across a similar range of performance measures/indicators. It would be interesting to see how they compare to a reference CRT, and to plasma.

Do any LCD manufacturers have a coalition?

I don't think so, at least, I've never found one.
However, a careful study of the better review sources will shed a lot of light on the topic, and many are not shy about dealing realisticly with the "contrast ratio" issue.

The following may shed some attitional light on the topic if you're interested. Also, much additional good info at this site.
http://www.practical-home-theater-guide.com/contrast-ratio.html

Allin4greeN
10-15-2007, 07:01 PM
...The following may shed some attitional light on the topic if you're interested. Also, much additional good info at this site.
http://www.practical-home-theater-guide.com/contrast-ratio.htmlAdded to my bookmarks, much appreciated!