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Panasonic TH50PZ800U vs Samsung PN50A550

eyern1
11-10-2008, 09:04 PM
I was going to wait until after Christmas (and maybe not then with the economy) to see if the prices on either of these took a significant drop, since I really don't need a bigger tv right now. Well, I haven't done all my research, but pretty much have and Sears has the Samsung on sale for $1399 which turns out to be $1259 with my Sears card and no tax while I'm here in Oregon (returning home to Alabama with 9 to 10% sales tax in most areas next month). Other than the black level not being as good, which is something I REALLY liked on my old Sony crt that died 2 years ago, I really can't find a reason not to like the Samsung and it sounds like people are happy with this one. Plus, I have heard of possible issues with the Panasonic's power supply. THe best price I have seen on the Panasonic is $1827 online to my door, and $2299 brick and mortar, which could go on a good sale, but would still be another $200 tax if I didn't get it here in Oregon the next month. THe best I have seen on the Samsung online is $1474 to my door and $1599 other brick and mortar. Plus, I want to buy from Sears if I can, since they support their personnel who go off on active duty so well.

So, now that it seems from all this that I have made up my mind, can anybody logically convince me to go with the Panasonic instead of the Samsung?

iserum
11-10-2008, 09:45 PM
where did you hear from power supply issue for panasonic plasmas, if you really want to save money try Panasonic 50px80u, it is very good set for the price.

eyern1
11-10-2008, 10:50 PM
I saw it on best buys consumer reviews or one of the other big box retailers. Most everyone loved the panasonic, but 2 people had dead tv's and one said it was a well known issue. Was his second dead panasonic. I admit, I did take his word for it, but he said it was known on the net.

It is and isn't a money saving issue for me. The first set I came across last week when I started toying with the idea was the panny and it seemed like an open and shut case right then and there. Price wasn't too high for me (like the Pioneer), I just needed to decide on it or the 58 incher when time came. Well, just glancing around for prices on it, I saw the Samsung, how everyone liked it and decided to look further. The price difference wasn't enough to sway me from the Panny, but did almost make it a tossup. THen, when I saw the price at Sears, things swung way in favor of the Samsung. At $1259, I can hardly go wrong, but at $1827 or even more for a 58" I could go way wrong.

iserum
11-10-2008, 11:20 PM
i have second thoughts on getting panasonic as i read this issue online on panasonic plasmas, it is across the board on models from 06 to 08, it is ironic that panasonic did not do anything about it, adding extended warranty for 3 years plus will add up to $350. i need a tv which last longer than 2-3 years. One web site has mentioned the failure rate is 1-2%, but if you consider the volume of plasmas Panasonic sells it is quite huge number.
Samsung plasmas are not as good for black levels (Cnet reviews).
I don't want to buy extended warranty, i will use my credit card to double the warranty to two years. People complained the power failure after warranty expired that period is from 1-3 year of ownwership.

Loves2Watch
11-10-2008, 11:34 PM
I don't trust CNet reviews. Anyway myself and many others own Panasonic plasmas and haven't had a minutes trouble. Most posters on any site whether it be here or user review sites usually only post negative comments. The real failure/repair rate for most brands including Panasonic is less than 1/2 of 1%.

Now with all of that being said, Home Theater magazine gave the 800U one of it's best ratings and even said that Pioneer, the king of plasma should watch out for this one. In THX mode it is almost perfectly adjusted to ISF calibration and the black levels, shadow details and vivid colors are all outstanding. I agree and would not hesi9tate to purchase another Panasonic plasma to add to the two I presently own. :yippee:

eyern1
11-10-2008, 11:44 PM
I don't trust CNet reviews. Anyway myself and many others own Panasonic plasmas and haven't had a minutes trouble. Most posters on any site whether it be here or user review sites usually only post negative comments. The real failure/repair rate for most brands including Panasonic is less than 1/2 of 1%.

Now with all of that being said, Home Theater magazine gave the 800U one of it's best ratings and even said that Pioneer, the king of plasma should watch out for this one. In THX mode it is almost perfectly adjusted to ISF calibration and the black levels, shadow details and vivid colors are all outstanding. I agree and would not hesi9tate to purchase another Panasonic plasma to add to the two I presently own. :yippee:That's what instantly drew me t o the Panasonic. Yeah, it's hard to trust a lot of consumer reviewed sites, but if I remember right, the Samsung had a 4.8 or 5/5 with about 48 or so reviews turned in. Even though most of them probably don't understand about setting the color accurately, there wasn't anything negative about it in that many reviews. Hard to go wrong with that. I do like that the Samsung has PIP, which I use during football season, but the black levels in the Panasonic are compelling. Anybody know anything directly negative about the Samsung?

Rick-F
11-11-2008, 07:24 AM
Check out the review of the Samsung 550 here:

http://displaycalibrationonline.com:80/

While the black levels on the Panasonic plasmas are better than the Samsung-- many find that in nearly all other aspects the affecting PQ (new) Samsung plasmas are superior. I own both; I thought nothing would beat the Panasonic . . . but I bought a new Samsung and it (the picture) is better. But honestly, unless you have them next to each other, you would not really notice the difference.

Loves2Watch
11-11-2008, 08:34 AM
Check out the review of the Samsung 550 here:

http://displaycalibrationonline.com:80/

While the black levels on the Panasonic plasmas are better than the Samsung-- many find that in nearly all other aspects the affecting PQ (new) Samsung plasmas are superior. I own both; I thought nothing would beat the Panasonic . . . but I bought a new Samsung and it (the picture) is better. But honestly, unless you have them next to each other, you would not really notice the difference.

That depends on the model of Panasonic you have. As was posted earlier, the 800U is rated tops, maybe even as good as a Pioneer, at least that's what a professional reviewer stated.

As for the Samsungs, previous years models had quite a problem with image retention and burn in as well as having a higher than normal return/repair rate. It seems most of those issues have been ironed out.

From all of my dealings with these TV's both on a sales and repair level I still recommend the Panasonic.

iserum
11-11-2008, 11:17 AM
I think the issue was Panasonic power supply failure from 06 to current models . As I mentioned earlier it is low but has not addressed by panasonic as it should be. it is a costly repair, with so many stores and merchants going out of business buying extended warranty is a big concern, i have bought extended warranty for my GPS through Sharper Image and they no longer in business. This year holiday season will be make or break for lot of retailers, CC is in near it.

Samsung are good sets, I do agree Samsung will give lot user of setting feature in low end models as compared to Panasonic.
I am trying to get 50 inch 720P Panny, i compared it to 1080P (50PZ80U) i could not find any difference even looking at them trying to find one. The Picture setting on Panasonic is non existing as compare to SAMSUNG. Not even gamma setting, which is disappointing since hardware is there to support it, Panasonic wants to charge a lot of extra money ( around $800) for 1080p sets which have these setting.

Loves2Watch
11-11-2008, 11:21 AM
I think the issue was Panasonic power supply failure from 06 to current models . As I mentioned earlier it is low but has not addressed by panasonic as it should be. it is a costly repair, with so many stores and merchants going out of business buying extended warranty is a big concern, i have bought extended warranty for my GPS through Sharper Image and they no longer in business. This year holiday season will be make or break for lot of retailers, CC is in near it.

Samsung are good sets, I do agree Samsung will give lot user of setting feature in low end models as compared to Panasonic.
I am trying to get 50 inch 720P Panny, i compared it to 1080P (50PZ80U) i could not find any difference even looking at them trying to find one. The Picture setting on Panasonic is non existing as compare to SAMSUNG. Not even gamma setting, which is disappointing since hardware is there to support it, Panasonic wants to charge a lot of extra money ( around $800) for 1080p sets which have these setting.

All of that is fine and well but the OP was asking specifically about the Panasonic TH50PZ800U, the king of the hill. With THX, ISF calibration and enough control settings I don't see how any other TV could top it save the much more expensive Pioneer.

"With the TH-50PZ800U, Panasonic continues its evolutionary progress toward making an ideal plasma TV. This set's THX picture mode delivers exceptionally natural-looking color without making you jump through lots of picture-adjustment hoops, and its deep shadows will make even fans of Pioneer's Kuro plasmas stand up and take notice. But the best thing of all has to be the Panasonic's price: Shop around, and you'll be able to bring home this outstanding TV for a song." Sound & Vision Magazine September 2008.

Full review here - http://www.soundandvisionmag.com/hdtvs/2906/panasonic-th-50pz800u.html

eyern1
11-11-2008, 11:58 PM
Well, once again, I can't help but be impresssed with the Panasonic after reading the review. I just can't make myself sway from the Samsung at this price difference. Darn you, Sears, for trying to save me money!

Loves2Watch
11-12-2008, 12:17 AM
Well, once again, I can't help but be impresssed with the Panasonic after reading the review. I just can't make myself sway from the Samsung at this price difference. Darn you, Sears, for trying to save me money!

In either case you will end up with a fine HD TV.

PFC5
11-12-2008, 01:46 PM
All brands of displays have some issue or another it seems with "something". There is no "perfect" display technology nor brand of display. They all seems to have a small portion of their total sold displays that do have an issue. No brand is immune to this as this is how they have lowered the cost of HD displays to the more affordable prices we have now.

Certainly if a great number of people do have a problem with a particular brand/model display then it is wise to investigate further, but the rare person that has the same issues with a 2nd exchange means that they likely came from the same defective mfg. batch which can happen with ANY mfg IMO. It is when there are countless issues reported like with the blinking power of death on Mitsubishi RPTVs (both DLP & CRT based) that you KNOW to truly avoid their products.

That said. I have a Panasonic 50pz80u display since 5/2008 and have had zero issues with it. My friend bought one at the same time and also has zero issues. Bad "batches" happen with ANY mfg, so just take that into account when reading reviews is what I recommend. Otherwise we could not buy ANY HDTV because they all will have some kind of rare issues. :D

kila
11-12-2008, 08:30 PM
Those two tv's (Panasonic TH50PZ800U & Samsung PN50A550) are the two I'm looking at buying as well. Really, with the exception that I'm also considering the PN50A650, they are my short list. I like the 650 because it has a back-lighted remote and...hmm I can't think of the other reason(s) atm.

One thing about the Samsungs that the Panasonic does not have is that they are 3-D ready. With the advances in movie technology that's certainly something I'd like to be on the cutting edge of, if possible.

It's a darn tough choice for sure! :banghead:

golfinbill
11-12-2008, 08:50 PM
PFC5

I am thinking about buying the 50PZ80U. Circuit City has it packaged with the Pany BD35 BR player for 1599.00.

Other considerations are the C50FD18 (I believe this is Costco's version of the 50PZ800U)? It is 1399.00.

And the other option is the 50PE700U. I believe this is an older unit by about 1 year, but the price is right..1190.00 TT&L.

Any thoughts on which is the better unit and the pricing?

PFC5
11-12-2008, 10:32 PM
Well I own and love the 50pz80u myself. This model came out in 3/2008 I think and I bought it in 5/2008. I got mine for $1,000.00 off MSRP through a lucky series of events and it looks you can get it for only $70.00 more after deducting the $220.00 value of the BD35. This is a great deal if you ask me if you are interested in a BD player.

I am not familiar with the other models, but the Costco model is NOT their model number for the 50pz800u for $1400.00. It looks like a hybrid of the 50pz80u and the 50pz85u, since it has the Sub D 15 (PC) input like the pz85u, but has the 3rd set up inputs on the front like the pz80u.

I would say it is a tossup between these two as to which I would chose. Which to chose would be based on whether you want a BD player or not.

I would skip the prior year model as from what I have read, the current models have better black levels. I am sure it is an excellent display, but I would spend the extra couple of hundred to get the latest model myself.

Hope this helps!

golfinbill
11-12-2008, 11:04 PM
I am just setting up the room so I definately need the BD player.

Can I trouble you for another bit of advice?

I just found the PZ80u for 1322 shipped...cannot believe how much these TV's continue to come down.. I could couple that with the Sammy BD1500 for215, which comes to about 1550. Any thoughts on the Sammy BD1500 vs. the pany BD35 since the packages net out about the same.

I then have settled in on the Onkyo SR606 to run things (thoughts??). Now just need to add speakers. Due to room setup, I either need to go in-wall for the front and rears or be able to hang a thin speaker on the wall for both. Center channel can sit right above TV. Like to keep the speaker set up at around 750.00 or so. Any suggestions?

Thanks man..you guys with all this knowledge swimming around upstairs sure helps us newbies out.

kila
11-12-2008, 11:19 PM
One thing to keep in mind is to use an authorized dealer or you may find yourself without a warranty. :crying:

golfinbill
11-12-2008, 11:31 PM
Good point. This is thru One Call, and from everything I have read in this forum..very reputible. Will check to see if they are authorized dealer.

PFC5
11-12-2008, 11:38 PM
I am just setting up the room so I definately need the BD player.

Can I trouble you for another bit of advice?

I just found the PZ80u for 1322 shipped...cannot believe how much these TV's continue to come down.. I could couple that with the Sammy BD1500 for215, which comes to about 1550. Any thoughts on the Sammy BD1500 vs. the pany BD35 since the packages net out about the same.

I then have settled in on the Onkyo SR606 to run things (thoughts??). Now just need to add speakers. Due to room setup, I either need to go in-wall for the front and rears or be able to hang a thin speaker on the wall for both. Center channel can sit right above TV. Like to keep the speaker set up at around 750.00 or so. Any suggestions?

Thanks man..you guys with all this knowledge swimming around upstairs sure helps us newbies out.

When shopping online ALWAYS check out the return policy of the store you want to buy from. Some of the lowest price stores will not even except a defective TV back and require you to have it serviced if defective. Also check to make sure they are an authorized dealer so you get warranty coverage was was already pointed out. ;)

As far as BD players go, I would take the BD35 over ANY Samsung BD player myself. Samsung has had problems with their BD players and were very slow coming out with firmware updates to be able to even play some of the new releases. They have gotten better recently, but I would definitely chose the BD35 over the 1500 myself.

If you have decided on the Onkyo receiver you should make sure your new speakers have a warm tonal sound to them as Onkyo receivers tend to be brighter so they need a warmer speaker to sound accurate. I personally like Yamaha & Denon in a tie for my favorite receivers, but Onkyo probably makes the features bang for the buck receiver. I suggest you go and listen to the receivers and speakers together at a specialty store to get a good comparison with YOUR ears to hear what you like.

Hope this helps!

eyern1
11-13-2008, 12:40 AM
Those two tv's (Panasonic TH50PZ800U & Samsung PN50A550) are the two I'm looking at buying as well. Really, with the exception that I'm also considering the PN50A650, they are my short list. I like the 650 because it has a back-lighted remote and...hmm I can't think of the other reason(s) atm.

One thing about the Samsungs that the Panasonic does not have is that they are 3-D ready. With the advances in movie technology that's certainly something I'd like to be on the cutting edge of, if possible.

It's a darn tough choice for sure! :banghead:I didn't know anything about the 3D deal. That's neat, but I wonder how it would work. I ask because I lost an eye, so the different colored lens over each eye thing is worthless to me and things just generally lok a little blurry, but I can tell when things are supposed to be coming out of the screen at me. Almost everything in life is a tradeoff, as the previous poster noted, unless you are Bill Gates. I seem to have traded off the Panasonic's black levels for the Samsung's almost as good picture and PIP for $587.

golfinbill
11-13-2008, 10:36 PM
Scwing! Just got back from Circuit City where I proudly laid down the plastic for two 50pz80u's packaged with the BD35's for 1599.00 each. Not a bad deal for the combo. I thought about waiting for black Friday and checking for better pricing, but the thought of a night in jammy's outside CC's front door Thanksgiving night made it easier to take one for the team tonight.

Now, I had planned on getting the SR606, but now want to go and listen to several receiver/speaker combos. What would be the comparable Yamaha and Denon product? I would like to stay under 500.00 for the receiver. Once I get to the brick and mortar to listen, any advice where to start in terms of speakers paired up with Onkyo, Yamaha, or Denon? Would prefer to be under 1K for the speakers.

Thanks PCF5 and others for your comments in regards to the Panny's.

eyern1
11-13-2008, 11:04 PM
Congrats. I went to Sears while ago and pulled the trigger on the Samsung. It really felt good not paying sales tax on something that large and also getting the extra 10% off a great sales price. Now the bad part is having to wait. I don't have hd service where I'm at and wouldn't want to repackage it for the trip home anyway, so I told them to hold delivery to the store until a week before I go home in Mid December.

PFC5
11-14-2008, 11:52 AM
Scwing! Just got back from Circuit City where I proudly laid down the plastic for two 50pz80u's packaged with the BD35's for 1599.00 each. Not a bad deal for the combo. I thought about waiting for black Friday and checking for better pricing, but the thought of a night in jammy's outside CC's front door Thanksgiving night made it easier to take one for the team tonight.

Now, I had planned on getting the SR606, but now want to go and listen to several receiver/speaker combos. What would be the comparable Yamaha and Denon product? I would like to stay under 500.00 for the receiver. Once I get to the brick and mortar to listen, any advice where to start in terms of speakers paired up with Onkyo, Yamaha, or Denon? Would prefer to be under 1K for the speakers.

Thanks PCF5 and others for your comments in regards to the Panny's.

Here is a Denon HDMI 1.3a receiver that is the next model up from mine and a new year model that has the HD audio decoders in it for $550.00:

http://www.amazon.com/Denon-7-1-Channel-2-Channel-Multi-source-Multi-zone/dp/B000UPA4O2/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1226682698&sr=1-6

It is $50.00 over your price stated but worth it IMO.

Here is the lowest end Yamaha that decodes HD audio for your max price of $500.00:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0013ZGOWY/ref=nosim/8687227-rg1861-00-20

For the extra $50.00 I would buy the Denon linked above myself.

Hope this helps!

Loves2Watch
11-14-2008, 12:47 PM
Scwing! Just got back from Circuit City where I proudly laid down the plastic for two 50pz80u's packaged with the BD35's for 1599.00 each. Not a bad deal for the combo. I thought about waiting for black Friday and checking for better pricing, but the thought of a night in jammy's outside CC's front door Thanksgiving night made it easier to take one for the team tonight.

Now, I had planned on getting the SR606, but now want to go and listen to several receiver/speaker combos. What would be the comparable Yamaha and Denon product? I would like to stay under 500.00 for the receiver. Once I get to the brick and mortar to listen, any advice where to start in terms of speakers paired up with Onkyo, Yamaha, or Denon? Would prefer to be under 1K for the speakers.

Thanks PCF5 and others for your comments in regards to the Panny's.

You are going to be pretty limited in speaker brand selection in BB and CC. You would do yourself a big favor by going to some audio specialty stores and auditioning speakers there.

iserum
11-14-2008, 05:15 PM
Magnolia have some good speakers brand at BB though, i would agree CC is very thin on speakers choices.

One thing i want to point out regarding prices is, with this bad economy every store is willing to bargain, all you have to do is try. According to news to holiday sales electronic industry will get the biggest hit this holiday season and there will be lot of bargains especially in flat panel TVs.

hololo
11-14-2008, 10:52 PM
I have a Panasonic 50pz80u display since 5/2008 and have had zero issues with it. My friend bought one at the same time and also has zero issues. Bad "batches" happen with ANY mfg, so just take that into account when reading reviews is what I recommend. Otherwise we could not buy ANY HDTV because they all will have some kind of rare issues.

eyern1
11-15-2008, 11:48 AM
I wish I could buy one of those Denon recievers or another that has the HDMI 1.3 and the HD audio decoding, but I can't get rid of my Denon I bought 8 years ago. Ain't it amazing with electronics how each newer model is usually better AND cheaper than what it replaced!
I have only read one brief article on how the HD audio works. I have directv. If I had the proper reciever, would I get HD audio? Are the over the air broadcasts going to be in HD audio (can get locals with my antenna sometimes), DD or both and you use whichever your reciever has?
On the limited speaker selection at BB, I agree. However, last year on Thanksgiving weekend, they had their Klipsch mains on half price and I am very happy with the ones I got (don't recall the model # but they have 1's 2's and 3's and mine are the floorstanding 3's) and I later got the center in a 2 to match up. Subsequently, I have 2 pinnacle PN8+ lying around gathering dust, along with a Pinnacle center. Anybody interested?

PFC5
11-15-2008, 01:07 PM
The HD audio is only for BD (and the defunct HD DVD) sources. standard DD/DTS are still currently being used with OTA, sat/cable sources and likely will for a while if not forever.

What happens with CE products now has been happening with PC products for 20 years. Bigger, better faster, cheaper each year is a constant thing, but if you continually wait for the next improvement you will wait forever and not enjoy them, since there is always this cycle happening. So just find a place to jump in and enjoy. :D

golfinbill
11-15-2008, 10:55 PM
So the "comparable" (feature wise) Yamaha and Denon AVR's are about $150-$200 more than the Onkyo SR606? No wonder the Onkyo seems to get so much play on these forums.

I'll head out to a high-end shop this week and listen to these three AVR's and some speaker combos.

PFC5
11-15-2008, 11:37 PM
So the "comparable" (feature wise) Yamaha and Denon AVR's are about $150-$200 more than the Onkyo SR606? No wonder the Onkyo seems to get so much play on these forums.

I'll head out to a high-end shop this week and listen to these three AVR's and some speaker combos.

Yes the Onkyo is cheaper but my friend has a 604 model and I think when compared with movie soundtracks that his old Yamaha and my current Denon sound better with more realistic dialog tracks. Make sure you listen to movie tracks and make note of how the dialog sounds with both receivers when they switch the same movie back & forth.

Also make sure they use the same speakers for such tests and that they do not use a separate high end amp for the testing. Some Hi end stores seem to always run receivers or speaker demos thorough a high end amp like Krell or similar. You want a more direct connection with just the receiver and the speakers. ;)

Loves2Watch
11-15-2008, 11:51 PM
Yes the Onkyo is cheaper but my friend has a 604 model and I think when compared with movie soundtracks that his old Yamaha and my current Denon sound better with more realistic dialog tracks. Make sure you listen to movie tracks and make note of how the dialog sounds with both receivers when they switch the same movie back & forth.

Also make sure they use the same speakers for such tests and that they do not use a separate high end amp for the testing. Some Hi end stores seem to always run receivers or speaker demos thorough a high end amp like Krell or similar. You want a more direct connection with just the receiver and the speakers. ;)

And yet my neighbor just traded his Denon for a new Onkyo because he thinks the Onkyo sounds better . It just goes to show you that beauty is in the ear of the beholder.

PFC5
11-16-2008, 03:10 AM
And yet my neighbor just traded his Denon for a new Onkyo because he thinks the Onkyo sounds better . It just goes to show you that beauty is in the ear of the beholder.

True. And also somewhat based on the speakers used no doubt also. This is why people need to hear them to know what sounds best with their own ears.

mabplanalp
11-16-2008, 09:12 AM
The black level of a monitor is the most important part of a TV, and is a big part of the cost. That said if you can a afford the Panasonic it will have a superior picture. Buy the panasonic.

Loves2Watch
11-16-2008, 09:25 AM
True. And also somewhat based on the speakers used no doubt also. This is why people need to hear them to know what sounds best with their own ears.

Agreed.

eyern1
11-16-2008, 12:13 PM
The HD audio is only for BD (and the defunct HD DVD) sources. standard DD/DTS are still currently being used with OTA, sat/cable sources and likely will for a while if not forever.

What happens with CE products now has been happening with PC products for 20 years. Bigger, better faster, cheaper each year is a constant thing, but if you continually wait for the next improvement you will wait forever and not enjoy them, since there is always this cycle happening. So just find a place to jump in and enjoy. :D

So, only the Blue Ray does the HD audio. Does you really notice a difference with it. The only time I think I ever auditioned HD audio was years ago when they were trying to promote it vs SACD I think. I assume the bd also ouputs dd and dts. Hard to believe they could improve on the sound and separation in the 5.1 but there's room for improvement in anything I guess with bitrate and so on. I actually am set up for 7.1 but have never rented or bought a disc with it. I guess that kinda died out. I've got a great setup that I rarely take advantage of unfortunately. I'm sure not going to give up the extra 2 speakers I lobbied to get on the wall in case I ever fully need them. I do listen to my normal cd's in 7.1 sometimes just for the effect.

PFC5
11-16-2008, 07:16 PM
Just over half of BD movies surprisingly (to me) actually have a 7.1 soundtrack now. Check this out:

http://www.blu-raystats.com/Stats/Stats.php?OrderBy=Audio

I do hear the difference that the HD audio provides with my system and ears. Other may not hear enough difference with their equipment or ears though. Most of the difference I hear is in the cleaner sound throughout the audio spectrum, but mostly in the highs and very lows. But the dialog seems to just sound better also. Having discrete rear surrounds is a nice plus also.

At the end of the day, how much better it sounds is based on; The equipment you have, your ears, and how much you listen for such differences as to whether it is worth the additional cost for HD audio and 7.1 over 5.1 IMO.

eyern1
11-16-2008, 07:55 PM
The black level of a monitor is the most important part of a TV, and is a big part of the cost. That said if you can a afford the Panasonic it will have a superior picture. Buy the panasonic.
That is why I was all hopped up over the reviews on the Panny, but I was gonna have to wait til after new years probably and then some to see if it went on a good sale and when I found this deal on the Samsung it was too good to pass up.

eyern1
11-16-2008, 08:05 PM
Just over half of BD movies surprisingly (to me) actually have a 7.1 soundtrack now. Check this out:

http://www.blu-raystats.com/Stats/Stats.php?OrderBy=Audio

I do hear the difference that the HD audio provides with my system and ears. Other may not hear enough difference with their equipment or ears though. Most of the difference I hear is in the cleaner sound throughout the audio spectrum, but mostly in the highs and very lows. But the dialog seems to just sound better also. Having discrete rear surrounds is a nice plus also.

At the end of the day, how much better it sounds is based on; The equipment you have, your ears, and how much you listen for such differences as to whether it is worth the additional cost for HD audio and 7.1 over 5.1 IMO.Thanks. So, which of these are outputted through digital optical and which through HDMI only? I will be running my sound through the optical to the receiver and the video straight to the tv with the HDMI since I don't have HDMI inputs on my receiver.

Loves2Watch
11-16-2008, 10:38 PM
Thanks. So, which of these are outputted through digital optical and which through HDMI only? I will be running my sound through the optical to the receiver and the video straight to the tv with the HDMI since I don't have HDMI inputs on my receiver.

The best you will get via optical will be DTS ES all of the other lossless and HD audio tracks are HDMI only unless you have multichannel analog audio inputs and outputs on both the receiver and Blu ray player.

Hooksta
11-17-2008, 08:19 AM
The best you will get via optical will be DTS ES all of the other lossless and HD audio tracks are HDMI only unless you have multichannel analog audio inputs and outputs on both the receiver and Blu ray player.

I haven't seen a receiver that accepts analog audio at this point, but what a mess of connections that must be...assuming the receiver could handle more than one set of analog audio inputs. Count me as one that thinks HDMI or even fiber optic as "good enough."

Loves2Watch
11-17-2008, 08:36 AM
I haven't seen a receiver that accepts analog audio at this point, but what a mess of connections that must be...assuming the receiver could handle more than one set of analog audio inputs. Count me as one that thinks HDMI or even fiber optic as "good enough."

Most all of the Onkyo receivers (non HTiB) have multichannel analog audio inputs. You really only need 1 set of inputs on your receiver which can be used for a Blu ray player that has multichannel analog audio out or it can also be used for a DVD Audio/SACD player.

As stated before with optical and coaxial digital audio connections, the best you can get will be DTS ES. Any upper level of DTS, lossless audio and DOLBY HD audio can only be received using HDMI or multichannel analog audio connections.

eyern1
11-20-2008, 12:38 AM
The best you will get via optical will be DTS ES all of the other lossless and HD audio tracks are HDMI only unless you have multichannel analog audio inputs and outputs on both the receiver and Blu ray player.
Thanks.

Toyo
12-13-2008, 10:27 AM
Here is my .02 cents.... I have had a Panny TH-42PZ77U for a little over a year now. Nothing but praise on that set. I needed to replace my TV in our master so I was shopping for a TH-50PZ800U. I found one, the last one, at my local Circuit City for $1449.99. I could not pass it up to say the least. I am not worried about them closing up since my warranty is with Panny. I have a Panny BD player, an Onkyo SR-605 running my Focal speakers.

The picture on the 800U is stunning, I thought my 42 was good! I don't think you can wrong with the 800U, nor do I believe you could go wrong with the Sammy.

daleb
12-13-2008, 08:06 PM
Can't go wrong with either from just a PQ stand-point IMO. The 550 is a bit long in the tooth now, but it set the stage for Samsungs (650 & 760) to follow. But Price-wise it should be quite a bit lower than the Pan. But it does not have the feature set of the 800U or the newer Sams. Plus, the screen coating is better on the newer models (less reflective).