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First-Time Buyer Question

04-02-2009, 01:23 AM
I've been looking into buying a ~50" plasma or LCD. Specifically, right now, I'm thinking about a Panasonic TC-P50X1 (last year's 50" plasma model, as I understand it.)

I'm attracted to it because of the price. I've found some online for sub-$900, my local Best Buy has it for $1100 and I'm sure I could haggle them down if I absolutely had to.

I'm a first-time TV buyer, though, and I'm not going to make this purchase until July or August. I was wondering, is there a legitimate risk of availability on this, given it's an older model? Does the stock of older displays run out when the new stuff starts shipping in larger quantities? Can I expect the price to stay low?

Basically, will this price/TV selection change four months from now? Thanks in advance!

04-02-2009, 06:17 AM
The P50X1 is this years (2009) model it is just the base 50" plasma, there is also the P50S1 (1080P) and the P50G10 (also 1080P). All are the 2009 models so availability should still be good during the summer (unless any manufactures decide to can their plasma lines early). Price is always subject to change but if you aren't ready to buy now then there is little you can do about it. I believe just about all the manufactures have released their 50" plasma models by now (some larger sizes are still coming) so I would suggest checking out BB or somewhere to actually look at theses TVs and then once you pick the one your eyes like, keep an eye on the price over the coming months until your ready to make a purchase.

04-02-2009, 08:25 AM
AS was stated in the above reply, this is the NEW model year model. The availability will likely not be any issue at all and will likely drop some as time goes on if how last years models dropped in price as time went on is any indication.

I would consider revisiting the TC-P50S1 model since you are waiting until summertime and that might fall into your budget range by then. The S series (and above) models have the new better NeoPDP panel (which the X series does not have) and also 1080p for another reason to consider it.

Hope this helps & welcome to the forum! :hithere:

04-02-2009, 05:06 PM
Thanks for the help, and the warm welcome!

Truth be told, I'm a college junior buying this before I move into an apartment with a new roommate next year. I want a TV I'll be able to take to law school with me. I don't need 1080p, because it looks like this TV will be used almost exclusively for XBox 360 for now, and the XBox broadcasts in 720p as I understand it. Also, we're only watching it from about 9-10 feet away.

I went to Best Buy today to actually get a look at the 50" plasmas. I really like Panasonic's lowest-end offering (model number TC-P50X1) and Samsung's competitor (model number PN50B450). At Best Buy, at least, the Samsung is $200 cheaper. When I looked at them side-by-side, I actually thought the Samsung looked better (predominantly because it was brighter, and the images "popped.") The salesman said he thought the Panasonic looked better, and mentioned "banding" on the Samsung. I'm not sure if he wasn't just trying to sell me the more expensive one, though.

Should I just go with the Samsung? The salesman also told me that neither of those display models was calibrated. Might the Panny look nicer than the Samsung if they were properly calibrated? Should I take the $200 savings and put it towards the beginnings of a sound system?

Also, on the issue of calibration: I keep seeing things about $1,000 services, $10,000 professional-level spectrometers... Best Buy charges $300 for their service. Is it possible to get decent (if imperfect) calibration with a $4 pair of blue-filter glasses and a downloadable disc somehow? What about if I just copy settings from someone else using the same model?

Sorry for all the questions!

04-03-2009, 01:58 AM
Given your use, the 720p model will likely be better if mostly used for the 360. The reason I suggested the 1080p model is because you also get a much better panel since only the 1080p models have the new and better NeoPDP panels and the X1 does not.

Brightness in a store means next to nothing since those stores are ultra bright and not even close to what you have for lighting in your typical home. You would have to turn down the settings quite a bit for a properly calibrated display in home lighting. For an example, I have my last year 1080p model 50pz80u contrast/picture setting at only 58% of the brightest setting after dark, and only 62% during bright daylight in my home and this is with me calibrating it for the most accurate (and realistic) picture. The new 1080p models are better in all aspects to even my 1080p from only last year by the same mfg. Also remember where this display might be 2+ years from now and will you still be sitting at that distance? Will you possibly sit closer and wish you had a 1080p then? ;)

Some people prefer "pop" over the most realistic picture that displays the original content material as it actually is in the source. What I ask those people is to look around there room and see how much real life "pops", when deciding whether they want "pop" or realistic. ;) Ultimately, it is each individual who must decide if they prefer "pop" or realistic, but there is no wrong answer to personal taste IMO.

From what I have seen, in the 2008 Samsung plasma models is that they are a little easier to get temporary Image Retention than the Panasonic plasmas, but they have improved on this greatly in 2008 compared to the prior year's models. Several very well respected members here love their 2008 model Samsung plasmas, but I have not seen the new 2009 models yet to comment on them.

BB calibration is about the same cost as some very good calibrators with much more experience charge. That $10k professional-level spectrometer is just part of the equipment the good calibrators use and not what they charge you. That is why they must charge more than the cost of a good calibration disc that only costs about $20.00, AND comes with the 3 R/G/B color filters included. You can get one of those discs here:


Just buy the format of the player you have and you can reuse it for many years. ;)

04-03-2009, 01:14 PM
Thanks again! I'll try to wait till closer to my purchase window. The only problem is, I have a condition I inherited from my father: I want a new gadget, I'll always end up buying it right then and there. Last year I said I was going to wait till Black Friday to build a new PC, and I had it up and running by mid-October. :huh