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Plasma or LCD? 50"+

Rounder
04-27-2009, 12:56 PM
Will be used mostly for TV and movie watching.

50" plasmas and 52" LCDs seem to be similar in prices - mostly looking at Samsungs with 1080p.

There are a couple of 58" Samsung plasmas in the $2000 to $2200 range.

A couple of friends have suggested I go with plasma since I'll probably want to get a BlueRay player and to go with the PS3 as my BlueRay player. Will the plasma display the PS3 better and handle the games better?

I don't mind paying an extra $500 to go from a 50" or 52" to a 58".

Any thoughts would be appreciated. I have searched the forums and done some reading but there is a lot of info here to cover. Just looking for some answers and direction.

Thanks.

mobiushky
04-27-2009, 01:24 PM
There are a few tid bits that you might want to share. Where will you be using the TV? Will it be a normally bright room? Is it going to be sitting in a room with large windows that let in a lot of light? Do you prefer to turn the lights down when you watch movies or TV?

What types of TV are you more inclined to watch? Normal "shows" or more sports?

As luck would have it, I have a plasma and an LCD. I have PS3s attached to both. Here's my run down. I prefer the plasma in almost every case. BD movies, Sports, and games. But the LCD is not bad. My wife prefers the LCD for everything. I tend to get a little irritated with the pixel lag of the LCD, but in most games I would play, it's not a big problem. I can't play fast paced games on the LCD, it gets too blurry for my taste, but then I know a lot of people who could not care less.

My plasma sits in a room with 3 HUGE windows that face the sun until about 11am in the morning. It's a bit of a pain to watch any TV on it until them. But not something that is impossible. After that, I rarely even notice the window reflections unless I stop watching what's on and focus on trying to find the reflections.

For bright rooms with a lot of light, the plasma will tend to wash out and be tough to see. But if you have any window coverings, it's not a problem. If you like to leave window blinds open all day, an LCD would probably be better. However, LCD's tend to wash out in darker scenes with the lights turned down. Instead of nice detail in the blacks, you get muddled pools of grey that wash the details out. But it's not so bad that you can't watch a movie.

Plasma is the movie king. No matter what anyone says, it is the ultimate right now for immersive movie experience. LCD is an excellent overall set, but just a shade behind even with the latest LED backlights. Don't be fooled by current claims of black levels. They are deceptive. They base the results on a completely black screen with all the backlight turned down as low as they can. Problem is, you typically don't sit and watch a completely black screen. Well, I assume you don't. In real world testing, even the latest LED based LCDs suffer from black level issues. But they are DARN good. No doubt. With no point of reference (ie, the 2 tvs sitting next to each other in YOUR house) you would probably be completely happy either way.

Rounder
04-27-2009, 01:36 PM
Thank you for the quick reply.

This will be in my living room - large vaulted ceiling - 1 small octagonal window in that room. The TV will face the south and I have several windows on the east wall that are well behind the couch. In other words - there will be some ambient light in the room in the morning but no direct light hitting the TV.

Most of my TV/movie watching will be in the evening. I currently have a 53" Sony projection I got in 2002. In the morning hours it can wash the picture out some but it looks very good in the evening.

If I get a PS3 - which I think I eventually will - I tend to prefer fast paced games - driving games, shooters, etc.

Sports - Love football and MMA. I'll watch some post season baseball and basketball. I do love to watch football on a big TV though.

I'm a dork but I do love National Geographic and Animal Planet wildlife programs.

Sounds like plasma is the way to go for me. It will look very good at night in my living room.

I guess I have to decide if I want to shell out the extra $$ for the 58".

mobiushky
04-27-2009, 02:06 PM
Thank you for the quick reply.

This will be in my living room - large vaulted ceiling - 1 small octagonal window in that room. The TV will face the south and I have several windows on the east wall that are well behind the couch. In other words - there will be some ambient light in the room in the morning but no direct light hitting the TV.

Most of my TV/movie watching will be in the evening. I currently have a 53" Sony projection I got in 2002. In the morning hours it can wash the picture out some but it looks very good in the evening.

If I get a PS3 - which I think I eventually will - I tend to prefer fast paced games - driving games, shooters, etc.

Sports - Love football and MMA. I'll watch some post season baseball and basketball. I do love to watch football on a big TV though.

I'm a dork but I do love National Geographic and Animal Planet wildlife programs.

Sounds like plasma is the way to go for me. It will look very good at night in my living room.

I guess I have to decide if I want to shell out the extra $$ for the 58".

It does kind of sound that way. So here's a little secret if you want to. The absolute best plasma right now is the Pioneer. They stopped making plasma because they were losing money on the business, BUT, you can still find some. Best Buy has the Kuro 50" PDP-5020FD (the last they made) for $2000. It is an absolute steal and is about 50% off the regular price. They don't have many left though and you will probably have to order it. If size is more important than freakishly stunning images, the Panasonic S series is out with a 50" now at $1700-1900, but the larger sets will be coming soon and will probably be not much more in price. The panny's are 95-99% as good as the Pioneers and will probably surpass them before anyone else does. Panny took over a lot of Pioneer's tech when they started making the panels for Pioneer. Honestly, Pioneer and Panasonic are the brands to beat. Cnet even said that no one will beat the Pioneer Kuro's until next year. So that's something to think about.

You have to decide which is more important to you personally. Is it a larger TV understanding that the PQ will suffer a little due to budget? Or do you want the best TV you can afford and understand that it may not be the 65" monster? Some of the things that are not readily obvious are the video engines in the TV's. Top line tv's (Pioneer and the new Panny's) have ways to properly display the 1080p/24Hz frame rate of Blu-Ray movies. One of the first things to go when you drop in price is that right there. Instead they opt for the less expensive 3:2 pull down method that introduces judder. Then again, a LOT of people never care or notice and don't want to pay more for it.

So, what do you want out of your TV? It's more important to know what you expect to get out of it. Each of us has different demands and if you try to buy a TV that fits Joe X, you may find yourself hating it.

Bigloww
04-27-2009, 02:08 PM
The points Mobiushky makes about optimal plasma viewing are well put.. It appears this would be a good fit for you situation..

One other consideration to consider is last years Panasonic line.. You can still find the TH-58PZ800U online for around $2400-$2500 shipped. Very nice plasma at a great price..

http://www.amazon.com/Panasonic-Viera-TH-58PZ800U-58-Inch-Plasma/dp/B001DSYNB0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1240862761&sr=1-1

PFC5
04-27-2009, 03:46 PM
I agree with these guys that with your description of use, a plasma will be the better choice. I own 2 LCDs, 1 DLP, and in the last year bought my first Panasonic plasma and I prefer watching on the plasma ALWAYS, over the others. The deep rich black levels are very important for a good picture and one thing not mentioned though is viewing angles. With LCD as you move away from being right in front of the center of the screen the screen starts washing out and gets progressively worse as you move more to one side or the other of the center position. If you have seats that are more off to the side, then that is yet another consideration that favors plasma over LCD.

Panasonic also has the G Series plasmas along with the S series plasmas that are coming in a 54" size which is new this year. It is a good middle size to consider depending on your viewing distance and budget. ;)

dsskid
04-27-2009, 05:40 PM
Welcome to the forum. :hithere:

mobiushky, Bigloww & PFC5, pretty much summed it up. For your application, plasma edges out LCD, and you will get more for your money.

How far will you be sitting from the display.

When I sit 10-15 feet away from my 58" plasma, it's awesome, however, when I sit 18 feet away, while still outstanding, I start to lose the value of 1080P over 720P and I wish I had gotten the 65".

The distance you sit from your display will dictate the size you should choose. Rarely have I heard someone say they should have gotten the smaller one.

Rounder
04-28-2009, 08:23 AM
Obviously price always matters. The $1949 price is attractive but it only has 3 HDMI inputs (2rear 1side) - although I think that will be enough for me.


$2219 - Samsung PN58A760
$2149 - Samsung PN58B550
$1949 - Samsung PN58A550

$2249 - Panasonic TH-58pz800U



Any of these preferred over the others?

Abe's of Maine
PowerSellernyc
Amazon
Dbuys

Bigloww
04-28-2009, 08:42 AM
I think Samsung has improved their plasma line quite a bit over the last 2 generations to close the gap of performance and price with Panasonic. Their new line is quite impressive IMO. With that said, I still like the overall PQ and build quality of Panny a bit over the Samsung line. The Panasonic TH-58pz800U would be the 1st choice out of them and the A760 2nd.. Could not go wrong with any on the list however. Read reveiws and see what you can check out in person. Reveiws across the web on the 800u are for the most part, very favorable. I think BB/Magnolia still carries them until the new 58's come out. So you can check it in person, although in store is not the optimal test in many cases.

As far as reputable online stores go..

You are pretty much always in great shape with Amazon.. Very good with issues and returns and such. I used Abes of Main before and they were very good too. I have never used or even heard of the other 2 you mentioned, so can't say.

jmcohen23
04-28-2009, 08:52 AM
go with Panasonic, you won't ever have a problem, and you won't be disappointed.

I looked on Panasonic's website, and I could not find the TH-58p2800U, but I did see the TH-58PZ850U listed for $2,400

I also saw their TC-P54G10 listed for $1,800.

Bigloww
04-28-2009, 09:04 AM
go with Panasonic, you won't ever have a problem, and you won't be disappointed.

I looked on Panasonic's website, and I could not find the TH-58p2800U, but I did see the TH-58PZ850U listed for $2,400

I also saw their TC-P54G10 listed for $1,800.


It was the 58PZ800U. I think he just fat fingered the 2 in there by mistake. The 8500u is another good choice, but the extra $250 or so in price for a very simular TV and features.

The TC-54G10 is the new Panny 54'' plasma that has not been released yet. From what I heard it is supposed to be released some time next month, but not sure yet. The pre order prices I have seen on it are around $2199.. Veracast on the new Panny's is a cool new feature. Worth the wait I would think.

http://reviews.cnet.com/flat-panel-tvs/panasonic-tc-p54g10/4505-6482_7-33497902.html

jeffs386
04-29-2009, 08:39 AM
I would seriously consider getting a Panasonic plasma over a Samsung
The older Panasonics were already better in things like black levels,shadow detail,and IR and now the new NeoPDP even further the gap

pbjones81
03-23-2013, 02:10 PM
I vote LCD