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Author Topic: 50" plasma TV considerations  (Read 6495 times)

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Offline Brian Skalinder

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50" plasma TV considerations
« on: December 12, 2008, 10:14:34 AM »
Yesterday I cashed in my large mixed change jar (~3 gallons worth), and it was worth more than I expected:  $1,150.  Woohoo!  I've always intended to buy a new toy for myself with the change, so...I'm looking at replacing my 37" LCD TV (720p) with a 50" plasma.

I'm generally happy with my 37" LCD, but the contrast isn't great, and I'd like to upsize the screen.  For the moment, I'm focusing on 50" 720p sets because <a> the size/resolution/transition to plasma (and in large part better contrast) fits my budget and gives me a significant upgrade from my current set, and <b> at my viewing distance of ~10' (which won't change any time soon) - according to this chart - I'll achieve the full benefits of 720p, but barely, if at all, receive any benefits from 1080p.  Of course, it doesn't hurt that 720p prices have dropped this year.  The specific models I'm considering at the moment:

Samsung PN50A450, $960 shipped
Panasonic TH-50PX80U VIERA, $940 shipped

Yes, yes...I know I could spend another $400 or so and get the 1080p versions of both of the above sets, but my budget simply won't support it, and if the chart above is correct I wouldn't notice the difference, anyway.  On a side note, I'm a bit surprised B&H had the best prices from the usual online retailers I frequent (B&H, NewEgg, TigerDirect).  Go figure.

Any recommendations as to which set of the two above, or alternatives in my price range in 50" plasmas, other online shops, etc.?
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Offline Rusty M

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Re: 50" plasma TV considerations
« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2008, 12:10:58 PM »
panasonic.  blacker blacks and just a little more crisp.  motion was comparable.  I was just comparing the 42" versions of these exact models last night.  but the samsung is nice too.

I think John Kelly said that Pioneer is now buying the panels for some of their models from Panasonic. 
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: 50" plasma TV considerations
« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2008, 12:42:26 PM »
Seems there weren't just pennies and nickles in there. 

Though not in the market until I get the rest of the house back together, the research I've done also sways me towards Panasonic.  When I do, my arrangement and needs are similar, so let us know what you end up with and how it works out.  I plan on fabricating a large, hinged wall mount that will allow the screen to swing out about 30 degrees for proper viewing in the room, then fold flat to the wall when not in use.
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Offline Teen Wolf Blitzer

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Re: 50" plasma TV considerations
« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2008, 12:47:12 PM »
We're in the market as well.  But I've been told by many folks to avoid a plasma.  The picture is better but the lifetime of the tv is way shorter vs. an lcd and they fade.  Is this true?

Offline OFOTD

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Re: 50" plasma TV considerations
« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2008, 01:14:22 PM »
We're in the market as well.  But I've been told by many folks to avoid a plasma.  The picture is better but the lifetime of the tv is way shorter vs. an lcd and they fade.  Is this true?

Not anymore.   Plasmas have really taken a big jump in design and build quality the last 12-24 months.  Alot of the prior shortcomings of plasmas have been fixed like burn-in, altitude, life span, fade, etc.

Between the two listed in the original post my vote is for the Samsung.   My parents just bought the 58" version on the Panny and while nice I don't think it views nearly as well as the Samsung.  The Samsung definitely has more consistent blacks.   The Panny seems to devolve into the moss green blacks alot especially when fed a 480 signal which is most of what you're watching anyways. 

The other clincher is the ability to fine tune the sets via there menu system.    The Samsung to me has better fine control of picture options.  The Panny is still a real nice set and you won't go wrong with either I just feel the intangibles of the Samsung make it a clear winner.

Offline fozzy

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Re: 50" plasma TV considerations
« Reply #5 on: December 12, 2008, 01:15:23 PM »
I don't think you can go wrong with either of those plasmas.   have the 37" panny and a friend has the 42"  I am sure the 50" is very similar guts w/ a bigger screen.  The scaler is one of the better ones i have seen, we watch a lot of 480i content.  

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Offline momule

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Re: 50" plasma TV considerations
« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2008, 01:33:55 PM »
Personally I would keep saving your change until you can afford a 1080p version.  IMO buying a 720p box is like buying a Ferrari with a 4 cylinder. The outside looks pretty but that's about it.  You might consider stepping down to a 46"    

I would suggest the Panasonic TH46PZ80 which is onsale at sears for $1299
Or the Samsung LN46A630 which is on sale at bestbuy for $1399.
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Offline Teen Wolf Blitzer

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Re: 50" plasma TV considerations
« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2008, 01:42:04 PM »
thx for the info guys.   :coolguy:

Offline John Kelly

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Re: 50" plasma TV considerations
« Reply #8 on: December 12, 2008, 01:55:38 PM »
Personally I would keep saving your change until you can afford a 1080p version.  IMO buying a 720p box is like buying a Ferrari with a 4 cylinder. The outside looks pretty but that's about it.  You might consider stepping down to a 46"    

I would suggest the Panasonic TH46PZ80 which is onsale at sears for $1299
Or the Samsung LN46A630 which is on sale at bestbuy for $1399.

Unless, of course, he really is going to sit 10 feet away and then 1080p would just be throwing his money away...

Brian - definitely go with the Panasonic.  Their TVs are consistently among the best you can buy for the money.  I've got a 42", have a friend with an older 37", and my father has a 50" 720p very similar to the one you're looking at.  Fantastic TVs all around.

And although Samsung's are pretty great - I'd stick with their LCDs and not their plasmas.
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Offline sparkey

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Re: 50" plasma TV considerations
« Reply #9 on: December 12, 2008, 01:58:29 PM »
I'd take a gander at Craigslist and see what people are selling.  Have you thought about a projector?  My Sony HW15 looks amazing.

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Offline ellaguru

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Re: 50" plasma TV considerations
« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2008, 02:02:37 PM »
just got a 42" panni plasma....TH42PZ85U....im not even a big TV guy but WOW is it great....paired with my oppo 981 (also delivered yesterday) i was in pure bliss....panni claims 100,00 hrs....thats 30 years @ 8hrs a day....

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Offline John Kelly

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Re: 50" plasma TV considerations
« Reply #11 on: December 12, 2008, 02:31:49 PM »
And that 100,000 hours is until the TV gets to half-brightness.  These things last a crazy long time.
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Offline Brian Skalinder

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Re: 50" plasma TV considerations
« Reply #12 on: December 12, 2008, 04:25:49 PM »
Hmmmm...an initial vote each for the Panny and Sammy, but then quite a few Panny recommendations.  Thanks for the tips on the Sammy fine tuning, OFOTD -- I generally like to tweak, so I'll have to dig a little deeper on that one.  I've been very happy with my (granted, smallish) Sammy LCD I have in my home office, but know nothing about their plasmas.

Good idea to check out CL -- hadn't even thought about it.  A quick gander doesn't show anything interesting or particularly well priced, but I'll keep my eye out for sure.

Saving up for 1080p is off the table.  Too many other priorities.  And assuming the distance/resolution chart is accurate, buying 1080p would be like buying the big engine for the Ferrari to drive around on crowded, potholed city streets between 0 - 25 mph, i.e. not worth the extra cash.  Though the more I read, the more I'm seeing suggestions that the benefits of 1080p aren't just about resolution.  At any rate, my budget and unwillingness to re-prioritize future saving basically keeps me out of the 1080p anyway, so in that sense it's an easy decision.

Thanks for the comments, everyone!  Going to have to ponder a bit more...
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Offline drewloo

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Re: 50" plasma TV considerations
« Reply #13 on: December 12, 2008, 04:27:35 PM »
I'll throw another vote for the Panny plasma.  Bought a 42" 1080p at Costco a few months ago and am very pleased.  FarCry2 looks smoking on it (hooked up to the pc).
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Offline Brian Skalinder

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Re: 50" plasma TV considerations
« Reply #14 on: December 12, 2008, 06:45:09 PM »
Forgot to add I haven't really considered projectors, since at first glance projectors in my price range either don't offer high enough contrast or aren't bright enough (it's a quite bright room).  Not to mention I don't seem to have a sufficient budget for projector + screen + ceiling mount + (maybe) new window treatments.
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