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Topic # 110984 21-Oct-2012 21:15 Send private message

I'm considering a new TV and looking at a few on the Boxing day sales. The Panasonic listed above looks like the one to get (@ $1279) though it is a wee bit more than I was initially thinking of spending. Anything else worth looking at or is this as good as everyone says? :) I'm just replacing a 32 inch (fairly cheap) sony bravia LCD bought around 3-4 years ago. The vast majority of our viewing is in the evening with lights out so I think plasma makes sense.

Only downside I can really see is power usage; I can't find any concrete comparisons... but by the looks of it my current lcd pulls something like ~90watts whereas the 42 plasma is likely to be around 180, is that about right? We also don't really need any 3D capabilities but I suppose no harm getting it unless there is a cheaper equivalent model without 3D?

Any and all opinions or advice appreciated!

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  Reply # 704484 21-Oct-2012 22:23 Send private message

Wow, got that cheap already? And here I was thinking getting a new 2012 model early ready to move into new place when its finished was a prudent idea :) Use to be 1700-2200RRP and cheapest I got mine was $1390 (at the stores loss)

Only downside I've found to it so far is not the plasma buzzing (they all do this, more noticable in quiet zones if wall mounted as these have no fans in them now) which you can hear, but the damn powersupply squeal

Its 5 1/2 * rated, at 369kwh/yr and I think to get that, they are using some large trannies in it and they squeal like anyting. not been able to get another one in the same situation thats not in a store with a heap of others around it to compare

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  Reply # 704502 21-Oct-2012 23:59 Send private message

sidefx: I'm considering a new TV and looking at a few on the Boxing day sales. The Panasonic listed above looks like the one to get (@ $1279) though it is a wee bit more than I was initially thinking of spending. Anything else worth looking at or is this as good as everyone says?

I just went out and bought one of those at Noel Lemon today for $1279.  This was after comparing it with other LED/LCD TVs in the same store.  Actually, before we arrived, I was leaning towards the TH-L42E5Z LED/LCD units, but they just didn't compare well for the following reasons:

1)  Too many reflections from the LCD, whereas the Plasma has a very effective non-glare glass bezel instead of plastic, making it easier to keep clean.

2)  Richness of colours: The Plasma with Contrast & Saturation wound down to 50% looked richer than the LCD @ 100%.  The Plasma when cranked up to 100% has vivid colours to burn, just showing how much gain it has in reserve compared to the LCD.

3)  Much darker blacks on the Plasma.

4)  Much better viewing angle on the Plasma.  Despite Panny's claims of 178 degree viewing angle for the LCD, it does not look good viewing from 45 degrees or more off-axis.  All the colours on the LCD start to wash out, whereas the Plasma looks just as good from anywhere.

5)  The picture on the Plasma looked cleaner, sharper, and more natural than the LCD, especially with skin tones.

As I say, I arrived at the shop, pretty much set on buying the LCD because it was $400 cheaper.  However, this is the first decent TV we have bought in 15 years, so we decided to go for gold.  Actually, it was my wife that first said how much better the Plasma looked, when I was still looking at all the other units on display.  The Samsung Plasmas just didn't look good compared to the Panny, and there aren't that many other alternatives in the Plasma market.  Also, I've never been disappointed by any Panasonic gear I have bought over the years, going right back to when they were called Matsush1ta Electric.

EDIT: Excuse the incorrect spelling of Matsush1ta, but the brain-dead profanity checker on GZ wouldn't let me post the correct version because it thought I was trying to write that other word.  Someone needs to rewrite the code for it, because it's patently obvious that I wasn't trying to be profane!





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  Reply # 704507 22-Oct-2012 00:31 Send private message


whereas the 42 plasma is likely to be around 180, is that about right?

The panasonic.co.nz website says 100 watts for the Normal mode. A reviewer reported the UK model using 168 watts for 2D when professionally calibrated. Even if it used 100 watts more than an LCD that's 40 hours per extra $1 of electricity and you can count that towards the heating bill for half of the year.

Anything else worth looking at or is this as good as everyone says?

There are no 2012 model televisions with better picture quality than the P42ST50Z in the under 50" size bracket other than the P42GT50 which isn't available in NZ.

The P42UT50Z is cheaper but at the expense of the anti-glare filter, some colour quality, an HDMI port and subwoofer. I don't see much point in buying anything below ST in the Panasonic plasma range for the average person.

We also don't really need any 3D capabilities but I suppose no harm getting it unless there is a cheaper equivalent model without 3D?

Almost all current models with good picture quality are going to have 3D.

Don't turn brightness and contrast up too high as that can cause long term image retention. The panels aren't designed to be run with contrast at the maximum setting.

You can improve picture quality by turning off overscan. The TV should always have the pixel orbiter on for the sensitive first 400 hours so don't disable overscan during that time if doing so turns off the pixel orbiter. The pixel orbiter helps reduce the possibility of image retention and uneven wear.

Only downside I've found to it so far is not the plasma buzzing (they all do this, more noticable in quiet zones if wall mounted as these have no fans in them now) which you can hear, but the damn powersupply squeal

I don't think many people would hear plasma buzzing from a 42" at sitting distance.

But you shouldn't have to put up with a squealing PSU. Maybe your unit's power board is slightly faulty?

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  Reply # 704515 22-Oct-2012 01:55 Send private message

I've just finished reading the UK review that Bfginger mentioned above:

http://www.hdtvtest.co.uk/news/panasonic-tx-p42st50b-p42st50-201203191731.htm

They leave no stone unturned in putting these TVs through their paces.  If that doesn't convince you, nothing will!







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  Reply # 704522 22-Oct-2012 07:13 Send private message

Thanks guys, very useful info! That hdtv UK review was what put me onto the Panasonic. Looks damn good so I think I'll be blowing my budget on it :-) will go have a look in noel lemon first heh but looks like a no brainer

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  Reply # 704587 22-Oct-2012 10:35 Send private message

I had a Samsung plasma, returned it because of so so picture (weird motion) and weird buzzing noise, very happy with my two Samsung LCD's - 40 and 55". If you watch a lot of TV the power savings could add up - plasma can be 100-200w more. 200w * 8 hours * 365 days = $120/year. So not much really.




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  Reply # 704699 22-Oct-2012 18:16 Send private message

Plasmas have become more efficient with even the 65" ST50 using 199 watts in the Normal mode. They do use more electricity than LCDs but compare that with over 450 watts from a 42" plasma a few years ago. LCDs use alot less than they used to too.

Samsung's 2012 plasmas are inferior to Panasonic's in every way except image retention so they aren't a good reflection of the state of the technology.

I don't think I'd tolerate watching a typical LCD TV in preference to even a SD CRT. There are few models with good panels or good backlighting and those cost more. The IPS panels do seem nicer but they don't look as good overall as a plasma.

  Thanks guys, very useful info! That hdtv UK review was what put me onto the Panasonic. Looks damn good so I think I'll be blowing my budget on it :-) will go have a look in noel lemon first heh but looks like a no brainer

The ST50 sold in NZ is better than the one sold in the UK and Europe. 2500Hz FFD vs 2000Hz, and a VGA port. Watch out for excessive default contrast if you use Dynamic mode.

The Noel website says the discount price ends tomorrow.

I wouldn't say it's an absolute no brainer as people with abnormal viewing habits like daily 8 hour CNN marathons would probably prefer an LCD to keep off the image retention.


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  Reply # 704727 22-Oct-2012 19:25 Send private message

To the OP.
You say that you're looking for an ST50 in the Boxing Day sales?
Are you aware that the 42" ST has been discontinued? Don't be surprised if you can't find one come post-Christmas...



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  Reply # 704756 22-Oct-2012 20:03 Send private message

Doh, my bad, I meant labour weekend sales of course! Went and got one and it looks gorgeous pretty much out of the box. Got a bit of fiddle yet to do to get it setup properly, but very happy so far.

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  Reply # 704792 22-Oct-2012 20:58 Send private message

Dunnersfella: To the OP.
You say that you're looking for an ST50 in the Boxing Day sales?
Are you aware that the 42" ST has been discontinued? Don't be surprised if you can't find one come post-Christmas...

How did you hear that, are you sure?

There is a big difference between running out of stock and not producing any more versus discontinuation of the line this year and the next though. Alot of people will be peeved if there's no P42ST60Z.

sidefx: Doh, my bad, I meant labour weekend sales of course! Went and got one and it looks gorgeous pretty much out of the box. Got a bit of fiddle yet to do to get it setup properly, but very happy so far.

Picture quality out of the box won't be great compared with what is possible. Look up AVS HD 709 and see if that helps.

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  Reply # 704848 22-Oct-2012 23:27 Send private message

bfginger: Alot of people will be peeved if there's no P42ST60Z.


They should prepare now. Even our neighbours across the ditch didn't get a 42" in any SKU.
Its days are done.

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  Reply # 705098 23-Oct-2012 13:49 Send private message


Only downside I can really see is power usage;
I'm always befuddled when people worry about the power usage of a new tv. If you can afford a new TV you can afford the power. End of story really.

And if there is any lingering doubt why don't we hear about depreciation in these conversations. You'll loose more in your first year of ownership in depreciation than any difference in power consumption will cost.



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  Reply # 705121 23-Oct-2012 14:16 Send private message


I'm always befuddled when people worry about the power usage of a new tv. If you can afford a new TV you can afford the power. End of story really.


Errr, yes, good point, I don't give my power company enough money each month. I should really find ways to give them more.



And if there is any lingering doubt why don't we hear about depreciation in these conversations. You'll loose more in your first year of ownership in depreciation than any difference in power consumption will cost.


Oh noes, I better start saving for these depreciation bills I'll soon be receiving!

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