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4 posts

Wannabe Geek


# 104979 24-Jun-2012 09:37
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Hi, looking for some feedback.
I am looking to buy a new TV, upgrading from an older LCD and have been through the cycles of the LED vs Plasma but now wondering more seriously about the Plasma because while the LED 'appears' sharper I find them somewhat over-saturated and much brighter than the current LCD, and plasmas look more natural.

I want the Plasma to watch normal TV and sport
3-D isn't a priority
Biased towards Panasonic and then Sony/LG (though Sony don't do Plasma)
Will be positioned seated (ie. not on wall initially) but would prefer something that was slimline with connections on side to make it easier for wall mounting later on if go that way.
Will be in a semi-light room but windows are tinted and can pull the curtains on one side if required.

I don't want/need a 50 or 55 inch and ideally only 40/42". Even a 46 is getting quite big for the room.

I have done some reading on the site and know to avoid X30 and U30 in Panasonic range but most discussions are on the 50/55" sets, and anything on smaller screens is from 1-2 years ago. Any more updated information/feedback available?

What are my options for a good screen?

Thanks 
sporty





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1953 posts

Uber Geek
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  # 645355 24-Jun-2012 10:07
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sportmad: while the LED 'appears' sharper I find them somewhat over-saturated and much brighter than the current LCD,

I find that strange. My Sony 32 LED seemed to be lower in brilliance than my old Panasonic CFL backlit model even at max settings.
Saturation however was easily adjusted to suit my taste and match the old one. The picture is certainly far superior to the old HD ready one. I've always found Plasma models to be generally oversaturated and overbright.
Just my opinion. Others may not agree.


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  # 645364 24-Jun-2012 11:01
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I don't really think there's any difference in quality between the Panasonic sizes.

If you are wanting to compare sets make sure you change the settings from the display mode to a more appropriate setting like movie/cinema/thx. Means you actually compare apples with apples rather than which set can be set up in the brightest most over saturated way possible.

 
 
 
 


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Ultimate Geek
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  # 645372 24-Jun-2012 12:01
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Hey there! I recently went through just this senario looking for a 40/42" screen for my bedroom. As you say, the plasmas tend to look more 'natural' and that was what I ended up getting.

From a performance perspective, you're probably right in steering away from the lower end X30 and U30 Panasonics, and probably the newer X50 and UT50 models as well.  Unfortunately that won't leave you many options in the 42" size as neither the top end VT50 nor the second tier GT50 come in a 42" size anymore.  The third tier ST50 is the best of the new models that comes in 42".  By all accounts the ST50 is still a very good TV even if not the very best.

My advice would be to do what I did and look around for the older VT30 which was the top end model from last year, but you can get them in 42". (Actual model number Panasonic Viera TH-P42VT30Z).  Had mine for two months now and I must say, what an AWESOME TV! Best part is, because the new 2012 models are out, it's now an 'older model' so I got it at a massively reduced price, (under $1400 from Harvey Norman).  That's less than you'd pay for the newer ST50 42", and it certainly is the better TV.

It's not 'super slim' like the new LED/LCD TV's but still slim enough at 50mm and all the connections come out either horizontally (side) or vertically (down) so none would be 'sticking out the back' in a wall mount situation. 

Keep an eye on the sales and good luck finding a new TV ;)



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  # 645380 24-Jun-2012 12:41
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Good review sites tend to say the 2012 xx50 models are noticeably better than last years xx30s which were pretty good themselves

Apparently the ST50 is similar or better black levels and general PQ to the VT30, also the GT30 is pretty cheap and similar quality



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Wannabe Geek


  # 645382 24-Jun-2012 12:52
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Thanks for comments, I'm not really very technical minded so the gains/losses between models make it confusing.

Looks like need to look at TH-P42ST30, the new ST50 and also VT30 all in 42" size. The room isn't big and viewing distance is around 3m. 

What would be the key feature of the VT30 over the ST30 in 42"? At that size is the difference largely indetectable and then ST30 actually better bang for our buck?

Might need to do another round of the stores and get some pricing deals now that I have narrowed down some models. Certainly specials on the 2011 range but never can be sure about new models as some reviews can be biased ($ commission involved).





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Ultimate Geek
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  # 645404 24-Jun-2012 14:22
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OK - I know you don't want a big TV........... But I suggest you keep an open mind. I guarantee that if you get a 50 inch TV it will look huge in the room for about an hour (or maybe a day) and then after that you won’t notice and you will forever wonder how you might have lasted with a 32 inch. I have never heard of anyone regretting the decision to buy a “bigger” TV but many rue the decision to get the smaller one when they could have got a larger one.

 

Now we know your seating distance (3M) you really ought to be looking at 50 inch minimum. If you are sports mad then bigger is most definitely better!

 

Next you need to look at your budget. If you can’t swing for a 50 inch then you need to balance options against size. Without knowing your budget it’s a bit hard to know where to go to from here.

 

I recently picked up the Panasonic 50ST50. Decoded, that means it’s a 50 inch, ST model 2012 model. 50ST30 is a 50inch ST 2011 model, GT30 and VT 30’s are 2011 models. There’s not a heck of a lot of difference between the 2012 ST and GT models (except price) and the VT, for quite a few more Dollars is probably best suited to the videophiles.

 

It is broadly said that this years mid priced 2012 ST50 model is equal to or better than last years high end VT30 model. Unless budget is an issue I think I’d avoid the 2011 models. Sure you may be able to pick up a run out 2011 at a real good price but the visual quality won’t be as good as a 2012 model. That said if you can get a 2011 GT30 or VT30 within budget you’ll do well.

 

When I picked up my ST50 I calibrated it using Digital Video Essentials and out of the box, in “cinema mode” it was pretty much spot on. No tweaking needed at all. Now there’s probably not too many TV’s that don’t need some calibration once out of the box. I’ll recalibrate once its done 1 – 200 hours to see what adjustments I need to make from there. But I have since re calibrated using AVS HD 709 and made a few extra adjustments but essentially this TV is beautiful out of the box.

 

The ST50 is slim and I reckon bordering on anorexic. Its slimmer than last years ST30.How do they make these things so slim nowadays?? It is also bright – apparently this years models are brighter than earlier years so day time viewing (which I don’t do) is much better

 

I could rave for ages about this TV but there is one thing I don’t like and that’s the stupid cable ports on the side and bottom. You will need to get a flexi HDMI cable (or I’ve put in 2 x 90 degree connectors) to get it so the cable doesn’t bulge out the edge. Why didn’t Panasonic leave the port in the middle or a couple more centimetres in???? And the Component / audio cable connects at the bottom need cable typing do they don’t drag out the bottom.

 

Other than these issues, which can be resolved. I reckon you’ll do pretty well with the ST50 model. You now just have to deal with screen size!

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Master Geek
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  # 645421 24-Jun-2012 15:26
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ST50 IMHO, or else this is a good deal if you can stretch to 46"

http://pricespy.co.nz/product.php?p=915195

46GT30 for $1300

Also remember the ST30 is more reflective than all the others

 
 
 
 


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  # 645465 24-Jun-2012 16:36
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farns: ST50 IMHO, or else this is a good deal if you can stretch to 46"

http://pricespy.co.nz/product.php?p=915195

46GT30 for $1300

Also remember the ST30 is more reflective than all the others


Ouch - that's a tough call. A 46inch gt30 for $1300 or a 42 inch ST50 for $1999 

If pushed I think I'd go for the GT30, pick up a blu ray player for $250 and thats a decent wad of cash left over to buy into a few classic blu rays. And you get a few extra inches which you will appreciate!


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  # 645526 24-Jun-2012 19:12
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The 46GT is a beautiful TV, but it can't hold a candle to either the VT30 or ST50's.
To me, the picture difference between the ST50 and VT30 isn't large at all (I still prefer the VT30 - especially when calibrating the professional picture settings). However the sound on the VT30 is considerably better, as the bulge at the back other posts have alluded to, well, that houses the speakers.
I don't think the web browser built into the ST30 matters whatsoever. However I do like the new Panasonic smartphone app that lets me flick photos etc to a TV, straight from my phone! It'll be a tough choice between the two tellies...

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Master Geek
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  # 645557 24-Jun-2012 20:50
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What you think about GT30 vs ST30 ($200 difference) if the budget doesnt stretch to a ST50 or VT30?

Is the GT30 closer to ST or VT?

IIRC the ST30 compared to others mentioned lacks advanced calibration options and is more reflective apart from slightly inferior PQ 
 
 Unless you like changing TVs every year or two just get the VT30 or ST50 IMO

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Ultimate Geek
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  # 645826 25-Jun-2012 12:33
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sportmad: Thanks for comments, I'm not really very technical minded so the gains/losses between models make it confusing.

Looks like need to look at TH-P42ST30, the new ST50 and also VT30 all in 42" size. The room isn't big and viewing distance is around 3m. 

What would be the key feature of the VT30 over the ST30 in 42"? At that size is the difference largely indetectable and then ST30 actually better bang for our buck?

Might need to do another round of the stores and get some pricing deals now that I have narrowed down some models. Certainly specials on the 2011 range but never can be sure about new models as some reviews can be biased ($ commission involved).



The VT30 (2011 model) is a MUCH better TV than the ST30 (2011 model) as it used a much better panel. However it is generally considered on par with the ST50 (2012 model) as, I think, all the 2012 models use the same panel.

As a general guide, a list in order of picture quality:

1st - VT50 (2012) only available in 65" and 55"
2nd - GT50 (2012) only available in 60" and 50"
3rd= - ST50 (2012) and VT30 (2011) ST50 in 65" 60" 50" and  42".  VT30 in 65" 50" and 42"
5th - GT30 (2011) available in 55" 50" and 46"
6th - ST30 (2011) available in 60" 55" 50" and 42"

I guess it just depends on your budget and how big of a screen you think you can go with.  The VT50 and GT50 are only in the bigger sizes and quite a bit more expensive.  The 42" ST50 is around $1800 on pricespy. The 42" VT30 is around $1650 on pricespy, but as I said earlier I got mine for $1400 on sale.  An earlier post showed the 46" GT30 at $1300 which is quite a steal if you want slightly more screen with only a small difference in picture quality. Would only go for the ST30 if your budget won't strech to the others as it is a step down in PQ.


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  # 646078 25-Jun-2012 20:18
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The lowest price for the P42ST50Z at the moment is $1799 but it has been on sale for as low as $1399 in the past. If you keep watching the price you should be able to snag one on sale for at least $200 less than $1799.

Or you could get one of the last P42VT30Zs now
http://pricespy.co.nz/product.php?p=905574

If you're not planning on using an external sound system then the VT30Z should be the best option. I don't think you'll get a better price for the P42VT30Z as there are no 42" VT50Zs and there are very few VT30Zs left.

Is the GT30 closer to ST or VT?

The GT30 sits between the ST30 and VT30 but is closer to the ST30.



4 posts

Wannabe Geek


  # 646083 25-Jun-2012 20:25
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Thanks everyone for your input.

At the end of the day I really only wanted a 42". Sure The 42" can move to being the second TV which doesn't currently have freeview should I get upgraditis.

I went with an excellent deal for a 2011 VT30, not many around and local so no freight costs added. Nice smooth lines on the front instead of a raised frame and a couple of other things aside from price. Internet on the TV wasn't enough to make me feel the ST50 was justified for an extra 500 smackers.

It's set up and WOW. Wouldn't take much upgrading from a 21" LCD (which was very good model 9 years ago) but all the same it's got the POP factor.

Cheers
sportmad

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