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# 136711 6-Dec-2013 12:18
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I've been given a budget of around $1000 to upgrade our old 42" Plasma TV. I'm quite keen to upsize if I can, and being a fan of the plasma pic over LED, i'm also keen to stick with that.

I have found I can get the Panasonic TH-P50S60Z for under that (delivered even), but note it only has 2 HDMI ports. This is still an upgrade from the 1 our current telly has, and I do have a HDMI switch that will give me 3 extra.

I note I can also get the LG 50PH6700 for a touch over $1000, and that has 3 HDMI ports, and is 3D capable to boot (although TBH that isn't a huge selling point for me). 

I have experience with Panasonic TVs, and have been very happy with their picture quality (our current plasma is a Panasonic & we have a 32" LED one too), whereas the LG is an unknown quantity to me. As a result, I am still currently leaning towards the Panny.

Does anyone have any opinions on either of these TVs, or other potential contenders within as close to an $1000 budget as possible? It must support full 1080P, and as I said plasma is preferred. 3D is not required, but if it happens to come with a TV within our budget, I wouldn't discount it. Not overly interested in "Smart TV" features, as I have an Apple TV that does a much better job than the Smart TV functionality I've seen offered elsewhere so far.

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  # 947243 7-Dec-2013 20:06
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I ended up going with the Panasonic ($992 delivered from The Good Guys). Largely because we've been very happy with the 42" Panasonic plasma it's replacing, and also because research consistently named it as the best plasma pic in its price range.

Noel Leeming tried to upsell me to the TH-P50ST60Z 3D plasma above it (reckoned he could do it for approx $1500), but that was a wee bit too far out of budget. And while we may appreciate the better panel, I doubt we'd see it as worth $500 more. And we have no interest in 3D, & would have to purchase at least 2 more sets of glasses, further adding to the cost.

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  # 947269 7-Dec-2013 20:50
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Congratulations, I think you made a good decision. I bought the same model yesterday from another store after undertaking quite an extensive comparison with Samsung, Sony, and LG. I found the P50S60 the best bang for the buck around.
Now I'm trying to figure out how to stream from my PC through wi-fi, having already sorted out remote operation from my HTC-One.

Enjoy it.

 
 
 
 




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  # 947304 7-Dec-2013 22:42
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Indio: Congratulations, I think you made a good decision. I bought the same model yesterday from another store after undertaking quite an extensive comparison with Samsung, Sony, and LG. I found the P50S60 the best bang for the buck around.
Now I'm trying to figure out how to stream from my PC through wi-fi, having already sorted out remote operation from my HTC-One.

Enjoy it.


Thanks. Hope you enjoy your new toy too!

Streaming from my computer (iMac) will be handled by our Apple TV, so I don't really care if I don't have much luck with the networking capabilities of the TV. My only minor gripe was that it only has 2 HDMI inputs. But the next model up only has 3, and there are acceptable workarounds (such as the HDMI switch we currently use).

Samsung was definitely a contender, as I have a friend in the US who has one. While I was visiting him there recently, we watched a 3D BluRay (John Carter) and a 2D one (Star Trek Into Darkness). The picture quality was excellent, but I found the 3D aspects to be underwhelming. I don't think that's a reflection of Samsungs implementation, but more an indication of the worth of 3D to me. I generally have similar sentiments with 3D at the cinema. To get the whole family enjoying it would've been quite expensive, even if I did import cheaper glasses from the US.

LG was too unknown to me, and reviews online tend to indicate they're not quite up to the standards of Panasonic & Samsung.

All things considered, the Panasonic was too cheap to pass up. In fact the guy at Noel Leeming told me their cost price was $1700. Not sure I believe him though, as he was willing to match The Good Guys on price, but brought up the cost price as the reason why he wouldn't match their $1 delivery.



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  # 948066 9-Dec-2013 14:18
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Well my plans were thwarted by a call from The Good Guys today. Apparently they are all out of stock, and they could either give me a display model, or refund. I went out to Noel Leeming, and they honoured the $300 discount on the Panasonic TH-P50ST60Z (and they have stock, which The Good Guys didn't in that model either).

So I exceeded the budget by around $500, but overall I'm pretty happy with the end result. Better picture, 3D (which I suspect won't actually be used that much), but also has 1 extra HDMI port, which for now will relegate our HDMI switch to the cupboard (which will make the wife happy; its "auto" switching only works when it feels like it).

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  # 948116 9-Dec-2013 15:00
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Don't expect there to be a 2014 Plasma replacement either from Panny.

As for streaming, as long as it is similar OS/browser to the x50 range like I have. XBMC installed on PC. Enable uPnP sharing in xbmc. If you have a separate wireless router Natting allow uPnP broadcasts within the NAT to get to the PC.

Load up the media player, enjoy nearly anything you can throw at it.



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  # 948128 9-Dec-2013 15:03
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Oblivian: Don't expect there to be a 2014 Plasma replacement either from Panny.

As for streaming, as long as it is similar OS/browser to the x50 range like I have. XBMC installed on PC. Enable uPnP sharing in xbmc. If you have a separate wireless router Natting allow uPnP broadcasts within the NAT to get to the PC.

Load up the media player, enjoy nearly anything you can throw at it.


Yeah, I suspected that the problem we had with finding stock for these Panasonic plasmas was due to their desire to get out of the plasma game. Its a shame, as they make a damn fine plasma, and I vastly prefer plasma to LED for overall picture quality.

Not too fussed about streaming using the TVs "Smart TV" functionality. We have a 32" LED Panasonic, and its DLNA support is absolutely abysmal. Because our main computer is an iMac, the Apple TV does a far better job for streaming our media.

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  # 948173 9-Dec-2013 15:50
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dclegg:
Oblivian: Don't expect there to be a 2014 Plasma replacement either from Panny.

As for streaming, as long as it is similar OS/browser to the x50 range like I have. XBMC installed on PC. Enable uPnP sharing in xbmc. If you have a separate wireless router Natting allow uPnP broadcasts within the NAT to get to the PC.

Load up the media player, enjoy nearly anything you can throw at it.


Yeah, I suspected that the problem we had with finding stock for these Panasonic plasmas was due to their desire to get out of the plasma game. Its a shame, as they make a damn fine plasma, and I vastly prefer plasma to LED for overall picture quality.

Not too fussed about streaming using the TVs "Smart TV" functionality. We have a 32" LED Panasonic, and its DLNA support is absolutely abysmal. Because our main computer is an iMac, the Apple TV does a far better job for streaming our media.


Mybad I was meant to quote Indio. Since he was trying to work it out, I had seen you had a appletv ;)

 
 
 
 


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  # 949007 10-Dec-2013 22:12
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dclegg: Well my plans were thwarted by a call from The Good Guys today. Apparently they are all out of stock, and they could either give me a display model, or refund. I went out to Noel Leeming, and they honoured the $300 discount on the Panasonic TH-P50ST60Z (and they have stock, which The Good Guys didn't in that model either).

So I exceeded the budget by around $500, but overall I'm pretty happy with the end result. Better picture, 3D (which I suspect won't actually be used that much), but also has 1 extra HDMI port, which for now will relegate our HDMI switch to the cupboard (which will make the wife happy; its "auto" switching only works when it feels like it).


I reckon you ended up with a better solution than either of your initial options, though I too would have gone with the Panasonic (versus the Samsung). I was in the same boat as you (42" Panasonic plasma with only one HDMI); we've kept that as our second TV while putting the 60" ST model in the home theatre. An absolutely fantastic TV - I'm just gutted it'll no doubt be the last plasma I purchase!

3D - watched two movies in total; a clever gimmick but so artificial. plus gave me a significant tic in one eye! My wife refuses to watch anything in 3D now (but is equally impressed by the TV's 2D image). So totally agree this isn't a significant bonus; a waste of money buying a second pair of glasses. If you really do want additional pairs, keep an eye out on TM - I found mine there where someone had bought the wrong model.



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  # 949102 11-Dec-2013 08:18
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jonathan18: 
I reckon you ended up with a better solution than either of your initial options, though I too would have gone with the Panasonic (versus the Samsung). I was in the same boat as you (42" Panasonic plasma with only one HDMI); we've kept that as our second TV while putting the 60" ST model in the home theatre. An absolutely fantastic TV - I'm just gutted it'll no doubt be the last plasma I purchase!


Yeah, I'm a lot happier with the purchase (which should be getting delivered today). I would've liked it all along, but didn't realize my budget had such elasticity. Who knew the Minister of Finance valued immediacy over a $500 increase in price? :-)


jonathan18: 3D - watched two movies in total; a clever gimmick but so artificial. plus gave me a significant tic in one eye! My wife refuses to watch anything in 3D now (but is equally impressed by the TV's 2D image). So totally agree this isn't a significant bonus; a waste of money buying a second pair of glasses. If you really do want additional pairs, keep an eye out on TM - I found mine there where someone had bought the wrong model.


Thats good advice, thanks. The cheapest I've seen the glasses were around USD$60 on Amazon, but I'd have to use a reshipper to get them here, so I have no idea of the total landed cost. I see that Noel Leeming are currently selling them for $100 a pair. But in any case, we'll see what we think of the 3D function before deciding if we need more.

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  # 949111 11-Dec-2013 08:33
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I'd clearly missed the news Panasonic was ending Plasma production. I might have to start looking around for a replacement for my ~2006 50" Pioneer Plasma, it's served me amazingly well but not has screen burn and is definitely losing brightness.

It's served me well - I paid $4500 for a floor model that has been on display for 2 weeks and had a ticket price of $6999.

I wasn't planning on a replacement just yet, but there is nothing else I'd want to replace it with except a Panasonic Plasma.




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  # 949115 11-Dec-2013 08:37
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Announced in Oct and ramped up to truth since

http://www.whathifi.com/news/panasonic-officially-ends-plasma-tv-production



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  # 949116 11-Dec-2013 08:38
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sbiddle: I'd clearly missed the news Panasonic was ending Plasma production. I might have to start looking around for a replacement for my ~2006 50" Pioneer Plasma, it's served me amazingly well but not has screen burn and is definitely losing brightness.

It's served me well - I paid $4500 for a floor model that has been on display for 2 weeks and had a ticket price of $6999.

I wasn't planning on a replacement just yet, but there is nothing else I'd want to replace it with except a Panasonic Plasma.



It's a shame that manufacturers are moving away from plasma. LCD/LED tech isn't yet at a stage where it's got a picture to rival plasmas for my liking. They still look a little washed out, and far less natural. I also vastly prefer plasma for watching fast moving action scenes & sports.

I'm also wary of the fact that I'm buying 1080P gear just as 4K sets are hitting the stores, but with the extremely high prices and general lack of 4K content, I don't think that'll hit critical mass for a few years yet.

But you may want to get in quick, Steve. Stock levels on Panasonic plasmas already look to be dropping. The Good Guys had no stock of either 50" model, but Noel Leeming still had some of the ST model I ended up purchasing (obviously :-)).

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  # 949148 11-Dec-2013 09:48
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While I too lament the passing of plasma production, it has probably reached the end of its design life.
There is a push for greater energy efficiency, particularly in Europe, that would have effectively put paid to plasma anyway. Both in energy to produce the unit and to run it, plasmas would have been taxed to the point of being uncompetitive. On top of that put the cost of trying to produce uHD displays, with extremely small plasma cells and the retooling involved probably didn't make economic sense.
I believe the replacement technology for plasma will be oled. But it will take a while to be competitive with led lcds, in much the same way that lcds took time to catch up with plasma.




Areas of Geek interest: Home Theatre, HTPC, Android Tablets & Phones, iProducts.



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  # 949228 11-Dec-2013 11:24
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So my new toy has arrived and has been preliminarily set up (still need to tweak picture settings, and ensure all inputs are working).

I had a bit of a play with the 3D on this, via its ability to convert 2D images to 3D. I don't have any other 3D source video (although some of my PS3 games support 3D; may have to try one tonight), so that had to do as an initial test. My first reaction was that the active shutter tech is extremely hard on my eyes. Be interesting to see if I adjust to it, but the flickering of the glasses is very noticeable and quite distracting.

I was also surprised that they weren't rechargeable glasses, but instead use consumable batteries. Not a biggie, just an observation. I still have my doubts as to how much we'll use the 3D pic.

What is great is that it doesn't look that much bigger in terms of overall footprint than the 42" Panasonic it's replacing. It was one of the earlier Panasonics with the butt ugly large bezel and stand (TH42PV7AZ for the overly curious; will also be putting it on TradeMe soon if anyone is interested ;-))

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  # 949254 11-Dec-2013 12:05
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dclegg: So my new toy has arrived and has been preliminarily set up (still need to tweak picture settings, and ensure all inputs are working).

I had a bit of a play with the 3D on this, via its ability to convert 2D images to 3D. I don't have any other 3D source video (although some of my PS3 games support 3D; may have to try one tonight), so that had to do as an initial test. My first reaction was that the active shutter tech is extremely hard on my eyes. Be interesting to see if I adjust to it, but the flickering of the glasses is very noticeable and quite distracting.

I was also surprised that they weren't rechargeable glasses, but instead use consumable batteries. Not a biggie, just an observation. I still have my doubts as to how much we'll use the 3D pic. 


You may be best to watch any 3D in a relatively low-light situation, as this also helps with removing distractions (I found the flickering worst out of the corners of my eyes). Be interested to see if you develop a tic like I did! It lasted for a few weeks, so is another reason why my wife's banned 3D material.

Interestingly, seperately purchased 3D glasses are rechargable (supplied with USB cable to charge via the TV if wanted); stingy of Panasonic not to do the same with the "free" set.

dclegg:  What is great is that it doesn't look that much bigger in terms of overall footprint than the 42" Panasonic it's replacing. It was one of the earlier Panasonics with the butt ugly large bezel and stand (TH42PV7AZ for the overly curious; will also be putting it on TradeMe soon if anyone is interested ;-))


Classic! Same model as our first plasma, but we've kept ours for the lounge (in reality, it's used by the kids - why watch that compared to the 60" ST model?). They were good TVs in their day, relative to the price ($1400 was cheap for a 720P plasma when we bought it!), but their bulk and image quality (compared to current models) certainly shows they've had their day. Lack of Freeview hasn't been an issue for us as it's either TiVo or Mac Mini anyway...

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