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# 142556 17-Mar-2014 10:38
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We currently have a fantastic Samsung 32" LED but want to go bigger. 

Budget is around $1k. Size needs to be in the 46"-50" region and we don't need any smart features, or 3D, everything we watch comes through the HTPC.

My question is regarding LED/Plasma. I've always had LCD/LED as I use the HTPC as a desktop every once in a while, it's not all that often but we do play FIFA13 on it using the HTPC and with a bigger screen I can see us playing more PC games on it.

 

The vast majority of our watching is BBC wildlife documentaries, the odd film, but plenty of football. When I did my research all those years ago LCD/LED was the obvious choice but I'm wondering if plasma is a contender these days. Or do I just go out and buy the Samsung LED which fits my budget and be done with it ?

Appreciate any thoughts ?


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  # 1007555 17-Mar-2014 19:09
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See if you can get up to $1400 or so - and get a Panasonic TH-P50ST60 plasma.
It will smoke any LED motionwise for football etc. It's not the best gaming set out there, but it's more than fine for the likes of FIFA.
But for documentaries / movies etc, the neoplasma from Panasonic will lay waste to almost anything else out there.

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  # 1007608 17-Mar-2014 19:38
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Panasonic Plasma. Has been the best TV for the last ~4 years (since Pioneer pulled their panels and sold Panasonic the technology). IMHO LCD/LED has always been a poor attempt at trying to make something resemble a TV.

They are now getting scarce though with Panasonic pulling the plug on Plasma so you'd better get in quick.

 
 
 
 




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  # 1007626 17-Mar-2014 19:58
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I've been reading about the Pana plasma's quite a bit today the ST60 certainly has fantastic reviews. It's also 3D though isnt it ? Is there something without 3D which is cheaper with same quality screen ?

Another consideration is our lounge has two very large windows and so brightness in the room may be a problem. Finding one of the ST60's in my budget coud be an issue too seeing as I can only see it at Harvey Norman for $1788 :(

Thanks.

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  # 1007644 17-Mar-2014 20:12
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3D is a feature on quality sets, you may never use it - but you don't get picture quality like the ST60 offers, without 3D capability. It's par for the course on a quality set.
I have a three ceiling to floor windows in my room, and I don't close my curtains to watch TV unless the sun is shining directly on the panel. If that happens, it doesn't matter what TV you have - it's the sun, after all!
I don't think you'll find a 'hell deal' on an ST though, stores know that people want plasmas (more specifically, they want NeoPlasma technology from Panasonic) and are happy to sell through their supplies over a longer period of time. Most of them remember the Pioneer plasmas and just how long they can stock the last ones and still see demand.

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  # 1007732 17-Mar-2014 22:22
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I recently saw somewhere that all Plasma production was about to cease. They are too power hungry and produce too much heat plus too many pixel failures.
Never fancied one myself so no great loss. My Sony LCD/LED is just fine. Latest offering seems to be curved large screen but still really expensive.

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  # 1008057 18-Mar-2014 13:06
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martyyn: I've been reading about the Pana plasma's quite a bit today the ST60 certainly has fantastic reviews. It's also 3D though isnt it ? Is there something without 3D which is cheaper with same quality screen ?

Another consideration is our lounge has two very large windows and so brightness in the room may be a problem. Finding one of the ST60's in my budget coud be an issue too seeing as I can only see it at Harvey Norman for $1788 :(

Thanks.

I've got the ST60 and love it - although we never use the 3D functions

We have pretty big windows right next to the TV, they definately have to be curtained on a bright day. We don't really start watching tv until the early evening so that's almost never a problem for us

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  # 1008334 18-Mar-2014 19:19
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Personally I wouldn't bother with Plasma TVs ... they're now officially "old tech" and no longer being made. Stick with either LED or even better OLED if you want to be "on the cutting edge" as any self-respecting "geek" would. ;-)


There was a space-filler article in the Weekend Herald (15 March, 2014) which didn't really say anything useful, but it did give the list of TVs that the Consumer organsation recommend, which may or may not help you ...

Top TVs as recommended by Consumer

32-39 inch: Samsung 32 inch LED, $796
- Good for high-definition, DVD, and Blu-ray.
- Good energy efficiency.
- No 3D or headphone socket.
- Brand reliability 93 per cent.

40-49 inch: Sony 47 inch LED, $2184
- Good picture / sound and user interface.
- Has passive 3D, supports Wi-Fi / Wi-Fi direct, Bluetooth, and easy-to-use DLNA (allows TV to communicate with other devices).
- Brand reliability 97 per cent.

50-59 inch: Samsung 55 inch LED, $5500
- Good picture / sound.
- Very good onscreen guide.
- Has active 3D, supports DLNA, Wi-Fi / Wi-Fi direct, and Bluetooth.
- Apps are easy to use, can record to USB.
- Touchpad remote for Smart TV use.
- Poor onboard controls.
- Brand reliability 93 per cent.


TV Types
- Plasma: Sharp picture, but no longer being made.
- LCD: Brighter images, but limited viewing angle.
- LED: Similar to LCD, but lighter and thinner.
- OLED: Similar to LED, but made with organic compounds to give a brighter, sharper picture on thinner, more flexible screen.



Unfortunately it doesn't give any actual model numbers, and the Consumer organsiation is a bit useless since (last time I checked) you have to pay to either buy their magazine or pay to read their website articles. It should be a free resources to consumers. :-\

 
 
 
 


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  # 1008357 18-Mar-2014 19:35
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+ 1 for a pana plasma

lcd/led still can't beat it and to hell with power consumption!!....damn sustainability hippies...grumble grumble...

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  # 1008769 19-Mar-2014 09:54
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Buzz Bumble: Personally I wouldn't bother with Plasma TVs ... they're now officially "old tech" and no longer being made. Stick with either LED or even better OLED if you want to be "on the cutting edge" as any self-respecting "geek" would. ;-)


There was a space-filler article in the Weekend Herald (15 March, 2014) which didn't really say anything useful, but it did give the list of TVs that the Consumer organsation recommend, which may or may not help you ...

Top TVs as recommended by Consumer 

....



Unfortunately it doesn't give any actual model numbers, and the Consumer organsiation is a bit useless since (last time I checked) you have to pay to either buy their magazine or pay to read their website articles. It should be a free resources to consumers. :-\


Ahh, trying to start that old plasma versus LCD war again huh?! You'll not be able to convince us plasma fans of your case, but to say they're 'old tech' really does miss the point - for many of us the age of technology is irrelvant as we find the image quality of plasma more pleasing and superior to that offered by LCD. Further, often that "new" tech in LCDs is just trying to deal with some of the problems inherent in that technology (eg, high refresh rates).

Personally, as much as I'd like to have an energy-efficient TV, that (along with everything else, including bells and whistles like 3D) will always be of lower importance than picture quality.

To the OP - don't just listen to us but use your own eyes to judge for yourself. Check out some decently set-up TVs and compare them (this can be difficult in the shop environment, of course). As an example, my 60" ST50 (prev gen to the ST60) has managed to convert my brother-in-law to the "dark side" of plasma, despite him previously being an LCD apologist.

Oh, and as far as Consumer goes, I'm sure this has been a topic of conversation on GZ many times - there are many here (including myself) who would not rely on their tests of electronic components. Maybe washing machines or similar, but not on things like TVs.

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  # 1008809 19-Mar-2014 10:44
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martyyn: I've been reading about the Pana plasma's quite a bit today the ST60 certainly has fantastic reviews. It's also 3D though isnt it ? Is there something without 3D which is cheaper with same quality screen ?

Another consideration is our lounge has two very large windows and so brightness in the room may be a problem. Finding one of the ST60's in my budget coud be an issue too seeing as I can only see it at Harvey Norman for $1788 :(

Thanks.



We have the TH-P50ST60Z, and it's an awesome set with great picture quality. While it is a 3D set, we find we don't use that much at all.

As for budget, you could always do what I did. Try ordering the 2D model below it, and when the supplier tells you they have no stock, convince the wife that you need to up the budget due to stock constraints ;-)



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  # 1011637 24-Mar-2014 10:35
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I spent quite a bit of time at a couple of shops over the weekend and this is what I came away with. I didn't buy anything in the end as I'm more confused now than when I started ! 

Before I start, I'm well aware of the issues of around how they are driven, initially set up and shop lighting conditions, and this is just what I saw. They were all driven by a skybox which was split via HDMI and I watched, rugby, football and tv1. Ill take a USB in with some movies when I've narrowed it down.

Only Harvey Norman had the ST60 and at around $1750 it's more than I want to spend. To be honest I wasn't impressed with the PQ. The rugby in particular just wasn't sharp at all. There was a Samsung P51F5000 next to it for under $900 which looked far better. The ST60 was quite dark, whereas the Samsung was much brighter. There was just more detail 'around the edges'. What I mean is if you looked away from the main focus on the screen, someone's hair rather than their face for example, the Samsung showed way more detail than the Panasonic. I did wonder if it was just the set up but didn't have long enough to 'stay and play'.

They also had a Samsung UA55F6400 for $1750 which looked pretty impressive but again it's more than I want to pay and too big for where it's going to go. It was up high under the ceiling lights and I'm sure would look very different had it been next to the ST60.

What impressed me the most was a Samsung UA50F6400. But at $1598 is just out of reach for now. It was in Noel Leeming and they had much calmer environment with their lighting around the tv's which I'm sure helped. They also tried to push the bigger tv's but we don't want a wall.

So I'm going to do some more reading and see what comes up in the coming weeks/months for deals. HN are very keen to do price deals, but couldn't budge much on their sticker prices (one Samsung LED was marked from $2800 to $1700), whereas Noel Leemings wouldn't consider budging at all. I need to get into a JBHifi somewhere and see what they have/can do.

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  # 1011678 24-Mar-2014 11:14
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Hey

I'm in a similar boat and looking for a sub $1000 new TV.

I'm currently looking at JB hifi at a Panasonic plasma that is on sale til Tuesday
http://www.jbhifi.co.nz/tv-lcd-led-plasma/panasonic/50-inch-full-hd-smart-plasma-tv-sku-89986/

as I live rurally I can't get into look at the tv's, so if anyone can tell me if this would be a good tv? reviews look good and at this price it seems great value.

Cheers


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  # 1011910 24-Mar-2014 16:24
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martyyn: ... Before I start, I'm well aware of the issues of around how they are driven, initially set up and shop lighting conditions, and this is just what I saw. They were all driven by a skybox which was split via HDMI and I watched, rugby, football and tv1. Ill take a USB in with some movies when I've narrowed it down.

Only Harvey Norman had the ST60 and at around $1750 it's more than I want to spend. To be honest I wasn't impressed with the PQ. The rugby in particular just wasn't sharp at all. There was a Samsung P51F5000 next to it for under $900 which looked far better.


Then why not just go with the Samsung, if you're happy with that way of comparing TVs, thought it was superior, and it matches your budget?

You acknowledge how TVs are set up in stores don't provide ideal viewing conditions, but you're still happy to decide on a TV based on viewing in those same conditions? This just doesn't make sense to me.

If you're unable to watch a TV in a decent environment, and tweak its settings to produce at least an approximation of what it's capable of, then what value is that viewing for deciding on the PQ of one TV versus another? 

Personally, I knew this wasn't going to be possible when I was looking for a new TV, so was more wiling to 1. go with my general preference for plasma over LCD, 2. do a decent amount of research into the relative features and merits of the TVs, and 3. put some trust in the numerous reviews and online comments on the TVs I was looking at. The TV we got (the 60ST50, so the prev. gen to the ST60) is just absolutely superb (to my eyes, and most who have seen it), and I haven't regretted the purchase for a second. 

My 2c's worth - unless you can view each TV you're interested in in a decent environment, ideally side-by-side and set up appropriately, the general consensus of reviews and personal recommendations is typically going to be a more useful and accurate way of ending up with a decent TV. Sure, I trust my own eyes, but if everything else is against making a good decision, what use is that??!!




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  # 1011921 24-Mar-2014 16:32
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jonathan18: You acknowledge how TVs are set up in stores don't provide ideal viewing conditions, but you're still happy to decide on a TV based on viewing in those same conditions? This just doesn't make sense to me.

That's not what I said at all. I just game my initial impressions given the viewing conditions.

Without this thread I would never have considered the ST60 but I'm still considering it on the basis that it cant be as bad as it looked in the shop given the recommendations on here and in the reviews Ive read.

Whether I'm willing to stump up $1600 on the chance I get it home and it's all sweet is another story.






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  # 1011936 24-Mar-2014 16:44
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martyyn:
jonathan18: You acknowledge how TVs are set up in stores don't provide ideal viewing conditions, but you're still happy to decide on a TV based on viewing in those same conditions? This just doesn't make sense to me.

That's not what I said at all. I just game my initial impressions given the viewing conditions.

Without this thread I would never have considered the ST60 but I'm still considering it on the basis that it cant be as bad as it looked in the shop given the recommendations on here and in the reviews Ive read.

Whether I'm willing to stump up $1600 on the chance I get it home and it's all sweet is another story.



Sorry if that was a bit harsh! I guess I'm just not sure what's to be gained by spending much time in making comparisons in-store, given the inherent problems in doing so?


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