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642 posts

Ultimate Geek
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Topic # 82873 6-May-2011 22:33
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I've been out of the loop for some time with regards to plasma TVs. Last time I looked, the best plasmas were being made by Panasonic (Pioneer stopped making the Kuros or something), but there was some issue with degrading black levels in those Panny TVs.

Anyway, I need a starting point, because -as usual- I'm completely overwhelmed by the choices and confused by the differences in model numbers between NZ sets and those of the rest of the world.

The budget for this unit is more restricted than I'd like, and that means I'll have to sacrifice size. I'm happy with 42", but bigger would be nice.

- It must be able to resolve 1080p. 
- It must support 24fps for Blu-Ray.
- I'm not concerned with internet streaming, on board receivers and other such features - Raw image quality is my priority.

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459 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 466353 6-May-2011 22:43
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What is your budget?



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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 466368 6-May-2011 23:42
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Whoops, ~2K

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 466389 7-May-2011 08:00
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IMO Panisonic are still the way to go. I'd recommend one of there V20 models, i have seen the 50" version for around $1900 and the 54" for under 2k. I'm sure these prices could be haggled, as they make room for the 2011 models.

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 466397 7-May-2011 09:17
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Plasma TVs are known noise and RF generators and the manufacturers aren't interested in compliance.
Keep your local Amater Radio Operators happy and go LCD.



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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 466401 7-May-2011 09:39
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throbb: IMO Panisonic are still the way to go. I'd recommend one of there V20 models, i have seen the 50" version for around $1900 and the 54" for under 2k. I'm sure these prices could be haggled, as they make room for the 2011 models.


I'm severely inept at haggling.

What kind of improvements are the 2011 models supposed to bring to the table?

B1GGLZ: Plasma TVs are known noise and RF generators and the manufacturers aren't interested in compliance.
Keep your local Amater Radio Operators happy and go LCD.


I'm not interested in LCD.




What's the difference between TH-P50V20Z and TH-P50VT20Z?

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 466415 7-May-2011 10:54
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Oubadah:
What kind of improvements are the 2011 models supposed to bring to the table?

What's the difference between TH-P50V20Z and TH-P50VT20Z?


Its not entirely clear where the 2011 U30 fits in with the 2D displays in other markets, but last years U20 was a very low-end set with no anti reflective filter. The other two models will be the ST-30 and the VT-30 which are both 3D models. Both feature a better AR filter than the 2010 VT20 and crosstalk on 3D is said to be better too. The VT30 will of course deliver better performance than the ST30 but with a budget of 2K I don't think you'll be in the market for one.

The difference between the V20 and VT20 is 3D of course, plus the VT has a better AR filter, more picture modes and calibration control.

You'll need to test your sensitivity to floating blacks if you are considering a 2010 model and floating whites if you are considering a 2011 model. YMWR.



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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 466516 7-May-2011 17:36
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Bought the TH-P54V20Z. The 50s were all sold out.

Is there any burn in procedure I should follow, and what's a good calibration disk?

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 466536 7-May-2011 19:10
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Wow you dont muck around do you.



I think you should use the TV for atleast 100 hours before you calibrate it.


There is this thread from a few weeks ago about calibrating the plasma:


       http://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?forumid=34&topicid=80858



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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 466557 7-May-2011 20:26
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throbb: Wow you dont muck around do you.



I think you should use the TV for atleast 100 hours before you calibrate it.


There is this thread from a few weeks ago about calibrating the plasma:


       http://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?forumid=34&topicid=80858


Thanks. 



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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 466940 8-May-2011 23:52
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Oh Jesus this thing looks so goddamn awful. I'm trying to stay positive, as I haven't given it a chance yet. The problem is that I have no 1080p source. And I've yet to complete my Freeview HD wiring.

Also, this break in BS is putting me on edge. I just want to know whether the poor PQ I'm witnessing is due to faulty hardware, or lack of use. Everyone says to calibrate after a period of use (although no-one can seem to agree on the span) which is fair enough, but the black levels are almost LCD poor using the out of box settings (which aren't all maxed as I was expecting - all sliders are mid way). I even tried lowering the brightness a bit, but it looks so bad... I hope this is just because it's brand new, and will settle down with use.

Anyway, as I said I have no HD source ATM. Just a Yamaha (actually rebranded Philps) Upscaling DVD player. I connected this with HDMI, and set it to output standard DVD res so that the TV could do it's own upscaling (which I expected it to do well). But the SD content is a mess. 'Posterization' (I think they call it) to an extreme - I read that it was sometimes seen in SD content on this TV, but this is really bad.

International forum threads on the V20s mention THX modes and 'CATS'. Is NZ excluded from the THX club, because I don't see any THX setting, nor even so much as a logo. Is CATS the "eco-mode" setting? Historically 'eco mode' settings on CRT TVs etc. have initiated a low power mode and dimming of the screen. So imagine my surprise when enabling this setting actually brightened the screen. It has since become clear that it is some sort of dynamic (brightness?) control based on ambient light, as alluded to in the manual.

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 466943 9-May-2011 00:01
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Oubadah: Oh Jesus this thing looks so goddamn awful. I'm trying to stay positive, as I haven't given it a chance yet. The problem is that I have no 1080p source. And I've yet to complete my Freeview HD wiring.

Also, this break in BS is putting me on edge. Everyone says to calibrate after a period of use (although no-one can seem to agree on the span) which is fair enough, but the black levels are almost LCD poor using the out of box settings (which aren't all maxed as I was expecting - all sliders are mid way). I even tried lowering the brightness a bit, but it looks so bad... I hope this is just because it's brand new, and will settle down with use.

Anyway, as I said I have no HD source ATM. Just a Yamaha (actually rebranded Philps) Upscaling DVD player. I connected this with HDMI, and set it to output standard DVD res so that the TV could do it's own upscaling (which I expected it to do well). But the SD content is a mess. 'Posterization' (I think they call it) to an extreme - I read that it was sometimes seen in SD content on this TV, but this is really bad.

International forum threads on the V20s mention THX modes and 'CATS'. Is NZ excluded from the THX club, because I don't see any THX setting, nor even so much as a logo. Is CATS the "eco-mode" setting?


Don't sweat the break-in too much. The main concern is that you shouldn't have high contrast settings, letterboxing or persistant graphics for sustained periods during the initial 200 hours or so. Basically the first month if you are a casual viewer.

These TVs aren't great with SD sources, so what you are seeing isn't something at odds with the design. Sorry.

NZ models don't feature THX.

CATS is Eco mode or Power Save mode in the setup menu. I can't recall which. Don't use either of them.

You haven't said which picture mode you are using, but with the controls all set to 50, I'm not in the least bit surprised it looks completely lacklustre.



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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 466944 9-May-2011 00:04
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fahrenheit: 

You haven't said which picture mode you are using, but with the controls all set to 50, I'm not in the least bit surprised it looks completely lacklustre.


Standard ATM. Approx what levels would one usually set for the brightness and contrast. (i'm just looking for a starting point)

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 466946 9-May-2011 00:20
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Oubadah:
fahrenheit: 

You haven't said which picture mode you are using, but with the controls all set to 50, I'm not in the least bit surprised it looks completely lacklustre.


Standard ATM. Approx what levels would one usually set for the brightness and contrast. (i'm just looking for a starting point)


Peak white (contrast) is going to need to be set so that you don't get blinded when watching bright content.
It could be anywhere from 55 to high 70's depending on your taste but I'd stay clear of 80+
Brightness can probably stay at default and colour can probably be knocked down to 45 and if you are using Cinema mode, change the gamma to 2.4.
But thats more longterm thinking. You may just want to keep things subdued a bit in the initial month.

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  Reply # 466961 9-May-2011 06:43
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Oubadah: Oh Jesus this thing looks so goddamn awful.


Did you view it in the shop with various types of media? If it looked good (more likely just OK for SD) and it looks awful now and you cannot fix it with the settings then maybe there is a fault.
If you did not check first then I suggest you go back now and see if what your seeing is normal for the TV.







Media centre PC - Case Silverstone LC16M with 2 X 80mm AcoustiFan DustPROOF, MOBO Gigabyte MA785GT-UD3H, CPU AMD X2 240 under volted, RAM 4 Gig DDR3 1033, HDD 120Gig System/512Gig data, Tuners 2 X Hauppauge HVR-3000, 1 X HVR-2200, Video Palit GT 220, Sound Realtek 886A HD (onboard), Optical LiteOn DH-401S Blue-ray using TotalMedia Theatre Power Corsair VX Series, 450W ATX PSU OS Windows 7 x64

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 467010 9-May-2011 09:49
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After reading this, I must say I struggle to see why you're disappointed at the performance of the panel. You've gone and bought a big TV and you're feeding it a crap source. Sure TV's can up-scale, but they most certainly can't turn water into wine.
Yep, the V20 doesn't have THX mode, the VT20's do. But you do have isf calibration options to tweak the picture.
What are you using to calibrate your TV? Light meters / software? Or calibration discs?

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