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Topic # 89582 5-Sep-2011 18:36
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We have been trying to decide on a TV for over a year now. 

Each time we've ventured out, we've come back with an almost entirely different viewpoint than the time before.  I suspect it depends on what the salesperson likes on the day, sometimes ;) 

We do know the basic differences between Plasma, LCD and LED.   What is important to us is the clarity mainly - we like crisp outlines and no "grainy" look.  

It is used mainly just for regular TV - not all that much sport.It will be in quite a well lit room (ranchsliders along most of one wall).  We mainly watch at night though.  We are on Freeview Terrestrial. 

We currently have a Sony CRT HR36 and we've found it great (including no problem with reflection); we just want a bigger screen now.  

We have narrowed it down to Panasonic Plasma TH-P55ST30Z (or TH-P50ST30Z) - OR Sony LED KDL-55EX720.   The guy in the shop yesterday reckoned we were better off with the Plasma because it had a 600Hz refresh rate rather than the 200Hz Sony.  Both looked good in the shop, but both were playing Blu-Ray and the instore demo stuff, which I find hard to judge against what we're used to.  Previously I thought the LED had it over Plasma on clarity, but since yesterday I'm not so sure.   

The price isn't really all that much the issue - they are on special and the Panasonic 50" is $2100-odd, the 55" $2400 and the Sony LED 55" $2800, so there is only $700 bucks in it at most. 

Opinions would be helpful - which TV should have the better, sharper picture -  thanks.  

ps  Also - we sit 4.5m from the screen .... not sure if 55" will be too big ....?

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  Reply # 517071 5-Sep-2011 19:00
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Ive got a Panny plasma, and its very very clear. You can see the details of the skin on Freeview Terrestrial. So I dont think that clarity is probably an issue on either. Plasma do blacks and whites better, but on any big screen, the issue I feel is motion blur. What does an image look like when its moving side to side. My two plasmas 50, and 42 are 2 years old and I've not ventured into the latest since then, but others on here will have. I do feel that paying more for the top end is a good idea, as you will use the TV more than most appliances , and as its a visual device you want the best visuals.

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  Reply # 517074 5-Sep-2011 19:02
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As I understand it, the 600Hz thing on the Plasma is equivalent to 200Hz on an LCD/LED.
Good Marketing

If you want 'clarity' then you're probably going to tend towards the LED I suspect.  Reason being they tend to have a 'hyper reality' turned up a bit brighter and overly sharpened picture on some settings.

Grain wise at some stage is going be rather dependent on the source material.  Even on HD shows they often add grain effects, so watch out for that.

If you can't tell the difference when you view it the I wouldn't worry too much.  Just check if you can return it if you don't like it.

If it's been a year then sometimes you just have to step off the fence Wink.

 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 517083 5-Sep-2011 19:15
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I agree, TV's are really good now, as long aa you don't get a lower priced one rather than a goooood one.

Get a nice clear DVD that has sideways motion on it. Play a sequence on both, noting how the image blurs. You will always get some blur

If Jaxson reckons that LED is better clarity, well, I dont know, but I do know I can see ALL detail on an HD show on my plasmas, so that tells me a good TV will do the job well. But I'm also keen to hear some other comments



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Reply # 517084 5-Sep-2011 19:16
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You are right about the fence! - I'm totally over the whole thing ...............

Thanks for the 600/200Hz thing - I didn't know they were comparable.

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  Reply # 517092 5-Sep-2011 19:32
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tdgeek: If Jaxson reckons that LED is better clarity, well, I dont know, but I do know I can see ALL detail on an HD show on my plasmas, so that tells me a good TV will do the job well.


Jaxson has a plasma.....


I'm open to comments too.  All TV's have pros and cons.  Just people often like (or hate) that 'better than real life' look of newer LED LCD TV's.

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  Reply # 517235 6-Sep-2011 00:16
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"Clarity" is not a clear cut topic. An LCD will always better a plasma or CRT for static fine detail. But introduce movement and our ability to comprehend what we're seeing and an LCD can be put on the back foot. Realism is preferential to and not synonymous to raw resolution.

We have narrowed it down to Panasonic Plasma TH-P55ST30Z (or TH-P50ST30Z) - OR Sony LED KDL-55EX720.   The guy in the shop yesterday reckoned we were better off with the Plasma because it had a 600Hz refresh rate rather than the 200Hz Sony.

Don't listen too much to the guys in the shops. The 600Hz is the sub-field drive rate and I am fairly confident the Sony EX720 is really a 100Hz panel. 

The ST30 is not Panasonic's high end line. The GT30 and VT30 sit above them. The guys in the shop may not know they exist as they seldom have them for shop display.

All television material will have film grain, digital noise and compression artefacts to some degree. A larger television will make those defects more obvious alongside fine detail so a 50" model may be for you.

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  Reply # 517273 6-Sep-2011 08:32
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I have had a Panasonic TH-P50U30Z for about 3 months now and think its brilliant. When I was trying to decide what to buy I had a similar dilema to you. In the end it got down to my own personal prefernece that plasma was better for displaying tv channels that are not HD. For displaying HD all three types LCD,LED,Plasma, there wasn't much in it. When it came to sd tv pictures, the LED was brighter than LCD, but I preferred plasma. The only real advantage LED seemed to have was it would be cheaper on electricity to run. Plus LED was more expensive to buy. In the end it was the picture quality of the plasma that won me over.

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  Reply # 517284 6-Sep-2011 08:55
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Earlier this year I got a Samsung plasma, I returned it because of the hum, because the motion looked weird, and because it had burn in (even though modern plasma TVs aren't meant to get it). This is even though I spent a couple of hours in the stores looking at TVs before I bought. I replaced it with a Samsung LCD and I was happy. LCD take less power, weight less, and don't get burn in.

Trust your eyes. Both should be fine.

A year of indecision is pretty crazy.




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  Reply # 517288 6-Sep-2011 08:58
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Nothing will compare to that HR36 you are moving on from sadly. Size and geometry will be the big improvement, but deep blacks, colour rendering, motion are all going to take a hit no matter what you choose (unless you can find a 9th gen Kuro).

Plasma will come the closest to what you are accustom to. If you are going to go with the ST, make it the 55". It has no fans and is made in Japan (unlike the 50" and smaller which are assembled in Thailand and have potentially noisy fans).
GT55 would be a better upgrade though.



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  Reply # 517416 6-Sep-2011 11:55
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Thank you - I have picked up some helpful pointers.  The guy in the shop did indeed seem to think the Panasonic was the high end - we tried to find the convention for the model numbers etc without much success ourselves.

As some have said,  there does seem to be a bit of personal preference element to it.  Till I saw the better Panasonics I had liked the 'sharper' LED, although my husband was worried it would be too contrasty and hard on the eyes.  It's a shame Sony do not do a 50" LED as I now think we are better off sticking to 50" - think I've been a little swayed toward the Sony because our old CRT is nice.

And yes, I agree a year of indecision is nuts.  We must be commitment-phobic .....

Thanks for the help.


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  Reply # 517458 6-Sep-2011 12:45
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Sonys EX720 isn't actually a 200Hz panel as noted previously in this thread.
They do however term it to be 'XR200', which some people confuse for a Hz stat.
It's not... the TV will show 100 frames per second (100Hz).
Sort of like the same way Panasonic claim a 600Hz sub-field drive statistic (in Cinema mode only)...
It's just marketing.
Ignore it.

The sales person should have clarified this for you. If they don't know the difference, don't shop with them.

As a generalisation:
Plasma = a filmic look that will replicate the directors original vision. A technology for purists.
LED = hyper real picture with very sharp lines surrounding images on the screen that will make the picture 'pop'. A technology for the Play Station generation.

I chose a plasma, not because I'm a purist at all, but because the black levels are better and people actually look like people, grass looks like grass etc.
As an aside, I would recommend you go for a smaller TV as it will give you a better picture - and if you can, head towards the 50GT from Panasonic. It's a gorgeous TV.

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  Reply # 517463 6-Sep-2011 12:54
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Dunnersfella: Sonys EX720 isn't actually a 200Hz panel as noted previously in this thread.
They do however term it to be 'XR200', which some people confuse for a Hz stat.
It's not... the TV will show 100 frames per second (100Hz).
Sort of like the same way Panasonic claim a 600Hz sub-field drive statistic (in Cinema mode only)...
It's just marketing.
Ignore it.

The sales person should have clarified this for you. If they don't know the difference, don't shop with them.

As a generalisation:
Plasma = a filmic look that will replicate the directors original vision. A technology for purists.
LED = hyper real picture with very sharp lines surrounding images on the screen that will make the picture 'pop'. A technology for the Play Station generation.

I chose a plasma, not because I'm a purist at all, but because the black levels are better and people actually look like people, grass looks like grass etc.
As an aside, I would recommend you go for a smaller TV as it will give you a better picture - and if you can, head towards the 50GT from Panasonic. It's a gorgeous TV.


Informative post!

On my Panny plasma, cant recall the model, but I see an odd motion blur, its hard to explain, but I have read recent posts here that talk about that. While my TV probably doesnt have a 600Mhz Sub Drive (about 2 to 3 years old, was $4000 then) Plasma 50, are there any settings that may help? I say this as the cinema mode you mention tells me maybe, that certain combos of settings may help this? Such as the Mode (Cinema, etc) whether its 16:9 or Just, etc etc? Ive turned off the comb filter and whatever other video enhancement settings as I read they add to processor demand.

Advice will be great

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  Reply # 517493 6-Sep-2011 13:30
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Dunnersfella: I chose a plasma, not because I'm a purist at all, but because the black levels are better and people actually look like people, grass looks like grass etc.
+1

I chose plasma because all the plus points were to do with picture quality, and I could accept the negatives.

LED/LCD plus points tended to be things like lower energy consumption, thinner body, lighter, ok in brighter rooms etc, none of which really contributed to what this thing would look like when I watched TV or films, usually at night time.

As above though, typically if people mention words like 'clarity', then they have tended to prefer the look of LCD/LED in my experience.  

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  Reply # 517526 6-Sep-2011 14:15
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ShortyNZ: We have been trying to decide on a TV for over a year now. 

Each time we've ventured out, we've come back with an almost entirely different viewpoint than the time before.  I suspect it depends on what the salesperson likes on the day, sometimes ;) 



so, you could have bought a plasma 1 year ago, and then gone out and replaced it with an LCD today, all for about the same price as what you would have paid for the LCD 1 year ago.... :D




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  Reply # 517527 6-Sep-2011 14:17
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I have a 50" Panasonic Plasma and I sit about 2.2 meters from it (!!).

Looks great!

Stop friggin around, and just go buy one.

:-P




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