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Need Help Choosing Which Plasma To Get To Replace Crt


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#1 IceZeroZero9

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Posted 26 September 2011 - 01:24 PM

Hey guys, I need to get a Plasma for my parents as their CRT TV crapped out. Their budget is about $1000-$1100 and I was looking at two 50 inch screens. The Panasonic TH-P50U30A (can get this for $1070 with 5 year Extended Warranty) and the Samsung PS51D550C1M (probably about $1300 with EW). I just wanted to ask would the Samsung be worth getting over the Panasonic? Would the quality be much better or worth going over the budget to get that instead? 3D is a non factor, so not sure how the rest stacks up against each other when you exclude the 3D.

Thanks.

#2 Beleg Cúthalion

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Posted 26 September 2011 - 01:49 PM

do they need Full HD?

you can get the 51D450 Sammy for about $680, which is a great buy.

#3 IceZeroZero9

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Posted 26 September 2011 - 02:07 PM

do they need Full HD?

you can get the 51D450 Sammy for about $680, which is a great buy.


They don't need full HD set, but I thought it'd be better to get a full HD set.

I'll put that Samsung on the list though and look into it. If that was the budget though I probably would have bought the Panasonic 42 inch TH-P42U30A for $689 last week as that's full HD. I don't own a Plasma myself, and am just going off of the difference between 720p and 1080p content on my computer screen. How does this look on TVs that are 50 inch in size? Is it noticeable going from 720p - 1080p?

#4 Beleg Cúthalion

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Posted 26 September 2011 - 02:19 PM

only if you're sitting very close, like under 2m away...

#5 pgdownload

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Posted 26 September 2011 - 02:24 PM

Is it noticeable going from 720p - 1080p?

Not especially. I find it quite amazing how noticeable changes in resolution are on a (small) PC screen but the same content is much better on a standard TV.

You also need to take into account sitting distance and viewer age. Sitting back about 2m from a 50" screen will mean that the human eye can't really get any benefit from say 720p versus 1080p. Also as you get older your eyesight gets worse. So for many older people "True HD" looks no different than even good "SD". You should also think about what sort of TV is being watched. If its mostly FTA then 720p is about as good as broadcasts get. In general unless you're using Blurays then 1080p is of limited value anyway.

Anyway, put it all together and a 50" 720p TV will offer almost the same viewer experience as a 1080p one. Its up to the individual whether spending half as much again is worth the marginal PW improvements.

Regards

Peter Gillespie

#6 IceZeroZero9

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Posted 26 September 2011 - 04:17 PM

only if you're sitting very close, like under 2m away...


Viewing distance would be about 2m.

Not especially. I find it quite amazing how noticeable changes in resolution are on a (small) PC screen but the same content is much better on a standard TV.

You also need to take into account sitting distance and viewer age. Sitting back about 2m from a 50" screen will mean that the human eye can't really get any benefit from say 720p versus 1080p. Also as you get older your eyesight gets worse. So for many older people "True HD" looks no different than even good "SD". You should also think about what sort of TV is being watched. If its mostly FTA then 720p is about as good as broadcasts get. In general unless you're using Blurays then 1080p is of limited value anyway.

Anyway, put it all together and a 50" 720p TV will offer almost the same viewer experience as a 1080p one. Its up to the individual whether spending half as much again is worth the marginal PW improvements.


I'm actually leaning towards the 720p screen now. The Samsung is definitely a 1365 x 768 resolution screen right? Not that new 1024 x 768 crap? I'm in WA so I've still got a couple of hours before the store shuts to make a decision.

So FTA TV is 720p? Is that as high as it gets?

Also, what resolution is Foxtel HD? Do they have 1080p content? Right now they have regular SD Foxtel, but if they want to upgrade I'm curious if Foxtel have any 1080p content. I assume movies might be 1080p and sport and other stuff is 720p?

Can you guys also tell me if the the Samsung PS51D550C1M is much better than the Panasonic TH-P50U30A if you exclude the 3D. I'm actually curious about that for myself as I might get one too.

#7 pgdownload

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Posted 26 September 2011 - 04:46 PM

Both Foxtel and FTA TV are a mix of 720p and 1080i - there's a case to be had that 720p can be better than 1080i (esp for sports etc.) but in the end both will look much of a muchness to most people. Don't assume anything with broadcast HD - its not based on 'common sense' but a mishmash of priorities. Currently FTA tend to show current HD shows on their SD main channel, while the HD channels are reserved for older SD content. :rolleyes: Only Blurays have 1080p content (and are likely to for the foreseeable future)

Could suggest it might be worth holding off a few days before making a purchase? The prices aren't going to go up and you've done a fairly large change in your sets of choice today.

Regards

Peter Gillespie

#8 IceZeroZero9

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Posted 26 September 2011 - 05:14 PM

Could suggest it might be worth holding off a few days before making a purchase? The prices aren't going to go up and you've done a fairly large change in your sets of choice today.


What you mean by fairly large change in my sets of choice?

What I'd mainly like to know is if the Samsung PS51D550C1M is worth the extra $200 over the Panansonic TH-PU30A, unless you know of better specials in the next few days?

You've told me pretty much all I need to know about the 720p stuff and I don't need to know much more about the Samsung PS51D450C1M.

Are you saying there might be different TVs on special in the next few days? I've only got a Harvey Norman and a Goodguys locally since I am in Country WA so I am going off of their prices. The Panasonic TH-PU30A price was one I was given by HN last week for $1070 including 5 year warranty. They extended that offer for me until today as the special expired Sunday.

#9 pc9

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Posted 26 September 2011 - 05:15 PM

Viewing distance would be about 2m.



I'm actually leaning towards the 720p screen now. The Samsung is definitely a 1365 x 768 resolution screen right? Not that new 1024 x 768 crap? I'm in WA so I've still got a couple of hours before the store shuts to make a decision.

So FTA TV is 720p? Is that as high as it gets?

Also, what resolution is Foxtel HD? Do they have 1080p content? Right now they have regular SD Foxtel, but if they want to upgrade I'm curious if Foxtel have any 1080p content. I assume movies might be 1080p and sport and other stuff is 720p?

Can you guys also tell me if the the Samsung PS51D550C1M is much better than the Panasonic TH-P50U30A if you exclude the 3D. I'm actually curious about that for myself as I might get one too.


I'm becoming increasingly sold on the lower resolution plasmas, especially with FTA and Foxtel standard definition broadcasts. I don't know why but the lower resolution sets seem to do a better job with this stuff. I have a 42" LG cheappie plasma in the spare room (1024 x 768) and its awesome with ironing out noise and artefacts on Foxtel SD. By comparison, my 55" LED FHD (which cost me a fortune) is absolutely hopeless with the standard def stuff.

I'm actually wondering whether the lower ressy plasmas do a good job because they are not attempting to upscale the compressed SD broadcasts to the 1080p panel?

#10 IceZeroZero9

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Posted 26 September 2011 - 06:02 PM

I'm actually wondering whether the lower ressy plasmas do a good job because they are not attempting to upscale the compressed SD broadcasts to the 1080p panel?


Someone mentioned something like that to me before about a year or so ago. He said that we don't need anything better than that in Australia as the upscaling makes the image worse. I didn't really pay much attention as I wasn't looking to buy a TV back then. Would like to get an answer about that from someone who knows more about it though.

#11 Owen

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Posted 26 September 2011 - 10:18 PM

I'm becoming increasingly sold on the lower resolution plasmas, especially with FTA and Foxtel standard definition broadcasts. I don't know why but the lower resolution sets seem to do a better job with this stuff. I have a 42" LG cheappie plasma in the spare room (1024 x 768) and its awesome with ironing out noise and artefacts on Foxtel SD. By comparison, my 55" LED FHD (which cost me a fortune) is absolutely hopeless with the standard def stuff.

I'm actually wondering whether the lower ressy plasmas do a good job because they are not attempting to upscale the compressed SD broadcasts to the 1080p panel?



First of all pixels are not "resolution", resolution is an analogue measure of what you can actually see. Real resolution is always much lower than the pixel count would suggest and even the best Bluray 1080p content is nowhere near 1080 visible resolution.
Foxtel/Austar is 1080i which for film source which has the potential to be exactly the same as 1080p however the content is pre filtered to lower the digital bandwidth required, the end result is visible resolution that is at best 720 and typically lower.

768 TV's (there are no 720p TV's) dont have an inherent advantage over 1080 TV's when displaying SD, the quality of the video processing and panel are what matters. If anything the extra upscaling required by a 1080 panel has the potential to improve quality if it is done well.

The reason your LED LCD looks bad with SD content is because its inherently of poor quality and has nothing to do with it being 1080.

#12 TheFrog

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Posted 26 September 2011 - 11:20 PM

Viewing distance would be about 2m.
I'm actually leaning towards the 720p screen now.


Don't buy a 720p screen at that distance, you'll regret it bigtime.
Even FTA HD will look hazy at that range, as the large pixel grid will become apparent.
I'd get the 50in 1080p U Panasonic as they make good plasma's.

#13 IceZeroZero9

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Posted 27 September 2011 - 01:27 AM

768 TV's (there are no 720p TV's) dont have an inherent advantage over 1080 TV's when displaying SD, the quality of the video processing and panel are what matters. If anything the extra upscaling required by a 1080 panel has the potential to improve quality if it is done well.

The reason your LED LCD looks bad with SD content is because its inherently of poor quality and has nothing to do with it being 1080.


Thanks for clearing that up. I actually heard something similar to what PC9 said about a year or so ago.

Don't buy a 720p screen at that distance, you'll regret it bigtime.
Even FTA HD will look hazy at that range, as the large pixel grid will become apparent.
I'd get the 50in 1080p U Panasonic as they make good plasma's.


I actually went for the Panasonic, unfortunately they didn't have any stock left. They said they could order it in but that would take at least 10 days or so. They're going to call their contact over East tomorrow to check on that as it was too late in the day to call today.

What do you guys think? Should I leave it if it takes that long to get? A better special price might come up in that time, so not sure if I want to commit to buying it and waiting that long for it. What would you guys do?

I think I am OK with either the Samsung PS51D550C1M or Panasonic TH-P50U30A. Whichever one has the better price at the time of purchase is the one I'll get.

Edited by IceZeroZero9, 27 September 2011 - 01:28 AM.


#14 TheFrog

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Posted 27 September 2011 - 02:40 AM

I think I am OK with either the Samsung PS51D550C1M or Panasonic TH-P50U30A. Whichever one has the better price at the time of purchase is the one I'll get.


Good idea....as for specials, anything is possible, but unlike a $4000 TV, the price drop won't be huge, so use boredom threshold as your guide.

#15 pc9

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Posted 27 September 2011 - 07:40 AM

First of all pixels are not "resolution", resolution is an analogue measure of what you can actually see. Real resolution is always much lower than the pixel count would suggest and even the best Bluray 1080p content is nowhere near 1080 visible resolution.
Foxtel/Austar is 1080i which for film source which has the potential to be exactly the same as 1080p however the content is pre filtered to lower the digital bandwidth required, the end result is visible resolution that is at best 720 and typically lower.

768 TV's (there are no 720p TV's) dont have an inherent advantage over 1080 TV's when displaying SD, the quality of the video processing and panel are what matters. If anything the extra upscaling required by a 1080 panel has the potential to improve quality if it is done well.

The reason your LED LCD looks bad with SD content is because its inherently of poor quality and has nothing to do with it being 1080.


OK - you seem to know what you are talking about. I am getting rid of the LED and going back to a plasma. Previously I owned a couple of Samsung 58" plasmas (the most recent one a 3D version) but again they struggled a bit with the SD stuff, although they were clearly better than the LED with SD. My sole requirement is PQ (dont require 3D or smart TV capability or Blu ray) and at this stage I am think of going back to 50" plasma like the guy who posted this forum as I want to maximise PQ. Any suggestions for me please?

#16 diesel

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Posted 27 September 2011 - 09:01 AM

My sole requirement is PQ (dont require 3D or smart TV capability or Blu ray) and at this stage I am think of going back to 50" plasma like the guy who posted this forum as I want to maximise PQ. Any suggestions for me please?

What is your budget?
Is the room where you watch TV very bright (ie lots of windows)?
Would you consider a 55" plasma so you still have the same size screen as your LED?

There are plenty of plasmas around, and PQ will to some extent depend on your viewing environment. If you have a brightly lit room, then the higher end models (which unfortunately include 3D, smart apps etc) offer better anti-reflective coatings and screen filters to reduce reflections and improve blacks.

#17 pc9

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Posted 27 September 2011 - 04:31 PM

What is your budget?
Is the room where you watch TV very bright (ie lots of windows)?
Would you consider a 55" plasma so you still have the same size screen as your LED?

There are plenty of plasmas around, and PQ will to some extent depend on your viewing environment. If you have a brightly lit room, then the higher end models (which unfortunately include 3D, smart apps etc) offer better anti-reflective coatings and screen filters to reduce reflections and improve blacks.


Thanks for your reply. I have a room which I can control the light and normally don't watch TV during the day. Budget is not an issue but I don't want to waste money on bells and whistles for the sake of it. What I would like is good blacks, contrast, ie the usual stuff one yearns for in a plasma am I am wondering if I can achieve this with a 1366 x 768 panel. Currently watch Austar (with HD) and FTA on VAST.

My reason for going down to the 50" was to maximise PQ but understand that the Panasonic plasma's do okay at 55". Previously owned 2 generations of Samsung 58" plasmas but tried Samsung and LG 55" LEDs, both which mangle most SD stuff.

PS: Apologies to the author of this post for the intrusion but I suspect he and I are probably looking for roughtly the same result.

#18 TheFrog

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Posted 27 September 2011 - 06:06 PM

Generally speaking a smaller TV will help with SDTV but HD will suffer/lose impact.

#19 diesel

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Posted 27 September 2011 - 07:13 PM

My reason for going down to the 50" was to maximise PQ but understand that the Panasonic plasma's do okay at 55". Previously owned 2 generations of Samsung 58" plasmas but tried Samsung and LG 55" LEDs, both which mangle most SD stuff.

The only issue with FTA SD content on the Panasonic (and apparently now also the Samsungs) is that they overly soften the image. This is easily rectified if being fed the image via some sort of upscaling device (eg HD PVR, DVDR, BDR etc)

#20 Owen

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Posted 27 September 2011 - 10:01 PM

Panasonic's have always mangled SD and it seems current Samsung's do as well.
How well SD is deinterlaced and upscaled makes a big difference to the end result. If you have an Austar Mystar HD set top box set to 1080i output it must deinterlace and upscale and it will degrade the SD channels as it does not do a very good job. If you set the box to 576i output the TV will have to deinterlace and upscale SD which can be a problem on some displays as well.

A decent video processor would get around the limitations of many displays as would a good AV receiver.

I dont know what your viewing distance is but a 50" is small. I have used Foxtel-Austar SD as my primary viewing source for 11 years from a distance of 2.8 metres would not want to go down to a 50" for any reason.

#21 IceZeroZero9

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Posted 28 September 2011 - 12:50 AM

PS: Apologies to the author of this post for the intrusion but I suspect he and I are probably looking for roughtly the same result.


That's no problem at all.

I was set on the Panasonic, but Harvey Norman told me this morning that they are out of stock and won't be getting anymore in for another 4-6 weeks, so I either wait or look at other options now. The Samsung is a bit expensive and 3D in a non factor, but that probably adds $200 to the overall price of the TV.

Not sure what to do now.


The only issue with FTA SD content on the Panasonic (and apparently now also the Samsungs) is that they overly soften the image. This is easily rectified if being fed the image via some sort of upscaling device (eg HD PVR, DVDR, BDR etc)


So if you get a player that has upscaling can you run Foxtel through that too?

Edited by IceZeroZero9, 28 September 2011 - 12:52 AM.


#22 pgdownload

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Posted 28 September 2011 - 08:41 AM

So if you get a player that has upscaling can you run Foxtel through that too?

Yes, but they are not cheap and there is a limit to how much they can improve a poor SD picture (such as Foxtel which is lower than FTA SD)

Regards

Peter Gillespie

#23 countryslicker

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Posted 28 September 2011 - 09:09 AM

I bought the Panasonic THP-50U30A with 5 year warranty about 2 months ago at my local H-N. I'm not disappointed, and I don't think you would be either, although whether you want to wait weeks to get one is up to you. Price similar to what you were quoted. Whatever you purchase, I'd recommend getting a Full HD TV, not just HD - the difference to me is quite noticeable. Full HD is within your budget.

Bear in mind that even with a top of the range brand and model, you are still in my position – living in a country area at the mercy of regional broadcasters and their variable transmission standards and programme quality.

For instance, ABC CH24 is not shown as HD here (as promised), just SD. Occasionally a HD movie is shown on GEM or ONE. I’m not interested in pay TV. I mainly watch free to air (which is mostly SD), and the quality varies considerably.

I bought a Sony Blu Ray player at the same time, and this is definitely the cream on the cake - Blu Ray movies in Full HD are stunning on this TV.

Very glad I settled for a 50 inch. A 55" in my tiny unit would have not only dwarfed my loungeroom even more and been a super tight fit, but also shown up even more any country transmission or quality flaws. In a dimly-lit room I sit about 8 feet away which gives me a quite satisfactory "cinema experience". Am very happy so far with my Panasonic purchase, and I would recommend it highly.

Edited by countryslicker, 28 September 2011 - 12:52 PM.


#24 miata

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Posted 28 September 2011 - 09:21 AM

I bought the Panasonic THP-50U30A with 5 year warranty about 2 months ago at my local H-N. I'm not disappointed, and I don't think you would be either, although whether you want to wait weeks to get one is up to you. Price similar to what you were quoted. Whatever you purchase, I'd recommend getting a Full HD TV, not just HD - the difference to me is quite noticeable. Full HD is within your budget.

Bear in mind that even with a top of the range brand and model, you are still in my position – living in a country area at the mercy of regional broadcasters and their variable transmission standards and programme quality.

For instance, ABC CH34 is not shown as HD here, just SD. Occasionally a HD movie is shown on GEM or ONE. I’m not interested in pay TV. I mainly watch free to air (which is mostly SD), and the quality varies considerably.

I bought a Sony Blu Ray player at the same time, and this is definitely the cream on the cake - Blu Ray movies in Full HD are stunning on this TV.

Very glad I settled for a 50 inch. A 55" in my tiny unit would have not only dwarfed my loungeroom evem more and been a super tight fit, but also shown up even more any country transmission or quality flaws. In a dimly-lit room I sit about 8 feet away which gives me a quite satisfactory "cinema experience". Am very happy so far with my Panasonic purchase, and I would recommend it highly.

I'm with you, I would rather wait a few weeks for the Panasonic than have to put up with a Samsung.

#25 jsmith

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Posted 28 September 2011 - 10:43 AM

I'm with you, I would rather wait a few weeks for the Panasonic than have to put up with a Samsung.

... you right there? :unsure:

JSmith :ninja: