Dudes, Please Help! Buying a 42" Plasma...

Discussion in 'Displays' started by Barton Lynch, Oct 27, 2006.

  1. Barton Lynch

    Barton Lynch Stunt Coordinator

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    Simple but complicated (it's been a while since I've posted around here). I'm upgrading my video chain and the easy part was selecting my new DVD player to replace my good 'ol trusty 1998 Pioneer Elite Deck. The hard part? the display.

    Neither me nor my HT room are up for front projectors nor rear projectors (space, size, ambient light, taste, etc.), believe me. CRTs, the past (giving up a Panasonic 29" that has served me well for over 10 years). And LCD suck in contrast detail and color fidelity IMO. So plasma is my only choice and my desired selection, I know they are not perfect but fit the bill so far. My bill. Budget and screen size for the set cannot surpass 2500$ and the 42" size.

    The problem has been finding a good one. I've searched my ass off inside and outside this forum with no definitive conclusion as what brand/model to go with. I live in South America and the choices are slim. Mainly Philips, Samsung, LG and Panasonic are all I've got to choose from. I'd like to purchase an HD capable model (1024x768) but HD programming is not available here and will not be for a while, also HD-DVD and BD are not in my list until they prove their mettle in the market for a couple of years. Mainly because I own a respectable sized DVD collection (my primarily viewing source). I thought of an EDTV model but I know I'll have to fall into HD sooner or later and I'm not the "upgrade-all-the-time" kind of guy to replace the plasma so soon, I'm rather the "careful buyer" kind.

    One thing to consider, I'm very picky with picture quality and it is my only unquestionable demand for a plasma set: Picture Quality. With my narrow options, what can I do? Specific brand and model please? Some explanations or personal experience would be nice. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Mort Corey

    Mort Corey Supporting Actor

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    Of the brands you cite as readily available, I would select the Panasonic (hands down). I would also try to get the HD version if it fits in your budget...especially if you intend to sit 10 feet or closer to the display.

    Mort
     
  3. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    I'm not sure if the price you posted is in USD and how prices compare where you are located. But here in the US you could get the Panasonic TH-42PX600U for under $2500 (USD). They also have the TH-42PX60U for a few hundred dollars cheaper. Both are 720p and have 2 HDMI inputs.
     
  4. Barton Lynch

    Barton Lynch Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the replies, as far as my research goes, it seems that Panasonic and Pioneer are Kings of the Hill when it comes to Plasma. BTW my budget is in USD$ and yes, I'm trying to aim at the HD models even if I'll get little use of that feature for the time being.

    Also, the Panasonic model available locally is the TH-42PD50U 1900$ (EDTV) and the TH-42PX50U 2400$ (HDTV). But the Samsung HDTV model is a lot cheaper than the Panny, and it's widely available instead of the Panasonic which is very hard to find.

    And also, I plan to sit at 10ft or so from the set. And the DVD deck I chose is DENON's DVD-2910 with HDMI/DVI and DCDi deinterlacer from Faroudja so HDMI is a must.

    Thanks again, any more suggestions? Should I go blindly with Panasonic?
     
  5. LewB

    LewB Screenwriter

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    I have the 42PX25U and love it. A friend just got the 42PX60U and it too looks great.
    As for price, the country's largest retail store (beings with a W [​IMG] ) just lowered their price on a bunch of electronics, including the 42PX60U. Check out their web page, I could not believe how low the price is on that bad boy.
     
  6. Barton Lynch

    Barton Lynch Stunt Coordinator

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    Lew: I wish I could go to the states right now, or better then, have a local "W" (Walmart, he he he) nearby, but it's not likely for this holiday season for me to travel nor their is a "W" anywhere around where I'm at. Besides I have to think about warranties and savings, traveling to the states will not help me keep my budget. Glad to know you are enjoying the Panasonic plasma... I think that's my first option for now. Thanks.

    Are there any drawbacks from switching to plasma from CRT? mostly in the picture quality category were I'm most concerned. Thank You.
     
  7. LewB

    LewB Screenwriter

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    Sorry about my rash assumption that you were in the States, where are you BTW ?
    As for the Plasma, I can only offer generalities that would apply to any other display.
    1 - Spend the money to get it ISF calibrated. You will enjoy the Panasonic's color rendition even more.
    2 - Normal 4:3 material can look 'soft' when stretched to 16:9
    3 - I currently have Directv (satellite) and hate the down-rezzing of 'HD lite' I'm looking forward to the local phone co. (Verizon) getting FIOS running in my area.
     
  8. Mike Romo

    Mike Romo Stunt Coordinator

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    FWIW, I have been really happy with my Samsung HP-S4253, a 42" plasma which seems to be getting less and less expensive since I bought it a month ago. The piano black glossy finish is really nice, and once I figured out that I should turn off the DNIE, the performance has been spectacular so far. It's really quiet (no fans), has a ton of inputs (including 2 HDMI), has a very nice 10,000:1 contrast ratio, and has made my living room look soooo much better...

    good luck!
    mike
     
  9. Barton Lynch

    Barton Lynch Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks Lew & Mike. I'm still considering the Samsung HD model as a strong candidate as I've been impressed with some HD demos using a D-VHS tape, but so far the Panasonic seems to hold the edge with black level and color saturation. No, unfortunately I haven't got a single opportunity to fully test them side by side with critical material and properly calibrated to be fair. But as far as reviews from web sites, magazines and my superficial perception with uncalibrated displays on dealer walls go, the Panasonic seems to be my first choice.

    Lew: I'm in Caracas, Venezuela, for the time being. On older versions of this forum (been here since Sep '99) the country and city/state was visible under the name, along with other useful information.

    Thanks dudes!
     
  10. Maximum Kahuna

    Maximum Kahuna Auditioning

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    Another vote for the Panny. The latest generation (60U or 600) are less expensive in the US than the previous. I have a TH42PX500 and couldn't be happier (unless of course it was 65") I think you'll find that the sweet spot is at 42 and 50 inches. 42" PQ on SD is better than I was led to expect.
     
  11. Barton Lynch

    Barton Lynch Stunt Coordinator

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    Good to know that Kahuna! It looks like the Panny is the one to go with, but I can't help to marvel at the Samsung picture, they have been doing a very aggressive campaign with demo booths around malls with some well calibrated screens and HDMI connected DVD players (no BD nor HD).
     

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