Plasma selection: Phillips PF9956 vs. Samsung R4272 vs. Panasonic 42PX500

Discussion in 'Displays' started by HarpSingh, Aug 5, 2005.

  1. HarpSingh

    HarpSingh Agent

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    Ok, This newb needs some help from you veterans.

    I have finally decided to get a 42" HDtv for my family room. Can't stand the DLP (I see the rainbows, and feel a flicker), loved the LCOS and could get by the the LCD RP, but finally realized that I need wide viewing angles, given our room. Plasma seems to be the best choice for me, given the viewing angles and ambient lighting. Our family viewing will be 50% SD, 30% DVD, and 20% HD. However, my viewing, which matters more ;-), will have more DVD.

    Based on my budget, I have short-listed the Phillips PF9956, the Samsung R4272, and the Panasonic 42PX500. The Panasonic is about US$300-500 more than the other two. Been reading here for a while, but trying to make a decision between these is not easy. I found a strong following for the Panasonic at this forum and at AVS. This is what I have gathered till now, and would love more details.

    The Panny has the pluses of deep blacks and great overall PQ. The Sammy has 13 bit processing (debatable if it makes a difference), is cheaper (~$400), 2 yr waranty, and has more inputs. I cannot find any opinions on the Phillips.

    The picture quality may be an issue with the Sammy, but I haven't been able to get any confirmed opinion on that. I do not want fake contouring (clay face) - picture quality is important to me. "Not-deep" blacks will NOT be an issue once the plasma is in my house and I do not have any other to compare it to.

    Can someone please elaborate more on these or other issues? How bad is the clay-face on Sammy, and on the panny? Thanks.
     
  2. Mort Corey

    Mort Corey Supporting Actor

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    From a reliability and customer service standpoint, I would go with the Panny. I've not been impressed with the QC on either of the other two companies products of any type.

    Mort
     
  3. HarpSingh

    HarpSingh Agent

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    Thanks Mort,

    Based on your comments, and the strong following at these forums for the panny, I bought the 42PX500 yesterday. It is being delivered today.

    Now, I'm trying to read up on initial precautions and startup info. Am also trying to decide whether to get an upconverting dvd player or let the PX do the scaling.

    Need to do more searching and reading...
    Any pointers to links and threads would be much appreciated.
     
  4. Mort Corey

    Mort Corey Supporting Actor

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    First, get one of the tune up disks. I've not played with the latest version of the Panny, but prior models all come out of the box with the picture set in torch mode. If nothing else, turn down the brightness and contrast for at least the first 100 hours of use.

    Congradulations....you're gonna love it.

    Mort
     
  5. HarpSingh

    HarpSingh Agent

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    Spent a few hours yesterday setting up the new Plasma. For now, I have lowered the brightness, contrast, and color to -2, and sharpness to 0. I know that this is probably much softer and overkill for the break-in period, but I don't mind being a little extra careful for the first few hours. I will keep increasing in slowly until the 100 hours mark, and then I might set my optimum levels using Avia or something.

    One interesting side-effect of this lowering levels is how good the lo quality signal look, even home-recorded VHS tapes at SLP speeds.

    The only regret I'm having is the 42" size; after watching a couple of movies this weekend, I'll decide if I want to up it to the 50 inches.
     
  6. Michael TLV

    Michael TLV THX Video Instructor/Calibrator

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    Greetings

    Unfortunately, this set cannot be professionally calibrated. It is pretty much what it is OOTB with little potential for being more than what it is.

    [​IMG]

    Regards
     
  7. HarpSingh

    HarpSingh Agent

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    Hi Michael,

    So what you are saying is that there is no need for me to try and dig into the service menus?

    Will DVE be of any use?

    Thanks.
     
  8. Mort Corey

    Mort Corey Supporting Actor

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    I own Avia, DVE and S&V tune up, and while they are all pretty good, for my plasma display I found Avia to be the easiest to use that rendered good results. Actually, before even using the disk(s) I tried the Steaming Rat method. After getting the disks I found that the Rat method was a 95%+ match for what the disks provided. None of the disks (at least the vintage I bought 2 years ago) are really taylored for plasmas...they lean more towards RPCRT. Anyway...this is a little long but worth the read.
    http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...hreadid=261309

    Mort
     
  9. mike wazonek

    mike wazonek Auditioning

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    Harp: For a Philips review on a plasma go to Sound & Visions website and look under "archives" and then equipment reports - then look under the number 6 - this is from the November 04 issue - the model here is PF9966 - not sure what the difference is. Another good site to look at for all manufacturers is "Home cimema Choice" - this is out of the uk but it has more reviews than anything you will find in North America. If your are considering the philips check and see if it has pixel plus for standard definition programming and compare this to the other sets as all of these sets have great pictures on hi def and dvd but are usually poor on standard definition.

    Hope this helps

    Mike
     
  10. RhondaLee

    RhondaLee Auditioning

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    Hasn't plasma reach the end of the road? Looking at the samsung web site on your 4272, I can't see how can this be possible:

    ==>>60,000 Hour Panel Life (27 Years @ 6 hrs a day)

    Doesn't the color fades out after 2 years or so?

    As well, when you pause a screen for say 30 minutes, the "burn in" glues to the screen, and that's the end of your plasma.

    So I honestly thought LCD has stepped in to replace plasma.
     
  11. Khasimir

    Khasimir Extra

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    I bought the 50" about 3 weeks ago and I'm flat out in love. The color and detail, especially for HD, is just sick. The only complaint that I have about the TV is the remote. I'm not a fan of it, but it's serviceable.
     
  12. RhondaLee

    RhondaLee Auditioning

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    when it is new, of course it is good, the question is the short lifespan of plasma, it can last a few years, but 27year?
     
  13. Eric Samonte

    Eric Samonte Screenwriter

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    Rhonda...I believe that is one of the myths surrounding plasma units. While it may not last a good 27 years, one can assume it will last until ur next bite of the upgrade bug...or maybe in a neighborhood of 5 years or more. Technology changes so much that once ur Panasonic TH42PX500U is delivered it is pretty much obsolete...but we here at the HTF always say...enjoy today, watch them movies in all their glory and not worry what tommorow brings. And that is what its all about, isn't it?
     
  14. RhondaLee

    RhondaLee Auditioning

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    I would like a screen that last more than 5 years. If there is a technology defect, and it seems to be, then I rather move to LCD, although I agree with you people that Plasma looks better than LCD.

    A good display screen should easily last 10 - 15 years. Samsung uses 6 hr. per day, say most of us view it at 8 - 9 hr. a day, although I don't expect 20+ years, 10 - 15 years is the minimum. A TV that I own since 1990 is still is very good shape as of today and I only paid $600 for it back then.

    So for the price tag of a 42" plasma, why should it last LESS than 15 years?
     
  15. PeterTHX

    PeterTHX Cinematographer

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    Which is no longer true of ANY technology now. Just like cars.
    CRT, LCD, plasma, whatnot is all silicon chips that are suseptible to heat, cold, static, etc.

    Don't count on anything lasting more than 7 years, period. Set makers only keep parts on hand for 5-8 years, max (if that). Buy a warranty.
     
  16. HarpSingh

    HarpSingh Agent

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    RhondaLee,

    You wrote,
    >A TV that I own since 1990 is still is very good shape as
    >of today and I only paid $600 for it back then

    My TV from more than a decade ago works great too, but I'm sure if I held it next to a new comparable model, the old picture will look dull. That is just the nature of Phosphers. Plasma tv's as well as crt's use phosphers, and they will deteriorate over time.

    The 60,000 hours is only the half life (life to half brightness), and for many people who still have decade old tv's, their plasmas will still look great after 10-15 years of service, just not be as bright as the latest technology out at that time. Even your old tv's probably around its half-life of phosphers.

    Rest assured that your plasma might last as long as your $600 tv, and probably even longer. If you don't keep comparing it to the latest-greatest technology around, it will always look great to you 20 years later.
     
  17. HarpSingh

    HarpSingh Agent

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    Mort,

    The steaming rat method does let you set the brightness/contrast/color levels, but does not set the grey scale to be truly grey at any brightness level or IRE level, to be accurate (without any red-push, for example). That method will also not set any over-scan. Setting the sharpness control would not be easy using the "rat" method. Those are some of the settings that service menu's might let you adjust.

    However, Micheal wrote above that in this model the available settings are very limited for professional calibration, even through service menus, and hence my question regarding the potential use of DVE or AVIA.
     
  18. Gregg Loewen

    Gregg Loewen Video Standards Instructor, THX Ltd.
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    hi
    Michael, and other calibrators, have now been given the needed information to provide accurate gray scale calibrations on the 50 and 500U sets.
    Regards

    Gregg
     
  19. RhondaLee

    RhondaLee Auditioning

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    HarpSingh, but if I own LCD, then I don't need to be concerned about phosphers fading.

    And even if it last 20+ years, it still doesn't fix the problem of pausing, in which the phosphers will burn on the screen permanently after approx. 30 min. I don't like to use a device that is like a time bomb, that I have to worry how many min. I pause a screen.
     
  20. HarpSingh

    HarpSingh Agent

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    Classical LCD vs. Plasma - To each their own.

    Plasma advantages - better contrast, no pixel delay, slighly better viewing angle, natural tv colors.
    Disadvantages - burn-in susceptability, power, lighter weight.

    If you own a LCD, you don't need to be concerned about phospher fading, but you'll be plagued by the lag/delay which I can't stand. Like I said above - To each their own.
     

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