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A few thoughts about the LG 60PX950 3D Plasma: Official Thread

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#1 of 32 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

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Posted November 14 2010 - 10:52 AM

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LG 60PX950

A few thoughts by Ronald Epstein



I have been following 3D very closely for the past three years.  I could easily make the claim that I was one of the first non-industry consumers to see a prototype of 3D television for the home thanks to the folks at Panasonic Hollywood Labs.  Even back in 2007 the technology was already mostly perfected.  From the moment I first laid my eyes on some wonderfully produced animated and live 3D content I knew that I had to have this technology in my home.  The question became not "if" but "when" and at "what" cost.


The time of 3D displays for the home is here and now.  Manufacturers such as Panasonic, Sony, LG, Toshiba, Samsung and Mitsubishi have all rolled out an assortment of LCD and Plasma displays this year.  Samsung recently started a price war which has spiraled the cost of these displays steadily downward over the past few months.  Now, when considering the purchase of a brand new LCD or Plasma display, you need only to pay a little more for 3D capability.


For those of you who have never experienced 3D in the home I am certain there is a huge amount of uncertainty as to how much entertainment value it adds.  If you would accept the advice of someone like myself who has seen a lot of content over the years, I would say that going from 2D to 3D is as dramatic from black and white to color.  The level of enjoyment in watching a film or documentary is dramatically enhanced for the sheer fact that the added picture depth adds realism that has never been experienced quite like this before.  Make no mistake about it -- 3D is THAT incredible!



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This was not the TV I wanted



I was about a month away from buying the Panasonic 65VT25.  After all, I witnessed the birth of home 3D on Panasonic displays and this year the VT25 has been rated at the top of the display chain.  However, be forewarned that buying that model comes at a premium.  You get what you pay for.  Despite the cost, I knew what I wanted and for the moment I thought I would end up owning a Panasonic.....


.....then something wonderful happened....


I attended a party at LG's booth during Cedia 2010 in September.  They were giving away a prize package which included the LG display, blu-ray player, glasses and movies.  I ended up winning the package.  I have to be honest that as elated as I was, there was a bit of disappointment that I was perhaps downsizing from the Panasonic to the LG.  In my mind, I felt as if quality would be compromised going towards a more budget friendly brand.


So let me get to the point in saying before I even get into my review that surprisingly, the LG 60PX950 is probably the best bang-for-the-buck 3D television in the market at this point.  I am going to go out on a limb and say that the quality would probably satisfy those seeking the higher priced Panasonic displays at half the price.  I will talk more about my reasons for stating this shortly.



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The Specs


The LG 60PX950 is of course a plasma display.  You can immediately sense that by looking at the photo above and seeing the reflection it gives off.  This is the downside of owning a plasma.  In a brightly lit room with lots of windows the viewer will be plagued with reflection.  If you foresee that being a problem then LCD or LED is for you.  However, it's my opinion that plasmas offer better film-like picture, better black levels, and no matter what anyone else says -- offers the better 3D experience thanks to its refresh rates and better viewing angles.  The LG 60PX950 is the very first THX CERTIFIED 3D display on the market.  This means that the display had to go through rigorous tests and calibrations to meet THX standards.  This is a primary reason for considering purchase which I will also talk more about momentarily.


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Here is a photo of some of the accessories that come packaged with the LG including two remotes, one of which is a "Magic Wand" which acts very much like the Wii remotes in that you can control onscreen controls and included games with mere gestures.  As you can see I have yet to even open the remote to try it.  While out at Cedia the LG folks were very high about this remote urging me to try it with the embedded games.  Also included is a WiFi dongle (which used to be sold separately) that plugs into the usb port and enables the LG to connect to your home network wirelessly.  The standard remote features nice large-sized buttons and is backlit at the push of a button.


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I did want to quickly show off this photo of the glass pedestal that rests beneath the screen.  I was a little worried that with all its weight, the first difficult task I would have would be attaching the stand.  Fortunately, right out of the box it's already attached and ready to be placed on a stand.



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The 60PX950 boasts a highly intuitive menu that lets you access and adjust a wide range of picture and audio settings.  The USB and Ethernet inputs allow you to display personal media content as well as connecting to NETCAST services that include Netflix, Vudu, YouTube, Pandora Radio, Roxio Cinema Now and Yahoo Widgets.  The moment I plugged in my ethernet cable the display instantly recognized it and a menu prompted me through an auto-connection process that had me up and running in mere seconds.  I then went to the Widgets menu and set up a few personal widgets including FINANCE and WEATHER.  You get a really thorough animated tutorial on how to set up and use widgets (or "snippets" as they are called) and they can easily be summoned or revoked using a single button on the remote.  



OUTSTANDING 2D PICTURE QUALITY



I already stated that the LG 60PX950 would be a viable alternative to the Panasonic VT25 at half the price.  I say that confidently because from my findings, this television boasts outstanding picture quality and black levels.


Out of the box the first thing I did was do a quick calibration using the Disney WOW disc.  Surprisingly, the numbers, in standard user mode, were very close to the settings out of the box.  However, it didn't take long until I switched over to THX CINEMA MODE which gave a noticeably warmer and more natural picture at the cost of a bit of brightness reduction which may bother some individuals in lighter rooms.   Fortunately THX BRIGHT ROOM solves that problem but at the cost of washing out colors.  There are many different picture settings to play around with here including VIVID, SPORT and GAME but I find the THX CINEMA MODE to be perfect in my room which is totally darkened.


Really, folks, you will be amazed by the colors and overall quality of presentation.  I don't know if "glossy" is the best term to use for describing the picture, but it really has a brilliant crisp glossy look.  The other day I popped in the Blu-ray of The Sound of Music and was marveling at the deep black levels in the nun's uniforms.  For me, black levels are one of the most important factors in deciding upon a display.  It is what gives the picture texture.  I am proud to say that the LG has nice inky black levels that won't disappoint.



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OUTSTANDING 3D QUALITY


The LG 60PX950 does not come bundled with 3D glasses.  You need to purchase the AG-S100 glasses which retail at the time of this review at about $80 apiece.  There have been many good things said about these glasses when compared to others such as the ones bundled with the Panasonic.  First, the glasses feature a solid arm piece with no spaces to allow for ambient light to seep in.   Secondly, the batteries contained in the temples are completely rechargeable via a tiny usb plug that can be charged directly from a USB input on the display.


The fact that this is currently the only THX CERTIFIED 3D DISPLAY on the market should tell you right off the bat that 3D settings should be optimal out of the box.  They were.


The first disc I watched was Imax Under The Sea 3D which currently is included with the purchase of the 50 and 60 PX950 via a mail-in coupon.  


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I could not be more pleased with the quality of the 3D presentation.  Here I was watching brilliantly colorful underwater images with separation and depth.  My favorite sequence happens during chapter 3 when a potato cod fish swims straight out of frame and situates itself in mid-air just inches away from your nose.   This is the perfect demo for the first-time 3D viewer as it effectively demonstrates objects that leap out of the screen.   However, if you want something that looks even more amazing, but far more natural, I would heartily recommend any of the Image Imax discs that include Grand Canyon Adventure or Wild Ocean.  I sampled Grand Canyon Adventure and found it to be a more pleasing 3D experience overall.  It certainly looks as if it's one of those showcase produced titles that played heavily on IMAX screens years ago.   The quality of the production is outstanding.  I felt as if it had much more pronounced background and foreground separation which combined with an ultra-crisp picture resolution it just made you sit back and say "WOW!"


Let me stop for a second and talk about the user end of the 3D experience.   People don't like wearing the glasses.  I am not going to lie here and say that even though the AG-S100 glasses are slightly more streamlined than some of the earlier models, they are still aren't a little heavy.  When I sit and watch these presentations I am fully aware that there is weight on my nose.  Does it become uncomfortable?  Slightly.  Also, I noticed that after lengthy viewing you sometimes feel as if your eyes are becoming cross.  There can be moments where you feel your eyes being pulled together.  Is it worth the slight discomfort for the entertainment value?  Absolutely!


Despite any comfort problems (and they are slight) I can sit and watch this stuff for hours.  When you first start watching 3D content you are going to want an arsenal of different titles at your disposal.  You are not going to want to stop watching this stuff.  Your friends are going to come over and be amazed.  On the LG 60PX950 the 3D content is rendered beautifully.  I can see why the THX CERTIFICATION became the selling point here.  The picture quality, the dynamic colors, and the lack of crosstalk make this an unbeatable 3D experience.  If there is any downside in picture quality it would probably be a bit of brightness loss.  I know the brightness levels on the Panasonics are purposely jacked up in order to compensate for the loss.  That might be one of the advantages of going with that brand.  Being in a totally darkened room, I really don't see any major loss with the diminished brightness level.  Those in a brightened room may think otherwise.


There is one major annoyance that I am uncertain can be fixed.  Every time you start to play a 3D title a box comes up telling you to pair your glasses.  That box remains up over the playing content for at least 25 seconds.  Then a second box appears that warns you about the effects of watching prolonged 3D content and advises you to take a rest every few minutes.   If someone figures out how to disable these advisories I will be forever grateful.



 IN CONCLUSION



I will say this again.  This was not the display I had my heart set on.  However, now that I own it, I am not a bit disappointed.  


If you are in the market for a 3D plasma I would certainly strive for the Panasonic VT25 series for the fact that it is so highly rated and reviewed.  However, I think that reviews are just starting to surface for the LG 950 series which happens to be at the very top of their line of plasmas.  I believe people are slowly discovering that there is a cheaper alternative out there that will give them similar picture and performance of the crowning displays.  In fact, I think the LG 60PX950 is a crowning display thanks to the fact that company obviously strived for exceptional performance levels by applying for THX certification.


There are a lot of things I have not yet played with yet.  I wanted to refrain from advertising this as a full review because quite honestly, it will take me weeks to explore all the things this display offers.  However, on the surface, the LG 60PX950 gets my highest recommendation.

Ronald J Epstein
Home Theater Forum co-owner

 

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#2 of 32 OFFLINE   Maurice Verploegen

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Posted November 22 2010 - 04:13 AM

Ron,


Great review! I was right there next to you (already 3 years ago). When we were blown away by Panasonic's 3D demonstration. I remember that all of us in that group were ready to throw down a lot of money to have this great new technology in our homes. This looks to be a great set, congrats on winning this display.


I wanted to watch the World Cup in 3D so bad that I purchased the Samsung 50" (8000) plasma and loving every minute of it. I also have been very lucky as ESPN-3D has already broadcast 3 Boise State footballs games in 3D this season. I love 3D so much that I have purchased the Panasonic 65VT25. Should be coming this week. Luckily I was able to buy it at retailer cost price through one of my dealers. But it is an expensive piece, no doubt about it. And it sounds like that this LG is holding it's own for half the price.


Have fun with your new toy and GO 3D!





#3 of 32 OFFLINE   Parker Clack

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Posted November 22 2010 - 08:38 AM

Great review Ron. I am glad to read that you really like the set.

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#4 of 32 OFFLINE   ralphPerez

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Posted November 24 2010 - 04:34 PM

Greetings,


Great review, I am currently looking at this set that accidentally stumbled across on the net the other day and then went to BB to look at it since they carry it, to find out what it looks like, well they are advertising the set but do not carry it yet and the salesman that I talked to looked it up at their site and was blown away by the sets stats, of course they are charging $600 more then the Internet sites, so anyways will be going to a Magnolia BB to glance at last year model and to just talk to them about it.


Question does Home Theater Forum get any kind of credit if I was to buy from one of the sites, if so which site????



Thanks


Ralph


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#5 of 32 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

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Posted November 24 2010 - 11:19 PM

Ralph,


Very kind of you to ask.


The only site we get credit from would be Amazon.


Ronald J Epstein
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#6 of 32 OFFLINE   ralphPerez

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Posted November 25 2010 - 06:30 AM

Well I buy most of my things from Amazon, wished that would had known earlier.


Happy Thanskiving


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#7 of 32 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

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Posted December 02 2010 - 12:21 AM

CNET has posted their review on this display

and rates the PX950 among the best plasma

televisions this year.


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#8 of 32 OFFLINE   Neal Farley

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Posted December 11 2010 - 01:06 AM

More Positive Reviews On The LG 50PX950

About.Com Home Theater -Called the LG 50PX950 The Best Products Of The Year - 2010

Favorite Home Theater Products Of 2010.

They also show it as there #1 plasma TV choice.


PC World has made it an Editor's Choice and said Its the best TV of 2010 "LG's 50PX950 is one of the best plasma televisions we've had the chance to look at. It's big, relatively cheap, has excellent picture quality and some great included features like video on demand and 2D-to-3D conversion. It's easily the equal of Samsung's Series 7 3D plasma for 2D video and it beats it when it comes to Internet features, although its 3D implementation is slightly inferior."



CNET

Top-rated reviews of the week: 

December 4, 2010 4:00 AM PST
Here's our weekly roundup of the new products CNET reviewers liked best.

LG Infinia 50PX950

Editors' rating: 4 out of 5



The bottom line: With excellent performance showing either 2D or 3D material, the LG 50PX950 series stands among the best plasma TVs this year.
 
Keep in mind that LG did not introduce this TV until Sept 2010.
So all things considering the LG  50PX950 and the 60PX950 are coming on strong and just may be standing right next to Panasonic when all the smoke clears.




#9 of 32 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

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Posted December 11 2010 - 02:30 AM

This is great to read.  BTW, we know Robert Silva

of about.com rather well.


I agree. This display is the bees knees.


For a short period of time I thought perhaps the PX950 was

prone to ghosting problems.  However, I just finished watching

what might be the best 3D disk of the year (look for the review

in the HD software area) that was just about PERFECT.  This

tells me that many of the ghosting problems I have seen are

related to authoring though I still agree that some displays handle

the problem better than others.


This is probably one of the best displays of the year.  I am

extremely happy with it.

Ronald J Epstein
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#10 of 32 OFFLINE   ralphPerez

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Posted December 11 2010 - 06:56 PM

Crutchfield has it for $1,999,


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#11 of 32 OFFLINE   Brook K

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Posted December 21 2010 - 06:03 AM

After Ron's review backed up by other great reviews here and elsewhere, and viewing a number of Plasma, LED, LCD and DLP sets in local stores, I ordered one yesterday to replace a 6yr old Tosh 57" rear projection set (1080i only).


Just got the shipping notice and it is supposed to be delivered by the 24th. Can't wait to try it out! Now I have to go TV stand shopping. Thanks Ron!!


I found a better deal online than Crutchfield's price, from a reputable website, without using a 3rd party seller.


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Last 8 Films Watched: In the Loop - A- / It Might Get Loud - B+ / What Just Happened? - B / Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs - C- / Drums Along the Mohawk - A- / Punisher War Zone - B+ / Moon - C+ / A Man For All Seasons - B+

#12 of 32 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

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Posted December 21 2010 - 07:29 AM

Brook,


Congrats on your purchase.  This is so cool for

me to read.


Cannot begin to tell you how much I love my LG

display.  I am extremely picky about display quality

and had initially felt that I would be getting somethig

way substandard to the Panasonic I was planning

to purchase.....


....could not have gone further from my expectations.

This is one gorgeous display.  And, if my praise is not

enough you should see how well this display has been

rated by online reviews -- most placing it in the top 3

displays of the year.


As for a stand, I ordered this one from JandR and

could not be happier:


http://www.jr.com/be...e/BLG_AVSC2208/


Please let us know what you think of your display

once you receive it.


Happy Holidays!


Ronald J Epstein
Home Theater Forum co-owner

 

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#13 of 32 OFFLINE   Neal Farley

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Posted December 22 2010 - 08:25 AM

Both Amazon & Buy.com have the LG LNFINIA 50PX950  FOR $1,199.00.

If you check these sights daily you WILL !! find this price again and again.

Now it comes and goes but like fishing if you wait you will get a bite.

Great price for a great TV.



#14 of 32 OFFLINE   Brook K

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Posted December 26 2010 - 03:01 PM

I LOVE THIS TV Ron, thanks so much for the recommendation. The Searchers Blu-Ray is so beautiful, what I always wanted my home theater experience to be like, but never had before. Even my non-technical parents noticed the huge improvement over my old rear-projection Tosh. Vivid colors, top-notch sharpness, detail, even brightness to all areas of the screen...looks like you could walk right into the picture. Makes just as big a difference with standard DVDs.


So many discs I want to try out, I need to take a month off of work :D  I found a stand too, after looking around quite a bit. I have a Swan C3 center channel which is tall and long and made for a devil of a time finding a stand that had a center shelf that could accomodate the size of the speaker and still have enough room for my other components. The speaker has a tweeter on top that sticks up several more inches and made it tough to find any sort of enclosed shelf that would fit. I finally saw this, which I ordered and have measured in store to see if it will work, and I'm pretty sure it will, though even with this the center channel will have to hang slightly off the lip of the shelf.


http://www.vcf.com/w...errer=shelfPage






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#15 of 32 OFFLINE   Neal Farley

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Posted December 29 2010 - 03:30 PM

THE LG INFINIA 50PX950 THX 3D PLASMA HDTV Price paid $1,199.00 at Buy.com Dec 3rd 2010 Free shipping.

Note ! The LG 50PX950 is the same TV as the LG 60PX950 the only difference is size.

I have had my new LG 50PX950 along with the LG BX580 Network 3D Blu-ray Disc Player for two weeks now, and all I got to say is, man do I love this TV.

http://static.hometh...um.com/imgrepo/ http://static.hometh...um.com/imgrepo/ 
First impression, and why I feel that this is one of the best 2D/ 3D TV’s on the market.  
I have seen no problems with this TV as some others have written.

It has excellent motion and black level response; there are only subtle traces of crosstalk visible which is very close to the Panasonic, Sony and Samsung. Many reviews were done before the 100 hr break in period. If you let the TV get past the initial 100 start up hours there is  NO !!!  Bleeding effect as others have written; that is where images that remain stationary for long periods of time tend to leave outlines on the screen after they have disappeared or moved. Also keep in mind the picture is only as good as the content in which you are showing, and there is some real bad content out there.

I have just finished watching some of the best 3D  video content out there.

Alice In Wonderland, Legend of The Guardians, Despicable Me, and Resident Evil: Afterlife, both in 3d and 2D versions.

All four of these videos played flawlessly.


The one thing I have noticed is that the Panasonic and Samsung may seem like the brighter clearer picture, but what they have all missed that the LG has captured,  is a pure and natural picture, with all the detail of fine art.

I will gladly take a little less brightness and contrast for a true realistic picture any day. As long as your not in a real bright room then this TV is the best you can buy.


I have been to several Best buys and other stores and when you do side by side comparisons you will see that the LG may not be as bright and bursting with contrast as the Panasonic or the Samsung, but if you take a deeper look, what it does do is show you is detail. You can see every hair and natural skin tones that are so real you forget you’re watching a TV.


This is what I’m looking for in a HDTV, and the LG 50PX950 delivers it better than Panasonic,Samsung,Sony or anyone else as far as it goes.  I want a Real live looking picture and when it comes to detail LG does it better than anyone, hands down. Bright and bold is not always better if the picture does not look real.

Look I love art and even though I may be attracted to a painting that is bright and full of color, if the picture does not show the artist expression in detail, then it is nothing more then just another cheap painting. All the other HDTV manufactures seem to exaggerate their contrast and colors instead of focusing on real life detail.

Well I don't settle for cheap art on canvas, and I won't settle for cheap art on my HDTV either.

So If you want REAL then the LG 50PX950 is as real as you can get…. PERIOD.


Here are the settings that I found to be the best for me for regular 2D picture and every day use including sports.

Aspect Ratio = 16:9

Energy Saver = Off

Picture Mode – Expert 1 or Expert 2  (It’s Your preference)

Contrast = 95

Brightness = 52

H - Sharpness = 60

V – Sharpness = 60

Color = 60

Tint = R 2

There is no need to go into the other Expert settings.

I think you will find these Quick & Easy setting work great for all regular HDTV and movie viewing.



#16 of 32 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

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Posted December 29 2010 - 11:08 PM

Neal,


Welcome to the forum!


I saw your post at the other place and I am
glad you came here to share your thoughts
as well.


I am sure you are very aware of the complaints

regarding line bleeding with this display but I
have yet to see any of it.  I am extremely happy

with the PQ this set delivers.  Watched the

Blu-ray of Sherlock Holmes last night and was

astounded by the black levels.  If you really want

to test how deep blacks can get on this display,

that is a movie to watch.


I do hope that you stay with us for a while. Go

on over to the software area and talk about some

of the titles you have been watching.


Ronald J Epstein
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#17 of 32 OFFLINE   Charles Smith

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Posted December 30 2010 - 01:07 AM

Sounds wonderful.  And that price ... Incredible.




#18 of 32 OFFLINE   Charles Smith

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Posted January 03 2011 - 08:47 AM

Been meaning to ask this, finally remembered...


Ronald:  What's your viewing distance to that 60" screen?  Screen to eyeballs, I guess!  Posted Image   I'm only asking because of the various 3D discussions and how obviously happy you are viewing 3D with this setup.  Thanks.




#19 of 32 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

Ronald Epstein

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Posted January 03 2011 - 09:09 AM

Chas,


My couch is 9' away from the screen.


My home theater is located in what was once

a bedroom.




Ronald J Epstein
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#20 of 32 OFFLINE   johnfredbarry

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    Auditioning

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Posted January 17 2011 - 11:19 PM

just a heads up. I contacted LG directly yesterday, and I was told that the 60px950 is not in active production. Anyone know why?







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