Pany PT40LC12 Any Opinions? Please!

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Michael Gretton, Jun 24, 2002.

  1. Michael Gretton

    Jun 10, 2002
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    I was at best buy on Friday and stumbled across this wonderful looking set. I did not want a RPTV but when I saw this it seemed perfect. However, I can't research diddly about it on the web! I do a google search and I find no review at all. I find a few sites that seem to be candy-coated discussions about it but nothing hard core. I went to the AVS forum and nothing there too. Anyone out there to help? Now I am think that it is a horrible TV since no one is talking it up. I like the fact that it seems look awesome from the side, fairly up close and it is 430p and 720p. IT is widescreen and perfect for my room. THere must be a catch.


  2. Brandon_S

    Brandon_S Second Unit

    Apr 30, 2000
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    Being a former Best Buy employee, I have seen this set plenty of times. While I never calibrated our display with Avia or any other test disc, the thing that stood out the most about the set was the black levels. Compared to the RP HDTVs in the room, the black levels of the Panasonic were lacking. They were more grey than black. However, once this set is properly calibrated, that might not be a problem. LCD technology in TV's is still fairly new so I would assume the problem with black levels will improve greatly over the next few years. I hope this helps some.

    Brandon Smith
  3. Gregg Loewen

    Gregg Loewen Video Standards Instructor, THX Ltd.

    Nov 9, 1999
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    New England
    Real Name:
    Gregg Loewen
    there is no comparison between this set and a crt based unit when talking about black levels. perhaps in a few years...
  4. Michael TLV

    Michael TLV THX Video Instructor/Calibrator

    Mar 16, 2000
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    Calgary, Alberta
    Real Name:
    Michael Chen

    But the set fits a certain niche that requires what it offers. Big image and little counter space.

  5. John Hummel

    John Hummel Auditioning

    Jun 25, 2002
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    I too was pretty impressed with this set (LCD) when I saw it last weekend. I didn't really pay any attention to the black level, although I will the next time I see it. The viewing angle on this set was very impressive, and it looked like it could handle a bright room better than the typical CRT TV. I guess another downside from what I've been reading is that you have to change the bulb every so often, and it can be expensive. Does anyone know what an average bulb life would be with a properly calibrated set, and how much the bulbs cost?
  6. SteveMo

    SteveMo Stunt Coordinator

    Jun 19, 2002
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    Are the black levels going to make a difference if I am in complete darkness and about 11 feet away from it?

    Is it really that bad?

    I really just want a proper and uniform picture.

    Does it have those halos?

    I'm going to check it out some more later.

    More opinions????
  7. Doug McDonald

    Doug McDonald Auditioning

    Sep 15, 2002
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    I have one of these (PT40LC12)

    First, the darkest it gets is dark gray. This can't be
    tweaked. What you see in a store with an unused input and the brightness down is what you get. If you are a "black black" freak, do not buy this set. Don't try to convince yourself otherwise. In a totally dark room it is most emphatically not black. It is also not totally uniform gray.
    There is the faintest tinge of color variation in the near-black. This may be a polarization problem ... with polarizing glasses on it gets far far worse.

    I don't care about black black. I do care about fuzziness,
    blooming, geometric distortion. This set has a razor sharp picture ... a computer generated logo on a 720p (ABC)
    station has a one pixel rise time. Black to white
    in one pixel. It does go down more slowly, perhaps to
    20% gray on the next pixel. It of course has no blooming.
    My first optical assembly had horrendous geometric distortion, but they fixed that with a new assembly.

    It is so sharp that I had to buy special +0.75 diopter
    reading glasses to see the full resolution from 10 feet.

    It has been accused of serious banding and posterization.
    I consider this to be a red herring. If you indeed have a source with those problems, it shows them off badly. But some sources don't have the problems. It may well be some sort of interaction between one too few bits in the source
    and one too few bits in the set. It is simply not there on true analog from camera to antenna OTA stuff. Nevertheless,
    shop carefully or buy from a 30 day return dealer because of this.

    The optical assembly I first bought had a color temperature of 9900K. This is way too blue. The second one has
    a temperature of 8000K. There is no menu item, user, service, or otherwise, to fix this except with the RGB input. If you can't take blue, there is only one cure, as far as I know. I did it and it works fine: you buy, for $85, an 86 mm color conversion filter from a camera store
    (i.e. B&H Photo Video in NYC), take the front off the set,
    and install it on the lens. I used an 81C filter, you might want a slighter stronger 81EF. Works perfectly.

    Use good cables for HDTV.

    All that done, it is simply marvelous. The picture is as bright as all the CRT projectors in a store ... and you don't turn down the brightness .... it is not needed to prevent burnin. There are two "cinema" modes, one which is apparently only a different setting of user controls, and one which appears to reduce lamp brightness. Reducing the lamp brightness will make the lamp last longer. And it still is way way bright. I don't think that reducing brightness makes the picture look better either. This set is simply not like CRT sets.

    The OTA analog picture is stunningly good on a good station. However, the NTSC tuners (there are two) lack selectivity ... it cannot pick up a weak channel one higher than a strong signal, be that signal NTSC or ATSC.

    Bulb life is supposed to be 5000 hours ... and depends only on the setting of one "cinema" mode. They cost $300 from
    Panasonic mail order and are user replaceable.

    Doug McDonald
  8. Darren_C

    Darren_C Agent

    Dec 1, 2002
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    Any more opinions on this model? It sounds like non-pure black levels are the main complaint. On the other hand, the 720p compatibility and the fact that it shouldn't suffer burn-in when viewing 4:3 and other material is a plus.

    How resilient to pokes and fingerprints is the screen?

    How do the viewing angles (horizontal and vertical) compare to a small CRT RPTV?

    What Picture in Picture modes are there?

    What Zoom/Stretch/Crop modes are there for 4:3 or very widescreen material? Are they useful?

    Is there a non-volatile user definable memory for all the picture controls that will not be erased if you select a pre-set mode?

    Any additional comments from other owners appreciated. I'm also considering a Toshiba 36HFX72 direct view, and the Sony and Hitachi 43-46" RPTVs.
  9. Matt Naglieri

    Matt Naglieri Second Unit

    Jul 30, 2001
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    I recently saw the 40" in a circuit city the picture quality was pretty bad since they had it hooked up to standard cable with the picture streched.


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