Should I stay away from the Panny?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Keith_JS, Jun 13, 2002.

  1. Keith_JS

    Keith_JS Agent

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    I am moving into a new house next month and I have a budget of $1600 for my home theater tv. I want the best and biggest picture I can afford-- that will work in my situation (more on that later).

    I had eliminated RPTVs from consideration because I believed that the best pictures come from flat screen direct view tvs. However, after doing a search on this forum I've become somewhat enamored with the Panasonic 47" widescreen RPTV which can be had for around $1400 but I'm still uncertain it will work for me.

    The room I've been alotted is 10X15 with a sliding glass door (light source)on the wall 90 degrees to the left of the tv's position. Avg viewing distance will be about 10-11 feet. Additionally I am considering putting in a skylight in that room (really my other half wants one) but this is not a definite. Will this be too much light for a RPTV?

    How much does one of those fabled ISF adjustments cost
    (the house I'm buying is near Ocean City, Maryland)? Is it absolutely neccesary to get that "great picture" I've read so much about from the Panny?

    The burn in factor is also a concern. What is the best way to avoid this? Is it covered by the warranty?

    I also will be getting a Boston Terrier puppy in a couple of months so I would be looking to get a screen shield if I purchased the Panny. How much will that set me back?

    Given my situation am I better off sticking with a high end flat screen tv like a Sony, Samsung or Panasonic?
     
  2. Jim FC

    Jim FC Stunt Coordinator

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    Keith,
    First off, the Panasonic does indeed have a great picture, when you consider how inexpensive it is. It's not a miracle TV, but considering that it's well under $2000 it's a great deal. It's biggest fault IMO is a lack of brightness, which in the room you described (especially with the skylight) might be a problem. How often would you be watching this TV during the day?

    There are two versions of this TV -- one with a screen protector, and one without. The one with is about $100 more, and it's well worth it... that $100 also gets you a better remote.

    I know there will be dissenting options, but getting an ISF certified tech out there for a $1500 TV is silly. You can buy "Video Essentials" or "Avia" for $25 and make this TV look pretty darn good, all by yourself.

    The best way to avoid burn-in is to turn the contrast down as soon as you turn the TV on the first time! All TVs right out of the box are turned up WAAAY too high... when you use the Video Essentials DVD to calibrate it, you'll see what I mean. It also helps if you watch all 4:3 programs in a stretch mode (rather than using the side bars), don't leave the TV on channels like ESPN or CNN (which have their logo in the corner 24/7) for very long, and don't play video games. Burn-in is classified as abuse and is NOT covered by any manufacturer's or extended warranties.

    In closing, this is a great TV for the price, will get you a real nice picture from DVD or HD and does a fair job on analog signals too, and is big enough to give you a theater-like impression from 10 feet. Get some drapes for that sliding door and put the skylight in another room, and you'll be fine. Hope this helps...
     
  3. Michael TLV

    Michael TLV THX Video Instructor/Calibrator

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    Greetings

    uh ... just using AVIA versus a full blown calibration is not quite the same thing.

    Kinda like saying that just changing the oil in your car without a filter change, is the same as a full service tune up that the local dealership offers.

    And we're not even talking about changing oil either.

    Cost of a full service calibration will typically run you $400 to $600. A more basic service costs $275.

    While no one needs the service per se ... it is there for those that value their time more than the cost of the work itself. You can do a lot of the tweaking yourself, but that requires a lot of research and time on your part.

    If you can make a $1500 Panny look better than a $4000 Pioneer Elite ... for a whole lot less ... why wouldn't you? The TV has the potential.

    It's alright if you don't want to try, but you will end up with a $1500 TV picture.

    I encourage you to save as much money as you can and tweak your own set if you are the tweaking type of person and you do not mind researching the subject. When done right, you can also take this mere $1500 picture and make it something much greater.

    Regards
     
  4. Jim FC

    Jim FC Stunt Coordinator

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    Michael,
    >>uh ... just using AVIA versus a full blown calibration is not quite the same thing.
     
  5. ollie_k

    ollie_k Stunt Coordinator

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    I bought the 47 inch panny myself last Feb, and it works great ever since. No complaints here. It is true the picture looks awful right out of the box, but after some tweaking I think my picture looks great. I used the THX optimode that comes on some DVD's to do it. I think color balance and the rest is all a matter of opinion of the viewer.
    I dont watch anything in 4:3, I got used to it (besides my directv box can be changed to 16x9 format anyways). I think this box is great so far.
    [​IMG]
     
  6. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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  7. Michael Lomker

    Michael Lomker Stunt Coordinator

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    One could argue if spending $600 calibrating a $1400 set is worthwhile and it's a valid one. I'd also guess that $600 is about the minimum for a decent job...much of the time the RPTV sets have to be taken apart and lined inside for light control.

    Generally the anti-scratch screens are REMOVED due to the reflections that they can cause. Adding one in for the dog and then adding more light sources....yikes!

    I'd go with a direct-view set that has a curved screen, believe it or not. They are the best at handling high light situations.

    Avia is fine for a DIY solution but there are TONS of things that you cannot adjust without going into the service menus. I watched the calibration on my own set just a couple weeks ago. Grayscale was bluish, brightness was triple what it should have been (and couldn't be adjusted far enough in the user controls), and the geometry was imperfect.

    Avia won't fix any of that...it'll just tell you to adjust the colors and make the picture extremely dim to solve red push? Please.
     
  8. ollie_k

    ollie_k Stunt Coordinator

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    Jack,
    I understand all about that, I used to work in television with greyscale charts and scopes, but without that kind of equipment handy or the desire to shell out big $$$, I eyeball it myself, and if I think it looks good, then thats fine with me.
     
  9. Dave Poehlman

    Dave Poehlman Producer

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    This thread interests me as I am looking at the same Panny for my meager HT.

     
  10. Michael TLV

    Michael TLV THX Video Instructor/Calibrator

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    Greetings

    If one could actually quantify the state of TV's OOTB, I'd say the following:

    Pioneer 85-90%
    Sony 80-85%
    Toshiba 75% to 80%
    .
    .
    .
    .
    Panasonic 60-65%

    Sure individual stores would may have a few outliers ... but for me, this is where I'd rank them. If you had a Panasonic that was decent OOTB, consider yourself really fortunate.

    Regards
     

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