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What HDTV do I buy!? LCD or Plasma and which model?? HELP!!!

by Zitech / July 24, 2009 1:21 PM PDT

Hi, I am trying to decide which HDTV to get for my home theater, I want to go really big (over 52"). I have done extensive research and have it narrowed down to the following choices, any opinions would be great:

Panasonic Viera TH-65PZ850U 65" Plasma.

Pioneer Kuro Elite PRO-151FD 60" Plasma.

Sony Bravia KDL-55XBR8 55" LED Back Lit LCD.

Samsung UN55B8000 55" LED Back Lit LCD.

Of course there is the issue of LCD vs. Plasma going on here. I have read reviews on all these TVs and they all get great reviews. If I walk into a store and look at them I can't really compare because who knows what inputs they are receiving. I understand that there are two different types of LED backlit televisions, from what I've heard the Sony looks much better than the Samsung. I would rather go LCD because I know the technology and like the fact that they are less temperamental. I know they fixed the burn in and also most of the common plasma issues they had when they first came out. From what I've heard the Sony actually compares well with the Pioneer and Panasonic as far as PQ goes, is this true? I like the size benefit a lot of the Panasonic and heard it is just as good as the Pioneer. What do you think? I want the best picture possible...

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How about...
by Pepe7 / July 24, 2009 2:40 PM PDT

...continuing with your other post/thread?

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by Zitech / July 24, 2009 4:41 PM PDT
In reply to: How about...

I figured I might get more answers with a new revised thread...

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by WildClay / July 31, 2009 2:39 PM PDT
In reply to: yeah...

See the new thread I started for this topic, I started a new one for two reasons, one the topic is long and it has some pretty heated views behind it.

The new thread name is Zitech -- Power

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Ok, that was a lot of info, getting to a decision.
by Zitech / August 1, 2009 12:12 AM PDT

Ok, I have a couple questions... I checked out the APC and found one for around $300 that has 1500VA. I also found the Monster HTS 3600 MKII at a competitive price to the APC. So am I right that your current setup is that you have a dedicated outlet to your HT + Monster 3600 Power Conditioner? I have two outlets by my HT, one was going to be for lamps and the other one for all the equipment, I really have nothing else on that breaker accept for my computer which is normally on stand-by when I would be watching anything. What exactly would be the advantage to a UPS other than when you loose power? I think I am in your situation as far as a UPS being a waste, I rarely loose power and nothing would get damaged if I did. If I go with the Monster and just do that do you think that would be good enough or should I do that + have a dedicated circuit run to my HT oultet? I have a basement so it shouldn't be too hard but I am leaning towards the practical approach and thinking of just taking care of what's on that circuit breaker. I rarely ever get noticeable power fluctuations here, it is a new house so all the electrical is good.

I guess I am trying to uncomplicate things for myself, I read reviews and other forums and it seems everyone has there own opinion.

What would suggest for the best and simplest way out of this?

Thanks for all the info on the stuff I picked, that was very helpful. Your post definitely cleared up a lot of confusion on my end.

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What Next
by WildClay / August 1, 2009 1:47 AM PDT

Yes, you are correct my electrial path is Mains ---> whole house protector ---> breaker box ----> 15A breaker ----> HT Outlet ----> Monster HTS 3600 MKII ---> All HT gear.

For the computer it is Mains ---> whole house protector ---> breaker box ----> 15A breaker ----> Computer Outlet ----> APC 1,500VA UPS ---> All Computer gear.

First, you likely do not need a dedicated circuit if you just have your computer on it besides the soon to be HT. Is that there are only 2 outlets on that circuit or only 2 you use? I would also check out your total load from your computer, monitor, cable modem, printer, etc on that circuit, and if you have a UPS like I do, check that out also as it draws power above what is plugged in to it.

As I noted, I have the dedicated circuit because it was easy and I could DIY since I have finished 3 basements in my life so wiring is a no brainer, especially when you are going to a spot that is already wired, no drilling and you have access to the wires in the basement that make up that circuit loop an can add a junction box to keep that loop intact when you pull that outlet, and using the existing wire leading to it to either pull in your new wire or just wire to it in the J-Box to the new circut. That said, I really doubt you need to, I did because as I said before, I am kind of into overkill on that kind of stuff and not too ashamed to admit it. (Note: if you have an old house where the gound is carried by metal conduit, I would run a new heavy gauge ground wire from your Breaker Box to the outlet.)

Personally I think a UPS on your A/V HT is going too far and adding a complication you don't need (batteries need replacment every 3 years even if they read good, you should replace it/them every three years), the only extra thing the UPS will buy you is better sag protection, it is not going to buy you enough "run" time to do much more than turn things off when the power fails at your load. The other thing about a UPS to consider is that you have what is called a stepped sine wave, not a true sine wave from the static inverter (the thing that turns DC to AC) and some A/V equipment might not like that, fine for a computer, likely fine for your HT.

I borrowed a power analyzer from work and ran it for a week on my dedicated outlet and was found noise levels acceptable but there, on the unconditioned power, small sags, power ranging from 108VAC although that was for 8ms and just once, the average from the week run was 118VAC with the longer lows at 115VAC and the high at 122VAC.

The only surprise I saw was some spikes I had not expected to see, in the 180VAC range lasting for 0.05ms that I found to be my HVAC, the biggest unexpected find was wide range of RF, mostly from my computer, but it was in the uV range, and noise from my X-10 home automation gear that I did expect to find and I could have eliminated that for 50 bucks with an X-10 filter. For the gear you bought I would put money on that their power supplies have high frequency shunts built in them to keep RF out anyway.

Then I ran it for a week on the filtered side of the Monster, all RF and X-10 was gone, infact it sucked down my X-10 so much I ended up having to put an X-10 blocker on that circuit as it was making some of my home automation stop working as there was not enough X-10 signal to get to the X-10 controls in some parts of the house.

So while greatly over-priced the Monster was clearly doing its job and doing it well, it stopped even all inter-HT device noise, but I suspect a cheaper unit would have done the same thing for the RF, not sure on the spikes, and I had no sag events during that week, so they only sag ability I am aware of is the one that tripped the Monster to shut down my system that once.

Don't forget the whole house protection, not only is that good for your H/T and computer, but everything else in your house, and even with an electrician installing it you should get out for 200 bucks or so.

So bottom line is if you have the bucks, go with the power conditioner you like and the dedicated circuit is purely optional, if you find you trip the breaker more than once, then I would add the dedicated circuit.

I have about 7 grand in my HT, retail, so even if I paid retail for Monster it would be 4% of my investment. Some will argue it is a waste at any price and they may be correct, what I saw on the power analyzer was nothing that the power supplies in your gear should not be able to take with ease. I like that my cable line is protected and isolation for my high current items, the receiver and sub-woofer. I have wireless ethernet and just have the router/switch plugged in to the Monster, the ethernet cable does not need anything since the box it comes from is protected by the Monster and the ethernet signal is wireless to that box.

Hope that helps, sorry about being long winded.

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Thanks, I think I made a decision
by Zitech / August 1, 2009 2:52 AM PDT
In reply to: What Next

First off thanks a lot for all the information, very helpful. I have 3 outlets on the circuit, 2 of which I will using. I agree that a UPS is overkill and I would hate to have to deal with batteries. It sounds to me like going with the Monster is going to me the easiest and best way out of this, I think I may make a dedicated circuit breaker in the future if I trip this but I don't think it will considering what I have adds up to 1200VA total and the outlet can support 1850VA. I also like that the Monster has coaxial able filtering as well. Plus this way I can plug everything into it rather than a few things.

I am thinking of buying the Monster for $250 on eBay, when you got yours did you notice a change in your PQ and/or sound quality?

Thanks a lot for all the help through this, it's not an easy thing to pick all this stuff. So bottom line if I do go with this is here is my complete HT, am I missing anything!? lol.

TV: Pioneer Kuro Elite Pro141FD
Speakers: Kef FiveTwo Model 11 speakers + HTB2SE sub.
Receiver: Receiver: Pioneer Elite VSX-21TXH.
Blu-Ray Player: Sony Playstation 3
Power Conditioner would be the Monster
HDMI connections
Time Warner Cable newest HDDVR.
Blu-Ray DVE calibration disc.

Two questions that I have real quick, one is as far as burn-in on the Pio I read that the Elite Signature Series has been pre-burned-in for 100hrs, have you ever heard of this? Although they say to be safe run it 500hrs before you watch movies with the black bars, what do you think of this? Also, what do you think of calibrating the receiver, does it really make that big of difference?

Thanks a lot for all the help along the way, BTW, I tried out a bit of calibrating on my 40" Samsung I've had for awhile and never calibrated, I actually really started to see what people mean, it is a delicate process but it is actually a bit less intimidating than I suspected (on the Samsung anyway, lol).

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Final System - Opinion
by WildClay / August 1, 2009 3:58 AM PDT

- Power, I think you are in good shape with the decision you made, like you said, if you end up tripping a breaker, then you can go dedicated. (I would still consider he whole house protection but few people have it and they are doing fine...)

- Picture / Sound quality improvement with the Power Conditioner, I have read a number of claims of this and would not suggest they are wrong, but in my environment I really can't say I noticed, and I really wanted to, but it was great before the Monster and great after, if there was any difference it fell outside my perception range. It got it for protecting the equipment, not claims of overall system quality improvements.

- TV, wow, while looking at your manual you got a lot of TV there, I knew it at the high level but skimming the manual was interesting, I think you have a month of just messing with the "modes" before you settle on and heavy calibration and given what is available in the user menu's I still say take a shot at DIY cal before paying a pro, but if you get a pro you better get one that knows that set. I can't see how you could go wrong. If I read it right it is a monitor, no built in tuner, but it was late and I might have missed that.

- HDMI , no brainer.

- DVR, I don't know much about it.

- PS3, heard only good things about its Blu-Ray.

- Sub, Don't know it well enough to comment.

- Receiver, heard only good things about it, plus you can get the software for some cool cal features, not sure if they are needed or not but it looked neat. It offers auto-cal with a mic so it will be interesting how it reacts to your all front speaker surround decision.

- Speakers, that is the only choice I would question, only because I have no enperience with virtual surround with quality speakers, and have never heard them in a home setting, if the speakers sound as good as the marketing then they should be great. While the wiring was a bit of a pain, I had wall outlets on the l/r sides at the back of the room and snaked the speaker wires though the hole there for the outlets and put in wall plate speaker connections next to the outlets in the back so I went for actual rear speakers. I really want to hear what you think of the surround effect with everything in the front, I love the depth of sound from mine.

The only thing I see missing is a lot of cash Happy but money well spent from your choices.

For the burn in I have not heard of pre-burned in sets but I doubt they would lie about it. Persoally I would still burn my in before leaving banner things up for too long or side/top bars. You can suffer through a short time of zoom (retains aspect ratio but cuts off part of the picture) until your burn it is really done. As others advised, just make sure you are not running with a real hot picture, like in game or vivid if you do decide to have the bars during burn in. The only thing I can't live with is distorted aspect ratio, drives me nuts, so pre-burn in I just used zoom, after burn in I have it in auto so I get bars on some things and it is fine for me.

Receiver calibration, after the auto-cal ran I did make a number of adjustments until it hit a point I liked, I think by biggest pain was getting the front / rear balance right to get are really clear surround sound field and it made a big difference to me. The DVE disk has some audio cal on it but it is just the basics, I used a nubmer of movies to really dial it in. This is usually the least accepted approach but that is how I did it and now am very happy with it, have not had to mess with it since.

As for picture cal, I suspect the samsung will be a walk in the park compared to the 141, but agian from looking at the manual it seems to me your hardest choices will be all the picture modes you have and to narrow down the ones you will use the most and then take your time on the cal for those modes especially.

There are also a lot of "auto" cal options, like light/dark sensing that you might like how it adjusts itself or you might want to turn off and use manual settings, it also has, like mine, content driven cal where that info is available from the DVD and then you have to decide if you like that or not.

I would look at it like an adventure and just have fun with messing with the non-cal options as well as messing with the cal, like we have discussed you can always bring in a pro in a few months if you don't like what you get.

Just remember, calibration, especially for the first time is a long process, as you get used to the controls, it is not that it is all that hard, it is just time consumming.

Keep in mind, that if you use the auto-features it will somewhat defeat what the pro has done, or you for that matter, so again, I think your picture modes and and auto options will be your biggest decisions. No matter what, I think you are in a can't lose situation, which it the great thing about buying good gear and doing your homework as you have.

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Thanks again for all the help!
by Zitech / August 6, 2009 4:10 AM PDT
In reply to: Final System - Opinion

Thanks again for the info on everything and advice. I went ahead and ordered the Monster 3600 Power Conditioner. All the devices are starting to arrive in the mail. So far I've got the Receiver and the Speakers & Sub. Although I have not tested them yet I can say first off that the speakers are very quality built and nice looking as well as the sub. The receiver is also in the same class and weighs a ton, seriously, it is hard to pick up, lol. The nice thing about the speakers as well is since they are designed to be a 5.1 system in two towers the hookup is just like a 5.1 system... It should be interesting to see how they do. I also did some Blu-Ray research and am thinking of going with the Pioneer Elite BDP-05FD player, I did a lot of research and heard the PQ on it surpasses the PS3 noticeably on larger screens, have you heard anything on this?

Thanks again for all the help, I will be sure to give a full system review when everything is hooked up and working!

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damn this forum
by jostenmeat / August 6, 2009 7:10 AM PDT

always deletes my previews. ok. you always seem to choose against every single piece of advice I give you. I mean every single one. I take no offense, but I do believe it to be true.

Firstly, I never recommended your speaker choice. You only get a downmix. Like if I had one single speaker running mono, downmixing stereo. So, don't kid yourself on that. Can it still be enjoyable for you? We hope so.

Here's my last thought to you on KEF:;search-results#3091674

Here are some reasons why I told you to stay away from Monster, if only due to despicable business practices:
Blue Jeans Strikes Back

Monster Cable Lawsuits

Monster Cable is Back! Sues Mini-Golf Company

Monster Cable Sues Baby Clothing Store

Monster Cable Sues Blue Jeans Cable

Monster Cable: Not With a Bang but a Whimper

101 Reasons Why NOT To Buy Monster Cable

Bluray player, you want a Panasonic, outside of any particular feature, just going by PQ. To the best of knowledge, neither Pioneer nor Sony have ever made a bluray player to pass all HQV tests. Panasonic already did three generations ago. So, get a Panasonic.

oh yeah, there are other funky issues that Pana avoids. I'm not going to get into details. Not that it would matter, cuz you'll choose against my rec anyways. Wink

APC UPS produces a 120v sine wave. A replacement battery is not that expensive, at least when you're comparing to Monster power centers that are only providing surge protection. Meh. Like I said, if you bought refurbed, even WITH a replacement battery in 3-4 years, the price is probably comparable. meh.

I forgot what sub you chose, but I'd bet a lot of money it wasn't what I recommended either. Anyways, outside of the rehashing, at least I give you my BDP rec here. Otherwise, at 200-250% the cost, I'd look at Oppo, although some of its best features are wasted on your sound system (mch stuff, sacd, dvda, etc).

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Monster cable
by alaskagram / August 11, 2009 6:21 AM PDT
In reply to: damn this forum

This is first and foremost a marketing company.They develop virtually nothing.If you were in the electrical engineering field you would have access to the same catalogs that they use.Order a 1000 feet of wire and they will put any brand name you want on the wire.If you are a newbie to the tech world Furman and Monster do make overpriced but mostly reliable products.However I have found $20.00 plug strips at my local parts store that were just as effective as the higher priced items.However if you are looking at,regulated power supplies,balanced power transformers or UPS,you will be spending some money.Oh I'm glad that someone finally brought up surges caused by other sources besides lighting,ie.the HVAC,these are far more common and most plug strips with surge protection can handles this easily.In fact I have had surge strips protect against 150V caused by a temp. source using the wrong tap on a power transformer.The strips burned out protecting what was connected.However nothing protects against a wiring mistake involving 220V which puts a hot leg on the neutral,but this is mostly a problem with temporary portable power distro's,such as a trade shows.

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Looking forward to your review
by WildClay / August 6, 2009 12:45 PM PDT

I will be looking forward to your review, especially on the 141 PQ out of the box and the surround effects of your speaker choice.

If you have not bought the Blu-ray player yet I would suggest you take a good look at Panasonic before making a final decision, I just upgraded mine, and can say their last generation and newest ones are both great, the new one is a bit faster navigating and such.

I have not looked hard at the Pio as I have seen a number of reviews that put them in questionable territory for the best PQ. I don't think I have ever seen a head to head between Pani and Pio blu-ray where the pani did not win, that is not to say such a review does not exist, just I have not seen one yet.

I suspect you are going to be pretty happy with your system.

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Blu-Ray comparison
by Zitech / August 7, 2009 7:38 AM PDT

I searched a review for the Pio vs. the Pani and just like you I was not able to find one. However I did find good reviews on both players. I read that the problems that were originally seen in the BDP-05FD have now been fixed via multiple firmware updates, this isn't just according to Pioneer but to the people who reviewed them on the old firmware and then reviewed them again with the new version. I think both of them are clearly great players. I am thinking though of going with the Pio for 2 reasons, 1, I found it for $320 online and considering that it retails for $800 that is a great deal. 2, in my personal opinion I think having all matching Pio products will work nice together, just as far as menus and possibly PQ. It also has some nice things to work with the Kuro.

So that is what I am thinking of going with, of course I know this will be the last straw for Jostenmeat because he suggested the Pani. It's not that I don't respect his opinion, we just come to different conclusions and have a different decision making process I think.

Thanks again for all the help. I will give the full system review soon.

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That bluray player
by jostenmeat / August 7, 2009 8:16 AM PDT
In reply to: Blu-Ray comparison

failed motion adaptive processing. I doubt FW can fix that. It is also perhaps the slowest loading standalone BDP ever made. Slower than Samsung, Sony, Panasonic, at least out of the "reputable" companies. Even others who Elite televisions would probably recommend Panasonic. Heck, the moderator of projector central forums has both PJ with 151, and he would most definitely recommend Pana.

Also, Pana owns the majority of the patents associated with BD. Therefore they have a strong vested interest in excellent FW support, and they already have the track record to prove my point.

Like I already said, the Panasonics from THREE generations ago already outperformed your choice. Obviously, you haven't read the shootout I kindly found and linked for you.

I didn't want to say it, but Pioneer is now the one brand to avoid in BDPs. Their FW support has gone down the drain, and that includes their newest players. They have become the new Samsung of the BDP world. Believe what you like. horrible choice.

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by jostenmeat / August 8, 2009 5:57 AM PDT
In reply to: That bluray player
It sounds like what both of you are saying is that the Pana is FAR better then the Pioneer in every way.

It is better for PQ, for FW, and faster loads, however, it's still not exactly lightning fast. Will you notice the better PQ of the Pana? I don't know. Will you care that discs won't work properly on your player, and that you might pull your hair out when even the FW doesn't do anything? Most likely. Will you notice the difference of 10 seconds difference in loading? I don't know.

Any idea why it costs twice as much retail?

Nope. Why do most LCD flat panels cost more than similarly sized plasmas, when they are clearly inferior? Why does a 12m WireWorld Starlight 5 costing $1,400 fail to pass 1080p at only just 1.65 Gps, while a similarly sized Monoprice works fine at $50? Why does Runco think they can sell projectors from $10k to $100k when they get parts from other OEM sources, don't even have their own solid engineering core, which leads to horrible reliability, when great projectors can already be had for much less?

The other question I have is why in the top blu-ray players lists is the Pana normally not listed?

Will you please link these reviews? I'm sorry, but sometimed a little irked when statements like this are made, but they never link them. Even if you didn't link them, you don't even name the reviewers.

I have read reviews on it and they say great things.

Who are they?

I also read that Denon has some amazing players, have either of you heard anything on this?

Denon has historically made nice players. They come at a premium. A big reason for the exorbitant pricing when they introduced their bdp's is because they are/were using expensive receiver chips to handle the codecs, but since it's just a player, they disable all of the post-processing capabilities. They could have spent a lot less if they waited for the correct chips, but, they were already late in the game and wanted in quickly, and so they overspent for the receiver chips. They passed the extra expense to you.

I am mostly concerned with PQ and AQ and really don't mind waiting a bit if it means better of both.

I don't know how to be any more clear about this, but your money will go much further in a pro calibration than in spending more on the player. I am quite receptive to the argument that a pro calibration is not worth it to most people, but I am very unreceptive to the argument that it's less impactful on PQ than spending the money on a player.

If you want the best PQ, you get the finest display you can (which you did, but I would've picked the 65" V), and get it properly calibrated.

The get the best AQ, you get the finest speakers and subs you can, and properly calibrate the room (with positioning of listeners, speakers, treatments, EQ).

I want to end up going with something that gives me the best PQ possible at a somewhat reasonable price, which means the retail could very well be $1,000 because I always end up finding great discounts. Thanks again, let me know.

The Panasonic is easily the best value in standalone bdp's. If you really want to spend more, I would advise Oppo, but like I've already said, some of its best features are wasted on you.

If you are looking for the best internal AQ... that actually implies the receiver is doing the unpacking of codec, doing the D/A conversion, applying the bass mgmt (which is always extremely limited in players), etc. But... if you have an HDMI cable with a modern receiver, you don't need these things. Let the receiver unzip, apply xover, levels, do the D/A, etc.

If you are talking about redbook cd playback, sacd, dvda, etc, then you should really instead have focused on your speaker choices, and for the other formats, you need more speakers!

The Denon 2010 doesn't offer the mch formats, you'd need to step up to the $4,500 A1UDC1 to get that with Denon. OTOH, the 2010 offers ABT just like the $500 Oppo. However, I'd just personally let the 141 handle my deinterlacing and scaling. Ah, which brings up a point, older Pana players could not be forced to output at 480i, if you preferred to do the stuff outboard, but I do not know about present players.
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sorry when i said "receiver"
by jostenmeat / August 8, 2009 6:03 AM PDT
In reply to: That bluray player

it should have been player

If you are looking for the best internal AQ... that actually implies the player is doing the unpacking of codec, doing the D/A conversion, applying the bass mgmt (which is always extremely limited in players), etc. But... if you have an HDMI cable with a modern receiver, you don't need these things. Let the receiver unzip, apply xover, levels, do the D/A, etc.

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by Zitech / August 8, 2009 6:55 AM PDT
In reply to: That bluray player

First off here are the links to the things I've read on some of these players:

Here is a review that says great things about the Pana:

Here is user reviews on the BDP-05fd;psum

Here is pro reviews:

If you read these reviews you can see why I came to a pretty good conclusion that the BDP-05FD was a good player.

Thanks for the info about Denon, it is just overpriced and doesn't perform any better than the Pana in PQ/AQ. That is pretty much what I got from you, does that add up?

I checked again at top blu-ray player lists and you are, THE PANASONIC IS ALWAYS ON THERE, I guess it was my mistake. But on a lot of these so is Samsung and Pioneer.


Thanks for the help and information. Had I read different stuff on the Pio I would not doubt your opinion, check out the links I posted.

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by jostenmeat / August 8, 2009 7:58 AM PDT
In reply to: That bluray player
First off here are the links to the things I've read on some of these players:

Here is a review that says great things about the Pana:

You don't need the step up version of the 80 vs 60. The only real difference is the mch analog outputs, in case you didn't have an HDMI capable receiver. Same thing with Sony, 350 vs 550. You don't need these same connections on the 05 either. This "simple" bonus feature typically costs $100 to get.

As you can see, nearly every review you read is positive. The more informative ones are shootouts, using scientific data.

Here is user reviews on the BDP-05fd;psum

User reviews? Puhleeze. Too many are fanboys of what they buy. I can find you positive reviews for nearly any AV product made, even Bose.

Here is pro reviews:

AFAIK, any bluray player worth its weight already does 4:2:2. It goes on to note that 720 can be selected, but not 480i, so it doesn't have that over the 3-generation-old Pana either. Not that I would ever watch SD again in my life. You link these reviews, you say they are positive, but you make no specific comparative analysis? Probably just a bunch of words you don't understand, or OTOH, you like to hear they say, "It's Great!". I can do that too. It's Great!

If you read these reviews you can see why I came to a pretty good conclusion that the BDP-05FD was a good player.

Uh, No?!? Did you actually even read the Ultimate AV mag review?

"The BDP-05FD has a lot going for it in the specs department, even though it's only BonusView complaint. For $300 less, the Panasonic DMP-BD50 conforms to BD-Live, it decodes both Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD MA, and it's more reliable for disc playback. However, it only sports 5.1 analog outputs. Any day now, I'm expecting to get the new Panasonic BD55, which has all of the above specifications and adds 7.1 analog outputs at an attractive price of $399.

I really wanted to like the Pioneer Elite BDP-05FD, but it was just too unreliable, from lip-sync issues to player lockups. It's impressive in the rack with its sturdy build quality and glossy black fa
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Your call as always...
by WildClay / August 7, 2009 8:43 AM PDT
In reply to: Blu-Ray comparison

I think as long as you don't mind the time it takes for your DVD to load. navigate, or finding that you can't use the full features of a new DVD you buy and the firmware is still not available, then you will still have a pretty good picture, not Pani good, but good.

There is something to be said for all components from the same maker, I used to go that route but as I started to upgrade for HD I had to part with that, so I have a Pani Blu-Ray & TV, Sony ES Receiver, JBL speakers, RCA/Comcast Cable Box, Sony DVD 400 Disk player. HDMI control works pretty well inter-brand but I don't like it for the most part so I have it disabled and use my X10 remote with macro's to control it all, even sets my light levels and opens/closes the curtains.

Between HDMI control and Universal remotes, you can get pretty close to the envionment of everything from one company.

Looking forward to your review!

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What about...
by Zitech / August 7, 2009 11:55 AM PDT
In reply to: Your call as always...

It sounds like what both of you are saying is that the Pana is FAR better then the Pioneer in every way. Any idea why it costs twice as much retail? The other question I have is why in the top blu-ray players lists is the Pana normally not listed? I have read reviews on it and they say great things. I also read that Denon has some amazing players, have either of you heard anything on this? I am mostly concerned with PQ and AQ and really don't mind waiting a bit if it means better of both. I want to end up going with something that gives me the best PQ possible at a somewhat reasonable price, which means the retail could very well be $1,000 because I always end up finding great discounts. Thanks again, let me know.

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What is the lighting in the room like??

Pioneer have the best blacks but they have crushing shadow detail compaired to the new Panasonic (G10's & V10's)
If you can wait a little look at getting a 58" or 65" Panasonic V10 (G10 max out at 54")... see the review on c/net.

Pioneers are nice but have something called 'dirty whites'... Google time....

I think the LED LCD with edge lite tec it mostly a waste of money, the local dimming tec has (had) a chance for being a very nice tv in a few generations. But thin is in and they have to push 1" tv's because 2.5" takes up soooooo much room.

The best PQ is plasma. No if's and's or but's. Burn-in is gone, the new generation panasonics use a resonable amount of power when calibrated, no LCD can match the blacks, plasmas no not have clouding issues, 100,000 hour life spands, price per inch is cheaper then LCD, viewing angle close to 180? and more.

And panasonic vs pioneer: the closest to pioneer is the panny models G10 or V10 (2009 models) that is black levels only. Everything else they are very close to being tide. But the whites are much better on pannys, they use less power and the gray scale is better on the V10 (see the c/net review).

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Thanks for the info
by Zitech / July 24, 2009 8:08 PM PDT
In reply to: ??

Thanks, I also appreciate the info you gave me in the other thread.

The room has 3 windows on one side, it is a dedicated media room so when watching movies or gaming I could close the curtains and make the room quite dark, but in the natural daylight it is average lighting, nothing too bright or dark.

I have to agree with you about the edge lite tec, from what I've read it just makes the screen thinner but other than that really is no better PQ than a normal LCD. What's your take on that Sony XBR8, that isn't edge lit and I've read in can compete with plasmas.

One concern I had with the plasmas what calibrating them, is this a real pain or is it just a one time deal that isn't that hard to do? Do the G10's look any better than the V10's?

I am probably now going to go with plasma if that Sony doesn't compare. From what I'm getting from you it sounds like the panasonic matches the picture of the Pioneer when you weigh the positives and negatives of both. Any idea why Pioneer is stopping making TV's next year? Considering they make some of the best it seems strange.

One last thing, besides for the slight differences in blacks/whites is there any real reason to get the Pioneer over the Panny?

Thanks so much...

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Just did a bit more research...
by Zitech / July 24, 2009 9:16 PM PDT
In reply to: Thanks for the info

I was just at panasonics website and saw that they have a new TV coming out in august called the TC-P65V10, I couldn't find that much info on it? Would it compete with the models I'm looking at? Thanks

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The v10
by givemeaname / July 24, 2009 11:31 PM PDT

The MSRP is romered to be $4k.

Nothing compairs, pioneer stoped makeing there tv's a few months ago and those were their 2008 line. Why did they stop, money and market share was just about 5%. They could not bring down the cost of the tv's to compeit with other companies, also the economy did not help.

V10 vs G10:
V10 comes in 50", 54", 58" and 65"
G10 comes in 42", 46" 50" and 54". ( I have the 54")
V10 has better gray scale over the G10 (and pioneers)
Both have THX mode ( very nice with blurays with some minor tweeking)
V10 has one more HDMI port
V10 comes with more advanced set up options
Both have a great anti glare screen***
The V10 is a little nicer looking (the single glass is only on the 50" & 54" models, because of weight)

*** I had a SXRD tv in the same spot as I have the panasonic now. Before I could not watch a movies and have my over head light on (150wt holgen), I would see a whith blob in the screen from the light. Now I can have it on if I want.

For brake-in just run the calibration DVD (you can get for free at AVS under the plasma area and the brake-in/burn-in thread (a sticky thread). The first few week advoid bars, alittle is fine just not all day. Also the colors will get better after about 100 hours then you calibrate the tv. When watching tv (in the 1st 100-200 hours) keep the contrast on the low side, this will help with IR in the start and just better for the long term. After 200 hours bars, station logo and that do not matter. The only time I had IR, that was the second day I had it, it was one of those warning at the start of a bluray movie, lasted 30 seconds or a minute. I have had my plasma for almost a month and have no other IR issues or other issues. Just do not use Vivid mode and your be fine for years to come, Custom or THX modes are the best.

For the Sony, Sony makes very nice TV LCD's, a little costly when you look over 42", in some way better then Samsung. Good that they are now using multi Color LED diodes, last year was white only LED diodes. Sony has much better CS then samsung (Personly I do not like Samsung because I bought the 1200 model bluray player... It was hell dealing with them). But in the end Sony just makes LCD's and if PQ is up at the top of your list, they (LCD's) still have more bad marks, they will always be 2-3 years behind plasma in the PQ department.
The only thing that will kill plasma (and LCD's) is OLED tv's and that is 5-8 years away from now, but that is another story.

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Thanks but I'm a bit confused...
by Zitech / July 25, 2009 12:05 AM PDT
In reply to: The v10

Thanks for the info, but I am just a but confused, when you said in the beggining of your post "nothing compairs" did you mean the Pioneer or the Panasonic? Also, I feel like a idiot asking this question but I can't figure out what you mean by IR, what does that stand for? Basically you're saying that for the first 100 hours you run it you have to watch close for burn-in and then after that it really isn't a worry, right?

I read a ton of reviews on all of these TV's and a lot comparing the Panasonic TH-65PZ850U to the Pioneer Kuro Elite PRO-151FD, there are some disagreements, which normally they both look amazing and it is a personal preference. Now the Sony KDL-55XBR8 like you said is right now clearly the top dog in LCD's. Some say it compares, but most will agree that although it is amazing as far as LCD's go the Kuro will blow it out of the water. Any ideas why someone might say that the Sony is just as good looking?

I've always been a LCD person, I think they have there benefits.

I really appreciate all the help everyone's given me both on this thread as well as my other one.

I really don't have much more research to do, it is just which one do I click "buy it now" on. My opinion at this point on each are this:

Samsung: I like it and it's cool looking but the bottom line is your flat out beat big time by all my other choices, basically I have written it off my list.

Sony: First off I like LCD and LED back lit LCD is great. However it is just as expensive as the mighty Kuro and the giant Panasonic plasmas and your picture isn't as good. So why am I still even considering it? I like the idea of that it is a non temperamental machine, it is a "I know what I am getting" kind of thing, it also still probably has an amazing picture.

Pioneer: I've really heard rave reviews on this thing and most say it is amazing and the best thing they ever bought. I've heard bad things about the remote control and minor little things but for the most part it is a A+++ picture. Why am I not going for it quite yet? Well, if the Panasonic is just as good and less money and bigger size why on earth would I go with the Kuro?

Panasonic: Again, great reviews but I have heard that it is somewhat inaccurate in primary colors. Bottom line is I'd rather have a perfect picture at 60" then an amazing slightly non perfect picture at 65".

I am driving myself crazy! If you were me what would you do? I really am happy with all the info you gave me. If I was rational I would take your advice and pick one. lol. Am I crazy for thinking that plasmas are temperamental? Or are LCD mr. reliable? I probably already have the answer which is that I AM crazy! lol. I just need a final convincing. If I am going to spend $4,000 dollars on a TV I want to know I made the right choice!


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Yah I worded it bad
by givemeaname / July 25, 2009 5:11 AM PDT

For 2009 model tv's... Nothing compairs to the Panasonic, the only thing is last year Pioneers.

One that say Sony is close to Kudo.. Sony fanboys is all it is.

Kudo have great blacks and the tv is very very nice in a very dark room but when you put it in a room that has light, you see the problems, like they can not get super bright and the dirty whites come more apairent. Some people think the extra $2k is worth it for the best blacks, some people fall for the extra $2k it must be better. Calibration is what makes or brake a TV's PQ no matter the cost.
No tv is perfect, there is always was something.... For me until I can have a 80" tv that I can wall mount my self, that costs under $3k, that uses under 100 watts max, with great accuret colors with minale tweeking, great shadow detail and blacks that are black as the bat cave I will never be 100% happy.

IR is temery Image Retention, it also found on CRT tv. Mostly you see a ghost on the srceen of a logo, word or something for a few seconds. Most people that have problems with IR do not have their tv properly calibrated (contrast set too high). The 1st 100 hours your braking in the plasma cells evenly, so that why it is good not to do bars in the start, a movie here or there is fine, it is when your talking 4-5 hours. After the 100-200 hours the cells broken-in and it is then safe. I like my CNN and that is one of the things that I was worried about and so far I can watch 3-4 hours and have not a second of IR.

For burn-in it self, the panasonic have safety stuff built in, like Pixel Orbiter, White Wash, TV will turn off after 10 minutes if No Signal, turns off after 3 hours of No activity (you can change the hours). So you would have to work hard too burn something on the screen.

For out of the box color, yes my tv had a bad green push, I had to drop the Tint down and that fixed that and as the tv aged (around 100 hours) skin colors got better and better. For THX mode, only had to change things very little to calibrate it. Custom mode the only thing I had to really change is the contrast because the tv is in a dark room and personly I do not like super eye blinding brightness

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Thanks and one last thing...
by Zitech / July 25, 2009 5:30 AM PDT
In reply to: Yah I worded it bad

Thanks for the information, it is extremely helpful. So the Pioneer and the Panasonic are almost tied except for that the Pioneer doesn't quite look at good in the daytime, right? And you noticed that the Panasonic did 100% get more accurate after time went on as far s colors go?

The particular Panasonic I am looking at is the Viera TH-65PZ850U, on there website it doesn't say G10 or V10, it just says Viera TH-65PZ850U, nothing else... I saw they have a new V-10 coming out in August, what's the deal with that? Is the Viera TH-65PZ850U a V-10 or is it something else? Thanks!!!

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by givemeaname / July 25, 2009 7:28 AM PDT

The 850u/800u are last years (2008) models, they just have some left in stock and need to get rid of them. The V10, G10 are this years models (2009), they are also other models this year S, X & C. The V10 is there top of the line but for their wireless Z model, that Only comes in 54" & runs $4k. The G10/G15 are right below the V10, the G15 is the same as the G10, just thiner. S10 has the Neo panel but worse blacks, no Viera Cast and no THX, X & C are the budget line plamsa, some are 720p and none of those have the Neo panels found on the S,G,V or Z.

The colors are great on my 54G10, no blooming, grass looks like grass not astro turf, no banding on blurays. When I watched The Office on it (after the brake-in time) for the 1st time, it was a night and day diffrence from all my other tv's... You can also always pay a pro ($400) to calibrate the tv but then the tv is so close out of the box there is not really much to do in calibration, just a few clicks up or down if any, turn somethings off like video NR Off for Blurays but set to Weak for Satilite. Best to get a calibration bluray, there like $20 before paying $400 for a pro. And do not use 'Vivid' mode, the PQ really is bad, video noise, extra grain and red push.

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Pani Plasma Hands Down
by WildClay / July 25, 2009 2:59 PM PDT
In reply to: Panny

If you want a blow your socks off picture then the pani is the only way to go. I will admit that LCD does better in bright light, but except for that Plasma still kills LCD for true picture quality in the right conditions and except worst case, Kills LCD everytime when you are talking top of the line.

I have both a 50" LCD and a 58" pani, and both are good sets, but when push comes to shove, the Plasma to me is the hands down winner, if I could on pick one it would be plasma.

My opinion only of course...

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Plasma it is
by Zitech / July 25, 2009 3:08 PM PDT
In reply to: Pani Plasma Hands Down

Ok, I have decided to go with plasma!!! I am still debating between the Pioneer Elite Kuro or the Panasonic and am thinking of going with the Kuro because it is a bit newer screen. Thank a lot for the help. One thing I know is that whether I buy the Pioneer or the Pani the bottom line is I am prepared to be blown away. Thanks!

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Good Luck!
by WildClay / July 25, 2009 11:30 PM PDT
In reply to: Plasma it is

I was tossed between the two brands when I bought my first one, it really was down to a coin flip almost, but when I got mine the timing was such that both had their new models out.

You really can't go wrong with either choice, I got my Blu-Ray at the same time and had ordered a couple movies so I could see the max ASAP, as well as ordering the HD from my cable provider.

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