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Help me pick a new HDTV!!!

by highlanderfil / July 10, 2012 6:26 PM PDT

1. Budget

Under $1,000 preferable. Could go $1,100 but would have to be a really special set for me to do that. My original benchmark was the Panasonic TC-L47E50 for $750 and it remains my default choice should the price fall to my $700 sweet spot but I want to explore an option of getting a bigger screen as well.

2. Seating distance

Good question as I haven't yet moved into my new place but have seen what it looks like. The layout is here: and the TV will be in the 13 by 11 ft living room. So I would say...around 8-10 ft, probably.

3. Size/placement limitations

Won't be mounting it on the wall for sure. Unless I'm very much mistaken, I'm looking at the 46-55 inch range. The bigger the better?

4. Uses and sources

TV viewing: mostly sports (soccer, auto racing, basketball, occasionally tennis and hockey); movies of the action/comedy variety; some sitcoms and animation (i.e. Family Guy/Simpsons).
DVD viewing: some Blu-Ray, mostly regular DVDs
PS3 gaming: sports and racing games
PC use: occasional gaming (same genres as PS3), web browsing (this is pretty big as my previous TVs often had trouble displaying PC monitor-like images with graphics dimmed and dull even with the PC setting and text not represented in true black). This is actually fairly important, so from what I've been told, plasma is out.

5. Room lighting

One window along the wall, one somewhere in the kitchen (see link for layout). Will most likely have some sunlight most of the time - not planning on blacking the living room out or anything.


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All Answers

Best Answer chosen by highlanderfil

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Panasonic TC-P55ST50 is the best HDTV this year
by media_tech_pro / July 15, 2012 4:43 PM PDT

I see that your decision on which brand/model to buy leans toward Panasonic. Most of the content that you view have really fast movements on screen like sports TV programs and gaming so you can never go wrong with Panasonic's plasma screen.

I saw this 55-inch Panasonic TV in person and man the picture was uncanny. This is plasma so it really has better picture quality and deeper black levels than LED Edge-lit LCD TVs. The refresh rate is 600Hz so it's really perfect for sports and gaming. Plus it's loaded with MLB and Fox Sports smart TV app.

The extra money that you will shell out will be worth it. Panasonic makes really durable TVs that last for a long time so it is a good investment.

You may want to check out for refurbished TV units if you find $1,400 price point a bit expensive to pay for a really good plasma TV.

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Plasma, eh...
by highlanderfil / July 16, 2012 2:47 AM PDT

I actually don't have a problem buying a plasma screen - my only two concerns are burn-in and its performance as a TV monitor. Anything to address these?

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Not an issue
by Pepe7 / July 16, 2012 3:34 AM PDT
In reply to: Plasma, eh...

Understand, with proper break in (speed up the phosphor aging process) and the built in tools to help with IR (image retention), burn in won't be an issue. The newer plasma HDTVs are better equipped in this regard, but there's no way to 100% ward off screen damage for either LCD, LED-LCD, or plasma.

Performance as a TV monitor will be stellar. Just keep in mind what your throw at it also factors into the equation. If you have a crappy cable or satellite feed, the HDTV won't clean it up for you. Start by making sure you have good wiring inside your home all the way to the pole outside.

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by highlanderfil / July 16, 2012 7:08 AM PDT
In reply to: Not an issue

I meant PC monitor, not TV Happy See original post re biggest concern issues.

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I've yet to hear major complaints about...
by Pepe7 / July 17, 2012 1:53 AM PDT
In reply to: Oops
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by highlanderfil / July 18, 2012 2:46 AM PDT

After reading CNET's and Consumer Reports' reviews, picked up the P55ST50 on Panasonic's EPP site for $1,245. Doesn't come with 3D glasses but I wasn't really planning on watching 3D anyways, so I can wait to get them if at all.

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LED is not Panasonic's strongest product line
by Pepe7 / July 11, 2012 1:50 AM PDT

I would suggest you look at either the ST50 or UT50, both are plasma models with superior picture quality than any of the Panasonic LED models, and both have the fast switching phosphors that provide excellent handling of motion. Both are brighter displays than previous plasma models by Panny.

ST50 will be approximately $1000-1000 (see amazon and some retailers, sears ,etc.). The UT50 has less features overall, but will be priced at around $900, sometimes less if they are replacing it anytime soon.

Even with slightly brighter current LED models, some amount of light control is a must if you are referring to direct sunlight and not simply ambient daylight. Simple window shades will often suffice. I looked at your layout and don't see an issue if you aren't limiting yourself to places where it can be hung on the wall.


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Samsung UNEH6000
by americano82 / July 11, 2012 10:53 AM PDT

Check out the Samsung UNEH6000.

I was looking around for a new TV myself, and while this isn't the TV that I ended up buying, I would say that this TV definitely has a lot of bang for your buck. It easily fits within your budget, and it seems to meet all of your qualifications.;txt

It's a link to the CNET reviews of this TV. I would take this review with a grain of salt, because I find that CNET's reviews are not very accurate from time to time.

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Did you compare to other LEDs?
by Pepe7 / July 11, 2012 2:43 PM PDT
In reply to: Samsung UNEH6000

From what I saw, that review's actually one of the more accurate ones by CNET. Picture quality is 'meh', even compared to the Panny the OP is looking at. YMMV, of course.

Even the lower end plasma models than I mentioned will look better than this one after calibration. And why pay nearly the same price for a HDTV w/o internet connectivity when others in the same price range do provide it(?)
Many people not asking for it now will often feel left out when the next years model includes it (and most of them will quite soon).

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i dont agree with both of you
by JimmyFukyushu / July 18, 2012 3:00 PM PDT

$800 price tag for a 46" LCD is outrageous. Its not 3D nor does it have Smart TV capabilities. If you consider the size and specs, a $650 price tag seems most appropriate. I'm pretty sure despite this TV being a 2012 model, there are 2011 models that will blast this TV away in performance while costing the same. I'm referring to the ST30 plasma or even the LW5300 LED from LG. These two TVs are 3D and smart TVs as well. $800 for the most basic 47" LCD TV there is? lol.

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Your reply isn't very clear
by Pepe7 / July 19, 2012 1:32 AM PDT

What about what I wrote don't you agree with specifically? Trying to get some good additional feedback if possible to help the OP.

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