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Help...picking plasma...Panny or Pio

by schultz_11 / March 20, 2008 2:37 AM PDT

I am having a real hard time deciding between the new Panny TH-50PZ85U and the Pioneer PDP-5080HD. Please help me with any good bad experiences or any info. They are both about $2500, which is the top of my budget. I sit about 8-10ft away from the set and it will be facing a window with blinds on it. So a good anti-glare coating is a must. The obvious difference between the two is 720p vs 1080p and I am a bit scared of going from a 1080p DLP to a 720p plasma. Native 24p for blu-ray would also be a plus, but I don't know how noticable that really is. The set will be used about 60% for sattelite from Directv (mostly HD), 30% dvd/BD, and 10% PS3 gaming. Again, any help is greatly appreciated.

I can also get the Pioneer PRO1150HD Elite from a local store for around $2500 or wait for the neww Panny 800 series to come out.

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Let your eyes be the judge...
by Pepe7 / March 20, 2008 3:14 AM PDT

That's the bottom line. Also, make certain the store you patronize has a good return policy in case you don't like what you bring home. FWIW, a friend of mine bought two different LCD models, one of which he promptly returned based on less than stellar PQ at home w/ his setup. That's how he was able to compare side by side results where under his particular conditions. YMMV.

I really don't see the issue of 'downgrading' from a 1080p DLP to a 720p Pio as relevant, provided you don't see any SDE. I didn't notice it in the stores, but you might given that distance. The reality is both of those sets are amazing.

Question: you really watch the HD feeds 60% of the time with your sat feed? How would the ability of each HDTV to be able to handle SD broadcasts factor in? When I upgrade next year that will be a factor for me when I purchase a new HDTV.

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In my honest opinion
by jostenmeat / March 20, 2008 3:18 AM PDT

I would go with Panny in this case, even if I think Pio makes amazing sets. Firstly, mostly Direct TV means 1. lots of viewing 2. really pizz poor PQ.

So you want reliability over top notch PQ here. Go Panny.

If you said 60% BD, 20% Directv, 20% gaming, then I vote Pioneer.

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I was in your shoes
by jmwc95 / March 20, 2008 3:43 AM PDT

I was in your shoes just about 2 months ago. I did my research and narrowed it down to the 1080p Panasonic or the 720p Pioneer for $2500. I chose the Pioneer, and I would recommend it to anyone. I want to point out that I don't have Blue Ray, but I do get HD cable and upconverting DVD. Therefore, the contrast ration was much more important to me because I don't even get any native 1080p feeds. I will also tell you that I can't see any pixelation outside of 6 feet (and I'm trying really hard to see it) even though I have 20/20 vision. For a TV that size and being that distance away, I would go with the TV that had the better colors and contrast ratio. The difference between 720p and 1080p at that size and distance will not be discernable. The difference between black and grey will, however.

But don't fret, the Panny is probably the second best plasma, so you won't be making a bad choice either way.

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Pio model #
by schultz_11 / March 20, 2008 4:21 AM PDT
In reply to: I was in your shoes

Which Pioneer model # did you go with? Also, how is the glare and do you notice it giving off a lot of heat?

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5080 vs Pio plasma
by robd11 / March 20, 2008 4:47 AM PDT
In reply to: Pio model #

I went in to Best Buy all ready to buy the panasonic, it was cheaper and I couldn't justify the extra bucks. but when I saw the two side by side, it wasn't even close. 5080 hands down. black is black. and you cannot tell the difference between 1080p and 720p even with a blueray, not at 50". maybe at 60" you might want to go with 1080p, but no point with 50".

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by jmwc95 / March 21, 2008 12:23 AM PDT
In reply to: Pio model #

I got the PDP-5080 (presumably the same one you are looking at), and I love it. I haven't noticed that it gives off much heat (my electricity bill has not gone up at all), and the anti-reflective screen works wonders as long as there is not a light bulb (or the sun) directly reflecting off the screen. I just turn the fan light off (which if the TV were a mirror, I would be looking right into the fan) and turn a lamp on if I want light in the room but no reflection in the screen. Even if the fan light is on, the screen's coating cuts it down considerably so it isn't glaring, but you can still tell it's there. Instead of basing a $2500 decision on the glare, just spend $50 to rearrange some lighting if necessary.

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by Riverledge / March 20, 2008 1:51 PM PDT


Too many reasons to go into it right yet!


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Panny models
by schultz_11 / March 21, 2008 12:40 AM PDT

Should I go with the Panny 85 now or wait for the 800?

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Go with the panny
by Bobbyawj / March 21, 2008 9:23 PM PDT

I did a lot of reseach before buying and I bought the Panny. I went into several stores to look because you don't know what they have their displays set at in order to upsell you. One of them had them side by side and the difference was not noticable at all. I ended up buying it on line and saved myself 300 and no sales tax. Free shipping and I took the standard shipping and still had the tv in less than a week.

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by missmyrnaloy / March 23, 2008 4:17 PM PDT
In reply to: Go with the panny

did you buy online?

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cross your fingers
by loud9266 / March 21, 2008 11:26 PM PDT

ive got panasonics last atempt sitting on the floor still waiting for Questional buy to fix it.
th50-pz77u looked great for the first 90 days then quit. it now blinks 10 times over and over which is very entertaining.
its done that since feb 9th its now march 22.
so im in the opinion of get your pioneer before they start buying their panels from panasonic. or get the sammy for a few more bucks and let your jaw drop.

good luck

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my experience
by dogsrule1 / March 22, 2008 3:47 AM PDT

if bluray is important to you watch a bluray disc on both 720 and 1080 set. I had Pio 42" 720p set, bluray lost too much for me, even on upconverting bd player (panny30). I chose sony xbr4 40" set, has 120hz (less choppiness), its 1080 so bluray looks great (I definitely see difference for BD even at 40") and my windows are on side of TV, even with Pio anti glare it still was a problem for me, I also chose the lcd to not have to keep the blinds closed viewing during the day.I was told lcd is better for gaming due to burn in risk on plasma. I have directv, looks great. Best black levels/pq for sure on the Pio plasma, I'd look at Panny 2nd if bluray/windows/glare weren't factors. Hope this helps.

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Pioneer rocks
by Niv690 / March 22, 2008 8:59 AM PDT

I was looking for almost a full year before I decided which way I was going to go. I had the same debate between Pioneer and Panasonic plasma, and Sharp Lcd, regardless which way you go you'll do well.

My recommendation is the Pioneer though. I purchesed the Pio pdp 5080 in January and I have to say that plasma is unbelievable.

I recently had 8 friends over to watch the UFC fights on PPV in HD. At least half of the guys at my place own an HD set and have an HD box. To a man, every one of my friends stated that my Pioneer had the best picture they have ever seen, and personally I have to agree.

Don't hesitate, go get it you will be happy you did.

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by samur2121 / March 23, 2008 10:27 PM PDT
In reply to: Pioneer rocks

why are ppl trying to compare the two. the pioneer shouldnt be compared with any other tv. i work at best buy and i have sold 12 5080's in the past month. all i have to do to sell one is say 'look at it' and the picture does the rest. pioneer's sell themselves. as far as the money part goes it sounds like you are willing to put the $2500 down so do it.

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