General discussion

is the price worth it

hey, ive been looking at the vizio 42 inch for a while and it seems like a high quality tv

However, even with the discount at sam's its still expensive, and my basic question is, should i dish out the money for the vizio, or should i go with a bargain lcd like the one below and save over 300 dollars? thanks for the help!!

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Junk vs. junk

First, do whatever it takes to NOT buy a no-name TV. The Vizio has been around awhile and it's OK, but for a lower price, may I recommend the Panasonic 42" Plasma S-Series TV. At Costco it costs $450 and at Best Buy it's $480. I bought the Panny for a bedroom and it's stunning. The Vizio can't hold a candle to the Panny Plasma.

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plasma vs lcd(or led)

well my thing is i want the tv for a while, and the long time problems with plasma are kindoff pushing me away from them, especially the black level problems on the panasonics, and i have a friend who has an element and loves it so i was just using an example

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Even if the plasma you bought had the Panny black level

issues (and that's a big "if") it would still be leaps and bounds above a no name LCD or a Vizio in terms of image quality. LCD's already have trouble keeping up with plasmas. Cheap LCD's are in a class of their own.

Unless you have an extraordinarily bright room with no light control whatsoever, I see no reason not to get a Plasma, especially if your budget is limited.

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ok, so any suggestions? i would really prefer a 1080p set since i have a ps3 and want to get the most out of blueray

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Dan gave you one

The Panny S2 is 1080p.

I have a 54G10 ('09) & a 42S2 ('10), my G10 even with the "Black problem" will blow away any LCD in blacks, shadow detail & color accuracy.

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yeah but ive been looking at it and i cant find the plasma for 450 or even 480, ive just found the 720p one for that price
and the whole thing is that i want a reliable tv, and honestly if its around the same price as the vizio led im tempted to go with the led just cause it will even save me money with energy costs too and it has no problems even though i know it will still blow away lcds in color and stuff

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1080p doesn't mean as much on a 42" HDTV

Look at overall PQ instead of 1080p vs 720p on smaller sized HDTVs. Rinse, repeat.

Unless you are sitting no more than 5 to 8 feet away from the screen, your eyes will not be able to notice the increased resolution of 1080p. In this sense a 720p Panny would likely suffice.

Also, at your modest budget you won't be getting a very high quality LED-LCD, FWIW. I suggest you do a lot more research before jumping in.

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i mean the vizio seems high quality to me, like its one of the highest ranked led's on cnet, and they say the picture quality is similar to that on panasonics plasmas

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Sound like your fixed on Vizio

A panny S line will be a 100x's better. Better blacks, better shadow detail, more accurate colors & no blooming, no blue tint in blacks found in the vizio review.
I picked up my 42s for $719 2 months ago at BB, a few weeks ago it dropped to $699, just checked their website it is on sale for $649 & Black Friday is just a few weeks away it will probably be $599 then.

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Sorry, but...

...even CNET has punted the football on this one. In no way is the PQ of the LED-LCD Vizio remotely similar to a Panny plasma once properly adjusted in your room environment that is not extreme lighting-wise. Perhaps on the surface it is, but that's really a first glance and not any sort of real world comparison that gets into the details you see.

Two things come to mind since you are fixed on Vizio and somewhat worred about buyers remorse down the road. First, you would benefit from spending more 'face time' in front of these HDTVs (all types, shapes, sizes) under slightly different conditions, especially *outside* of a typical 'big box store' environment, which is the worst possible generally for showcasing PQ on most HDTVs. Second, bring in your favorite DVDs or other content that might illuminate certain weaknesses in PQ of a particular model. IME bringing in a Blu Ray disc actually *isn't* as paramount for making comparisons since the differences will often be more subtle than they will dealing with SD content from DVD. That is generally most consumers largest volume of media, at least for now until high def discs sature the marketplace more fully. See what the HDTV can do with DVD and SD content from either Cable or Satellite to get a sense of whether or not a particular model meets your expectations.

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Ok, so im thinking now of getting the panny after doing some research on it, my main concern is that cnet says it doesnt have good primary color accuracy, but you guys are telling m that is wrong/ you can adjust the picture so that it looks better, but otherwise has an amazing picture even with the black level problems down the road, my only question about the black levels is do they continually go down, or just go down a little at one point and then level out

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Let me put in my two words;

I have own a Vizio and now my son has it. This thing has been in the family for over more than 5 years now (still working). We might be just lucky. I have a Panasonic for about 2-3 years now (still going strong). As far as TV goes, the only disappointment I had was with a Samsung DLP (that thing lasted about 6 months).

As for picture quality, I saw a Vizio at Sam's club; it actually looks pretty good. But I have to admitted I am not that much of a critical tv person.

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1080p Panny Plasma

BB has the 50" Panasonic S Series 1080p Plasma for $800. A Plasma won't give any motion lag like most fixed pixel LCDs do. My son has this 50" connected to his PS3 and he's a very picky game player for how TVs look, and he's blown away by the Panny Plasma. His friend had a 50" Sammy LCD and my son does nothing but complain about his TV.

So you're set on a Vizio it seems. What was your original question again?

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plasma again
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It is a good tv, just set it in custom mode, some minor calibration & it is ready to go. As the tv gets some hours on it (100 hours or so), the colors get better, more accurate.

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so basically with plasmas though just make sure you dont leave the image on for too long for burn in, change the settings around from factory defaults, and you get a better picture and more accuracy than lcds

my only question is should i get a 3 year warranty or so just incase of have any of the problems

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Plasma burn-in

First, set your TV mode to Custom and put the Brightness and Contrast to Level 50, and don't use it on 4:3 images at first. Once it's ahd a chance to work in, then either use Custom or Cinema mode and adjust settings per the New TV Setting link in this forum or look at the AVS forum. Also in the AVS forum under Plasma TVs, you can download a Video_TS folder to burn a DVD that loops and changes to different colors and from the darkest grey to bright white. This DVD can be used to help burn-in the set properly if you want. Also, the Panny has a Pixel Orbiter setting that should be left on AUTO, and it shifts pixels constantly to prevent burn-in of logos, etc. The difference between the "S" model Panny and the higher-end models is that the "S" doesn't give all the zillion of picture adjustment settings to help tweek the image. But use the charts for settins and you will have a great TV. I personally do not like the LED sets because they're too bright and the colors just don't look good. Kind of like staring at a Jumbotron TV at the ballpark.

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One more setting adjustment

On the Panny Plasma, I found that by turning the Black Level to "Dark" rather than "Light", the picture has more contrast and the blacks are darker and more realistic. In "Liht" mode, the blacks have a grey look. I think this setting is why some reviewers state that the picture on thie Plasma is dull or flat. Well, turn the black to "Dark" and WOW!

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(NT) Yes it is the same.
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My settings

If you get the Panny, here is a general setting suggestion I found here on CNET and other sites:

Picture Mode: Custom (I have mine on Cinema).
Color Temp: Warm or Warm2
Brightness: +74
Contrast: +75
Color: +45
Tint: -2
Sharpness: 0
Color Mgmt: Off
C.A.T.S.: Off
Video NR: Weak or Off
Mosquito NR: Off
Black Level: I have mine on Dark but Light was suggested. Light gives the screen a washed out look. Dark makes the colors pop and gives much better contrast.
3:2 Pulldown: Off was suggested, but I have mine On
HD Size (Mine is called Screen Format: I have mine on Full

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Brightness seams very hight, both of mine tv's are at 54, too high of a brightness setting will give you a washed out look & for me setting to "dark" mode you loss lots of shadow detail in the blacks areas.

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I was just...

...going by the settings I found here on CNET and in the AVS forum as well as other sites. I'm still fiddling with the settings.

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Avoid Vizio if you can!

I got an inexpensive Vizio for a TV by my computer monitor and I am glad I only use it for news and casual watching or it would be in the trash by now.

It is slow as dirt just trying to change channels, when you turn it on it is worse that a slow computer booting, the picture sizing controls are horrible and the sound is marginal. The worst are the artifacts when a large percentage of the screen is in motion.

Granted this was on sale for 150 bucks but still I would hate to have it for a real TV, the last thing was their illuminated Name plate dead frond and center on the bottom of the screen case and is bright white when the set is on and a sickly orange when it is off, mine now has a nice piece of electral tap over it.

Go with the Panasonic any day of the week, I have 3 Panni's and 2 Plasma and on LCD, they range from very good the great.

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thanks guys you have been a huge help, my last question is what do you guys think of the S2 vs. the G25?? is the G25 worth the upgrade in money

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You get a lot more image settings with the G25 as well as Internet, Netflix, etc., but if you need a very affordable TV without the frills, the S is fine.

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