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New to HDTV questions

I just started looking for my first HDTV and thought I had one picked out (Panasonic TC-P46ST30) based on revies sites. Plasmas sounded like the best PQ for the price compared to LCD/LEDs. Until I saw it in the store. Of course the plasmas are mostly mixed in with super bright LEDs, but it was hard to think anything other than how dim it looked. I was told Samsung plasmas were not as dark as the Pannies, and reviews were great on the Samsung PN51D6500, but read a LOT of stories of unaddressed brightness "popping", something the Panasonics had a problem with, but were fixed. I was also looking at LG, which I was told had the best brightness for a plasma, but they seem to be ignored by a lot of the bigger review sites, and Best Buy (the only decent size store in town anymore) doesn't stock or display them (in plasma).
To those of you who have a 2011 Plasma in the sub-$1000 price range, have you been happy with the brightness level? Our viewing is around 25% daylight, and can curtain the windows to keep direct sun off the screen, but don't want to have to black the room out to enjoy the TV during Daylight Savings Time (we like to catch the sunsets through the west facing windows while we view). Our 32" Toshiba CRT TV didn't handle the glare very well, but I'm mostly concerned with if plasma's brightness will overcome ambient light.

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All Answers

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You have to pick and choose, unfortunately ;(

In reply to: New to HDTV questions

Good HDTV viewing on large, wide screens that tend to reflect and insert glare into the equation, means proper light control. No way around it, even with LCD/LED if the HDTV is truly situated in a fashion that annoys the viewers Sad.

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In reply to: You have to pick and choose, unfortunately ;(

I can control the sun reflecting directly off the screen with a curtain, but don't want to have to blacken the room completely to enjoy it. I read a few reviews that felt that, due to the new power consumption laws, plasmas are dimmer now than even LCDs, but most other aspects of PQ are rated better in the sub $1000 price range. The only places that sells TVs in our price range have tons of LEDs close by and it's hard to tell if the plasmas are dim, or just dimmer. I don't expect a TV to handle direct sun, or tons of light and can see how a TV set as bright as the LEDs are set up in the store would get tiring to watch after a while though.
To go through the process of picking something expensive out, bringing it home, setting it up, watching it for a week to decide if we like it, and then having to re-box it and send it back, is something I really want to avoid if possible.

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Part of the problem is...

In reply to: Glare

...many folks tend to jump in to HDTV buying before thinking about important issues such as room lighting/viewing habits/preferences. In this sense you aren't alone. I've had to save several clients & family members and intervene to save a marriage or two in this regard Wink. [One great solution- I got the wife her own smaller HDTV in a different space in the ome once they learned the prices had gone down enough.]
I will quote you below:
"I don't expect a TV to handle direct sun, or tons of light and can see how a TV set as bright as the LEDs are set up in the store would get tiring to watch after a while though. "
Therein lies the rub. You have sort of figured out that even an LED will have to be cranked up to deal with the bright viewing space you have at home. Yes, plasmas are darker (best enjoyed where light can be well controlled IME), but as you've hinted, PQ is amazing. So your choices are 1) Darken the room more so you can properly enjoy your HDTV watching or 2) Choose between a plasma (great PQ, but somewhat dark) or LCD/LED (not as good PQ & annoyingly bright). My preference is to learn how to achieve #1 (hint: it doesn't mean you have to *completely* darken the room). Pop over to AVS forum for more info on rom darkening techniqes from the AV enthusiasts over there.
For the record, the power consumption laws are not the reason why plasmas often appear to be darker. It's the technology under the hood compared to LCD/LED. There's no backlighting involved in plasma technology.

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plasma brightness

In reply to: New to HDTV questions

if you want a true picture, plasma is the way to go. most tv's have normal, movie and torch mode. plasma's also let you view them from different angles and the picture stays the same. i have a samsung pn50c550 and really like it.lots of picture adjustments and game mode which works great with game consols. after useing the movie setting for a while then switching to torch mode, you will go back to the movie setting. if you really like your display super bright then by all means use the torch mode. in the end all that matters is what you like. ask the people in the store for the remotes to the tv's your interested in and make the settings the same on all set's, then make your decition.if they wont give up the remotes you'll have to ask yourself --why?

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