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Panasonic 65S60 or 65ST60?

by cachogomez / May 22, 2013 7:20 AM PDT

(I posted this on the Comments section of the S60 review, but hopefully it will get more feedback here)

David, thank you so much for the hard work on all these reviews. They are really appreciated. I would also truly appreciate your input on the following dilemma. In short, I'm torn between the 65S60 and the 65ST60.

I am coming from a 65V10 that suffered from the dreaded black level rise and is now pretty much unwatchable during dark scenes.

I admit I had not even considered the S60 before your review, mostly because of Panasonic marketing jargon, which makes you believe that the S60 is miles below the rest of the 2013 line-up with things like those fancy "sub-drive" and "shades of gradation" numbers, whatever they mean. But things that most people complain about in the case of the S60 are actually PERFECT in my case, and most welcome. I could even afford the VT, in fact, but I am still sour at Panasonic after blowing $3K+ back in 2010 for the defective V10...

I do not care one bit about 3D, gaming, apps, internet gizmos, Skype, wi-fi nor anything other than picture quality. That is all I want. This is why the 65S60 seems perfect for my situation. I do not need the anti-reflective glass at all. I have a dedicated room and I do all my watching in the dark. No windows in the room, either.

- Regarding the "gradation steps" difference between the S and the ST, etc, is this really visible to the human eye from a distance of about 9 feet?

- Do you have accurate black level readings on the 65V10 (when working properly)? I could not find those numbers on your old V10 review. Would you say the out-the-box S60 is darker than the V10 (back when it performed the way it was supposed to)?

- Let's leave black levels aside for a second. My ISF-calibrated 65V10 looks great to me, EXCEPT, of course, during dark scenes, when everything falls apart. I do not know if back then (2009/10) Panasonic used the same marketing jargon and I do not know how many "steps of gradation" the V10 has.When it comes to the "shades of gradation", would the S60 be an incredible, significant or barely noticeable improvement? Or would it be a step backwards, in fact?

In short, do you think the 65S60 will be a considerable upgrade from a 65V10 that suffered from the rise in black levels? Again, I could afford the extra $1K and go with the ST60 or even the VT60, but is it really worth it? Do I really want to give Panasonic a ton of my money when they already disappointed me BIG TIME with the 65V10's black level issue (costumer service was really bad with this)? Not to mention, there are so many new things around the corner... I know that VT quality will probably be half the price next year! Plus, I would never, ever use the 3D, etc. Are the black/contrast levels between the S and ST really that similar under normal conditions?

Apologies for the long post, but you seem to be the only one with considerably experience with both the V10 and the S60. Your help is truly appreciated! Thank you again.

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