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Samsung LN46A750 vs Panasonic TH46PZ800U

by grandbay / June 4, 2008 5:12 PM PDT

Arguably the top LCD and the top Plasma at the moment.

Same price

Which one would purchase and why?

(having a real hard time deciding so any help would be greatly appreciated.)

thanks,

sooni

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Samsung
by CyclonicKitten / June 5, 2008 1:55 AM PDT

Well, i work with these TVs all day long so im just going to give you my opinion without a million technical details, because im sure you know about the image retention and contrast ratios of both tvs. I strongly prefer the samsung LCD. Im not sure why you want the 750 series over the 650 unless the built in wifi and recipes are what you are looking for. The panel itself is exactly the same. Anyway, Panasonic makes a great plasma with good black levels but that 650/750 samsung is the clearest, blackest, whitest smoothest TV i have ever seen while selling TVs. The 120hz Auto-motion plus technology was very well done on the 650/750 series of TVs. I guarantee if you bring that LCD home people will walk into your room and go "oh my god that is beautiful" where as with the plasma they will say "oh, nice tv". its what people say at my store everyday. They sit and stare at the 650/750 series. If you get that Samsung LCD you will never be disappointed. Trust me.

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SAMSUNG OR PANASONIC
by ctuy / June 5, 2008 2:18 AM PDT
In reply to: Samsung

Thanks for the info. My brother in law just bought the 52 inches samsung 650 series but i havent seen it yet coz he doesnt have the hi def cable yet --he bought it last Memorial day and he got a good deal for $2,300.00. I am planning to buy the TH-50PZ800U coz a lot of people say that Plasma is clearer than LCD. Now im kinda thinking if i will go for Samsung now.

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great advice
by grandbay / June 5, 2008 3:22 AM PDT
In reply to: Samsung

Thanks for the info about the 650 i didnt know the specs were identical , so I can save some money. The only thing that makes me wary of the Samsung is the poor quality of the speakers and the fact that i hear nothing but negative things about 120hz motion technology. If the picture is better than on the Panasonic I guess that could make up for the motion it lacks.

thanks

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Not going to jump on a soapbox...
by stuntman_mike / June 5, 2008 5:00 AM PDT

just real talk.

You will see a lot of plasma backers come and tell you that LCD sucks and vice versa. The short answer is they both have strong and weak points.

Quickly:
LCD Pros
No chance of burn-in.
Very bright picture
Black level is getting better
Very crisp and clear image
Uses less power than plasma
Anti-glare screens (except for most Samsung LCDs)
120hz processing

LCD Cons
Black level is better but still not at plasma level
Image can be so crisp that it looks artificial instead of natural
No LCD is completely uniform in it's brightness and color (back lighting is a ***** lol)
LCDs can be somewhat more noisy than plasmas
Shiny screens (Samsung)
Motion blur
120hz processing

Plasm Pros
Blacks
Because of blacks, color saturation is superior
Very clean image (not noisy)
Crisp image but still realistic looking
Completely uniform picture
Extremely fast response time so no chance of motion blur

Plasma Cons
Chance of burn-in still exists, no matter how remote
Picture is very bright, but not LCD bright
Anti-glare screens are not as effective as LCD matte screens
Uses juice

The biggest factor is personal preference. While I do not hate LCD by any stretch, I prefer Plasma. They both have pros and cons but the LCDs pros tend to be on the maintenance side and the plasma pros tend to be on the picture quality side.

The cleanliness and uniformity, along with the black level and color saturation of a plasma is what I like. LCDs have a very wow image that plays well in a store, which is why LCDs are so popular. Which is fine. I am a fan of the XBR4, and when LCDs are taken out of that stupid Vivid/Dynamic mode, they can also look very impressive. But some of their drawbacks prevent me from falling all the way in love with them. Namely the blacks and the lack of uniformity.

The choice is yours. Read up on professional reviews as well as an FAQs on LCDs and plasmas so that you are informed and not being swayed by propaganda.

I will tell you one thing about 120hz. The poster who works in a store that said that you will get more oohs and ahs with the 650 is right. 120hz is an extremely striking feature and is so unlike anything that people are used to, that even if the image wasn't as good as a TV without it, you would still be drawn to it. It makes movement so smooth and lifelike that it always has a crowd around theses sets and theses sets are usually the centerpiece of most chain store displays, getting the Blu-ray player treatment 10 times out of 10.

When I first saw 120hz, I thought it was the future of the way we will watch TV, and I was really taken with 120hz. The key word is "was" lol. The truth of the matter is that after awhile, it looses it's luster in a hurry. I'll tel you why. While it works incredibly well in some instances, it works just as poorly in others. I have seen alot of stores use Spider-man 3 as the BD on display of the Sammy. There are times when the 120hz works so well that the picture looks so real and 3-D that you swear MJ is gonna run into your living room. And then there are times, usually when there is any action going on, where the movement looks so absurdly fake, that you think you are watching a puppet show lol. Don't take my word for it. see for yourself.

The 120hz is also glitchy. Though it is improved on the 650 from the 71F, I still see the starts and stops where the 120hz engages and disengages, and I still see the weird distortion effect on some fast movement. I have seen these TVs enough times on display and at my two separate friends houses' that own them to know that this does happen, just in case someone comes on the board who owns one and tries to defend it by saying I don't know what I'm talking about.

Aside from that, even if the 120hz worked perfectly, which it doesn't yet, it still has the downside of making a movie not look like a movie anymore. It is great at first, but the film buff in me thinks that it ruins the movie experience at least slightly.

That's my take. Again the ultimate judge is personal taste, but hopefully you have a little more info to make the right decision for you.


Good luck

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So close! Leaning towards plasma
by grandbay / June 5, 2008 5:24 AM PDT

So what i gather from these posts and all my research is that the Panasonic performs better on every level except for the chance of image retention (burn-in). The screens both have negative effects in bright rooms so i guess you could say they cancell eachother out on that issue.

All i really need to know then is how bad is the image retention on the newer models. I would be using it for movies, computer, video games and Television all equally.

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Some people will tell you...
by stuntman_mike / June 5, 2008 6:29 AM PDT

don't worry about it, it doesn't happen anymore. In all honesty that isn't true. It is rare, but it is still possible, so I won't tel you not to worry about it.

I will tell you that the new plasmas, especially the high end ones, all have methods of preventing burn-in. They all have a pixel orbiting method that shifts the image of every pixel over by one continuously. It is not at all noticeable. This way the image doesn't stay in the same spot, causing burn-in. In the rare cases where burn-in does occur (and it is much more likely on a low end plasma like a Vizio, than on a Pioneer or Panny or someone like that) they have a test screen that blasts a white image, which erases the image that was retained.

If burn-in does occur, it would most likely be in the the first 500 or so hours of viewing. This is called the break in phase. During this time, you might want to be a little more careful than usual when it comes to leaving games paused for a long period of time, watching a lot of programming that has a ticker at the bottom of the screen like MSNBC, or having the brightness turned way up.

Even in the break-in stage, if you were wreckless, you would probably not get any image retention just because the pixel orbiter and the test screen work so well. But since a large flat screen is a big investment, I would suggest that you not go overboard in the first couple of months that you have the set.

In all, burn-in is almost a non-issue, but I would be doing you a disservice if I said that it was not an issue at all.

Btw, to be fair, plasma is not better than LCD "on every level". LCD wins in the brightness department pretty easily. Because it is brighter and has a matte screen (unless it is a Samsung), it usually fairs better than a plasma in a bright room. And unless you can afford a Pioneer Kuro plasma, LCD is the only place that you will find 120hz processing. Depending on who you ask, that could be a blessing or a curse. For me, it's a mix of both lol.


Good luck

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one more question
by grandbay / June 5, 2008 6:40 AM PDT

No longer worried about burn in and it seems with the plasmas response times 120hz is a joke. However With the samsung's screen being quite reflective itself does this put it reativley on the same level as the Panasonic in bright rooms? Do I really need to be in a dark or dim lighted room to enjoy plasma picture quality?

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OK...
by stuntman_mike / June 5, 2008 7:05 AM PDT
In reply to: one more question

The screen on the Samsung LCDs is actually worse than any plasma lol. Although they are both shiny glass screens, the plasma screens are made to be anti-reflective. Although it does not work that well, they at least try to make them not attenuate light so much. The Samsung LCDs don't even bother to try and be ant-reflective lol.

The shiny screens make blacks appear darker to the eye than the same black level on a matte screen. Samsung tries to make the screen as shiny as possible to make the blacks look blacker. This is fact, not my opinion. Samsung said it themselves. I can't argue with them, the blacks do look darker on their LCDs than Sony's with their matte screens, even though reviews say that the Sony actually measures darker (compairing last years Samsung 71F to the Sony XBR4. The 650/750 may actually measure darker than the XBR4, but that is last years model and I expect the new Sony line to be at least as black as this years Samsung lineup).

So yes, watching TV in a an overly bright room would be just as problematic, if not more so, than watching it on a plasma. But that is just in terms of glare and reflections. The Samsung LCD is still an LCD, and therefore its being brighter will make it wash out less easily than the plasma still.

When you take the brightness of the LCD compared to the plasma, and the shiny-er-ness (lol) of the Samsung's screen versus the Panny into account, I would think that the LCD still has a slight edge.

In all honesty though, you don't want any TV, regardless of type, to have too much light on it. But no, you won't need to watch your plasma in the dark to enjoy it lol.

Think of a plasma like you would a CRT (because they are very closely related from a tech standpoint and plasma is not as old as CRTs but they are pretty close lol) and you will get an idea of what you can expect if there is a lot of sunlight in your room while watching TV. Unless you have a living room that has no shades or blinds, and the TV is facing the window, I wouldn't worry about it.

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Panny it is!
by grandbay / June 5, 2008 7:13 AM PDT
In reply to: OK...

I had a feeling id go this way after seeing its good reviews but i had to explore all other options. Thanks for the help, time to pull the trigger.

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Two things I would say look into...
by stuntman_mike / June 5, 2008 7:38 AM PDT
In reply to: Panny it is!

One: Check out the 850U. It is the same price, and although it does not have the THX mode, it is a step-up model, and does offer some picture quality upgrades that could make it look better calibrated than the THX mode on the 800U. Just a theory at this point because I haven't seen a review and I haven't seen it in person, but it seems highly likely from a common sense standpoint.

Two: Check out the Samsung PN A550 plasma. Compare it to the 800U. I have seen it in person and I will say that it is a great TV. I can't compare it directly to the 800U yet because I have seen BDs on the 550 but not the 800U, so it isn't fair. The reason I say give it a look is because the 58" PN A550 is around the same as the 50" 800U. If you determine that the picture quality is close enough (again can't say for sure yet without seeing the 800U hooked up to something better than split feed cable), that could be a good deal for you.

What ever you decide, ENJOY Happy

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Thanks!!!
by ctuy / June 5, 2008 9:51 AM PDT

Thanks to all of you guys...I learned a lot comparing between plasma or LCD and importantly my choices between Panasonic and Samsung.
I will definitely go with PANASONIC but cant decide if it is 850U or 800U---still waiting for the review of 850U.

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really appreciate the help
by grandbay / June 5, 2008 11:55 AM PDT
In reply to: Thanks!!!

Do you know what kind of upgrades the 850 will provide over the 800 or when a review will be coming out?

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did you consider the Pioneer plasma?
by chesschess / June 5, 2008 5:49 PM PDT

Did you consider the Pioneer plasma? Or did you reject it simply on the price issue?

Thx
Bob

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yep
by grandbay / June 5, 2008 7:42 PM PDT

Definetly the price. I know it looks good but im not going past the the 2500 cad price tag of the panny or samsung.

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yep!--and model no.of the most up to date pioneer 42 inch?
by chesschess / June 5, 2008 8:15 PM PDT
In reply to: yep

I can understand your decision about the pioneer price tag.
Does anyone know the model number of the most up to date pioneer 42 inch?

Thx
chesschess

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I would go for the A750, but be careful of the Z4100.
by 8IronBob / June 19, 2008 11:06 PM PDT
In reply to: yep

I would definitely go after Samsung's LN46A750, if I were you, since that one perhaps has the best features and PQ for the price, as well as solid connectivity to boot, and DLNA, etc... However, keep a close eye on Sony's KDL-46Z4100, tho, since that one seems to be very similarly spec'd and priced to the A750 at the MSRP level (maybe not Amazon pricing, but hey, it's supposedly Sony's best without that XBR premium). At least the super-thin bezel and a not-so-glossy screen may probably sell the Z4100 over the A750, imo.

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TH46PZ800U
by tater_51 / July 25, 2008 6:48 AM PDT
In reply to: yep

Have had mine for a couple days now, and all I can say is WOW! I looked a a lot of units, plasmas, LCD's, before deciding on the panny 800 series. I liked the 46" for the size fit for my room. Awesome picture, I like the THX mode. Totally satisifed with the purchase.

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800U vs 850U
by ctuy / June 6, 2008 3:28 AM PDT

800U--with THX mode

850U--No THX mode but with Digital Cinema Color, Studio Ref Mode and Pro Setting plus the VieraCast.

Up to now still waiting for the 850U review.

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800U VS 850U
by ctuy / July 7, 2008 1:49 PM PDT
In reply to: 800U vs 850U

According to Cnet 800U is better. Im kinda surprised!!!

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glossy screen = CRTlike appearance in the old days
by Jacktorious / June 18, 2008 3:55 AM PDT
In reply to: OK...

I sold TVs forever back in the 90s and with big screen rear projections Hitachi and ProScan both had clear (plexiglas?) screens that you could put onto the TVs and the difference was ludicrously apparent. Basically, it made the big screens look like huge CRTs. That's why Samsung does it. Even on their computer monitors, the high gloss GW series looks a thousand times better in person than the matte BW series. Samsumg is not to be faulted for their glossy screens!

They are, however, to be faulted for the absurdity of 120hz "double the refresh rate" which is crap. I have a 650 at home now which is shortly to be exchanged for either a Panasonic 800 or 850u. 120hz is the most offensively unwatchable feature I've ever seen--at home, in real life, with real movies. It's fakeness cannot be overestimated. Yeah, it definitely differentiates everything on the huge wall of TVs at Circuit City, but at home it's just lame beyond belief. As, truthfully, are LCDs compared to plasmas.

If 120hz really and truly doubled the refresh rate, as in a computer monitor, the entire image would smooth out and change. What is actually does is to give the impression that the objects in the foreground aren't moving at all while the background just moves around it--quite unnatural, in any sense.

And, by the way, the Samsung has, without question, (a) the worst remote control of all time and (b) SHOCKINGLY BAD speakers for a high end TV. Yeah, everyone's going to use external audio--but the Samsung forces the issue. I am still appalled by the sound of this TV.

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by jonnybones / July 7, 2008 3:43 PM PDT

Panasonic has pixel shifting. I play video games all the time on my TH50PZ77U and it has not gotten burn in. Going on month 7 now.

They also have anti-glare screens, which do about as well of a job as the samsung 650 and 750 models, since they have a stupid reflective screen.

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PANASONIC PLASMA. GOOD SHOPPING.
by Riverledge / July 11, 2008 9:58 AM PDT
In reply to: -

Riverledge.

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What about; motion blur,judder and brightness in plasma TVs
by kmit028 / August 15, 2008 8:17 PM PDT

I was just at the store yesterday with my dad who was looking to buy a high end panny plasma and he wanted my opinion. The store had the plasma and LCD tv's together on on the wall playing the same bluRay movie.
Now, I noticed 2 things i didnt like on the plasma. #1 it was not nearly bright enough and had a lot less contrast between colours than the lCD. It just didnt seem to have a clear picture at all compared to the samsung. I have noticed that some people have criticized LCD's for having a too clear of a picture but I cant imagine why that is a bad thing, i want to see the picture as clearly as possible. looking at the plasma is like looking at the LCD with sunglasses.
and #2
the motion blur and judder on the plasma was very noticeable, although i could also notice it on some other LCD's in the store I could not see it on the Samsung series 5 or 6. The "motion blur and judder" was like trying to play a video game ur graphics card cant handle and so the framerate drops and the motion is not smooth at all. I noticed that the panny plasma had this problem and some other LCD's and that was noticible about 80% of the time, whenever the camera panned I could see it.
For these two reasons I would strongly recommend only the samsung series 5 or 6 LCD (i havent seen the 7 series).

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Panasonic
by El Cid / August 7, 2008 7:30 AM PDT

I actually bought the Samsung750A. I was initially blown away by the display. It looks so beautiful. However, after recovering from my jaw dropping, I realized it wasn't that great. Still images and slow movements look amazing. Don't get me wrong. But any fast motion or movement causes blur. I like playing video games and the camera in video games moves around like crazy.

I hooked up the Samsung750A and the Panasonic 800U to a PS3 at the store and the difference in blur was very noticeable. The Samsung looks much better but any movement, even with the 120Hz mode enabled causes blur. That's the sad fact about LCDs. If you like watching sports especially hockey or like playing video games, then Plasma is the only way to go.

Long story short, I returned the Samsung and got the Panasonic. Doesn't impress people when they come over, but I'm the one who will be living with it, who will be watching it at night and logging many hours playing video games.

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(NT) CONGRATS. PLASMA IS FANTASTIC FAST MOTION, FOOTBALL, HOCKEY
by Riverledge / August 7, 2008 11:05 AM PDT
In reply to: Panasonic
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