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Samsung UN50F6400 vs Panasonic ST60. Best tv at $1k?

by tapasdesai / August 23, 2013 2:10 AM PDT

I would like some opinions on which 46-50" tv I should get, for $1000 or less.

I have short-listed these two as they seem to have very good reviews.
I'm not keen on Vizios, dont care much about smart tv features or 3D. I will be gaming moderately, watching movies and using the tv as a computer screen.
I have a small/medium sized wide rectangular living room with windows on the entire smaller side-wall.

This made me lean towards the Samsung F6400 (with microdimming) as it should be brighter than ST60.

I would also like to know if "microdimming" really does help on an Edge-lit tv, or if its just marketing bs. Because, the F6300 is the same as the F6400, but doesnt have microdimming (and a fancy remote). Its also around $150 cheaper.
I considered full array LEDs but they're expensive. The cheaper ones seem to have some blooming.

I looked into plasmas because LEDs dont have deep blacks. Hence the Panasonic ST60.
But reviews indicate that it is not as bright and has sluggish controls.

If you own or have had experience with these or equivalent tvs, I would appreciate your input!

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All Answers

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You need light control. Period.
by Pepe7 / August 23, 2013 4:05 AM PDT

That's where the rubber hits the road. It's very much trial and error between HDTVs when you are throwing that much light into the viewing space, and not implementing proper light blocking/control/shades. The ST60 is still the pony to beat all around, with none of the worries of 'microdimming' since it's not necessary to produce stellar PQ w/ plasma.

What I would do? (I have recommended this before to clients/friends.) Cost is no longer and issue per se. Buy both and set them up side by side. Toggle to see which one you prefer in the actual viewing space (not the store, or review summaries online). Return the one you do not like. IME the controls are more than adequate for most on the ST60, again, because you are starting with a machine that is capable of some amazing PQ- nearly out of the box for most if not all non-videophiles.

I still encounter some issues with static images on plasmas (especially on ones with less hours on them), so be careful in that arena.

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Here is my thought;
by Oldartq / August 23, 2013 4:20 AM PDT

It's about the same story, lcd vs. plasma, and here's what I would do. If the tv viewing area lighting can be control and I don't worry about the extra power usage, then I would take the Panasonic over the Samsung in a heartbeat. Of coarse if you don't think you can control the light from the side-wall then that may be an issue (only you can decide).

As for "microdimming", I believed it's all marketing but don't take me wrong, The tv with microdimming is probably better with than without. But here we are comparing plasma to lcd. FYI, as I understand it, microdimming has go nothing to do with the "types" of led dimming.

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ST60 wins!
by tapasdesai / August 23, 2013 5:03 AM PDT

Thank you for your opinions!
I am seriously considering the ST60 now. I'm not comfortable with buying two tvs and setting them up side by side.
I will have to look into lighting control.

I personally don't like being in artificial light when I'm home (unless its evening/night) because I work in a cubicle with florescent light all day.
Do you think taking care of any glare from the windows on the tv would solve the problem? Or do I need to make the entire room darker?
Also, does the ST60 have a glossy screen? That would make things worse.

I really don't know why I'm still leaning toward the Samsung.
If the lighting control doesn't really work out, will I be loosing out on picture quality with the Samsung F6400?

And what do you guys think of the Samsung UN50F5500? Its cheaper (~$880).
It also has a lower refresh rate of 60Hz versus the 120Hz in the higher models. Will that be noticeable?

Also, can both tvs work as a monitor without scaling/refresh problems? I have a late 2009 Macbook Pro with a mini DVI port.

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What kind of light control do you have now?
by Oldartq / August 23, 2013 10:29 AM PDT
In reply to: ST60 wins!

To me..I think the vertical blind, I am referring to the 2.5" one, it makes the best control. It may not look as good as some fancy drapery but you can sure control that light with it. If you go that route, get one with the darker shade (not white).

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Make the room as dark as possible
by Pepe7 / August 23, 2013 1:04 PM PDT
In reply to: ST60 wins!

That's how you maximize PQ. Get it done however you can do it, and not feel like you are still stuck in the cube farm ;). (Hint: for our second <older> media room, we went with cheap JC Penny room darkening curtains to control light on one sunny side. Works just fine.)

The ST60 has a very good AR (anti reflective) filter, FWIW. The F5500 will be a big of a dog by comparison, PQ wise especially. The only Sammys I've felt came close to Panny PQ are the F8000 series. Much more expensive though.

Yes, you would be losing out on some PQ going w/ the F6400 if you are at all concerned about black levels/contrast. The ST60 presents a very strong value in those areas.

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I dont want a dark room!
by tapasdesai / August 24, 2013 10:37 AM PDT

I like light and airy spaces Grin

I live on the ground floor surrounded by trees. 60 to 70% of the sunlight in the room is not harsh or direct.
So the room is not too bright.
The wall has three windows with horizontal white blinds. I could just close the blinds on the window adjacent to the tv to cancel any direct light falling on the tv.

Again, your input is much appreciated!

I will take another look-see at the set in the store. I'm sure the ST60 is not dull by any means.
(I know their lighting in the stores doesn't give me any idea of how it will be in natural light)

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No need to hurry,
by Oldartq / August 24, 2013 12:40 PM PDT

sounds like lighting can be change if what you have don't work out. Enjoy.

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Beware of UN50F6400 very wide stands
by tennisguy49 / August 25, 2013 3:14 AM PDT

For your price range of ~$1,000, I also carefully compared the Samsung UN50F6400 and the Panasonic ST60 as well as LG's 50GA6400. I finally decided on the LG (to replace my 42" Panasonic plasma) over the Samsung because of its wide stand that would not fit on my shorter TV stand. I chose the LG over the ST60 because it has a clear glass screen that reflected window glare that was in the room. I also chose the LCD over the plasma for a potentially brighter picture, which I toned down a bit on my new LG.

Having a passive 3G on my new LG is a nice plus that I'll use infrequently. Please note that most better (higher end) panel TVs come with 3D as part of their feature set. Lastly, I agree that the ST60 has the best picture but only if viewed at night or in a darkened room with no window glare.

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