"Very happy with the TV, would certainly purchase again"5.0 starson by Jeremy-Bell
Pros: + Superb picture quality
+ Built-in sound is quite good
+ The menus on this model are very easy to navigate
+ NETFLIX - Picture quality for streaming was excellent
+ Remote is fine
Cons: - 55" model does not have the swivel stand
Summary: Purchasing: This was my first TV purchase online. Obviously because of the large size and fragile nature of the TV, I was concerned. The driver called 15 minutes prior to delivery. He helped get it into my home and unpacked to make sure the screen was not damage.
Setup: Assembling the TV requires putting it on the stand and tightening 4 screws. For this 55" version, it is clearly a two person task. Everything is relatively obvious. Some of the accessories are taped to the styrofoam, so you may need to dig a little bit to find everything. The WI-FI dongle snaps into any of the USB ports.
Choice: I spent about a year mulling around a TV purchase and finally decided to pull the trigger. I had a 10 year old Sony rear projection set that still had a very good picture, but I liked the idea of something that took up less space and had HDMI inputs for some additional accessories. I chose this particular TV for several reasons. 1) The reviews on CNET and Amazon are quite good. There certainly are fewer negative complaints such as poor customer service or dead on arrival. 2) Great picture quality - it can be difficult to discern a good picture in a large box store, but this one was much better over other similarly priced TVs (plasmas, LCDs & LEDs). The color on the GT30 seemed more realistic than other brands, in particular the Samsung plasmas. I presume this relates to the settings from when it's pulled out of the box. 3) I wanted low maintenance - and most reviews, such as CNET, say the THX setting was already optimal and further calibration did not improve the quality. 4) Price - I wanted to stay under $2000 for my purchase. The VT30 also didn't seem to offer much more for the extra money. 5) 55" is just right for my room size (seating is 8-10 feet from TV).
My Picture: I'm very happy with the picture on my TV. I do find a need to use two different color settings, 1) THX for a dark room and 2) CUSTOM for a bright room. I haven't noticed the any of the artifacts others have mentioned in their reviews, such as changing grays/blacks/brightness. Then again, I haven't gone looking for them. Likewise, I haven't gone looking for any dead pixels. I'm happy now, so there's no reason to try and be disappointed. There were a few instances with the screen just going black randomly, but after a firmware update - no more. I also purchased a smaller 42" ST30 for my bedroom and the picture is comparable. I may have been just as happy with the 55" ST30.
3D: In my opinion, 3D is worthless. It's a cute gimmick, but I find no enjoyment in watching the picture on the TV. In theaters - in particular IMAX - the experience is different, since you may sit much closer to the screen. For me, the 3D effect just doesn't translate into a more realistic experience. If I had to do it over, I would still purchase this TV, but would skip the 3D glasses. The 2D-to-3D conversion is quite good for what it is, but once again, I would not waste my time.
Menus: The menus on this model are very easy to navigate - much easier than past models or other brands.
Internet: I don't use the internet widgets much, but they seem very straightforward. I did use NETFLIX without any issues. Picture quality for streaming was excellent.
Sound: I don't use the speakers, but when I tried them out they seemed more than adequate. No audio problems to report.
Other: The 55" model does not have the swivel stand - this was a bummer. The remote is fine, but I prefer an alternate universal remote. I also like that when the power of my Panasonic DVD player is turned on, it automatically changes the INPUT to the DVD. (But if you will buy this TV I suggest you have to check for best deal before you decide at: Lowest-pricing.info/TC-P55GT30 )
Summary: Very happy with the TV, would certainly purchase again. My only issue is "how long will it last" and that remains to be seen.