Pros + Picture quality - Absolutely stunning
+ Black levels - Any deeper of a black and it would look fake
+ Internet apps/connectivity/networking
Cons - Only con I can think of is that the 60" model is almost $600 more
Summary As with most guys buying a new expensive electronic toy I did weeks worth of research on TV's. My previous TV was a 2007 Samsung plasma (720p) and I really loved it for the time that I had it but I was intrigued by the new LED line of TV's. Before doing research I thought that this was the future and that plasmas were going to be phased out but I soon found out this is not the case. In fact LED TV's are no more than LCD TV's with LED backlighting while true LED's (OLED) being thousands of dollars for 42" models and scarce availability.
Regardless I went out and bought what I felt was a bargain, a 60" Sharp Aquos Quattron 60LE832U from BJ's for $1,799. It was thin, had wireless connectivity built in, 60", and cheap for what you got. The picture was good but I soon noticed a lot of artifacts in the picture. The color from the factory was overly bright and oversaturated. I am usually one who likes a slightly less realistic picture in favor of slightly more saturated and vivid images too but this was over the top. No matter what I could not get the picture quality right and there were definitely motion issues even with the claimed 240Hz aquamotion.
Turns out it isn't truly 240Hz and it suffers from the same motion issues that all LCD's are plagued with. Frustrated I looked over to the plasma side but was apprehensive because in the store plasmas always look horrible. Their pictures are dull and over-brightened to where the blacks look gray and they are always next to shiny LED/LCD's that look so good. I had enough in my account to grab a second TV thankfully to see what it looked like next to the Sharp and figured I would take back the one that looked worse. In this case I was losing 5" in picture and was worried that the ambient light in my living room would drown out the plasma picture because this had always been a problem with plasma.
The second I hooked up this TV I was blown away! The color even out of the box was breathtaking and the blacks were spot on. There was a golf tournament on and I felt like I was there looking through a window. The Sharp had good resolution but it felt fake since the picture was so bright (even when turned down) and the motion unrealistic. I immediately packed up the Sharp and took it back. I am telling you if you are thinking of LED/LCD don't do it, plasma is where it's at and you cannot beat the picture on this TV for the price, it is unbelievable!!! LED/LCD just hasn't been perfected enough which is why there are so many different types such as edge-lit, full array, etc.
Now on to the actual review:
1) Picture quality - Absolutely stunning, the picture is as realistic as it comes with good saturation and the brightness is perfect. I have put this TV next to everything out there include the GT30 and VT30 and there is absolutely no different from what my eyes can see. All you get is THX mode and 1 HDMI and USB port on the other models and anyone who tells you the PQ is better on those is just being overly critical and properly a complete calibration nut because I just can't see it nor can most people.
2) Black levels - Any deeper of a black and it would look fake, even when the brightness is turned up they stay completely black, it isn't not a stupid balancing act like it is with LED/LCD where you have to tradeoff black levels for other things like brightness.
3) Internet apps/connectivity/networking - Comes with a wireless dongle to allow connection to your network and it is much more useful than I thought. DLNA works 1000x better than the Sharp which was clunky, slow, and didn't play all media types. The ST30 even previews your video files on your network as you are scrolling through them, it is a very cool feature and is very responsive. The apps are great too with pretty much everything you would be looking for such as Pandora and Youtube.
4) Price - As I mentioned before you cannot beat this PQ for the price. $1499 at most places and it can even be found a tad cheaper. The Vizio 4SV 55" model is almost $2000 and is large, ugly, and has a myriad of problems such as randomly turning off. This is a documented problem that you can search for and Vizio is apprehensive to fix it for anyone.
5) 3D - I'll admit I wasn't really big on this and the Sharp I bought didn't even have it because I could care less about it but this one did (and was cheaper, go figure). I am really glad now that it does have it as the 3D is simply breathtaking and there is little to no crosstalk at all! All the other makers (except maybe Sony) had a lot of crosstalk, especially Samsung. The Sony I viewed had great 3D but it was also running on a demo in the store hooked to a bluray which is a bit deceiving compared to watching it on DirecTV or something. Also be aware that Vizio TV's are not listed (right now) as a supported 3DTV with DirecTV!
1) Only con I can think of is that the 60" model is almost $600 more, which is a bit ridiculous. I was hoping it was more like $300 more as I probably would have jumped on it if so.
2) Nothing else, this TV absolutely rocks!
If you are on the fence with which TV to get or you are debating plasma vs. LED/LCD please take this review seriously and try the plasma, I am almost going to guarantee that for this price that you are going to like it more. The new Samsung 55" LED/LCD is $2650, while this amazing 2011 plasma is $1499, no need to spend $1200 more, and before you will buy the TC-P55ST30 I suggest you have to check for best deal at --> cheap-hdtv-suggestion.blogspot.com/2011/11/panasonic-viera-tc-p55st30.html
Pros awesome price for such a huge screen, it's so thin for a plasma, weight is only 70lbs without the stand, viera cast is awesome (skype, netflix, pandora, facebook, twitter), 3d!!!, anti-image retention, awesome black levels, decent sound
Cons only 3 HDMI ports, gotta make sure nothing stays on the screen for too long, needs it's own screen saver for programs that don't have one
Summary It's a great buy, if you were thinking about it, you really can't go wrong, the only thing i was wondering about was because it's energy star rating is gonna be invalid at the end of the year when the new energy star ratings come out, but you really wont see a difference on ur electric bill, i put it on a cute stand with a mount from Big Lots (i searched around, it was one of the hottest stands) I was sooo nervous leaving this hulking beast on it, and at first (i didn't know much about mounting big tv's to a stand not meant for them) I put it too high, and the weight of the tv made it look downwards, but after i put it on the lowest rung, it fit perfectly, looked very sturdy and secure, and my inner senses relaxed (before, I looked just as tense as the tv did with visions of it lying on it's face when I came home from work, cracked open) It could use more HDMI ports for an active gamer, one hdmi uses cable, 1 uses the blu-ray player/home theatre, 1 uses my ps3, then i have to switch that one out for the xbox, small complaint tho, i can live with switching my cords. oh, also, i noticed that the vents for the tv are around the side and the back, not the top, so that dust wont get in too easily....it's soooo surprisingly slim for a plasma too, not led thin, like a friggin cracker(i swear they make em thinner so you can break em easier), but very slim.
Pros Beautiful Image Quality
Fantastic Black Levels
Super low input lag
Low cost relative to performance
Cons Plain exterior design
Whites lacking compared to most decent LCD's
Summary Purchased one of these 55" Panny's to replace my aging frist gen Samsung LN46 46" 1080P LCD's. While my samsung was a good LCD panel, it had screen uniformity issues and some blacklight bleeding that would interfere with some movies. The ST30 has fantastic color and detail and amazing blacks once calibrated a bit. No longer have problems with washed out shadow details or uneven black levels. Internet features are nice, although I have a HTPC, so not necessary for me. 3D has not been tested, as I prefer to not wear 3D glasses in my home and consider them a gimmick at this time. However, the gaming ability of this panel is no gimmick. Fantastic gaming panel with no input lag that I can perceive and no problems with motion trails/ghosting. Very pleased. Of course the fact I got it on sale for $899 helps as well, nothing really comes close at that price except maybe the Samsung V7000 if it is on sale as well.
Pros 3D ready. Stunningly crisp picture. Easy setup. DNLA capable which is great! Viera Connect SmartTv inside (Facebook,Youtube, Pandora, HuluPlus, Picasa, Netflix, etc.). Netflix & HuluPlus stream in HD fast and clear. Comes with USB WiFi Dongle. HDMI(3
Cons Remote only allows for old cellphone style "multi-tap" input. Viera Connect does NOT have a web browser, only app usage. (No browser as of 10/3/11) TV Speakers are adequate at best. I purchased a soundbar w/sub to get the best experience. No analog audio
Summary I bought this TV simply because I came across it open-box at the TigetDirect store and it was right in my price range I was looking at ($600-$800 and 50"+). The fact that it is a 3D 1080p SmartTV as well as 600htz refresh rate just adds to the value. After I got home and hooked it up, I was blown away by the deal I got.
I sit approximately 14' away from the TV and the 55" feels much closer due to the crispness and size.
I will and have recommended this model of TV to friends and family.
"Great value"on by jphilipsuofi
Pros Very good picture quality, solid internet options, and good sound. There aren't many 55" TVs in the market, and that was the exact dimension I was after.
Cons A bit of a power hog.
Summary Very happy with the TC P55ST30.