"Great Picture Quality, minor drawbacks."4.0 starson by aznjigg824
Pros: Great picture quality
Cons: No Wi-fi, and weird PC display set up, speakers reverberate when you turn the sound is up.
Summary: I have to split up this review into two...so this is part 1 of 2.So, in spite of all that lawsuit crap, I really loved all of the specs that this model had to offer. The 5,000,000:1 NATIVE contrast ratio and 600 HZs jumps out at anyone who is a spec freak. And you also know that those two specs alone blow the LCD-LED specs out of the water. Plus the price point is much much cheaper. than the LCD-LED tvs. LCDs are a little bit cheaper than plasmas, but you will not be able to achieve the same specs with an LCD. Look it up, I think I'm right on that one. Gas transfer is just faster.
OK, so finally I get to do my review of this television. I did a lot of research on this guy and want to share my two cents with people who are on the fence about Panasonic plasma TVs.
My biggest concern with buying this TV was the diminishing black levels that CNET had caught in the 2008 and 2009 models. I actually email David K. at CNET to get more answers about his findings, but he still needed to test the unit. Google "Panasonic Black Levels" and you'll see what I'm talking about. But they're getting sued based on some diminishing black levels in their 08 and 09 plasmas. Apparently the 2010 models don't diminish as abruptly as the previous two years. But you should know that ALL plasma tv black levels diminish over time. The problem that owners of the 08 and 09 models were noticing is that it would happen at once, and it was drastic. What really scared me is that owners who were not video-obsessed were noticing the significant drop. I think I fall into that category (as do most consumers) and this spooked me a bit. The other brow raising issue with this was that it happened after only about 1000-2000 hours. Which equates to a few(?) months. So after reading all of these facts, I was really questioning whether I should purchase this set.
I also took a couple of trips to multiple Best Buys asking about this problem. Most of the sales people I spoke with did not have a clue about what I was talking about (not surprised). There was one fellow at the Marin BB who was aware of the situation and he told me that the Panasonic rep assured him that there was no problem, and that CNET was actually retracting their statement. So, I email CNET (as I mentioned above) and asked him if CNET has retracted their statement...but he said the did not retract his comments. And I figured, of course the Panasonic rep will tell BB that there's nothing wrong...
Updated on Apr 22, 2010
Updated on Apr 22, 2010So I'm writing this review because I actually decided to purchase this set, and I can say that I am happy with it. I do however scrutinize it all the time for the refresh rate and diminishing black levels. But so far, all is well in tv land. Contrast is really great, refresh rate is really good also. I turned on the Blur Reduction as well (aka motion flow for you samsung peeps), and it looks ok. I was never a fan of that feature (I prefer it off in all situations) but in this instance, it is not so dramatic and over the top like with some other brands. I'm not sure if that is because the refresh rate is so good, or what, but it helps a bit during sports. Glare also isn't so much of an issue (as other reviewers have noted) for me. The glass is a little more matted compared to older plasma sets.
Updated on Apr 22, 2010Pictures look really great off of the flash drive via usb port on the side. It's almost as good as looking at pics on your pc monitor.
Downsides of the TV...No WiFi, come on, $100 for the wifi dongle? I think I can live without it, but it would be cool to try out the skype feature, and be able to get my weather report.
Can not play mov, wmv files!!! I am probably most disappointed about this. Seems like Panasonic only wants you to us their propriety video files. Only plays AVCHD (used with panasonic camcorders vid files) and MPEG2 (used for DVDs) It's pretty much impossible to convert your files to either of these two formats...sad. So now I have to find some way to hook up my MBP to the TV, which has been a challenge thus far.
Updated on Apr 22, 2010Speakers start to reverberate a little bit when it get to about the 40+ level. I think surround sound systems are a lot of trouble so I never hook one up, and rely on my built-in speakers to do the job. So this is also a little disappointing as well. I guess if I turn it up that loud to feel the sound, I should be getting surround sound. meh, we shall see.
Daytime viewing is a little dim. But this is true with all plasmas, they are not as bright as LCDs. But trust me, this is a gorgeous set under room light conditions. I usually do my television viewing when I get home after work when it's dark outside. And if I'm watching TV on the weekend and it's sunny out, I deserve to be watching a crappy picture...it'll give me motivation to get outside. I don't get too much glare in the day either, as other reviewers have noted.
Updated on Apr 22, 2010Also don't get fooled by LCDs when you're in the store. They're big and bright, and you're going to want to go for it because it looks "better." It's not kids, if you look closely, the colors get blown out causing the colors to be inaccurate. Plasmas are more realistic with their colors. Don't be one of those bugs drawn to the big bright LCD flame...cause you're gonna get burned.
Ok, well I think that's all. I'm going to wait a couple more months before I really turn on the vivid setting (dont turn this on until you break the tv in a bit) and see how far my blacks have gone down!
I would recommend this set for people who are looking for a great picture.
If you're trying to watch downloaded content with your mov and wmv files, I would recommend not getting this set.
I've done research on a bunch of different makes and models, and there's something wrong with everything, nothing is perfect. Superb picture was my priority, so that is why I decided to go with this set.
Updated on Apr 22, 2010With that said, happy shopping!
Updated on Apr 22, 2010sorry, when I said diminish, I meant the black levels will rise. Resulting in your blacks looking more gray.
Updated on May 26, 2010ok, real update to this review now.
Just after about one month of owning this tv, it died. I got the 10 flashes of death from my power light. Some people have been able to resolve it simply by unplugging the set for a few hours. Some have been able to plug the set into the wall outlet instead of the surge protector.
I had geek squad come out and take a look, and I think they said they have to replace the...something, I don't know. The guy had such a thick accent, I couldn't understand what he was saying. Anyway, I get a call in a couple of days saying that my parts won't ship for another 2.5 weeks! Holy crap are you serious!? This is my only TV in the house, and I'm spending $100 a month for Comcast, what a waste!
I don't understand how a product only lasts for one month. Ridiculous. I really let bestbuy and panasonic have it over the phone.
I'm just really glad its still under warranty...if it wasn't i'd be pissed!
I'll update again after the repair.