Pros SD picture is acceptable, HDTV picture is good, Blu-ray picture is downright jawdropping. Very elegant look. Lots of various connection capability. Menus are fairly intuitive.
Cons I'm totally nitpicking here - screen can be a little reflective if you have light directly behind it.
Summary As an actual owner of this television, all I can say is I'm completely impressed. I have looked at a lot of televisions, and my choice to buy this one was based on tons of research done both off and online - and boy did it not disappoint.
First the picture - it's absolutely stunning. The first thing I connected was an old DVD player with component analog video, and even that looked good. The first time I saw blu-ray on it, all I could do was shake my head, I had never seen anything like it. Now, I know that many people consider the Pioneer Elites as the "reference" TV, and I've seen them, and yes, they are incredibly impressive. However, I can tell you right now, if there is a difference (and I stress "if") it isn't much of a difference, and I certainly don't miss it.
The one sheet of glass design on this TV looks incredibly elegant, and is very beautiful to look at even when the TV is off.
The video processing is okay, but you can definitlely see artifacts in the images when viewing standard definition or broadcast HDTV. Blu-ray on the otherhand is incredible - I know I mentioned it before, but it deserves another mention.
The bottom line is, if you've been to any large electronics retail store and seen the wall of TVs, you can probably spot the good ones and the great ones. If you get a chance to see this one, it will definitely rank in among the best of the best. I am very happy with my purchase.
Pros THX mode, comes in 58'/65'
Cons I returned my Samsung 8000 thinking that this TV was better. I was wrong, I took Cnets word but clearly the samsung just blows this TV out of the water, I bought the 58' The flicker is ANNOYING, the Samsung 8000's quality is just far superior.
Summary This TV is okay but i'm pretty disappointed that I returned my Samsung un55b8000. I took Cnets word and was truly let down. Not sure if there is a major difference in pic quality between the 54' and 58'. Maybe it may need some calibration or tweaking but I don't understand why this TV was rated best flat panel HDTV rated this year.
Pros Solid sleek single glass design give it a look of more expensive sets. SD quality is good. HD/Blu-ray is where this set truly shines. Plenty of inputs. Enough adjustments for an advanced user to be happy with.
Cons THX mode... I don't use it. Sound isn't great but it's to be expected. News and shows sound just fine. VieraCast is a nice gimmick but not too useful yet. Remote focus's too much on it as well and doesn't fully illuminate. Power hungry.
Summary Like many of you I have poured over way too much information and several sets in this class. In the end I made my choice in purchasing this set (54")on several factors: Price, quality for the money, and the amount of negative comments that have been made in general on this set.
I purchased this set back in January and at that time I was about to get it for just under $2000 so that was one of the biggest pluses for me. I looked at comparable LED sets and the quality was extremely close with certain programing looking better on this set and others looking better on the LED's. Samsung's 7 series is the closes to this set in it's line so I focused on it for comparison. As several reviewers have pointed out the 8 Series looks better then this. Well that is because that is their top of the line set and Panasonic's V series isn't. The Panasonic Z Series is so make sure you compare apples to apples. The Sony's looked well but you will pay more for them because... It's a Sony. I used The Fifth Element BD as my test disc in the store and to setup the set. I wasn't mounting this on a wall so the depth of the set really wasn't a factor for me. Plus at 90lbs I just wasn't comfortable with that being on a wall.
The stand and build of the set is very sturdy with your typical black square base and a faded silver streak that runs along the base of the screen itself. No lights or colors or anything thing else to distract you from the true purpose of this set... The Picture. The set is in a room that doesn't get direct sunlight but plenty of lamps and ambient light and I must say that not only is this set as bright as any LED/LCD I tested, but in actual home use was too bright at times with the lights on. Also this set replaced and 32" HD tube set and the reflections are a lot less than the tube. It's made out of glass so of course it's going to have some reflections. Standard TV was what I expected it to be for a HD set this size. Some artifacts and the color was a little dull on certain programs The tuner is fast expect with is goes between an analog signal and a digital one. Then it's takes a second or so. Blu-ray/HD channels are amazing, bright and vibrant. All colors look vivid and do not bleed. Motion is very smooth 95% of the time. During the Olympics I did notice jitter when the camera had a skater in the foreground and planned with the crowd in the background. The background wasn't smooth. I noticed that on other sets as well so that is jus either the camera or the technology. Switching to the 96htz mode eliminated all flicker from every digital source I've been able to find. Black levels seem to be the best period in dark scenes and went there is a total fade to black in a program, such as between scenes or during credits, the set kills all power to the screen so the set will appear to be off.
This set has four fans along the top and you will feel the heat from this TV. However the fans are silent and the only way you will hear them is when everything else in the room is off. And who watches TV with no sound anyway? There is no hum or high pitched noise from this set at all. You will see ghost images only when going from a bright scene, logo or picture like during BD load screen but that only lasts a few seconds if that.
In the end you can find better TV's just like you can find better cars. But you will pay for it and for the price of this set, you can't beat the quality, and value of this set. I also asked other about the lightening issue mentioned by Cnet and none of the long time owners of this series have seen any changes in black levels after long term use so take that report with a grain of salt.
Other features such as menus are very simple and easy to navigate. Remote feels light but simple to use. One feature I have used many times is the PC input from my laptop and the picture is excellent. Reading any txt is easy on the eyes and whites don't bleed int the black print of the letters making reading email easy to do from over 6 feet away. Plus every input has it own dedicated picture settings... If you like your SD channels to be bright but want a dimmer theater experience on BD the controls are independent per input.
"BEST HDTV EVER!"on by greeko76
Pros Most incredible picture ever. Viera Cast is pretty cool. Single sheet of glass look is sharp. The fact it plays AVCHD files is also awesome! Now the HD movies we record of the kids we can show everyone on our nice Panasonic Plasma with no hassle.
Cons I wish Viera Cast had Netflix.
Summary This TV is simply the best. Add a Blu Ray player and watch a few movies you will be hooked. Buy this TV! Don't forget to customize the picture settings. Do some searching online and you will find several forums with great advice on best picture settings.
Pros Awesome picture quality. Better than my old 720P plasma.
Cons FAN noise is annoying at times. My previous plasma TV was silent, so I never even thought to look for this as a potential issue.
Summary Had I known about the FAN noise I would have not purchase this product. I kept the rating at 2.5 since the picture quality is very good. If you already have a noisey evironment (XBOX, DVR, Fish Tank, PC, ...) then easily consider this TV. For those with quiet evironments, you may want to stay away. You'll see posts claiming the fans are silent, do NOT believe them. It would be nice if CNET could comment on this sort of thing in the future.