I have been doing plasma TV's for the past 7 years. Started with a Samsung, then Pioneer Elite, then Panasonic. I had service issues on every one of them. Had to replace the panel in the Panasonic VT30-65", which when they came to replace was DOA and Panasonic had to refund my money. Samsung 64" 8000 series had pixel issues and Samsung eventually refunded my money. This time I decided to go for the Sharp Elite 70" LED/LCD panel. I have had it for only a month or so but the picture is really nice and so far no issues. I plan to have it calibrated soon as I have done to all my previous sets. I was told by Sony that the reason they don't make plasmas is because they just run too hot which eventually leads to circuit problems, etc.
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I would get either a Panasonic 65" plasma or a 60" Samsung plasma in the first or second tier. LED TV's with complete backlighting are certainly no better and usually cost a lot more. And LED's with edge lighting are usually considerably worse than a good plasma, particularly with poor off-center viewing ( a common complaint with all LCD TV's) and with less accurate black and gray scales.
Panasonic Plasma Vieras are built like tanks
Spend the couple of hundred of bucks and get a qualified technician (THX Certified Video Calibration Professional) to get it THX Certified ...HUGE improvement in picture quality and colour saturation etc.
IMO, there is no question that PQ of plasma sets is better than any other flat panel I've seen. but there are plenty I have not. In terms of reliability, I've had a Fujitsu plasma for about 7 years now w/o any problems. It's one of the older generation sets and throws off enough heat to keep a 12 x 12 den nice and cosey on a cold New England night- we actually close the door and let the rest of the house cool down. Newer sets use much less power and give off much less heat.
100 hrs sure, that foolish statement of 90 days straight is crazy. There is alot of daylight between 100hrs and over 2000hrs for calibration. Calibration is of questionable value IMO. You can get a disc and trust your eyes to tell you what looks good, if anyone even mildly critical of video quality cant even trust their own eyes to say a pleasing image has been acheived then god help us.
Akg_ca: I would suggest getting an ISF certified calibrator. THX is a rather ridiculous specification as it's also a label that any manufacturer can throw on a product if it's even remotely capable. I've had all of my televisions calibrated by an independent IHF-certified technician and couldn't be happier with the results. It's real science, and not questionable at all.
Sorry to go OT. Plasma TVs historically run hot, there's no denying that. The originals used fans for cooling, but were too noisy. When they stopped using fans and tried convective cooling, the displays had less life, and the circuits suffered from potential heat damage and component lifting in some cases. Plasma TVs have been considered the best-performing displays in terms of black level and color reproduction. I would argue, however, that modern LED sets are approaching plasma TVs in performance. My calibrator told me that my Samsung LED had the best black levels he's seen outside of a plasma, and it was very close. LEDs are slim, cool, and preform very well.
The only potential drawback would be the back light. In a dark room, when a passage in a film goes black, you can see faint white light in some areas of the screen due to the edge light.
I currently own two Panasonic Plasma sets and have had zero issues with either set. My 42 inch is 6 years old and still going strong and my 54 inch is 2 years old and is THX certified, so far no issues with the newer set. We watch TV, movies, sports and the kids play games on it all the time.
I wouldn't own anything else but a Plasma.
Yes there are several that still are engery star rated. I think the 65" ST series is rated for 32 bucks for what the energy sticker claims. I saw it the other day when shopping, and personally don't pay much attention to it.
I love my VT25 and feel it gives me the best pic that I can get. I did a cali disk but also got more out of it once it was calibrated by ISF cert.
I have been thinking of getting the new VT50 once it hits and seeing how that is. Samsung higher end Plasma's are very nice but there are some good deals to be had right now on the 2011 Pannys.
LED while giving a good picture quality is still not as good as the Plasma IMO. Samsung is to release the OLED later this year however price is said to be very high. I would really like to see the OLED and how it compares as it should get closer to plasma.
Your current LED sets are still LCD panels with LED lighting. It is an improvement over regular LCD's but still don't have the PQ of plasma.
I would recommend to go with display instead of TV. Like http://www.panasonic.com/business/plasma/TH-60PF30U.asp#?cm_sp=Pro%20Displays%20Site%20Promotions-_-Product%20Detail%20Page-_-Photo%20Gallery%20View
Better quality,but less bells and whistles.
Plasma is the way to go. Far better blacks, so if you are a fan of art film in particular this is very important. Also, the motion is better, so if you are a sports fan there is no comparison even with the new LEDs.
As far as energy consumption goes, a regular light bulb will consume much more energy. I really don't understand the concern with this. They don't use much power compared to most other things in your house. However, yes, most of them are energy star rated. My Panasonic, which is the brand I would recommend, has an energy saver mode. It also shuts itself down after a certain amount of time of inactivity.
My 70" Pioneer/Sharp Elite TV has darker blacks than any plasma I've seen - lots of positives, few if any negatives. They also make a 60". No glare, great picture, lots of features. It is a "really good TV" and has been proven so in various blind shootouts, many of which are on youtube. No, I didn't save the links - if interested can be easily found.
Yes we all know how trustworthy blind tests are, and who wouldnt be convinced by a youtube video from a owner of monitor up for review, no chance for opinion there, thats crazy talk! I suppose your monitor somehow also magically overcame the universally known artificial less film like picture every LCD made has suffered from? LCD is closing the gap but you cant honestly ignore there is still a gap. Glare is a fault of the room, not a monitor.
" My 70" Pioneer/Sharp Elite TV has darker blacks than any plasma I've seen"
That sounds like your opinion.
I did do a search and first clip was of it being sold on QVC, they thought it was great but they talk the same way about a Dolly Parton collectable plate.
I saw another clip boasting how it "emulates" Plasma, so apparently its the Rich Little of monitors.
according to pcmag, black levels on the best leds are now better that plasma, to wit:
Historically, plasma HDTVs have produced the best black levels, specifically the now-defunct Pioneer Kuro HDTV brand. The Kuro's screen got so satisfyingly dark that it remained a popular HDTV for enthusiasts long after Pioneer stopped making the sets. The domination of plasma in this field, however, is over. Our current Editors' Choice HDTV, the LED-based LG Infinia 47LW5600 (Best Deal: $1,188.00 at TriState Camera), puts out only 0.01 cd/m2, the best level we can measure. That any LED-backlit LCD can get that dark shows how far the technology has come.
that said, i believe plasma still does certain things better (viewing angle, motion blur) and is a little cheaper than led; someone may well prefer one technology over the other.
White levels don't matter quite as much as black levels, because it's more difficult for screens to show fine details in shadows and easier to crank out very bright whites with backlighting, but they can still matter. At this, LED backlighting again triumphs. The Panasonic TC-L42E30 Best Deal: %displayPrice% at %seller%reaches a staggering 473.50 cd/m2 white levels with modest 0.04 cd/m2 black levels. It completely (and literally) outshines the Panasonic TC-P50ST30, its plasma HDTV cousin that puts out only 107 cd/m2 peak white while offering a slightly better 0.03 cd/m2 black level.
The entire body of specs (as is important to you and I) is to be considered if you desire the best possible option. If indeed there are models of LCD where black levels are now besting Plasma its new news, great but as noted what about motion? What about angles? What about natural film like image? Its still a Plasma world and it seems most who take video serious understand that fact. Again glare isnt a issue of the monitor, its the issue of the room its placed in, that and a tree huggers dream of power consumption are the only slight apparent drawbacks to Plasma. I own Plasma, LCD, HD CRT and LcOS technology so I embrace all, but I understand what best is too.