Who has the best plasma monitor these days

I am looking to get a plasma monitor. I don't need a tuner within it. Just the screen. I have a cable tv supplier that already provides the HD tuner box with hdmi output. I am looking for a 42 or 50 inch screen. Any suggestions would be highly appreciated. Thanks
Best I have seen is a B&O - amazing picture quality on both sd and hd.
Panasonic is always a good bet. Some models by others are as good.

Why plasma? LCD is much improved, and if I were buying today I would probably go LCD.
I've always thought the Pioneer Elite's were the best looking plasma's.
Panasonic 700U is probably one of the best 42" sets out there in its size and price range. I bought two LCDs (actually brought them home, set them up, dialed them in) only to return them for inferior picture quality.

I was about ready to give up on the whole HDTV thing because I *thought* LCD was where it was at, and salesman were pushing LCD too. After returning the second set and doing some serious research I bought the 700U Plasma and could not be happier.

If you can spend more, go Pioneer Elite sets for sure. If not get a Panasonic and dont look back. Check the review on CNET.
Pioneer best, Panasonic 2nd. The frame doesn't look all that great on the Panny but it's a big improvement over the silver of last year. LCD is not quite up to Plasma quality yet, that is, if the CRT is your standard from which to measure.
Go Plasma! Sound & Vision just compare LCD vs Plasma - They were very happy with the Pioneer Elite KURO - I'm keeping my eyes on them as well the Hitachi Director's Series - Good Luck!
NEW PIONEER ELITE - hands down, Panasonic close 2nd.
CES.....will be the preludium for the things to come.
No, at this point in time plasma is still preferred over LCD. Sure LCD has its good points as does plasma, but its still plasma for me. Do some more research and you should reach the same conclusion I did.
exactly Mrjstark! Kuro is king.
Pioneer Elite Kuro, the best TV made right now, hands down!
Used to be Fujitsu, they have left the plasma business they started. Hello Pioneer Elite.
So I have done a little research already. I see there are 2 types of 42" Pioneer Plasmas. Pro-950HD and PDP-4280HD. The same goes for the 50" size Pro-1150HD and PDP-5080HD. What makes the 2 indentical sizes differ by $700-$1000. It's too bad about Fujitsu. Why couldn't they just get their prices more competitive?
With the most recent models, LCD's have improved a great deal. Before you write them off be sure you are looking at a current model. On recent simultaneous demo alongside plasmas the LCDs look better to me. (I have a plasma, which at the time I bought it was better than LCD).

For fast motion (sports) plasma is still best. On the other hand, the LCD screen does not show reflections from room lamps or windows. Pick your poison.
Pioneer plasmas are some of the best product out there in our opinion. They cost a little more than other brands but you pay for what you get. Actually we've installed more Panasonic plasmas than Pioneer plasmas but learned that most of the consumers who chose Panasonic are for cost reason and told us that they read impressive specs from Panasonic website. But our installation and personal experience clearly showed us that Pioneer is just hand down much better in terms of picture quality. The overall design fit and finish of Pioneer plasmas are also better than that of Panasonic. But then again, you pay for what you get.
The smaller pixels in LCDs will give them an resolution advantage over plasmas for high definition video formats. Plasma has better bightness, contrast and speed. However, plasma's advantage over LCDs are eroded with each generation of LCD. On the other hand, LCD's advantages over plasma are not being eroded. In the long term, LCD will win, but only until the new technologies such as SED and OLED come to market.
I just went through the whole process (and headache) of picking the "best" tv to build my new HT around (not a headache)...and the winner for me was the:

Pioneer Elite 60" Plasma. (the 1080i) This was just about 2 months before the 1080p came out, but I cannot tell the difference. I sit 12 ft away and have a denon DVD source, until the Blu Ray - HD DVD wars are over.

All I do is watc movies now.

Can't go wrong with Pioneer, the 5080 can be had for 2k as they recently cut prices.

I am also with several of the other posters on this thread.

If money is not a problem, I would go with one of the Pioneer KURO's also. If you STILL want a plasma and money is SOMEWHAT a problem, then I would steer toward Panasonic (just gotten myself a 77U (a 42" model) for Christmas, and so far, I have been MORE than satified), and not look back.

I've read at some places that the 77U is a 720p set, and then at other places, they say that the 77U is a 1080p set. I don't know who to believe. Maybe I need to contact Panasonic and get the correct story sometime later this week. But whatever the case is, I got my 77U for about $1,500.00 + $300.00 for an extended warranty. Comparably speaking, the 700U was seen for as low as $1,900.00 on sale. But the 700U is a TRUE 1080p set, so there are no doubts as to what the resolution capability of this set. Now, if Panasonic tells me that my 77U is also a 1080p set, then I probably would be very happy as I would have then gotten a 1080p set at a bargain price. Otherwise, if they tell me it is in fact a 720p set, then I'll still be happy, as this was what I was setting out to get in the first place

Between LCD and Plasma, I feel the way to go would be to go plasma. My reason being is that they tend to produce a sharper, clearer picture with a much deeper black than even the best LCD set that I can find. Of course, this will come at the expense of some brightness and some on screen glare during daytime hours (even though, the anti-glare coating on the screen does help somewhat).

If you MUST go with an LCD, then I would look at Sharp and then Toshiba in exactly that order.

Good Luck and Happy Shopping.......

If you get one out of the box with no problems, the Pioneer Kuro Elite Series is best right now. Pioneer's Q and A is just fine , but there return policies as a manufacturer are more restrictive than some of the others and Panasonics Q and A process is really something.

Additionally, Pioneer, Panasonic, and Hitachi have collaborated and come up with "10 lumen technology" that will further improve plasmas when commerically introduced. 10 lumens per watt will give more brightness capabilities at lower energy cost and will improve contrast ratios, but not improve black levels, which are quite good nowadays ( {Particularly with Pioneer and Panasonic in that order).

I am waiting for this generation of plasmas before buying my next one, and hopefully some clarity and ubiquity on Hi Def DVDs, receivers, and displays and the smooth integration of HDMI 1.3 handshakes and the like between hardware and media working together.

A don't feel that an LCD is a serious consideration for home theater based on technology limitations.
Upgraded from the Fujitsu P50 to the Pio 60" Kuro Elite. The Kuros are simply the best right now.
No LCD comes even close. I have the Sharp 37GP1U in the bedroom and my girlfriend has the Sony Bravia XBR4. As nice as the Sony is, it doesn't even come close. The black levels on the plasma alone puts the LCD to shame.
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wouldn't really purchase any Plasma besides Pioneer and Fujitsu at this point. Just does everything better than everyone else, these do. Simply better blacks, less video noise, crushing, digital artifacts, and more accurate color. Yep, Pioneer and Fujitsu
Pioneer and Panasonic probably make the best of the mass produced monitors. I believe NEC was taken over by Pioneer and only 3-4 glass makers produce the plasmas for all the various companies. You pay a very large premium for fujitsu and runco sets. Ultimately it will be the scaler (and source material) that determines overall picture quality and that is where pioneer and fujitsu are probably better. That said I'm very happy with my Panasonic after I reset the picture calibrations. While many think the Pioneer elite Kuro is the best, at this time it is very expensive and some have had problems with certain issues discussed in other threads. The first 50" pioneer elite 1080 monitor PROFHD1 (now the older model)is on sale at 6ave.com for $2998. I still think you get a better buy with the built in tuner and scaler the other pioneer elite models as the monitors are priced higher and often for commercial use.
The best plasmas, in fact the best flat screens period, that I have seen are the new Pioneer Kuros - best color, best blacks, best shadow detail (BY FAR the best) and fewest artifacts. The Panny's are very nice, especially for their price point, but they don't have the shadow detail of the Pios, which are more expensive.

LCDs have improved a ton but after auditioning several over the last month I still feel strongly that the shadow detail just doesn't cut it - yet. Since I watch lots of movies that have dark or night scenes, this remains a deal killer for me for my primary display. The blacks on LCDs are much improved, however, just not as good as the best plasmas. The shadow detail has a ways to go, and the motion trails on the non 120hz displays are a drag too.
I'm pretty much onside with the brand reccomendations already made, re: Panasonic, Pioneer, Hitachi and Fujitsu.

That said, I would say that if you state that you're in the market for a 42 or 50-inch panel, consider going bigger still.

You might have dimensional or budgetary reasons for your choice, and that's fine, but many people unintentionally lowball their screen size choice, and are happier going 50-60 instead of 42-50.

42 just seems so small these days.
Pioneer Elite.
As a dealer for many Plasma brands. If you take into consideration reliability and best picture and not so much on best price. The winner hands-down is the Pioneer's followed by Panasonic. These two brands by a wide margin better the likes of Samsung, Sharp, LG, and Toshiba. Some Sony models are also quite good, however, they do not make a consumer plasma.
I would love to replace my 32" Sony Wega XBR television with a flat panel. But, every flat panel I've seen does not have any detail in the shadow areas.

Do any of these flat panels compete with my Sony Wega XBR for detail in the shadows?

Do plasmas have better shadow details than lcd's?
Thanks, Jeff
Jeff, I'm in the same boat as you. Have the exact same TV. Love it. But I guess those of us who haven't will be moving to a digital TV this year. But between the color and contrast shifts off axis with LCDs, and the lack of detail and definition in shadow areas for both LCD and plasma, I'm not quite sure what to do.
Runco. Quite simply. Not as well known as a brand, and a bit more expensive, but well worth it.
Tony, maybe we should post this as a new thread? jeff
Doing it many years - Fujitsu and Pioneer/Pioneer Elites, then down to Panasonic.
So I ended up getting the Pioneer Elite Plasma and I couldn't be more satisfied. I found it on sale for $1000 off of regular list price. I just got done viewing Cream at Royal Albert Hall (2005) in HD DVD and I can not get over the video and equally important audio. If you have the chance to see this dvd in HD it is a MUST. I was wondering if anyone out there has ever had their Pioneer professionally fine tuned and if so was there a big improvement? Curiosity is getting the better of me.
With this set, do not bother.....reall. It is good out of the box. Just do it yourself. Get one of those calibration DVD discs and be done with it. Usually I would say - YES DO IT, but not with this set. However I am not doubting that trained professional could do a better job then you.
Call is yours..........as always.
Pioneer Gold...Panny Silver...LG Bronze
Hands up for Pioneer Plasma Kuro series.
I cannot beleive no one mentioned the Fujitsu Aviamos.Saw one over the week end it is absolutely the best picture I have ever seen in a plasma or LCD for that matter.

Fujitsu (makers of the Aviamo line) have gotten out of the plasma business. They were excellent. That leaves Pioneer at the top alone.
Doing research a few years ago, I compared the outstanding Fujitsu vs. the Panasonic and YES hands down the Fujitsu had the better picture, BUT it was at a 40% premium ($10000 vs. $6000 for the 50 inchers at the time). There's NO WAY the Fujitsu was $4000 better than the Panasonic, so Panny was the direction I went.

What are the price differences between the Pioneer Elites vs. the commercial Pannys now a days anyway?
I ended up getting the Pioneer Elite and I coudn't be happier. The picture quality is amazing especially watching HD cable channels and HD dvds. Get one, you won't regret it.
I wound up doing the same thing. Got my 1150HD delivered yesterday. Didn't need 1080p (at my viewing distance), and the price was right. Looks great. Even standard def programming is not too bad! But the HD is awesome.
For what it's worth, I'll second what everyone above says about the Pioneers. The angels smiled on me last week when the on/off switch on my Sony 34" CRT TV went bad... and since I wasn't going to haul that 250 pound boat anchor to a repair shop... I gave it away as is.

I'd been looking at the Pioneer plasma's for months, so my decision was already made that when the Sony went, I'd get the Pioneer. Because of size restrictions, I got the 42" Pioneer 950HD, which is 720P.

I've read many reviews of Plasma's and LCD sets, where the reviews say the Sony CRT set still has the best picture quality. I now realize that's a bunch of bunk. Both TV and DVD quality on the 720P Pioneer is far superior to my old 1080P Sony CRT set.
Well I have to say that the picture on the 1150HD is every bit as good as I will ever need. I read over many of the articles on the difference of 720 vs 1080 and the only reason to get is blu ray. If you get a set like the 1150 the upscale makes it seem like 1080 and from a proper distance it is wonderful. It was interesting in reviews to see the reviewers comment that the detail on the 1150 was better than the 1080 sets
It's a great set; it should serve us very well for quite some time! Bottom line is the only thing better will probably be the 50" Elite coming out in July, and that will be twice the price of what an 1150HD is going for now (if not more). That's a LOT of cabbage. Will it be twice as good? Maybe, maybe not.
Pioneer has announced that they will no longer manufacture plasma screens. I don't think that means they won't sell them anymore, just that they will transfer production of the panels to another company. Hopefully the screen technology will be maintained and pioneer will still make the electronics.

I've been watching them for a while. I sure hope they don't take a turn downhill before I can buy one. Has anyone else heard any details?
Starting with the '09-'10 models they will be outsourcing the production of the glass to Matsushita (Panasonic). Panny has a much more efficient process for fabricating the glass. The ones built for Pioneer will be built to Pioneer's specs, with the technology for the glass licensed to Panny. Everything else (electronics, firmware, etc) is still being made by Pioneer and the sets will be built by Pioneer. Until Pioneer decides to stop building plasma displays altogether it will still be a premium marque for plasmas.
It look like the Pioneer will be only offering 1080p for their 2008 models in the 50" and 60" - it look like they are dropping the 720p and 42" for '08 - So, just curious what some of the Audiogon paid for their 720p (1150HD model) - I think I might get the last of the 720p model in June if the timing is good for me to purchase....
Wader, move now if possible. The 1150HDs are drying up fast. Vanns and Tweeter may still have them; if so they should be selling for around $2100-$2200.
Holy COW! - I just checked VANNS - OUT OF STOCK!!!! I will be calling Tweeter in Arizona tomorrow morning, don't know if they will ship or not - Best Buy still have them, but they are still selling them at $3499 - our local furniture store is selling elite and they have four left as of Wednesday (this was before the press release on the new model) - so, I will be calling them tomorrow as well... The '08 model will be at a premium price for awhile... I know a store in Portland and they are selling them for $2700... Thanks for the heads up!