Dec 16, 2012 2:32pm

Well, in most cases plasma has the better picture. Only if you would have a VERY alrge amount of light in the room and no way to control it would led be better. But, plasmas are known to cause eye or head issues for some people for real. So I am wondering if somehow the plasmas really caused this for me and somehow it just never heals. Because there aren't many cases at all of people sayingleds cause issues! But anyway MOST people have no probs with plasma, medically, either.

The drawbacks of plasmas are: 1. they can't get AS bright, but they still get bright enough as long as you don't have a huge amount of light. 2. they can have image retention or image burn-in, but it's far more rare in recent tvs. I really never hear of burn-in. I hear of image retention sometimes, but it's rare and then it goes away quickly. I kind of saw some on Panasonics I tried, but it was only when I turned the tv off I could see a shadow of the image for like 5 secondas then it was gone, and only then, not when watching tv.

The advantages of plasma, though, make a MUCH better picture. There is no light bleedthrough on the screen. It has an almost perfect viewing angle, where you can watch from any angle with no degredation of image quality. That good uniformity and viewing angles makes the picture much more life-like!

What I would DEFINITELY get if it didn't bother my head is the 50 inch ST50 plasma, which is $999 at Amazon and Best Buy. But I would say even the cheaper ones are "probably" better than most leds. Really the cheapest led which comes close to picture quality of plasma is the sony hx850 and you can't get it in 50 inch and even the 46 inch is like $1600 I think. And on that one the colors seemed off to me.

Dec 16, 2012 3:48pm

Excellent! Thanks for the reviews. The issue of light in the room, especially, since I hadn't even thought about that. It will be a living room, but it only gets some morning sun, and that's it. So it won't be too much of a problem, but if I need to I could add drapes that block out light to the windows.

The pictures on most of the sets look so much better than just a few years ago. I was thinking that the larger size would make it easier for my mother to see the pictures, as her vision is fading pretty badly but she still likes to watch. Half the time she can't understand what they're saying (even with the volume at full blast) and I end up explaining the plot. But a bigger picture would definitely help with seeing what's going on.

There seems to be a lot of good reviews for the ST50 as well. Especially for the money.

Well, I'm going to check out the advertising and see what's on sale in all the stores this week. There's no rush on buying, but I do know that this time of year makes for the best sales.

Thanks for your input, Mayo.


Dec 16, 2012 4:56pm

You're welcome. By the way, the Panasonics of this year (at least the ST, GT, and VT ones) have way more light output potential than others or 2011 Panasonics. When I tried the ST50 it seemed to be able t get a bright enough picture to the point where i personally wouldn't think it would get that bad even in quite a bit of light. But yeah most people say if you could possibly block the light with drapes or something else, it's especially ideal to get a plasma. I thought the 2011 ones were great too, but the ST50 blew me away so much I about went into shock. I still say it's a lot better picture than the SOny hx929, and that tv was about $3000 when it was first released, just for the 46 inch one. I am very tempted to buy the ST50 again, but I just don't see how my head issues would magically keep from coming back so it may be pointless risking returning yet another.

Oh one other sisue I forgot to mention about plasmas is they have a buzzing sound to them and some Panasonics (but I recall a samsung one doing it also) did it enough to bug me. It especially does it on bright scenes. Some claim to not ehar any buzzing, but i figure they must have hearing issues. lol because in the past year I've tried... I think 6 or more plasmas and every single one buzzed enough for me to hear it like 7 feet away, whereas some people insist they can't hear theirs unless right up by the tv.

I can't really think of many leds to suggest because really almost none were that great this year. Another thing to keep in mind, by the way, is it's hard to judge picture on tvs in stores. For one thing plasmas don't look their best in stores, usually, due to lighting and also they keep all of the tvs on vivid types of mdoes which is a more unrealistic picture. I used to keep my tvs on vivid, but then started using CNET settings which are calibrated (it won't be totally calibrated on one's tv, though, as settings won't be exactly the same result on each unit). When watching things in low lighting or total darkness the plasmas blow leds away big time because for one thing they don't have light bleeding through the tv which almost all LCDs do, whether led or not. Even the expensive hx929s all had a tiny bit of it.

These highkly rated tvs have VERY good blacks, by the way. That's what makes them amazing is that on older tvs black colors look bluish or too bright whereas the ST50 can get a very good black shade. The Sonys do too, in some scenes, and once you see them you realize just how much blacker they are than older tvs, while still not messing up shadow detail (on tvs with bad black levels, you can get them looking blacker but then you basically black out details in the picture on those tvs).

Dec 16, 2012 10:43pm

I also forgot to mention that when you have a lot of white on the screen, such as in hockey, the whites look more grayish. In most scenes it looks white, though. And yes plasma costs more energy-wise, but that's really overblown as for an entire year you probably pay about $20 extra. and you save many hundreds of dollars in the beginning anyway!

Dec 17, 2012 2:00am

Yes, I was just reading about the energy "issue." But that's ok by me, it's not a lot more money, and it seems that the TV gets a lot warmer than previously. This is good as it will help warm up the room, lol.

The buzzing sound will probably be more the issue, as I'm sensitive to unusual sounds. But I guess I'll just have to get used to it.

I'm also going to hook up my games to this TV - that way the mother can watch me play occasionally. She's watched me play the Zelda games - she likes the "little green person," meaning Link.  She hasn't a clue how it all works, but she finds it amusing.

Also, I'll probably start streaming movies on it, for the mother mostly. I understand that some of the tv's now come internet-ready, so that will add a nice dimension. Mom used to spend hours reading, but lately she hasn't, so I'm looking for other things to help entertain her at times when she wants that.

It seems that these larger tv's are heavy, and probably too much for me to handle on my own, so I'll probably have the store technician set it up.

What's your opinion on putting the TV on the wall, vs. using the stand that comes with it and setting it on tv furniture? The room this is going in is around 14' across, but the viewing distance from the sofa will probably be an optimal 8'.


Dec 17, 2012 2:25am

I'm sure if odum was still here he would offer to move it since he's so strong and all. lol

I moved it around quite a few times and it was definitely heavier than any of the other tvs I had, but it wasn't exactly horrible for me personally. But my back has issues now so I bet if I moved it currently it would hurt.

I always just use the stands, but a lot of people mount tvs on the wall, so i guess it's just more personal preference. Some guy from CNET mentioned recently to not put them above fireplaces for some reason... he tweeted it, but I didn't read to see why he said that. Maybe because they have to be high up for that? But I don't think weight will matter, as far as there ebing any risk of it falling.

Little annoyances bug me, so the buzzing kind of bothered me, but I have super hearing and it seems like it quit bothering me in the end. Like I said, i would definitely keep a plasma if not for my head issues, so the buzzing wasn't holding me back. BB and Amazon will take them back with no charge if you do end up getting one and returning it, but I know you wouldn't want tor eturn a million like me. lol If the buzzing is REALLY bad you should though (or exchange). SUpposedly you're not supposed to really hear it from 8 feet away over the sound of the shows.

Oh also plasmas are better for gaming EXCEPT you have to be more careful where you don't have the image retention. You'r really recommended to not do too much of one thing in a row for the first couple weeks, such as sitting and playing a game for hours in a row and also it's usually recommended to not even watch things with black bars for a while. I just had anything with black bars zoomed in for a week or two just to be safe. SOME PEOPLE will do something called "running slides" to "break in" a plasma, but most say that's just beign overly cautious and I never did anything like that.

Most people still get leds because they just don't ever realize how good the plasma picture is. Like i said, you usually can't even notice it in stores. Oh as another fyi, when OLED tvs come out THOSE are going to be better than led or plasma. But the cheapest ones will be many thousands of dolars for the first few years. I think it was going to be likle $8k for a 55 inch OLED.

Oh oops I got of the gaming point. the reason it's better for ghaming in mostw ays is 1. the input lag is usually less than leds and 2 the picture looks great.

And mos tvs out now do ahve streaming. I haven't been using it on those though because I got a blu ray player that also does. I may try my tv to see if its is better.

Dec 17, 2012 3:04pm

Input lag for video games?!  Oh-oh!


Dec 17, 2012 10:49pm

No matter what type of tv you get, I never notice it whatsoever in games such as zelda.

Dec 17, 2012 11:17pm

Oh thank goodness.


Jan 6, 2013 3:38pm

I need a tv that won't hurt my head. :(

Jan 6, 2013 4:44pm

How many hours a day do you look at it?


Jan 6, 2013 4:50pm

Very few. With my old tv I spent way more hours. I am at the computer a lot, but thatw as already true before these issues.

Feb 18, 2013 10:03am

Now starting March 3rd Best Buy will match practically everyone, including Amazon. But they lowered their return period from 30 days to 15.

Feb 24, 2013 12:50pm

If otis doesn't read this today, she is screwing ehrself over because for today only Sears has the 50ST50 for under $800. It has never been under $947 before and originally was like $1300+. I keep thinking of getting one, but there is a certain tv I am thinking of bidding on on ebay. And I already have other tvs.

Feb 24, 2013 1:28pm

Just signed on to send some messages, and saw this post.  That price sounds very good. I'm going to have to wait a bit to get one, though, so maybe the price will drop again in the coming months. Thanks for the info, Mayo.


Feb 24, 2013 3:01pm

No poblem. It probably won't, though, because it will be all sold out soon. But I think I am gonna not buy it becaus within the next month or so the 50ST60 will be out and even the RETAIL prce is $1149, so it may cost like $1000 some places and it will be better and come with 2 pairs of 3d glasses. I may get this other tv (used, though) if I win it on ebay, but will have to go to another city to pick up.

Feb 24, 2013 3:32pm

What I really want is the epson 5020e projector. I tried the 3020e and watched it at 100 inches a lot of the time. The 5030 has even better black levels and contrast. But it's nearly $3000!

Feb 26, 2013 9:13am

I just had an ultimate fail.

Mar 14, 2013 4:37pm

otis could be winning a free ST60 if she were retweeting panasonic tweets. I'm trying for it even though I pretty much settled on a tv..... although even still I find annoying issues with the pic.

Mar 25, 2013 11:01pm

Ended up finally finding one that does better for me, but now I am sad how much the extended warranty will cost since it's a sued tv. :( I feel like I can't risk going without the warranty because unless a problem is minor this is a tv which can't be fixed or would cost a tn more than even the expensive warranty, so I almost have to get it and then if this tv DOES ever break, yeah I get the money back for the tv prcie, but then I am back in this same boat of not being able to get one that doesnt bother my head.

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