Pioneer 50" Kuro vs. Samsung 58" 650 plasmas
OK guys, I need some opinions. I'm about to pull the trigger on my first flat panel set, and I'm curious what you would do in my situation. I'm trying to decide between a 50" Pioneer Kuro (PDP5020FD) plasma that has been marked down and the latest Samsung 58" plasma (PN58A650). I know that Pioneer is considered the king of plasma sets, but my seating position is a good thirteen feet from where the TV will reside.
The salesman told me that the biggest quality difference between the Pioneer and the Samsung would be the color depth advantage of the Kuro. Aside from that the two sets are pretty even--except for the size advantage of the Samsung. (I can't afford the 60" Pioneer.)
On the money end of things, I'll be doing the interest-free monthly payment thing.
Pioneer $137.65/month for two years = $3303.78 tax included.
Samsung $104.88/month for three years = 3773.85 tax included.
The above rates include the extended 4 year warranty--half of which will be refunded if I don't need to use it during the first two years of ownership. (Ultimate Electronics)
OK, what do you think? What would you do? Do any of you have a Samsung plasma?
PS: I have until Friday to make a decision.
My gut feeling and first answer would have been to get the Kuros. However considering the seating distance, the Samsung may make more sense. If we are speaking purely from a quality stand point, the samsung is not in the same class as the Pioneer. Black levels are better, as are color depth and accuracy with the Pioneer.
Originally Posted by DPM
Titan Reference 3D 1080p projector
200" SI Black Diamond II screen
Grass Valley Cell based Pro HD A/V switcher
Audyssey MultiEQ XT32 EQ module
Audyssey XT32 Sub module
9 Onkyo M-5099 power amp
9 Onkyo M-510 power amp
9 Onkyo M-508 power amp
5 custom CAL amps for subs
3 custom 3 way horn DSP hybrid monitors
8 custom 3 way horn DSP hybrid surrounds
3 custom 15" sealed FFEC servo subs
4 custom 15" H-PAS FFEC servo subs
THX Style Baffle wall
Sir Terrence sums it up nicely.
how much extra each month would the 6020 be?
how uch is that 4 year extended warranty? you can get the 5020 for $2500 from some authorized online Pioneer dealers. If you want links to them let me know
Originally Posted by DPM
The extended warranty for the Pioneer is $399.99 and for the Samsung it's $499.99. The price on the Pioneer alone without warranty is $2694.94, and the price for the Samsung is $3194.94 ($3038.39 if I get the warranty). I'd rather not purchase the TV online because I want to be able to talk to someone face-to-face if there are any problems.
As I said before, half of the cost of the extended warranty will be refunded if I don't use it within two years of date of purchase.
I'm going to go out and take a second look at both sets today. I also want to check out the Panasonic offerings again. I have until tomorrow to make a decision before the price on the Pioneer goes back up.
PS: The first few reviews I've read on the new Samsung 650 series have been quite positive (very accurate color, many adjustment options) with only the black level getting any criticism.
The online dealers I am familiar with have EXCELLENT customer service. And a lot of proof to back it up. If something was wrong with the set, they will make sure you are 100% satisfied.
I would recommend a Panasonic before a Samsung.
Originally Posted by DPM
That $2500 might even be less now that BB is selling them for $2700.
Originally Posted by Duds
Generally, the Pioneers are at the top of the pack for picture quality, though the Panny and Sammy plasmas are no slouches. I will say though that Samsung has probably made the biggest improvement with its most recent plasma series. Last year, they were a clear step behind the Pios and Pannys, but that's no longer the case. A lot of the regulars on the AVS Forum now prefer the Samsungs over the Panasonics, citing the big improvement in color accuracy (the Pannys are still cited for superior brightness and contrast).
As Terrence said, a 13' distance screams for a larger size. At 1080p resolution, Panasonic recommends a viewing distance of 6.5' on a 50" screen. As much as the Pioneer maintains a picture quality advantage across its entire lineup, it's not quite as clearcut as in past years. Pioneer has continued to improve and refine its sets, but Panasonic made a huge leap forward last year and Samsung seems to have taken an equally big step forward this year. If you need a 58" screen size, the Samsung will do fine.
If you plan on doing extensive screen calibrations, see if you can download an owner's manual on the Samsung and check on what settings you can adjust. The Pioneer Elites have an unsurpassed array of user accessible controls for screen calibration (controls that on other brands require hacking into the service menus, which will invalidate your warranty). I know that the garden variety Pioneers have a less extensive set of user controls, but they're still better than what comes with the Panasonics.
I buy almost everything online and with care almost never have any problems. You save sales tax from most dealers and get free shipping. I also never buy an extended warranty, sort of self insurance. The money I save far exceeds any rare repairs that I might need. The repair record on brand name plasmas is excellent, about 2% repair rate. If plasmas fail it is usually in the first year while under warranty.
At your distance forget the 50" period! Yes, the Pioneer might have a very slight edge over Panasonic but you won't notice it unless you are doing critical comparisons. Wooch gave a great update on the current state of plasmas. I would still choose Panasonic over Samdung.
This Panasonic TH-58PZ800U is the unit I would consider. It has a THX mode for accurate built-in calibration and you can always purchase a pro calibration if you are so inclined (I don't think you would need it).
Of the three lowest price dealers below I prefer 6th Ave. or Adorama. I have used them both. Occasionally they will try to sell you accesories, cables, etc. If you prefer not to just be firm with them. Go to Monoprice or BlueJeans online for great prices on quality conncectors.
Whatever set you buy be sure to follow the first 100 hours break-in procdures to insure you have no problems with IR (image retention) or burn-in. Send me a PM if you need advice on this.
At $2688 shipped to your house with no sales tax (in my city, 9%) that would save you about $1086 less your warranty rebate of about $250 = a savings of $836 if my math is correct. That pays for one hell of a big repair if in fact ever needed. Of course this all presumes you can come up with the $2688.
For $147 more you can get the Panasonic TH-58PZ850U with studio reference mode and pro setting. Not sure if you really would need this. These guys are a little more pushy on the extras.
A friend at work has the 58" Panny 600U 768p plasma that he bougth from Costco. The picture quality is superb. Panasonic seems to have even better PQ in their 58" sets. Good luck with your new plasma. I would go with the 58" Sammy over the 50" Pioneer.
At the distance you will be away from the tv, I would seriously consider a 768p tv
Well, today I pulled the trigger and purchased the 58" Samsung 650 plasma from Ultimate Electronics. I also added a Monster Cable HTS 3600 power conditioner to go along with my voltage regulator. I signed up for the no interest 36 month installment plan, so the pain of purchase will be well spread out. In fact, that was the deciding factor as far as WHO was going to get my business.
Frye's had a better price, but their customer service stunk. RC Willey had excellent customer service, but they would only give me an 18 month payment plan, and their price was the highest (by $100.00). Ultimate Electronics also had great customer service. But the addition of the second best price in town and the 36 month payment plan clinched the deal. They also sold me the Monster Cable power conditioner at $100.00 below retail.
So yes, I stuck with the bricks-and-mortar option. In these tough economic times I wanted to do my share for the economy by offering my support (through my purchase) to a vanishing breed--the well-informed salesman. (I know that probably sounds corny, but it's how I feel.)
Anyway, the Samsung will be delivered to my home on Tuesday. Hopefully, the delivery guys will be willing to move my current TV--a 200 pound Sony 34" widescreen CRT--to another room.
Heck, in all the B&M dealers I've been in over the past few years it seems to be an endangered species. With a couple of hours of reading I usually know more than 99% of the salespeople I talk to.
Originally Posted by DPM
That is why I just bought my new 5 channel 200/350 watts per channel power amp for $699 with free shipping and no tax from an online direct seller. Try that trick at a B&M dealer. Besides it is made in China instead of Korea.
If that Samdung smells when you turn it on look for dried KimChee inside.
Seriously, hope you enjoy your new plasma. Samsung has come a long way in the past few years and makes an excellent plasma. You won't be sorry that you went for the 58". Just stay out of the stores and don't look at the new 65" plasmas! Hope that salesman told you about the recommended break-in procedures for plasma. Enjoy your new toy!
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