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  1. #1
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    Review/Pics - 50" Panny Plasma

    My original thread, " Pulled The Trigger ... 50" Plasma", has become so infested with political haranguing and Pizio plasma trash talk that I thought I should begin anew with my findings on the Panny 50" 768p TH-C50HD18 plasma (Costco model).

    Setup: My 42" JVC 480p plasma is setup in the living room and I used it for some comparison on broadcast SDTV and also tried it with the newBlu Ray player via component. The new Panny is next to it and connected to an old Panny DVD player with component cables. I just bought a new Panny Blu-Ray player, DMP-BD30, that is also hooked up with HDMI to the new Panny. My receiver is elderly and does not have HDMI. Unfortunately, the BD30 does not have in player decoding and I'll have to return it to Costco after my testing. I will look to the new Panny DMP-BD55 or the new OPPO BDP-83 when they are out. I have Comcast expanded cable with no cable box and no premium channels. It does have ESPN, History, A&E, etc. The Panny's QAM tuner allows me to receive non-scrambled HD channels. I did not test any audio (except for the Panny built-in speakers) as I know that is a given and I was mainly interested in the video performance of the 768p Panny. I broke in this set with 125 hours of full screen program material with the Panny set at "cinema" and at below average settings. Before my evaluations I set it to custom or cinema with normal settings.

    Disclaimer: Understand that this is a $999 entry level model, same as the Panny TH-50PX80U with a couple minor differences. The regular model has 3 HDMI inputs versus 2 HDMI inputs on the Costco model. The regular model has a shiny black frame and the Costco model has a satin black non-gloss frame. Otherwise they are identical. Costco inlcudes their 2 year warranty and 90 day return.

    More disclaimers: This entry level model has the basic picture controls but not the extra bells and whistles as the higher Panny models. I did not calbirate it except with my own eyes. Later I will calibrate it with my Avia and/or THX discs. My main interest was to evaluate the resolution of the 768p model. From my reading of many, many pro and user online posts I know the picture is considered excellent with owner or pro calibration. I will handle that later. I did not get into minute detail as to whether there were artifacts in the 5th chapter, 2nd scene on the left side of the screen where the camera had panned the purple picket fence, etc.

    My main concerns were as follows:

    Built-in Speaker Quality My wife likes to watch most of her TV progams on the TV's speakers and not use the surround system (this is one reason she did not like our former Panny pro model without speakers and tuner). I do the same late at night and also for talk shows, etc. I found the speakers on this Panny to be plenty adequate for this purpose with adequate volume and clarity.

    PQ on SD Broadcasts The picture quality on standard definition broadcasts was good to excellent, depending on the source. On obvious programs broadcast for HD with high quality signals such as NFL sports and live news casts it was impressive. Proof that the source is as important as the native resolution of the set. This new Panny was actually better than the JVC (I tested them side by side and even switched the cable leads). This surpirsed me since the JVC had very good PQ on SDTV. I am very pleased with the performance of this new Panny on SD. As you might know, many budget sets look very good on HD sources but rather disappointing on SD sources. I found big differences as I changed cable leads and had to be very careful to get equal signal quality. I wll definitely buy some new high quality cable connectors for both of my sets.

    Set Appearance My wife has no problem with my HT purchases as long as the product is attractive in our living room. We did not like the silver sets or the ones with piano black frames. Who wants reflections from the frame while you are viewing. This Costco model has a satin, non-gloss black frame. It is very subdued, makes the picture pop and is very nice looking according to my wife. A thin classy looking decorative strip across the lower front is reflective but is tilted up and does not reflect to the viewers. The plastic stand is not an exact color match but is not obtrusive once installed. Overall we are extremely pleased with the beautiful appearance of this set.

    PQ On HD Broadcast PQ on HD broadcasts was very good to excellent, but was slightly soft and a little below what I would have liked to see. After a lot of viewing I realized this lack of perfection was due more to the source than the set IMO. Other users have reported great HD broadcast PQ, so either I have not the best cable signals or this set is less than tops on HDTV (I'm being pretty picky here). I have seen OTA HD broadcasts on my JVC plasma that were amazingly good. The dealer had a store top antenna. I watched a 720p NFL broadcast that was very impressive on the 480p. The HD channels that I am receiving are obvioulsy not that impressive. Too bad we sit here and can't get top quality HD signals while the cable companies try to squeeze every buck they can out of us. The HD broadcasts in Japan are 5 years ahead of us and of higher quality.

    Blu Ray Playback I rented two discs each of two movies, one regular DVD and one Blu Ray. Both Nim's Island and Dead Man's Chest were rated as 5 stars on video quality for the BD. I played them back simultaneously, hooked up to the new Panny, switching back between the BD (via) HDMI and SD DVD (via component on the older Panny player). The difference was very obvious and the new Panny really shined here. Later I set the Panny Blu Ray player to 1080/24p and it seemed to be even slightly sharper and have a bit more depth to the picture. I would judge the PQ on BD as excellent to superb. However, as good as it was I see room for improvement. No looking thru a window here (maybe at 1620p or 2430p) . Even without calibration the Panny set was very impressive. Very natural color, excellent contrast and brightness, very good blacks and sharp resolution clarity. There was a black setting in the menu with choices of "light" or "dark." I thought both were a little too strong and somewhere in the middle would have been perfect. I was also impressed how great the Blu Ray playback looked on the JVC It was somewhat difficult to see the difference between 480p and 768p with the BD. Anyone who still has a quality 480p will be truly amazed at the PQ with Blu Ray on their EDTV! The only glitch seemd to be that the sharpness contol did not work. The manual said it might not have any effect depending on the source. So I hooked up the old Panny DVD player to the new Panny with only a single composite cable and regular SD DVD. Finally I could see a slight change in the sharpness. What simply amazed me was the high quality of the playback on the Panny with the lowly DVD and compostie cable.

    768p Versus 1080p When I bought the 768p Panny the 1080p Panny was $600 more. Now the difference Is $400. When I went back to buy the Blu Ray player I saw that they had the two Panny sets side by side. I had my remote so that I could test the sharpness control. It was not busy and I spent about two hours comparing the two sets. I used the remote to get them as close to the exact same picture as possible. My Costco uses an in house HD program. Whether standing back as far as I could, about 10 feet, or up close, about 4 feet, I could not tell any difference. If anything the 7680p might have been slightly clearer. This could have been due to cables, etc. I asked a number of customers, none who could see any difference or also very slightly clearer on the 768p. Next to the 1080p was a $2500 Pioneer Kuro PDP 5010FD (my mother used to pour Kuro syrup on our pancakes...actually my wife says "kuro" means black in Japanese). It had been set apparently on a cinema setting (not super bright as most the other sets) and it looked very close to the way I had the two Panny's set. The PQ on the Panny seem equal to the Kuro set but then I did not have access to the remote.

    Miscellaneous Findings This set is actually 5 lbs lighter than my 42" set. There are two handles on the rear (I used to date a gal that had a couple of handles on her rear also...think someone had turned on her stretch mode) that help in lifting. The Panny 768p display/Panny Blu Ray player gave impressive PQ on SD DVD's. This Panny has no fan and runs extremely cool and also quiet. You can barely hear an electronic buzz if you get your ear right against the rear ventilation holes. The screen is non-reflective and was no problem at all in our room. We have east facing windows with a tall forested hill and only indirect outside light. Not a trace of burn-in or IR (image retention).

    So the big qustion: is the 1080p a visable improvement over the 768p? With HD broadcast from our cable provider, I doubt it. Perhaps the HD digital package would bring a better signal. Short of comparing them side by side with a Blu Ray source, I can't really make a definitive choice. However, my inner voice says maybe I would see a small improvement. Is that worth buying and dragging the 1080p here and doing a side by side comparison? Well, if the price on the 1080p gets down $200 more I might be very tempted (or just take it back and exchange them). Stay tuned.

    In the meantime I'll post some photos below or in a second post below. I'm not exactly sure how to post multiple photos but I'll try. Sorry, it is impossible to get accurate photos this way, but you'll get the idea and Rich insisted on pics.

    RR6

    Remote Control A number of revews I have read complained about the lack of backlighting and the fact that this remote wouldn't control everything on the planet including Panasonic lawn mowers (no wait a minute.....oh, that's Honda). Well, that is exactly why I really like this remote a lot. After some time I'll enter the info onto my Home Theater MX-500 and not use this much. Meanwhile, it is plain black with very clear buttons. The Ch + Vol are right in the middle, large and easy to see. The other frequently used buttons, like the format (aspect), TV/Video, Menu and Return are easy to remember and locate even in a dark room once you've used it several times. When I was breaking it in I cycled the power on and off frequently. My wife said that her Panasonic rice cooker was also going on and off.....a so!.

    Viewing Distance During 90% of my testing I was either 7-8 feet or 3-4 feet away from the display. Yes, I actually sat about 3-4 feet away when trying to check the smallest items for picture clarity. When the TV is in the permanent postion the sofa wilI be about 10 feet. I also checked from my computer desk, 16 feet and the kitchen (where my wife spends a great deal of time cooking while watching TV), 24-27 feet (yes, the volume was fine and the sound clear at this distance). I would even want to go for a 58" if we had a little more room in our condo living room. Bigger is definitely better with Blu Ray. On the other hand the thought of watching Rachel Ray at 8 feet on a 58" TV is simply revolting!
    Last edited by RoadRunner6; 10-14-2008 at 08:54 PM.

  2. #2
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    Panny 50" 768p Plasma Photos
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Review/Pics - 50" Panny Plasma-panny-50-plasma-012.jpg  

  3. #3
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    Soory I can't figure out how to lump them together.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Review/Pics - 50" Panny Plasma-test-blu-ray-007.jpg  

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    Another
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Review/Pics - 50" Panny Plasma-test-blu-ray-003.jpg  

  5. #5
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    And Another (look at the cracked lower lip)
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Review/Pics - 50" Panny Plasma-test-blu-ray-005.jpg  

  6. #6
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    More?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Review/Pics - 50" Panny Plasma-panny-50-plasma-006.jpg  

  7. #7
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    This Panny has no fan, lots of ventallation holes and runs very cool. It only gets slightly warm after many hours of operation.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Review/Pics - 50" Panny Plasma-panny-50-plasma-001.jpg  
    Last edited by RoadRunner6; 10-13-2008 at 11:23 PM.

  8. #8
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    Sorry, I am taking up so much space here. There might not be any room for Pix to make positive comments.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Review/Pics - 50" Panny Plasma-panny-50-plasma-004.jpg  

  9. #9
    Forum Regular audio amateur's Avatar
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    Nice review mate, cheers!

  10. #10
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    Glad to hear you are enjoying your new set!!!

  11. #11
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    Now...

    Now THAT'S a review. Good on ya M8. Glad you pulled the trigger, glad you like your choice. Many years of happy "awestruck" viewing.

    Da Worfster

  12. #12
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    Good stuff RR6.

    Ya know, you can always trust Panasonic to put things together right. The thing just looks so well constructed.

    Two things... I SURE hope you're gonna upgrade whatever's plugged into the Composite jacks (no, I haven't read your review yet), and... could you have posted pictures of anyone uglier than Jack Sparrow?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich-n-Texas
    no, I haven't read your review yet
    Oh sure, just look at the pictures! Where have I heard that before? (that is actually an older three RCA cable into the component jacks for testing DVD versus BD on the same movie)

    RR6
    Last edited by RoadRunner6; 10-14-2008 at 06:41 AM.

  14. #14
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
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    Great review. I've also been looking at the Pannys, Once you make the calibration adjustments, the PQ on Panasonic's plasmas can be quite stunning. In your case, you should definitely stick with the Avia calibration disc. The THX Optimizer tests are inconsistently done (and they don't include the color filter), since they are supposedly optimized to each individual movie title rather than benchmark standards -- I would avoid them.

    I've been putting off the upgrade because with a baby at home and my wife only working half time, our budget's been going towards other things. But, the 1080p Panny 50" is now down to $1,500 and Costco also has an additional $200 coupon in this month's circular. I see an early holiday present in the works ...
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  15. #15
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    Well, first and foremost, thanks for the most comprehensive and well thought-out review we've seen 'round these parts in a hot minute. Great work...and I'm glad you're liking the new set.Congrats.

    Do either of the units have an RGB input?
    So, I broke into the palace
    With a sponge and a rusty spanner
    She said : "Eh, I know you, and you cannot sing"
    I said : "That's nothing - you should hear me play piano"

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    Thanks guys for the kind comments.

    Bobsticks, the model progression is 80U (same as my Costco model), 85U, 800U and 850U. Only the 800U and 850U have a mini D-sub input. I'm computer challenged but I presume that is the same as an RGB input.

    Woochifer, thanks much for your comments and advice. You might have concluded correctly that I presumed I would be able to improve the PQ with calibration, either Avias or ISF. Thanks for your comments on the THX screens. However, my primary concern right now was to determine if I wanted to stay with 768p or go with 1080p. That is why I concentrated on the perceived clarity and definition. I spent a lot of time looking at certain scenes like facial close-ups, beards and scenes with text, etc that were great for evaluating sharpness in the PQ. I presumed (maybe incorrectly) that this would not be significantly improved in the calibration process. I have a big question for you and any one else with your knowledge: Will the calibration with an Avia disc or pro ISF calibration, as well as impoving color, contrast, etc., also improve the perceived definition of the display?

    Thanks in advance for clearing this up for me.

    When I was at Costco yesterday the 768p was back down to $999 and the 1080p was down even farther to $1399 with in store reduction with that coupon. I hope maybe that it will be down another $100-$200 before or after Christmas. It will then be a no-brainer for me.

    I have been financially challenged for years and have developed by necessity into a big bang for the buck guy (I've been a blue collar.worker for the last several decades and my wife cannot work). I think there is a line of diminishing returns on HT equipment but that line is significantly above my financial level. I would move up a lot if I had the funds. However, I'm very pleased with the performance I realized given the money output. It makes it more fun and rewarding for me when I have to put lots of research and bird dogging into each purchase to get the best price/performance results.

    RR6

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    My forgotten comments about the remote control will be entered in above review tonight. Done.

    Note The above photos were intended only to roughly represent the superb clarity of this display with Blu Ray playback. No photo can reproduce with any accuracy the actual PQ (including color accuracy, contrast, blacks, etc.) of the display image. Thank you for shopping at Walmart and have a pleasant day.
    Last edited by RoadRunner6; 10-15-2008 at 07:05 AM.

  18. #18
    Forum Regular pixelthis's Avatar
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    Cool

    IT looks like a nicely built set, but I wouldn't settle for 768 when you can have 1080p(which does make a real difference, trust me)
    You can blame your cable for pic deficencies, but once using BLU
    there is no place to hide.
    Your pic is softer because its a plasma.
    This is called "filmlike" by some on this board instead of what it is, lack of detail. I thought this was what you plasma fanboys were looking for.
    And a comment on pic adjustment, you need to turn down the RED
    a TAD. otherwise the pic looks pretty good.
    And turn the sharpness control off, ALL THESE THINGS DO IS MAKE VIDEO NOISE MORE VISIBLE.
    And I havent seen a modern TV with a fan yet.
    DLP sure, but I am talkin modern.
    Oh well, what matters is that you are happy.
    Not gonna cut down your TV, make any rude comments.
    Congrats
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  19. #19
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    In my review I stated, "it is impossible to get accurate photos."

    I was very hesitant to even post any photos of movies scenes because there is no way to get a photo that is even remotely close to the actual picture quality. I did so only because I tried to show photos that might give a general idea of the sharpness of the PQ on Blu Ray playback (and also Rich-n-Texas said I had to have pics). That is why I posted photos of facial closeups. I would have posted a photo of Jodie Foster's face and all of its imperfections but I didn't want to terrify anyone.

    If you know anything about photography you would realize taking a shot of the screen during a movie and attempting to reproduce that shot accurately is impossible let alone to transfer it online and then have some member look at it on their computer screen and have anything remotely resembling the original scene that I saw with my own little eyeballs. (those are the only balls on my body that are little). Most photographers calibrate their computer screens on which they display photos. LCD computer screens are notorious for inaccurate color on photos.

    The photo of Jack Sparrow for example is very washed out and nothing like the image on the display. Need I say more?

    I was afraid that some "expert" would come on this thread and think my photos were an accurate representation of the PQ of the display. Well folks, that expert has arrived!

    RR6

  20. #20
    Forum Regular pixelthis's Avatar
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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by RoadRunner6
    In my review I stated, "it is impossible to get accurate photos."

    I was very hesitant to even post any photos of movies scenes because there is no way to get a photo that is even remotely close to the actual picture quality. I did so only because I tried to show photos that might give a general idea of the sharpness of the PQ on Blu Ray playback (and also Rich-n-Texas said I had to have pics). That is why I posted photos of facial closeups. I would have posted a photo of Jodie Foster's face and all of its imperfections but I didn't want to terrify anyone.

    If you know anything about photography you would realize taking a shot of the screen during a movie and attempting to reproduce that shot accurately is impossible let alone to transfer it online and then have some member look at it on their computer screen and have anything remotely resembling the original scene that I saw with my own little eyeballs. (those are the only balls on my body that are little). Most photographers calibrate their computer screens on which they display photos. LCD computer screens are notorious for inaccurate color on photos.

    The photo of Jack Sparrow for example is very washed out and nothing like the image on the display. Need I say more?

    I was afraid that some "expert" would come on this thread and think my photos were an accurate representation of the PQ of the display. Well folks, that expert has arrived!

    RR6

    RICH said you had to have pics.
    Theres your error, listening to rich in his own mind(check the market)
    And yes screen captures can be a poor representation of PQ, I
    know that you big silly, but you still need to turn down the
    RED

    It also helps to use a tripod and a freezframed image.
    What I said about sharpness still applies.
    AGAIN congrats on your new toy.
    Wont ridicule you or do nuthin to spoil the day.
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    How did you determine that I should turn down the red? (not by looking at the photo...we already agree that you cannot judge color accuracy from the photo...ESP?) Can you explain please?

    I am amateur photographer with 40 years of experience. When I took those pics I used the self timer mode (eliminates camera shake) on a quality Sony digital camera which was mounted by a RRS 9-E bidirectional plate to a tripod system, consisting of a RRS B2 LR II lever release clamp, Markins M-10 ballhead and a Benro C228-n6 carbon fiber tripod (Gitzo knockoff). Total cost, $845 not including camera.

    http://reallyrightstuff.com/QR/04.html

    http://reallyrightstuff.com/QR/03.html

    http://www.markins.com/2.0/eng/produ...heads/m10.html

    http://www.benro.cn/ENbenro/AA_ProductShow.asp?ID=50 (C-228n6 is North American version of C-258n6)

    The photo of the bearded character in Dead Man's Chest was shot at ISO200, flash off, 1/40th second, F2.8, VGA resolution (computer/e-mail size) and overcast white balance. The remaining photos were all shot at the same settings except some were at 1/6 second thru 1/60 second, -1.0EV and auto white balance or incandescent white balance. All shots were with Blu Ray disc in pause mode.

    Note The above photos were intended only to roughly represent the superb clarity of this display with Blu Ray playback. No photo can reproduce with any accuracy the actual PQ (including color accuracy, contrast, blacks, etc.) of the display image. Thank you for shopping at Walmart and have a pleasant day.

    I think it's so upstanding that you are in a ridicule free mode!

    RR6

    Oh, BTW, I am a member of the Nikonians (Nikon owner's community).
    Last edited by RoadRunner6; 10-16-2008 at 04:19 PM.

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    News clip from Sound and Vision Magazine

    October 10, 2008
    Boomtime for Plasma
    Even with the global economy on increasingly shaky ground, a new study out of China shows that — not only are plasma sales booming as LCD sales fall — plasma sales are actually hitting historical highs.

    While you can debate on which is better/cheaper/blacker/thinner/sexier/brighter, it seems plasma sales are going strong, according to a report from DisplaySearch, a market research firm.

    Is it technology-driven, or an effect of the economy?

    Part of it's simple supply and demand. Samsung and LG both shipped more plasma units recently. As a result, the prices for similar sized screens favor plasma over LCD, by about 25%. In this economy, who doesn't want to save 25%?

    In most viewing rooms, plasma works fine, and with better prices, why wouldn't sales be booming? —Leslie Shapiro


    RR6
    Last edited by RoadRunner6; 10-16-2008 at 06:46 AM.

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    LCD IS DEAD!!!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by RoadRunner6
    News clip from Sound and Vision Magazine

    October 10, 2008
    Boomtime for Plasma
    Even with the global economy on increasingly shaky ground, a new study out of China shows that — not only are plasma sales booming as LCD sales fall — plasma sales are actually hitting historical highs.

    While you can debate on which is better/cheaper/blacker/thinner/sexier/brighter, it seems plasma sales are going strong, according to a report from DisplaySearch, a market research firm.

    Is it technology-driven, or an effect of the economy?

    Part of it's simple supply and demand. Samsung and LG both shipped more plasma units recently. As a result, the prices for similar sized screens favor plasma over LCD, by about 25%. In this economy, who doesn't want to save 25%?

    In most viewing rooms, plasma works fine, and with better prices, why wouldn't sales be booming? —Leslie Shapiro


    RR6

  24. #24
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    Very nice review! Thanks for taking the time to post it for the community.

    Oh, and not to be picky, but I think your mom poured Karo, not Kuro syrup on your pancakes. Yummy!

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by RoadRunner6
    Thanks guys for the kind comments.

    Bobsticks, the model progression is 80U (same as my Costco model), 85U, 800U and 850U. Only the 800U and 850U have a mini D-sub input. I'm computer challenged but I presume that is the same as an RGB input.

    Woochifer, thanks much for your comments and advice. You might have concluded correctly that I presumed I would be able to improve the PQ with calibration, either Avias or ISF. Thanks for your comments on the THX screens. However, my primary concern right now was to determine if I wanted to stay with 768p or go with 1080p. That is why I concentrated on the perceived clarity and definition. I spent a lot of time looking at certain scenes like facial close-ups, beards and scenes with text, etc that were great for evaluating sharpness in the PQ. I presumed (maybe incorrectly) that this would not be significantly improved in the calibration process. I have a big question for you and any one else with your knowledge: Will the calibration with an Avia disc or pro ISF calibration, as well as impoving color, contrast, etc., also improve the perceived definition of the display?

    Thanks in advance for clearing this up for me.
    The calibration process is about getting all of the settings optimized so that they are tuned to the same specs that the mastering engineers use at their production desks. In general, TVs leave the factory set to a "torch mode" that has the brightness and sharpness dialed way up. This is not for optimal picture quality, but rather for standing out in a retail showroom or brightly lit big box store. (Generally, only high end stores and occasional midlevel stores calibrate their displays for the most realistic comparisons)

    Different manufacturers use different default settings (and these settings will even vary between models from the same manufacturer), which is why calibration is so essential. It basically optimizes the picture to the same standard benchmarks that the studios use.

    Calibrating your TV won't reveal any new details or increase the resolution. It will simply give you the optimal color balances and let your TV deliver ITS best possible picture quality. The first time I calibrated my TV from the factory defaults, it was literally like watching a brand new TV -- the picture quality improvement was that dramatic.

    The difference between using a calibration disc and going with an ISF calibration will also depend on the set. Some manufacturers allow for more detailed control over the picture adjustments (Pioneer Elite is by far the best in this regard), while others are shipped with settings that allow for the standard controls to come pretty close to benchmark performance (I recall that Hitachi and/or Toshiba was supposedly pretty good). Other TVs benefit greatly from ISF calibration because a lot of the necessary adjustments are buried within the service menus (need special codes to enter the service menus, and you invalidate your warranty if you mess around with them).

    I recall other posters mentioning that the older Panasonic models looked good after using a calibration disc, but were stunning after an ISF calibration. On the AVS Forum, I've seen other comments mentioning that the newer Panasonic's factory settings are now closer to the benchmark standards than before. No idea how much the ISF calibration improves the picture compared to their older models.

    Quote Originally Posted by RoadRunner 6
    When I was at Costco yesterday the 768p was back down to $999 and the 1080p was down even farther to $1399 with in store reduction with that coupon. I hope maybe that it will be down another $100-$200 before or after Christmas. It will then be a no-brainer for me.

    I have been financially challenged for years and have developed by necessity into a big bang for the buck guy (I've been a blue collar.worker for the last several decades and my wife cannot work). I think there is a line of diminishing returns on HT equipment but that line is significantly above my financial level. I would move up a lot if I had the funds. However, I'm very pleased with the performance I realized given the money output. It makes it more fun and rewarding for me when I have to put lots of research and bird dogging into each purchase to get the best price/performance results.

    RR6
    If you're happy with your TV and financially challenged, I would stick with what you got. The ~$1,300 that you would spend upgrading the display from 768p to 1080p would probably be better served upgrading the rest of your video chain to HD, if you haven't done so already. 1080p isn't going away, and prices will continue to decline. In the meantime, maximizing what you already have won't cost you much.
    Wooch's Home Theater 2.0 (Pics)
    Panasonic VIERA TH-C50FD18 50" 1080p
    Paradigm Reference Studio 40, CC, and 20 v.2
    Adire Audio Rava (EQ: Behringer Feedback Destroyer DSP1124)
    Yamaha RX-A1030
    Dual CS5000 (Ortofon OM30 Super)
    Sony UBP-X800
    Sony Playstation 3 (MediaLink OS X Server)
    Sony ES SCD-C2000ES
    JVC HR-S3912U
    Directv HR44 and WVB
    Logitech Harmony 700
    iPhone 5s/iPad 3
    Linksys WES610



    The Neverending DVD/BD Collection

    Subwoofer Setup and Parametric EQ Results *Dead Link*

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