• 03-26-2011, 03:10 AM
    IRG
    Thoughts on the Panasonic TC-P42S30
    I'm shopping for a new set - I'm leaning towards plasma (at the moment) but haven't ruled out lcd either. I think the optimal size for me is right around 42", maybe 46" but definitely no bigger. I don't want the set to overpower this small living room.

    So this Panasonic model looks pretty good to me: http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Panasoni...ustomerreviews

    Haven't seen a review on cnet, maybe there's another source? I know some older Panasonic plasma models have had issues with long term reliability, but hopefully this has been solved with these newer sets.

    LG makes some nice 42" sets too, LCD, so I'll consider them too. Samsung makes a new 43" plasma now too, but the Panasonic seems like it might be the better model. I'm basing these sets at Best Buy, not much else to choose from locally, there's a Sears too, but it's pretty pathetic. There are two local shops, one sells only Sony (which I like too, but no 42" models) and one other shop I haven't checked out yet but will today.

    THoughts on this model, or other good sets in the 42" range that are $1k or less.
  • 03-26-2011, 01:26 PM
    Woochifer
    Actually, the reliability record on the Panny plasmas has been at or near the top of the industry for years. And they're very well regarded for the picture quality. You'll do fine with that choice. I've had mine for more than two years, and performance is great.

    I'm not sure if Samsung makes 1080p plasmas in that size, I know that they make "720p" in that size. From what I've read, the Samsung plasmas have more thorough color saturation, while the Panasonics have darker black levels and contrast, as well as higher maximum light output.
  • 03-26-2011, 02:02 PM
    IRG
    Thanks. Closest I can compare through BB and a Samsung plasma is this one: http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Samsung+...&skuId=2122236

    Price is better but 720p as you mentioned. Not that that's going to be a big deal with this size tv. My "advisor" at BB (who's actually been very helpful, and patient) feels the Panasonic plasma is preferable to the Samsung, but not by a whole lot, but enough that I feel comfortable going with the Panny. I'll need to add some curtains or sheers for the window in the living room to cut down on light/reflections, but that vast majority of time I watch tv is at night anyways. Thanks again.
  • 03-26-2011, 06:29 PM
    Jack in Wilmington
    Just bought a new Panny plasma for the family room. Got the TC-P50G25. The wife was complaining that she couldn't see the writing on the screen from the kitchen on the 40" Samsung that was in there. Hung it on the wall this afternoon and got to say, this has a great picture. The THX mode gives a top notch picture. I'd say get the Panny, and you won't regret it.
  • 03-27-2011, 03:34 AM
    IRG
    Thanks Jack, always good to have extra opinions. After looking at dozens of sets after a while, and reading specs after specs, you kinda lose track of what's good and what's not. Seems like there's a lot of decent models out there, hard to pick a loser, although I'm sure that's possible too with some of the off name brands, which Panasonic is not.
  • 03-27-2011, 01:06 PM
    BadAssJazz
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by IRG
    I know some older Panasonic plasma models have had issues with long term reliability....

    I've never had any problems with Panasonic plasmas. I've owned an EDTV that I bought when flatscreen EDTV's first came out (6-7 years ago????) that I passed on to my parents. Still going strong. I also own a 42" 720p Panny, which is in the bedroom. No problems after 3 years. Finally, I've owned two 50" plasmas, one 720p the other 1080, that performed flawlessly. (I still have the 1080p -- a little over a year in my setup -- having sold the 50" 720p model to upgrade to it.) In my experience, Panasonic plasmas are where X meets Y as far as solid performance and reliability/longevity is concerned.

    A couple of suggestions:

    • If you think 42" is the perfect size, get a 46". Once you acclimate to the 42", you'll wish that you went slightly larger. Especially if you watch lots of sports or epic blockbuster movies.


    • With a 42" you can go with a 720p and probably not notice the difference between that and a 1080p set. However, any larger than that and you'll want 1080p -- all depending on your vision and distance from the television.


    • Calibrate, calibrate, calibrate.
  • 03-27-2011, 02:45 PM
    IRG
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by BadAssJazz
    I've never had any problems with Panasonic plasmas. I've owned an EDTV that I bought when flatscreen EDTV's first came out (6-7 years ago????) that I passed on to my parents. Still going strong. I also own a 42" 720p Panny, which is in the bedroom. No problems after 3 years. Finally, I've owned two 50" plasmas, one 720p the other 1080, that performed flawlessly. (I still have the 1080p -- a little over a year in my setup -- having sold the 50" 720p model to upgrade to it.) In my experience, Panasonic plasmas are where X meets Y as far as solid performance and reliability/longevity is concerned.

    A couple of suggestions:

    • If you think 42" is the perfect size, get a 46". Once you acclimate to the 42", you'll wish that you went slightly larger. Especially if you watch lots of sports or epic blockbuster movies.


    • With a 42" you can go with a 720p and probably not notice the difference between that and a 1080p set. However, any larger than that and you'll want 1080p -- all depending on your vision and distance from the television.


    • Calibrate, calibrate, calibrate.

    Thanks BadAss. I know what you mean about the picture size. I keep waffling on size. Originally, I was thinking about a set above my fireplace. The size is limited, and right now I have a mirror in the place about the size of a 42". So a 46" would be too big. But now I don't think I'll have it above the fireplace. The thought of looking up most of the time, isn't appealing. So I plan on putting it adjacent to the fireplace, on a nice stand. So I could go 46" but I think what I'll do is use a carboard cutout of both sizes, and see how it fits in the room. Funny thing, 40" seems small when I see one next to even a 42". I couple of the 46" I've seen, mainly a higher end Samsung, and have small frames, that the screen actually looks like a 42".

    Speaking of calibrating, what's the best way to do it? Is there a good dvd that you'd recommend to do it, or have a professional come out and set it up? Seems like a costly expenditure, that I'd rather do myself if possible. Thanks again for the input.
  • 03-27-2011, 03:09 PM
    IRG
    Here's a new 43" Samsung plasma that seems to get good reviews too, price is quite good too: http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Samsung+...ustomerreviews
  • 03-27-2011, 03:26 PM
    Woochifer
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by BadAssJazz
    • If you think 42" is the perfect size, get a 46". Once you acclimate to the 42", you'll wish that you went slightly larger. Especially if you watch lots of sports or epic blockbuster movies.


    • With a 42" you can go with a 720p and probably not notice the difference between that and a 1080p set. However, any larger than that and you'll want 1080p -- all depending on your vision and distance from the television.


    • Calibrate, calibrate, calibrate.

    :thumbsup:

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by IRG
    Speaking of calibrating, what's the best way to do it? Is there a good dvd that you'd recommend to do it, or have a professional come out and set it up? Seems like a costly expenditure, that I'd rather do myself if possible. Thanks again for the input.

    I simply use Video Essentials to establish the reference baseline, and then tweak it visually to my preferences. Doing this step alone will greatly improve the picture quality compared to the factory defaults.

    Also, in general I've found that changing the picture profile from "Normal" to "Cinema" and using the "Warm" color temperature produces the best picture quality. I've not tried this with Panasonic's current models, so I'm not sure if this still applies.

    If there is a weakness to the lower end Panasonic plasmas, it's with the limited range of adjustments available on the user-accessible menus. Opinions differ on how much Panasonic's TVs would benefit from a professional calibration. It probably varies from model to model.

    You might want to look for the "Owner Forum" for that Panasonic model on the AVS Forum, and ask that question. I know that with my TV, someone with a professional calibration tool confirmed that using the "Cinema" picture profile got the picture very close to reference output using only the user-accessible adjustments, without going into the service menus. Keep in mind that messing around with the service menus will invalidate the factory warranty.