It's definitely not too big a step to go from 42" to 55". Three years ago, when I replaced my 42" Pioneer (which until then had been in the parlour) with my 50" Pioneer, not one single person (out of about eight people) noticed the change. And in March this year, when I replaced my 50" Pioneer in the parlour with the 64" Samsung, the only reason why one person (eventually) noticed, was because the Samsung has a silver bezel, in contrast to the black bezel of the Pioneers. By the way, the Samsung overhangs my AV open shelf stand by eight inches (20 cm) on either side, but I'm quite happy with the overhang. It gets difficult (not impossible, though) to find AV stands that are about 150cm wide, which is the width of a 65" set. And in changing from a 42" set, the Panasonic 65ST50 really would have that "Wow!" factor. Overhang with pride!
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Much as that sounds great, I really can't afford the 65" model. I also think SD material would look ropey from my normal viewing distance on a 65" set. I'm off to Richer Sounds later today, so I'll see what I think of the ST50.
Hardware: Panasonic TX-P50VT65B (calibrated); Cambridge Audio Azur 651BD; Yamaha RX-A810; Teac PD-H600; PS3; B&W 601 & 600LCR (series 3); Q Acoustics QAV (rear)
Furniture and Accessories: BLOK Classix 3000 Oak AV Cabinet; Atacama Nexus 6 (atabite metal filled); 3D3 A1112
Let us know how you get on.
Main AV Setup: Panasonic 50VT65 TV, Pioneer Bdp-lx71, Pioneer Vsx-lx70, B&W FPM Series, B&W PV1, Optimum AV300 AV Stand, QED Silver Anniversary XT Speaker Cable & Chord Silver Plus HDMI Cables. Gadgets: iPad Air & iPhone 4S.
I really can't afford the 65" model. I also think SD material would look ropey from my normal viewing distance on a 65" set.
Money certainly is a factor, as I know better than most! However, if your lottery numbers come up in the next few days, be not too concerned about SD material on a big set. Some SD channels are better than others, but most are not too bad if you concentrate on the storyline rather than the technical quality. I've just spent the last three minutes watching the late John Thaw in "Home to Roost" on lowly ITV3 on my Samsung, and it's certainly not great, but it's not too bad. Over the last month I've been watching the Women's NBA games, at a resolution of only 1280 x 768 down a 15m SVGA line from my computer to my 60" LG plasma set in the kitchen and also sometimes to the Samsung, and while not High Definition, it's watchable, at least by me. So if you do go for the 55" Panasonic, I hope that SD material will look fine on it. I've seen various sizes of the Panasonic ST50, but only when they were showing Blu-rays, so I don't know how good they are with broadcast SD material. Ask Richer Sounds to show a SD television channel on the ST50, not only a HD channel or the Blu-ray stuff.
Well, I didn't visit Richer Sounds (life got in the way, unfortunately).
However, while at the supermarket later this afternoon I had a look at a 51" Samsung plasma with a view to evaluating how much larger the screen felt from my normal viewing distance.
I concluded that 50" is probably too small for me and not enough of a step up from my current television. Taking all into account -- budget, feng shui, SD, HD, and even 3D viewing requirements -- I think a Pana 55ST50 and an external Freesat tuner makes the most sense. I wish we had the option of a 55GT50 in the UK...
Yeah if I had a choice I would go for the 55 inch one. You will definitely get the most from Blu-ray on it.
The other option is to wait and hope the 55VT50 drops in price a little more. I could pounce just before next year's televisions are brought to market and grab a high end television with an integral Freesat tuner for a great price.
Might be a risky strategy, though. I've got lots to do in the next few weeks and, while I probably won't have time to audition and buy a television, I can consider my options further. My main concern is the vertical stripe (or dirty screen) issue, though some of the posts above helped reassure me.
Thanks for the comments and suggestions all...
Cheapest I have seen the VT55 is £1915 at DigitalDirect. I agree it could be a risky strategy to wait. I have seen the 42ST50 and that looked okay and also the 50ST50 and that too looked okay. I haven't seen any of these issues mentioned in reviews, so that is good.
I have read about these issues too on AV with the ST50 model and also the GT50 but I have not come across it. I still have not seen the VT50 though. Keep us updated.
Hi Strapped for Cash. I've been around a while but not posted anything to speak of, however purchased the ST50 back in May so I'll add my three pennorth to the thread. I was originally hanging on hoping to get one of last years sets on the cheap but left it to late and missed the boat so, having read as many reviews as I could find, plumped for the ST50 as being the best I could afford. £1150 from Co-Op electrical on line at the time. I am not in position to audition AV kit where I live, its a 2 hour drive on a good day with a following wind to get to the nearest Currys/PC World let alone a decent HiFi retailer hence reliance on reviews. It has no built in freesat but that was a nice to rather than a must have from my perspective and I didn't bother with lashing out another £200+ on 3D specs; maybe later.
Right to cut the waffle am I happy with it, you bet, its brilliant, no green lines/blobs, no buzzing, excellent colour. Now bear in mind I was upgrading from a venerable 32" Panny CRT I may have come from a low starting point and my intial reaction was b***** hell that's big! However that reaction wore of remarkably quickly, admittedly we had to rearrange the lounge but it was definitely worth it. What surprised me was just how good the picture was with off air broadcasts something I had been slightly concerned about. SD is fine and HD is brilliant as are DVDs. I don't own a blu-ray player as yet, that's next on the list so I can't comment on its abilities in that field but I can only imagine it will be outstanding given it's other talents. I use the true cinema setting all the time and have not as yet felt the need to do any further tweeking. If you are after a plasma in my book you cannot go wrong with this one.
however purchased the ST50 back in May
Just been checking out the Panasonic ST 50 50 inch again, no signs of dirty screen effect. When is your demo again Strapped?
Hi FarNorth. Thanks for the input. It's good to know that the True Cinema preset does the job. In my view, a Blu-ray player is a must if you own a decent plasma TV. HD TV broadcasts look excellent, but you'll notice the a step up in picture quality with 1080p from a decent source, especially if you have a larger screen. As others have asked, what size did you go for?
It's one of those things I keep meaning to get around to, but haven't found the time.
I've been really busy the last couple of weeks with work, though I enjoyed a nice break watching Fed vs. Djoker at the O2. Awesome, though I was gutted we didn't get a deciding set. The standard of play and shotmaking in the first set was up there with best I've ever seen, especially Roger's impossible whipped forehand pass at 5-6 in the tie break. I know he looks graceful on TV, but I was mesmerised by the artistry of Federer's game. I can now say I got to see the greatest of all time (arguably) contest the final of a major tournament. I know he lost, but it was a privilege to watch.
Anyway, I'm dragging the thread in another direction. At some point soon, I'll get around to auditioning the ST, GT, and VT... though I may wait a while before buying, as per discussion on another thread.
Ah okay, prices should keep coming down then. The Panasonic 50ST50 was £999 today in Currys. Good to hear the tennis was good.
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