Which 65" Panasonic plasma would you choose?

Discussion in 'Televisions & Displays' started by panteragstk, Apr 2, 2013.

  1. panteragstk Audioholic Chief

    panteragstk
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    Planning on getting one of the new 65" model plasma's from Panasonic sometime this summer. I've looked and the main differences seem to be the panel used. All the "Infinite black ultra" and "30,720 Gradation Steps with DCI 98% Color Space" and "ultimate black" are more marketing than anything, but I have to think they use higher quality panels in the higher end. I'm look at the ZT60 series just because I've never had the high end sets before and would love to get my hands on one.

    The main thing is the size, but I'm pretty picky when it comes to PQ so I want something that will shine no matter what I throw at it. I currently have one of the older 1080p 42" sets and love it, but know it gets better than what I have.

    What do you guys think? Is it worth it to go all the way to the top?
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 19, 2014
  2. internetmin Audioholic

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    First of all, great choice in looking at the plasma models from Panasonic. They are currently the best plasma displays out there and in my humble opinion the best displays you can currently buy. The soap opera effect takes the Elite out of the running for me.

    Specifically to your question, the top of the line sets are the ones that come closest to the Pioneer Kuro in terms of the black level test where the TV reviewers were brought into a black room and the TVs were already on and they couldn't tell. Here's the criteria I would use:

    1) If you have the cash and
    2) You don't have a need to get another TV within the next 5 years

    Then yes, I'd say go for the higher end model. The only caveat is that the TVs right now are getting larger and the price point is going down and the tech is likewise trickling down. So, waiting next year, you may be able to get a 70" model in that line or a 65" that has a better picture at around the same price point.

    If I'm to take this on my end, I would look seriously look at the ST60. It offers spectacular picture quality at a better price/value. You might want to read Tom Norton's review of the ST50. His praise speaks volumes and he's the one video reviewer that I trust implicitly with his reviews. His opinion is worth gold. Here's what he concluded:

    The hardest part of doing this review was finding something to complain about. I wasn’t very successful. With a remarkable price, superb 2D performance, and 3D that can only be bettered by spending a lot more (and often, not even then), this Panasonic is a no-brainer. When I tested three different Panasonic plasmas last year, the TC-P55ST30 was my sentimental favorite. And while we haven’t yet tested Panasonic’s premier 2012 offering, the VT50-series, if your budget won’t stretch that far, it’s hard to imagine you not being thrilled with the TC-P55ST50.

    So, that's the way I'd approach it.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 19, 2014
  3. panteragstk Audioholic Chief

    panteragstk
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    Thanks. I sold Panny's for a few years and find it hard to purchase any other brand. I have a mid-end model that performs wonderfully, but it is about 5 years old. Nothing wrong with that, it's just a bit outdated. I know I'd be happy with the ST60 series, but I wonder what I'd be getting by going to VT or even ZT. The panels of both higher lines seem to be better specs wise, but without seeing them in person it'd be hard to tell.

    I've got some thinking to do.
  4. BoredSysAdmin Audioholic Overlord

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    Imho for best bang for the buck wait till ST50 are on deep sale and then get one :) I highly doubt there will be much difference from ST50 to ST60
    GT has the same panel as ST, but offers more calibration options. I think VT50 has an improved panel.

    Keep in mind these TVs would be lucky to last 10 years even for great brand like Panasonic so I think ST offers truly best value, unless for you money is not issue :)

    I got my 55ST30 last year on very deep sale for $980. I'd expect 65ST50 to be sold soon under $1600
  5. internetmin Audioholic

    internetmin
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    That's a good point. Any sites you use to find good deals on the sets?
  6. BoredSysAdmin Audioholic Overlord

    BoredSysAdmin
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    I used decide.com then I was free, but even now their $5/month subscription could save you literally hundreds if you catch the right sale at right time.
    Keep in mind great sales only last few hours, not typically have nothing to do with big events or holidays.
    You could also do daily search for good deals (or subscribe with rss reader) to these sites:
    TechBargains: Best Deals, Dell Coupons, Cheap Laptops, Computer Sales
    Ben's Bargains - Coupons, Bargains, Freebies
    Best Deals Online - Daily Deals and Coupons at dealnews
    • Like Like x 1
  7. internetmin Audioholic

    internetmin
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    What a saving grace! Never used decide.com before. That's great. Thanks for that reference
  8. panteragstk Audioholic Chief

    panteragstk
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    Honestly, I get employee pricing from Panasonic from selling their sets for so many years, so price isn't really an issue. The ST60 series is wonderfully priced, but I was just wanting to get "higher end" due to the fact that they seem to be putting some extra goodies into the newer panels. I believe the ST series have had the same panels for a few years now, so I know those will be good. I'm just curious to see if you guys think the upgraded panels would be worth the cash or not. I'd like the best picture possible, but if I get 2% better picture for 40% more money it isn't worth it to me.
  9. internetmin Audioholic

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    There is no question that the top of the line unit has the best panel and best picture available. Quantifying that is a different ballgame. I personally wasn't at CES and couldn't compare the sets. And, unless you're looking at them in a controlled environment and calibrated, putting a value assessment on the differences is a shot in the dark.
  10. panteragstk Audioholic Chief

    panteragstk
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    Hence my dilemma.
  11. BoredSysAdmin Audioholic Overlord

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    Employee Pricing for Panasonic plasma's you say....

    Interesting.....

    [​IMG]


    p.s: I agree Internetmin and Imo the sweet spot for value is with ST series. VT/ZT will in fact offer better quality, but me the price difference wasn't worth it. Especially then properly calibrated, Imo the ST/GT/VT panels offer similar performance.
    Unfortunately quantifying it, will be next to impossible.
  12. panteragstk Audioholic Chief

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    Excellent. ST it is. Happy place in my price range too. Thanks for the advice. I honestly didn't think it would be worth it, but having not seen any of them in person I can't make that judgement. I may try to find a deal on an ST50 overstock or something.
  13. BMXTRIX Audioholic Spartan

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    Have there been any reviews of the new ZT series from them? It's like the step up to a Kuro... For many people, that level of quality truly is worth it. Just depends on the person and how much quality they want. I agree that the ST is the minimum quality level I would be looking it, but that doesn't mean that I wouldn't want the higher quality models, especially if I could afford it.
  14. internetmin Audioholic

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    If you find a good deal, would you mind posting? My old Sony is starting to have LCD panel issues. It clears up after about 2-10 minutes but it looks like I may have 3-6 months left on it before I need to jump into another set and I'd rather get a Panasonic 60" plasma.
  15. panteragstk Audioholic Chief

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    Will do. I'm going to wait since the new models haven't even come out yet, but I'm still interested in what the ZT series has to offer. Sounds like a KURO level plasma, or possibly better. Eager to see especially since I purchase a TV about every 10 years or so.

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