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TimSeppala

Why I bought a 1080p plasma instead of a 4K LED LCD

This year's CES drove me to buy a new TV, but it might not be what you'd expect. Instead of jumping onto the 4K bandwagon, I went with a 1080p plasma. More specifically, a 65-inch Panasonic VT60. Why? Panasonic has effectively exited the plasma field and I wanted the biggest and best possible display I could get my hands on while I still could.

As I see it, I'd rather invest in tech that's at its zenith than something that's going to be totally obsolete in a year or two thanks to ever-changing standards in the format. Picture quality trumps pixel density for me, and there just isn't enough of a reason (or native content) to justify the sizable investment required to get into 4K.

Yeah, my TV was a little on the expensive side but it's going to be quite a while before UHD picture quality on a LED set can match my plasma for the same price. For example, at last year's HDTV shootout, Sony's 55-inch UHDTV may as well have not even been there (www.soundandvision.com­/content­/value­-electronics­-h...). I'm excited about OLED screens, but I'm really not sure that many people have the room in their homes necessary for the sizes that have been shown off.

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moneygrip

i did this as well. fellow IT employees tried to ridicule, but their assumptions were wrong as usual. both gone now- and so here's to you, my former and self-proclaimed cohorts: you don't know jack.
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agent8

Yeah, I went the same route with a 65" Panasonic plasma and 3 months after warranty, it crapped out with less than 600 hours on it and Panasonic did nothing for me. I now have a stupid box of gas in my living room. I would look at all the class action lawsuits and all the bad reviews popping up before going with a Panasonic plasma. Panasonic is the WORST!
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kyleblene

4K is a new technology, and for that reason alone one should steer clear of them. Its simply about building consensus, or atleast thats what i think when i see them build such tvs for consumers.
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agno3

but 4k isn't new technology is the same technology with higher pixel density. So its no a NEW thing its the SAME thing with more pixels and I would still go buy the Samsung Plasma :-)
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terpharis

Thanks for the post Tim, I was torn over the Plasma/LED decision for a few weeks, but when I was at Best Buy last weekend, I was mesmerized by the image quality on their 60" VT60 display model. They were trying to clear it out (to the chagrin of the showroom staff), so I was able to negotiate it down to $1499, and walked away with it in bubble wrap (and the geek squad 5yr warranty) for less than $2k.

I'm loving it, the picture is amazing compared to my first 2008 Panasonic plasma.

Anyone in the market should check the BB website, they show the inventory for their floor models/returns/open boxes available at your local stores. They're really dumping them now to make way for the new models coming in Feb/March, great deals to be had!
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alloneword

I agree with you. I currently have a Panasonic plasma, few years old now, but the picture quality is still fantastic, better than any of the LEDs at the time, and without any of the horrid image processing many brands have. I think there is an incorrect belief new technology is going to be better than what came before, but this ignores the development that has gone into a product line over the generations. The current UHD LED TVs might look better than first-gen plasmas, but not current-gen.

I won't be buying a new TV for a while, when I do I expect it will be an OLED, as that will have replaced plasma in the market for image quality and black levels, but the lack of 4K content and the fact that my current TV is still fine might mean that is a long while off.
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frankspin

I did the same as you. As soon as I saw the official word from Panasonic about exiting the market I knew I had to make a decision: upgrade now or wait. I had a TH-50PZ80U which was still serving me well, but I was too worried about it not lasting long enough for OLEDs to reach consumer friendly prices.

So I upgraded to a ST60 (would have loved to go for a ZT60) and I know I'll be set for some time. Much like when KURO's came off the market I knew grabbing a ST60 would serve me well just like my previous Panny plasma did.

I'm sad to see the tech fade out, especially with a brand like Panasonic.
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TimSeppala

Yep. I couldn't find an ST60 anywhere near me, I'm absurdly happy with my set. A buddy of mine picked up an S60 and I helped him wallmount it over the weekend.
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