515 of 526 people found the following review helpful
Great TV, Great Value, Few of the Issues You Are Worrying About,
This review is from: Panasonic VIERA TC-P60ST50 60-Inch 1080p 600Hz Full HD 3D Plasma TV (Electronics)
Bottom line: Beautiful picture (black is really black!), nice internet functionality, and little impact from the issues that have been noted here and elsewhere.
Prior to making this purchase I did many hours of online reading that consisted of: CNET, AV/high def message boards and reviews, and Amazon reviews and comments. I asked myself the same questions most TV purchasers ask themselves: plasma vs. LED/LCD, Samsung vs. Panasonic, etc. I purchased the 60ST50 from Amazon and it was delivered in the middle of June 2012. By way of background, I own three other LCD's (one of them an LED/LCD) and this was my first foray into plasma. I felt like plasma was a low risk choice for this TV as it is going in a basement with no windows.
The general consensus online is that the ST50 is the best value available for an excellent picture. Always wanting to get the biggest bang for my buck, this consensus opinion was the number one factor in my decision.
As I said, I read a lot of reviews and, despite the consensus above, had a number of reservations because of issues that others encountered with the ST50. Here is a summary of my concerns and my findings. I should note that I ran the screen prep slides that you can find out there on the message boards and then played around with two different suggested calibration settings. I have no idea whether the screen prep slides are necessary and can't say whether they prepared my screen for calibration. What HAS been proven is that I am a serious nerd.
Screen buzzing: Some reviews have noted screen buzz. I was very concerned out of the gate as the screen prep slides have a white slide. When this slide was shown and all of the phosphors were glowing at 100%, there was a clear buzz emanating from the TV. You could hear it from everywhere in the small room where I was prepping the TV (what a nerd!). The good news is that the buzzing actually reduced over the time that I ran the slides. In a larger room watching actual TV content, it is not audible from in front of the panel even when the content is quiet. If you stick your head behind it, you can still hear a low buzz. My recommendation: do not buy this television if you plan to watch it from behind. Otherwise, if you will be watching it conventionally you should be relieved to hear that I have no issues with buzzing after the break-in period.
Viewing in a bright room: As noted, this television is for my basement but I had a chance to view it in a fairly bright room and with ceiling lights above. Generally, no issues. The filter works fairly well. I could see issues if you had a room with lots of bright sunlight where the windows could reflect off the panel. If that's your situation, you're probably considering LED/LCD anyway. Only you can decide what's right for your individual circumstances.
Image retention: Another early scare: my Directv rebooted and the directv logo was onscreen for 15 minutes or so. When it was finished the image was retained as a shadow for 30 seconds or so and then it went away. Gave me a quick scare but wasn't anything to be concerned about. I have had the menus open for decent amounts of time. I have watched channels with logos. I have watched several movies with black bars on the top and bottom. No further issues.
Hockey: The one entertaining guy in the Amazon reviews that had hockey issues might have scared me. But I don't watch hockey. I have, though, watched baseball, basketball, football, soccer, golf, track and field, etc. They all look great. No issues.
Some reviews have noted that the picture is too dark relative to an LED/LCD, has no pop, and looks washed out. I will tell you that the picture is different from an LED/LCD. This television has very lifelike pictures and colors. It's a very refreshing change. The best part of this television are the blacks which are really black. My wife, who usually doesn't notice such things, said, "Wow! The picture is so bright." (Hint for those that don't find it bright enough after calibration - adjust the gamma setting for instant brightness).
I really like this television and am happy with my purchase. If that changes over time, I will update this review.
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Showing 1-10 of 37 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jun 25, 2012 5:27:48 PM PDT
TV Guy says:
"What HAS been proven is that I am a serious nerd"
Thanks for the review. I just got my 2nd ST50 (the first one had an array of pink-ish lines running across the top of the panel) and it's currently running the slides. I'll be posting a review soon, but from the few minutes of watching Band of Brothers on it the picture was absolutely breathtaking. Also tried a recording of game 5 between Devils-Rangers and had no issues.
Posted on Jun 26, 2012 5:27:09 AM PDT
May I ask how long you ran the slides for? I'm wondering how essential the 100 hour slide break-in is. Fantastic review by the way. You've done about the same amount of research as I have and I am probably going to buy this TV. I have the slides/instructions already downloaded and "D-Nice's" settings saved.
In reply to an earlier post on Jun 26, 2012 6:58:56 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 26, 2012 7:18:01 AM PDT
Joel, I don't think I hit the 100 hour mark. I mixed in a couple of hours of viewing while running the slides probably 60-70 hours. After that I started to get the gnawing feeling that I was the butt of a huge message board joke! More than anything, I just wanted to watch the TV.
My gut tells me there is probably some merit to breaking in the plasma before calibrating though I can't prove it. I am not sure that 100 hours is better than 50 hours or better than 200 hours. I have nothing to judge it by. But I am glad I invested the time to avoid any regret. D-Nice's settings are good but I have had to adjust them for my personal taste and the fact that I have a 60 instead of a 55. In particular, I have been using gamma 2.2 in the daylight and 2.4/2.6 at night depending on the content. Once the TV goes to the basement this weekend, I suspect I will keep it at 2.4 most of the time.
Posted on Jun 26, 2012 9:37:51 AM PDT
Nice review. Thanks for the information. I am closely following all the reviews as this is my current top pick TV for later in the year when I get one. Hehe- do not buy if planning to watch from behind...
In reply to an earlier post on Jul 23, 2012 10:00:24 AM PDT
Do you have a link to the slides that you used? Also, thanks for this review. I am basically in exactly the same boat as you. I will be putting my new TV into a basement without much natural light; I have direcTV; I don't really watch much hockey... and I've been weighing all of the same options as you have.
I think you've made my choice for me. Kudos!
In reply to an earlier post on Jul 23, 2012 10:45:19 AM PDT
Link below to the forum thread that has some panel prep slides. Again, I don't endorse them and have no way of telling whether there was any added benefit to having run them. Make sure you read the FAQ on page 3 of the post for more detail and a how-to. You'll pick up some valuable information though it is voluminous.
Also, in case you don't have it, here are the CNET calibration settings that I have also used to compare and contrast. You'll eventually settle on what looks best to you.
Enjoy the TV. I remain very happy with my purchase.
In reply to an earlier post on Oct 11, 2012 8:36:54 AM PDT
Christian W. says:
Thanks for the shout out. : -) I am one of the owners of Highdefjunkies.
In reply to an earlier post on Oct 21, 2012 2:30:46 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 21, 2012 2:31:45 PM PDT
La Mariner says:
Panasonic VIERA TC-P60ST50 65-Inch 1080p 600Hz Full HD 3D Plasma TV
my expertise lies on the mechanical side of the line, I am seriously thinking about buying this tv as my poor Samsung dlp has come down with chip pox.....I can not at this stage afford a mistake.......so you recommend this tv? any idea of stats on failures? I plan to buy 3 extra years of warranty......many thanks WAK Assoc Vice Chancellor, retired
In reply to an earlier post on Oct 31, 2012 6:06:24 AM PDT
I ran slides for 100 hours just to play it safe but in all honesty i could of just wasted my time but i didn't want to take any chances.
In reply to an earlier post on Nov 1, 2012 7:12:24 AM PDT
I continue to recommend this TV. It has performed well for me. I don't have any stats on failures. I did my research, bought the TV and haven't looked back.