69 of 91 people found the following review helpful
It's all the buzz...,
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This review is from: Panasonic VIERA TC-P55ST50 55-Inch 1080p 600Hz Full HD 3D Plasma TV (2012 Model) (Electronics)
Solid picture- especially good black level and accurate color. Some of the well-documented issues persist (ABL, crosstalk in 3D, some noise in dark scenes, etc.) For me, however, it's the audible buzz that is the potential deal breaker. On scenes with even some bright content the buzz can clearly be heard over low-mid volume content from 10 feet away. I understand that plasma technology is somewhat to blame (and the need to make sets as thin as possible these days), but the sound is loud enough to detract from the viewing experience. Perhaps if the tv is wall mounted, this would dampen the noise-- or just duct tape a pillow on the back ;) I'm now on my second set (first was February build, current is April build) and am somewhat reluctant to not return it, as well.
Update (7/26/12): Unfortunately, I've experienced the same issue with the 55" GT50 (which I do prefer to the ST for the additional shades of gray, bezel aesthetics, etc.) I understand that some owners do not experience this problem (or simply do not hear the buzz), but based on additional professional and consumer reviews, many do. This leads me to question Panasonic's quality control. I will likely either have a tech take a look or swap out one last time and will update my review accordingly.
Update (8/5/12): As much as I would have liked to continue watching the Olympics on the GT50, I chose to return it. As another reviewer has noted, I believe the buzz is simply within Panasonic's acceptable limits. i.e - they do not consider this to be a problem, which is unfortunate. In addition, after watching more cable content lately, I would also agree that while the set has arguably one of the best pictures for blu-ray, other sources are quite soft (including the Olympics). May be looking at LED/LCDs now...
Update (10/12/12): Hopefully, my search is over... I've now settled on the Sony HX850 (LED/LCD). The picture is nearly as impressive at the Panny plasmas, without the buzz. Of course, no set is perfect. The Sony has its own drawbacks that I'll address in another review. Fingers are crossed that nothing new pops up, but for now minor light leakage and some 3D ghosting, which I hope can be corrected, are my main concerns. The Sony was originally nearly $1000 more than the Panny, but now is within a few hundred dollars. I told myself that I'd never buy another Sony, as my previous sets had major quality issues, but I'm hoping that they are making a return to their Trinitron days of reliability and performance. We shall see...
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Showing 1-10 of 21 posts in this discussion
Initial post: May 25, 2012 1:47:42 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Jul 3, 2012 5:11:19 PM PDT]
In reply to an earlier post on May 25, 2012 4:55:03 PM PDT
Posted on Jun 12, 2012 6:31:53 PM PDT
T. Song says:
Are you still experiencing buzzing on your second set? Also, is this through the built-in speakers, or do you hear this even when muted?
In reply to an earlier post on Jun 12, 2012 7:40:15 PM PDT
The buzz is not related to the audio of the tv. It is in the electronics circuitry / possibly transistor?
When the set outputs higher brightness levels. Unfortunately, the second one also experienced the same issue, which is too bad given the high quality of the picture. I may upgrade to a GT50 in the hope things are different.
In reply to an earlier post on Jun 13, 2012 8:06:09 PM PDT
T. Song says:
Thanks for the follow-up. I have a VT50 on the way, so hopefully it does not exhibit any buzzing -- that would be extremely annoying.
Posted on Jul 26, 2012 7:30:42 AM PDT
D. Jones says:
In reply to an earlier post on Jul 26, 2012 12:20:41 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 26, 2012 12:22:44 PM PDT
As I noted in the original review, I have replaced the "damn thing" --twice. I now have a GT50, which, unfortunately, also suffers from the same problem. This is a well-documented issue (e.g. see flatpanelshd website for a professional review) which many other owners have experienced (see avsforum). I gave this product 3 out of 5 stars due to my experience. I would argue that is the very point of consumer reviews. Is it a good product? Yes. Is it perfect? No. The fact that you happen to have a product that does not seem to have the same problems as others should not lead you to criticize their reviews.
Posted on Jul 30, 2012 12:41:00 AM PDT
A. Person says:
Don't listen to people claiming yuo just got a bad set and they can't hear it on theirs blah blah blah. They just ahev horrible hearing. People claimed the same thing with the st30 sets. That they couldn't hear it. Well i treid FOUR st30 sets AND an st50 set and ALL had buzzing which could be hears from 8 feet away.
In reply to an earlier post on Aug 9, 2012 10:50:54 AM PDT
I don't know, I have bionic hearing and I can hear a pin drop on a construction site from across the street. I can only hear the buzz from very close to the TV, like literally standing 1 foot away, or if I stick my head behind it. Doesn't seem like a big deal at all. I think that if you hear something from that far away you might want to exchange the TV.
In reply to an earlier post on Aug 16, 2012 10:15:14 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 16, 2012 10:16:03 PM PDT
I'm curious about where you live. I've heard that plasma buzzing issues may be related to elevation. The higher above sea level the greater the buzz. Not sure if this is true though.