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Customer Review

395 of 398 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Unique Perspective, June 29, 2012
This review is from: Panasonic VIERA TC-P55ST50 55-Inch 1080p 600Hz Full HD 3D Plasma TV (2012 Model) (Electronics)
I don't want to rehash everything the other reviewers have noted, so I'll try to keep my points fresh and quick.

MAIN POINTS:

1. You really need to adjust the picture settings on this TV (duh). Doing so will result in exquisite picture quality. I had heard that this TV gives "flagship quality at a mid-range price" and I am here to confirm that; Game of Thrones on Blu-Ray looks absolutely incredible. (Skip to the end of this review for my picture settings)

2. Virtually no input lag for Xbox games (crucial for FPS).

3. IR (image retention) has not been an issue whatsoever, even after playing Xbox games with a static HUD for a few hours at a time.

4. I am disappointed with the sound quality, mainly because other reviewers said it was better than most other TV's in this price range. While this may be true, in the end I consider it to be barely useable. However, when spending well over 1K on a TV you should probably invest in some sort of sound system also.

5. Buzzing has been nonexistent thus far, will update if I notice it.

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS:

1. Stand does not swivel.

2. Very slick styling; looks great in person.

3. Remote looks like it was made for a 1998 geriatric technology convention. (who cares about the remote, dude?)

4. There is no questioning the excellence of Amazon's customer service, but the "scheduled delivery" is worthless. Mine was scheduled from 9am-12pm. When it finally arrived at 5pm (lol) the driver said, "Nothing runs on time with freight." So be prepared to block out a whole day to receive this item (keep in mind this was my experience, not sure how common this is?). Amazon did give me $60 store credit for my troubles.

5. I have not had any problems with the ABL (automatic brightness limiting), but I do not watch hockey so if that is your thing then you might want to do more research.

6. I am not evaluating the wifi capabilities or apps because I connect to wifi through my Xbox and stream everything through it.

PICTURE SETTINGS:

-Background (for semi-noobs like myself): it seems many people use D-nice's picture settings (he is a calibrator that posts on the hi tech junkies forum). He recommends downloading some picture prep slides that he posted and running them for 100 hours to evenly age the phosphors on this TV. I didn't do this, mostly because I'm lazy. Other people use David Katzmaier's settings (he is a calibrator and reviewer for cnet). Ultimately I decided to place my settings exactly between these two "expert's" opinions because neither hit it dead on for me. Keep in mind these are dark room settings and that my TV hasn't been "properly aged." Frankly I don't care because these settings look perfect to me, but I may need to readjust in a few months if some "aging" occurs.

-Picture:
Picture Mode: Custom
Contrast: 80
Brightness: 58
Color: 46
Tint: 0
Sharpness: 0 (yes, turn this all the way down from 50)
Color Temp: Warm2
Photo Enhancement: Off
C.A.T.S: Off
Video NR: Off

-Pro Settings:
Colorspace: Normal
W/B High R: +5
W/B High G: 0
W/B High B: +2
W/B Low R: +8
W/B Low G: 0
W/B Low B: +1
Black Extension: 0
Gamma Adjustment: 2.4 (I dropped this from 2.6 because my personal preference is slightly brighter)
Panel Brightness: Mid
Contour Emphasis: Off
AGC: 0

-Aspect adjustments submenu
Screen format: Full
HD size: Size 2
H size: [grayed out]
Zoom adjustments: [grayed out]

-HDMI Settings
Leave all settings in this menu at their default

-Advanced picture submenu
3D Y/C filter: Off [grayed out]
Color matrix: HD [grayed out]
Block NR: Off [grayed out]
Mosquito NR: Off
Motion smoother: Off
Black level: Light
3:2 pulldown: On
24p Direct in: 60Hz

Hope this helps!!
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Showing 1-10 of 31 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jun 30, 2012 3:52:20 AM PDT
D Jones says:
Thanks for your review and settings. Excellent rundown on realworld use and settings. I sometimes wonder if the official reviewers spend anytime at all with the sets they review other than a couple hours adjusting/fiddling/assessing. Please keep us up to date on any additional info you discover. I'm on the fence between this and its more expensive sibling, the VT50 version. I don't want to overspend but want quality.

Posted on Jun 30, 2012 3:52:31 AM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Jun 30, 2012 3:52:49 AM PDT]

Posted on Jul 1, 2012 12:00:10 AM PDT
Don Berg says:
I too bought a 50ST50 from Amazon - received it yesterday (Friday) and also was later than the scheduled time window (11am-2pm) they came about 3pm, but did call early in the morning to say they would probably be later 3-4pm in my area.
How did you get an amazon credit for late delivery? I didn't think to complain about that, but I could use the credit to help pay for a squaretrade extended warranty on amazon.

Your posted settings are very close to my own.
I too found with some darker video content a 2.4 or 2.2 gamma is better, though for bright outdoor scenes like baseball and golf, 2.6 is great.
I'm running the slides overnight and during hours I'm not watching the TV to get past the initial 100hours quickly in less than a week. The blacks will get better as it ages for 100-500hours I heard.

Posted on Jul 3, 2012 1:15:18 AM PDT
Dennis Yenn says:
Good review, and good to know your settings.

I'm surprised you have the sharpness that way down. That image is blurred, like 720. I have mine at 50 max.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 7, 2012 3:25:25 PM PDT
Gregorian says:
I called customer service to calmly give them some feedback about the carrier they were using (CEVA). Being late is understandable, but the total lack of communication from CEVA was frustrating. Try calling Amazon and maybe they'll be able to compensate you for the late delivery.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 7, 2012 3:34:01 PM PDT
Gregorian says:
Dennis, thanks for the comment. I am by no means an expert in TV calibration, but this is from CNET's quick guide to TV calibration...

"Sharpness: This adds artificial edges to objects, which sometimes helps with soft cable signals but almost always mars the already sharp image from a DVD. Reduce it to zero unless you detect visible softening along the edges of text; if you do, increase it until the edges appear sharp again."

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 3, 2012 9:09:19 AM PDT
Oswald63 says:
"total lack of communication from CEVA was frustrating"

I can't buy one of these TV's with this kind of delivery service. The delivery team has to unbox and MOUNT the TV to a stand bracket or a wall bracket. No way I can do that. I can set up a stand or install a wall bracket, but picking up the TV and mounting it is unthinkable.

Posted on Sep 11, 2012 9:15:33 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 11, 2012 9:17:25 AM PDT
KaufmanD says:
Thanks for posting your settings. Oddly enough, I was having a lot of issues with motion blurring and now that issue has been greatly reduced. Not sure why, but it did make a difference. BTW, if any one has a problem with white dashes on top of the screen, especially while watching the news, just change the HD size back to 1. Separate from these settings, I'm still having issues with video noise and color being off e.g., Caucasians look pastie and African Americans having a green tint. I get the same results no matter what or whose settings I use. Also, ABL is driving me crazy. Nearly impossible to tweak the TV with ABL. Thanks again for your input, it was helpful.

Posted on Oct 7, 2012 5:11:59 PM PDT
Ryan Burke says:
hey man im very interested in this tv have you had any ir or burn in with the gaming because thats wat this tv is going to be used for

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 11, 2012 7:16:54 AM PDT
Gregorian says:
ryan,
i've had no problems whatsoever. i play xbox all the time and i've never had any issues with burn in or even temporary image retention. i've even played for about 5 hours straight (don't tell my gf) without any negative repercussions. hope this helps!
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