Customer Review

54 of 63 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Terrible Changing Brightness Problem, June 25, 2011
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This review is from: Panasonic VIERA TC-P50ST30 50-Inch 1080p 3D Plasma HDTV (2011 Model) (Electronics)
Just got this home and ran it through calibration process. The image is stunning. Buyer beware though-this model and apparently all other 2011 panasonic models have a fluctuating brightness problem. almost every shot changes the brightness of the picture, and often, even in the same shot the brightness flickers. Also the green hue comments are spot on. I followed d-nices settings specifically and still have a ton of green fringing and shading. Totally unacceptable and I will be returning it for a different brand. It's too bad because the image really is something to behold. I don't feel, as other do, that it is too dark.

Update: I've contacted amazon. panasonic says this is a known issue, some people have reported it, while others do not experience it. I am awaiting a replacement and will update my review in case I got a lemon.
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Tracked by 1 customer

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Showing 1-10 of 12 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jun 27, 2011 2:17:56 PM PDT
Mike

I received my first one a few days ago. I had been researching for a long time for a 50" plasma for sports/movies/main living room watching. I wanted plasma because of the better value for the size and to see what all the hype of plasma is about (only had LCDs in the past).

My choices came down between Panasonic and Samsung plasmas. Panasonic's (ST/GT) 2011 series and Samsung's D550/6500/7000. I ultimately chose Panasonic because Samsung's screens were a bit more reflective and their models either hit below, or above what I really needed/wanted...albeit Samsung's were probably more competitively priced. However, I chose the Panasonic 50ST30 because I got lucky and happened to check Amazon when they dropped the price by $100, had a Avatar + 2 pair of glasses promotion, AND had a $150 gift card promotion which made this particular purchase unbeatable. Otherwise would have definitely got one of the Samsung's as I've read of virtually zero issues with them.

Anyway, I read about the horrendous fluctuating brightness problem and I watched some Youtube videos on it but I couldn't really gauge the severity or exact problem and didn't really understand it so I took the gamble. Immediately upon turning it on, I checked the settings and it was defaulted to "Standard" with all levels of picture being at "50". So, the fiance put on "Say Yes to the Dress". Good grief, fluctuating brightness EVERYWHERE, it was insane. It was like watching 2 different TVs and if the TV was confused on what picture mode to go on. I was peeved hardcore. This particular show has TONS of whites in it so I figured that wasn't helping. Additionally the TV hadn't been run more than 10 minutes. My first reaction was to immediately return it, but I didn't want to go through the hassel. So I decided to do a few tests. I tried different picture modes other than "standard" and immediately noticed the fluctuating brightness virtually went away. However, these settings had increased brightness and color levels and I didn't want to push the TV that high in its early few hours of use, so I decided to leave it on "standard" in low brightness to see what would happen. Surprisingly, the fluctuating brightness has drastically gone down as the TV is slowly burning/settling in. I'm around the 20 hour or so mark and I don't see it anymore, if at all **Crosses fingers**. I'm going to be keeping a CLOSE eye on this especially after I reach the 150 hour mark and turn this baby up to high brightness and color. I don't understand how Panasonic could put TV's into production with issues like this though. Their vendors/distributors are going through tons of returns because of this issue so hopefully they will do something about it (maybe a firmware update can fix it completely?).

In short, my suggestion is to weather the storm for a few viewing hours and see if the TV settles in. It seems mine has, but I will be keeping a good eye on it...especially as my window to return gets closer. If I did return, I would look for a good deal on the Samsung's to eliminate any headache. Keep in mind though, the ST30 beats Samsung's PQ up to the 6500 that I've seen. But then again I've read people going lower and getting the D550 and doing crazy calibrations bringing it up near the 7000 levels (with other annoying side affects though).

Good luck on your TV, maybe you just receive a bad one. I haven't tested mine for this "Green hue" problem. I don't notice any issues with my picture quality. After reading about D-Nice's calibration I realized it was worthless and caused nothing but unnecessary apprehension and stress. Watching the TV in lower modes for a longer period does the same thing. But if you are wanting to calibrate it as fast as possible, go with his 100 hour slide show cycle and use his TV settings obviously.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 27, 2011 6:43:20 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 27, 2011 6:52:43 PM PDT
Mike says:
Thanks Megan. Just got home from work and decided to go check out standard mode (although I was sure I checked all modes). its noticeably dimmer which is why you may not have noticed fbr as much, but it certainly is still there. that's because, from what i've read, fbr on this set is built in the keep black levels low or something, i read it on HDJ. so the only thing that would fix this is a firmware update. at points it feels like i'm looking through a screen door tinted green. I must have a defective set or something, but you don't notice any green? this gives me hope that my next tv won't have it. Especially in the first scene of Zodiac (blu ray, directors cut) the green tint is literally sitting on top of the whole image.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 29, 2011 11:42:41 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 29, 2011 12:11:02 PM PDT
BTideRoll says:
No I don't notice any green hue or tint problem at all--on solid white or black scenes. Haven't tested using slide shows or anything though.

The one thing that I do notice, and it may be part of the fluctuating brightness, is that sometimes there seems to be slight color shifts during scene changes. I rarely notice fluctuating brightness *within* continuous scenes, but definitely notice it during entire scene/picture changes. It is annoying when you are watching a scene with lots of white (IE background) and the picture change to a scene without so many whites, and all of the sudden the entire pictures brightness goes down. About the best way I can describe what I see is if you have a Macbook Pro, (laptop that can adjust screen brightness), press the screen brightness up or down 1-2 notches and that is what I experience. Sometimes worse than others. And as previously mentioned, I notice it within scenes (ie. it takes a second to kick in), but mostly notice entire brightness changes when the new scene appears as if the brightness flux occurred during that split second scene change.

When putting the scene mode to standard (50 brightness, contrast, color, sharpness, etc...) I notice these issues the most often. When using modes that have contrast/brightness higher than 50, I don't notice the fluctuations nearly as much. So who knows if it is a brightness/contrast ratio issue, or what, but hoping for a firmware update seems risky. Apparently Europe has received some sort of firmware update #1520 a few weeks ago that has resolved/lessened this issue and is scheduled to be released in the US this week. **update** checked the site, already have the newest firmware 2.06...have had it for a week and still have the issue, this update didn't fix it. Probably returning the set now.

Posted on Jun 29, 2011 2:29:30 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 29, 2011 2:30:13 PM PDT
Mike says:
Just received my replacement television from Amazon. Same exact issues as the set before, same flickering in the exact some moments in the same films. This is apparently a well known issue now and I will wait to hear back from panasonic before, most likely, returning this for a full refund. Do NOT buy until these issue have been hammered out. Panasonic wouldn't even admit there is a problem, they told me someone would call me back in 2-3 business days... it's been 3 so I won't hold my breath. One more week and then I'm buying from a different company all together. Pretty unbelievable how they let crap like this roll out of the factory. It screws amazon too, they pay for shipping/defective units. outrageous

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 30, 2011 5:36:40 AM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Jun 30, 2011 6:12:24 AM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 30, 2011 3:01:56 PM PDT
db says:
It's weird.... I've had the same problems your having. I purchased the 50 inch ST30 from Amazon and returned it because of the green tint problem also..... I wound up with a 50 inch GT30 and had the same green tint AND the fluctuating brightness. It was so irritating. Every time I ask around EVERYONE says that Panasonic is the better plasma over Samsung.... But I am on my 4TH Panasonic..... Now I have the 55 inch GT30.... No problems so far.... But if I have to return this one I think it will be for a Samsung....

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 1, 2011 12:48:28 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 1, 2011 12:48:36 AM PDT
Mike says:
did you go through amazon every time? return after return after exchange?

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 1, 2011 12:19:48 PM PDT
db says:
After the first initial return I went to Best Buy so I would not have to wait another week for a set from Amazon. Best Buy has price matched for me every time with no problem. I had no problem with Amazon, I was just too impatient to wait for another set.... Keep me posted on how it goes for you. My family thought I was crazy when I told them I kept seeing green in certain scenes.....

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 2, 2011 6:33:27 AM PDT
BTideRoll says:
Ended up sending mine back and going with a Samsung. Its a shame that every 2011 Panasonic model is affected by the issue, and like you Mike I don't know how they let this happen. I really didn't want to have to go through what you did, db, and do exchange after exchange experimenting with different sizes and models until I found one with no tint/gama/color issue AND that had low enough fluctuating brightness that I didn't notice it. Hopefully my new one will arrive undamaged otherwise I will also hit up a local BB and get a price match and just eat some tax for convenience sake. Love Amazon's customer service though...

Posted on Jul 2, 2011 12:53:56 PM PDT
Mike says:
The replacement TV is going back for a full refund. Sorry panasonic, you have GOT to watch your quality control. How anyone can watch this television with the fluctuating brightness (on mine it's out of control) let alone the green patches is beyond me. Hope that those reading this don't buy until panasonic has resolved issue, and if you have bought, I hope you've won the luck of the draw.
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