Top positive review
517 people found this helpful
Great TV, Great Value, Few of the Issues You Are Worrying About
on June 25, 2012
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.