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Been reading and researching mostly and decided plasma was definately what I wanted but after a side by side comparison in my room it seemed the LCD did better at what I read plasmas are supposed to do better??? Mainly looking at black levels between the two day and night viewing and the LCD's black was closer to the black you see when the screen is off than the plasma's was. Tv's were Sony KDL55EX500 and Samsung PN50C550. Also went and compared in store a C7000 and G25 plasmas to LCD's and didn't notice much difference with the better models. I didn't really run any sort of calibration on the tv's while I had them but it seemed the plasma would have gotten alot better than the LCD if I had but still the black level didn't seem like it would have improved. I thought this was supposed to be the other way around?

The Plasma had remarkably faster processing. I had a concert on dvd watching simoutaneously on both and the plasma was displaying everything before the lcd. Mostly noticed in the lighting you would see a flash on the plasma then a moment later on the LCD. I would imagine with online gaming this would make the game play faster and more responsive.
 

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for any computer, on line or any gaming use a Plasma is NOT the display to get due to potential burn in issues on stationary logos and such. LCD is a much better choice for that reason alone.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I know about the burn in issues and figured if I never did any damage to my old sony Trinitron I wouldn't have much to worry with a new plasma either. I'm looking for the best picture quality in a 55" screen and am willing to compromise or take a chance on things like this but only if I'm getting a better picture. I wish I could find a Panasonic P54G25 to demo against this sony but it looks like online is the only places left with them.
 

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I didn't really run any sort of calibration on the tv's while I had them but it seemed the plasma would have gotten alot better than the LCD if I had but still the black level didn't seem like it would have improved.
Did you at least do a basic calibration, or did you do a little by eye, or did you just run them however they came out-of-the-box?
Proper calibration makes a huge difference.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I ran the brightness and contrast up and down to their limits. It seemed as though the black was staying at a constant and the levels in the color was the only thing changing. Black never got darker only lighter. That was on the plasma. Best way I can put it is if I selected an input with no signal such as pc on both displays the screen will light up but is black. The plasmas seem to do this worse where as LCD's seem as though their almost shut off still.
 

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I don't know how much you know about how modern LCD's work with dimming, so forgive me if you already know this.
How LCD's get those great low black levels is the set automatically dims the back lighting. This is great for scenes that are mostly dark, but doesn't work very well with mixed scenes that have very bright and very dark areas at the same time.
More recently to help this problem LCD's have gone to 'Local Dimming' where the back lighting is adjusted differently for different areas of the screen.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Ya I'm an audio guy I never spent much reading about tv's. The price was either too high or I felt the technology wasn't there. So from what you just said in the terms I'm talking about black level plasmas really can't compare? What am I not getting right about black level that I read over and over plasmas do better at?
 

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Plasmas capable of achieving great black/contrast levels will do so in most circumstances, whether the scene is mostly bright, mostly dark, or half and half.

An LCD can do a comparable job but it needs to have special features as I mentioned before, such as 'Local Dimming.'

When you are at home testing black/contrast levels, you need to use special test patterns made for digital displays. These patterns use a mix of bright and dark scenes together. You can't use the old patterns that are only black.

I may be off on this, but it still seems that the best Plasmas still beat the best LCD's.
 

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The following procedure isn't for setting the levels, but a good one for real world comparisons.

A reviewer that I read uses a scene from one of the Stargate movies (I can't remember which one), pauses at the same scene of showing outerspace with stars.

A display that has good black/contrast levels will show a black background with many stars, some stars very dim and some stars very bright.

A poor device (such as an LCD with adjustable backlighting) may have a perfectly black background, but the stars will not be as bright because the display has dimmed the backlighting to get a darker background. Not only will all the stars be darker, but not all stars will even be visible. You could manually turn the backlighting up to make the stars brighter, but then the background will not be as dark.
 

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Don't get so much caught up in the technology and specs.
Buy the set that looks best to your eye.
Then sit back and enjoy.:sn:
You do understand that most of this forum is very passionate about Audio/Video, and most of us want to squeeze every last drop of performance from our dollar and our equipment.

We understand there are many people out there that don't care as much as most of us but I believe that if a person comes to this site, they want the best they can afford.

If a person just wants general guidance, that's fine, but this OP Mark sounds like he wants to dig a bit deeper.
 

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Hi, have you looked at teh VT series of the Panasonic or the C8000 in the Samsung? This is where you should notice the difference in the blacks.. as in better blacks then the models you listed. The VT and C8000 are pretty much the top dog's in regards to Plasma T.V. without going to the really expensive Z series for Panny.
The prices I think have dropped slightly as well, especially with the newer VT30 coming out soon. They will be looking to off load the older T.V.'s.

Cheers,
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Can't really afford one of the top models. $1300 is my limit. I think I'm just gonna buy the P54G25 from amazon and get it somewhat calibrated with my origional AVIA dvd and demo it im my house sence it's bacically impossible to figure out what looks best in any store. I don't think I gave the samsung a chance really. I just saw that it wasn't getting very dark and took it back after 2 days. Plus it was a floor model so idk if that had any affect or not.

Thanks -Mark
 

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You should enjoy your purchase.. I hear the Samsungs can sometimes have a bit of a loud buzz to them anyway. The T.V. you bought is still a beauty. Let us know how the brake in period goes ;)
 
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