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Q: Plasma tvs ( Answered,   4 Comments )
Subject: Plasma tvs
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: billaz-ga
List Price: $100.00
Posted: 13 Feb 2006 21:31 PST
Expires: 15 Mar 2006 21:31 PST
Question ID: 445514
Who currently makes the best 60 inch, 50 inch and 40-42 inch plasmas
in terms of picture quality etc? I plan on purchasing some of these
between now and March 15, 2006 so i will need model numbers, possible
on-line retailers etc. Is there anything coming out in the next 60
days that i should wait for?
Subject: Re: Plasma tvs
Answered By: jbf777-ga on 14 Feb 2006 12:05 PST
Hello -

Consumer Reports says Panasonic is the absolute best quality Plasma
brand on the market.  The 50-inch model number is the TH-50PX500U; the
42-inch is the TH-42PX500U.  There are "50U" versions of the same
screens, and these have less speakers and inputs.

Home Theatre Magazine gave the 42-inch model an award, mentioned at this link:

CNET echos the same sentiments on these models, rating them at the top
of the class (the models reviewed are the "xPHD", barebones versions
of the ones mentioned above [no tuner or speakers, and less inputs]
but the same basic display):

There's also a 65" model (TH-65PHD7UY) of the screens noted above
(again, "PHD" -- no tuner or speakers, and less inputs).  Panasonic
assumes you have your own tuner and sound capabilities, which is most
likely common for a owners of a screen of this size.

While you can still buy them at retailers, these screens are not
currently being produced any longer.  A representative from Panasonic
says to wait until mid to late March for the TH-xPX60U/600U series to
be released for all three screen sizes (replacements for the models
mentioned above), which will be about $300 cheaper and offer 29
billion colors (versus the current 8 billion).  The 65-inch version
will be available in May (complete with tuner and speakers).  Waiting
makes the most sense, since the new technology represents a massive
advance in capability.


Alternative, comparable (if not better) technologies are available,
such as that found in the lauded Sony Qualia 006 SXRD RPTV, reviewed
in July by Ultimate AV Mag at the following link:

This 70" TV appears to be the cream of the crop, with a ~$10,500 price
tag.  It uses a technology called LCoS (Liquid Crystal on Silicon),
which features extremely accurate color reproduction at a resolution
of 1920x1080?-the full resolution of HDTV?-with more than two million
pixels.  According to the article, "that is six times the resolution
of conventional NTSC television.  The holy grail.  Before now, only a
CRT projector with nine-inch CRTs could offer this."  Another
advantage of this set is that, because it's not based on plasma
technology, it won't suffer from burn-in (the result of images staying
on the screen too long).

CNET actually rates the Sony KDS-R60XBR1, a smaller, cheaper version
of the Qualia (using the same LCoS technology), as being at the top of
its HDTV ratings (again, not technically "Plasma"):

It's highly acclaimed at Home Theater Mag as well:

When you're ready to purchase, the best way to find the cheapest price
is to use Froogle, available at, and
Pricegrabber at  SImply enter in the
model number and sort the results by price.  Retailers from all over
the country will be displayed with the associated price for the
product entered.

As an example, here's the 42" Panasonic on Froogle:

Sony Qualia on Froogle (midway down):

If you have any additional questions concerning this information,
please don't hesitate to ask.

Thank you,

Google Answers
Select search strategy:
plasma TV reviews

Clarification of Answer by jbf777-ga on 14 Feb 2006 18:45 PST
Reviews from users around the world rate the Panasonics very highly at
PCWorld.  See:


Request for Answer Clarification by billaz-ga on 03 Mar 2006 14:43 PST
Hi there,

While the answers that I have received for my question are very
thorough, I have not received any information that I did not already
know.  I was expecting that for $100.00 I would receive a detailed
analysis of all available and soon to be available Plasmas but all I
received was information that I already knew about.  Because of this I
would like to request a refund of $100.00.

Thank you,

Clarification of Answer by jbf777-ga on 03 Mar 2006 19:24 PST
Hello -

Thank you for your message.

"Best" is a subjective term, and means different things to different
people.  In addition, specifications on paper don't always add up to
better performance, because it's often in the interplay of different
technologies within a product that "better performance" is reflected. 
This is why I've aimed to find editorial reviews in addition majority
public opinion to ascertain what the "perceived best" is.  A
personally written detailed analysis of every TV on the market would
require physical access to every TV (dozens of them) to get the "full
picture" on quality -- something that is not obviously possible.

I would be willing to investigate further on this topic; however, I'm
not so sure I can find any additional information for you, as the
answer supplied already details editorial and public opinion on the
matter -- the only two things that are possible to supply in this
case.  If I can be of further assistance in this question, do please
let me know, as I am willing to do further research for you if it is

Please contact the Google Answers Editors at for information regarding refunds.

Thank you,

Subject: Re: Plasma tvs
From: madmacs-ga on 14 Feb 2006 03:16 PST
SED displays by canon and Toshiba will be released in early 2007, and
will be the next big thing in home theater setups. Here's an overview
of the technology from canon's website:
Basically, it's like a flat CRT display, but it will be much sharper
because each pixel has its own beam rather than a scanning beam moving
across the whole screen. Because it uses an insulated phosphor. there
will be no burn-in issues, and it will have a very High contrast
ratio. These are worth waiting for in my opinion. There won't be any
predictable new things coming out until holiday season at the end of
this year (bigger screens, price drops), but by then it will be easy
to wait for SED to make its debut early in 2007. Here's a comparison
(a little one) of SED vs plasma and LCD. Plasma is on the left, LCD on
the right, SED center:
You can really see the detail here:

In terms of currently available plasma technologies, here are my picks:
42" plasma: Panasonic TH-42PHD8UK  good picture quality, good color accuracy
43" plasma: Pioneer Elite PRO-930HD best 42" range plasma you will find
50" plasma: Pioneer Elite PRO-1110HD really really nice, deep rich
colors, and a non-intrusive design
50" plasma: Pioneer Elite PRO-FHD1 a rare full 1080P plasma supports
the highest resolution available
61" plasma: Pioneer Elite PRO-1410HD a bit smaller, but better than
the 65" panasonic (below) and $4k cheaper
65" plasma: Panasonic TH-65XVS30U biggest plasma display you can
currently buy, $14k

If you go with pioneer anything in their elite line will be as good or
better than any other manufacturer, so it's a safe choice if you can
afford it.
If you want the best out of your DVD's you will need an upscaling DVD
player with the DCDi Faroudja chip, the best value in that range of
products is the oppo digital opdv971h:
It will do a much better job than the TV's built-in scaler, which is
optimized for broadcast HD signals and not dvd content.

For all of these displays, you should see them in a store to make sure
they fit for the purpose you are using them for. I am providing these
reccomendations based mostly on picture quality, so it's a good
starting point, but seeing them up close and personal is the only way
to make a comfortable final decision.

I do all my shopping from
Just put in the model number, put in your zip code, and pick the
lowest price from a vendor with at least four stars.
Let me know if you need more info
Subject: Re: Plasma tvs
From: research_help-ga on 14 Feb 2006 12:52 PST
Just as a clarification to the official answer - Consumer Reports DID

jbf777 writes "Consumer Reports says Panasonic is the absolute best
quality Plasma brand on the market."

I would like to know where this is written or claimed. I believe
jbf777 either made up this comment or doesn't understand how the
ratings work.

What Consumer Reports did say in the latest issue is that of the dozen
or so models that they tested, the best of these was a Panasonic. 
Consumer Reports tends to test the most popular, widely available
models, not necessarily the highest end models.
Subject: Re: Plasma tvs
From: jbf777-ga on 14 Feb 2006 18:22 PST
Yes, to clarify -- the best on the market "for the ones reviewed". 
It's generally understood that Consumer Reports assessments are for
those products that *they review* (they cannot possibly review all
products of every type in every category, as products are constantly
coming out).
Subject: Re: Plasma tvs
From: frankcorrao-ga on 15 Feb 2006 13:46 PST
You might want to wait for the 1080P tvs to hit the market.  I haven't
checked in a couple of months but as of then, the only TV that
supported 1080P through it's hdmi input was the hewlett packard one
(which is highly regarded but expensive).  However, there are several
models planned for the near future that will support this (of which i
do not have handy nor have the inclination to look up atm).  I would
suggest making sure whatever you buy supports 1080P as though this is
fairly unimportant now, it will "future-proof" the tv to some extend. 
HD-DVD and BluRay will take advantage of this resolution.

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