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an old HD-ready used plasma in 2020?
So, my first flat TV was a 42' plasma, in the far 2006, and it was not even HD-ready, but a mere SD at 852x480 pixels.
Still, I remember it could display 720p in decent quality. I sold it, then went to FALD LEDs - even if I got a full-HD plasma as second TV, a Panasonic 42'.

Curious to see if an HD-ready plasma could display a nice full-HD picture, I decided to get not one, but two used ones!
A Pioneer LX-5080XA and a Panasonic TH-65PV500B. Both without stands and speakers, and Pioneer also without the remote control, so I put it in storage until I could find the remote, and put the Panasonic on use in an empty (for the moment) room.

I just connected it briefly to a laptop, to get a first insight; through HDMI, it passes the video at 1280x720, while plasma is 1366x768, and it has some overscan (3% IIRC). ASAP I'll connect it to my main PC, pretty sure it could drive it at 1366x768.

Tested with brief excerpts randomly taken from 1080p and 720p, and few SD. Captures from LD were poor, but it was expected; Halloween DVD was also poor, even if better than LD - I guess it's due to the laptop PC, codecs, setting etc. more investigation needed.

720p and 1080p are pretty good; setting temperature to warm (sadly only basic settings here), colors are pretty good, and image is very natural, analog-like. Details are resolved very well, probably thanks to the subpixel drive, that, I suspect, it helps to get quasi-HD resolution. Never saw sawtooth edges, and in some instances were fine details are displayed - like newspapers - I forgot it was not HD.

Black level is quite high - at least for a plasma, but lately I had few occasions to watch HD and UHD displays in various home, and some have good blacks but horrible clouding, and others had no clouding but greyish blacks, so even if it's far from perfect, it's more than acceptable. (note: viewed during the afternoon, with some light from windows; possibly in a pitch black room it could be better)

All in all, a nice display for 130€ - huge, bulky, heavy (84kg!!!) - that can't compare with OLEDs or better FALD LEDs, still better than many EDGE LEDs and surely than CCFL LCDs; image is very natural and film-like - at least, it gives me that impression of "something is not perfect, still it's soooo good!", a bit like old card or motorbikes, dunno if I give the idea.

Now, really curious to test the Pioneer - got it for 55€...

What's about your experience with plasmas, lately?
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I looked at a few second hand ones last year as I wanted a new TV around 40" for SD DVD's and lower quality HD programs.

Like you, I found the black levels to be raised - particularly in comparison to OLED. These were all older, lower budget Panasonic Plasmas though - I wonder if the higher-end ones were better? (I've only ever owned CRT, LCD & OLED)

In the end I went for a modern Panasonic LCD - blacks are very good, colour is fine and it should be more reliable. Still has some of the usual LCD issues though.

I always think it's a shame that manufacturers don't care about 'smaller' TV's. I would happily stump up for a 40" OLED but I'm probably in the minority!
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Latest Kuro Pioneer and NeoPDP Panasonic have really good black, but they are quite hard to find at low prices... I always keep my eyes open, so if I'll spot one at the right price, I'll get rid of the big 65 - but for no less than a 60, like the PDP-LX6090! Big Grin
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Nice video from Vincent you might like.

Thanks given by: spoRv , captainsolo
(2020-08-01, 11:58 PM)Hitcher Wrote: Nice video from Vincent you might like.

Very interesting, thanks!

If only he got all info in few minutes and the two TVs on front and not angled, it would be pretty much perfect.
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I tinkered with the laptop video card settings, and got 1920x1080 displayed at 99.9% - I guess I've lost 4 or 5 pixels on the left side, but I preferred this instead of getting the whole image but 4 or 5 black pixels on the right side.

Watched Mission: Impossible II (from an old HDTV 720p recording) and it looked very very good! Took a look at some others 1080p and 576p videos, too.

  • Blacks: not inky nor deep, let's say medium blacks, still better than very dark grey available on cheap LEDs; I must watch it during the night, curious to see if blacks would be deeper
  • Brightness: sufficient, still good for SDR
  • Colors: very nice; although not (yet) properly calibrated, they seem spot on
  • Resolution: finest details were resolved very well - single hair, skin pores etc. - and diagonal lines were always perfectly resolved; sure it's not a real full-HD, but the result is very good and I bet nobody could tell it's only an HD-ready display if not using it as a normal PC monitor
  • Motion: pretty perfect; never noted judder or other motion artefacts
  • Offset view: incredible! Is it possible to watch it from any angle, and the quality remains the same!
  • Retention: zero! Unbelievable, as it was used as a videogame monitor before (and I guess quite much), still no burned in/ghost image
  • Dead pixels: none - at least, using black, white, red, blue, green fullframe images
  • Screen uniformity: perfect!
  • SD quality: difference with HD is very clear, but it's quite good, albeit soft - but I guess it's the best way to watch good analog sources like laserdisc, as upscale is "only" from 480/576 to 768, and simpler in comparison to 1080 (480 x 1.6 vs 2.25 - 576 x 4/3 vs 1.875)
  • Audio: great! Using two cheap Philips loudspeakers from 20+ years old mini stereo system, sound was crisp and powerful - its 2x18W seems to work very well... better loudspeaker are needed, though!
Well, I repeat myself like a broken record, but after have watched a whole movie, I had that sensation of "cinemaness", analogness that LEDs can't give - had not the occasion to watch a whole movie on an OLED, though...

So, is it better than an OLED or FALD-LED? I guess there could be at most one or two single features that could be (eventually, and marginally) be better than any good new 2020 model, still at a two euro per inch, you can't get any better price per inch/quality ratio! Happy

Review: https://www.trustedreviews.com/reviews/p...-plasma-tv
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I had a 65" Panasonic VT50 and it was amazing. I could only go OLED after that and now have the 65" LG B7.

My first serious TV was a 42" Panasonic progressive scan CRT.
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(2020-08-03, 11:41 PM)Hitcher Wrote: I had a 65" Panasonic VT50 and it was amazing.

Understandable, as it is among the best plasma ever, after the ZT65, ZT60, VT65, VT60...
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Found an ST60 last year with very low hours. Remarkable quality but like everything has some drawbacks. Very susceptible to burn in etc. The 3D playback is good once you get the setting right but I only have three 3D titles I care about (Creature, House of Wax and Dial M)
Black levels and comb filter not quite as good as my XBR960...but practically nothing is.
Brilliant 1080p picture but magnifies all DVD flaws.
Unfortunately has an issue where there's a very light purple bar pattern that can faintly appear in B&W material but I can never remember what the issue is called.
24p causes the audio sync to go and I can't get it back with my Onkyo no matter what until I disengage 24p.
For some reason I had two speaker coils go bad when I had it connected.

Sooo it's the best I've yet seen for 1080p but now outclassed by OLEDs as shown in Vincent's video above. But for that filmic look, pitch black and amazing SD content the xbr960 still wins.
Damn Fool Idealistic Crusader
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ST60 was also a very good model!

Back to the PV500: I finally found a way to access to service menu, and it turned out that the TV will be 15 years old at the end of the month, and it has 38279 hours life! Eek still working flawlessly - unbelievable... (quite) old technology made in Japan often outclasses new products!

Well, I found an old Philips media player, the HMP3000, at 15€; it plays almost anything up to 1080p, along with pictures and audio files, so I grabbed some pics from the net to check overscan, and guess what? It's zero, nothing, no overscan at all! I don't know why/how, but the little box sends a fullframe image to the plasma. That's great!

I tried it this night, in an almost completely dark room. Result: black level is still there, quite high - in particular for a plasma display - but still not very noticeable when watching a 16:9 content, quite noticeable with 2.35:1 though. These are few settings in the secret menu about "drive" that could lower the black level; I'll try them soon.

Even if blacks remain as they are, it's still a remarkable product even today; sure, I will never, ever think to buy a new 65' TV for around 10000€ (its price at the time) not even for a supa-dupa OLED 8K, still at 130€ it's the best thing I can get...

Tomorrow I'll put the Pioneer at work; without remote is not even possible to access the menu! But I want to give it a try nevertheless.
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