Panasonic Plasma stands the test of time

I bought a 50" commercial type Panasonic Plasma screen in 2005.  It's only 720p and only 60Hhz but it still looks pretty sitting on the wall and everyone always comments on the picture quality.

Panasonic_plasma_on_wall

Ok, I'm missing a centre speaker and it's noticeable, but that's next on my list of upgrades.  And to get rid of those speakers with some nice wall mount monitors.  But, I have a Sony Bravia 42"LCD 1080p in my other lounge with perfect Dolby 5.1 surround sound and I still prefer the Panasonic.

I don't know why, i just i like it.  Physically it looks better than most screens, although now with the dawn of LED back lighting screens are getting slimmer.  But are they better?

Are new LED LCD's better than a Plasma?

That's such a difficult question to answer and really depends on personal taste. It's amazing how technology has come forward over the past 4 years, but I've sat in front of brand new LED LCDs and have had to adjust to the picture.  It is good quality in most cases, but in real terms, what does that mean?  LCD's are great for displaying computer graphics and the higher the resolution the better.  Without question a new 50" LED LCD would display my windows desktop with far more clarity than my Panasonic 720p Plasma.  But movies and normal TV to me seems gentle on a Plasma screen.  The Nintendo Wii and XBox work well too.

Lifespan and Screen Burn

The downside of a Plasma is that it has a life span and can suffer screen burn.  Eventually it will die and i will be forced to replace it, or maybe it won't and I'll have to put it in another room.  The main reason I would upgrade is playback of fast moving scenes normally in movies.  It's not smooth compared to a traditional CRT or modern day LCD or Plasma screen.  That annoys me, but i knew that when i bought it.  Thing is, nothing at the time was any better.  The public seems to except a picture worse than a CRT in sacrifice for a nice looking flat panel and I'm included.  It is changing though.

Size

When i bought it back in the day, I was worried it might be too big.  I find 50" perfect viewing from about 3m away.  I certainly wouldn't have anything smaller now, but i would go bigger.  You need a good video source if you do.  The Panasonic upscales and renders video very well but if the source is bad a big screen will only magnify the defects.  HD is a must really.

HD vs SD

It's not always possible to watch HD TV  and that's where the old Plasma comes into it's own.  Standard Definition TV via a Component Input plays very well on the Panasonic - much better than the Sony Bravia LCD in the other room and much better than the last Samsung 52" LED LCD i had the pleasure of playing with.

Upgrading

So here I am waiting for the next 50" or possibly bigger TV screen to tempt me.  As always I'll have to spend hours trawling the nerd before i choose something.  And no doubt once I've bought a new TV I'll spend hours looking at every detail wondering if i could have bought a better model or if I'm happy with the way it displays the picture!  It's going to be painful and expensive, that's for sure.

So maybe i will make do with my bulky outdated Plasma for another year.

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