When we chose the Vizio VP505VXT as one of three finalists for Best in Show among HDTVs at CES 2008, it was due to three letters on the TV's spec sheet: HQV." That well-known video processing brand made the 50-inch plasma pretty compelling on paper.
Now that we've had a chance to review the VP505XVT, it's not HQV that floats our boat: it's this plasma's great overall price-to-performance ratio. At a list price of $1500, it's a great value, and we expect that price to fall a couple hundred on the sales floor at Costco. It will have to, because competing, name-brand 50-inch 1080p plasmas like the Panasonic TH-50PZ85U, the Samsung PN50A550 and the LG 50PG30 are also in the same price ballpark.
In our tests the Vizio delivered excellent black levels--as good as anything from Panasonic and better than the other two--and while it didn't have the color accuracy of the Samsungs, it was still pretty good in that category. HQV processing held its own, but we wouldn't consider it a major reason to buy this TV. The Vizio just gets the basics right, and that's what it's all about.
Around the holiday season we get a lot of e-mails from readers agonizing over what TV to buy. With the economy the way it is, consumers aren't completely shying away from buying new TVs, but they're on tight budgets and appear to be predominantly interested in screen sizes 52 inches or smaller. The big problem with going bigger is that you jump into a whole new price class when you start looking at the Panasonic 58-inch plasma--and it gets worse when you check out Pioneer's 60-incher.
The exception to all this is DLP-based rear-projection HDTVs, where Samsung … Read more
Around the holiday season we get a lot of e-mails from readers agonizing over what TV to buy. With the economy the way it is, consumers aren't completely shying away from buying new TVs, but they're on tight budgets and appear to be predominantly interested screen sizes 52 inches or smaller. The big problem with going bigger is that you jump into a whole new price class when you start looking at the Panasonic 58-inch plasma--and it gets worse when you check out Pioneer's 60-incher. The exception to all this is DLP-based rear-projection HDTVs, where Samsung … Read more
Japanese electronics maker Pioneer is set to report wider financial losses, and has named Susumu Kotani as the company's new president.
Company board member Kotani will replace Tamihiko Sudo as president. On March 31, Pioneer will report a net loss of 78 billion yen, or $783 million, the company revealed. It will be the company's fifth straight quarter without a profit.
To cut costs, the company will lay off 2,000 workers, according to a Bloomberg report. Pioneer had already planned to stop making plasma panels for its flat-screen TVs by February 2009 (Panasonic will supply the panels instead). … Read more
We recently put the largest plasma TV we've reviewed yet, Samsung's 63-inch PN63A760, though its paces, and this massive plasma came up a bit short of the tough competition. Although its distinctive red styling makes it stand out, its lighter black levels don't help its picture quality.
We compared the Samsung directly with a pair of other huge-screen plasmas, the 58-inch Panasonic TH-58PZ800U and the 60-inch LG 60PG60, and both delivered better black levels and more-accurate color. That's not to say the Samsung wasn't without its charms--we liked its antireflective screen, and proponents of of dejudder will appreciate its Smooth option (although it doesn't work with 1080p sources). The TV's prodigious feature set, which includes a full suite of interactive options, will also draw some fans.
Earlier this year we awarded the 50-inch Panasonic TH-50PZ800U our Editors' Choice among 50-inch plasma TVs, and now that we've reviewed the newly released 58-inch version, it predictably gets a similar review, with an identical score and Editors' Choice award. Part of the reason has to do with its color accuracy, for which the TV's THX Display Certification deserves credit.
The bigger Panasonic still didn't perform as well as our new reference standard, the Pioneer Elite Kuro PRO-111FD--which we assume will perform as well, in turn, as the 60-inch Elite PRO-151FD--but those Elite models are just too expensive to earn our Editors' Choice. The 50-inch Elite, for example, costs more than the 58-inch Panasonic, and the 60-inch Elite is off the charts.
If you're shopping for a massive-screen plasma, the other high-end option is the 60-inch non-Elite Pioneer, model PDP-6020FD. Too bad it's significantly more expensive than the 58-inch Panasonic itself, and judging from our review of the 50-inch version, its color accuracy is a big issue. Couple that with the fact that, according to our observations, the 58-inch Panasonic delivered even deeper black levels than the 50-inch model, we feel the EC and higher rating compared with the non-Elite Pioneer is justified, again.
For folks just looking for a massive screen, regardless of form factor, it's still difficult to justify the higher cost of plasma over rear-projection. Our current rear-projection EC is the 61-inch Samsung HL61A750, a superb-performing LED-based DLP model that can't quite match the overall picture quality of any of those plasmas, but costs a dark sight less.
What's your take? Let us know in the comments section.
CHIBA, Japan--Already skeptical about the ability of OLED to uproot the TV technology dominance of plasma and LCD in the next few years, Panasonic cast even more doubt on the opening day of Ceatec 2008.
Speaking to a group of reporters, Panasonic AVC Networks President Toshihiro Sakamoto reiterated that OLED (organic light-emitting diode) TVs will not be made in sizes of 30 inches or greater for now, and it's still not suitable for mass manufacturing. Currently, Panasonic does not have an OLED product on the market, but Sony does: it makes and 11-inch OLED TV, and is working on a 27-inch model. … Read more