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Written by Kevin Miller   
Tuesday, 22 May 2012
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panasonic-vt50.jpgFor the fifth year in a row now, Value Electronics presented its annual Flat Panel Shootout where I was the keynote speaker. The panel contestants were the Panasonic TC-P65VT50 plasma, the Samsung PN64E8000 plasma, the LG 60PM9700 plasma, the Samsung UN60ES8000 edge lit LED LCD, the Elite PRO-60X5FD full direct array LED backlit LCD, and the Panasonic TC-L47WT50 edge lit LED LCD.

We had the honor of being joined this year by the distinguished Dr. Larry Weber who is widely regarded as the godfather of plasma display technology. Dr. Weber, who started Plasmaco, and was ultimately bought out by Panasonic, holds many patents related to television manufacturing, and is credited with numerous inventions that ultimately led to making plasma display technology commercially viable. He and his team were also the first to manufacture a 60-inch model that debuted in Panasonic’s line in 1990. Yours truly was at the Panasonic press conference that same year at ABC’s broadcast studio in Manhattan where the product first debuted.

All six of the panels in the shootout were calibrated to the best of their capabilities. We tested for Contrast Ratio, Color Saturation (color decoding), Overall Color Accuracy or Colorimetry (Rec 709 Color gamut accuracy, color decoding, and grayscale tracking), and Motion Resolution.

This year, I added a Color Tracking test due to the color tracking problem I identified last year with the secondary color, Cyan on the Elite PRO-60X5FD. For this test, we used SpectraCal’s soon to be released CalMAN Pro version 5.0, which is currently in the beta stage. The current version of the software allows for color tracking measurements of all the primary and secondary colors at 20,40,60,80, and 100% luminance levels, which will be expanded to 10 to 100% in 10% increments by the time it is launched.

The performance of most all of the contesting flat panels was quite a bit better overall than last year’s models. I was very pleased to find that Panasonic had addressed all of the performance issues I identified in last year’s VT30 series panels in the new VT50. Specifically, the color decoding is now spot on in the custom and ISF modes, which was the biggest performance problem with last year’s VT30 model. The VT50s are also capable of much higher light output levels, so we can now achieve an ISF Day mode that will be significantly brighter than the ISF Night mode.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 05 June 2012 )
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