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Panasonic 55" 1080p Plasma HDTV TC-P55UT50

Previous deal mentioned Here as B&M.

Now available online with Free shipping.
So thought of posting as a new deal..

$699.99 after $100 OFF & Free Shipping

$100 manufacturer’s discount is valid 2/20/13 through 3/10/13. While supplies last.

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Panasonic 55 inch TC-P55UT50
Thanks VBMcGB
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I was using my PS3 for 3D too, but I found it would not do 5.1 sound while playing 3D, so I ended up buying a 3D blu-ray... (more)

MrTweaker (Mar. 09, 2013 @ 8:43a) |

The high-resolution audio is a feature that the PS3 didn't support initially when viewing 3d but that should be fixed no... (more)

clb4g9 (Mar. 09, 2013 @ 9:01a) |

Can you share the information of that glass? I also want to buy some. Thanks!

lovecd (Mar. 09, 2013 @ 10:48a) |

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good price

No glasses included?

bilyclub said:   No glasses included?

Nope.

Sweet deal folks. The same TV cost me $899 1+ yrs ago and I thought I stole it.

bilyclub said:   No glasses included?

I don't need any glasses. When I drink, I drink outta the 'bottle.

If this hdtv is LED, then $699 is a steal. But so so for plasma. I rather wait for a good deal on LED hdtv than buy plasma.

This is just one man's opinion, but if you're considering this set, drop in a store and try to get a feel for it in person. I owned this set and did not like the picture quality at all. The Vizio I replaced it with, and I had them side by side in my home for a week before I brought the Panny back, is superior in every possible way with the single exception of black levels, and that's only by a small margin. Many people say that plasmas are the winner in terms of picture quality, but they only seem to take black levels into account. The Panny had dingy whites, dim colors, and a noisy picture in general. When I complain about the noisy picture on plasmas like this one, I am often told that I'm sitting too close, but if you have very good vision like I do you'd have to be sitting thirty feet away to no longer notice the noise. What I mean by that is, for example, if I pause a movie on a close-up of an actor on my Vizio, I can see every hair on the actor's head as perfectly as if they were here with me. With the Panny, it would all just look like a mass of color with a little texture to it.

Anyway, just my two cents. If you see it in person and it really does look better than an LED backlit set to you, then by all means, I'm sure you'll be thrilled.

What sort of settings were you using to get such an awful picture? I have one of these, and it's delightful.

...and what Vizio model did you replace it with?

MisterBeefhead said:   This is just one man's opinion, but if you're considering this set, drop in a store and try to get a feel for it in person. I owned this set and did not like the picture quality at all. The Vizio I replaced it with, and I had them side by side in my home for a week before I brought the Panny back, is superior in every possible way with the single exception of black levels, and that's only by a small margin. Many people say that plasmas are the winner in terms of picture quality, but they only seem to take black levels into account. The Panny had dingy whites, dim colors, and a noisy picture in general. When I complain about the noisy picture on plasmas like this one, I am often told that I'm sitting too close, but if you have very good vision like I do you'd have to be sitting thirty feet away to no longer notice the noise. What I mean by that is, for example, if I pause a movie on a close-up of an actor on my Vizio, I can see every hair on the actor's head as perfectly as if they were here with me. With the Panny, it would all just look like a mass of color with a little texture to it.

Anyway, just my two cents. If you see it in person and it really does look better than an LED backlit set to you, then by all means, I'm sure you'll be thrilled.


I'm assuming the vizio was an LCD. Plasmas by the nature of the way they produce light are going to blur pixels together more, call it inherent antialiasing or something if you want. It's actually that very fact that made them the choice for depicting humans on screen over LCD's way back. An LCD will give you more detail/sharpness at the expense of more jagged edges (along with the response/black levels).

That's personally why I don't see why people are comparing them against each other in stores. Imo you either are shopping for an LCD ... or you're shopping for a plasma. Not both.

MisterBeefhead said:   This is just one man's opinion, but if you're considering this set, drop in a store and try to get a feel for it in person. I owned this set and did not like the picture quality at all. The Vizio I replaced it with, and I had them side by side in my home for a week before I brought the Panny back, is superior in every possible way with the single exception of black levels, and that's only by a small margin. Many people say that plasmas are the winner in terms of picture quality, but they only seem to take black levels into account. The Panny had dingy whites, dim colors, and a noisy picture in general. When I complain about the noisy picture on plasmas like this one, I am often told that I'm sitting too close, but if you have very good vision like I do you'd have to be sitting thirty feet away to no longer notice the noise. What I mean by that is, for example, if I pause a movie on a close-up of an actor on my Vizio, I can see every hair on the actor's head as perfectly as if they were here with me. With the Panny, it would all just look like a mass of color with a little texture to it.

Anyway, just my two cents. If you see it in person and it really does look better than an LED backlit set to you, then by all means, I'm sure you'll be thrilled.


Display choices are currently a choose your poison situation so I agree folks should probably do research on the pros and cons of each technology and then evaluate them at home. Evaluating in store is hardly ideal unless your living room approximates a Costco. The advantage of Costco is you can evaluate in home and have an easy return. The other major advantage other than black levels of plasma is motion resolution. Plasmas also have much better off-axis viewing angles which can be important if you have folks watching who aren't centered on the screen. Not saying plasma is superior just you need to decide what you priorities are. Dollar for dollar plasmas usually do better for picture quality than LCD. If you look at this month's Consumer Reports you will see plasma led the rankings in every size category where plasmas were available and generally they were cheaper (sometimes by a lot) than the LCD/"LED" displays that ranked just behind them.

All that said I have seen three issues reported with this set. One it doesn't have the anti-reflective coating so in situations with light this panel will suffer as compared to the higher level Pannys with AR coating. In a light controlled environment its picture should be comparable to the higher end panels. Two the 2012 Pannys seem to suffer more from image retention than previous models or Samsung. If you watch a lot of ESPN.com, MSNBC or game you *may* have issues. Some report the issue is much less after 400 hours. Finally Panny's image processing/scaling seems to have some issues in the 2012 models. While BluRay looks awesome, some folks have reported issues with scaling from 720p sources. It is not clear how much of this is the source itself and how much is the scaling in the set but something to keep in mind or to at least test during the return period. One way around this last issue is to do the scaling external to the set.

I don't think any of these issues is really a deal breaker in most situations though and this appears to be a great bargain. In fact it might appear that this set was too much of a bargain because Panasonic has eliminated 3D in the 2013 version of this set so you will have to go a step higher to get 3D in the 2013 models.

MisterBeefhead said:   This is just one man's opinion, but if you're considering this set, drop in a store and try to get a feel for it in person. I owned this set and did not like the picture quality at all. The Vizio I replaced it with, and I had them side by side in my home for a week before I brought the Panny back, is superior in every possible way with the single exception of black levels, and that's only by a small margin. Many people say that plasmas are the winner in terms of picture quality, but they only seem to take black levels into account. The Panny had dingy whites, dim colors, and a noisy picture in general. When I complain about the noisy picture on plasmas like this one, I am often told that I'm sitting too close, but if you have very good vision like I do you'd have to be sitting thirty feet away to no longer notice the noise. What I mean by that is, for example, if I pause a movie on a close-up of an actor on my Vizio, I can see every hair on the actor's head as perfectly as if they were here with me. With the Panny, it would all just look like a mass of color with a little texture to it.

Anyway, just my two cents. If you see it in person and it really does look better than an LED backlit set to you, then by all means, I'm sure you'll be thrilled.


Just curious, but did you actually configure the TV for your viewing environment? I have the Panny and the out-of-the-box picture was horrible -- even worse than a 5-yr old DLP it was replacing. That said, after I configured the TV, the picture is very nice. The only really big drawback is that there is no anti-glare coating on the screen and it reflects a lot of light. As such, I definitely would not recommend this TV in a non-light controlled viewing environment. Also, it only has 2 HDMI inputs so you might need to buy a HDMI switch if you have a lot of equipment (DVD, Blu-ray, PS3, etc) that you hook up directly to the TV.

The 70" Vizio is a better TV, it's a movie theatre screen.

polishdreamer said:   The 70" Vizio is a better TV, it's a movie theatre screen.

And my 98" HT screen is bigger than it, too. Did you have a point?

slickdeal45 said:   polishdreamer said:   The 70" Vizio is a better TV, it's a movie theatre screen.

And my 98" HT screen is bigger than it, too. Did you have a point?
I assume that was sarcasm since PD is the one that was very actively advocating the Panny U54 from Costco (which I have and love!)

...er nevermind. I guess PD has a 70" Vizio deal he posted too.

slickdeal45 said:   What sort of settings were you using to get such an awful picture? I have one of these, and it's delightful.
I tried several setting sets from AVSforum, as well as trying to tweak the settings myself. I also ran color slides to break in the set for 100 hours. By no means am I saying the picture was awful, just that it was a pretty big step down to my eyes from the Vizio.


GeorgeT said:   ...and what Vizio model did you replace it with?
E701i-A3


MizzouFan said:   
Just curious, but did you actually configure the TV for your viewing environment? I have the Panny and the out-of-the-box picture was horrible -- even worse than a 5-yr old DLP it was replacing. That said, after I configured the TV, the picture is very nice. The only big really drawback is that there is no anti-glare coating on the screen and it reflects a lot of light. As such, I would not recommend this TV in a bright viewing environment. Also, it only has 2 HDMI inputs so you might need to buy a HDMI switch if you have a lot of equipment (DVD, Blu-ray, PS3, etc)


I really did. That's another shortcoming that I didn't mention, the screen reflectivity. This is not a set for an environment without near total light control. Had I kept it, I would have needed to invest in heavier window coverings. I assure you however, I did all my picture tinkering and comparisons at night.

You get what you pay for. Led costs more because the colors are more vivid, vibrant, and uses less energy. But if you want plasma go for it...it's your money. ...wasting $700 is not cheap. Spend $100 more and get led...it's $100 more well spent.

Seen it today in store. Looks amazing. Great TV for the price, kind of wish that my 42 inch would break on me.

Mine arrived today and got it hooked up this evening. Using settings posted on the Amazon product page by a reviewer there makes the TV look pretty freaking amazing. This was at night though, so I'm not sure how it will perform in broad daylight. But as for night performance, glare from my overhead lights wasn't bad at all. TV is physically a good looking TV as well. I think most people out there know that, dollar for dollar, this is going to be a great performer, but I was even impressed by how well it looked after 30 seconds of calibration.

LED LCD TVs do "NOT" produce more vibrant and more vivid picture quality (as docjoo claimed". Plasma TVs simply offer better picture quality per dollar. It is universally reviewed this way. From Asia to Europe to America. Most experts love Panasonic plasmas.

Down sides: buzzing, higher energy consumption and light reflection.

This TV is a fantastic deal from Costco. I don't know why they have so much in stock, but this TV sold out so fast at this same price at Bestbuy. Panasonic's 2013 lineup use the same panel and does not seem to offer much over the outgoing models.

This is a good TV. I agree with openwheelracing. The over saturation of colors and brightness of an LEDs looks unreal and fake. Plasma have the edge. Go over to the AVS forums for a better understanding of what is considered a good TV. The best quality TVs a few years ago were the Pioneer Plasmas. Pioneer had the "Kuro" lines and they could not be beat. Unfortunately, Pioneer shut down the business. Also, the plasmas were a little pricey for some people to afford.

knightimer said:   This is a good TV. I agree with openwheelracing. The over saturation of colors and brightness of an LEDs looks unreal and fake. Plasma have the edge. Go over to the AVS forums for a better understanding of what is considered a good TV. The best quality TVs a few years ago were the Pioneer Plasmas. Pioneer had the "Kuro" lines and they could not be beat. Unfortunately, Pioneer shut down the business. Also, the plasmas were a little pricey for some people to afford.

Agreed. I have the Pioneer Kuro and it is the best picture I have ever seen. Nothing can compare. Amazing tv. It is the standard by which all tv pics are now compared.

Some interesting discussion in this thread, and I want to give the nod to SecState for going into some depth on the differences I've observed, too. I've been showroom shopping with mild interest for a few months and also reading threads, trying to sort opinion from unbiased impressions.

What I've seen is:

1) I can usually pick out the Plasma displays from 30' away, as the 'whites' just seem muted or a very light gray color, though off angle viewing does seem a little better. I've picked up the remotes and tweaked the brighntness/contrast but it still doesnt make them completely equal to LEDs they sit next to.
2) The backlit LCD/LED TV's seem to have a more uniform picture, where is the edge-lit (often, not always) seem to have areas on the screen that seem less illuminated than others, and it is more apparent to me on larger 55-60" sets.
3) Finding one with quality sound is still a crap-shoot - Thin bezels looks nicer to me (think Samsung and LG), but I've yet to find a resource the objectively compares sound, instead I find "Oh..the black levels!"..."Ahh...so vibrant!" discussions over-rule this consideration.

I'm unbiased at this point and somewhat disillusioned by the "This is best because xxxx" and where the unspoken word is that they own the set in question already and there's probably some background justification for their opinion.

I love my panasonic plasma, moreso than my Vizio LCD by leaps and bounds. The colors are much more natural and detail is better. Not that the vizio is bad, just the plasma looks another level up. I'm calibrated towards AVS forum recommendations on both sets. The plasma is in my bedroom where it tends to be darker while the vizio in my living room where its brighter. This is just my experience too.

logan71: if you compare TVs in a showroom. The plasmas will always look like crap. Even in Bestbuy's Magnolia they don't compare, let along the super bright Bestbuy showroom. Plasmas must be setup in your own home with correct lighting. That's when the difference comes to life. It is true plasmas do not produce extremely bright whites, however I bet you can't watch a 2 hour movie with LED bright whites on high anyway, that's too much eye strain. On the other hand, no one beats Panasonic in blacks & black details unless you go for the very high end LED models. Check out below review and video. There is a demonstration between bright and darkened room. I used to avoid plasmas like the plague, but I am thoroughly happy with my new P55UT50.

http://reviews.cnet.com/flat-panel-tvs/panasonic-tc-p55ut50/4505...

One thing to keep in mind is that this TV, like a lot of plasmas, uses more power for an equivalent level of brightness on an LCD. To qualify for Energy Star ratings and appear close to LCDs in terms of power consumption, the Standard setting on this plasma produces a dim, awful picture. Once you move beyond that, it produces a really vivid, life-like picture with great motion.

The big downside with this particular TV is the reflections. I've got this in my living room, and at night it's no problem. I don't get direct sun in the evening (the room faces North), but with lots of large windows it makes daytime viewing less enjoyable. I don't watch much daytime TV, so it's not an issue for me. If it were, I'd have gone with an ST series or better.

This TV is a huge bang for the buck, provided that you can control the light in the room or watch at night.

One thing I don't do is play video games in the living room on this. When I do play games, it's in my home theater room on an LCD projector. I wouldn't want to run a game for hours on end that displays any sort of stationary HUD. No big deal with channel logos, as they come and go, but video game HUDs could cause issues with image retention.

On the whole, a plasma takes a little more planning than an LCD. For the no-brainers, an LCD is perfect. If a plasma fits how you use a TV, it's a great choice.

Hmm...I wonder why plasma hdtv sells at lower price than LED? If you guys are claiming that plasma is better than LED, everyone who buys LED must be wasting money? I compared LED vs Plasma....to my eyes, I liked LED. Also probably save me extra $50 per year on electric bill by going with LED than plasma.

docjoo said:   Hmm...I wonder why plasma hdtv sells at lower price than LED? If you guys are claiming that plasma is better than LED, everyone who buys LED must be wasting money? I compared LED vs Plasma....to my eyes, I liked LED. Also probably save me extra $50 per year on electric bill by going with LED than plasma. And that's fine. Both Plasma and LED-backlit LCD have their strength and weaknesses and that means different people will prefer different technologies depending on what they want out of their TV. For me, I preferred more natural colors, better blacks and smoother motion (sports) so I went with plasma after being annoyed with an LED/LCD LG TV that I returned after a few weeks. That said, the LED/LCD that I returned was more energy efficiency, lighter/thinner, and a lot brighter which were all nice.

docjoo said:   Hmm...I wonder why plasma hdtv sells at lower price than LED?

There's a pretty simple answer to that. For many screen sizes, plasmas cost less to produce than LCDs do. Educate yourself, and you'll ask better questions. You might want to start with talking about the panel type, rather than the backlighting. Just an idea.

Almost every professional review I have read in recent years has trumpeted the better plasmas (Panasonic, Samsung) as having a better overall picture than LEDs/LCDs (until perhaps recently when the technologies seem to be getting very close to each other). Yet plasmas lag significantly in sales, and every big box store I've ever been in I've been steered away from plasmas. When I note that plasmas generally get the better reviews, the store employees look at me like I'm nuts.

What is the fundamental reason that LEDs/LCDs get such favorable treatment by the stores when at best, the pros and cons roughly balance each other out?

Is it mainly a generational gap since the salespeople tend to be younger gamer types (favoring the bright look of many LED/LCDs, as opposed to the more film-like look of plasmas), or is it simply that LEDs/LCDs look better in a bright store? Or is there something else?

crouchten said:   What is the fundamental reason that LEDs/LCDs get such favorable treatment by the stores when at best, the pros and cons roughly balance each other out?

Is it mainly a generational gap since the salespeople tend to be younger gamer types (favoring the bright look of many LED/LCDs, as opposed to the more film-like look of plasmas), or is it simply that LEDs/LCDs look better in a bright store? Or is there something else?
I don't know the answer to that, but here are a few of my guesses:
1. Plasma, despite better picture quality, used to be much worse long term - people used to talk about burn-ins, image retention, heat and short life-span (getting dim over time). While current plasma tvs aren't immune to that, they're minor considerations now. Almost everyone I've talked to after I bought my plasma asked, "but aren't you worried about [insert one of the above]?!" I think plasma got a bad wrap early on, perhaps rightly so, that people who don't follow changing technology just assumes that the problem still exists.
2. LCDs are thinner/lighter which definitely has the "cool" appeal.
3. They started branding LED-backlit LCDs (even if it's only the edge) as "LED TV", which again has the "cool" appeal, even if it's a misnomer.
4. You mentioned this, but the brightness of the LCDs do make them look better in store showrooms no matter how much you mess around with the image settings, in my opinion.

Those are just my thoughts, but who knows?

p.s. I like playing video games on my plasma

crouchten said:   What is the fundamental reason that LEDs/LCDs get such favorable treatment by the stores when at best, the pros and cons roughly balance each other out?

Is it mainly a generational gap since the salespeople tend to be younger gamer types (favoring the bright look of many LED/LCDs, as opposed to the more film-like look of plasmas), or is it simply that LEDs/LCDs look better in a bright store? Or is there something else?


Everything in a big box store works against plasmas. Consumer knowledge, sales person knowledge, lower selling prices, and higher energy consumption for a given picture quality (Best Buy saves real money by reducing their stores' electrical costs). Return rates, I'd imagine, too. The folks making $10/hour at Best Buy are pretty far from being great resources. They're often motivated by spiffs and other incentives that certainly aren't having to do with the customer's best interests. If they recommend a product to you, it's likely because they get a few bucks for selling it, or that their manager directed them to push it. It's not often about what best fits your needs.

One thing to think about is that stores only have a certain amount of display space. They want the highest average sales price possible for any given amount of store space. LCDs tend to be a bit more expensive than plasmas. They'd rather make a 20% margin on an item with a $1,000 ASP than 20% on an item with a $900 ASP.

The other part is that plasma is a technology that has more "problems" than LCDs in terms of image retention. It really requires some care, and many people just aren't accustomed to that or willing to make the minimal compromises involved.

Plasmas used to have a questionable reputation, too. It used to be that they had great picture quality, but shorter life spans, lots of burn-in, and were extremely expensive. That created some lasting perceptions.

In the end, very few people really care about what technology their TV panel uses. What they want is a great picture at a great price.

nvmind.. had missed the post about the model
MisterBeefhead said:   This is just one man's opinion, but if you're considering this set, drop in a store and try to get a feel for it in person. I owned this set and did not like the picture quality at all. The Vizio I replaced it with, and I had them side by side in my home for a week before I brought the Panny back, is superior in every possible way with the single exception of black levels, and that's only by a small margin. Many people say that plasmas are the winner in terms of picture quality, but they only seem to take black levels into account. The Panny had dingy whites, dim colors, and a noisy picture in general. When I complain about the noisy picture on plasmas like this one, I am often told that I'm sitting too close, but if you have very good vision like I do you'd have to be sitting thirty feet away to no longer notice the noise. What I mean by that is, for example, if I pause a movie on a close-up of an actor on my Vizio, I can see every hair on the actor's head as perfectly as if they were here with me. With the Panny, it would all just look like a mass of color with a little texture to it.

Anyway, just my two cents. If you see it in person and it really does look better than an LED backlit set to you, then by all means, I'm sure you'll be thrilled.

crouchten said:   
What is the fundamental reason that LEDs/LCDs get such favorable treatment by the stores when at best, the pros and cons roughly balance each other out?



IMHO, Plasma is difficult to sell on traditional sales floors. Take Costco for example, plasma TVs look terrible. Why would anyone buy such a display that looks washed out? Unfortunately a lot of buyers don't research and simply go into Costco and pick up whatever is sexy and slim.

If I load it into my car, can I put it flat or have to be stand straight? I know plasma tv can't be laid down in the old days, is it still be true now?

It is recommended to have it standing up. If you must put it flat, I would put some cushion (rolled up sweaters/rags/pillows) on the 4 corners.
Plasmas use glass and the center could crack if you hit a pot hole hard. Especially for a large TV like this 55".

Thank you!
openwheelracing said:   It is recommended to have it standing up. If you must put it flat, I would put some cushion (rolled up sweaters/rags/pillows) on the 4 corners.
Plasmas use glass and the center could crack if you hit a pot hole hard. Especially for a large TV like this 55".

openwheelracing said:   It is recommended to have it standing up. If you must put it flat, I would put some cushion (rolled up sweaters/rags/pillows) on the 4 corners.
Plasmas use glass and the center could crack if you hit a pot hole hard. Especially for a large TV like this 55".


Wouldnt that be what you dont want to do? Ideally, wouldn't the best case "lie-flat" scenario be if the entire rear of the TV was evenly supported and cushioned? Either by removing the TV or by stuffing towels into the box to fill up the empty section between the rear of the TV and the box?

Im not saying that youre wrong, just stating my own logic.

Skipping 11 Messages...
Can you share the information of that glass? I also want to buy some. Thanks!
clb4g9 said:   MrTweaker said:   clb4g9 said:   Just an update, since this is still on. I love the TV...we have the TV on the same wall as a sliding glass door in our home, and in the late afternoon my wife does notice a wicked glare. But that's with the window, which is obviously pretty large, wide open and letting obscene amounts of sunlight in. Shut the blinds, and the glare isn't bad at all. At night the TV is a star. Paired with a PS3 and watched Wreck-It Ralph in 3D last night and was awfully impressed. Would buy again in a heartbeat.

I was using my PS3 for 3D too, but I found it would not do 5.1 sound while playing 3D, so I ended up buying a 3D blu-ray player. I got the Panasonic which pairs up automatically with the TV.


The high-resolution audio is a feature that the PS3 didn't support initially when viewing 3d but that should be fixed now; however in my case my TX-SR805 doesn't do 3d so I am kind of out of luck where that is concerned anyway. Loving the TV by the way; picked up the Samsung glasses for $15 apiece with some shop your way rewards points I had from Sears....



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