• Page :
  • 1
  • Text Only
rated:
Panasonic sued over plasma TV picture quality

A class action lawsuit against Panasonic was filed February 12, claiming an increase in the brightness of black levels, as well as a corresponding decrease in contrast ratio that is detrimental to picture quality.

The suit, filed in federal court in New Jersey, alleges that "the television is no longer producing the same image quality that [Panasonic] represented it would produce."

We first learned of the suit when we contacted a Panasonic representative while seeking comment regarding our most recent test results on black-level performance. That test did find worse performance in two aged 2009 Panasonic plasma TVs.

The company could not comment on the results, citing the pending litigation. Here's the full text of Panasonic's response:

Unfortunately, after our discussions about providing you with further information, a lawsuit regarding this issue was filed. While we believe that the lawsuit is baseless, since this is now a matter in litigation, Panasonic company policy prohibits us from responding to your questions.

If you are interested, the lawsuit is pending in federal court in Newark, N.J., filed under docket number 2:10-CV-00846.

For the record, a report on this blog quoting Panasonic's response was cited in the suit.

Source - CNET.COM

Panasonic admits plasma TV black level change but says picture quality still 'excellent'

Tests point to extent of loss in Panasonic plasma-black level performance

avsforums.com thread

Member Summary
Quick Summary is created and edited by users like you... Add FAQ's, Links and other Relevant Information by clicking the edit button in the lower right hand corner of this message.
Thanks for visiting FatWallet.com. Join for free to remove this ad.

This has been talked about for a while on AVS forums, and I was certain a suit would come out sooner or later. From what I've read over there, it really seems as if Panasonic did its best to deal with a problem. It's ironic that on a board full of self-described videophiles this only came to light after a set malfunctioned. Before that, none of the supposed experts noticed the changes so I'm sure the average consumer would never see it. The offsetting levels seems like a reasonable approach to solve an issue. Like anything, I guess it would have been better to give full disclosure and it will probably cost them millions.

I can see why Panasonic doesn't want to fix this, but it doesn't mean they shouldn't.. especially if they "fixed" the issue in the 2010 models. I'm not sure how many hours I'm at with my P50X1, but I hope I don't notice a change. I wonder if tweaking the settings can correct it.

The avsforum thread is interesting. It says that *all* plasmas require voltage regulation over time and have their black levels get worse. I agree that the fallout from the coverup will be a much worse issue than if they had admitted the situation in the first place. I guarantee you that even though the defective plasmas still have better black levels than most LCDs, people will spin this as a reason why you should pay more for LCD.

Definitely true. The "fix" that they implemented, as far as I can tell, is just better management of the adjustments. The only other option I can see if you Panasonic to simply say "F em" and let the total image quality fade over time. It's really a no win situation. My idea now is to simply to put a software switch in that would allow users to turn the feature on and off. Then people could decide for themselves whether they want to manage the settings themselves or let the engineers at Panasonic so it for them.

drodge said: ...My idea now is to simply to put a software switch in that would allow users to turn the feature on and off. Then people could decide for themselves whether they want to manage the settings themselves or let the engineers at Panasonic so it for them.Since this 'Voltage Adjustment' is set (to occur prematurely) via the firmware, do the models with the problem have a 'USB Service Port' where a firmware update could be loaded in?

I don't know specifically about the models. Most modern TV's have some method of updating the firmware, so I assumed that was an option.

TakeTheActive said: drodge said: ...My idea now is to simply to put a software switch in that would allow users to turn the feature on and off. Then people could decide for themselves whether they want to manage the settings themselves or let the engineers at Panasonic so it for them.Since this 'Voltage Adjustment' is set (to occur prematurely) via the firmware, do the models with the problem have a 'USB Service Port' where a firmware update could be loaded in?

The TVs use sub-systems to perform different functions, the voltage regulator sub-system appears to not be reprogrammable(otherwise they would update it to shut people up), like the main control firmware. I think they would have to issue a costly recall in order to update it, and it is not clear that this would satisfy the hordes at AVS which are fanatical about black levels.

TakeTheActive said: drodge said: ...My idea now is to simply to put a software switch in that would allow users to turn the feature on and off. Then people could decide for themselves whether they want to manage the settings themselves or let the engineers at Panasonic so it for them.Since this 'Voltage Adjustment' is set (to occur prematurely) via the firmware, do the models with the problem have a 'USB Service Port' where a firmware update could be loaded in?

The TVs use sub-systems to perform different functions, the voltage regulator sub-system appears to not be reprogrammable(otherwise they would update it to shut people up), like the main control firmware. I think they would have to issue a costly recall in order to update it, and it is not clear that this would satisfy the hordes at AVS which are fanatical about black levels.

We have a Panasonic 42" from late 2008 and I have to agree with the findings that the blacks levels (and all color) levels are now pretty much having a "washed out" look to them . No adjusting of the panel seems to fix or even compensate for this . If fact , due to the lack of Panasonics picture quality degrading orver time I probably will not purchase another Panasonic . My most recent purchase (for another room) was a Samsung plasma that just blows away the Pansonic from day one , even when the Panasonic was new . The Samsung has the Panasonic beat in every aspect , and looks like a true plasma should . Iam very disappointed in Panasonic

I'll be keeping an eye on what Panasonic will or wont due to fix this problem .


Btw. heres a fun spin (video) I found on the subjet PANASONIC / YOUTUBE VIDEO)

I got my Panasonic TC-P50X1 for around $600. I couldn't find a similar deal on the Samsung 50" 720p model. The price and the great reviews are the reasons why I bought the Panasonic. I couldn't see spending a $1000 on a TV, but $600 was affordable and a great value. If I had known it's greatness would change for the worse I probably wouldn't have thought it's such a great value and would have kept my money until a better deal came along.

I don't agree with one of the posts mentioning that no one noticed this until a set malfunctioned. For the past few months I've had this uneasy feeling that my 50" V10 looks washed out and no longer has the same black levels as when the TV was new. I realized that I wasn't imagining things when I went online to investigate this issue and found out the truth confirming my suspicions.

i still can't figure out if the 2008 models are affected as well.. reading conflicting reports.

anybody with a definitive answer to that? i'm considering purchasing a TH-PX80U. thanks! much appreciated.



Disclaimer: By providing links to other sites, FatWallet.com does not guarantee, approve or endorse the information or products available at these sites, nor does a link indicate any association with or endorsement by the linked site to FatWallet.com.

Thanks for visiting FatWallet.com. Join for free to remove this ad.

TRUSTe online privacy certification

While FatWallet makes every effort to post correct information, offers are subject to change without notice.
Some exclusions may apply based upon merchant policies.
© 1999-2014