First off, this is a FIVE star product for what it is... An HD TV for people without the big bucks to drop. To me, the best value for your money. I wanted to wait to review the product until I had it for at least a month, since most of the reviews are for less than a week or two. And with electronics of any type, longevity and durability is key. And for many inexpensive electronics, the issues really don't start to show until after hours of use. I'm happy to say that is not the case for this product. 1. Setup & features - Setup is simple, step-by-step guide in the manual makes it easy for anyone who's not a tech-head.
-- only two HDMI inputs limits you somewhat. If you don't game, then it shouldn't be an issue since you can hookup sat or cable in hdmi 1 & your receiver/soundsystem via hdmi 2. But if you game and have/want a soundsystem, you'll have to hookup through component. it's still HD though & shouldn't make much difference.
-- Picture adjustment --
- some reviews stated you cannot see changes until you exit settings, but this isn't true unless it's a preformatted selection. Manual lets you view the changes as you make them.
Light Sensor - this feature adjusts the picture brightness based on the light of the room the TV is in. it's a constant effect & adjusts in real-time. It is overly sensitive, especially when watching TV, and takes about 5 seconds of cycling before settling. It isn't a deal breaker by any means and shouldn't bother most, but if you have the tv in a location which has low/none fluctuation in lighting, disable it. 2. Picture / 720p - picture is great, the best thing about plasmas are their deep, rich colors and refresh/response times. The only thing about the pictures is when you get it, adjust it. The contrast will be at max out of the box making pictures look dry. --> 720p - if you're worried that this is not 1080p, don't be. Currently all sat and cable broadcasts are in 720p, so you're not losing anything.
- Movies -
I have a blue ray (PS3), which output 1080p signals - the tv and PS3 have no issues converting to 720p and the picture is still superb. Yes you are losing detail that you would see on a 1080p TV, but picture is well still improved over a normal DVD. This is the only medium where you will lose detail on a 720p (games below)
- Gaming -
I have PS3 and picture is superb and flawless. The majority of games output 720p anyway. However, PS3 Greatest Hits released a mostly being updated to 1080p output & some new & many DLC games are in 1080p. PS3 has updated their upscaling firmware & the pictures are flawless even on 1080p game. The TV and PS3 work scale perfectly to 720p and images are breathtaking. For PS3 owners, just make sure in "Display Setting" you disable "auto" and manually de-select all other formats above 720p (yes, including 1080i) or else the picture will be very poor (and that goes for any 720p tv). 3. Sound - Sound for me is just okay for price, though the illusion of surround sound the tv simulates deserves a clap. In larger rooms may be worse, but you can always get a soundbar ($98 Vizio - superb) 4. Plasma Burn-in - People may say burn-in has been alleviated but that is not entirely true. It's more prevalent in inexpensive models such as these.
-- But this model has two features which combat burn-in flawlessly. One resets the picture slightly every few minutes to keep a pixel from displaying the same color for too long, it is barely noticeable & the TV comes with this feature. Two is the white-out feature which lights up every pixel w/ off-white color for 30minutes. This one you just turn on when you see a burn noticeable while TV is on an all black screen. You can stop it at any time by a push of a button. It rarely needs to go for the full 30.
-- I have found with this TV that a ghost image is more likely to occur when the tv has been on for multiple hours (3-4+) and the panel is hot.
-- Burn in isn't as bad if tv is primarily used for cable, sat, or movie viewing. Just be aware that even though the TV is on all black or has black boxed areas - pixels are still working & can burn
-- but just use the white-out feature every once and a while 5. Gaming & plasma - plasma is the best for gaming due to the rich colors and the response time, refresh rate (600hz!!). Racing, shooters, all are flawless, with no lag/blur. Burn in can be an issue at first, but I started gaming on this right out of the box, once again, the ghost issue ONLY occurs after the TV has been on for extended periods of time & is hot. But put on the White-out feature for 15-30min and screen is perfect. I do not recommend playing tower-defense games for first 200 hrs since too many stagnant pixels). Besides that, it is perfect, I have gamed on LCD before (120hz) which wasn't bad but doesn't compare to this. Even when you're traveling super-fast on-screen, the scenery is still crisp and rich. All in all, this product is not without it's minor flaws but for the person who is looking at a TV at this price range, it is perfect. Don't break the bank if you're on a budget, safe some bucks and get this TV, you will not be disappointed. And gamers (PS3, XBox, Wii) - this TV is perfect.
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