The good news: My new Panasonic plasma arrived. It’s really freaking sweet. I think that’s about the only proper description of it, as it’s not exactly “beautiful” since it’s electronics and it’s not artlike in a Macbook Air kind of way. I’d actually say that a nice plasma is the modern equivalent of a “bitchin Camaro”…
The bad news: Despite all my readings, somehow I missed the fact that the next-generation of Panasonic plasmas started shipping oh, say, 3 days after mine did. Augh! How did I miss it? Well, the 50″ units won’t ship until April, and I had stopped looking at 42″ displays already. My bad.
Good: I can return the 77U in the next 28 days for no fee.
Bad: I don’t really know if the 80U or 85U are really worth it. Here is my summary of the differences (or you can see the official comparison at Panasonic’s web site, which is much more impressive than I thought it would be when I first visited!):
|Current street price||$1600-$2000||$2300+||$2500+|
|Moving Picture Resolution (??)||N/A||900 lines or more||900 lines or more|
|480 Hz Sub-field Drive (??)||N/A||Yes||Yes|
|24p Playback(2:3) (??)||N/A||Yes||Yes|
|Deep Color (??)||N/A||Yes||Yes|
|HDMI inputs||2 rear||3 (1 front)||3 (1 side)|
|Screen Coating||Anti-Glare Coating||New Anti-Reflective Filter||New Anti-Reflective Filte|
- New units have better contrast ratios. This is something which seems undetectable to us mortals, but is supposed to be “better”. Don’t know if I care.
- Next generation panel technology. From some of the discussions I’ve read on AVSforum, there’s a belief that the new tech has more vivid whites and blacks.
- Anti-reflective filter vs anti-glare coating. Panasonic added the anti-glare to the current generation for the first time, then dropped it for the next generation. This implies they either weren’t satisfied with it’s performance or have improved upon it with the new filters.
Am I missing anything obvious? Are these “non-issues” and I should put the topic to bed? I
Good: I feel like this is a no-lose situation. I got a great deal on my unit, and it looks awesome. So I either have a great unit, or a possibly slightly more greater unit.
Ultimately, here’s how I look at it: if I had purchased this unit and the new one wasn’t shipping until this Summer or later, there’d be no debate. But it’s already on display at Best Buy apparently, which is at least a little bit frustrating. Again, had I *known* about both models and made this decision based on price, then there’s no debate. But I can’t help already think I have something out of date on the day it arrived (as opposed to waiting the typical 30 days to feel that way).