Hey everyone, just found this forum, glad i did, seems like everyone knows what they are talking about here compared to other forums...sorry if i sound uneducated, i'm just confused and need some guidance, so ill get to it, I bought a Panny ST30 last week. It was on clearance and I got it for a GREAT price, but i've been debating on whether or not I should return it.
The new ST30 is replacing a 2009 model 42" Samsung 720p Plasma TV, and I confusingly have been thinking the Samsung had a better picture.
I have an HD DVR box (Motorola DCX3501) with Charter. And it has 1080p illuminated on the front of the box indicating that it is showing HD content. Also i've tried a few dvds on a Samsung upconverting DVD player, as well as a couple Blu Ray movies from my PS3. Everything connected using HDMI cables.
So, my main complaint about the TV is that HD just doesn't look...well....HD. In other words, HD content looks grainy, not as liquidy smooth as the Samsung this is replacing. Don't get me wrong, most HD content looks okay, but I can't help but notice the graininess. I've noticed it the most during the NBA playoff games, and even on the NASCAR race last night. The picture was kind of clear, but just didn't look as High Def as my old Samsung. I didn't look at it and say "wow, yeah this is HD" like before.
In some cases there is major artifacting, and when there is a color gradient like dark blue to light blue, it doesn't blend smoothly it shows a bar of color for each shade. Sometimes the picture looks kind of blurry as well, and on any content that isn't specifically high quality HD (ie an HD local news program cutting to an SD live report) it just looks plain bad, like a 360p video on youtube. Also motion doesn't seem as good, it seems almost choppy, and games like MW3 are hard to see detail, motion doesn't seem clear and makes me dizzy on this set.
The colors and brightness seem ok, black levels are great, so i don't think that my settings are an issue, also i've tried a LOT of different suggested settings after researching calibration threads on different forums. So far nothing about this TV, besides the size, and the price has made me say, wow!
Its all very confusing because every thing i've read says Panasonic is the king of plasmas, every review i've read for this model TV say the PQ is absolutely amazing, but i'm just not seeing it. I thought a higher resolution TV would look better than my old Samsung, but it seems the opposite. Whats going on??
I don't really WANT to return the TV b/c i just don't have a thousand to spend on a comparable size plasma with 3D and internet connectivity. And not to mention i sure don't want to pack it back up and carry it back down the stairs and haul it all the way back to the store, this thing was HEAVY. BUT at the same time i shouldn't be more impressed with an older lower resolution Samsung. So, anyone know what i should do? Is it my expectations set too high, or was my expectation of this TV looking better than my older 720p Samsung just a wrong assumption? should i just get used to it and keep it, or what?
Thanks for any help or advice, i'm really torn here...
EDIT: Forgot a few details, the panel is 55" and i sit as far away as possible but its only 7-8 ft