Panasonic Plasma keep or dump?

tony cosgrove

Well-known Member
Hi guys, great part of the site this, I had no idea just how good it is despite being on AV forums for years as I mainly use the classifieds and the hifi forums.

Anyway, looking for some advice regarding replacing my existing 46" Panasonic Plasma, model TH-46PZ81B bought from Costco circa 2007 and still working perfectly well but I've recently bought a second generation Apple TV 4K which is superb with the Panasonic so that got me thinking that maybe we should upgrade the TV too but after reading some excellent posts and threads on here I'm more than happy to wait until next spring as that seems to be the optimum time to buy a previous year's top TV.

We sit about three meters from the TV and view straight on, the Panasonic is on a cantilevered wall bracket but it's not too high and I'd likely have the new TV in the same position or maybe buy a new AV unit and sit the TV on that.

We rarely watch TV during the day we watch mainly at night with the blinds on the window down and lamps on so pretty bright, the room is north west facing so it doesn't get a lot of sun but it is fairly bright even on a winters day.

For sound the existing TV is hooked up to a Yamaha stereo receiver along with a decent pair of Elac speakers and we're happy enough with that set up, don't want to go down the multi speakers road as I listen to a lot of streamed music and the radio etc plus we prefer to use subtitles when we're watching anything so sound, whilst important, isn't a big deal for us, we have decent hearing just that we (my wife and I) prefer to use subs.

I have a Panasonic FreeviewPlay recorder DMR-PWT655 with a load of movies and some programmes on the onboard HDD recorded from the TV but those are mainly in SD and the recorder can play Blu-ray Discs and DVDs but we really never view and of those but I do have some BluRay discs and a load of DVDs too.

We mainly watch catch up Freeview TV and BBC iplayer, there's no subs on the ATV version so unless its a foreign language programme we'll more often than not watch iplayer on the BBC app and occasionally we watch the other main channel's TV catch up services.

We watch the Freeview HD channels only i.e. BBC1, 2, 4 etc and the other TV Channels also in HD we rarely watch SD TV and certainly not plain analogue TV.

I've about 100 movies on iTunes which we watch fairly frequently and we have a sub to both Amazon Prime Video and Apple TV+ no Netflix.

The Apple TV is absolutely fantastic bit of kit and it certainly makes the Panasonic better than it was which is the main reason for the post but at 14 years old it's not going to last much longer and will need replaced eventually so I want to be forewarned rather than running out and just buying a TV cause we need one as the Panasonic is the only TV in the house.

Budget? I've no idea but I have looked at sets around the £1000 mark but I realise that won't be enough given the size of the TV and the HDR thing so I'm happy to consider suggestions regarding cost as we've not bought a TV in about 14 years so I'll adjust the budget to match the recommendations, the Panasonic cost me £750 and frankly it's been the best TV we've ever had so ideally we'd be looking at something similar quality wise but obviously I doubt a new TV will last as long as the Panasonic anyway the Panasonic owes us nothing.

Thanks in advance for any replies and or advice.

Kind regards

Tony

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tvdavid

Well-known Member

Dodgexander

Moderator
Target 55" OLEDs, or at a push some budget 65" FALD LCD TVs.

1000 is a good figure to aim for a 55" OLED, 1500 for a 65".

Spring absolute best time to buy, but depending on the TV and the deal, Black Friday deals around the corner may not be far off. Especially with the 55" models.
 

tony cosgrove

Well-known Member
Its good yes, most people pay that price for FALD LCD TVS let alone OLED.

Thanks again @Dodgexander, just reading a thread on the Phillips board and someone managed to buy one (today I think) for £1199.

I also see a lot of issues with software bugs and the like re Phillips TVs and TVs brands in general, is this a common issue these day?

I've never had a single problem in 14 years with the Panasonic in fact I doubt the firmware has ever been updated in all of that time although it does have a Lan connection so may it have been updated at some point but I've no idea though.
 

Dodgexander

Moderator
I also see a lot of issues with software bugs and the like re Phillips TVs and TVs brands in general, is this a common issue these day?
Yes its pretty common. I think LG may be a better idea if you want to avoid SW bugs, although they have their own too.
More to go wrong with TVs since the smart era, they are like smartphones now basically.
 

tony cosgrove

Well-known Member
Yes its pretty common. I think LG may be a better idea if you want to avoid SW bugs, although they have their own too.
More to go wrong with TVs since the smart era, they are like smartphones now basically.

Thanks again @Dodgexander.

Guy's I'm really interested in the 65" Phillips especially at the price on AO but as I said above someone bought it recently for £1199 does anyone have an idea where this price is available?

Edit Just been offered a £100 discount code on AO so it's now £1199 this is just too good a price to turn down I honestly can't see there being much more of a reduction on BF?

My wife loves the Ambilight feature BTW:D

I see that RS have limited stock however they have better warranties and usually price match do they also knock £100 of the price, I think I read that somewhere?

A few questions.

1) Does this set have sufficient brightness for proper HDR processing?

I realise that we don't really watch HDR content but this set or a set similar to this will likely change that.

2) I presume that I can ditch the Panasonic Freeview recorder? We don't really watch BRs, DVDs or recorded content in the Recorder.

We only really bought the recorder cause it has a Freeview HD tuner and the Panasonic's tuner is only SD


3) Does anyone know if the existing cantilevered wall bracket will fit the Phillips set?

The existing bracket (photo below) is adjustable, it's currently fitted to the Panasonic fixing holes in the back panel of the TV the centres of which are 660mm X 320mm and there's four fixings.


Thanks again

Tony

PS, excuse the dust the TV has been up against the wall for years this is the first time I've pulled it out since then I'll have to get the hoover on that back panel:blush:


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tony cosgrove

Well-known Member
Think I'm going to pull the trigger on the AO set @ £1199 with delivery tomorrow.

I'd rather buy from RS (called them this morning) but they can't guarantee a set however I'd need to order one and pay for it before Thursday which is a pity as I'd prefer the six years warranty with RS but I'll just buy extended warranty from somewhere else.

I really think this is just too good a price to refuse and I can't really see that price dropping much between now and Black Friday.
 
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mikej

Well-known Member
My wife loves the Ambilight feature BTW:D
Ambilight is an interesting feature and if you want that effect, then an ambilight TV is the easiest and cheapest way to go. Other 3rd-party options usually involve the need for a small camera to point at the screen, which isn't ideal. The Philips Hue Sync box is another retro-fit option, but this is very expensive and only works on external sources connected by HDMI.

Personally though, I think the novelty would soon wear off for me and I would probably find it a bit too distracting for some content, especially movies. I prefer a 'fixed' light-strip behind my TV, which offers a choice of static colours or whites. This option can be retro-fitted a lot more easily and cheaply to any TV, so doesn't limit your TV choice to Philips.

I see that RS have limited stock however they have better warranties and usually price match do they also knock £100 of the price, I think I read that somewhere?
Richer sounds will price match but the warranty has to be comparable (5-7 years) so if the retailer you choose only offers a standard 1 year warranty, you'd have to add the cost of an extended warranty to the price.

A few questions.

1) Does this set have sufficient brightness for proper HDR processing?

I realise that we don't really watch HDR content but this set or a set similar to this will likely change that.
It should do - most OLEDs are good in this respect. The latest 'Evo' panels and high-end models are brighter, but that comes at an additional cost.

Your Amazon Prime subscription includes access to plenty of 4K HDR material (especially their own Amazon Prime Originals), so you'll have immediate access to plenty of 4K content at no additional cost.

2) I presume that I can ditch the Panasonic Freeview recorder? We don't really watch BRs, DVDs or recorded content in the Recorder.

We only really bought the recorder cause it has a Freeview HD tuner and the Panasonic's tuner is only SD
I wouldn't ditch it, personally, You might as well connect it and view the rest of your recordings plus it would be worth keeping for the occasional Blu-ray playback, IMO.

3) Does anyone know if the existing cantilevered wall bracket will fit the Phillips set?

The existing bracket (photo below) is adjustable, it's currently fitted to the Panasonic fixing holes in the back panel of the TV the centres of which are 660mm X 320mm and there's four fixings.
TVs of that age often had non-standard VESA spacings and proprietary brackets, however it looks from your photo like you've been able to use a standard bracket which has a lot of mounting hole options. It might take the weight and VESA spacings for your TV, however I would get a new bracket for a number of reasons...

1. The mounting holes on most OLED models are not centrally located, so they are likely to sit higher up the wall and this will be even more likely if you step up in screen size.

2. The part at which your current bracket's arm joins the rest of it look only to be around 100x100mm, which isn't sufficient for a 55" or 65" TV.

3. You don't actually need a cantilever bracket. A good quality, fixed bracket will be much cheaper and more secure.

4. A new bracket will allow you to mount the TV at a more comfortable viewing height. Ideally you need to aim for somewhere between 1/3 and 1/2 way up the screen being at your viewing height eye level.
 
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mikej

Well-known Member
Think I'm going to pull the trigger on the AO set @ £1199 with delivery tomorrow.

I'd rather buy from RS (called them this morning) but they can't guarantee a set however I'd need to order one and pay for it before Thursday which is a pity as I'd prefer the six years warranty with RS but I'll just buy extended warranty from somewhere else.

I really think this is just too good a price to refuse and I can't really see that price dropping much between now and Black Friday.
I wouldn't buy a TV that costs a 4-figure sum which only included a 1 year warranty personally, especially when so many retailers offer extended warranties for free. AO also don't have a great reputation when it comes to their customer service and sorting problems. However - £1199 is almost unbelievable for a 65" OLED, so I could totally understand if you decided that it's worth taking a chance at that price, with or without an extended warranty.

FWIW, Richer Sounds, John Lewis and CostCo (with their free, extended warranties) would all be further up my list, even if they were a bit more expensive. Crampton and Moore and Sevenoaks Sound and Vision have also been on my radar in the past, although I've got no personal experience with buying from them.
 

mikej

Well-known Member
BTW - I would seriously consider reducing your use of subtitles if you go down the OLED route. Continued use of bright white subtitles in the same place on an OLED (especially when brighter in HDR) could put you at a higher risk of 'screen burn' (uneven pixel wear) when used extensively over long periods of time (years).

I've never heard of anyone with good hearing actively choosing to use subtitles for 'fun' on English-spoken content (and not out of necessity) - that's a new one on me !
 
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tony cosgrove

Well-known Member
I wouldn't buy a TV that costs a 4-figure sum which only included a 1 year warranty personally, especially when so many retailers offer extended warranties for free. AO also don't have a great reputation when it comes to their customer service and sorting problems. However - £1199 is almost unbelievable for a 65" OLED, so I could totally understand if you decided that it's worth taking a chance at that price, with or without an extended warranty.

FWIW, Richer Sounds, John Lewis and CostCo (with their free, extended warranties) would all be further up my list, even if they were a bit more expensive. Crampton and Moore and Sevenoaks Sound and Vision have also been on my radar in the past, although I've got no personal experience with buying from them.
Thanks @mikej, the AO warranty is the manufacturer's warranty at two years.

Yes I'd much rather buy from RS or JL or indeed Costco where the current Panasonic Plasma was purchased from and who were brilliant at the time as we'd bought another Panasonic Plasma (different model) and it developed a fault more or less right away when we got it home and Costco didn't have stock of that model so gave us the current TV for the same price as the previous model, think from memory the difference was about £100.

I talked to RS on the phone this morning and they will take an order for £1299 but they can't guarantee they'll have stock of the TV but I have to place the order by the 4th of November and so I might end up having to cancel and buy from somewhere else anyway.

I'm pretty sure Phillips will extend the warranty and AO do an extended warranty for £9 a month which is a bit steep to be honest, think you can get extended warranties of three years with an aftermarket insurer for about £120 so more or less the same price as RS with a five year warranty as opposed to six with RS but RS's warranty isn't transferable which is something to consider especially if I sell the TV on at some point within the six years.

Tony
 

tony cosgrove

Well-known Member
BTW - I would seriously consider reducing your use of subtitles if you go down the OLED route. Continued use of bright white subtitles in the same place on an OLED (especially when brighter in HDR) could put you at a higher risk of 'screen burn' (uneven pixel wear) when used extensively over long periods of time (years).

I've never heard of anyone with good hearing choose to use subtitles (on English-spoken content) for 'fun' (and not out of necessity) - that's a new one on me !

It's a dialogue thing @mikej we listen to the TV at fairly low volume but it's mainly because the dog is very sensitive and doesn't like a lot of noise and he sleeps beside the left hand speaker:D
 

mikej

Well-known Member
Thanks @mikej, the AO warranty is the manufacturer's warranty at two years.
Ah, OK - that's not too bad then, especially for such a good price. Most standard warranties are 1 year. That may be a Philips 'thing' ? I think my Philips Hue smart bulbs and accessories also have a two-year warranty.

£9/month for the extended AO warranty is a bit steep - as with many extended warranties that manufacturers or retailers want you to pay extra for, you'd probably be better off in the long run by putting that money in a separate bank account to cover any possible future repairs.
 

tony cosgrove

Well-known Member
Just had a look at the specs ref the wall bracket.

The current Plasma is 34kg in weight whereas the Philips is 28kg

There's not an awful lot in it dimension wise too.

The Phillips is approx 288mm wider that the Panasonic (1448.5mm vs 1160mm ) and about 90mm taller (829mm vs 740mm) so hopefully not a massive difference once its on the wall the Panasonic is huge though depth is about 100mm whereas the Phillips is only 58mm.

I can't wait:rotfl:
 

tony cosgrove

Well-known Member
You can use volume levelling to help hear dialogue at low volume levels. A soundbar with good clear dialogue+volume levelling will improve watching TV no end.
Thanks AO phoned this afternoon and offered a sound bar, think it was a Samsung one for £149 the girl said it was excellent but I’ve not had a chance to research anything so I left it for the moment.

She also tried to sell their warranty @ £9 a month & cancel anytime ie flexible contract it might have been an idea to take it for a month cause it covers accidental damage, might actually do that tonight.
 

mikej

Well-known Member
She also tried to sell their warranty @ £9 a month & cancel anytime ie flexible contract it might have been an idea to take it for a month cause it covers accidental damage, might actually do that tonight.
But your TV is covered against mechanical breakdown for the next two years anyway and accidental damage may be covered on your house insurance ?

If you don't have accidental damage added to your house insurance policy, you might find you can insure the contents of your entire house against accidental damage for less than £9/month ! Just watch out for individual item limits and/or whether a TV counts as a high value items that needs declaring.
 
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mikej

Well-known Member
Aye it is @mikej just thinking it might be easier if something happened ie me damaging the TV whilst I’m installing it.
You'll be fine if you take care but I would definitely get an extra pair of hands for handling a 65" OLED. I just about managed to get a 55" out of the box and onto it's stand on my own but it was a struggle and I definitely needed help later on with getting it on the wall.
 

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