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The Latest Audio/Videophile thread: Iago pulled not one but two triggers . . .

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The Latest Audio/Videophile thread: Iago pulled not one but two triggers . . .

Post  Iago on Mon Jun 24, 2013 11:10 am

Trigger #1:

http://www.oppodigital.com/blu-ray-bdp-105/

Trigger #2:

http://shop.panasonic.com/shop/model/TC-P65ZT60
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Re: The Latest Audio/Videophile thread: Iago pulled not one but two triggers . . .

Post  gdmaddog on Tue Jun 25, 2013 11:05 pm

VERY nice choice with that Oppo.  I've an older BDP-83se here I use mainly for DVD-A playback.

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Re: The Latest Audio/Videophile thread: Iago pulled not one but two triggers . . .

Post  Iago on Wed Jun 26, 2013 3:51 am

I am purchasing the 105 to replace my own 83SE! I actually bought the 83 when it was first released and then sent it back to be upgraded when they announced the SE version. I use it as my primary disc player for BD, DVD, DVD-A, SACD and CD. But since the plasma that I am buying is 3D capable, now is as good a time as any to upgrade to the 3D capabilities of the 105. Plus, I really want the balanced outputs (and topography) for two-channel listening, and I am really fascinated at the notion of the headphone amp being directly fed from the DACs. So the upgrade serves multiple purposes.

By the way, the 83SE that I have replaced my trusty Oppo DVD-983H DVD player. I have owned nothing but Oppo players for years now.


Speaking of that, the 105 shipped a couple of days ago, so I should have it today or tomorrow, and I take delivery on the TV tonight. And I am going to have very little time to play with my toys until this weekend!
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Re: The Latest Audio/Videophile thread: Iago pulled not one but two triggers . . .

Post  East on Wed Jun 26, 2013 9:32 am

Nice.

How is it that you talk Eve into all of these toys?
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Re: The Latest Audio/Videophile thread: Iago pulled not one but two triggers . . .

Post  Iago on Wed Jun 26, 2013 10:29 am

We had a talk.


Actually, the Focus is already paid off, and she has gotten quite a bit that she has wanted in the last several months, so it was my turn, and she understands that. Compromise works sometimes!
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Re: The Latest Audio/Videophile thread: Iago pulled not one but two triggers . . .

Post  East on Thu Jun 27, 2013 8:36 am

Iago wrote:We had a talk.


Actually, the Focus is already paid off, and she has gotten quite a bit that she has wanted in the last several months, so it was my turn, and she understands that.  Compromise works sometimes!

So you bought her off with new focus I am going to have to remember that one.
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Re: The Latest Audio/Videophile thread: Iago pulled not one but two triggers . . .

Post  Iago on Thu Jun 27, 2013 11:19 am

Well, the Focus cost us (with trade in) twice as much as the TV and Blu-Ray player put together, so I am not sure that it was the best deal, but it worked!
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Re: The Latest Audio/Videophile thread: Iago pulled not one but two triggers . . .

Post  Iago on Fri Jun 28, 2013 3:54 am

Got the TV yesterday, and hopefully the Blu-Ray player will show up today. Not a whole lot of time to play with it yet, but so far I am really impressed with the picture quality out of the box (using the THX Cinema mode) with no further adjustments or calibration. However, I definitely am going to pay to get this one calibrated, after it has broken in for at least 200 hours.

In the meantime, here is a link to HDGuru's review of the set, which convinced me to target this model for my upgrade. (It only took a few minutes of demoing it at Magnolia to convince me.)


http://hdguru.com/panasonic-tc-p65zt60-hdtv-first-review/

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Re: The Latest Audio/Videophile thread: Iago pulled not one but two triggers . . .

Post  Seamaster on Wed Jul 03, 2013 3:04 pm

Nicely done. I trust you've had some time to play with them now?

You know the drill: mandatory 500 1500 word review (special, for you), complete with photographs. We'll give you a month or two to gather your thoughts.
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Re: The Latest Audio/Videophile thread: Iago pulled not one but two triggers . . .

Post  Iago on Thu Jul 04, 2013 6:13 pm

Well, I have had both the player and the set for a week now, and they are both astounding. Best flat panel that I have ever seen. CRT black levels? Of course not. But put it this way; I can watch a letterboxed film in a darkened room, and if there is any level of brightness at ALL in the image (in other words, anything but a black screen) and the letterbox bars melt away. Even watching the 2.76:1 Ultra Panavision Ben Hur, and you completely lose the edges of the TV and just see the image in the frame. It makes it much easier to get immersed in the film and forget that it is surrounded by the rest of the TV.

I will write something up in detail this weekend.
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Re: The Latest Audio/Videophile thread: Iago pulled not one but two triggers . . .

Post  Seamaster on Fri Jul 05, 2013 5:31 pm

Very cool. I'm looking forward to it.
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Re: The Latest Audio/Videophile thread: Iago pulled not one but two triggers . . .

Post  East on Fri Jul 05, 2013 5:58 pm

The samsung I have by comparison auto dims the entire image to get better black levels. Its just as annoying as it sounds all I can say is you do sort of get use to it after owning it a while. You can disable it but then obviously the blacks look more washed out.
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Re: The Latest Audio/Videophile thread: Iago pulled not one but two triggers . . .

Post  Iago on Sat Jul 06, 2013 4:32 am

Is that an LCD rather than a plasma? They sometime use dimming to increase contrast and improve black levels. The best use local dimming, which actually divides the screen into sections and independantly dims each section depending on what that section is displaying. But there are only a tiny handful of LCDs that feature local dimming.

Samsung's new F8500 plasma is supposed to be a stellar performer, with great black levels and a significantly brighter panel than the Panasonics have. For those who watch TV in bright environments, it seems to have the edge. The extra brightness also gives it the edge in 3D performance, if that is important to you. I am enjoying 3D on my Panasonic, but that is secondary to regular movie viewing, and I ALWAYS watch in darkened conditions, so the Panasonic had the clear edge for me. I will write more later. In the meantime, here is the Guru's review of the Samsung:

http://hdguru.com/samsung-pn60f8500-hdtv-review/

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Re: The Latest Audio/Videophile thread: Iago pulled not one but two triggers . . .

Post  East on Sat Jul 06, 2013 4:58 pm

It is an lcd. I believe it is the UN55D7000LFXZA If not it is an extremely close relative of.
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Re: The Latest Audio/Videophile thread: Iago pulled not one but two triggers . . .

Post  Iago on Sun Jul 07, 2013 4:30 pm

Be forewarned that if you go to the store to demo the ZT60, it will likely be in Vivid mode, and that looks HIDEOUS. I had the rep at Magnolia turn as many lights off as he could, and switch the TV to THX Cinema. The THX Cinema setting is pretty accurate, with a few blips in the greyscale and a bit of a push towards red, but I suspect many people could not event tell the difference between that mode and a properly-calibrated set. But Panasonic has a "demo" mode that they put the sets on, and it defaults to Vivid (and will keep switching back to Vivid every time that they turn demo mode back on.)

I still need to put a fair number of hours on mine before I get a calibration done, though for giggles I did use the settings from the CNET review, and those are pretty good. But I still want a real calibration done. I actually went back to the AVS forums to ask about people's experiences with Geek Squad calibration, and there are a large percentage of dissatisfied people. However, there are some AVS contributers who do "tours" periodically and calibrate other forum member's sets. One of them contacted me, and he has a daughter in the Twin Cities and will be up in August and September. I checked out his website and may use him.

Like I said before, the black levels on the set are outstanding, even in the default THX Cinema mode. It passed all of my black level torture tests, like Unforgiven, Firefox, Seven, Outland, and The Relic. And I have enjoyed playing with the 3D modes as well; I finally got to watch a true 3D version of The Creature from the Black Lagoon, which I had previously only seen in red/green anaglyph. It was awesome. I even enjoyed rewatching Avatar in 3D!
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Re: The Latest Audio/Videophile thread: Iago pulled not one but two triggers . . .

Post  Seamaster on Thu Jul 11, 2013 6:01 pm

Avatar? Enjoyed?

. . .
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Re: The Latest Audio/Videophile thread: Iago pulled not one but two triggers . . .

Post  Iago on Thu Jul 11, 2013 7:06 pm

The film is not that bad, and you know it. It has many, many flaws, and is no masterpiece, but it is worth watching. And looking strictly at the 3d, which is what I was doing on this viewing, and it is one the the handful of very best uses of 3D in movie history. Having not seen it in 3D since its theatrical release, it was fun seeing it that way again.

House of Wax, probably the overall greatest 3D movie ever made, hits Blu in October. Can't wait!
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Re: The Latest Audio/Videophile thread: Iago pulled not one but two triggers . . .

Post  Seamaster on Fri Jul 12, 2013 11:28 am

Seajunior would wholeheartedly agree with you. And I'm sure he'd very much enjoy watching Avatar on your new set up.

The effects are brilliant, but that's where the brilliance ends for me. I find the rest of it incredibly boring. Visual effects can only hold my attention for so long.
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Re: The Latest Audio/Videophile thread: Iago pulled not one but two triggers . . .

Post  Iago on Fri Jul 12, 2013 2:24 pm

Well, like I said, it was the 3D visuals that held my attention this time, not just the visual effects. And I personally not describe it as "boring" as much as I would describe it as "bland." Frankly, just some improved dialogue would have carried the movie much better than the clunkers in the finished product. But none of that makes it a bad film; just a not particularly exceptional film.

I did pick up the 3D version of Pirates: Band of Misfits, which should be fun in 3D, and the Scream Factory version of The Howling. Finally.

I cannot remember if I said this, but the best thing about the black levels on the set is that it allows you to forget the presence of letterbox bars on wider-than-16:9 films, and it even lets you forget about the bezel around the screen area for 16:9 films. If you are watching in a completely darkened environment, and watching a scene that is nearly black with no real intensity of light in any portion of the frame (certain scenes in Firefox come to mind) then you CAN see the faintest of glow in the letterbox bands. But if there is any reasonable light output, even in an otherwise dark scene, they end up melting into the darkness surrounding them. So when you are watching a 2.35:1 (or other) letterboxed movie, it is easy to forget that part of the screen area is not being used, and you just notice the image, whatever ratio it may be. Which does lead to the one minor drawback in the design: the outer bezel is silver, so if it picks up any stray reflections of light from the room it spoils the illusion.

I know that many reviewers (CNET leaps to mind) have commented that the differences between the ZT60 and the VT60 are small enough to make it not worth the extra money, but I think that the bonded panel of the ZT60 is worth the price. The ZT60 has a "gapless" panel, with the glass on the front bonded directly to the plasma panel. This has never been done before in a plasma set. It is supposed to help with stray reflections, both external, but more importantly internal. With a gap, however small, the light from the plasma panel can reflect back into the set and create a faint "ghost" image. The gapless panel is supposed to help with black levels, especially in a non-darkened environment, but I have a suspicion that it also helps solve the "digital" look that has bothered me with most plama sets. That look may have had less to do with the structure of the pixels in the panel and more to do with a subtle effect caused by internal reflections. But that is pure speculation; it may simply be that this is a spectacularly good plasma panel, period.
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Re: The Latest Audio/Videophile thread: Iago pulled not one but two triggers . . .

Post  Seamaster on Mon Jul 15, 2013 11:51 pm

I can go with bland, if we're using the first entry in the Oxford English Dictionary: "[L]acking strong features or characteristics and therefore uninteresting."

Honestly, I'm happy that you like the film and that the 3D visuals really shine. I would probably be quite pleased with it as a tech demo.

I haven't gotten around to The Howling yet, but I need to. Let me know what you think.

Oh, I think the reflections are a big part of what you haven't liked about plasmas. I think we discussed this effect before. I'm very aware of the reflection, but only if I'm out of the sweet spot and watching at a fair angle. Thankfully, from that perspective, the sweet spot in generous, and I'm always in the sweet spot when viewing films. I think the gapless panel is a worthy design feature, especially for those with sensitive or trained eyes. In such a case, it'd be well worth the extra money.
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Re: The Latest Audio/Videophile thread: Iago pulled not one but two triggers . . .

Post  Iago on Tue Jul 16, 2013 3:52 am

Having a glass front panel still took a little bit of adjustment, as my RPTV of course had none. But between the bonded panel and the new filter (which is the other big change with the ZT60) it is barely noticeable. The bonded panel kills internal reflections, and the new filter kills external reflections. Even with the lights in my room turned on, there are barely any reflections of any kind. In the dark of course, there are none whatsoever.
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Re: The Latest Audio/Videophile thread: Iago pulled not one but two triggers . . .

Post  Seamaster on Tue Jul 16, 2013 5:40 pm

I want one!
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Re: The Latest Audio/Videophile thread: Iago pulled not one but two triggers . . .

Post  Iago on Wed Jul 17, 2013 1:56 pm

I watched Coraline[i] on it in 3D last night. Next to [i]Avatar, that is my favorite use of 3D in the modern 3D wave. Bit of a hitch there, as Coraline is an extremely dark movie even in 2D, so it was arguably too dark. That may be one that will look better on the brighter Samsung F8500. On the other hand, I am still in pre-calibration mode here. Supposedly you can get an ISF calibration done on the 3D modes as well, and that may help a bit.

One thing is certain: while I still have less than 200 hours on it, the image is definitely starting to settle in, and is improving. Unlike the debatable break-in period with audio gear, the break-in on a plasma is very real and very measurable. While I am certainly getting used to the set now, I am confident that it is not the only reason why the picture seems improved.

Speaking of that, I have said little about the Oppo BDP-105 so far. I say "speaking of that" because a common point among many of the reviews for the unit is that it needs a ton of break-in, at least a hundred hours, before the sound "settles in." Not sure that I buy that, of course, but I will say that it sounds spectacular and is a truly amazing unit. No A/Bs, but it seems to me to have improved sound quality over the BDP-83SE. The direct-from-DAC headphone amp seems to perform well, too. I have only tried my old Sonys on it so far, which admittedly are a bit less than flat (both the high end and the low end seem a bit rolled off) but it sounded excellent. I have yet to try my NuForces on it, as it requires a 1/4" plug, and the only adapter that I have is the screw-on one from the Sonys, which will not fit the NuForces. But I will try them out eventually.
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Re: The Latest Audio/Videophile thread: Iago pulled not one but two triggers . . .

Post  Iago on Wed Jul 17, 2013 6:28 pm

Interesting comparison:

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1482090/informal-comparison-panasonic-tc-p65zt60-tc-p65vt60-samsung-pn60f8500-pioneer-pro-141fd



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Re: The Latest Audio/Videophile thread: Iago pulled not one but two triggers . . .

Post  Seamaster on Thu Jul 25, 2013 6:26 pm

Panasonic appear to have done well.

Are you still planning on getting a proper calibration once the set is broken in?
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Re: The Latest Audio/Videophile thread: Iago pulled not one but two triggers . . .

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