Originally Posted by AdderallJack
What a kick in the balls.... I was JUST getting ready to do all of my research & shopping around (with the Panasonic's preferably at the top of my list), and now we run into this. I went to the Audio/Video forum mentioned in the story, and now my eyes are glazed over and my head hurts (see user-name)! Seriously, though... what's the best way to stay on top of this (with information for the common man)? I was hoping to pull the trigger in the next couple of weeks, but could wait a bit if I had to. Oh, and BTW... nifty forum. Thanks again, guys.
I hear ya. The AVS forum zapped my noodle, too. If you want to stay on top of things, I'd visit CNET periodically and monitor their reviews. They are burning through a Panasonic plasma 10 hours per day to see what happens when the software automatically changes the black level performance. Also, that AVS message board thread updates the first post with all the up-to-date news. It's a little more reader friendly. What I want to know is: do all Plasmas have some sort of software that changes the voltage, reducing the black level performance over time? Is this one just too drastic a change?
FWIW, I'm up over 600 hours and I've noticed nothing but normal, terrific performance. Maybe at a thousand the levels will change. Or maybe they've changed already and I can't tell the difference. I have a buddy who's in your shoes. His plan is to monitor the Panasonic spring release of their 2010 TVs. But at the same time, if the controversy and the 2010 TVs drive down the price of the Panasonic V10, he's going to probably just get the V10. I don't think people are appreciating sufficiently that black level performance is but one component of picture quality. The panasonics do everything else so well, that even with the reduced black level performance, a discounted G10 or V10 is still probably better than other plasmas. And ultimately, unless you have a blacked-out room (which many of us only wish we had) you won't be able to readily tell the difference in black level performance.
I'm sorta over the dissappointment. I'm in an apartment now. I can't do much about ambient light from the street. After getting hitched this October we'll go house hunting. I have permission to obtain a projector for the blacked-out future basement/theater/man-cave area. And my fiance can have the greyed-out V10 for her aerobics DVDs in the sun-washed living room.