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I was wondering what gives a more immersive viewing experience in a plasma tv, a thinner bezel, or superior picture quality?  I recently purchased the Panasonic TC-P60U50 plasma (haven't even opened the box yet), which got very good expert reviews for picture quality (deep blacks, accurate color, etc.).  This tv has a medium thickness bezel though, at about 1".  I also liked another plasma, the LG 60PA6500.  This tv didn't get the best reviews for picture quality, although not bad, but the thing I like about this tv is it has the "TruSlim Frame" bezel, which is .59" thick.  I guess this tv would look better in a living room, but would it give a better viewing experience because of the ultra thin bezel?  It seems like tv's are all about this aesthetic today.  I've heard that thinner bezels make the tv seem even bigger than they really are.

I went with the Panasonic because I thought they made a better plasma than LG, and they are known for their reliability, but now I'm second guessing myself, and considering getting the LG, since I didn't consider the above.  Do you have any advice at all?  Thanks very much for your time.

Answer
Generally speaking Panasonic is going to be regarded as a better plasma TV than the competition, partly due to history (Panasonic's "NeoPDP" display technology is the result of outright purchasing Pioneer's "Kuro" line-up a few years ago, which at the time were considered among the best televisions on the market), and partly due to them making a very good plasma TV. LG would be a good runner-up, especially if the price were better, but by and large I would go with Panasonic if possible.

As far as plasma (PDP (Plasma Display Panel)) being a good picture, their primary "gotcha" over LCDs is their ability to produce higher contrast ratios and better black levels, especially in lit rooms. Bezel size is a recent fascination with TV makers, and honestly beyond aesthetic considerations will probably do very little for overall picture quality (and you should also keep in mind that in order to get such thin bezels, especially at lower price points, manufacturers may be resorting to lesser-quality backlighting (if talking about an LCD TV (PDPs do not have backlights)). Overall, unless you're at high altitude or will be watching content that tends to burn an image into the screen (e.g. you have C-SPAN, ESPN, or CNN running 24x7), PDPs are going to give you a better viewing experience than an LCD television (although modern top-shelf LCDs have gotten very good, and this "rule of thumb" is rapidly changing).

If you have any further questions, feel free to ask.

-bob

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Bobbert

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Questions regarding HTPC integration to home theaters, and general purchasing advice regarding home theater and audio systems, including headphones. Please no car audio or over the top PA systems.

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General enthusiast, ~10 years as an audio and electronics hobbyist

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Engineering student, various DIY experiences, personal hobby

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