Sony HX929 or Panasonic VT30
I have an old Samsung LED-illuminated RPTV and I want to upgrade. I am stuck between the Panasonic TC-P65VT30 plasma TV and the Sony XBR-65HX929 LED-LCD TV. I move a lot, so the room it is in will vary at least once in the next two years. I watch tons of sports and lots of moves, and I also do some gaming. I have no interest in 3D, just picture quality. I'm torn between the two after playing with them both at Best Buy, and I hope you have something encouraging to say that may steer me to one or the other.
Both TVs are excellentsee HT's review of the XBR-55HX929 here and the TC-P55VT30 here. But I tend to favor plasma over any type of LCD, primarily because of LCD's degraded picture quality when viewed from off-axis and plasma's sharper motion detail, at least when an LCD's frame interpolation is turned off, which many viewers prefer. On the other hand, the Sony's black level and contrast ratio are definitely better than the Panasonic's because of the Sony's full-array LED local dimming, a rare feature in LED-LCD TVs these days.
Because you watch tons of sports with a lot of fast motion, I would go with the Panasonic, unless you don't mind the "soap-opera effect," which makes movies look like video on an LCD when frame interpolation is enabled. If you do mind that side effect of frame interpolation, all the more reason to go with the Panasonic.
Keep in mind that last year's VT30 has been superceded by the 2012 VT50, and our review of that set should be posted very soon. And in this year's Flat Panel Shootout held at Value Electronics in Scarsdale, NY, the TC-P65VT50 came in first, beating out even the Sharp Elite PRO-60X5FD, considered by most to be the best LED-LCD TV with full-array local dimming available today.
If you have an A/V question, please send it to email@example.com.