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[Best Buy] Gibby's: Panasonic 55" ST Plasma TV TCP55ST50 $1348, PM FS $1323 or BB $1283

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  • Feb 2nd, 2013 9:42 am
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Deal Addict
Jul 25, 2006
2159 posts
272 upvotes
Just so you know, talked to a manager at my local Future Shop. There are only a handful of GT50 TVs left in eastern Canada and they're not expecting additional shipments.
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My Heatware
Member
Dec 5, 2007
422 posts
8 upvotes
Hamilton
SKYMTL wrote:
Nov 12th, 2012 1:02 pm
Does anyone have an idea about the "54 series" they're selling at Costco? It certainly isn't on Panasonic's website and no one else is selling it. Costco specific version of the 50-series?
It's the 60PUT54....looks to be the Costco version of the UT50. Entry level 3D Plasma. Probably missing the anti-glare filter, etc.
Newbie
Sep 14, 2009
32 posts
7 upvotes
Oakville
I would agree with SKYMTL. Between now and the end of November is likely when you'll see the best prices. Boxing day could net you a bit more savings, but you'd have to contend with the crowds and limited quantities. I've been keeping my eye on both the 55ST50 and the 55GT50, the prices don't seem to be dipping as low as last year's prices for their GT30 series units.

Not really into the UT50 series. Their design is not as clean as the ST or GT series. The UT50 series is much thicker than the ST50 series. I believe the UT50 series design is a carryforward from the 2011 ST30 series and the 2010 VT25 series.

Costco did carry some larger ST series last year in December, but I'm not sure if they'll so the same this coming December.
Newbie
Feb 28, 2007
57 posts
5 upvotes
Mississauga
i've also been monitoring the st50 series for the past month and the price hasnt dropped at all. FS keeps extending their 'sale price' on the st50 every week.
Deal Addict
Jul 25, 2006
2159 posts
272 upvotes
Good news guys. Sears is actually selling the 55ST50 for $1499 this week, making it $100 less than Future Shop's sale price.

I have it on good authority (a good friend that's an owner of an electronics store here in Montreal) that ALL ST, GT and VT models are in extremely limited quantities and regular replenishment shipments aren't expected. As such, Black Friday / Boxing Day probably won't see lower prices unless a retailer has excess stock of a certain model. Panasonic has actually served stores with a notice saying any further Distribution Center direct shipments will now have a $100 premium tacked on, making these sets yet more expensive.

For the record, another option for anyone looking at the 50ST50 is Samsung's PN51E6500. Currently, it can be found for around $1050.
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My Heatware
Newbie
Aug 20, 2012
5 posts
1 upvote
Toronto
I bought the TCP60GT50 today from FS but unfortunately they had no stock. I arranged for pick up in a few days when they get it in from their warehouse. They are currently selling for about $2500 but I managed to get them down to $2099 plus tax and eco fee. I was debating between the Samsung PN60E8000 and the GT50 and am still not sure if I made the right decision. I would have probably opted for the ST model but they had none in stock Canada wide and they made it seem as though I was getting a steal of a deal. Not so sure though.
Sr. Member
Nov 17, 2012
587 posts
177 upvotes
Toronto
I also picked up a Panasonic plasma today, but I bought the TCP65ST50. Today East Hamilton Radio was selling the 65ST50 for $2400 and they were including their extended warranty. After a lengthy but enjoyable discussion with some very helpful FS folks, I got my deal done for just a bit more than the EHR price including the 4 year FS PSP plan priced at $530.

I've been told in writing that as of just a couple weeks ago, the FS PSP now covers burn-in on plasma's and dead pixels etc. I was nervous about going with plasma due to the image retention issues. I currently have a 6 year old 50 inch Sony LCD rear projection model and have had no issues whatsoever with the TV - still running the original lamp. So an extended warranty wasn't something I was interested in, but... I might want it.

Or I decide to cancel the PSP in the first 30 days and get my $530+tax back making the deal I got particularly good.

$2050 for the 60 inch GT50 is a pretty good price. That TV would have been priced at $2500 today at FS I think, and that was 'on sale' already. We basically each got the same deal, as my $2000 65 inch ST50 was also currently at $2500.

You basically have a choice with the ST/GT line. $500 will buy you either 5 inches, or the jump from ST to GT. For my money I decided to go with the screen size as the image quality between the two sets is essentially the same. The GT has the additional levels of greyscale (24K vs 12K or so) and the THX cert badge. Has better picture quality controls in the user menu, but that can be overcome by going into the system menus.

Given we both got a $2500 TV for $2000, it leads me to believe that's what we might expect in any upcoming sales. I'm getting my TV next week.
Newbie
Aug 20, 2012
5 posts
1 upvote
Toronto
If you return the warranty will they subtract the $530 from the $2400? That bring you down to $1870 which really is a steal, way below cost I would assume.
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User avatar
Apr 1, 2004
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torontotim wrote:
Nov 18th, 2012 1:36 am
You basically have a choice with the ST/GT line. $500 will buy you either 5 inches, or the jump from ST to GT. For my money I decided to go with the screen size as the image quality between the two sets is essentially the same. The GT has the additional levels of greyscale (24K vs 12K or so) and the THX cert badge. Has better picture quality controls in the user menu, but that can be overcome by going into the system menus.
The GT50 doesn't have more controls in the user menu... that's what separates the ST50/GT50 from the UT50. Then the VT50 has even more controls. The ST50 and GT50 have the exact same control set, same panel and same filter, so they're capable of achieving the exact same picture after calibration. The GT50 does have extra shades of gradients, but pros who have compared them said that it makes little to no difference. The main benefits of the GT50 over the ST50 are listed in my post above (post 43).
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User avatar
Dec 14, 2007
1521 posts
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Red Deer
torontotim wrote:
Nov 18th, 2012 1:36 am
I also picked up a Panasonic plasma today, but I bought the TCP65ST50. Today East Hamilton Radio was selling the 65ST50 for $2400 and they were including their extended warranty. After a lengthy but enjoyable discussion with some very helpful FS folks, I got my deal done for just a bit more than the EHR price including the 4 year FS PSP plan priced at $530.

I've been told in writing that as of just a couple weeks ago, the FS PSP now covers burn-in on plasma's and dead pixels etc. I was nervous about going with plasma due to the image retention issues. I currently have a 6 year old 50 inch Sony LCD rear projection model and have had no issues whatsoever with the TV - still running the original lamp. So an extended warranty wasn't something I was interested in, but... I might want it.

Or I decide to cancel the PSP in the first 30 days and get my $530+tax back making the deal I got particularly good.

$2050 for the 60 inch GT50 is a pretty good price. That TV would have been priced at $2500 today at FS I think, and that was 'on sale' already. We basically each got the same deal, as my $2000 65 inch ST50 was also currently at $2500.

You basically have a choice with the ST/GT line. $500 will buy you either 5 inches, or the jump from ST to GT. For my money I decided to go with the screen size as the image quality between the two sets is essentially the same. The GT has the additional levels of greyscale (24K vs 12K or so) and the THX cert badge. Has better picture quality controls in the user menu, but that can be overcome by going into the system menus.

Given we both got a $2500 TV for $2000, it leads me to believe that's what we might expect in any upcoming sales. I'm getting my TV next week.
How were you told "in writing" exactly? Was it a printed document of some sort? I only ask because under PSP's Terms and Conditions (on FS's site), under General Exclusions it specifically mentions "...burned phosphor (including image ghosting), pixel burnout not in accordance with the manufacturer’s guidelines..." as items not covered.
Sr. Member
Nov 17, 2012
587 posts
177 upvotes
Toronto
Rob76 wrote:
Nov 18th, 2012 10:52 pm
How were you told "in writing" exactly? Was it a printed document of some sort? I only ask because under PSP's Terms and Conditions (on FS's site), under General Exclusions it specifically mentions "...burned phosphor (including image ghosting), pixel burnout not in accordance with the manufacturer’s guidelines..." as items not covered.
Totally agree. I've exchanged emails with the salesperson confirming things (which I know won't hold water at the end of the day) but of course will be following up for firm and final written confirmation from FS before the 30 day window closes on the return. Aside from the burn-in coverage I don't think I'd bother with the $530 warranty for the extra 4 years of coverage, but it's a tough call.

I didn't spend the money on the extended warranty of my current Sony LCD rear-projection unit, and have had 5-6 years of no issues, not even the lamp burning out (although it might be dimmer now, not sure how these go - if they dim first then blow or just go out).

Going by the odds I should probably keep the warranty on my next set given I had good luck on the current one. I'm due for some bad luck with this one :) $530 for 10 years of worry free TV isn't bad when you stretch it out. Plus again, it's my first plasma and if it truly does cover burn-in I'm probably keeping it.

This was all discussed with the 'manager' during my negotiation as the discounting required his approvals. So I tend to believe it.
Sr. Member
Nov 17, 2012
587 posts
177 upvotes
Toronto
Oh and yeah, I should be able to walk into any FS and cancel the warranty and get my $530+tax back no problem. So my price for the 65 ST50 would be $2000 + tax.

A good deal, but not insanely good. I was offered the 65 ST50 over email by East Hamilton for $2200. So pretty close and that was their first offer to me. No doubt we could find another $200 to knock off.
Deal Addict
Jul 25, 2006
2159 posts
272 upvotes
rahzel wrote:
Nov 18th, 2012 1:54 pm
The GT50 doesn't have more controls in the user menu... that's what separates the ST50/GT50 from the UT50. Then the VT50 has even more controls. The ST50 and GT50 have the exact same control set, same panel and same filter, so they're capable of achieving the exact same picture after calibration. The GT50 does have extra shades of gradients, but pros who have compared them said that it makes little to no difference. The main benefits of the GT50 over the ST50 are listed in my post above (post 43).
I will say this again: the ST does NOT have the same panel as the GT series. Unfortunately, CNet's review got this wrong and it has been spreading like a cancer to other reviews and into people's psyche. The two panels are comparable in specifications but I can tell you they have two different product numbers and come in two separate shipping batches when received / installed at the factory. Even the electrical components pre-installed onto the unit is different between the two. I saw these things being assembled at Panasonic's Osaka factory when I last visited and while the GT and VT are assembled on the same line, the ST shares more components with the UT model than its higher-end siblings.

When properly calibrated, you are absolutely correct; the two look very much identical. But they certainly do NOT have the same panel, nor the exact same internal component layout. :)

And for the record; I took a double plunge this weekend. I bought a 50ST50 for upstairs ($989) and a 55GT50 ($1810) for downstairs.

Personally, I love the exterior design of the GT50, I needed the extra HDMI inputs, and wanted something no one has talked about: substantially lower gaming input lag on the GT.

On the other hand, the upstairs TV is typically used for news viewing and standard programming.
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My Heatware
Newbie
Nov 21, 2011
21 posts
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Ottawa
SKYMTL wrote:
Nov 19th, 2012 8:21 am
And for the record; I took a double plunge this weekend. I bought a 50ST50 for upstairs ($989) and a 55GT50 ($1810) for downstairs.
Where did you find an 50st50 for $989?
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