Do you want Brand Name or Good Technology
I am a happy Panasonic TV customtakeouter. And I'd like to share my experience with you all .
We cannot imagine a single day without a TV in today's world. News updates, serials, movies, reality shows . well . there isn't a single house without these today. Years ago, I needed to replace my dead SONY Trinitron model of the 1980's. When I first imagined shopping for a new TV my'mindset' was that I would buy a Sony. But I only need something I would be happy watching for a long time.
The TV brand recommended by many was LG as it was a'rough and tough' CRT TV brand that became a BIG HIT in Indian TV market. Looking for a decent TV, I reached a TV outlet where my eyes were drawn by a particular TV. It really stood out from the rest. The image on it was so rich and'grand' that it made the other TVs look pale. There was the LIFE in its picture that I could not find in any other TV. Surprisingly, it was a Pananonic TV. I never knew Panasonic TVs produce such good picture. Satisfied at the first sight, I craftily chose this TV without a second thought.
Looks and Features =>
Panasonic TC-21T200 was packed in a carton box that says Tau digiTal flaT(I wondered what'T' specifies and I still do). The packing looked very simple to me as SONY's carton box is sturdier. This TV has a metallic body around a dark picture tube. It has the words "Quintrix" and "Power VM" on the lower left corner( gimmick words to advertise the TV better to the public, I thought). This TV looks decent and is neither gorgeous nor ugly. Feature wise, it has ALL the necessary features such as an AV-In and an AV-Out port. But no DVD Component Input. Just like in other TVs, it has all adjustments through remote control for brightness, contrast, color and tint(for NTSC). Three picture modes available are Standard, Soft and Dynamic. While watching a program or movie, it's possible to reduce the sound level to half the current volume by pressing the MUTE button. It's called Half-Mute and is quite a good feature, I feel. Two sound modes available are Speech and Music apart from controls for Bass and Treble.
Adorable Picture Quality =>
HAPPILY, It has been seven years and this TV still continues to run without any problems.
When I first watched the image on this TV, I missed the crispness and sharpness in image of my earlier SONY Trinitron. But this TV has its own strengths. The image is so grand that in many scenes, I can see a certain'depth' . For example, in Animal Planet, there are often scenes of sunset in forests. These scenes are mind blowing to watch as they render amazing contrast and darkness. After I started watching DTH channels on this TV, the experience only got better. Sometimes the images are so good that I end up watching channels that are boring. Reproduction of primary colors is highly accurate. The blacks on this TV are truly black unlike in SONY. The stars-studded black sky in Disovery Channel and space movies like STAR WARS is just amazing to watch. I ain't hyping: I own another SONY WEGA that has many many more features for better pictures. But SONY's picture quality doesn't even come close to Panasonic, trust me.
The TV has Intelligent Picture Plus, Automatic Signal Booster, Intelligent Volume, Super Velocity Modulation, Automatic Contrast Enhancement, OPC, 3-Line Digital Comb Filter, 200 Hz ProScan for flicker free pictures!
Sounds power packed?
SORRY you're mistaken. My Panasonic has NONE of these features or technologies. Usually a TV processes the image using electronic circuitry before producing it on the screen to make it look good to our eyes. This process happens like this:
Electrical Signals -> Raw Image -> DIGITAL IMAGE PROCESSING -> Better Image -> Screen
Philips calls its Image Processing'Pixel Plus' and Sony, 'Intelligent Picture'. But my Panasonic has NO such processing! Yet, it produces images on screen that are so simple, yet REAL and life-like! This shows the quality of the picture tube that has an Invar Shadow Mask.
The Magic of Invar =>
A picture tube is for a TV what voice is for a singer. If a singer can sing well but has an ugly voice, he will only be mocked at. So, it's very important for a TV to have a good picture tube. ALL picture tubes(except Sony) have something called a shadow mask. It is placed between the screen and the electron gun to filter colors. Till late '90s, shadow masks were made of iron. They usually get heated up and expand inside the picture tube due to the electrons passing through them at very very high speeds. So electrons hit the wrong spots and this resulted in wrong colors being reproduced on screen. To overcome this problem, Sony developed a TV that replaced the'shadow mask' with an 'aperture grille' The resultant images were stunning, crisp and highly accurate. This is why SONY TVs became very popular.
In 1989, four Engineers MICHIHIKO INABA, KOICHI TESHIMA, EMIKO HIGASHI NAKAGAWA & YASUHISA OHTAKE working in the TOSHIBA, Japan developed a special shadow mask using an alloy called Invar(Fe-36Ni). The special property of Invar is that it does not expand unlike the Iron masks. Using Invar Shadow Masks, picture tubes with superior color accuracy were developed. These picture tubes were comparable with SONY Trinitron and so they gained immense popularity and have been used in the ALL CRT TVs since then.
And Panasonic has done a wonderful a wonderful job with it's Quintrix picture tube. It is a special picture tube family made by Panasonic in Malaysia and Wales for its TVs worldwide. Once I saw a banner in Panasonic Brand Shop that Panasonic has produced 300 million CRT TVs, the highest ever.
Panasonic and TV technology=>
Experts and users have claimed that Plasma is a better technology than LCD for TV. If you've watched Pioneer Kuro's picture you'll understand this! But from manufacturing point of view, manufacturing a single LCD TV means more profit for the company than manufacturing a Plasma TV. So companies such as Hitachi, NEC, Sony and Philips discontinued manufacturing Plasma TVs(labeling it as an inferior technology) and decided to concentrate on LCD TVs. This is how LCD TV technology gained more popularity than Plasma.
But Panasonic is the only brand that still manufactures Plasma TVs and panels in Japan. This shows the focus of Panasonic on quality and not on profit. Last year, CNET Asia voted the 42 inch V20 model Plasma of Panasonic as Asia's best TV for 2010. This Panasonic TV has TOTALLY CHANGED MY MINDSET. I understood clearly that
1) It is not necessary that only one company makes good products. For example, Sony doesn't make best TVs and Sennheiser doesn't make best headphones.
2) It is wrong to assume that when a product is not expensive, its quality is low.
Even today many buy the over priced Sony BRAVIA considering it to be the best LCD TV despite Samsung and Panasonic making equally good / better TVs. It's funny to see SONY selling 32" Tvs @ around 65, 000 INR!
I stopped buying products by their brand name and bought them by the technology in them. And I have NEVER regretted my decision. If you want a TV with HIGH quality picture at an affordable price, a reliable brand like Panasonic is the way to go. Also consider SHARP and TOSHIBA.
After my experience with Panasonic, I have decided to go with good technology and not by brand name. How about you?