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Lunch » Tags » Electronics » Reviews » Panasonic VIERA TC-P50GT25 50-inch 1080p 3D Plasma HDTV, Black » User review

Superb picture quality, black level, contrast, and 3D looks great!

  • Mar 23, 2011
Rating:
+5
I recently bought this TV to replace my older 42 inche 720p Panasonic Plasma. I was very happy with the quality of the image of my old TV, but I wanted a bigger TV with full 1080p and 3D compatiblity. This one seemed to fit the bill nicely. I had been waiting for 3D Tvs to finally become affordable. When they first came out, they were around $3000 for a 42 inche. Now that the price has finally come down to a reasonable (and affordable) price, I finally decided it was time to pull the trigger. I'm really happy that I did... because this TV was everything I had been waiting (and hoping) for.

Overall performance:

I've now had the TV for about 2 weeks and it has met all of my expectations. The contrast ratio (black level) on this TV (which is 5,000,000 to 1) is astounding.
When the scene has black bars on the sides, it is hard to tell where the frame of the TV and the glass screen starts when all the lights are out. It's that dark!
The many default settings such as vivid, Cinema, standard... plus the fact that you can change all the settings to your preference is great. It will even allow you to change the color spectrum to different levels of warm or cool according to your preference. Of course, you can change setttings like color saturation, contrast, brightness...etc to your liking too. The image quality on this TV (once you calibrate it) is amazing. If you have HD programming, you will be very impressed. Blu-ray movies look even better than they did in the theaters.

3D image quality:

The 3D viewing experience on this TV was much better than I had anticipated. It's pretty amazing, actually. I bought the Ultimate Avatar Panasonic 3D bundle which included 2 sets of glasses and the movie Avatar in 3D. Some things that I noticed was that the image was a tiny bit darker than without the glasses. But the TV is smart enough to bump up the luminosity in 3D mode to compensate for this. Overall this slight darkening of the scene didn't take away from the experience at all. The frame rate in 3D is really good. The TV refreshes 60 frames total so that each eye gets 30 frames per second. This is the frame-rate for normal video so your eye doesn't notice any blurring at all. I did notice some minimal ghosting affects for some scenes in 3D. This occurs at the edges of objects sometimes. I'm not sure if this was due to the way the video itself was encoded, or if it was from the TV or glasses. I tend to think it is from the video itself because the ghosting only occurs in certain scenes and is repeated in those scenes if you rewind and play it over. At any rate, it occurred very rarely and I've read that it occurs on every 3D TV. It didn't detract from my 3D experience because 95 percent of the scenes looked perfect! My only complaint was that I thought they should have included at least one pair of free 3D glasses and one 3D movie (or 3D Demo) with the TV. I feel that if everyone had a chance to see how great the 3D looks on this TV, they would definitely buy more glasses and more 3D Blu-rays in the future. I bought my 3D Avatar Bundle on Ebay...which seems to have better prices. I noticed that the price here for the 3D Avatar bundle can flucuate from week to week by quite a wide range. Please remember that in order to watch 3D Blu-ray movies you must have a 3D compatible Blu-ray Player (like the Sony PS3 with updated firmware) and Panasonic brand 3D glasses. 3D glasses from other brands will not work.

Conclusion:
If you're looking for a great looking TV that has superb 2D and 3D image quality for an affordable price, I think that this TV is pretty hard to beat. Prepare to spend a few more hundred dollars on 3D glasses and 3D Blu-ray movies though. This may seem like a lot... but the 3D experience really is worth the extra money you have to pay. The 3D picture on this TV display is simply amazing.



Now, if you are still on the fence about whether to choose a Plasma or LCD TV, here's my two cents on the matter:

Plasma VS LCD:

Plasmas:

Pros:
-Better Contrast, Deeper Blacks
-Displays more colors than LCDs can (Over 1 Billion colors)
-More Affordable
-More realistic (wamer) color... for example, skin tones look perfect with the right settings. Colors look more vibrant
-Faster frame-rate. This also matters when it comes to displaying 3D better (faster frame-rate equals smoother picture)
-Superb viewing angle... TV looks great from every angle no matter where you sit.

Cons:
-Uses more electricity than LCD and can produce more heat than LCD while in use.
-TVs are thicker and heavier than LCDs.
-Screens (on average) are not quite as bright (light output) as LCDs.


LCDs:

Pros:
-Light and Thin Screens are easier to mount.
-Produces more light than average Plasmas.
-Uses less energy than plasma.

Cons:
-Usually more expensive than plasma.
-LCDs are Backlit... which means that the black-level/contrast aren't as great as Plasma due to light leakage. Blacks look 'dark gray' with lights out.
-Screen does can't produce as many colors as Plasma.
-Frame rate isn't as quick. This produces a 'blurring' effect during fast moving scenes. This can affect quality of 3D images too.
-Some LCDs still do not have wide viewing angles. This means viewing images from the side affects image quality.


As you can see, there are definitely Pros and Cons to both kinds of TV sets. I went with Plasma because in my opinion, Plasmas produce superior image quality and are even cheaper than LCDs. There are many that would argue with me... but I will base this opinion on the facts. The fact is that Plasmas can produce many more colors than LCDs can, and have a higher contrast ratio than LCDs. Contrast Ratio is the measurement of how dark the blacks can get relative to how bright the whites can get. The technology also inherently produces higher frame-rates and have wider viewing areas than LCD. Although as time goes by, I think the image quality of these two TV technologies get closer to eachother. If you prefer the image quality on LCDs, that's perfectly understandable.

Please understand that this review is only my opinion... so please don't post a million comments on this review about how great LCDs are. Instead, you should write your own review about how great your LCD TV is ;) Yes, I admit that I am a bit biased about Plasmas... But it's mostly because of the Pros and Cons I listed above.

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Duc Truong ()
Ranked #65
I'm a man with many hobbies. I work a full-time job in the field of 'Lyophilization' for a small Pharmacuetical company. It's a dream job because it gives me lots of days off to pursue … more
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Wiki

3D Technology Checklist

This product is 3D-related. To help you get a great 3D experience, use our checklist below to ensure that you have everything you need. If you have any questions or want to learn more about 3D, we invite you to visit 3D 101--our center for everything 3D. To get started with 3D, please ensure that you have:

A Display The first--and most important--item you'll need is a 3D-ready display--whether it be a 3D HDTV, 3D projector, or 3D computer monitor. These displays usually have a higher processing power than older models as they need to display one image for each eye to create a 3D effect. A Source While your display is ready for 3D playback, you still need a device to read 3D content (i.e., a movie or a show). This source can be a cable box with a subscription to a 3D channel, a 3D Blu-ray Disc player, or a PlayStation 3. Content In order to watch 3D, you will need to get some 3D content. This 3D content will come from the source mentioned above in the form of a 3D program, movie, or game. Please ensure that your 3D movies are in the Blu-ray 3D format, as this new format will provide the best 3D experience. 3D Glasses All 3D HDTVs on the market require Active Shutter glasses to create the 3D effect. You will need to buy one pair of glasses for each viewer. Also make sure that the Active Shutter glasses you buy are compatible with your display--for example, buy the glasses from the same brand as your 3D HDTV. HDMI Cable To connect your ...
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Details

Brand: Panasonic
Category: TVs

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