Panasonic TC-P50VT25 Review

Tags: 1080p, 3D, 50 inch, Panasonic, VT25

Panasonic Viera TC-P50VT25 is considered so far to be the best 3D plasma TV model to be released in 2010, and it is not only its 3D capability that catches the eye of the consumer in search of novelty. The image quality is out of this world, and word has it that buying the Kuro technology from its former master, Pioneer, has something to do with Panasonic Viera TC-P50VT25’s excellent performance in this respect. While it lacks the 2D to 3D conversion capabilities seen on models like Samsung PN50C8000, this is not a big loss, since this particular plasma’s performance is really great in both 2D and 3D. New technologies were employed in the making of this 50 inch plasma TV, and it truly shows. A new anti-reflective screen gets the work done, the blacks are the best seen in 2010, color accuracy is amazing, and connectivity is to be expected for a flagship model, although you won’t find built in Wi-Fi. Let’s take a closer look at the model’s capabilities and on the reasons why you should spend a small fortune on the new Panasonic Viera TC-P50VT25.

Pros:

  • Amazing black levels
  • Great color accuracy
  • Very good 3D performance
  • Reliable anti-reflective screen

Cons:

  • Power hog
  • No built in Wi-Fi (but wireless capabilities are present)
  • Some artifacts showing in 1080p/24 mode

Features

People today are not just buying a new HDTV, they buy an entertainer, which is why the TV’s features are very important. While it does offer full access to the Viera Cast Entertainment system, there are better options to be found on other 3D HDTV models, in this respect. Netflix is going to be included, and access to Amazon Video on Demand, YouTube, and Pandora streaming is available. Yet, other competitors, like Samsung PN50C7000, have also access to Blockbuster and VUDU, which are very popular services right now. Panasonic Viera TC-P50VT25 also has no DLNA functionalities that can be found on the plasma flagship model from LG, LG Infinia 50PK950 (even though the latter has no 3D capabilities). To compensate for the lack of a 2D to 3D conversion capability, this Panasonic plasma TV is gifted with a new type of phosphor that makes transition from two dimensional viewing to 3D viewing smoother, and issue free. A pair of 3D glass is included in the price, and also, a USB keyboard can be attached, to make navigation through Internet options easier and more convenient.

Design

The Panasonic Viera TC-P50VT25’s looks are a little different from most HDTV models seen so far this year, in the sense that the stainless steel frame is missing. This does not make the flagship model from Panasonic less appealing to the eye, and it even makes it stand out of the crowd, so it should not bother you. The silver borders, present on both the frame and the oval stand, are also quite stylish and complete the rest of the design rather well.

Connectivity

The connectivity on this particular Panasonic plasma TV model is very good, and as expected from a series that is going to cost quite a bit of cash. There are no less than four HDMI ports present, two USB inputs, and one PC input for hooking up your computer and play the latest games. Due to the new phosphor developed for this 50 inch plasma TV, issues like burn in should appear even less. There are two composite video ports present as well, one RF input, two component video inputs, placed in the back, and digital audio output. Still, you will not find an S-video input on Panasonic Viera TC-P50VT25, and the wireless capability can only be used with a Wi-Fi dongle.

Picture quality

Panasonic invested a lot in its 2010 Viera models, and Panasonic Viera TC-P50VT25 is no exception. All kinds of picture enhancements were employed to make picture quality really great. It seems that they did a great job, and, as many plasma TV reviews point out, this 50 inch plasma TV has great chances to be crowned as the best in its league. Color accuracy in THX mode is really amazing, and handling 1080p/24 content from Blu-ray discs is not a problem for Panasonic Viera TC-P50VT25, as the refresh rate allows for great conversion.

Black levels

Ever since the words was out that Panasonic bought the Kuro technology from Pioneer, people have waited for the results to show. And it seems that the results will not be waited too much, as the excellent black levels one can see on Panasonic Viera TC-P50VT25 are the living proof. They are better and blacker than seen on the company’s models from last year, and the shadow detail is also amazing.

Color accuracy

The THX certification was not awarded for nothing to this Panasonic plasma TV model. When running in THX mode, the TV’s performance is truly great, and nothing bad can be said about its beautiful colors. Excellent quality coming right of the box is also guaranteed and the high contrast ratio also contributes to a full display of great quality images. The color gamut is something that you will thoroughly appreciate, in case you decide (and have the money) to purchase this Panasonic HDTV.

Video processing

Video processing capabilities are quite great on Panasonic Viera TC-P50VT25. Although some minor artifacts can be seen when playing content in 1080p/24 mode, probably because of the lack of a dejudder processor, the overall performance is quite good. Nasty effects like ghosting, or blurring, are not to be seen, and it may be ‘blamed’ on the new phosphor that allows a slower decay rate for primary colors. Regular 2D content can be watched at 60Hz refresh rate, although you should not compare this refresh rate with the one found on LCD screens, plasma still being better at displaying a more accurate picture.

When 1080p/24 content is fed to the TV, it is capable of switching to the 96Hz refresh rate mode, which allows you to watch movies in their native cadence, for a true movie like experience. Some artifacts appear sometimes, but there is nothing major, and it could be overlooked because of the model’s overall excellent picture quality and performance.

Anti-reflective screen

Panasonic Viera TC-P50VT25 has a new anti-reflective screen which performs quite well. Because of concerns regarding plasma TV models being able to showcase the same great image when watched under bright light conditions, attention is often drawn to this particular aspect. Panasonic does quite a good job here, and the model’s capacities are well enhanced, delivering a picture with less glare, even when watched under such conditions.

3D performance

3D TV technology is still in its early age, but this does not mean that the main HDTV manufacturers are not interested in investing a lot in the novelty. Best plasma TV models, as well as new LCD TV models, now have this option readily available for consumers. As far as 3D performance on Panasonic Viera TC-P50VT25 is concerned, there are some slight issues that must be taken into consideration. Because the screen brightness is somewhat lower than seen on other plasma TV models, 3D content may look a little too dim at times. Also, the lack of the ability to convert 2D content in 3D that can be found on models like Samsung PN50C8000 can count in the eyes of some consumers, when they want to make a choice. The refresh rate, of 120Hz, when displaying 3D content, should not be considered inferior to the higher numbers found on 3D LCD TV models, like LG Infinia 55LE9500, that sports a 480Hz refresh rate. Plasma is still better than its LCD TV counterparts in this respect, because of the quicker response time.

As already mentioned, 3D TV technology still has a long way to go, and adjustments can be made along the way.

Standard definition

Unfortunately, the great performance of Panasonic Viera TC-P50VT25 in full HD and even in 3D is marred by a less than stellar performance when it comes to standard definition content. Even this is an understatement, as almost all the nasty effects one does not like to see on their TVs, – especially one bought for a large sum of money – all kinds of jaggies and motes, when the image is sourced by a DVD. Also, the edges of objects look too soft, and the Panasonic plasma TV does not solve all the lines of the DVD format.

Conclusion

Although Panasonic Viera TC-P50VT25 is mainly advertised as a 3D plasma TV, its performance in the 2D area is what truly recommends it. With ink like blacks, great accurate colors right out of the box, and video processing that can handle all kinds of sources, this 50 inch plasma TV is surely a model to be taken into consideration. As far as 3D performance is concerned, the model does quite well, the little issues being nothing but tributary to the novelty of the technology that is still in its early stages.

Want to Buy It?
This review applies to the following size variants:

  • 50″Panasonic TC-P50VT25Buy on Amazon.com
    (the model reviewed here)
  • 54″Panasonic TC-P54VT25Buy on Amazon.com
  • 58″Panasonic TC-P58VT25Buy on Amazon.com
  • 65″Panasonic TC-P65VT25Buy on Amazon.com
We recommend Amazon.com!

Because in our experience most of the time it has the best prices on HDTV, our recommended store is Amazon.com. Do look around for the best price, but make sure you don’t skip Amazon.com or you might miss a good deal.

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