Customer Reviews: Panasonic TC-L50EM5 50-Inch 60Hz LED-lit TV (2012 Model)
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on November 22, 2012
Was looking for a big screen monitor for my new home theater / gaming PC and also used as a occasional second HDTV. Wanted an energy efficient LED display, (my main home theater TV is a plasma Panasonic G25 - which has performed flawlessly for 2 years) and this model certainly fits those requirements.

This is a new Panasonic model - released in September I believe, and could find very little review information online. I have never purchased a large fragile item like this online, but due to Amazons stellar return policy, I decided to take the risk & am very happy I did.

Delivery was excellent +. Appointment was for 9AM, received a call at 8:30 from CEVA - the delivery contractor, and it was in my living room at 08:50. Arrived in pristine condition - no damage to the set or the box. After a quick power up test, carefully inspecting the panel, I signed off & CEVA went on their way.

HD content looks supurb. Panel brightness looks uniform across the display. There were no dead or stuck pixels. The factory settings are not the best - used some reference settings from reviews of other similar LED / LCD models and tweaked the custom settings for now to:
Backlight 70
Color 60
Brightness 30
Tint 5
Sharpness 10
Color Temp Normal

Looks pretty darn good. Will set it up properly with Disney's calibration disc when it settles in for a few more hours. I have owned it for less than a week.

Connected to my new PC, corrected for the overscan a TV monitor gives you vs a PC monitor, and WOW, a big and impressive desktop. Can read my email from across the room! Fired up 1 game on it, 1080p, looks fantastic. Audio is typical of a thin panel TV - since I have it connected to my PC with 5.1 surround, not an issue for me.

The finish of the TV is excellent, piano black thin bezel with a clear acrylic surrounding it - not visible in the pictures. The black bezel thickness is 7/8" top and sides, bottom is 1 1/4". The acrylic adds 1/8" top & sides, 1/4" bottom.

Overall, this is one very impressive unit. Not fair to compare it to the output & features of my plasma display. This has 2 HDMI (one with audio return) and 1 USB inputs, not a smart TV - but perfect for my purpose. If you want the smart & network connected features, all you have to do is connect a inexpensive networked blu ray player and you are there. My Panasonic plasma has never seen a network cable, the blu ray player provides all the Viera features. When I upgrade it next year, I'll move it to the LM50EM5 other HDMI port.

Thanks Amazon - Recommended .... 8.5 / 10 (may go up after I calibrate it)
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on December 12, 2012
The caveat to this TV is that it is bare bones. It's simply a TV with no bells and whistles. With that being said, I purchased it because of that, not despite of it. I'm running my home theater through an AV receiver (the Sony STRDH520).

When I first got the TV I quickly hooked it up directly to my cable box (Comcast HD DVR) and the picture was horrible. I was getting worried. But then once I ran the HDMI from the cable box to the receiver and then to the TV BOOM, Crystal clear picture. In our house we have Vizio, Philips, and Samsung and now this Viera. Give me the Panasonic any day of the week. It's beautiful picture and deep black background make watching movies a dream. I bought it specifically for Movies and sports. NFL Redzone looks amazing in HD as well. All the colors "pop" without being annoying. I played with the picture settings for a while and once I fine tune it enough I will add my settings to the review. I started with the "Standard" settings however, and went from there, and frankly the Standard setting is fine for most. Also, though this is a 60Hz TV, you can't tell the difference when compared side by side with a 120Hz TV which our 42" Philips is. Movement is crisp and realistic. I have already recommended this TV to everyone that is looking for a 50". I only have it 4 stars because if you don't have an A/V receiver with HDMI, you WILL be disappointed.
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on February 26, 2013
As long as there is a full image on the screen and it's not a dark scene, the picture is great. Unfortunately however in dark scenes this display's flaws are exposed. First you will see annoying light leakage from the corners and some of the sides, in my case from the top.

Also, there are blotches of cloudy spots on the screen which are viewable anytime the screen goes dark (while still powered on), the spots can also be seen when a darker image is on the screen. In addition, when I watch blurays, where the picture meets the black bars at the top and bottom is a bright band of light running horizontally. It's very distracting.

Needless to say this tv is going back to amazon. You really do get what you pay for unfortunately.
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on December 9, 2012
I have a home theatre system but was hoping to upgrade my TV - bigger screen and 1080p. Look at the flyers through black Friday, over the weekend and then into cyber Monday left me assuming that it wasn't going to happen this year. Then I stumbled upon this Panasonic 50". 50" HDTV 1080p. It apparently has speakers and other stuff - but isn't a "SMART" TV. Maybe this is why the low pricetag. Anyway, I got it delivered this Friday. It looks amazing. Wickedly thin - and half the weight of my old 37". Picture is beautiful. I can see everything from across the room without squinting! And the detail I can now see on plain old cable and movies - incredible! Watching old movies again and exclaiming "I didn't know xxxx was on the wall!" or whatever.

Highly recommended.
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VINE VOICEon February 27, 2013
Very good picture. A good selection of screen formats. Sound is OK but you really need an audio system to make the system complete. Much lighter in weight than my previous wide screen television.

The major complaint I have about this TV is that it has no provision for listening with either headphones or blue tooth.
Primarily no head phone hookup so I can't listen to the TV without disturbing others since like many households, each of us has our own TV.

Blue tooth would be a nice feature since many head phones are going to blue tooth support and that would eliminate any wires between myself and the TV. But this TV has neither so the sound system is definitely second rate while the picture is first class.
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on January 15, 2013
Bad thing - lousy sound. No deduction because I knew this before I ordered (thank you reviewers).

Good things - Great picturte after I tweaked the settings according to another reviewers recommendations. Easy set-up. Good remote. A bargain, and Amazon refunded the difference when they dropped the price $50.
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on April 4, 2013
When I purchased this TV during the Christmas holiday season, very few online reviews existed. The ones I found were positive, and my experience with Panasonic has been positive, so I took a chance and bought this one.

I've been extremely happy. I run all my HDMI connections through my receiver, so I only need one HDMI connection into the TV itself. The quality of the picture is superb. I've done a bit of fiddling around with settings, but the picture was great right out of the box.

One of the reasons I bought this TV was the room it's in - a living room with tons of light from 3 windows and a patio door. Even with all the light, reflections are non-existent and the picture is strong and clear.

I wouldn't hesitate to buy another one of these TVs - it has exceeded my expectations.
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on March 28, 2013
I'll preface my review by saying I give this 5 stars for its value and not raw performance.

I have always been a fan of Panasonic TV's, prior to purchasing the TC-L50EM5 I had owned two Panasonic Plasmas. They are not really known for their LCD/LED TV's; you think of Panasonic you think Plasma.

I needed a 50" TV for a little as money as possible that wasn't ugly. This was the only TV that fit the bill so I went ahead and bought it. I bought a refurbished unit from Amazon Marketplace for $540 shipped, not too bad! Now on with the review.

Design: When I fist unboxed this TV I thought, 'dang, this looks like a Samsung'. That's not a bad thing. This TV has a thin profile, skinny frame with a nice transparent plastic trimming around the black frame. It's very tastefully done. The frame is not a matte finish though and it does show fingerprints. Overall it passed the wife test. We think it looks good.

Bells & Whistles: This is a bare bones TV which is one of the reasons the price is so low. It does have two HDMI inputs, with HDMI port 2 supporting ARC audio return which is nice. It does not have internet connectivity, or the Viera suite of tools like other Panasonic TV's. The picture controls on this TV are pretty sparse too, so you won't really be able to dial in this TV.

Performance: Let me say up front that I am ecstatic with the picture of this TV for the price I paid. It does exhibit the standard flaws with an edge lit LED TV. Off-axis viewing gets a little washed out. By this I mean as you move right or left from the center viewing position the picture starts to wash out. It's not drastic, and all LED TV's have this. Also, it does show some light bleed in the bottom right hand corner. It isn't bad though.

I can tell you as a previous owner of a 70 inch Vizio E701i-A3 which has almost a perfect rating on Amazon with 84 reviews, and is a Cnet editors pick... this Panasonic has a better picture, I'm serious.

This TV has better uniformity on very dark material, and has much, much, much less light bleed around the edges than the Vizio. While this is subjective as I didn't measure it, to my eyes it has superior blacks as well. Shadow detail and dark scenes are very good for a TV of this price. They aren't spectacular, I also have a Panasonic 65ST50, I know reference level black performance when I see it. However, for normal viewing this TV is more than adequate.

For picture controls I set it on the cinema setting, and I cranked sharpness all the way down. I turned off all the extra stuff like noise reduction, mosquito filter, and basically all the other junk they put on there that kills your picture. I backed off the brightness a tad from the cinema setting, and with just that little bit of adjustment it produces a very nice picture. 1080P Blu Rays look fantastic. Sharp colors with punch, but not annoyingly so. Everything looks natural, not cartoonish.

A nice little perk is that this TV handles 24P content well. The 3:2 pulldown processing on this budget TV is impressive. I threw a lot of material at it, and I can only remember seeing one scene where it was kind of choppy. Even then my wife didn't notice it, but I did. For all I know it could have been a bad video encode and not the TV itself.

One bummer is that the CEC support on this TV kinda stinks. The CEC support is limited to power on/off device and auto tune to the HDMI port. Do not plan on using your Panasonic remote with your CEC connected device. This was a disappointment since I rely on CEC to keep my HTPC in sync with my TV and use my TV remote to control my HTPC. I'm sure this will affect 1 person out of a million, but I thought I would note it.

Lastly, the speakers are terrible. I know people usually don't expect much from flat screen tv speakers, but wow are these bad. I am not using a surround sound system with this TV for aesthetic reason so I rely on the TV speakers. They sound like someone is talking with a hand over their mouth. Just really muffled, and tinny.

In summary this TV really outperforms it's price. For $550-$650 you get an attractive 50" LED with fantastic picture quality. If you need a 50" TV at a great price you owe it to yourself to check this one out. It's a steal!

Buy if: You are on a budget, want a set it and go TV, care about aesthetics

Don't buy if: You want 3D, need full CEC support, need internet connectivity, need more than 2 HDMI inputs
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on December 27, 2012
My fiance and I purchased this tv back in mid November. It looks great, has good sound. After only a week, the unit started randomly cutting off and sitting there blinking there blinking until we had to unplug power from the back of the tv. If cut back on afterwards and not even 10 minutes later it did this again. We thought it had something to do with our cable box. We returned the TV for the same model through Amazon with no hassle. We've had the new TV for maybe 2 weeks now and this one is even worse. we are exchanging it for a higher end model. This one is made out of plastic. The models with the ICS are much better. They are a bit heavier yet are made out of metal and not cheapo plastic. It's a shame. This could be a great new line for Panasonic, but it needs to be tweaked. When playing my 360 tonight it was cutting off every few minutes. Very annoying.
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on October 21, 2013
TV works great and looks great.
But it was odd to find that though there is a VGA input there is no input for the sound, so i had to buy an adapter that was $50 to be able to use the tv with my particular lap top.
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