39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
on July 3, 2009
I purchased this TV almost a week ago and so far color me impressed. I have to admit, while in the stores I was not impressed by this TV at all. Most of the other sets appeared to have more color and vibrance to them. In the store this G15 appeared to be very dull in color and over contrasted. My brother who sells televisions to the RV industry had been touting the G10 as the second coming to High Definition TV. I have debated this with him many times as I have declared the Panasonic Plasmas as way too dark. HOWEVER, I took a leap of faith and took his advice and purchased the G15 anyway. And wow, upon hooking it up and turning the power on there was no doubt I made the right decision. The settings in the store do not in any way do the G15 justice. It was like a different tv in my living room. I fired up a Blu-Ray disc that had nothing but HD landscapes on it and it was simply stunning. I had viewed this disc on my old Sony LCD projection set and it pretty good on that, but this was something else. On the G15 the blacks are black, and the whites are white. Many LCD's I have seen the whites are really tan, and the blacks are more like charcoal. I have become almost obsessive about adjusting the settings on the color to be perfect and recently came up with a great configuration. Watching season one of LOST in Blu-Ray is unbelievable on this TV.
I have played games on this set as well, and let me tell you my X-Box 360 has never so good. To quote my wife, "I never realized how bad our old TV really was--until I saw this new one." It is that good. The Viera Cast feature is very cool, however I wish there were more you could do with it. I would expect more over time with firmware updates though. The Youtube feature is probably the most useful and fun to play with.
On the down side, there could have been more color settings in the adjustment menus. Also the THX feature was very disappointing as the screen is way too dark in this mode.
In conclusion, don't be fooled by showroom displays of this TV, its a different game in your living room. I would challenge anybody to find a better picture than the G15 right now.
33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on July 16, 2009
I've had a G15 for a couple of weeks now and I haven't had any issues except for one. It turns out their highly touted THX setting has some bugs. The picture looks too green and yellow. They claim to have a firmware fix that doesn't seem to fix the problem.
I've read that you need version 1.2 of the firmware and when downloading you can only get the latest version which is currently 1.28. You would think 1.28 would contain the fix, but apparently not. Panasonic doesn't roll up their fixes. Each version fixes a particular problem and there's no version that has all the fixes. It crazy. It's like you have to choose which feature you want fixed and can only have that one fix.
The problem effects all their TVs that have a THX setting (G10, G15, V10).
I use other settings than THX and the picture, after adjustment looks good.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on September 8, 2009
OK I'll add a little more but it will not be an objective, technical review. It will contain a whole bunch of superlatives and emotional comments.
THIS BAD BOY IS BAD!! Wonderful colors, contrast, blacks. The picture pops and everything. I have watched Planet Earth, Batman: Dark Knight and other Blu-rays on the TV. It is nothing short of spectacular. Great saturation, believable colors and context.
I was about to buy an Open Box Kuro Elite Pro for still a bit more than this one -- but the price on the Kuro was so right I thought I had to buy it. Well I went to Best Buy to see both in action. Unfortunately BB must be favoring the Panasonics because they set the Panny to Vivid or something other than THX video setting and had the Kuro on Natural or THX. So on first review the Panny looks more vivid, lively (as expected). I really wanted the Kuro because I had always wanted one. So he set the two TVs the same and in one or two areas the Kuro was better:
Specifically: 1. On a mixed black and white screen -- in this case it was a magician and the background was a black curtain with white moving stars. The Kuro did something beautiful and warm and my insides tingled.
2. An actor was wearing a pure white shirt I thought the Kuro was whiter.
But in many cases I saw no discernable difference and in one case I agreed with BB that the Panny was better-- it was another off white background-- the Kuro had a reddish tint whereas the Panny did not.
So for that much more I did not see the value. So I ordered the G10 first. Then I saw the G15 that was a bit flatter and ordered this one.
I use a Yamaha YSP-4000 so I cannot speak to the sound quality but the video quality is tops! For this kind of HDTV money you cannot go wrong.
Also the delivery was sound/good. Although they arrived later than communicated -- once they arrived the TV was in top shape. So with no shipping charges this is a great buy!!
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on October 9, 2009
I rarely take the time to write product reviews, but in this case I felt like it was really worthwhile. I spent a few months researching TVs and I am always reading in forums, checking showrooms, etc. There are some fantastic TVs out there on both Plasma and LCD sides (LEDs still too expensive in my mind). After countless hours looking at all my options, I narrowed it down to a Samsung LCD or a Panasonic Plasma. This TV was to serve as the main family unit in the living room. I have a Sony PS3 (Blu-ray & games) and DirecTV HD DVR receiver to connect to the TV. My friend has a Samsung 650 LCD that has really nice color and decent performance, however I notice some motion issues when watching fast sports or with the PS3 connected. I also think the Samsung's colors are a little unnatural. Already owning a 2 year old 42" Panasonic Plasma (700u model), I was able to do a pretty good live comparison between the two before purchasing the G15. The plasma's blacks were better and the color was more natural in my opinion. Also, the plasma didn't show any artifacts or motion issues no matter the content unlike the LCD. [Yes both TVs were calibrated, so please don't flame me for giving my opinion] The bottom line to me is both are great TVs and you have to choose based on your needs and your taste. I decided to go with the G15 Panasonic after seeing a calibrated unit at my local store. It was absolutely beautiful. After owning the TV for more than a month, I can tell you that it was the right choice for me. I was really proud the other day when my brother-in-law (Samsung owner), watched a HD NFL game on my TV and stated it was the best picture he had ever seen.
- Stunning picture quality right out of the box. Even better after slight calibration.
- Beautiful thin frame
- Great anti-reflective properties on the screen
- THX mode for movies (great at night)
- Very fast for games and sports
- Unbelievable blacks
- Natural and clean colors
- Plenty of connections
- Excellent DVD and gaming performance. New 1080p PS3 games look amazing as do Blu-rays.
- Works great with laptop connected as well
- Reasonable standard def performance (as good as most other sets that I have seen)
- Good remote
- Sound is a little weak (pretty standard for most thin frame TVs). Best if you have a separate surround receiver.
- Not as many menu adjustments as some other TVs to dial in the picture, however it was so close out of the box that only minor adjustments were needed so this shouldn't be an issue for most.
- Fairly heavy compared to similar size LCD.
- Uses a little more power than similar size LCD.
- Not quite as bright as LCD if using in very bright room. However, the screen is less reflective than most LCDs that I have seen.
I bought this TV on Amazon and got a great price as well as good shipping. The TV was delivered to my door in good packaging and without any damage.
If you are on the fence about this purchase, don't hesitate to pull the trigger. If you prefer brilliant color over natural color then maybe the LCD is for you. I just can't get past the motion issues with LCD even with the 120hz or the off-axis viewing issues. These are my opinions, so please check it out for yourself to make the decision that is right for you. I just can't imagine a better TV for the price.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on November 22, 2009
We were originally going to purchase the G10, but when the G15 became the most affordable option, we jumped on the chance to join the high-def community. We were amazed at the picture quality of this device! We upgraded from a CRT TV, and were not aware of how far-behind in technology we were. I put a lot of research into what kind of TV to buy (LCD v. Plasma; LED are too pricey) and finally decided Plasma was the one for us: we watch mainly movies and play video games, and we have always darkened the room prior to "serous" watching. I have always thought that blacks are what make a picture, and having read that LCDs cannot achieve a true, deep black (without completely turning off), plasmas were the obvious choice. Panny has certainly done their research, and has developed a plasma TV without the issues of previous generations: the pixel orbiting and screen wash eliminate screen burn-in, the AR filter has reduced glare (we only have issues when light is directly on the screen, but it still delivers a stunning, glare-free picture when the blinds and curtains are open letting tons of sunlight into the room), and the 600 Hz subfield drive creates flawless screen movements without any drag--what more could we ask for?
The EXTRA benefits include:
-Energy-Star rating. Although this is always a priority to us for large appliances, I never really thought about applying to it to electronics. I was unaware of how power-hungry plasmas are, and am relieved that Panny has produced one that is Energy Star approved.
-an SD card reader on the left side (looking at the TV) to watch videos or pictures as a slide-show (although I did not think I would use this feature much, I am looking forward to displaying family photos this holiday season while family and guests are over, and it's fun to go snap a few dozen shots and pop the card from the camera directly into the TV to view them in stunning color on such a large screen!)
-Internet capabilities (the VIERA link still needs lots of work, but I am grateful that the TV has the capability of getting online which should makes firmware upgrades easy; watching youtube videos on the TV is a lot of fun)
-THX certification; although a little 'dark,' the image's colors are very realistic. I think we are used to watching more vivid colors, but after getting past the first initial "color shock," watching the rest of the movie becomes natural and easy on the eye.
-Inputs: I love being able to easily access the input screen while continuing to watch something on the screen (no "cycling"). The inputs' labels are customizable, so the options aren't HDMI 1,2,3 but instead PS3, XBox, BluRay Player, etc. One of the conveniences that are truly appreciated on this TV!
-The TV itself lends itself to being more than just a TV. I feel we have purchased a piece of advanced technology (at an AMAZING price from 6th Ave. electronics) than just another TV. For instance, it has synced with the other HDMI devices, and responds to any of them being turned on by automatically changing the input and picture-setting (to Game mode, which is also great!, it also makes the TV controller work with the other devices, too.
-We do not have a surround system yet, and I was worried about the sound quality of the TV (G10 reviews) but have been pleasantly surprised. No, it is not anything outstanding and a little tinny, but we can hear dialog and music and explosives just fine without adjusting the volume constantly. If this is going directly on the wall, I would stress the use of an alternative sound system (the speakers are on the back of the TV).
-Great viewing angles! I can even see what is on the screen when I walk into the room from the side entrance (unlike the old CRT or LCDs)
-It is also eye candy! The slim design and stylish base creates a gorgeous focal-point in the room, and the bevel fades away into the background which watching TV so it doesn't detract from the viewing experience.
Overall, we are VERY satisfied with this device!
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on October 12, 2009
^^^ UPDATE, February 2013 ^^^
My Panny is now 3 1/2 years old and looks as good as the day I bought it. All the BS about how the plasma picture brightness would diminish by 50% after a year or so turned out to be complete lies and nonsense. I love the TV, but I'm very unhappy with Vieracast internet features which have NEVER been improved or added-to since the day I bought this TV back in August 2009!
Sure, today you can buy TV's and DVD players that will stream nearly anything imaginable wirelessly, and the content is almost limitless. BUT, very clearly, Panasonic completely ignored those of us who thought Vieracast would ever be improved or enhanced when we bought our TV's back in 2009. Indeed, Vieracast still has most of the "sockets" on its screen indicating that new features will be added, but none ever was... and most irritating is the fact that you still cannot get Netflix through Vieracast! So, it's a thoroughly excellent quality TV, but Vieracast is an enormous disappointment on my TV... although I do enjoy the German newscast called "Tageschau" (I understand German).
>> UPDATE January 16, 2011
This wonderful Panny TV is now almost 1 1/2 yrs old and it still looks every bit as good as the day I bought it. All the propaganda about how Panasonic TV's lose half of their brightness after about a year have so far proved to be completely FALSE.
But there is something that I am very disappointed in and that is Panasonic's VieraCast. I connect the TV to the internet wirelessly using a Linksys Dual Band Wireless-N Video Adapter (WET610N), and that part works great. But the VieraCast content is very limited. I'm lucky because I'm a German-speaker, and I enjoy both of the German language news sites, but apart from that, there's YouTube, Twitter, Picasa, a weather station link, and you can stream rental movies from Amazon, but NOT from Netflix. Panasonic supposedly updates everything but there hasn't been anything new since August 2010 and nothing was added in the way of content. But probably the worst thing about this TV's computer interfacing abilities is that I cannot wirelessly connect my laptop Window 7 computer to the Panasonic TV directly, even though I do have the Linksys adapter I mentioned above. If you are shopping for a new TV in 2011, hopefully all these no-show, no-go irriations have been overcome in newer technology. But if computer interfacing with your new TV or internet content through Vieracast are important to you, check all of it out thoroughly before you buy anything. One last time: the TV itself looks just wonderful and I love it, as a TV... but NOT as an extension of computer or internet technologies. <<
There were so many reasons that I was convinced I would never buy a plasma TV: 1. They run hot. 2. They use huge amounts of energy. 3. They last half as long as LCD-screen TV's 4. The image burn-in ruins the display if you don't watch it like a hawk constantly. 5. Plus, I live at over 6,000 feet above sea level and plasma sets are supposed to act strangely up here and make funny noises.
Well, after a GREAT deal of research of all kinds, I became convinced that, at least by 2009, none of this was true anymore. Still, I had had my heart set on a latest-generation Sony XBR for years, and it was just a matter of time before I got one. But that changed about six weeks ago.
My Panny G15 50" plasma has an absolutely gorgeous picture -- particularly when viewing presentations at 1080p, especially Blu-Ray movies. Hi-def cable shows look great also. And no matter what you're watching, plasma really does give you ultra-deep blacks and contrast ratios that LCD TV's simply are not physically capable of matching. And image burn-in? Really, unless you go off and leave the set displaying a static, unmoving image for many hours (at least) you are highly unlikely to have any burned-in image.
The Panasonic plasma sets are made by Panasonic itself, and it is one of the very few manufacturers that actually makes its own plasma screens. Perhaps this has some bearing on why the quality is so good. My set has the Energy Star seal, and it is reputed to use only half the power that plasma sets used as little as three years ago.
There is no "high-altitude" effect that I can see or hear at all, and I notice that today, Panasonic plasma sets are rated for at least 60,000 hours of life, which is the same as the rating for Sony XBR sets (with a tube, not a bulb). Another thing you should know is that there is nothing at all flimsy about the support pedestal. I've read some reviews that suggest it would be easy to break the stand, or tip the TV over. You'd have to deliberately crash right into the G15 in order to break the stand or knock it over because it is very sturdy indeed.
Oh, there was another motivation for buying the Panny G15 over an XBR9 -- I saved one thousand dollars, comparing a 50" G15 with a 52" XBR9. Price was not my driving motivation because I'd waited over five year to carefully select a widescreen TV, but, if you like the Panny's display better, and you save a thousand bucks? Kind of a no brainer.
Yes, there is one thing I'm not thrilled about with the Panny, and others have written about it, too -- the rather mediocre in-set speakers. This isn't a big deal for me since I always port the audio to my home theater stereo when watching a presentation in which I even care very much about the audio. Still, yes, the speakers in my wonderful old Toshiba 36" CRT set were quite a bit better.
Last bit of advice: DO NOT clean the screen of a Panasonic G15 except exactly as instructed in the owner's manual! Do NOT use Windex or any product with ammonia. The G15 has an excellent anti-reflective coating and you don't want to mess it up!
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on September 17, 2009
I'm ashamed to admit, then I never even inspected this TV in person before buying it. All the reviews were so good, I felt confident buying it. However, I was first going to purchase the Panasonic VIERA G10 Series TC-P50G10 50-Inch 1080p Plasma HDTV, as the price difference wasn't clear as to what was different. Fortunately, I waited a few extra days, and most resellers starting going out of stock on the G10, so I moved to the G15. And the G15 is actually cheaper now than the G10, which I've heard is discontinued.
The G15 is about 2" thinner, and supposedly has an extra anti-glare coating. I'm amazed at how little glare there is for a plasma, and the ability to view it at extreme angles. I'm even contemplating not buying the full-motion mount, because I may not even need it.
The menu's are easy to use and understand, nice big fonts. Only gripe, of which I'm hoping to find a solution, is that when watching 4:3 shows, the TV fills the sides with grey background color, instead of black.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on November 8, 2009
I previously had a SHARP aquous 37" LCD that was getting a bit long in the tooth. I was initially hesitant about switching to plasma given image retention/burn-in issues, but the new Panasonics have gotten such great reviews (seriously, see hdguru to sound and vision) and the prices are so much more reasonable than comparably sized LCD/LED tv's that I had to give it a shot. No regrets here! Color saturation is better, blacks are really really black. I thought that THX might be too dark, but it's really not a problem. With the lights off, it's actually pretty bright. I was worried about certain movies not filling the screen and causing image retention issues after a couple hours, but seriously I'm not doing anything special to prevent it and there is absolutely no IR after hours of use. I also play a lot of videogames. Great color accuracy - it's like looking out a 50" window. I went to WorstBuy the other day and it does not seem as bright or as accurate as the other TV's, but trust me, just take it home and watch it.
-Price for performance is outstanding
-Great color accuracy.
-Good brightness and contrast even in THX (despite what other people are saying)
-Deep black levels without loss of detail in the shadows (i.e. no dynamic contrast ratios - which are meaningless)
-Super thin. 2 inches mostly - same thickness as the V10 series.
-VieraCast - eh, whatever.
-Toslink audio output (but it only outputs 2 channels!). What's the point? Really hifi 2 channel sound?
-Not blindingly bright (seriously, if you think this is too dark then you probably have cataracts or live on the sun)
-Not the most energy efficient thing around
-Sorta heavy, but it is 50 inches of TV
-Doesn't have 4 HDMI ports
-The speakers are crap
-Dual pane construction (not as sexy as the single pane Z/V series)
-There is very slight phosphor lag (really really slight)
-Very slight occasional green preference, but generally not a problem
-Besides blu-ray there aren't very many sources that output full 1080p resolution. Not really the TV's fault.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on September 14, 2009
I will spare the technical jargon. This is my first Hi-Def TV and I am thrilled with it. I am purposely late to the game because I had a previous Panasonic just wouldn't die! I decided not to miss another NFL season without Hi-Def. I did a TON of research and came up with this. It is everything I would have hoped. Set up was very easy and I have it hooked into a Panasonic BD80 Blu-Ray and a higher end Denon receiver. I have not done a lot of color adjustments but they were easy to find and I will let it settle in a bit and then run a calibration disc. My true test were two things. First, all the Sunday NFL games. No blurs, no pixelization and great sound (I do run it thru the Denon though and do not use the speakers on the tv). I have absolutely NO complaints about how it handled the fast football action. Second, Narina on Blu-Ray, wow. Color was spectacular!
The biggest tell, was the fact that my wife said she noticed a difference (a truly apathetic television viewer that is now swayed to the joys of pure digital goodness).
Absolutely love this tv. Can't wait for a long cold winter to truly kick back and enjoy!
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on September 17, 2009
I looked forever for a new TV that 1.did not pixilate 2. fairly inexpensive, looked decent. I looked forever at lcd, leds, and plasma- I finally picked this one becuse a friend just got a LG plasma and it looked awesome. I took this one because it WAS on sale and had free shipping- plus the reviews were tops everywhere I looked. It shipped a little slower than I had hoped,(it was free so....) but arrived in one piece- he box was not damaged at all. Got it set up on the wall and hooked up. It looks great! The picture is fantastic. Of coure standard tv does not look great- but show me a lcd/led/plasma that does. HD looks super. I have had only the SLIGHTEST pixilation- by that I mean watching a football game with super fast pan- but that was over the air signal and the pixles were much smaller than and lcd I have seen. It just seems it does not do it nearly like a lcd. It does have a "partialy" matte screen. It is NOT shiny glass- but still have some reflection- mine is in a room with many windows/lights and I have had no issue- I DO think its lightly matte screen does help alot.
Cons: these are my isues with it- not enough to keep me from buying it again. The sound- good god, what the he11 was panasonic thinking, the sound is terrible. Down firing hollow/tinny speakers- obviously, most people use their own surround and this completley fixes the issue, but I am not set up for that yet so am stuck with crap for sound. Maybe its just me- it is OK, and very watch/listenable, but should be much better than it is. This may be better if it was on its stand and the sound reflected more than I am doing a it- its on the wall shooting down into a 24x24 room (our chairs are near the TV).
It does kick off some heat, but not as much as I expected. I think this one is rated somehow more efficient than previous ones
I give this TV a 4 ONLY for the sound- everything else is 5-star