Top positive review
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SUPERIOR PICTURE QUALITY, INCREDIBLY REALISTIC COLOR REPRODUCTION
on June 23, 2010
If you are like me, you put a lot of research into a expensive purchase like a flat screen television, especially since it is something you plan to use for several years. I chose the Panasonic G25 after months of research trying to determine which was "better", LCD or Plasma, while also investigating which brands and models were the best performers.
What's in the box?
* The 50" TV
* Swivel stand
* Lighted remote, including batteries
* Detailed Instruction manual
* Quick Start Guide
I purchased this TV as our main television in our family room. I own two other flat screens, both LCD and both from Panasonic, 32" and 42".
Set up is a breeze. The box is designed to be easily opened by releasing four plastic clips built onto the box. This allows the top (most of the box) to be lifted of the TV, while the TV remains secure and stationary in the lower part of the box. The included swivel stand comes in two pieces and is easily assembled with a few included screws. If you use this stand, you simply have to lower the TV onto the stand. This can be done vertically without laying the screen down on its face, since the design of the TV mounting components are flush with the stand. Some TVs require you to place the TV in a horizontal position to mount it to their stand. You possibly could do this assembly alone, as the TV is not very heavy, but due to sheer size, it is extremely prudent to have someone help you.
Many professional reviews will advise you to beware of plasma "burn in" of images, or using plasma in a brightly lit room. I worried about these two things constantly during my research.
Panasonic's manual does advise you not to leave a 4:3 image, or any still image on the screen on the screen for very long periods as it can contribute to some burn in. But in general, even if you watch 4:3 mode all day long, the TV has a couple of features which helps protect its image, including orbiting pixel technology and a scrolling bar which can be run across the screen to help cleanse it. I have watched a good deal of 4:3 format on this TV and have not had any issues whatsoever. The orbiting technology slightly moves pixels about, undetectable to the human eye, which really minimizes the chance of any burn in.
As far as a bright room, don't worry! My family room is decent size, and has a cathedral ceiling with a skylight, plus a southern wall that is almost all window and a sliding door on the opposite wall. So the room has lots of light. I can watch the TV during the brightest time of day without any loss of quality or viewing ability. The anti-glare feature of the screen reduces the natural reflective characteristics of glass down to practically nil.
I tend to watch most programming on the TV's THX mode. This will give you a somewhat less bright display than the G25's "Standard" or "Vivid" mode or compared to most LCDs, but personally I am looking for the most accurate, pleasing display, not simply "the brightest". If you do prefer a very bright display, the TV's numerous picture settings can easily give you a bright display.
I am a huge Panasonic fan, and that did factor into my choice of TV. I find Panasonic typically gives you high quality at a reasonable price.
As for price, you will spend several hundreds of dollars more for an LCD of comparable size and quality. Some better quality LCDs in this size range will cost double what the G25 sells for.
Most of the features on the TV and remote are intuitive and the menu offers general explanations of the purpose of each setting. The remote itself is well laid out and easy to navigate, although this was not very important to me since I am using my FIOS remote for most typical functions.
There are three HDMI ports on the TV, as well as RCA and component connections and coax input. There is also a PC port as well as two USB ports. The lone port type absent is S-Video. While S-Video is passé, if you have a DVD player that's a few years old, you might be using S-Video to connect to your TV, so be prepared to upgrade or switch cable types if need be.
The TV can also be networked either by Ethernet cable or wireless adapter. You must use Panasonic's adapter if you choose the wireless route, which is one of the few cons on this product. Compatibility with common wifi adapters would have been nice, since the Panasonic wifi adapter is over-priced. Although Panasonic confirmed you must use their adapter, I tried a couple of others any way, but the TV did not detect them. If you network the Tv you can make use of numerous features like direct connection to several services (some of which require a subscription or fee). Examples are Amazon Video on Demand (cost associated), YouTube (free), Pandora (free), Twitter (free, and a few others.
A couple of typical complaints about Panasonic TVs are the sound quality, and starting with the G series from 2009, the black levels displayed on the screen becoming lighter after several hundred hours of use. The sound is decent on the TV, and many people will probably cutover to their home theater for audio when playing DVDs or music-related TV programming anyway. I don't believe the concerns over the black levels are a huge issue. That is just my opinion; I am neither an expert nor any type of engineer. At the end of the day, everything I have read seems to indicate that the resulting black levels from Panasonic's firmware still leaves the display at a better black level than the competing Samsung products, so .........
Aside from being limited to Panasonic's wifi adapter, about the worst thing I can say about the G25 is that for the price, Panasonic could include some sort of cleaning cloth for the screen, which is typical even on their own lower end LCDs.
Overall, this television has astounding picture quality and realistic reproduction which is superior to any LCD or LED TV I've seen. For the price, you cannot go wrong or find a better flat screen HD TV.
If you are a making your first flat screen, HD television purchase, please remember that no matter what brand or type you buy, standard display will not be as sharp as high definition programming, and the larger the screen the more noticeable that is.