288 of 292 people found the following review helpful
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.
115 of 125 people found the following review helpful
on July 18, 2010
The picture is gorgeous! As noted by tech review sites, the THX mode is definitely the most accurate and looks by far the best. The sound isn't awful through the TV, but I now have it running through my receiver, so that doesn't matter.
The Viera Cast Amazon on Demand works very well and the interface is actually better than my Roku when using Amazon. I have it wired through a Airport Express and it works like a charm without buying a single-purpose dongle from Panasonic.
The anti-glare screen coating works beautifully. The TV is on a wall with two large windows facing it and I can actually watch TV during the day for the first time without lowering the blackout shades. The bezel is really a very,very dark gray which is much more attractive that the usual piano black. Unfortunately, there are two problems with this TV that are proving hard to deal with:
1. The buzz on light colored scenes. There is a barely audible buzz on somewhat lighter scenes, but on truly light scenes it is loud enough to be heard over my newish central air conditioner and a pet fountain that is about 25' away from the seating area. Truly light scenes where the buzz is very predominant include the 1st season of Lost when they are on the beach or in the sun in the mountains, Crazy Heart when he is on the road with the sky and the NM desert around him and all of the ocean scenes in Pirates of the Caribbean. This is really disappointing. Not sure if this is fixable or not, if not it is a deal breaker for me.
2. It definitely shifts slightly to green. Flesh tones always have a very slight greenish tint to them. If I can figure out how to get rid of the buzz I will have it professionally calibrated to see if this is actually fixable.
I hope there is a way to get rid of the buzz, because otherwise this is a great buy for a really excellent picture
UPDATE: I gave up and sent it back to Amazon. The buzz never went away, got slightly worse and drove me nuts! After spending more time watching the TV I also decided that the TV's SD performance was not good enough. While I have HD cable and a blu ray, there are too many legacy SD shows/movies to have a TV that looks that bad on SD programming. I replaced this with a Samsung PN50C8000, so I will post a review on it with some comparison information. So far, no buzz with the Samsung!
One more note; not about the TV, but the return process. I called Amazon to find out the status of the return and discovered they didn't have the TV back yet. I called Pilot Freight and they eventually found the TV sitting on the dock. Assuming they shipped it out 2 days later when they said they would, it was on their dock for a week and a half. Beware of this type of issue if you are sending back something within the 30 day return period.
84 of 93 people found the following review helpful
on April 13, 2010
This pannasonic G25 is amazing. Clear, Crisp Picture. Colors are amazing, unlike an LCD. You never would know the difference unless you saw a plasma. Unfortunatly plasmas got a bad rap years ago and people shy away from them. This model (as do others including samsung) have built in image retention elimination devices. Follow the break in for the first 100 hours and you have nothing to worry about. The sound levels arent bad, you probably have a surround system anyways so it dont matter. This picture gets better and better as it breaks in. All store demos are pretty crappy and usually the plasmas are off to the side. If stores used a good setup and dialed in the sets its unbelievable how many they would sell, but most people drift to the big bright LCD or LED. This tv is bright and colors are unmatched. Hockey games and fast paced sports are crap on lcd, but on plasma when the hockey players stop, you can see every sliver of ice fly through the air. Plasmas are less money and better picture the an lcd, why buy an lcd? I looked at the samsung, however they have a realllly bad rep for buzzing. Get it, dial in your settings and you too will be blown away.
51 of 55 people found the following review helpful
on November 13, 2010
So my star rating is a little confusing. I bought this TV in August and I loved it. The colors were crisp, the sound was good, and everything was great. Then, after a month, it broke. That was the last time I had access to my TV. I called Panasonic and they went through the repair process. The part I apparently needed was on back order. I was assured that it wouldn't take more than a week or so. After a month (a MONTH!), the part finally came in. The repairman came out and replaced the part, and it didn't turn on. The repair code (4 red blinks) has multiple possible meanings and Panasonic guessed wrong. So they had to order another part, which of course, was on back order (OF COURSE!) Two months, TWO FREAKING MONTHS have passed and I haven't had any hope of getting my TV fixed. I started demanding a new TV from Panasonic. I got passed around from agent to agent to manager to manager. After 2 more weeks of calling (regularly), I was finally approved for a new TV. Of course my new TV won't come with a full warranty. Why would it, it's not like these TVs break ever!
It has been a TERRIBLE experience with Panasonic. Two and a half months have passed and I still don't have a TV. I will never buy another Panasonic product again. Not because I didn't enjoy the TV for the working month, but because they obviously don't care about the customers at all. It is inexcusable and I would hope you would heed my warning and join me against Panasonic.
27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on June 17, 2010
Get the 50 inch version or bigger, it's not too large. :P Put this in THX mode and it is great. The construction is excellent, picture quality is the best I've seen on any TV, menu is very navigable, and the remote control is perfectly adequate. Viera Cast is an awesome feature of this TV. Pandora is an awesome service for those interested in music. Amazon video on demand has a large selection and video quality is high(a bit expensive though). YouTube unfortunately defaults to 360p, even if the video has 480p, 720p, or 1080p available. There is no way to manually force it to a better video mode. Netflix streams just fine, but there is no integrated search feature. The speakers are good, but at times it is downright difficult to understand what people are saying. I found that standard definition channels look worse on this TV than on a SD television(maybe this is to be expected, but I wasn't to this extent). A few SD channels are really really bad, to the point of being almost unwatchable(tennis channel). No 3.55mm headphone connection. In addition, there is no DVI connection either(only resolution limited VGA port). Don't buy an LCD or LED because you are concerned about this burning in. Burn-in(especially past the first 100 hours) has been made mostly irrelevant with recent plasma developments. However, I did do about 72 hours of break-in slides(from avsforum) to age the pixels evenly, not sure if it was really necessary but I did it anyways. Do NOT buy the expensive Panasonic wireless adapter. If your wireless router is too far from the TV to run a cable, buy a cheap DD-WRT compatible router and install the aforementioned firmware on it. You can then put it into client bridge mode and it essentially becomes a wireless adapter. I installed DD-WRT standard version 13525 on a $35 ASUS WL-520GU. This worked just fine with the TV. Nevertheless, make sure when the TV arrives you have an HDMI cable/flashlight ready to verify there are no defects before signing for it. If possible, watch to make sure that when the delivery person brings it out of the van, it has not been transported facing down(if so, reject it). The delivery guy is usually in a rush, so don't be pressured into signing before you are confident you have inspected it sufficiently.
-Great overall performance and value, no sacrifices
-Black levels and colors excellent(THX), not overbright
-Viera Cast(with future updates it has great potential)
-SD card/Thumb-drive/keyboard capable
-SD seems to look worse on this than on a SD television
-Sound quality could have been better
-No 3.5mm audio or DVI connection
-YouTube needs improvement
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on August 7, 2010
Got this TV only a week back. So, treat this as my initial review/impression. Firstly, the TV looks gorgeous, all black and nice bezel. It has decent weight, but nothing like LED-LCD TV. But I was able to move/lift it alone. My wife had to help me when putting on to the stand.
Let's talk about the topics which are common concerns and see if it helps you make your decision easy -
SD content - For first few days, we didn't had HD transmission, so watched SD content, and let me tell you, it looks awe full. It is watchable but the expectation is so high from all the reviews, you feel bumped. But understand it is SD content, not meant to be projected to a 50" screen. So I am not that worried.
THX mode - I kept the resolution/brightness/sharpness at 50 (per online forum recommendations) and planning to keep it for one more week. Also I am watching in THX mode. Only in THX mode colors seem natural (at least for me), some of you may find it dull/dim colors, take a look at calibration setting from CNet, it might be helpful or increase brightness.
Break-in slides - Even though I consider I am techie enough to understand electronics, I ran break-in slides for 50 odd hours, just to make sure I have a good night sleep, and not think about it.
Buzzing sound - Only if you stick you head to the back of the TV and keep everything on mute and stop any external noise, you will hear a slight buzz. It is so faint, that I would consider it non-existence. Only because there is so much buzz about buzzing I am able to notice it, otherwise, I may not have noticed the sound. Depending on brightness, you might hear a faint buzz from front (mine is still only 100+ hours old), like from 2 inches. I don't hear any buzz, from more than a foot, even there is no other sound/noise. Bottom line, I consider there is no buzz and all is well.
Elegance, beauty and great picture quality - Just hooked up and enabled HD content. Oh my gosh, what can I say. Watched Food Network, ESPN and some other channels. I am amazed. I was expecting this from all the other reviews, but it is something that can't be explained, you have to feel it. Again, I am not exaggerating, this is just my experience. So don't wait any more, if you're into market around this TV segment (50" or LCD vs Plasma), this is the best TV. PRICE is great, it might come lower around Thanksgiving, but heck with it, I waited already around a year to jump in (for various reasons).
At last, People who already have this TV, I know you're having fun with your toy. Others who are looking/thinking about this TV, jump in, you won't be disappointed, esp with a seller like amazon. I'll be happy to answer any other specific questions. Happy TViewing.
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on May 2, 2010
This TV is awesome. Purchased a Vizio 42' 120 LCD from Costco about 1.5 years ago. There is no comparison between the two. The picture on the Panasonic is one of the best I have ever seen. It took me all of five minutes to get it set up once out the box. If you are trying to decide between the Samsung plasma and the Panasonic plasma. You cannot go wrong with this the G25 from the Amazon store. I did a ton of research before making this purchase. Alot of the information I found was of people complaining of buzzing and set-up issues. Have played both Blu-Ray and PS3 games and the quality is excellent. Another thing I considered was the price. Not only was it lower on Amazon than local retailers it was shipped free because of my annual prime membership. In addition I also purchased the warranty for four years and it was half the price of retailers.
Now that I own a plasma from Panasonic my family and I will never buy LCD again. If you have kids the LCD was not made for them. The screens are made cheap and will damage very easily. There is a great video on YouTube that shows the durability of the Panasonic plasma. Now that mine has come I can see the difference.
The last thing I would recommend is buy from the comapnies who have been doing this for more than 10 years. That was advice given to me by a client in the electronics business for more than 25 years. When we were talking and I was asking for his advice his stated that the LCD's
are still years behide what a plasma can do today. Now I can see what he means. Hope this helps.
32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on April 22, 2010
I was the proud owner of a panasonic 42 PZ 700, the high-end of Pana. I got to move across the ocean, and I had to buy a new one. As I needed a larger screen for a limited budget, I decided to try the newest G25. It's a really good choice, with just minor problems.
- convincing picture quality. I was actually very impressed for a TV at this price. Black levels and even colors greatly improved since the PZ700
- easy to use, enough setup possibilities
- good upscaling
- "light and cool" design, at least compared to my heavy and hot PZ700.
- sound is awful. It's even hard to distinguish words sometimes. I have to turn on my home theater almost all the time. I don't know if it's below or above standard for this price range, but it's absolutely nothing like the PZ, which had a very nice 2+1 sound system integrated.
- "skype ready" is... only ready in the hardware. For the moment I have a nice "will be available soon" message.
- media player plays only local (that is, SD card) files. It's not possible (at least for the moment) to make it play content from the ethernet plug
Overall, I'm very happy with this product, I recommend it. But you need an external sound system.
51 of 62 people found the following review helpful
on July 14, 2010
I bought the TCP50g20 50 inch Plasma and less than 2 months after purchasing the TV completely gave out. I called Panasonic and a very incompetent 3rd party (they asked ME for a screw driver - a repair person with no tools, that was a hint and a half for me) came out to fix the TV and they couldn't. They took the TV with them over 3 weeks ago to fix and don't have a estimated time when the TV will be fixed because Panasonic is back ordered on parts. They said it could be another 2-3 weeks before the part is available. They don't have any loaner TVs to give out. So after spending over 1k on this TV I am staring at my walls with no definite date on when I will get my TV back. I have called and complained several times to Panasonic and to the hired 3rd party but I just keep getting the run around. I have spent close to 15 hours on the phone with them(waiting, on hold, etc.) and no resolution in sight.
I read the reviews and did my research and thought this would be a good buy. WRONG! I got a lemon and what makes it so bad is that Panasonic is giving me the run around (politely of course) but I have no TV and no future date on when I am going to get it back. A Panasonic representative said that the TV is under warranty so they will fix it but they just can't say how long it will take. I have never bought something that was under warranty that took this long to be repaired.
So do yourself a favor and don't get a Panasonic TV. Never has a repair service been so bad!!!!
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on October 7, 2010
Did a LOT of research online before deciding to buy the G25 about a month ago. With all of the glowing reviews I've read about the picture quality, I was really surprised to find it disappointing.
First of all, the good: The colors are amazing - very rich and accurate. And for blu ray movies, the overall experience is outstanding.
However, for my personal balance of TV use (maybe 10% movies, 50% TV shows, 40% sports?) it doesn't really stand up. I found the picture to be incredibly inconsistent from one HD channel or show to the next. The picture frequently contained a ton of noise, sometimes to the point that an HD picture appeared almost SD (noise I never saw in my previous HDTV). Fortunately, on a visit to my parents' house, I had a chance to compare picture quality with their 2 year old Samsung LCD, which showed none of the noise I experienced with the Panasonic, and showed a much greater depth of picture.
Ultimately, I returned the G25 and bought the Samsung LN46C650, and couldn't be happier. Even my girlfriend who "doesn't care about that kind of thing" immediately noticed the difference. While the Panasonic gets the edge for blu ray, day-to-day TV and sports viewing is head and shoulders better on the Samsung.