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389 of 392 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Unique Perspective
I don't want to rehash everything the other reviewers have noted, so I'll try to keep my points fresh and quick.

MAIN POINTS:

1. You really need to adjust the picture settings on this TV (duh). Doing so will result in exquisite picture quality. I had heard that this TV gives "flagship quality at a mid-range price" and I am here to confirm that; Game...
Published on June 29, 2012 by Gregorian

versus
37 of 43 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Started out great. Went bad after less than a year.
I Returned 6 led tv's over the past 3 months. All had problems with the picture. I finally decided to try Plasma and boy I'm glad I did. No backlight bleeding, blooming or screen uniformity issues. Panny makes a great set with extremely deep blacks and a wealth of picture settings. The web options and apps are easy to navigate. I also like the stand because you can...
Published on March 9, 2012 by Tim


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389 of 392 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Unique Perspective, June 29, 2012
This review is from: Panasonic VIERA TC-P55ST50 55-Inch 1080p 600Hz Full HD 3D Plasma TV (2012 Model) (Electronics)
I don't want to rehash everything the other reviewers have noted, so I'll try to keep my points fresh and quick.

MAIN POINTS:

1. You really need to adjust the picture settings on this TV (duh). Doing so will result in exquisite picture quality. I had heard that this TV gives "flagship quality at a mid-range price" and I am here to confirm that; Game of Thrones on Blu-Ray looks absolutely incredible. (Skip to the end of this review for my picture settings)

2. Virtually no input lag for Xbox games (crucial for FPS).

3. IR (image retention) has not been an issue whatsoever, even after playing Xbox games with a static HUD for a few hours at a time.

4. I am disappointed with the sound quality, mainly because other reviewers said it was better than most other TV's in this price range. While this may be true, in the end I consider it to be barely useable. However, when spending well over 1K on a TV you should probably invest in some sort of sound system also.

5. Buzzing has been nonexistent thus far, will update if I notice it.

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS:

1. Stand does not swivel.

2. Very slick styling; looks great in person.

3. Remote looks like it was made for a 1998 geriatric technology convention. (who cares about the remote, dude?)

4. There is no questioning the excellence of Amazon's customer service, but the "scheduled delivery" is worthless. Mine was scheduled from 9am-12pm. When it finally arrived at 5pm (lol) the driver said, "Nothing runs on time with freight." So be prepared to block out a whole day to receive this item (keep in mind this was my experience, not sure how common this is?). Amazon did give me $60 store credit for my troubles.

5. I have not had any problems with the ABL (automatic brightness limiting), but I do not watch hockey so if that is your thing then you might want to do more research.

6. I am not evaluating the wifi capabilities or apps because I connect to wifi through my Xbox and stream everything through it.

PICTURE SETTINGS:

-Background (for semi-noobs like myself): it seems many people use D-nice's picture settings (he is a calibrator that posts on the hi tech junkies forum). He recommends downloading some picture prep slides that he posted and running them for 100 hours to evenly age the phosphors on this TV. I didn't do this, mostly because I'm lazy. Other people use David Katzmaier's settings (he is a calibrator and reviewer for cnet). Ultimately I decided to place my settings exactly between these two "expert's" opinions because neither hit it dead on for me. Keep in mind these are dark room settings and that my TV hasn't been "properly aged." Frankly I don't care because these settings look perfect to me, but I may need to readjust in a few months if some "aging" occurs.

-Picture:
Picture Mode: Custom
Contrast: 80
Brightness: 58
Color: 46
Tint: 0
Sharpness: 0 (yes, turn this all the way down from 50)
Color Temp: Warm2
Photo Enhancement: Off
C.A.T.S: Off
Video NR: Off

-Pro Settings:
Colorspace: Normal
W/B High R: +5
W/B High G: 0
W/B High B: +2
W/B Low R: +8
W/B Low G: 0
W/B Low B: +1
Black Extension: 0
Gamma Adjustment: 2.4 (I dropped this from 2.6 because my personal preference is slightly brighter)
Panel Brightness: Mid
Contour Emphasis: Off
AGC: 0

-Aspect adjustments submenu
Screen format: Full
HD size: Size 2
H size: [grayed out]
Zoom adjustments: [grayed out]

-HDMI Settings
Leave all settings in this menu at their default

-Advanced picture submenu
3D Y/C filter: Off [grayed out]
Color matrix: HD [grayed out]
Block NR: Off [grayed out]
Mosquito NR: Off
Motion smoother: Off
Black level: Light
3:2 pulldown: On
24p Direct in: 60Hz

Hope this helps!!
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206 of 222 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Panasonic plasma is the way to go, March 9, 2012
This review is from: Panasonic VIERA TC-P55ST50 55-Inch 1080p 600Hz Full HD 3D Plasma TV (2012 Model) (Electronics)
Received this p55st50 tv on 3/6 from Amazon. Must be amongst the first few owners, ordered without looking at one in store as not available to date. Amazed by the picture quality, black levels and popped up colors.
I have owned a 42" panasonic plasma for last 7 years and has always found it superior in natural color reproduction and movie picture quality when compared to LCDs.
It was a time to upgrade. I did look at some LCDs but never found them any close to plasma in natural color tones and movie picture quality. I think Panasonic offers the best quality plasma amongst very few plasma manufacturers left in market. So picked p55st50 which is at competitive price, superior than last years best rated vt30 and offers most features from higher line ups for 2012.
Here are few major features stood out to me. Will add/edit later..
- Amazing picture and color quality. Noticeable improved motion smoothness, vibrant colors
- profile is prettey slim. Around 1.5" thik. Thickness is uniform from top to bottom exept the edges on all four sides are thinner. The bezel is better(thinner) than last years st30 model. There is a clear plastic extention around the bezel which is not enhancing the the look and I guess is added to provide protection against any damage to the edges. There are no buttons on front of the pannel only the remote sensor the power light and I guess a ambient light sensor. The power, volume, channel and menu buttons are on the right side back of the pannel which easy to access when needed. The black bezel is almost non-reflective and offers no viewing distraction as I have noticed in some other brands. The new antireflective screen appers to be working well. The screen itself displays very less reflection even while watching in birght room with big multiple windows
- 3 hdmi(1 with arc), 2 usb inputs on left back side which I guess are more than sufficient as most wouldn't hook up more than 3 hdmi sources and those who do and invest in this expensive tv would also have a reciever with multiple hdmi inputs.
- Out of the box the colors were displaying some tint/non-natural tones but after changing/adjusting settings they are looking great. I might have noticed this as I am used to watch a 7 year old plasma. Now actually I started liking the popped up colors and they are definitely look attractive when compared to LCD displays. Black levels and details in dark are amazing. Haven't seen as deep black levels in any other tv yet. I preferred cenema mode for bluerays and custom for HD cable. SD videos showed some pixalation but that is expected on a 55 inch large display. Some lower resolution DVD and SD videos are not as sharp as on my old 42" 480p panny again the magnification factor of 55" display is to blame. But most dvd video with good resolution were displaying perfectly without any pixalation. I was blowen away by the picture sharpness for blueray and hd cable channels.
- Did not notice any of the issues like fluctuating brightness, fbr discussed for 2011 panny tvs in various forums
- Very easy and simple set up
- Installation was quick (except - two people needed to lift and slide the panel into stand. Understandable considering the 55" size). Set up was very simple and intuitive. Connected via 5GHz wireless. There is option of connecting via ethernet but so far I am not noticing any bandwidth issues on wireless.
- The viera connect and internet features are great. DLNA support is amazing. Could connect to ps3 media server application on my pc and stream some dvd movies with dolby 5.1 sound. Browser wasn't installed out of the box, but could install it from viera market. There is android and ios app to control the tv as well as browser from smart phone.
- Netflix HD movies looked great. Was no way to determine the resolution but picture was clearly hi defination, better than dvd format, no buffering/stuttering.
- There are plentey of movie streaming apps including amazon, vudu and others some subcriptin based some free.
- Other than movie streaming and browsers no other viera applications I guess are much useful. There are weather, news, fitness, game applications out there but I think smartphone/tablet is better device to access them.
- The new advertised 8 train speakers with 3d sound - I checked out the tv sound , was crystal clear, with some sourround effect but not something which will replace your 5.1 sorround system. I have Onkyo 7.1 system and the sound was no match to Onkyo. Quickly switched back to Onkyo. Plugged ps3 and cablebox to reciever via hdmi and used optical out from tv to connect to reciever for audio from streaming, audio/video applications, sd/usb streaming. The optical out from tv is passing dolby digital signals but as from online forums the optical connection can pass only two channels. Good for most but if you want all the channels when available you will need hdmi cable with audio return channel and a supporting reciever.
- The browser and the touch pad on android phone to control browser doesn't looked like fully baked in. The cursor is very difficult to move/control. Moves very slowly. The browser also wasn't easy to navigate around. Hopefully Panasonic comes up with updates to browser and phone application to address these areas. The android remote application is fully functional and very handy except the cursor control. Could project photos from my phone onto tv.
I wasn't able to control the cabel box and ps3 connected via hdmi using the viera link. I guess only panasonic products are supported. Would be great to get support for other devices to cut down on number of remotes.
No new compatible Bluetooth 3d glasses available yet. I tried 3d in store on last years gt30 and it was looking awsom. Expect 50 series perform better in 3d display.

So overall
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38 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You will be amazed., April 11, 2012
This review is from: Panasonic VIERA TC-P55ST50 55-Inch 1080p 600Hz Full HD 3D Plasma TV (2012 Model) (Electronics)
Here is what will happen:
You will receive your TV, open it immediately--admire its beauty momentarily, inspect it for physical defects, realize that it is indeed factory mint, plug it in, turn it on, mind blown. Well something like that. I have heard professional reviewers say there is no such thing as a perfect TV. But, this has to be the closest thing.

The Design:
I spent 30-45 days doing research on what TV to buy for the basement of my new home--I went from looking at only LCDs (a mentality that is really 3-years old now), to debating between Samsung and Panasonic Plasmas. The research on reviews/pricing was clear--Panasonic's mid-range model edged Samsung's in terms of Quality/Capabilities. Still--this TV sits in the primary entertaining room in my new home, and the 2011 Panasonics just looked dated. Even though I could have save $200-300 by going with last years model, the glass trim and slim profile are just sooo Hot, particularly on a wall mount. Not too mention--the TV shed 24 pounds (or 28%) from last year's model. It differs slightly from the comparable Samsung's as the bottom two corners of the glass trim are cut at a 45 degree angle rather than rounded like Samsung.

The Picture:
I have had this TV for a little over 2 weeks now. I use my TV for PS3, TV (Dish), Bluerays (some 3D).

For Video Games: Truly stunning--I play a lot of FIFA 12 (soccer video game), it is fascinating to watch an airborne soccer-ball spin with complete lifelike detail. Zero Blur. Zero Ghosting. I use either the 'Vivid' or 'Game' picture presets for videogames. Colors are more rich, and the screen is a little brighter--good for Cartoons and Video games-- but a little to blue and bright for lifelike pictures.

For HDTV/BlueRay: HD quality is perfect--you can see the goosebumps on human skin clearly, colors are just so real, and motion is perfect. There are no distractions pixelation/blurring/motion--the picture is seemless, and you can just enjoy the programming. I used the custom David Katzmaier recommended picture settings for HD/Blueray Viewing.

For 3D: Maybe, I have not experienced enough Active 3D to compare, as reviews have said this may be a hang up for this TV. But in my experience, the 3D is just mind-blowing. The image loses none of its real life quality. Their are ZERO headaches--I've watched Avatar 3D twice, once with my wife, and neither of us experienced any crossover, ghosting, or any of the other problems that make us loathe going to 3D in theaters. 3D viewing is just stunning. Even the 2D-->3D feature--although it lacks the depth of the true 3D content--has no problems. I use the Katzmaier settings and the new Panasonic Blue Tooth 3D Glasses for viewing 3D content.

The Web Content:
I found Viera Connect's interface to be extremely easy to use, and liked how I could still see what I was watching as I explored the Online apps. Set up took two seconds when I first turned on the TV, and I usually acheive 1080p quality even when streaming previews from Hulu or Vudu, and the picture is as good as my Dish HD Channels. I have not bought any movies this way yet.

The only hangup: It really does need a separate sound system for a true media experience. There is just no bass or lows from the built in speakers, and the sound is a little hollow. I also noticed the TV's speakers do start buzzing (distorting) when I would raise the volume above 70 (of 100). I did get a sound system--and it almost brings tears to my eyes how great my in-home entertainment system is for all under $2000. I jest about the tears.

Bottom Line: Unbelievable TV--Unbelievable Value for Top of the Line Picture/features.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love the picture on this set, May 3, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Panasonic VIERA TC-P55ST50 55-Inch 1080p 600Hz Full HD 3D Plasma TV (2012 Model) (Electronics)
Just received and hung my p55st50 and after a fair amount of testing I can say without a doubt this is the best plasma set I have had in my home and I have tested a lot over the last year. I had an unfortunate incident with my p60st30 from last year (cracked the panel) which is why I picked up this years model.

ST50 vs. St30
ST50 is has much better black levels. They are so deep it is hard to tell if the TV is turned on with no signal. Unlike last years model which had good blacks, this set has outstanding black levels. Best I have personally witnessed on a TV. With controlled lighting the side bars blend in with the bezel of this set and disappear.

Brightness: This set gets noticeably brighter than my ST30 but not at the expense of picture quality such as over-saturation of colors. I never really felt like I could dial in the ST30 to my liking.

Reflections: I had all of the light turned on in my viewing space and this set is MASSIVELY better at handling room reflections in comparison to the ST30. It does so well that it is almost like you are watching a TV with a matte screen and not a glass one. Pretty amazing. You will want to ensure that you hang this set so that it is either at the center of your view or a little higher, not lower. The anti glare works by dampening light from top to bottom and you would loose image quality if you have to look down to view it.

Clarity: Much cleaner looking and clearer looking image with both still images and motion. I am pretty astounded at the overall image quality upgrade between the st30 and st50. It has all of the good characteristics of the Samsung plasma line. Great natural color, clean noise free image, nice bright picture and elegant modern design with the benefits of what I feel Panasonic has always done better (Black levels and Motion) The ST30 sometimes had a dirty image depending on the content. This set handles inferior signals much better.

So to me this new set is literally the best of both the Samsung and Panasonic worlds. Think of it as a cross between the VT30 and D8000 which to me is a perfect blend.

I did not notice any buzzing which plagued my ST30. Minimal line bleed which was also and issue on the Samsung models and the ST30.

I have not tested nor do I care to test the Viera Connect features. There are many cheap alternatives to using your TV set as a media hub that do it much better than a TV will. I purchased a TV for one thing and one thing only, its picture quality and performance and I have never been more impressed. Panasonic upped their game in a big way this year. I don't see how anyone could be unhappy with this TV if picture and performance are your priorities. This set is such a big improvement over last years model in a strange way I am almost happy I broke my old set (sounds awful but it is that big of an improvement)

I am still debating if I want to return the 55st50 and get a 60st50 but either way...it is an awesome plasma.

Amazon: OUTSTANDING service. I ordered this set around 4pm Monday and was hanging on my wall at 9am this morning. Flawless process as usual. Great professional delivery.

I have returned and purchased tons of items from Amazon and there is not a better online vendor to deal with. I can't say how impressed I am with this last transaction. A big thanks goes out to Amazon.

EDIT: Decided to swap out the 55st50 with the 60st50. Can't go wrong either way. As usual Amazon was extremely easy to work with concerning the swap. the 60 will replace this 55 in about 6 days.

EDIT: Have been enjoying the 60st50. No negatives I can come up with the larger set either.
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37 of 43 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Started out great. Went bad after less than a year., March 9, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Panasonic VIERA TC-P55ST50 55-Inch 1080p 600Hz Full HD 3D Plasma TV (2012 Model) (Electronics)
I Returned 6 led tv's over the past 3 months. All had problems with the picture. I finally decided to try Plasma and boy I'm glad I did. No backlight bleeding, blooming or screen uniformity issues. Panny makes a great set with extremely deep blacks and a wealth of picture settings. The web options and apps are easy to navigate. I also like the stand because you can adjust the tilt slightly as most other sets tend to lean to one side or the other with no way to make adjustments. Motion is extremely quick and smooth and I actually prefer to turn the enhance motion feature off. This set is well worth the money. Please take my advice and think twice before purchasing LED sets, especially if you're a TV purist. I use to be a Sony loyalist and I am now converting everything over to Panasonic solely because of this set

************update*************

After a year of owning this TV I'm going from 5 stars to 1. This TV has really bad burn-in issues. Issues that can't be corrected via screen wipes. I still like Plasma picture quality over LED so I'm thinking of trashing this and going with another brand- maybe Samsung.

The other problem is with Netflix and YouTube. Netdkix has audi sync issues and intermittently doesn't work. There have been no new software updates in close to a year. If anyone can reccommend a good plasma, please let me know.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I have no life because of this TV, November 16, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Panasonic VIERA TC-P55ST50 55-Inch 1080p 600Hz Full HD 3D Plasma TV (2012 Model) (Electronics)
I was skeptical buying a TV from Amazon Warehouse, but this monster has exceeded ALL my expectations.
The picture quality is better than I would ever expect. It wrecks LED's. The brightness is great, the smoothness is unbeatable, and the image retention has been virtually non existent for my moderate game / TV use.
The only drawback to buying this TV is the complete loss of a social life and contact with the outside world that comes with it. But in a world where people put leashes on their kids, and sweaters on their dogs, maybe that's not a bad thing..

Not to mention it came looking and working like it was brand new. Not a flaw to be found. For $1,200.00 it was a bargain.
A++ for amazon warehouse!
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect Picture, you cannot get a better tv, certainly not for the price., May 31, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Panasonic VIERA TC-P55ST50 55-Inch 1080p 600Hz Full HD 3D Plasma TV (2012 Model) (Electronics)
Out of the box, it was decent, maybe even good. I went on high def junkies and followed dnice's 100 hour screen prep (I used the wrong settings for the first 20 hours, but they weren't drastically off from the correct ones), then input his settings and I cannot possibly imaging a more purely perfect picture.

Zero buzzing. I has strongly considered the Samsung until i read all the buzz buzz bad reviews.

For anyone who has brightness/glare concerns, this screen is plenty bright and there is very little glare. I live in an east-facing top floor corner apt which has seven large windows (4 on the east wall, 3 on the south wall) and I have a 20x20 skylight; my apt is very bright. Not an issue whatsoever. The screen does an amazing job of filtering out over-head light. If you walk up to the tv and look down on the screen, it becomes extremely dim, which is exactly what you want from an overhead view. As soon as you walk away, the pic is perfect, especially at or above eye level. Viewing angles are good for all angles (except for looking directly down on the tv from point blank range); very clear.

The sound is very good for a television, but I have a 5.1 set up, and I recommend the same to all.

The remote control is a pos. I don't really care, I'll get a harmony or something.

The picture is so incredibly clear and real. No over-saturated colors, not retina burning over-brightness. It simply looks perfect.

I did about 20 hours of research prior to making this purchase. in the early going it struck me that I might be able to get a huge tv, with one of the best pictures, considerably cheaper than the rest of the competitors. It didn't really make sense until I continued reading and reading. Eventually it just became clear that most people have NO IDEA what they are talking about when it comes to tv tech.

Here's some of the things close friends and family (who claimed to be in the know) had to say (all idiotic, and completely uninformed):

"You can't possibly consider plasma any longer. It's too f@#king heavy and the picture goes bad after a time. LED is the way to go. I've been thru all of them, and LED is plainly the very best, the thinnest, the lightest, etc."

"I would go with OLED. So LCD is a thin display with an LED backlight thus there are no "true blacks" as there's always bleedthrough. For OLED, when the individual OLED is showing black, it is actually switched off completely. The only downside, but the margin is thinning, is the lifespan of OLED monitors. If you're not watching much though, then who cares. It also costs a little bit more. But it's the most cutting edge of the three. Plasma just cold sucks."

"LED--no brainer"

"it is a tv, not a work of art! What are you looking for it to do for you? just buy a cheap one that will fit where you want it to and don't look at it as na investment."

"I looked at all of them this spring, to me the LED was a better value. Go to tigerdirect.com, see if you can find a deal."

"Plasma is the oldest technology and supposedly the srcreen eventually burns out. I have one of the originals and it is still awesome. LCD is newer technology, LED the latest technology. Both have better viewing angles. LED is the brightest picture and I think the best technology now with the widest viewing angle. I don't think you can go wrong with any of them. They are all good. The differences are mostly diminimus."

"Patrick & I bought the hype and purchased a 60in LED. It was great for hockey but made movies look like home videos. It was a deal breaker. Took out back and got a plasma. No looking back."

Do not listen to your idiot friends and family. They are merely parroting the nonsense that they hear other people say. Thank (fake) god I didn't listen to anyone and did my own research. And by the way, the tv is like an inch and a half thick. How that is "so big", when it is sitting on a wall ten feet away, is beyond my comprehension. Who cares if LED's are light and thin, are you carrying your tv to and from work every day?

If you read all these reviews (and comments), and then do a bit more reading on avsforums and hidefjunkies, there is no way any reasonable person can come away with anything but complete certainty that this tv is a screaming deal, and more importantly, one of the best pictures available, at any price point.

Jason

UPDATE:

Two weeks later, I need to alter my review regarding brightness/dimness:

1) Watching Game of thrones using DNice's settings, I found the picture to be a bit too dim, to the point that I had to search for an alternative. I tried Vivid, which for most viewing is way too fake and saturated but for Game of Thrones it seemed pretty good (for SNL it was awful and DNice's settings were perfect). Cinema mode was also better but the colors were not as ...errr colorful. Game mode was also decent.

2) In a brightly lit room on a sunny day, Dnice's setting will be too dim for almost everyone. The other settings worked pretty well though and I'm still very happy overall. I would like to find a new setting which i could overwrite one of the default settings so I could use that in day light hours, and then mostly use DNice's settings in night time hours (with the exception of Game of Thrones or other fantasy based programming, where color saturation actually seems to fit the content, as opposed to the news or SNL where real colors seem more natural to the eye).

I'd love to hear some feedback on this.

Jason
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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Panasonic needs to let users disable ABL!, March 16, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Panasonic VIERA TC-P55ST50 55-Inch 1080p 600Hz Full HD 3D Plasma TV (2012 Model) (Electronics)
I got this after going through two Sony NX720s and a near top-of-the-line Samsung plasma. The NX720s had flashlighting issues, while the Samsung suffered from ABL, or automatic brightness limiting. Unfortunately, the ST50 suffers from ABL as well. Last year's models apparently got an update that allowed disabling it, but no such option exists on the ST50 yet.

Most viewers won't be affected by ABL, as it only really comes into effect when there's a lot of white or near-white color on the screen, at which point the screen dims noticeably, with whites looking more like grays. Some people have dubbed this the 'hockey effect', since it's going to constantly dim the screen while you're watching a hockey game. Myself, I like to hook up the computer and play movies or browse the web. The moment I put up a window with a lot of white, the screen goes dim.

Aside from that frustrating annoyance, this is an excellent television set. Contrast and blacks appear to rival the NX720 from my experience, and the exterior design is much more tasteful and trim compared to last year's models. The on-screen menus aren't as slick as the competition's, but I rather like the no-frills style, and the menu organization is probably the best I've seen.

Two minor gripes: the controller feels cheap, and there are only 3 HDMI ports. To get a fourth, you'd have to pay another $350 for the next step up, the GT50. At least for the 55 inchers. But overall this really is a fantastic TV, rivaling more expensive LEDs in contrast and blacks, while having much better viewing angles and no flashlighting.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great 3DTV for the price!!!, May 3, 2012
This review is from: Panasonic VIERA TC-P55ST50 55-Inch 1080p 600Hz Full HD 3D Plasma TV (2012 Model) (Electronics)
Here is my detailed review of the Panasonic TC-P55ST50:

To start things off, I have never own a plasma or lcd screen television. I personally was on the Samsung DLP hype for the longest time due to the fact that if something were to happen (i.e. picture issue) I more than likely could fix it without professional help. Well two bulbs and a need for a new DLP chip (White Dots, Google it if you are unfamiliar with that issue) I decided to shop around for a new TV around my b-day. This television really stood out to me in many ways. I have defiantly had enough time to tinker with this device to give a decent rundown. I was really wanting to wait and hold out until the 4K glasses-less 3D TVs were going to come out, but hearing what everyone was saying about having to sit directly in front of the TV (sweet spot) for everyone to see it seemed kind of ridiculous. Oh and who has roughly $11,000 for a TV anyway...

For starters, putting together this television required very basic look through to put together. I personally put it together by myself in about 20 minutes. Yes this thing does weigh about 90 lbs. I was skeptical at first lifting it by myself but everything worked out for the best.

Once I turned on the the television I immediately updated the firmware to make sure I had everything possible at my fingertips. Honestly I have yet to use the built in apps. This is due to the fact that I use this mainly as my living room computer monitor/man cave television. Netflix, Youtube, Pandora are either used on other devices that are equipped to my surround sound, so I really have no use for them. However, If you personally do not have access to devices of that nature (xbox 360, ps3, ect.) then yes it is a good thing to have. The interface seemed a little slow, but I hold nothing against that as you didn't buy the TV just to have use applications.
I was "cautious" with the first 100 hours of play on my TV. There has been no "burn in", but even if there was, hell that is what an extended warranty is for.

The picture quality is really good. Mess with the settings people! Some reviewers have indicated that the TV is "bland" with the stock settings. That's why you customize the settings to your liking. There are many different guides out there that have "ideal settings". Uncompressed 1080p video looks great. I have already watched about 20 blu-ray movies and they look wonderful. Black levels are great. I must say 1080p footage of anything looks great, probably not as good as something like 4K, but that's about a year from now. For people who like the 600hz feature, like myself, (i.e. - the "Soap Opera Effect, whoever came up with that term in a moron) it is nice to view internet video the way it was suppose to be (i.e. 60+fps... you can thank Youtube limits for that) as well as television programs normally shot at film 24fps. You can turn it off, or decrease/increase the strength of motion smoother through the tv's options. If you want free content in 3D go on Youtube and enable the Side By Side 3D effect if possible on videos. Then manually set your tv to 3D SBS through the 3D button and the red button the in the center of your remote. It at least will give you the idea of what 3D looks like as 3D blu-rays are CRAZY OVERPRICED!!! Wait for those to go down or just rent them online from one of the 3D blu-ray rental sites. 3D blu-rays look really good too. Toy Story and the new Tron looked really good! Again the media is limited to what is out there but it is a very cool feature. BTW Avatar is not sold as is on 3D blu-ray at the time of this review being written. You have to get it 1 of 3 ways. You can buy the ridiculously overpriced 3D glasses set (thanks panasonic!), go on Ebay and pay roughly on the high end of about $100 for it, or you can wait and eventually once the exclusive rights are up, buy it by itself.

The big factor for this that most people want to know about is the 3D. Is it worth it?
I would say yes. I do like the 3D. DirecTV offers a few 3D channels for you to view. Sports and documentaries look great! I can see a future with those for sure. Gaming on this TV is mind blowing in 3D. The PS3 offers many titles to view in 3D. Does it make you a better player being able to see depth and judge things differently? No. It does however let you see how detailed the programmers get with these games are lets you view them in a different way. I did have to move the in game sliders to find that "sweet spot" so I didn't feel like I was going to go cross eyed. I hated the effects at first but realized the effects were just too high. I never really experienced those "headaches" people have reported. The Xbox 360 does do 3D but Black Ops is really the only game I would play on it. Before I forget, I do need to mention that playing video games on the home consoles does limit (atleast the 10 games I tried) to 30FPS. Not a deal breaker, but for Call Of Duty players who like 60FPS you will see a difference in game play.

To add to the 3D, the 2D to 3D effect is ehh.... It really doesn't do much, maybe the higher end models it might as the have face detection but no it really doesn't do much.

The audio... well I wouldn't know as I have my Onkyo receiver to do that. Other reviews have said that the speakers are decent for TV speakers.

Inputs you get 3 HDMI, 2 USB, an SD Card, a component adapter to plug into the TV, and a coaxial plug. You does have an optical out, but I will never use it.

Overall I am very pleased with this TV. I am glad I future proofed when I bought my Onkyo HT-S5300. It is nice having one remote control all devices. Keep in mind to do 3D you need HDMI 1.4 cables and Panasonic active shutter glasses. The glasses are lower in price than they were in the past. I was lucky to receive two during a special one of the "Big Box" stores was having. You can order then through Amazon and please for the love of god order HDMI cables through Amazon as well. THEY ARE SO MUCH CHEAPER THAT WAY!!!
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars panoramic panasonic pandemic ineptitude, December 1, 2012
This review is from: Panasonic VIERA TC-P55ST50 55-Inch 1080p 600Hz Full HD 3D Plasma TV (2012 Model) (Electronics)
Looking forward to football season, I purchased a new TCP55ST50 on October 10, 2012 (after waiting over a month for anyone to have the 60 inch in stock). Upon hooking up my new TCP55ST50, I discovered the HDMI plug #1 did not work, and the HDMI plugs #2 and #3 only worked intermittently. This meant I paid for a high definition tv, and the high def did not work.
I contacted Panasonic and they said a local authorized Panasonic repair shop would contact me directly. A week later, I called Panasonic and they said they were still waiting to hear back from any repair shop in my area (San Diego). Another week later, I called Panasonic again, and was told there is only one authorized repair shop in the entire San Diego area, and they were still waiting to hear back from them. They gave me the repair shop's name and I called them directly. The repair shop picked up my tv on October 30th. On November 8th I called the repair shop to see if there had been any progress, and they said they were waiting for the part (the A-Board) to be shipped from Panasonic. On November 16th I called the repair shop again and they said they had no idea when Panasonic would ship the part and recommended I call the Panasonic Viera Concierge service. On November 19th I called the Panasonic Viera Concierge service and spoke with a female named Donet. I asked if Panasonic could tell me when the part would be sent to fix my tv or if they could simply replace my tv before football season was over. Donet said someone would call me back with an answer within three days. Seven days later, after nobody called me back, I called Panasonic again and a different person said somebody would call me back. Not happy with this answer, I eventually spoke to a supervisor named Shamara. Shamara could not explain what happened with Donet or if/when Panasonic would/could repair/replace my tv. Supervisor Shamara said my case would be sent to a different department in 3 to 5 more days.
It is now December, I still have no tv, my local football team has been eliminated from the post season and I could have purchased the same tv for half the price on Black Friday. Thanks a lot Panasonic.
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