Customer Review

23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deep, inky blacks, brilliant colors, Panasonic's GT50 plasmas are nothing short of amazing., June 21, 2012
This review is from: Panasonic VIERA TC-P50GT50 50-Inch 1080p 600Hz Full HD 3D Plasma TV (2012 Model) (Electronics)
I picked up my Panasonic TC-P50GT50 50" plasma on June 7th. I have previously owned a TC-P42S2 and TC-P50VT20 plasmas from Panasonic. The S2 model suffered from fluctuating brightness but I never did see the black levels rise noticeably like I did on my friend's TC-P42G10. The TC-P50VT20 had far less noticeable fluctuating blacks than the S2, but the black levels did rise and couldn't be considered "inky" by any means, although the overall picture, contrast, colours, etc., were simply stunning.

The GT50? WOW! What a great set. First of all you won't believe how incredible light this TV is. If it weren't so big you'd easily be able to lift it yourself but because of the width you really need a second person to help you mount it. It's only 1.6" thick, a huge difference from the VT20 series. The screen filter has also changed and you don't notice reflections as much but the purple hue is also not as pronounced, if at all, as the VT20 and Pioneer Kuro plasma sets show.

I haven't paid for a calibration yet, I'm waiting for DeWayne (D-Nice) to post his settings at High Def Junkies to see how much improvement I get over the THX Cinema settings. I have a room with very controlled lighting and double thick black curtains over my window, so even in daytime it is very dark. I do not need the "THX BRIGHT ROOM" setting although it still looks pretty great in the dark, but it's too bright. I am currently using THX CINEMA with the Sharpness turned down to 0 as that's almost always the level I see with Panasonic sets that have been calibrated.

Inky black levels on a Panasonic, finally. Okay with nothing on the screen you can clearly see that the TV is turned on, but again I'm in a pitch black room. The same thing happens with Kuro sets. But boy this is a really deep black level and with even a little bit of material on the screen the effect on the human vision allows the bezel or any black bars you're watching with a 4:3 or 2.39:1 source (and thereabouts) to disappear into the dark. It's a wonderful experience to see your image floating in space...of course other than the red LED light for power but you can cover that if you want, it doesn't prevent the remote from working. Yes, the picture is beautiful, colours look wonderfully rich but not over-saturated, contrast level from ALL angles in my quite wide seating area is gorgeous (suffer in your jocks LCD owners!) and those blacks are just delicious. Yes I wish I had the money 5 years ago to buy a Kuro new, some people I know managed to get the KRP-500M's for $1,600 shipped just before Pioneer exited the market, but it's 2012 now and I'm pleased that I have a great option for a television. I would love to have the extra $1,000 to move to the VT50 and get 96Hz mode and the additional calibration options, but in all honesty the GT50 really delivers and from what I hear so too does the ST50 model. I got a deal on this TV where it was going to cost the same whether I chose the UT50, ST50 or GT50 (don't ask, I can't tell) so it made sense to get this one.

The 3D, some discussion has been made of some ghosting but if you adjust to 48Hz mode there is none, and the 3D is really well done. Even better are Panasonic's new 2012 glasses. They might feel a little cheap but they're very comfortable, have additionally wide legs around the eyes so they do a good job of blocking out any ambient light that your TV is throwing off if that's your only light source in the room, and at $50 from Amazon they're a bargain compared to the older glasses. The new Bluetooth standard means these glasses will work with other manufacturer's sets, and so will theirs. So for $20 if you want a couple pairs of extra glasses for company the Samsung glasses are a good deal, but the Panny glasses are definitely the bee's knees for your own personal use.

There is some minor image retention noticeable on these new 2012 sets when you have a logo or something very briefly on the screen then go to pitch black, but under normal viewing conditions this has not affected my enjoyment at all as it seems to be removed immediately upon viewing anything else.

I don't care for 2D > 3D conversion. I tried it a few times and some stuff looks okay but anything red stands out way more than it should and really...it just pales in comparison to 3D. Pick up any of the animtated 3D Blu-ray discs like Pixar or Dreamworks stuff if you want to see how really good 3D looks. Only CON with this set is that it no longer comes with Avatar, lol. That's a good 3D demo disc also.

Also I don't care for any of the apps. In fact I'd love to see Panasonic offer a top of the line above the VT series that doesn't have any fancy schmancy apps, no speakers, just a monitor like the Pioneer KRP-500M and KRP-600M, just for those that only care about picture quality. Maybe it might even be cheaper than the VT? Just an idea. For me I bought this TV only for viewing Blu-ray, broadcast HD and sometimes DVD. I would rather watch internet streaming material on my PC where the flaws in the picture aren't exacerbated as much as they are with a good display. I don't want my TV online, big brother is always looking for new ways to watch what you're doing.

The new GT50 is slim and sexy, gorgeous picture, very light and has a small footprint too due to its thin bezel. Finally Panasonic makes a sexy, attractive frame/bezel! Well done Panny. I give this set full marks and recommend it highly to anyone who lists overall picture quality as one of the most important things they're looking for.

Update > here are some recommended settings from D-Nice. They are recommended to be used after following the panel prep procedure (Google it) but honestly, they look great anyway and even better than the THX Cinema mode.

Picture
Picture Mode: Custom
Contrast: 78
Brightness: 56
Color: 47
Tint: 0
Sharpness: 0
Color Temp: Warm2
Photo Enhancement: Off
C.A.T.S: Off
Video NR: Off

Pro Settings
Colorspace: Normal

W/B High R: -6
W/B High G: 0
W/B High B: -2
W/B Low R: +10
W/B Low G: 0
W/B Low B: +2

Black Extension: 0
Gamma Adjustment: 2.6 (50/55" models) 2.4 (60/65" models)
Panel Brightness: Mid
Contour Emphasis: Off
AGC: 0

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

Advance Picture
Block NR: Off
Mosquito NR: Off
Motion Smoother: Off
Black Level: Light
3:2 PullDown: Auto
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jun 22, 2012 8:12:35 AM PDT
Matt says:
Nice review. I think I am leaning towards the ST50, due to price.

Posted on Feb 5, 2015 12:22:22 PM PST
Chen Xulian says:
Thank you for your review! I also want to buy a new panasonic tv for my kids' room but I'm a bit worried.I read somewhere that a number of children are getting hurt in TV-related-fiascos, and I wouldn't expect my boys to stay calm with it either. I was thinking of mouting the TV on the wall. The most convenient one I found yet was FlexiMounts, but do you have any other ideas?

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 17, 2015 7:00:27 AM PST
Bricktop says:
I used a slim profile (flat profile maybe it was called?) mount from Monoprice. It locks into place when you assemble it correctly, no way any accidents are going to happen.

Plus my kids already know not to F-about with Daddy's good TV, they love how good their Blu-ray movies look on it so they appreciate the room is not the horsing about room.
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