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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.
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