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on June 25, 2012
Bottom line: Beautiful picture (black is really black!), nice internet functionality, and little impact from the issues that have been noted here and elsewhere.

Prior to making this purchase I did many hours of online reading that consisted of: CNET, AV/high def message boards and reviews, and Amazon reviews and comments. I asked myself the same questions most TV purchasers ask themselves: plasma vs. LED/LCD, Samsung vs. Panasonic, etc. I purchased the 60ST50 from Amazon and it was delivered in the middle of June 2012. By way of background, I own three other LCD's (one of them an LED/LCD) and this was my first foray into plasma. I felt like plasma was a low risk choice for this TV as it is going in a basement with no windows.

The general consensus online is that the ST50 is the best value available for an excellent picture. Always wanting to get the biggest bang for my buck, this consensus opinion was the number one factor in my decision.

As I said, I read a lot of reviews and, despite the consensus above, had a number of reservations because of issues that others encountered with the ST50. Here is a summary of my concerns and my findings. I should note that I ran the screen prep slides that you can find out there on the message boards and then played around with two different suggested calibration settings. I have no idea whether the screen prep slides are necessary and can't say whether they prepared my screen for calibration. What HAS been proven is that I am a serious nerd.

Screen buzzing: Some reviews have noted screen buzz. I was very concerned out of the gate as the screen prep slides have a white slide. When this slide was shown and all of the phosphors were glowing at 100%, there was a clear buzz emanating from the TV. You could hear it from everywhere in the small room where I was prepping the TV (what a nerd!). The good news is that the buzzing actually reduced over the time that I ran the slides. In a larger room watching actual TV content, it is not audible from in front of the panel even when the content is quiet. If you stick your head behind it, you can still hear a low buzz. My recommendation: do not buy this television if you plan to watch it from behind. Otherwise, if you will be watching it conventionally you should be relieved to hear that I have no issues with buzzing after the break-in period.

Viewing in a bright room: As noted, this television is for my basement but I had a chance to view it in a fairly bright room and with ceiling lights above. Generally, no issues. The filter works fairly well. I could see issues if you had a room with lots of bright sunlight where the windows could reflect off the panel. If that's your situation, you're probably considering LED/LCD anyway. Only you can decide what's right for your individual circumstances.

Image retention: Another early scare: my Directv rebooted and the directv logo was onscreen for 15 minutes or so. When it was finished the image was retained as a shadow for 30 seconds or so and then it went away. Gave me a quick scare but wasn't anything to be concerned about. I have had the menus open for decent amounts of time. I have watched channels with logos. I have watched several movies with black bars on the top and bottom. No further issues.

Hockey: The one entertaining guy in the Amazon reviews that had hockey issues might have scared me. But I don't watch hockey. I have, though, watched baseball, basketball, football, soccer, golf, track and field, etc. They all look great. No issues.

Some reviews have noted that the picture is too dark relative to an LED/LCD, has no pop, and looks washed out. I will tell you that the picture is different from an LED/LCD. This television has very lifelike pictures and colors. It's a very refreshing change. The best part of this television are the blacks which are really black. My wife, who usually doesn't notice such things, said, "Wow! The picture is so bright." (Hint for those that don't find it bright enough after calibration - adjust the gamma setting for instant brightness).

I really like this television and am happy with my purchase. If that changes over time, I will update this review.
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on January 23, 2013
As a user who has owned a Samsung LN46A650 (still do), my standards for flat screens were set very high, well before purchasing this set. After extensive research on Amazon, home theatre websites, and suggestions from store representatives, I purchased this TV.

Before continuing, one note to pay attention to- this TV when first purchased has a bad tendency to burn in images. Upon turning on this TV I ran color slides for around 95 hours (which is still under the recommended amount of 200, but better then nothing).
Even after this amount of time, playing a video game with static content (Call of Duty 3, for example) left images on the screen for around an hour.

After quite some time, and more color slides, the TV burned in slightly less, but still suffers from this problem.

Anyway, onto the positive.

Starting with Image...

1. Black Level: Fantastic. The black level on this TV is adjustable through both the simple, easy user settings and the professional settings, with many different levels. I found the stock black level to be very good, though the TV required some contrast and "Black Level Deepness" adjustments. For movies such as The Dark Knight and Inception, many scenes do look slightly dark, though my TV still has to be professionally calibrated, so this is not a negative aspect.

2. Brightness: Good. Upon viewing this TV in the store, I had noticed the brightness is substantially lower then that of the competitors. This can be both good and bad, depending on the setting. For me, with a Home Theatre setting, this ended up being good, as the lighting in the room is minimal, so it doesn't effect the set. The brightness isn't lacking in this set, per se, but it definitely could be a lot higher. One thing to note is that the white on this TV is very clean (artifact-free, and crisp), if set correctly.

3. Glass: The TV has a glass overlay on the screen. Personally coming from a set with no overlay, this is slightly annoying, due to reflections. Again, this relates to the setting the TV is in. The reflections are not too troublesome, though they do exist to a point, which is something to consider.

4. Speakers: The speakers in the TV are surprisingly good. The bass is actually quite improved over the TV's of only a few years ago; it features multiple speakers in a row on the bottom back of the set (the term for this slips my mind at the moment, sorry!)

5. Inputs: The TV has more then enough inputs. Not much to say about this.

6. Sharpness (Overall): The quality of images is.. ridiculously good. Images are sharper then ever (especially with BluRay), and motion looks fantastic. As a user which favors dark movies, this television is fantastic for the price, and there is no set better in my personal opinion (aside from the Kuro series, which cannot be compared for the money).

Overall, this television does not disappoint in image quality, black levels, inputs, or sharpness, especially with 1080P content (yes, i'd make a bluray player a requirement if owning this TV).

One thing to note though, is if you are purchasing this TV, to run color slides (google it) for at least 200 hours (it doesn't have to be 200h straight), to prevent burn in. I know it's disappointing to have to do this straight out of the box, but in the future you'll be happy you did this.

Also, if power consumption is an issue, this TV is *not* energy star qualified, likely because it's meant more for performance (and it's plasma).

Overall rating (out of 10): 10.

**Just a note***: Each TV is unique, whether the same model or not, so calibration settings that worked for someone else may not work for you. And as some users report, buzzing is an issue with this TV. After running the slides for even 90 hours or so, the buzzing stopped, so it's just a break-in thing.

Good luck!
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on July 13, 2013
It got one star because of the inital malfunction..., please read on.

We were so excited to get this highly-rated Plasma TV. Our old Mitsibushi had gone sour w/vertical lines (after only 4 years!), so we did our due diligence and scoured the web reading everything we could on which TV offers the best HD picture overall. After reading 20+ reviews.., (WHEW!) we decided on Plasma. We wanted the best nighttime TV viewing. Even during the day, we can draw the curtains to block out our very bright ocean view.

When the carrier arrived with the TV, we made sure to have him plug in the TV before he took it completely out of the box (it's really difficult to put it all back together-trust us). The delivery guy (just one guy! Needed two as he was struggling) plugged in the TV and LOUD BUZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZING came bursting out from the speakers! No picture at all. Bummer! The delivery guy prompting packed it back up and took it back with him. :-(

Amazon was terrific in replacing the TV with just one call. The same model was delivered a week later. Thankfully, it turned on and the picture quality was great..., for about two weeks.

Then, this 2nd Panasonic 60" Plasma began to 'distort' images while we were watching a couple of TV shows. (I'll leave notes under that particular purchase as well).

We thought our eyes were playing tricks on us. A few TV shows suddenly went to a WIDE format (we didn't change it) and the people and items on the screen began to 'WARP/STRECH/DISTORT'. HD became SD.

This can't be happening!

We paused the TV and went into our Guest Bdrm to turn on our 42" Sylvania. We began watching the very same program(s) and NO DISTORTION! Glad to know it wasn't our eyes deceiving us!

Again, we called Amazon and they are doing one more "Exchange". If there is any more problems with the new Panasonic Plasma, Amazon will get Panasonic involved. (Maybe they made a 'batch' of DEFECTIVE TV's?)

I sure hope that "The Third Times The Charm" with this next Panasonic Plasma. We'll keep you posted!

There's just one thing that still bothers us about the newer TV's. Their AUDIO 'sucks'! It's like they purposely want you to buy "Sound Bars" or "Home Theater Systems". We don't have money to throw around, so we brought in our simple little stereo and hooked it up. Wow, the sound it fantastic!

Panasonic's Plasma TV's sound system is less than satisfactory. Weve hung our TV on a rotating swivel mount & followed Panasonic's instructions for setting up the 'audio'..., but the little speakers are in the back of the TV (near the edges) so the sound 'floats' into the air..., not to our ears. If you stand just beside or a little behind the TV, the sound is really good..., but that makes viewing the TV impossible. LOL!

Oops, one other thing. It took a little bit to get used to the BLACKNESS. We've done some 'custom' adjustments in the PICTURE setup to get it a little brighter. However, movies never looked better (less strain on the eyes).

Since all the 'issues', we haven't tried out the 3D yet. Good Lord, we hope it works!

They give you 3 HDMI hooksups; 4 would be better. Their RCA hookup is not great. But neither were the other TV's were looked at. I guess they don't want you using your old VCR's, etc.!
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on April 28, 2013
This set worked great for four months. Then it stopped working 3 or 4 weeks ago with a "seven blink" code. It still does not work. First the repairman came and took the set down (with our help - they only send one guy and the TV "must be off the wall") and looked at the insides, then he put it up. Said the part would be in a few days later but it took over a week and a half. Then he came and the part did not fix the problem, so we put the set back up. We'll see when it starts working and I'll try to remember to update.

I started out with a 3 star review because the TV broke 4 months into our ownership of it. Since the repairman has now had to come back 4 times in order to fix it (so far), I am lowering the review to 1 star. There is no excuse for shoddy workmanship backed by a poor system for repairs, faulty parts ordering system, and other problems which have now caused us to be without our television for over one month.
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on June 6, 2013
I bought this to upgrade my living room TC-P50ST30 (older model line), which moved into the bedroom. Having been so pleased with the performance of that Panasonic plasma it was a no-brainer to revisit the line when it was time to go bigger. I'm happy to report this one is even better.

While I have not performed any strict, same-source comparisons between the two, the ST50 seems to have an even livelier, crisper picture than the already-fine ST30. You'll be impressed with the deep blacks, wide viewing angle, and strong color reproduction of this panel. Caveat: the picture is only as good as the source material you feed it. In fact, as I'd say is common with most high-grade TVs, it's so good that it exposes flaws in material that poorer TVs (notably, SDTVs) would cover up. For example, some DVDs may actually look blurrier, or grainier, on your big fancy HDTV than they used to. That's because the display actually shows you the limitations of DVD (480p) picture quality. And don't be surprised if you find yourself cursing the cable company for compressing the h-e-double-hockey-sticks out of its feed, manifested in obnoxious blocky artifacts or bad gradient banding, especially during bursts of fast motion (like, I don't know, sports) -- this isn't your TV's fault, it's your lousy cable provider's. The best way to really see how great the picture is is with a quality Bluray -- and even then, you'll see the film the way the filmmaker wanted you to. Did you know that some films are intentionally shot to be grainier, or softer, or with odd contrast or color balance? Your Panasonic plasma TV will show you all of that.

So, is this some kind of miracle reference display or is there anything at all bad about it? Well, a little more on that below but picture-wise, here's one: As is typical of plasmas, the glossy surface doesn't do so well with reflected light (think MacBook/iMac/Apple display), but I do little enough daytime viewing that it's hardly an issue.

Others have done their part to debunk many of the remaining misconceptions that still carry over from the earlier days of the plasma-vs.-LCD/LED debate (Side question: has this issue ever brought people to fisticuffs? If so, it may well have been a first for the kind of person prone to such provocation.), but it'll rehash that for the benefit of those just now diving into research on the matter. (1) Plasmas draw way more power: In this day and age, technically still the case but not really a big deal anymore. Suffice it to say, this TV came with the familiar Energy Star annual-power-cost estimate sticker, and it was insignificant enough that I summarily forgot what it said moments after throwing it out. (2) Plasmas aren't as bright as LCD/LED: True on a theoretical level. But if it tells you anything, I keep my panel brightness on the "mid" setting and have no issue with brightness. (3) Plasmas suffer from image burn-in: Again, this was a bigger problem during a bygone era. Your panel will have a screen-saver mode, and in general it's just not good habit anyway to leave something paused up on the screen for hours on end. Whether you are watching late-night Cinemax or not. (I mean really, hours?) These days, you'd have to try hard or just be extra negligent to burn an image into your panel. And often that which does get retained will fade with time. (Sorry, Cinemax pausers.) (4) Plasmas are old technology: Actually not true. It only seems that way because the earlier wave of big-screen HDTVs were plasmas; that's because LCD technology hadn't yet been applied to the large screen sizes that TVs require. But in fact, LCD display technology itself has been around for decades. So the big LCD TVs that seem "newer" or "more cutting-edge" than plasma are simply LCD catching up with TV size needs. Side note -- as for LED, this seems newfangled, but it's actually still LCD technology; the LED part simply refers to the way in which the liquid crystals are backlit in the display itself.

Now, all of the above is not to denigrate LCD/LED technology or those who prefer it. I myself have only ever owned plasma TVs, so I make no representation of direct, thorough personal experience from a comparison standpoint. I just point the preceeding facts out to clear up any confusion or concern people may have going into this decision. Though I'll be glad to take it outside with anyone who has a problem with what I've written.

While I was typing this I just had what appeared to be a baby roach crawl inside the keyboard of my laptop. How ridiculous is that. Excuse me while I attempt to crush it. qqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqq

Getting to the second half of the title of my review: Strongly consider making adjustments to the display settings for optimum performance. These modern panels are exceedingly customizable (I never used to fiddle with my CRTV settings), and you should take advantage of that. Do a search for D-Nice's calibration settings and break-in procedure: You'll find out how to properly age your panel for even pixel performance (agonizing while you're waiting the 100 hours but according to The Internet it's worth it) and a starting point for what to adjust your settings to. I did this with my older Panasonic and also this one, and in both cases I further tweaked the settings to get the best-looking picture based on my own viewing environment. Do the same and you'll be glad you did.

I haven't even mentioned the various "smart features" of this TV yet. That's because I basically don't use them. I bought this with some fairly simple criteria in mind: picture quality, inputs, and value. As to the first, I addressed that above. As for the second, this has 3 HDMIs and one component hookup. The HDMIs are used for Apple TV, Bluray and a free cable with a laptop display-out adapter on the other end. Component is used for my cable box, which actually works out because HDMI confuses the box into frequently throwing out a standard-def picture. Have you ever tried to watch "Keeping up with the Kardashians" in SD on a big HDTV? Do not attempt this. You'll miss all the nuance. On the inputs side, my only complaint with this model vs. my other Panasonic is that they've combined component video and the older, single yellow video input into one jack. The TV actually comes with an adapter that you plug all your component cables into, which combines into a single male RCA plug. This means that I can't leave my Wii connected to the TV via its video out cable; I have to unplug the cable box to switch over. I realize this is like complaining about the first iMac not having serial ports, but the Wii isn't that old and I still use it once in a blue moon. ("Blue moon" = I'm drunk and want to play Boom Blox.) On the matter of value, I spent a while researching different TVs before buying the first Panasonic, and the fairly confident conclusion I came to was that you couldn't find a better combination of picture quality with affordability. I bought the 50" for about $1,000, and the 60" for $1,700 in December 2012. I see now it's selling for $1,300. Such is the way of things with TVs -- they are getting better and cheaper. Every new day is an even better time to buy an HDTV. (Don't think about that last sentence too hard or you'll never buy a TV. In fact, just forget I said anything.)

Holy sigma-helvetica-iodine-tango, that roach just emerged. This explains what's been eating up my hard drive space. agkeklntvkn. There, I think I got him.

So about those "smart features" I still didn't talk about yet. This TV is 3D-ready, though I've never used this feature and have no intentions to. Basically this feature just happened to come with the TV I wanted. If I wanted to see things in 3D, I'd turn off the television and walk outside. And come on, who wants to do that? This TV can get on your WiFi network, which is handy if you don't have some other device that can do the same. But who doesn't? (Hint: poor people who can only afford a 60" TV and no peripherals.) I use Apple TV for Netflix, and if I bothered with Amazon Prime Video, I'd use my Bluray player since it connects to the audio system. I'm not even sure what other internet features this TV has -- Facebook? Not on it and anyway that's ridiculous. Pandora? I have other means (Apple devices) of sending that to the audio system. News and weather? Didn't use those channels on the Wii and I don't need them baked into a TV. SD card slot? You can do photos and video and all that over WiFi; in my case, Apple TV via the computer. Ditto for the USB slot, although I did use this at the very onset to run the panel break-in slides. Since then, no plans. But your mileage may vary.

tl;dr version: Panasonic has improved upon their already-solid line of mid-tier plasma panels, with great picture quality, very few drawbacks, plenty of features you may not even need, all at an attractive price.
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on October 30, 2012
I was to scared to go with a led tv with all of the bad reviews about light bleeding in from the egdes, that's terrible for a new tv. So i bought this and ran slides for 100 hours. And then went with "D-nices settings" for the picture because everyone was saying how great it was. I absolutely think those settings are terrible, way too gray and dark, i can't understand how people think thats a good picture, it's terrible.
So i tried Cnets settings which were way better but not perfect at all, still too dark and gray.

Here are my settings and to some of you they may only be worth what you paid for them, but i have found them to be bright, colorful and they really bring out the clarity of this plasma tv, I love it. With these settings you don't have to worry about the picture being dark.

Picture menu
Picture mode: Custom
Contrast: +100
Brightness: +50
Color: +60
Tint: 0
Sharpness: 0
Color temp: Warm 2
Color mgmt: Off [grayed out]
C.A.T.S.: Off
Video NR: Off

-- Pro settings submenu
Color space: Normal
W/B high R: +10
W/B high G: 0
W/B high B: +3
W/B low R: +4
W/B low G: 0
W/B low B: -2
Black extension: 0
Gamma adjustment: 2.6
Panel brightness: High (Very Important!)
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: [no change from 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

These settings will really bring your plasma to life. Also i have no trouble with a bright room. Speakers are good just turn the bass setting all the way up and play with the other settings. There is a little buzzing that you can hear with the volume on mute but other that that there's no problem. 2>3D is cool,makes it fun.

Make sure you download the Android app for this tv, it is Absolutely Awesome! You can watch the pictures and video's straight from your phone with no downloading, really Cool! Also a basic remote too. It's very important that you adjust the Picture on this tv to your liking, take some time and do it and you will be Rewarded!

EDIT: after 3 years of use we think the picture is Beautiful! We still can't get over it.
I do have a little Image Retention with the Discovery Channel LOGO, but just a little. Nobody can see it except me and that's only when i run the break in slides, which you never do anymore.
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on March 28, 2013
This will be short and sweet and non technical. Thanks first to the other reviewers whose long, detailed and VERY technical reviews helped me make my selection and see the value of buying this TV on Amazon for $1,850. Awesome! The picture is great, sharp, deep colors and tones, no ghosting. I don't speak TV jargon but it is truly a home theater experience. Shipping via Amazon was simple. I set a shipping date on screen when I ordered and it was several weeks longer than Amazon needed but more convenient for me after my travel. It arrived safe and sound and was carried to the TV room with care. Packing was professional, well engineered and simple to open and reuse if I wanted to. I mounted it on the wall using the flush-tilt mount Amazon recommended and it hung in seconds with ease. Setup for wifi, DVD's, cable, my iMac computer and other peripherals was as easy as its ever been. In 20 minutes everything was up and running. Technology is finally delivering a true Plug and Play experience.
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on November 27, 2012
Updated from my 5 year old 50" Panasonic plasma (3K shades of grey) to the 65" ST50 (12K shades of grey) and am in WOW mode! Have not experienced any of the buzzing or other quirks some reviews noted. Delivery company was on time experienced and courteous. They even gave a 20 mins out heads up call. As an example of their experience; they knew the bottom of the boxes get dirty in transit so when I said to place it on the carpet they requested I get something to cover the carpet to protect it from getting dirty. They also agreed with me when I said I did not want to power it up since it was only 20 degrees out when delivered and the set was very cold. I gave it a few hours to acclimate and had no issues.

Glare/Reflection not any worse then the newer 3D LED TV's you see that also seem to have reflections (Samsung, LG, Panasonic). Reflection is much LESS than the UT50 series Panasonic plasmas you see in the (blue and yellow) big box store.

Very surprised at how good the set is at converting 2D into 3D. Actual 3D content (ESPN3D on DirecTV for example) is incredible.

We thoroughly enjoyed watching Ohio State BEAT Michigan (football) the second day we had the set.

Technical aspects of the video are just what every review says ... fantastic; blacks, skin tones and color right out of the box.
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VINE VOICEon June 3, 2014
This TV is crystal clear, super bright, and has amazing viewing angles. It's safe to say that this has been my favorite TV of all time because it just works. No glitches, dead pixels, or other annoyances that plague other TVs. The usability of the TV menus is also pretty darn good. I don't think I've read most of the manual yet I was able to figure out the majority of the important features. I use this TV with Netflix, Amazon, and YouTube. The only issue with using Internet with this TV is that you have to wait about one minute after turning it before its ready to do so. Another minor complaint I have is with the button placement on the remote. I dislike how the play/pause button is down so low for example. Excellent TV despite some minor gripes.
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on May 8, 2015
I purchased this in 2012, today I got the 7 blinking lights of death. It seems this is a common error requiring the replacement of a circuit board that doesn't appear to be in much supply anymore. So ~$3k bought me about 3 years worth of a TV and now a 65" brick.
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