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Showing 1-10 of 313 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 378 reviews
on April 8, 2012
UPDATE - September 29, 2012

So, it's been a few months since I wrote my initial review of the GT50 and I wanted to give another update.

Overall, the set is working great. I have not gotten it professionally calibrated, I want to do that next month, but the picture still looks fantastic, both for 2D and 3D content ("The Avengers" looks amazing!). Interestingly, I find myself using the THX-Cinema settings just as often, if not more often, than the custom settings I had generated using the various calibration discs. That may be more out of laziness than anything else, to be honest.

A few things:

1 - If you have a lamp or a window in your room that you think will reflect on the screen, be aware that the anti-glare coating will not cut it during the day. You'll need heavy drapes for the day and use a dimmer or just turn off the lamp at night. It can be distracting.

2 - My biggest frustration is that I am noticing some degree of line bleed, which I guess is a problem with plasmas in general -- I noticed it with my old Samsung but find myself noticing it a lot more with the GT50. I am very frustrated to have to report this to you all and I am going to see what I can do about it, if anything -- again, this is something that happens on all plasmas, apparently, I just wanted to make sure you all knew that I was finding it somewhat distracting.

(Line bleeding is when a "ghost" version of another element on a screen actually appears on part of the screen where where it shouldn't -- for example, a character's face might be in front of a window sill -- the "ghost" of the sill continues across the character's face. There is some discussion of line bleed on the GT50 here:[...] )

I am not going to change my star rating for my review based on what I am perceiving as a limitation of the technology (as opposed to the set) but it's something to keep in mind. I will be doing some research to see what, if anything, I can do to address the situation and let you know what happens.

Finally, I have received a few email inquiring which kind of TV stand I have (in the pictures section). I got the stand in 2007 from IKEA -- sadly, I do not think they make it anymore. It's a pity, it's kind of a perfect TV stand.

ORIGINAL REVIEW

After six years, it was time to replace my aging 42" Samsung plasma (during which a circuit board died, which ended up requiring an all new screen to be installed--thank goodness I had the extended warranty). At first, I went with the UN55D8000, which was a good looking set, granted, but just didn't have the picture quality I wanted, so I ended up returning that less than a week after it arrived. Then I heard about the new Panasonic models coming out, and realized that the GT50 looked like a promising candidate.

I have had the TV for less than a week, and there is no way I am returning this incredible plasma television. I will share some initial thoughts (and have submitted photos as well), and will update my comments later as a kind of progress report.

If you care about picture quality and don't feel like waiting for the VT, look no further. This set has one of the best pictures out of the box I have ever seen, with deep, silky blacks and vibrant (not never overly so) colors. My "go-to" test for black levels is the first scene of Episode 9 of the first season of "Game of Thrones," which takes place entirely in the shadows. Quite frankly, I didn't know blu-ray could look so good. The details in the bricks and the clothing, all illuminated by a flickering torch, were astounding. There was a real sense of depth and clarity, even with this very dark scene--incredible. I dialed in my own settings using the Spears and Munsil disc, but the settings included in the THX- Cinema mode worked really well and are a great starting point.

The color controls for this TV are very extensive, and I think a professional calibrator could really make this set sing. I will get a real calibration done in a month and let you know how it goes. Suffice to say, once I dialed in the proper brightness and contrast and turned pretty much everything else off (and making sure to turn the "panel brightness" to low)--the set was great.

I watched "Tron" in 3D using the Oppo BDP-93, and was very impressed with the 3D and the clarity of the picture. I don't have a lot of 3D content, so I will make sure to add more comments once I see more films. The glasses, which are not cheap, are light and quite comfortable, though it's annoying you are supposed to charge them via the TV--when the TV is on. It would be nice if they came with little carrying cases or bags, but no such luck.

I have DirecTV and the 1080i picture looks fantastic, as does the AppleTV's 1080p. It is with Blu-ray, however, that this set really feels most at home. I cannot overstate how rich the contrast is; my wife continues to comment on how much she notices the better picture, which is a great sign!

I have this plugged into my sound system, so I haven't even heard the speakers, really, so I can't comment on the sound quality.

As I illustrate in the pictures, the HDMI ports are very close to the side of the cabinet, so if you have thicker HDMI cables, you really need to coax them, gently, down the side so they don't poke out behind the set. I have a set of Bluejeans cables, which work just fine, but my Better Cables HDMI is definitely very close to the edge. Speaking of cables, while the set does come with a cable stay, there is only 1 (though there are four places to put it)--Panasonic really needs to included another.

The bezel is very thin and the set is not that much thicker than the Samsung LCD I had just a few weeks ago. I really like how it looks in the room. The screen swivels about 10° either direction, which is nice. It's also much lighter than I thought it would be; I was able to put the stand on and lift it into place by myself (though, clearly, you should have someone help you--I was just excited).

This is a really great set. I haven't seen the ST50, but I can't help but feel that the extra 24,000 shades of grey really push this TV to a higher level of picture quality. I am extremely, extremely pleased so far, and I am looking forward to putting it through its paces--and will let you know how it goes!

Update (4/11/12):

I started playing with the Internet Apps last night and wanted to add a few notes:

1 - Every time I press "Viera Tools" or "Internet" I am kind of shocked how fast the interface comes up. This is, by far, the fastest interface I have ever used, thanks to the dual processor. It's so fast that you start to get the feeling that you might actually USE the Internet on this thing!

2 - Panasonic does have a web browser (App Store:LifeStyle) but it's a pain to download (you have to enter in your credit card information even though the application is free); I just wish it was included. I am going to fill out my credentials on the vieracast website because it's kind of annoying to enter in the data using the remote.

3 - The YouTube interface is actually pretty nice. The text is displayed larger than on the AppleTV and you can sort by HD Content only, which the AppleTV does NOT let you do--so that's very cool.

4 - I still need to check out Netflix, Hulu +, Vudu and other applications. The GT50 offers a very comprehensive assortment of online services and, like I said, it's very easy and intuitive to get to.

Other things:
1 - Clicking on Viera Tools brings up a toolbar on the lower part of the screen from which you can access various items:
- 3D options
- THX options - basically, switch from THX Cinema to THX Bright Room and one other THX mode. Pretty good for testing out your custom settings with the THX ones.
- Viera Connect - pretty much the same as pressing the "Internet" button on the remote
- Media Player
- DLNA - wasn't applicable to my system
- Viera Link - not really sure what the difference is between Viera Connect and Viera Link; I will check it out and update this post
- Eco - adjusts the auto-brightness features
- eHelp - access to the 208 page manual via a specialized interface

2 - There IS an iOS app (and I would assume an Android App) that can take the place of the supplied remote control. Useful, I guess, for Harmony users who may need specialized controls from time to time. This seemed to work well for the most part but I have some thoughts:

- The app makes ridiculous sounds when using the remote. You can turn the sounds off. Really silly.
- The trackpad controls are the default screen, but you cannot control the TV with them. You need to swipe to another pane to get to the arrow keys to navigate the menus. This was confusing at first and then just kind of irritating, because you have to go to one page to call up "Options" then swipe to another page to interact with the options.
- The reason why I gave up entering my credentials to get the web browser was because the keyboard on the iOS app was NOT sending text to the TV. This is clearly a bug, but once it is fixed, this will work like the AppleTV, where you can use your iOS device to type into the TV, which is obviously much better than using the remote. Lame it's not working for me, though.
- There is an iPad specific app which I have looked at but I haven't used with the TV (I don't know if it consolidate the various panes, will update).

So, I dunno how important these services and Internet features are to you. I really like my AppleTV, so I already have most of them, but am curious to see Vudu's video quality and check out how Dolby Digital Plus sounds--I hope it works the Toslink output. I personally will be using my iPad or Phone to deal with Facebook, twitter, etc -- even though image retention and burn-in are much less likely to be a problem on modern plasmas, I don't really feel like tempting fate with having a static web browser interface on the screen while I am surfing the web.

hope this update helps!

4/15/23 Quick update

Tried the 3D. Here's what I got:

1 - 2D-3D conversion was nothing to write home about. I didn't know if it was working half the time. Maybe I did something wrong, but it just gave me a headache.

2 - Straight up 3D is awesome. Watched beginning of Hugo and found it hard to press "Stop". If you are into the 3D, you MAY want to get the 55" for a more immersive experience, but the 50" was fantastic, regardless. I still think the glasses make your eyes get tired, but still--the depth is really great, and the sense of immersion with "floaty-bits" was really top notch, at least in "Hugo". Look, 3D might look brighter on the LED/LCD set I had before, but there was a sense of depth here that I felt lacking in the Samsung I tried out.

3 - I have a few "THX" Blu-rays. I watched them in "THX Cinema" mode and they looked awesome. Maybe THX is not necessarily just hype?

4 - Demo'ed the streaming services. Vudu's HDX format is no joke--it looks incredible, close (from my viewing distance) to Blu-ray, totally. HOWEVER, I could not get Dolby Digital Plus 7.1 (which is supposed to sound GREAT) output from the Toslink output on the TV. I am pretty sure DD+ requires HDMI, so that explains it. Still, DD+ includes the DD 5.1 mix and that sounded great. I was really impressed with the Vudo service and I think I will use it. Amazon and Netflix both looked great as well. I still like the AppleTV UI, but this ain't half bad.

Note: I talked to someone on the Panasonic "Raise the Bar" tour and she acknowledged that the iOS remote control app had some issues (the Android one is supposed to work fine) and that my problem (the keyboard not working) was going to be fixed soon. It was kind of cool that she knew about that.

Finally, I put up some new photos showing a few off-axis viewing examples, a bird's eye view of the swivel angle, and some shots showing Vudu and Amazon content.

thanks-m
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5150+ comments| 308 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on June 12, 2012
I bought this tv to replace a LCD that had bad off angle views and weak shadow details. The room is bright during the day and I often watch tv with a light on unless we're watching a movie. The THX Bright Room mode is nearly perfect out of the box. I lowered contrast and brightness a bit and turned up color a few ticks. Watching shows like Game of Thrones was breath taking and bright movies like The Fall with all that light and vibrant colors was mesmerizing. And what amazed me even more is the way the image got even better after about 2 days and again after about 2 weeks.

For those who are agonizing over whether to buy the ST50 or GT50, here is my advice- if you have a light controlled room, will most likely only use one mode and will you're willing to have it calibrated to attain the best possible picture - then buy the ST50. If you want a dark room mode, a bright room mode and you're not so sure that you want to spend money on professional calibration, then buy the GT50 and never wonder if you made the right choice. The GT50 offers 2 THX modes that are awesome right out of the box and the Custom mode has professional color settings that can be adjusted easily and will offer a reference picture if professionally calibrated.

When the GT50 is fed a very good signal such as HD or blu-ray the image is natural, bright, has great color and contrast and the shadow details are the best I have ever seen. I was watching a notably dark movie and could see the detail in the corduroy of a man's black jacket. Wow! Hair has never looked so good on tv. As with any other display, GIGO- bad signals look bad. If you never owned a big screen tv then you should know that it makes all the bad stuff much more obvious and offensive. You should also know that just because a station is HD it doesn't mean that the old stuff is upgraded and will look like blu-ray or even HD for that matter. I think it's a shame that some of HBO and AMC can still be so bad even with newer programming. Shame on them. If you think any of this is the TVs fault then pop in a blu-ray and see what your tv can really do with a good signal and then you'll know who the true offender is. If you are using a set top box from your cable provider or satellite service be sure that you have the newest HD model available and that the settings are right for HD.

This tv offers a dual core processor which improves app response and may help with future apps too. I'll take a dual core over single core any day, considering that tablets now have quad core, why would anyone interested in using apps or the internet even consider a single core processor? BTW, wireless was very easy to setup and updating happens without a hitch.

There's not a tv out there that is perfect and certainly this tv has a few flaws too. However, my rating is based on what's available, not dreams. The GT50 does have dithering (inherent to plasma tech), DSE (dirty screen effect), does not offer the same tools (isf) for picture adjustment that some manufacturers do and the web browser does not support Flash Player- only HTML 5. IMO, the dithering isn't too bad and is often subtle when it does show up, but can be bad with lower quality signals. If you have a lot of dithering (or sparkles) try lowering your brightness setting. I've only seen DSE once during a subway shooting scene that was dark and is improved when using a less bright mode.

I only hear buzzing if my ear is 2" or less from the white part of the screen. Plasmas shouldn't buzz very much more than this. The tv does not have brightness pops or floating blacks either.

This tv is well worth the investment. If you're coming from LCD and really want to love a plasma check this one out in THX Bright Room. ;)

Update: I exchanged this tv for the 55VT50 a week ago and I am returning the VT50 to get the 60GT50 back again. IMO, the VT is only very slightly better at handling reflections, blacks are slightly better but not much, shadow detail out of the box was not as good as the GT and the VT will definitely need professional calibration to achieve what might be a significant improvement over the lower models and none of the flaws associated with the ST & GT are any better on the VT- it is not better at motion handling. So my opinion it that the improvements with the VT are not significant enough to justify the price difference, especially not when comparing sets of equal size. I love the picture so much on the GT50 that I don't feel compelled to get it calibrated and that is just not true about the VT50. Also, the 5" size difference was enough to change the experience I had, while watching John Carter I couldn't help but clearly understand what was missing. The 60GT50 is coming home to stay and I can't wait until it gets here. 8D

BTW, thank you Amazon for the price match. '''

Update: 1-6-13 This tv still looks amazing and even more so after updating the settings in Custom. We still use the THX bright room settings when it's really bright outside and the shades are all the way up (windows are now directly across from the tv). There is still glare but no worse than on other tvs and not as bad as on some. Blacks still look good even with all that light shining directly on the set. I have seen no image retention while watching tv and I do not hunt for it. We do nothing special to prevent image retention either, we watch anywhere from 1-3 hours of MSNBC daily and hubby has been watching a ton of football.

I'll be keeping my eyes peeled for a great price on a smaller GT50 for another room.
1313 comments| 93 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on December 27, 2012
After doing a lot of research and reading countless reviews I decided to pull the trigger on the 55GT50. My previous TV was/is a 46" Samsung LCD from 2006. I was all set to order a new Samsung LED, but after reading several reviews and 2 trips to BB I decided to go with this Panasonic plasma instead.

AMAZON 10/10:

The first one that was delivered had a power issue (turned off after about 15-20 minutes and went into safe mode). Amazon was GREAT and had a replacement at my house 2 days later. The second one works perfectly!! Just a side note, neither one had any buzzing issues.

PICTURE 9/10:

The picture is amazing!! The colors are very deep and the blacks are unlike anything I've ever seen on any LCD. It is slightly darker or warmer than an LCD, but after you get used to it, LED's actually appear to be too bright. I have the TV mounted on the wall above the fireplace in a fairly bright and open living room. When the sun is shining directly into the window behind the couch, there is a glare on the screen, but when the TV is on it's not too noticeable. My LCD also suffered from a glare when the sun was shining directly into that window. I rated the picture 9/10 only because the custom settings that I found online (see below) are far better than the THX settings. I highly recommend using the settings below or at least trying them. I have had no issues with IR or burn in and I did not do any of the crazy break-in procedures that are posted all over the internet. Time will tell, but so far so good.

FEATURES 8/10:

It has everything and more than I need or use. The only thing I wish that it had was the ability to enter more than 1 custom setting per HDMI port. A custom day and night setting would be ideal (available on the VT model).

SOUND 9/10:

It actually has decent sound for being so thin. I use a sound bar, but it still sounds good without it on.

DESIGN 9/10:

The design is thin, pleasing to the eye, and looks great on the wall. The VT gets a 10/10.

I am very pleased with my purchase and for the price tag it’s really a no brainer in my opinion. My biggest fear was that it would not be bright enough for my living room, but it turned out to not be an issue at all. I'm currently using the below "day" settings for day/night and it looks amazing.

Here are the blackops settings I am using, they are posted online at:

[...]

A HUGE thanks to BLACKOPS for the settings!!!

NIGHT SETTINGS:

Picture mode: Custom
Contrast: +84
Brightness: +55
Color: +45
Tint: 0
Sharpness: +20
Color temp.: Warm2
Color mgmt.: N/A
C.A.T.S.: Off
Video NR: N/A

Pro Settings

Color Space: Normal
W/B high R: +2
W/B high G: 0
W/B high B: -1
W/B low R: +7
W/B low G: -2
W/B low B: -3
Black Extension: 0
Gamma adjustment: 2.4
Panel brightness: Mid
Contour emphasis: Off
AGC: 0

Advanced picture

Motion smoother: Off
1080p pure direct: On (only applies to and can only be adjusted with a 1080p signal)
Black level: Light
24p Direct in: 60Hz (only applies to and can only be adjusted with a 1080p signal)

"Day" (bright room) settings.

Picture mode: Custom
Contrast: +100
Brightness: +56
Color: +45
Tint: 0
Sharpness: +20
Color temp.: Warm2
Color mgmt.: N/A
C.A.T.S.: Off
Video NR: N/A

Pro Settings

Color Space: Normal
W/B high R: 0
W/B high G: 0
W/B high B: -2
W/B low R: +10
W/B low G: 0
W/B low B: 0
Black Extension: 0
Gamma adjustment: 2.4
Panel brightness: Mid
Contour emphasis: Off
AGC: 0

Advanced picture

Motion smoother: Off
1080p pure direct: On (only applies to and can only be adjusted with a 1080p signal)
Black level: Light
24p Direct in: 60Hz (only applies to and can only be adjusted with a 1080p signal)
0Comment| 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on December 24, 2012
I purchased this Panasonic TC-P55GT50 3 weeks ago. After installing it, I found that the TV speakers would intermittently lose most of their volume and the sound quality would degrade singificantly. The problem happened for both cable TV (RG6 cable) and from the attached DVD (composite video). I changed cables and tried different cable/DVD devices, but when the TV warmed up, the sound would get very poor. In order to even hear it you had to raise the volume fo ~80, rather than the ~25-30 when the set was cold. The sound quality was similar to a toddler's audio book rather than a $1500 piece of electronics.

I called Panasonic, and they put me through ~1 hour of cable swapping and other troubleshooting, to no avail. The agent asked me to swap out cables and DVD players again, and to change some audio settings on the TV and see if things were better. After using the TV for a few more days, there was no change. On the next call to Panasonic, they asked me to move DVD players and try HDMI. I said I had done this and that it worked for a while but then degraded, just as the other connections, but I did the swap anyway and the sound was fine for a couple of minutes. The agent then said that this proved that it was not a TV problem. The only choice I had was to hire a TV technician on my dime to come in and prove that there actually was a problem with the TV. Depending on the TV Technician's statement they would consider dealing with it as a warranty issue.

I even talked to a supervisor and he indicated that the TV was working to specification. This convinced me that I had no desire to deal with Panasonic support in the future.

I did not call a TV technician, I called Amazon and they are taking the TV back without any hassle. I am sorry that Amazon has to suffer the cost impact of this return, when reasonable customer service from Panasonic would probably have solved the problem with a simple warranty dispatch.

FYI. I have over 40 years of experience in computer technology. I am not a TV specialist, but I am definitely not intimidated by technology or unaware of reasonable troubleshooting and support proceedures.
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on December 12, 2012
So I, like many others, spent an inordinate amount of time trying to determine which TV I was going to get to replace my 42" screen. Cnet, Amazon reviews, Consumer reports, etc. I found myself struggling to choose between two tvs, the Panasonic Viera TC-P55ST50 plasma TV was getting blow out reviews for picture quality while the Vizio E601i-A3 LED Tv was getting excellent value for money reviews.

Finally, I came upon the Panasonic Viera TC-P55GT50. It was getting great reviews on CNet also, they just said it was not as good of a value because it only offered slightly more features than the ST50 for $150 more. Picture quality was top of the line, but the same as the ST50. Well there happened to be a Warehouse deal that was cheaper than the ST50's normal Amazon price and within $75 of the ST50's warehouse deal price, so I pulled the trigger.

I received the TV in perfect condition. Still am not sure what made it a warehouse deal as everything looked brand new and appeared to be in its original wrapping.

The TV's picture quality is superb. The CNET reviews of this tv are right on in terms of picture quality. The colors, blacks, and picture reproduction quality are all very good. There are no light concentration issues that you may have with an edge lit LED and lighting appears very uniform. Everyone talks about inky blacks on plasmas - I have no idea what that really means - but dark movies such as the recent Batman series looked fantastic on this tv.

I have yet to try out the 3D capability or use many of the programs (I have been using programs off of my Roku and Xbox 360)... So still need to spend the time to really make the slight premium over the ST50 worth it.
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VINE VOICEon March 3, 2013
This is by far the most beautiful and functional TV I have ever owned. Set up was as simple as assembling the stand (5 minutes) and getting an extra hand to help me lift the TV onto the stand and then onto the entertainment center. After agonizing over the ST50, I ultimately ended up choosing the GT50 for the 4th HDMI slot and the built-in THX modes. I did not want the hassle of calibrating and I had read other reviews that stated the THX modes were great out of the box, and indeed they are. It was wonderful to be able to use it immediately without the hassle of calibration. Built-in wifi is also a huge plus and was a cinch to set up. It is in the same room as my router and is pulling 35-38mbps which is plenty for HD streaming. Aside from a few tweaks in the settings, such as removing the channels I don't utilize and removing the ads, I was ready to go.

I am utilizing all 4 of the HDMI slots for my PS3, Xbox 360, Apple TV and a spare cable for my HD laptop for PC gaming on the big screen. Everything I have thrown at this TV has looked spectacular. I have been re-watching some of my favorite wildlife documentaries just to experience them in the beautiful HD. Panasonic provides a nifty little adapter for your composite cables as well so that's where the Wii ended up. All of the games and movies we have tried look simply gorgeous. My kiddo is a big Cars fan so we've logged quite a few hours playing Cars 2 on the Xbox and watching Cars and Cars 2 in Blu-Ray and with the 2D->3D conversion on, I feel like I can reach out and touch McQueen!

I had an older Panasonic which was one of the first Smart TVs and didn't have as many useful features as this one. I love the built-in Netflix with the dedicated Netflix button on the remote. It's true that every single device I have plugged into the TV is capable of Netflix as well, but it's so much more convenient to just push the Netflix button and be there with one remote. The Hulu channel is also great and I was very happy to see Amazon Instant Video here as well. Having the ability to rent movies right from the remote is fantastic. You truly get a full suite of video entertainment built right in with the streaming movies, TV shows and movie rentals at your finger tips. Set up for these channels was a breeze and we were up and running with all of them in minutes.

Among the other channels is a Skype channel (can't say I'd use this often, if ever) and an internet browser. I glanced right past the browser initially, automatically assuming it would be plagued by the same issues as all other add-on device browsers, namely slow, clunky interface and lack of flash support. This browser, however, has a speedy interface and working flash!! It's not as good as just plugging in my laptop and using my mouse and keyboard to navigate, but for those times when I just want to check something without having to get up and plug in the laptop, this browser is pretty decent. I was able to load up Hulu.com and start streaming The Office in seconds. I read the top review here on Amazon, however, and noted that he claimed he had to download the browser and enter his credit card info. I did not have to do any of this. When I first went to the Internet section (where the browser and other apps are located) it prompted me to update the software, which I did. It took a few minutes and that was it. I was able to use the browser (which was already present without a separate download) and was not prompted to enter any info of any kind. Just wanted to clear that up!

There is a game/app channel as well, and aside from a brief peek inside, I haven't bothered with it. I am already too invested in other gaming systems to dump more money into another gaming ecosystem. It's nice for those who just want a few casual games, but I would rather buy something off Xbox Marketplace or Steam with my hard-earned money. That's just my opinion! All the other popular apps you would get with the Roku or Apple TV are available for download from the Viera connect store as well. Pandora, Tune In, Ustream and YouTube are my favorites, but I noticed a number of sports and specialty TV apps as well, including anime and adult content (which thankfully can be disabled via settings). Most of these require a paid subscription, but there was one really cute app designed specifically for kids that has a fairly good-sized library of completely kid-appropriate cartoons and is totally free. You won't find Spongebob or anything Disney here as these all appear to be "indie" style and many are only a few minutes long. However, not all of them were unknown as we found several that Nick Jr. airs between shows, such as Danny & Daddy. The interface is super simple so my kiddo really enjoys exploring this channel for new things to watch. All the apps we've used so far are superb. We are planning for an upcoming trip to Disneyland so one of my son's favorite activities is watching videos of the rides on YouTube. The app is really easy to navigate and I really like the auto-play feature that automatically goes to the next related video. The Netflix app also has this feature if you are watching a video from a series. Nifty!

I was skeptical about the 2D->3D conversion upon ordering and assumed I'd probably not use it, opting to only view true 3D content. However, I was pleasantly surprised that it actually works quite well. Clearly it's not going to be as impressive as content that was designed for 3D, but for being an on-the-fly conversion, it's actually pretty great. Everything we have watched or played with the 3D conversion has been really nice. Via our Apple TV, we're even able to play our iOS games in 3D!! My 7-year-old absolutely loves this, as do I. Switching between 2D and 3D is as simple as pushing a button on the remote. Awesomely simple.

My only complaint regarding the 3D is that I can't figure out how to activate it when viewing Panasonic's built-in apps, such as Netflix or Hulu. When you are "in" one of these apps, it disables the 3D button on the remote. I can only imagine that this was by design, but I can't figure out why. So if we want to watch Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Instant Video, etc, in 3D, we have to utilize our Apple TV which will then let me activate the 3D button on the remote once again. If I'm missing something, please let me know! I can't access the 3D button or the Viera tools button when in one of the native apps. Not a huge deal for me as I have access to these via my other devices, but for someone hoping to watch Netflix in 3D right out of the box, they may be disappointed.

It's also worth mentioning that the TV does not come with 3D glasses. I realize that the Samsung TVs do, but the Samsung glasses are also far cheaper than the Panasonic glasses, so it's not really an issue for me. I picked up a pair of the Samsung 3D glasses and they work flawlessly with the GT50. They synced up immediately upon turning them on, no set up required. Very nice. However, if you are planning to use the 3D more than a couple hours a week, I recommend picking up the Panasonic glasses for one reason: batteries! The Samsungs have about a 6 hour battery life, after which you have to throw down $3 for another battery. Gets pricey when you have a family of glasses all running at the same time. I figured with 3 hours of use per day, I would spend the $40 I saved over buying the Panasonic glasses in batteries alone after one month of use. The Panasonics have a USB rechargeable battery that can charge right from your TV. I don't regret buying the Samsung glasses as I'd rather my little ones use the cheaper glasses, but I definitely recommend the rechargeable glasses for more heavy use.

I really appreciate the energy saving options, although the eco picture quality is understandably terrible. I opted to set the automatic off options and stay away from eco mode as it just looks dark and muddy. The THX modes, however, are stunning and are easily accessed and swapped via the Viera tools button, which brings up a little menu at the bottom of the screen with various options, including 2D/3D and the THX/Eco modes. The room I placed the GT50 in is fairly bright throughout the day and on THX Bright Room setting, the colors are bright and vibrant and gorgeous. I was slightly concerned about this as I've heard plasmas tend to struggle in bright light, but not this baby! The blacks are also very deep and dark scenes are surprisingly crisp and clear. One of my peeves from my old TV (a 10-year-old 42" Hitachi) was the complete inability to see dark scenes during daylight. I have room-darkening shades in the room with the Hitachi because I have no choice, but the GT50 laughs at room-darkening shades!

There really isn't anything that I don't like about the GT50, but I was kind of put off by the ads. They are very simple to turn off, but I was just annoyed at being pestered by ads from Panasonic after I had just spent this much on one of their TVs. It popped up a banner on the bottom every time we used the volume buttons. It seemed a little cheesy to me. But again, easy to turn off and you're done!

Love, love, LOVE this TV, and so glad I chose this over the ST50. It was worth it for the time-saving THX modes and extra HDMI port. Buy this baby!! You won't regret it! :)
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on September 16, 2013
So, this was the first and last plasma tv I will ever own. I'm not sure if I have a defective tv or if plasma tvs don't fit my lifestyle. I really enjoy watching sports. One thing that drew me to this particular television was it's outstanding reviews for color and picture. I was aware that image retention (IR) could be an issue with plasma tvs so I did some more research. From what I read, burn in was labeled a thing of the past and IR, while annoying, could be fixed by running a program.

My experiences with this particular television is IR is more of a annoyance. I cannot watch a football game without having the logo of the network remain persistent. Right now ESPN and Fox are always visible. When I say always visible, I mean when the backgrounds are lighter colors. I didn't notice anything of the sort for the first 6 months of owning the television. Earlier this summer I noticed the ESPN logo. I tried running different programs and the built in screen wiping program, but to no avail. A few weeks later, while still running these programs hoping to get rid of the espn, the fox logo appeared.

If you are someone who likes to watch television on networks with logos then I cannot recommend this tv. My guess is if you use if for nothing but watching movies that are full screen and limit watching anything with a static image like any sports, you probably will not experience problems.

The tv actually looks amazing and the features work great. My only complaint is this television does not match up will with my tv viewing interests. Because I like to watch sports, I now have to live with image retention/burn in.

Update: I have spent the last two weeks dealing with Panasonic. They refuse to do anything to help with this issue. Their only suggestions is to run their scrolling wipe bar or display all white or all black on the tv. They cannot say how long it will take to correct or if it will prevent it from happening again.

Just don't buy a Panasonic plasma tv from Panasonic. They have a real problem with this. Read other reviews and you will see. Other companies don't seem to have the same problem with IR and Burn in on their plasma tvs.
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I'm a cable guy...my job is pretty much watching tv all day in different people's houses...I can tell you that the only HD or 3D that have have seen that is as good as this is the VT-50....been fixing cable for 13+ years...in that 13 years I have seen thousands of defective TV's....Samsung is one of the worst...Sony is good...never in 13 years have I seen a bad Panasonic...

Sound sucks...just like every other flat screen...that's why they invented sound bars...still gets five out of five...yeah the picture is that good.

Hint...calibrate the picture for best results, google gt50 calibration and it will walk you through it...every input device will give you a different picture...cablevision, fios, Comcast, timewarner, dish, direct tv are all different compression ratios and contrast ratios...all new TVs should be calibrated for best result
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on December 29, 2012
Lovely picture. Nice 3D. This is the basis for the rating being as much as 3 stars. I am currently annoyed so this review will focus more on the negatives ) the positives have been roundly appreciated by other reviewers.).

--For being a premium plasma display, it should have somewhat better controls access (gray scale, gamma, etc). --The shared component / composite video is completely lame.
--The HDMI2 with ARC port apparently does not correctly interpret the new HDMI (1.4) protocol (have tried several different cables and the external source component is know nt ot be good). It does work fine with HDMI 1.3 cables.

-- IR is the biggest complaint.
Have had the TV for about 3 weeks and Image Retention (IR) is too quick to happen. Note that not only does Panasonic not provide any break-in guidelines, but the (pathetically inadequate) user manual states it should not be a problem. It does not even strongly advise using the anti-image-retention pixel orbiter, however I enabled it to be cautious.
We inadvertently left the TV on the Nat Geo Wild channel for a few hours one day. This channel, like most cable channels, displays its own logo superimposed onto the broadcast material. However the logo goes off during commercials, which occurs for 1 - 2 minutes every 10 - 12 minutes, giving the display a break. So even though leaving on this one channel for a few hours was unintentional, I would still consider this usage well within bounds for normal television viewing.
Immediately we discovered the station logo is now emblazoned in the lower right screen. I enacted the anti-image-retention scroll bar function which is supposed to "wipe" IR. This function displays a scrolling alternating pattern of large white and black blocks moving across the screen. Not only has this done nothing to help eradicate the station logo ghost image (despite running so far for 8 times which was a pain since it turns itself off after 15 minutes), but it made me realize that the fuzziness I thought I noticed mid-screen was really a faint IR of Panasonic's own Smart Viera banner. (You can see IR images well when the white block scrolls over them) I can only think this was on the panel when it arrived as new, since the banner itself displays for only a second or 2 when the panel is first turned on.
I have sent Panasonic an email telling them the panel quality is not fit for the advertised purpose of normal TV viewing and would like it replaced, will see what response comes back.

Also I would note that per other reviewers, the set does have an audible (but tolerable) buzzing noise some of the time.
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on December 24, 2012
Finally! After months of trying no less than three different LCD (LED lit) Tv's - each one either failing completely (Vizio E601i) or suffering from some other fault (a Sharp 60LE640U with pathetic WiFi reception and no way to completely turn off motion smoothing effects resulting in a subtle Soap Opera Effect with all content), I found as close as I think I will find to my perfect TV solution. I actually tried a Panasonic VT25 Plasma a number of years ago and the GT50 is a major improvement over that generation. It's lighter, it's thinner (really no difference in thickness as compared to edge lit LED's) yet it appears to be built just as well with a full metal back and gorgeous aesthetics, unlike the cheap, all plastic backed LCD's today. The one major hesitation I had before my purchase of the GT50 was a fear that the surface would be too reflective for my fairly bright room which has a bank of six foot windows directly in front of the TV, though there is never any direct sun as these windows face south. Unfortunately, looking at the high end Panasonic Plasmas at Best Buy was of no help as they are always on display in the Magnolia cave where there is no way to judge reflection. Fortunately, the reflection issue was not a problem. Yes, the screen is glossy but it has a very good anti-reflection filter built into it which substantially subdues most reflections (though you would not want a direct light source in front, such as a lamp). Furthermore, this Panasonic Plasma is much, much brighter than the older plasmas which helps to overcome indirect, ambient light. So, I do think this is perhaps one of the first plasma generations (the Panasonics) that are suitable for just about any location as long as it's not a ridiculously bright room. If one is dealing with a really bright room, a matte LCD is still the way to go (as a side note, I looked at a number of fairly glossy LCD's, such as those from LG and this Panasonic has less glare than those. The LG glossy/ glass screens seem to have poor to no anti-reflection built in filters. Sharp seems to make the very best matte screens with decent blacks. The high end Sony's also appeared to have a decent anti-reflection filter built in).

Picture quality wise, the Panasonic GT50 is just amazing. Compared to any LED lit LCD I tried, the image displayed by the GT50 just looks so much more dimensional and organic, not artificial like LCD. Simply put, it looks more life-like. Colors are real and natural and blacks are BLACK. None of that awful clouding, flash-lighting or gray blacks one sees with edge lit LED's...nor any issues with washed out images when one is not sitting directly in front. Anywhere is the "sweet spot" with a plasma! The one single drawback I have noticed - and in my opinion it's waay overblown unless you are a big hockey fan!- is that an all white screen will not be white, but gray. Interestingly, if say 60-70% or so of the image is white, it will be displayed as white. Above a certain point, there is a limiter that kicks in which restricts the amount of power used (and a bright screen on a plasma uses the most power). Anyway, the only time I have ever seen this effect is during certain commercials which show an all white image. Never have I observed the effect during an actual movie or TV show. The other issue one hears (literally) a lot about is plasma buzzing. I heard it on the VT25 I tried a few year ago but I have only heard it with the GT50 thus far with my ear at the back of the set, never from my viewing position in front. I have read where others mention hearing it from 12 ft away but I suspect they must have had a defective set. Finally, often mentioned with regard to Plasma's is image retention/ burn in. My set's very new - and I have not noticed any issues yet - but I'm certainly keeping an eye on it. It's said that for the first 100-200 hours of plasma use, one should be careful to not watch programming that does not fill the entire screen, leave static images up for too long, watch programming that leaves a constant logo in the same spot and so on. Anyway, I'm taking all these precautions and will revise my rating if I notice any issues. For now, this TV produces the best image I have ever seen displayed on a TV. Until OLED's are proven and drop dramatically in price (7-10yrs?), I think plasma offers the best obtainable image quality, certainly for the money.
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