Friday, January 28, 2011

Panasonic VIERA TC-P50GT25 50-inch 1080p 3D Plasma HDTV, Black

This is our second Panasonic plasma. The first is still running strong after 4 years of outstanding performance. Before buying the GT25 we decided to try a top of the line Samsung LED LCD that was an utter disappointment, more on that later.
First I will begin by saying that before I understood 3D technology I had no desire whatsoever to buy a 3D set. It was only after researching the merits of 3D circuitry when viewing in 2D mode that I pulled the trigger on this wonderful TV. Panasonic's 3D circuitry is probably the closest to cinematic 3D of any set on the market. In order to qualify for "True HD 3D" the set must generate 2, 1080P images back to back. Without getting technical, this takes powerful 600Hz circuitry. However, I bought the TV for its superior 2D performance.
At the time I bought the set there was an excellent package deal on the glasses and a Panasonic 3D Bluray player so I ended up with "free" 3D capability. I will say that 3D is fun but not my cup of tea, however my wife loves it. I enjoy it also but don't care much for the required glasses.
A fringe benefit with the new Panasonic Plasma TV's is their low power consumption. In 2D this set consumes less than 150W which is less than half what my older plasma used. Plasmas of this type now easily compete with LCD and LED LCD on power consumption.
On to the TV itself. The GT25 is very handsome with the "piano black" bezel and base, even when turned off. Unpacking, setup and programming were simple and fast. My cable box, upconverting DVD player, and Bluray player all connect to a Yamaha RX-V567 receiver (purchased at the same time - also highly recommended) which connects to the TV via a high speed 3D certified HDMI cable. Over the air TV audio gets routed to the audio receiver via an Toslink optical cable. We are using Bose Lifestyle 5.1 speakers which are now amazing with the Yamaha and the Panasonic.
The GT25 is THX certified which is definitely an asset. We watch our movies in a customized THX setting which gives the films a very cinema-like patina. This is much nicer than what we have seen with the top of the line Samsung LED LCD TV which we returned after a couple days of unhappy viewing, playing with controls, and finally giving up. Plasma is vastly superior in my opinion.
Bluray performance on this set is astonishing - be prepared for goose bumps. The Infinite Black engine is awesome. After watching a couple of "space" movies it becomes apparent that they really mean "infinite!" The blacks are stunningly deep. Colors are very natural and the contrast is superb. Fine tuning the picture is easy on this set.
Overall this TV is a great value and will not disappoint. One can spend more on a higher-end TV but the picture quality will be only marginally superior. There are diminishing returns as you increase the price. This set seems like it hits a sweet spot for price/performance.

They were going for less than half the list price last night, click here to see if they are still on sale.

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