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Panasonic TC-P50S2 50-Inch 1080p Plasma HDTV Review

27 June 2010 View Comments Rating: 4.3/5.0
Panasonic TC-P50S2

The Panasonic TC-P50S2 Plasma TV is a medium-priced TV with a decent deep black and color performance and a generous number of connectivity options.  Plasma technology enables this TV to provide a wide effective viewing angle with good uniformity across the screen.  Its clean and simple design will compliment any room or office perfectly.

This TV is part of Panasonic’s VIERA series that uses NeoPDP Plasma technology to power its display.  This TV’s dimensions are 48 x 3.7 x 30.3 inches (W x D x H), and weighs about 66.1 lbs.  Add four pounds to the TV’s total weight with the stand attached.

The TV’s display format is 1080p with a 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio.  This High Definition (HD) capability will make the most of your HD viewing from your Blu-ray device or when playing your favourite game console.  Widescreen modes available include Full, Just, Zoom and Normal modes.  The TV also has a 600 Hz refresh rate that will provide seamless viewing of your favourite action clips.  The fast refresh rate helps in eliminating motion blurriness when playing fast moving scenes.

The TV’s screen has a total resolution of 2073600 pixels.  It also features a new and improved anti-reflective filter to prevent unnecessary glare and reflection from external light sources.  This will provide consistent vivid images in any lighting environment.  This Panasonic TV also features a non-glossy bezel.

Deep black performance is excellent for this Plasma TV.  Plasma technology provides the best deep black levels among the different TV technologies.  This TV can produce deep black levels as low as 0.05 cd/m2.  This enables the TV to produce clear details in shadows and other dark images.  Peak brightness performance, though, is not as impressive.  This TV cannot produce bright whites as well as LCD TVs do.  Overall contrast performance for this TV is above average.  This TV has the capability to display excellent details in a wide range of scenes – from dark to bright.  The TV’s contrast ratio rates at 2000000:1.

This TV can accommodate HDMI, Component and Composite video interfaces.  It supports 480p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p and 1080/24p video input formats.  It is HDTV ready and supports NTSC analog video input signals.

Color performance is excellent for this TV as well.  This TV can produce vivid and life-like images with no errors or color oversaturation.  The screen can display uniform images throughout its surface with no unevenness or blotches.

Audio output is thru the TV’s internal speakers mounted at the left and right of the panel.  The two speakers have a total audio power output of 20 Watts.  There are controls for Balance, Bass and Treble.  Audio output is in Surround Sound format.  This TV has great audio output and controls that will provide excellent audio quality to make the most of your viewing experience.

Connectivity options include a set of ports located at the side and rear of the device.  There are two HDMI (19 pin HDMI Type A), one Composite video input (RCA phono), three Audio line-in (RCA phono x two) and two Component video inputs (RCA phono x three) at the rear of the panel.  There are one Audio line-in (RCA phono x two), one HDMI (19 pin HDMI Type A) and one Composite video input (RCA phono) port located at the side of the device.

This Panasonic TV features an SD memory card slot that can accommodate memory cards to view your still photos, videos or listen to your favourite music.

The TV also has a wide effective viewing angle of about 80 degrees form the TV’s center.  This will ensure consistent color and contrast performance when viewing images at a wide range of angle in front of the TV.

This TV is also ENERGY STAR qualified giving it efficient power consumption in both operational and standby modes.  Power consumption during operation is about 353 Watts and about 0.3 Watts in standby or sleep mode.  The TV comes with a non-swivel stand.

The TV’s menu system is available in three languages – French, English and Spanish.  The Menu system is simple and straightforward making it easy to navigate and remember the groupings.

One of its main competitors in its category is the Samsung PN50C550.  The Samsung TV is a very competitively priced Plasma TV that delivers great performances in both deep black and color accuracy categories.  Deep black performance is equally impressive as that of the Panasonic TV.  The Samsung TV, though, may show some color over saturation especially in the reds.  The Samsung TV also has a native 1080p format ideal for HD viewing, it has a Game mode to enhance the TV’s color and motion performances when playing console games and it is lighter at only 62 lbs.  The Panasonic TV holds an edge in connectivity options with more ports to accommodate composite and component video inputs as well as audio line-in ports.  The Samsung TV is less expensive by $400.

Another Panasonic Plasma TV worth checking is the Panasonic TC-P50G25 TV.  This Panasonic TV also features a 1080p native display format, a 600 Hz refresh rate, a 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio and a similar anti-glare screen that effectively eliminates reflections from external light sources.  This TV weighs less than the TC-P50S2 by almost ten pounds.  The TC-P50G25 also features an identical set of connectivity options, audio performance and an SD memory slot to accommodate memory cards for music and still photo browsing.  The TC-P50G25 though, offers a Skype Video calling feature when connected to the internet and the Viera Image Viewer feature that provides a great interface when browsing images in the memory card inserted to the SD slot.  The TC-P50G25 costs about $300 more than the TC-P50S2.

The Panasonic TC-P50S2 is a good mid-range Plasma TV packed with great performances in key areas to provide excellent viewing pleasure in any environment or with different scenes.  Its great deep black performance and accurate color reproduction will ensure vivid and life-like images all the time.  Its great audio output will also work best with your HD player or any gaming console.  Priced competitively, this Plasma TV is a great investment for a medium to large-sized room or office.

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Technical Specifications

Model Type Plasma
Series S2
Model Year 2010
Screen Size 50″ Class (49.9″ diagonal)
Contrast Ratio Native: 2,000,000:1
Aspect Ratio 16:9
Native Resolution (Number of Pixels) 2,073,600 (1,920 x 1,080)
Moving Picture Resolution 1080 lines
Shades of Gradation 6,144 equivalent
HDTV Display Capability (1080p, 1080i, 720p) Yes
EDTV Display Capability (480p) Yes
Aspect Control Normal, Just, Zoom, Full, H-fill
Full HD 3D No
AR (Anti-Reflective) Filter Yes
600Hz Sub-field Drive Yes
24p Cinematic Playback No
24p Playback(2:3) Yes
Deep Color Yes
x.v.Color Yes
Studio Ref Mode No
Pro Setting No
THX Mode No
ISFccc No
3D Color Management Yes
Sub Pixel Control No
Motion Pattern Noise Reduction Yes
600 Hz Sub-field Drive Yes
Speakers Full-range x 2 (L, R)
Number of Speakers 2
Audio Output 20 W ( 10% THD )
Surround Sound Yes
Integrated ATSC Tuner Yes
VIERA Image Viewer™ Y (JPEG playback)
HDMI Input 3 (1 side)
Composite Video Input 2 (1 side)
Audio Input (for Video) 2 (1 side)
PC Input No
Component Video Inputs (Y, PB, PR) 2
Audio Input (for Component Video) 2
RS232C No
Digital Audio Output 1
HDMI Input-Support Feature Audio Return Channel (Input 1)
Analog Audio Input ( for HDMI/DVI) Yes
LAN Port No
VIERA Link Yes
VIERA® Tools Yes
Game Mode Yes
3D Active Shutter Eyewear No
Clean Touch Bezel Yes
Pixel Orbiter (Anti-Image Retention) Yes
Built-In Closed Caption Decoder Yes
Off – Timers Yes
Trilingual Menu English/Spanish/French
Power Supply AC 120 V, 60Hz
Rated Power Consumption 353 W
Standby Power Consumption 0.3 W
Energy Star Yes
Receiving System ATSC/QAM/NTSC
Operating Temperature 32°F – 104°F (0°C – 40°C)
Safety Standard UL6500/C-UL
Swivel Angle No
Optional Wall-mounting Bracket TY-WK4P1RW
Dimensions (H x W x D) with Stand 32.2″ x 48.0″ x 14.1″
Dimensions (H x W x D) without Stand 30.3″ x 48.0″ x 3.7″
Weight (lbs.) w/Stand 70.5 lbs
Weight (lbs.) without Stand 66.1 lbs.
Carton Dimensions 34.4″ x 53.0″ x 11.2″
Gross Weight [lbs (kg)] 88.2 lbs.
By The TV Review
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