Nice, very thin, tv--not great for bright rooms
Dec 19, 2009 (Updated Feb 12, 2010)
a Helpful Review
by the Epinions community
This tv looks terrific. It is an utterly amazing 1.2 inches thin, with a classy base, and it swivels. The swivel was one of the main reasons I bought this tv, as it makes it easy to turn it to view from adjoining rooms. I'm not a technical guru, but I did extensive internet research on Plasmas, LCDs and LEDs before I chose this model. It seemed to me that, for the absolute best picture quality, Plasma still reigns supreme, and when you figure in the much lower price for Plasma versus LCDs and LEDs, I decided to take the plunge with this 50 inch plasma.
Recommend this product?
In summary, this is a pretty nice tv, with an excellent picture--it is especially good for sports and movies--but I have it in a very bright room with a large picture window right behind it, and during daylight hours, my 3 year old LCD looks better. But in a dark room, this tv is tough to beat, especially when you consider the price. Pros and cons are discussed below:
Picture Quality: Picture quality is terrific. The colors are very true--much better than my LCD. Fast moving sports like basketball and football are fantastic. My only complaint is that in a very bright room, the picture does not look as vibrant as my old LCD. There is also a lot of glare if there is a light on directly across from the tv. I was told when I purchased this tv that bright rooms/lights were not a problem anymore for Plasma tvs, but evidently this was just a sales pitch--there is definitely still a problem. However, in a dark room, the picture looks fantastic. I have read that a comparable Panasonic is supposedly slightly better in picture quality, but I don't know how the average consumer would ever notice a difference. I compared them side by side before I purchased, and I could not tell any difference whatsoever. Plus, a big downside to the Panasonic--at least for me--is that it does not swivel. An even bigger downside if you want the comparably thin Panasonic model, is that it is almost three times more expensive.
Sound: The sound is not very good. I suppose it is difficult to get good sound out of such a thin panel. My 3 year old (and much thicker) LCD has better sound. But you can easily cure the sound issue if you hook it up to an external sound system (I used the digital audio output, and it works terrific).
Inputs: There are 4 HDMI inputs, along with digital audio output, plus component inputs. The 4 HDMI inputs are nice. Hook up a blu ray disc player through one of the HDMIs, and you'll be amazed at the picture quality. Also, I have read that something about this tv makes playing older DVDs very smooth when compared to many of its competitors. I don't really understand the technology involved, but I have played several older DVDs, and the picture and motion is fantastic.
Energy: This tv is energy star compliant.
Extras: There are a host of extras on this tv that I will never use. However, for all of you tech types out there, there is some sort of internet access--with an adapter you can access the internet directly from the tv. I bought this tv primarily to watch football and movies, and it is terrific for this (as long as I close all of the blinds during daylight hours). I will never use the internet option, but it is there for those who want it.
Glitches: When the tv first arrived, it worked for only a minute or two out of the box, and then the screen went blank, with a bunch of black and white dots and lines. After unplugging it, and plugging it back in, it worked for a few more minutes, and then did the same thing again. Over the next four days, it mostly did not work at all. I ordered a replacement, then, a few days before the replacement was due to arrive, I tried it again, and suddenly it started working, and has now worked perfectly since then. I decided to keep it rather than hassle with the exchange--the store gave me an extended warranty for free for the hassle. Hopefully this glitch never returns.
Summary: For the money, this is a terrific tv. Highly recommended. Hopefully you won't experience the strange glitch I had out of the box.
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Amount Paid (US$): 1538
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