Cons: Just one. I wish the clock and the channel labels set themselves automatically!
I purchased the Panasonic PT-53X54 in November 2004 so this is my six month evaluation of the product.
The PT-53X54 has a street price of around $1,700 give or take $200 or so plus sales tax and delivery fees. CompUSA advertised the PT-53X54 in a two-day sale with limited quantities for $999. Instead of fighting the crowds at CompUSA I "Froogled" (Google) the part number and found out that Sears also carries this item. Sears retails the item for $1,400, but they price match and credit you 10% of the difference. I was close to buying the unit online, but I decided to walk into my local Sears to see if I could haggle a better deal. I was in luck - they were offering FREE DELIVERY! I bought it on the spot.
When the PT-53X54 arrived the installers had it out of the box and into my media room in under 15 minutes. The quickly programmed the auto tuner and set the auto convergence. They told me to keep the shipping container for two or three weeks in case the unit needed to be returned to Panasonic.
The overall appearance on the Panasonic PT-53X54 is modern with a matte silver finish. The unit's design allows it to placed into a corner location /\. Panasonic also included a top mounted shelf (25# limit) to place your other multimedia equipment.
The illuminated remote will control 8 additional pieces of AV equipment. I don't have any major beef with the remote, but it's just not the right multi-remote for me. All the function operate correctly, but my issue is more or less the layout. This Christmas I'm asking Santa for the Sony RM-AV2500 remote it's got everything I want. There's nothing wrong with the remote that comes with the PT-53X54 I'm still using mine. Panasonic could have done a better job with the layout for this remote.
Another reviewer commented that the speakers were weak I believe the speakers are adequate. I didn't purchase the PT-53X54 to replace my surround system. My KEFs sound amazing at $250 each. The PT-53X54's internal speakers are more than sufficient to tune in most programs when you don't feel like turning on the 5.1 sytem. I can hear the internal speakers clearly from the next room, they don't cut it when you play "Band of Brothers" from DVD.
The tuner does an excellent job with standard cable [Comcast]. At first I thought the picture was cruddy, but I have attributed the dirty signal to Comcast. Some channel's are clean (A&E, BRAVO, ESPN etc.) and some are a little dirty (some distant UHF/VHF broadcast channels, TNT, CNN). I replaced the RF cable from the cable drop with quad-shield RG6 and installed a ChannelPlus amplifier with active-return (for my cable modem) and the picture quality improved dramatically.
The picture quality for the video inputs is tremendous. I'm a DVD Man. My DVD is connected via component cables and the direct input is brilliant and free of artifacts. I couldn't ask for a better image.
The PT-53X54 has three presets for image adjustment. The "CINEMA", "STANDARD" and "VIVID" settings can be adjusted independently. I purchased a setup disk on eBay that contains test patterns and instructions. I use the CINEMA setting for Dramatic DVDs; the VIVID setting for Children's DVDs and Children's Programing (Cartoons); and the STANDARD setting for Cable TV.
The channel labels are great. It's east for your guests to navigate when they know what channel they're watching. Panasonic loaded most of the network abbreviations into the PT-53X54 for you - all you need to do is select from the list. If it's not in the list you can make it up - you get up to five letters/symbols. My gripe with the labels is that I ran out of memory so some of my channels don't have labels. Where I live Comcast only uses channels 2-18 & 27-77 so you figure there should be plenty of memory considering the PT-53X54 tune 100+ channels, but I still get a "Memory Full" message.
The PT-53X54 also has a clock feature, but you have to set it manually [Bummer]. If my 4-year-old Toshiba VCR can set it own clock and tell me the network and the title/episode number of each show why cant Panasonic also include that feature? Oh well - I'll have to live with it.
Here's some of the technical features:
* 10-bit 60MHz A/D Image Processing
* 165-Point Digital Convergence
* 9-Point Convergence Fine Tune (Adjustable)
* 2-Tuner P-I-P / Split Screen Display
* BBE High Definition Sound - HDTV Only
* MTS Stereo with DBXA? Noise Reduction - Surround Sound
* Bass/Treble/Balance Controls - Variable/Fixed Outputs
* HD Enhancer Wideband Video Amplifier
The PT-53X54 includes one HDMI input, two HD component inputs, four A/V inputs (one in front), and three S-video inputs (one in front).
* 2 - ON/OFF Timers
* Favorite Channel Memory
* On-screen Channel Labels (Preset & User Defined)
* On-screen Video Input Labels (Preset)
* Previous Channel Return
* Closed Caption
* V-Chip & Parental Lock