televisions

Panasonic TC-P50U1 Plasma HDTV Review

50 in.

Fancy (and frequently pointless) special processing features aside, acceptable performance for a decent price.

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Viewing Effects

Viewing Effects Summary
Editorial Note: This is a review of the Panasonic TC-P50U1. Test results are for this model, but should indicate the general performance of other sizes in the TC-PxxU1 series. The TC-PxxU1 series includes the following models: TC-P42U1, TC-P46U1, and TC-P50U1.  Read here for more details on series differences.
{{article.attachments['Panasonic-TC-P50U1-vanity.jpg']}} • Fantastic 77-degree wide angle • Very reflective screen • Testing done using DisplayMate Software
{{article.attachments['tvi-prev.jpg']}} Motion Page 6 of 18 Calibration {{article.attachments['tvi-next.jpg']}}

Viewing Angle*(10.21)*


One of the primary benefits of plasma TVs is the wide viewing angle, far exceeding that of LCD TVs. The Panasonic TC-P50U1 wowed us with a viewing angle of 77 degrees. That's very good, even for a plasma TV. If you need a TV to service a wide room, this might be an appropriate model. It's a good thing, too, because the base does not swivel on this TV. 

Viewing Angle
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Compare the Panasonic TC-P50U1 to other HDTVs
{{article.attachments['Samsung-PN50B430-vanity.jpg']}} {{article.attachments['VIZIO-SV471XVT-vanity.jpg']}} {{article.attachments['Sony-KDL-52XBR9-vanity.jpg']}}
Samsung PN50B430 50 inches Vizio SV471XVT 47 inches Sony KDL-52XBR9 52 inches

 

Reflectance*(4.5)*


The screen on the Panasonic TC-P50U1 is highly reflective. If the scene you're watching is dark and there's a light shining on you or anything else in the room, the TV is basically a mirror. No good. 

 

Video Processing*(2.0)*


There are surprisingly (and refreshingly) few special processing features on the Panasonic TC-P50U1. Since these features tend to make the picture look worse rather than better, we're not complaining. In rare circumstances, you may find use for the features listed below. 

Setting Claimed Function Our Impression
C.A.T.S. Adjusts the brightness and gradation according to the ambient lighting condition. Screen gets brighter when the room lights are on, and darker when the room lights are off.
Video NR Reduces noise, commonly called snow. Little visible effect
MPEG NR Reduces noise of specific digital signals. Appeared to be a sort of edge softening or anti-aliasing

 

All Models in the TC-PxxU1 Series
This is a review of the Panasonic TC-P50U1. The other sizes of HDTVs in this series should be similar in terms of performance and usability. For details about any differences, click on the image to jump to the Series Comparison page.
{{article.attachments['Panasonic-TC-P42U1-120.jpg']}} {{article.attachments['Panasonic-TC-P46U1-120.jpg']}} {{article.attachments['Panasonic-TC-P50U1-120.jpg']}}
Panasonic TC-P42U1 42 inches Panasonic TC-P46U1 46 inches Panasonic TC-P50U1 50 inches
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

Sections

  1. Introduction
  2. Tour & Design
  3. Blacks & Whites
  4. Color Accuracy
  5. Motion
  6. Viewing Effects
  7. Calibration
  8. Remote Control
  9. Connectivity
  10. Audio & Menus
  11. Formats & Media
  12. Power Consumption
  13. Vs Samsung PN50B430
  14. Vs Vizio SV471XVT
  15. Vs Sony KDL-52XBR9
  16. Conclusion
  17. Series Comparison
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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