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Old 06-26-2011, 11:43 AM
 
2,186 posts, read 7,173,000 times

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Panasonic Viera 50" Plasma HDTV

Rating: 4 out of 5
  • Currently 4.0/5.0

My father had been looking to replace the old twenty year old television set in the family room for some time, and, being a sports fan, had hoped to see the games on the newly offered high definition channels in our area. So, for Christmas, I researched which television might suit his needs the best. After some shopping around and price comparison, we settled on the Panasonic Viera 50" Plasma HDTV. It was three times the size of the previous television and required some rearrangement of the room to accommodate it. I knew very little about screen ratios and had to get a crash course in the features before buying the television.

To start with, the screen is crystal clear, so detailed, that it is like being right at the location of the event. Football games seem as if you are actually in the stadium. The screen ration is two million to one, with a 1080p display, which is actually higher than the human eye can detect. The screen is huge and gives the illusion, in a darkened room, of being in a movie theater. Due to the plasma screen, the unit itself is quite slim and doesn't require the clearance in the back as the old tube sets did, thus making it possible to hang this unit on a wall, although it was placed on a table up against a wall instead on the included table stand. The unit can handle surround sound and the speakers are quite acceptable. Where this unit truly shines for our family is the number of inputs and outputs. With the various gaming consoles, DVD player and camcorder hookups needed, having a unit with 2 composite and 2 component inputs helps juggle the electronic hookup nicely. However, it took some menu navigating before we were able to determine how to use the remote control to toggle between the inputs. Another problem we had was that this particular model did not seem to be supported by the universal remote we owned, and so our goal of being tied to only one remote was not possible, as we need to keep the television remote handy as well.

For the members of the family that are hard of hearing, the closed captioning comes in handy on occasion. The television also handles the HD channels very nicely. We picked up the TV for about $1,200, although it later went on sale for $999. We found this to be about middle of the line in price for the size of the unit screen. It was not the cheapest, though it was not the most expensive either. It comes with a manufacturer's warranty, although we purchased it from Best Buy which also offered its own warranty which included in-home repair should anything go wrong. So far we have not needed it. The unit is terribly heavy, however, and it is recommended that the new owner have professionals deliver and install it. Once it is hooked up, though, it will bring endless hours of enjoyment and we are anticipating football season this year.

Review by professional reviewer, Sep. 1, 2010
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