September 5, 2012
- Inexpensive price
- SD card slot
- Very good image quality
- Only two HDMI inputs
- Image washes out in bright lighting
Buyers looking for a new HDTV who don't want to spend a ton of money may want to check out the Panasonic TC-P50U50 50-inch plasma TV. It offers fabulous image quality, deep black levels and an SD card slot for images. It does lack things like 3D and Internet-enabled applications, which have become fairly mainstream recently.
Most of the new HDTVs that come onto the market today have Internet-connected applications, which some users may or may not use. They do offer access to online media services like Netflix, Amazon Instant and others, but they definitely add to the price of the TV. Other features, like 3D, also can begin to increase the price dramatically, so users looking for a cheap TV with solid image quality should look at this Panasonic 50-inch plasma.
The design of the Panasonic TC-P50U50 is very straightforward and matches about 90% of the other HDTVs on the market. It has a glossy black design with an average-thickness bezel. The stand is also glossy black and is very low-profile. The TV measures 46.7 x 3.3 x 28.2-inches (wdh) and weighs 50-pounds.
The remote control, like the TV's design, is also quite standard. While it does lack backlighting, it does have nicely-sized and placed buttons. The TV's menu system is very plain yet functional, which is much better than something flashy and confusing.
When it comes to the TV's features, they are few and far-between, but that is why we like this TV, especially in terms of price. It is 1080p full HD, so you aren't losing any resolution. It has two HDMI inputs (rear only) and one component and composite inputs. Two HDMI inputs means you might be limited depending on your needs, for example, three HDMI inputs can be quickly used by a cable TV box, a DVD player and a video game system.
In addition to those, there is one USB port and one SD card slot, with the latter being more rare on today's TVs. Both of these inputs allow you to display images and play music and videos.
In our subjective image testing, we found the Panasonic TC-P50U50 to have very good image quality, especially for the inexpensive price tag. It had very deep black levels, which always leads to great all-around image quality. While it did seem a tad dimmer when compared to other similar TVs, it wasn't too bad. Color accuracy was very good, including skin tones. The only hiccup in picture quality is in very bright rooms, where the image does wash out to a noticeable degree.
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