The Panasonic Viera TC-P50GT25 is a 50-inch plasma 3D HDTV that has excellent 2D and 3D performance, Internet connectivity and good quality THX sound. The color quality and black levels are also among the best we've seen. And it won't break the bank, but it is slightly unattractive looking and doesn't have built-in Wi-Fi.
With most HDTVs that we review at TechReviewSource, we usually comment somewhere at the beginning of the review at how sleek and stylish the design of the TV is, but with the Panasonic Viera TC-P50GT25, we can't say that at all. In fact, it's one of the most drab-looking TVs that we've ever seen. Panasonic tried to put some bronze and silver accenting on the black body, but it's just too small. All that aside, Panasonic definitely put their attention on the TV's performance, because that's where it really shines.
In total, the Panasonic Viera TC-P50GT25 measures 48 x 30.3 x 3.5-inches (whd) and weighs 64 pounds with the stand. While plasma TVs are slightly thicker than most LCD or LED LCD TVs, most buyers won't have an issue with the extra inch or so of thickness unless you're mounting it on a wall. The front of the unit has zero buttons or controls besides an ambient light sensor for automatic backlight adjustment. The basic controls are located on the left side in addition to an SD card slot for images (JPEG), audio (MP3) and videos (AVCHD & MPEG-2).
In terms of connections, the Panasonic Viera TC-P50GT25 leaves us wanting a little more with only 3 HDMI ports (1 on the side) because having 4 is the standard for 50-inch TVs. Besides that, you also get 2 composite video/audio (1 on side), 2 component video/audio, digital optical audio out, a PC input, 2 USB ports, and 1 Ethernet port. One of the two USB ports is made of the wireless adapter, which is sold separately and allows you to connect the TV to the Internet via a wireless network. There's also a built-in TV tuner that supports ATSC/NTSC/QAM broadcasts.
When connected to the Internet, the Panasonic Viera TC-P50GT25 can access Netflix Instant Streaming, Amazon Video On Demand, YouTube and a few other small video streaming services. While handy to have, it isn't anything that's nearly as exhaustive as on other HDTVs.
Included in the box is all the usual equipment, including a fully-backlit remote control, but it only has the ability to control the TV set and no other additional devices. Panasonic, rather disappointingly, doesn't include any 3D glasses with this TV set, which means you'll have to buy active shutter 3D glasses for about $120-150 each. Remember, in order to use the 3D capabilities of a 3D HDTV, you must have a 3D video source, either from a 3D Blu-ray DVD player or from 3D channels from your local cable/satellite provider.
The menu system on the Panasonic Viera TC-P50GT25 is one that we really liked, especially for its simplistic layout. The menu allows you to tweak virtually every aspect of the picture and audio quality. There's also a THX setting for audio, which gives you very good audio quality for 2D TV viewing and 2D movie watching (3D THX isn't supported).
Performance with this 3D HDTV was also very good, especially in the black levels and color department. Plasma TVs are still much better than even the best LED LCDs at giving you deep and uniform black levels across the entire screen and because of that, colors really pop. The TV uses Panasonic's Infinite Black technology, which gives you 5,000,000:1 native contrast ratio. The screen's resolution is 1920 x 1080-pixels, which means it is 1080p full HD compatible. The screen does have a little glossy look to it, which does show some slight glare from a room's lighting, but it isn't anything horrible.
The 3D image quality when viewing 3D Blu-ray discs was very good with little to no blurring or crosstalk present. The very vivid colors also lent to a fantastic 3D image. If you wish, you can also convert 2D content to 3D via built-in conversion, but it isn't anything worth really using (as expected).
Regular 2D content displayed with equally impressive results, again with vivid colors and excellent grayscale tones. Watching standard definition TV also was good too, with only slight jagged edges and blurring.