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Product Spotlight: Panasonic ST50: Best TV of 2012

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Product Spotlight: Panasonic ST50: Best TV of 2012

2:42 /

The Panasonic TC-PST50 plasma TV is our favorite TV of 2012, delivering the best picture quality for the money of any television we tested.

David Katzmaier from CNET and this is the Product Spotlight. And what is our Favorite TV of the Year? This is the Panasonic ST50 series. I'm sitting next to the 55-inch version. This series also comes in a 50, a 60 and a 65-inch version. So, if you're looking for a small TV, this isn't it but if you're in that great suite spot for the living room or larger den, this is quite an excellent choice. ST50 is a plasma TV, we consider plasma a better choice for a picture quality in general than LED or LCD TVs. We'll get to-- some of the best quality bets and a little bit, but first let's start off with the styling here. This set for a plasma is a pretty slim vessel around the edge of the screen, there's also the sort of a curl like boarder, see through, the stand as well as the base is also a silver color to offset the black around the edge. Also, the style is pretty sleek on this set. Panasonic Smart TV includes Netflix, Amazon video on demand, and Google Plus. It also has Rhapsody for subscription music camp and/or if people just want the free radio action. Of course, plenty of other apps are available on the Smart TV suite. We also like the organization of Smart TV, it's got great big tiles that you can move around and adjust to your liking. What we didn't like is the prevalent advertising within Smart TV. You can actually disable some of the pop-up ads but some of them you can't get rid of and that's kind of a downside of Panasonic system. Other features include 3D that Panasonic doesn't throw in any 3D glasses. You'll have to purchase active 3D glasses. On the upside, this TV is compatible with Samsung's glasses which is inexpensive as $20. Of course, the main reason you really like this set is its picture quality to price ratio. This TV got a 9 in our picture quality evaluations which is right up there with the very best TVs of the year, and better than any LED we've reviewed this year. It sets deep black levels and extremely accurate color as well as its excellent screen uniformity, something that LED TVs cannot boast a [unk] help put it over the top. It also has a very good bright room performance which puts it a little bit above Panasonic's step down less expensive model. So, again the picture is universally better in a lot of lighting conditions. Of course, if it's a very bright room, you might wanna go with LED but on the flip side, this TV will up form pretty much any LED on the market. The ST50 also has plenty of connectivity including 3 HDMI inputs, a pair of USB ports and SD card slot. Really sets the ST50 part, however its performance compared to the other excellent TVs that cost a lot more. It's a lot less expensive than Panasonic's Flagship models. It's also a little bit less than the equivalent Samsung TVs, although this TVs also perform extremely well. The ST50 is our overall value champ that's scored a 10 in that category. So you do get such great picture quality for a relatively inexpensive price. That's a quick look at Panasonic's TCP ST50 series, our Editor's Choice and Favorite TV of the Year. I'm David Katzmaier for CNET.

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