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What is the Panasonic TH-50PM50U?

by chrwel / November 5, 2005 4:47 AM PST
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What is the Panasonic TH-50PM50U?
by jcrobso / November 5, 2005 12:37 PM PST
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by chrwel / November 6, 2005 1:17 AM PST

Is it the same thing as a TH-50PHD8UK, if not whatis the difference?

Thanks for your help

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Card slots and PC Connections
by wressler / November 7, 2005 10:16 PM PST

Have you had any success in learning if this unit has these?

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Comparison to Costco Model and Conclusion
by smkilcoyne / November 10, 2005 5:37 AM PST


As you can see from the spec table below, the Costco model, TH-50PM50U, has the same weight (99lbs.) as the Panasonic TH-50PX50U. The TH-50PM50U also has the exact same dimensions as the TH50PX50U and the same color scheme (silver & black) for the cabinet/enclosure. According to Costo's website, the TH50PM50U also has BBE surround sound, which is only on the TH-50PX500U, but I'm guessing this is a misprint, which has happened on before. So I would say that this TH-50PM50U is a derivative to the TH-50PX50U. I'm not sure of the differences of which there maybe none, since this could be a special model just for Costco. This is a G8 (Generation Cool panel, so it is a safe bet that the picture will be the same as all the other G8 plasma TVs from Panasonic, which all use the same panel and differntiate via other items.

It seems like a pretty good price, but there are probably lower prices. However, Costco has a very good return policy. They refunded my shipping costs when I returned my defective plasma TV.


===== TABLE =======================================

Manufacturer Panasonic Panasonic Panasonic
Model TH-50PX50U TH-50PX500U TH-50PHD8UK
Our Price See Product Page for Details See Product Page for Details See Product Page for Details
Screen Size 50 in. 50 in. 50 in.
Native Resolution 1366 x 768 1366 x 768 1366 x 768
HDTV? Yes Yes Yes
Contrast Ratio 3000:1 3000:1 3000:1
Brightness Not Specified By Manufacturer Not Specified By Manufacturer 550 cd/m2
Warranty 1 Year Warranty 1 Year Warranty 1 Year Warranty


(W x D x H) 49.48" x 32.05" x 3.8" 52.25" x 33.125" x 4.625" 47.6" x 28.5" x 3.7"
Weight 99.21 lbs. 114.60 lbs. 94.80 lbs.


Data Signals (N/A) VGA, SVGA, XGA VGA, SVGA, XGA, SXGA, UXGA (compressed)
Video Signals
Video Resolution 480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i 480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i 480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i
Power Supply 100-120V @ 50-60Hz 100-120V @ 50-60Hz 100-120V @ 50-60Hz


Stand Included Included Optional
Speakers Built In Built In Optional
Audio Power 8W x 2 13W x 2 8W x 2
Bezel Color Black & Silver Black & Silver Black


Composite Video 2 3 1
S-Video 2 3 1
Component Video** 2 2 1
Component RGB** None None None
Computer (VGA) None 1 1
DVI Digital None None None
HDMI Digital 1 1 None


Composite Video 1 1 1
S-Video None None None
Computer (VGA) None None None
===== END OF TABLE ================================

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Probably identical
by gregger / November 10, 2005 10:23 PM PST

Thanks for the comparo!

I have a feeling these two sets are completely identical, except maybe for some minor trim item, or more likely a difference in the remote's control layout.

It's quite a testament to Costco's power in the market, though...I've done extensive research on this model, and EVERYONE BUT COSTCO carries the same stock item (TH-50PM50U). It's hard to imagine that Costco was more important to Panasonic than, say, Best Buy or Sears, but they are the only retailer that seems to have backed Panasonic into a corner and forced them to cough up a special model number.

Obviously the intention is to make it hard for us to "price match" at another retailer.


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Panasonic 50-inch flat screen from Costco
by gfbunting / February 1, 2006 2:51 AM PST

I recently purchased the Panasonic model from Costco and had it installed a week ago. Everything went smoothly, from ordering on the web to delivery to installation. We thrilled with the picture quality when watching HD programming. Only one problem: The picture is very grainy, fuzzy and poor when watching non-HD channels. Much worse than our regular TV. Is this standard? Is there anything we can do to about this? Note: We have Adelphia cable DVR box with HD set up and cables. Thank you.

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by tkdr / February 6, 2006 11:31 AM PST

It doesn't have a built-in tuner; it's an HD-ready monitor. The base is also different, but it otherwise appears the same as the TH50PX50U.

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OOPS: They ARE different, in the following ways:
by gregger / November 11, 2005 12:16 AM PST

Thanks goodness for where all the techies hang out!

You can check out some threads on the Costco-only model there, but here's the important stuff:

The PM50U is a slightly stripped down version of the PX50U. It does NOT have built-in NTSC and digital ATSC/QAM tuners, nor does it have a cablecard slot, nor a optical audio output.

The ATSC/QAM tuner lets you receive over-the-air widescreen HDTV broadcasts, when using an optional HDTV antenna.

If you are using a set-top box and a separate audio system, then these things may not matter to you. It has a dark gray bezel instead of a black bezel, probably to help differentiate it.

Otherwise, they are the same...including the all-important 8th generation plasma display.

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Here's a comparison
by rhaywardiii / January 13, 2006 8:12 AM PST
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Panasonic 50pm50u (Costco) vs. 50px50u
by joey_h3 / July 24, 2006 10:18 AM PDT
In reply to: Here's a comparison

Thank you for the information on the difference between these two sets. I note the discussions occurred somtime ago but I am now finding the PX on pricealert for under $2500 and Costco is selling the PM for $3300. I have never purchased such a large ticket item on the web and assume some vendors are more reliable and are truly selling new products for the american market. Any suggestions on who they are or how to obtain vendor customer satisfaction ratings?
I learned that the px500u is all black which I prefer are there other differences over the px50u?
Thanks in advance for any help I may receive. I have learned that buying a television today is more differicult then buying a car.

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by mpante / November 21, 2005 1:20 AM PST

The TH-50PM50U is a true hd-tv because it displays 720p resolutions. However it does not have an over the air hd tuner, meaning you will need a cable box to receive programming. Therefore, it would probably be called an hd monitor. If you want the over the air hd broadcasts than you should opt for the px model. Otherwise, I believe this model has some better options like 3d surround sound.

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It is not realy a ''TV'', it is just an HD Display Monitor
by viirs / December 1, 2005 7:59 PM PST

Costco didn't make it clear that this model TH-50PM50U is not really a ''TV''. It is lacking of a stand TV tuner - NOT JUST LACKING OF AN ''HD TUNER''! So it is just an HD Plasma Monitor. I found this out after receiving my order, and after calling both Costco and Panasonic.

Although you can get TV signals by connecting it to a VCR, the additional overhead in setting up & need of VCR remote control are certainly awkward. Costco was really misleading costomers on the product from the Web page by calling it a ''Plasma TV''.

For what it worth, CircuitCity has the up-line model TH-50PX50U, which is definately a ''TV'' and current at the price $3,599 which I think beats Costco on price and performance considering it has a built-in HD tuner and no shipping cost. I'm considering returning TH-50PM50U to Costco and buying TH-50PX50U from CircuitCity for overall value.

Hope it helps.


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by sabidude / January 4, 2006 10:17 PM PST

But, Isnt the bottom line that if you have the exterior HD tuner thru your cable company this TV/Monitor will have as good a picture as any available? Without getting into 1080p.

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if you have the exterior HD tuner thru your cable
by jcrobso / January 4, 2006 11:51 PM PST
In reply to: Panny

Yes, as long as you are aware of this fact your OK.
This is a high quality plasma with 1280x720p resoultion. John

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Dish Network with 50PM50U
by ltgunns / January 5, 2006 4:06 AM PST

I appreciate the research you have done on this. I'm going to be getting Dish Network with the appropriate HD box. So I should be fine with the Costco model (Model TH-50PM50U) correct?) Please advise. Thanks!

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Detailed differences between 50PM50U and 50PX50U
by real spiro / January 5, 2006 1:52 PM PST

None of the posts so far has all the differences straight. Besides the tunner and cable card, there are following additional differences:
1. Speakers seem to be different types judging from the different frequency range. (not important to me)
2. 50PM50U does not have a V-chip program blockout
3. 50PM50U does not have built-in closed caption decoder
4. 50PM50U does not have video input labeling
5. Neither model has the BBE ViVA HD3D sound. (The upper level 50PX500U has it). Since Costco claims its 50PM50U has it, they are misleading.

What I really care is whether these two model have the same response time. It seems this information is no where to be found. Judging from the generally good time for plasma display, and they are both G8, I can only guess they should be both good on that if not the same. Any way #3 and #5 listed above plus the tuner would make me favor the 50PX50U, if I can get $3599 in Bestbuy. Keep in mind if you have the rewardzone membership, you get additional 5% saving which will bring the price difference even smaller.

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Costco did the same with their 42" Panasonic EDTV plasma
by RoadRunner6 / January 5, 2006 5:47 PM PST

We went thru the almost identical discussion about Costco's TH-42PM50U plasma. It that case, we were talking about an EDTV set.

Here we have Panasonic's 50" HDTV series of plasmas which normally include the following models:

1.....TH-50PHD8UK which is their all black commercial/industrial model which comes without speakers, stand or tuner.

2.....TH-50PX50U which is their consumer version with speakers, stand and tuner.

3.....TH-50PX500U which is the same as the above 50U except with a few more non-essential(to some) bells and whistles and of course a higher price.

The three models above and the one below have the same panel glass and basic inside circuitry including their scaling ciruits. There are some connection, features and bells and whistles differences.

4.....TH-50PM50U this is a special model number that Panasonic is producing for Costco (I haven't heard of it being spotted at any other mass marketers). It is probably the TH-50PX50U without the tuner and possibly a few other minor differences. This is apparently a marketing move to give Costco a different model number with a cheaper price than the dealers who carry the PX50U and more expensive PX500U. I have actually heard that the PX50U and PX500U are now somewhat hard to find and that new models will be out this spring? I have a friend here in the Seattle area who just bought the PX50U. He had to search around to find a dealer with it in stock.

This model at Costco is identical to the other Panasonic models in picture quality when fed the HDTV signal from the outside tuner.

Sounds like the special sales prices at the other dealers on the PX50U might be a good deal.

Hope this helps clear out the fog a little.

RR6 (Chuck)

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Lower price on this Costco set, Effective January 9th
by RoadRunner6 / January 5, 2006 7:32 PM PST

I don't think this was mentioned above. Costco is giving a discount of 300 clams off their previous price on the TH-50PM50U effective January 9th.

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TH-50PX50U at
by BASKRITHI / January 6, 2006 8:21 AM PST

I know the price of the 50PM50U model is really good at next week but did you look at the price of 50PX50U at $3095. Just $96 more.

The only catch though is that they don't have stock and have a backlog from Oct last year or atleast that is what I heard when I called their customer support. They said that Panasonic missed their deliveries the last couple of times. They also mentioned to me that we could pre-order with them by giving the credit card information but will not be billed until the stock arrives at which point they will ask us if we want to buy it.

I was also told that it is not clear if Panasonic will any longer deliver the PX50U model anymore since now they have envieled their 60U and 600U models in the CES2006 at Las Vegas. It is expected to be available in market in April and the price looks like will be the same as the 50U or slightly cheaper initially and go down further when the market gets competetive.
However I couldnot find any articles yet on the 60U and 600U on the web.

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More info on 60 and 600U
by BASKRITHI / January 6, 2006 11:51 AM PST
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by RoadRunner6 / January 6, 2006 1:45 PM PST

Thanks for the link. Good info!

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Now listed on the panasonic site
by tbernstein / January 10, 2006 12:21 PM PST
In reply to: Thanks BASKRITHI
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Does this model come with a base?
by hlc216 / January 13, 2006 2:59 AM PST

This string is great. I just stumbled upon it and it has alot of useful information.

Does anyone know if this Costo model has a base so I can sit it on my entertaiment center? I do not want to mount it on the wall and I would like to know if I need to add the price of an optional base to my bottom line price.

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(NT) (NT) Panasonic web site indicates it does. Check it out.
by Riverledge / January 13, 2006 9:01 AM PST
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