The Good Relatively inexpensive; decent black-level performance; solid grayscale accuracy; fingerprint-resistant finish; energy-efficient for a plasma.
The Bad Inaccurate primary colors and gamma; subpar bright-room quality; last year's Panasonic plasmas lost black-level performance over relatively short periods of time; sparse picture controls; uses significantly more power than LCDs.
The Bottom Line Though it's not without its performance gaffes, the midrange Panasonic TC-PS2 series of plasma TVs still offers very good image quality for the price.
Panasonic Viera TC-PS2
One of the big advantages of plasma compared to LCD and LED-based TVs has nothing to do with off-angle viewing or picture uniformity--it centers on simple bang for the buck. The S2 series from Panasonic offers plenty of said bang, with mostly solid picture quality and none of the extra frills you might not want to pay extra for. On the downside, we'd have liked to see a few more picture tweaks, and people with bright rooms with no light control will want to think twice before drafting an S2--as will those worried about the 2009 black level debacle. Even with those caveats, however, the Panasonic TC-PS2 series remains a great value among flat-panel TVs.
Series information: We performed a hands-on evaluation of the 46-inch TC-P46S2, but this review also applies to the other screen sizes in the series. All sizes have identical specs and according to the manufacturer should provide very similar picture quality.
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