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Fujitsu P50XHA10 review: Fujitsu P50XHA10

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The Good Solid color decoding and black-level performance; independent input memories; DVI input; two component-video inputs.

The Bad Expensive; some low-level video noise and false-contouring artifacts.

The Bottom Line Offering outstanding performance for a plasma, this 50-inch Fujitsu is our new favorite in its size class.

Visit manufacturer site for details.

8.0 Overall
  • Design 8
  • Features 8
  • Performance 8

Review Sections

With each new generation of plasma TVs that manufacturers produce, video performance continues to improve and prices keep dropping. Fujitsu's 50-inch 50XHA10US panel is an excellent example of both of these trends. It is simultaneously the best in its class in terms of performance and, with prices dipping far below its $10,999 list price, the most affordable of any 50-inch panel on the market as of this writing. If you can afford the luxury of a big, HDTV-capable plasma TV, the 50XHA10US will pay you back with an impressive picture.

Note: Fujitsu says that it will not honor its standard three-year parts-and-labor/one-year plasma-element warranty for panels purchased from unauthorized retailers, which are typically found online. Click here or call 888/888-3424 to find an authorized retailer. The 50XHA10US is just about all screen, with only a thin, silver border surrounding its 50-inch-diagonal glass panel. Despite the very large screen, this set measures just 3.7 inches deep, so it mounts on a wall with ease. Unlike some of its competition, it lacks built-in speakers and doesn't include a stand. Fujitsu sells a $399 (list) flat wall mount and a $499 (list) tabletop stand separately.

A column of buttons nestles discreetly along the right side of the screen, allowing access to major controls and the menu system. Fujitsu has improved the remote somewhat from earlier designs, and we found it straightforward and easy to use. The 50XHA10US has a native resolution of 1,366x768 pixels, which is as high as that of any plasma available. This panel will therefore display every pixel of a 720p HDTV source but, like all current plasmas, it doesn't have the resolution to handle 1080i.

Like most monitor-inspired plasma sets, the 50XHA10US lacks a built-in tuner and offers little in the way of conveniences. However, it does have some picture-enhancing features that are well worth mentioning. Most notable is the internal scalar's 3:2 pull-down mode; Fujitsu calls it Advanced Video Movement, and it's designed to eliminate motion and jagged-edge artifacts from film-based sources such as most DVDs. We also appreciated the input-memory feature, which lets you customize the picture for each source and retains the adjustments when you switch inputs.

Burn-in is a concern for plasma owners; this effect can occur when static images are left on the panel for long periods of time and become permanently etched into the screen. Fujitsu provides adjustable sidebars, which can be changed from black to a near full white to help prevent burn-in with non-wide-screen, 4:3 programs.

This set's connectivity options are more comprehensive than those of earlier designs. It offers the new Digital Visual Interface (DVI) with HDCP copy protection--the only Hollywood-sanctioned digital interface for use with HDTV set-top receivers. The back panel also has two broadband component-video inputs that will accept 480i, 480p, 720p, and 1080i HDTV sources; one S-Video input; and one composite-video input. Also on tap is an RS-232 control port for use with Crestron and AMX touch-panel remote-control systems. We weren't surprised to find that the 50XHA10US's default picture settings arrive in what we like to call torch mode--everything was set way too bright. After a full ISF-style calibration for both NTSC and HDTV sources, the panel's picture quality greatly improved. We managed to get quite close to the NTSC standard of 6,500 degrees Kelvin through the entire range of the grayscale. The color decoder in this panel is quite good, with little or no red push, which resulted in extremely lush, saturated color from DVD and HDTV sources.

The internal AVM scalar in this Fujitsu does a very good job of fitting incoming images to the TV's native pixels. We looked at the opening of Star Trek: Insurrection and found that this set's 3:2 pull-down worked well. The processor rendered this scene cleanly, with a smooth, filmlike look and virtually no motion artifacts.

After calibration, we kicked back and watched some of our favorite reference DVD movies. Chapter 31 of Charlotte Gray looked excellent, displaying deep, richly saturated colors and very natural-looking skin tones. Chapters 4 and 5 of Monsters, Inc. also looked crisp and clean, with extremely vibrant color.

HDTV sources from Time Warner Cable were excellent as well. In particular, PBS's channel 713 looked spectacular, especially on bright scenes. The 50XHA10US reproduces very good blacks in comparison to other plasma panels on the market but still falls short of true black, which is obtainable with only a properly configured CRT display. There is some visible low-level noise and slight false-contouring artifacts when viewing any material at or near black. With that said, this Fujitsu is as good in black-level performance as our current reference plasma panel, the 42-inch Panasonic PT-42PD3-P.

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