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CNET First Look
Panasonic TC-P54G10Panasonic's 54-inch TC-P54G10 offers superb image quality, plenty of features, and great value, making a strong bid for your big-screen buck.
[ Background Music ] ^M00:00:02 >> Hi, I'm David Katzmaier from CNET.com and I'm sitting with the Panasonic TCP54G10. This is a 54 inch plasma, Panasonic's new size for 2009. It's right in between the 50 and 58 inch model designed to compete with the 55 inch LCDs. And it does that pretty well, but we'll get to that in a sec. First of all, there's a relatively thin black border around the TV with this silver fade along the bottom and hidden speakers in the stand. However, it does not swivel unlike the smaller members of the series. Connectivity is pretty good on the Panasonic. There's two HDMI inputs on the back panel, two component video inputs and some analog inputs. The side panel offers a third HDMI input as well as a PC input. Of course a lot of the HDTVs now have four or more HDMI inputs, but we think three is plenty. In addition to connectivity, this TV's major other feature is VIERA Cast. It allows the Panasonic to go out on the Web and grab some select content including Amazon video on demand. You can watch YouTube videos on here as well as get downloads of the local weather, custom stock information and a news feed. This TV doesn't have as many picture adjustments as a lot of other TVs on the market, however it does have THX mode which is a single preset you can go into and get the picture to look relatively accurate, a lot more accurate than the other modes in terms of color. Of course you can't increase the brightness on the THX mode as much as we'd like and there's a lot of other picture adjustments that are missing. For example, you can't go in and mess with the color temperature, there's no gamma settings. All those are reserved for higher-end models in Panasonic's line. But this one really has the bare bones picture adjustments. When we took the TV in the lab, those picture adjustments did enable us to dial in a relatively accurate picture, but again, starting with THX mode, it's really not as accurate as we'd like to see. The THX did improve the color. The gray scale was also very good and primary colors were better than any of the other modes. We did use THX for our testing, but it is relatively dim so we couldn't get it as bright as we'd like to see. So there is a little bit of a trade off there. Of course you can choose another picture mode and get a brighter picture, but then your color accuracy suffers. But all things considered, the picture quality is very good overall. Black levels are the star here. This TV's deep blacks allow the colors to really shine through and to also have a nice realistic picture, especially in dark scenes and when you turn down the lights. The TV also has a pretty good video processing, although it does not have the ability to take 1080p24 content and correctly interpolate it. So if you're a real stickler for that 24-frame [inaudible] you might want to look for another model. All things considered however, we were very happy with the performance of the Panasonic TCP54G10. I'm David Katzmaier. ^M00:02:31 [ Music ]