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CNET First Look
Panasonic TC-P50GT25Although it does deliver excellent 2D picture quality, the 3D-compatible Panasonic TC-PGT25 series can't match the overall performance of the competition's best plasmas.
-Hi! I'm David Katzmaier from CNET and this is the Panasonic TC-P50GT25. It's a 50-inch plasma TV. This review will also apply to the 42-inch member of the series. We expect the picture quality would be pretty much identical. This is Panasonic's second 3D TV for this year. It's a little less expensive than their flagship model. We'll get to 3D in a little bit. But first, let's take a look at the style and Panasonic has a pretty sedate look to this television. The only real accent is the sort of brownish bronze strip along the bottom of the panel here. Otherwise, it's all glossy black. There's a swivel stand and little bit of a chrome accent on the bottom of the stand. If you'd look at the TV from the side, you'll see it's about 3-1/2 inches thick so you won't mistake it for an LED TV or even some of the thinner plasmas from LG and Samsung. Panasonic does include plenty features on this TV, but one area that's a little bit less than the competition is the input selection. There are only 3 total HDMI inputs. There's 2 on the back and 1 on the side. There are 2 component video outputs. However, in addition, they have PC slot, although it doesn't attain the full resolution of the TV. You'll also notice there's Ethernet connection. That means, the TV can connect to the internet includes Panasonic's Viera Cast's suite of internet services. The chief among those is Netflix. Panasonic finally got it together to add Netflix on their TVs. That function works as advertised. There's also Amazon video-on-demand and even Skype if you wanna add an optional speakerphone, cam, or accessory. The few other apps including Twitter on this TV and you can use a USB keyboard including wireless if you like. Picture settings on this TV includes a smattering of presets including THX. We did like that you can tweak the THX mode on this TV. There's also a custom mode that offers a few other picture adjustments including a white balance control and a few gamma selections. This TV is purported to have 1080p/24 capability but the compatible 1080p/24 setting 48 Hz is a really not that good. I recommend not using it. Otherwise, the picture quality on the Panasonic was excellent overall. It's anchored by deep black levels among the deepest on the market which enable it to achieve that nice inky color and dark areas and give the picture plenty of pop in all scenes. There's also very good color on this television. Thanks to THX. You just put in THX mode and color will generally be pretty close to reference across the board. As I mentioned, it doesn't do 1080p/24 well, and there's few other picture processing options. So if that's your bag, then Panasonic is probably not the right TV for you. That said, it does have a pretty good antiglare filter for taking care of room lighting, although, again, not quite as good as some of the best Samsungs we've seen. As I mentioned, this TV is 3D compatible although Panasonic does not include the requisite glasses. Those cost 150 bucks per pair. In addition, Panasonic includes a 2D to 3D conversion system that enables you to turn a 2D content into 3D although we check that out. We really weren't all that impressed by it. Turns the 3D picture quality of the Panasonic is actually a step behind some of the other plasmas we've tested this year, although a little bit better than a lot of the LCDs at least in terms of reducing crosstalk. That's the ghostly outline you'll see around some 3D objects. The GT25 does introduce a little bit more artifacts than we've seen which include this sort of more artifacts in moving lines. So that's kind of a knock against 3D picture quality. However, we did appreciate the deep black levels and the relatively accurate color extended into 3D, although color is not as good as some of the Samsung 3D TVs we've seen. That's a quick look at the Panasonic TC-P50GT25. I'm David Katzmaier.