With an amazing picture quality, the Panasonic Viera TCP50ST50 LED TV justifies its heavy price tag. People do not spend much on televisions. Even if they do, they expect a great number of results in return. However, as far as the Panasonic Viera series is concerned, it does work as advertised.
At the time of writing this Panasonic Viera TC-P50ST50 review, I do not own this TV yet. How am I reviewing it? I spent hours on the internet because I wanted to bring something fresh to people who wish to buy a giant Plasma screen TV. My intent is not about preselling; it’s more about helping you read some stuff about this TV that doesn’t sound like a rehashed review.
That being said, I do wish to receive a spare Panasonic TC-P50ST50 unit. If any of the company reps is reading this, guys I wouldn’t mind you sliding down my chimney with a gift. The general consensus about Panasonic Viera series is made up of mixed reviews. Some people are extremely satisfied, while others bitch about its performance issues.
There is a separate percentage of customers, or perhaps other company employees, who would revert to shitty marketing tactics for no apparent reason. Also, there is a class of individuals that can’t be satisfied. Remember this: you can never make everyone happy.
Why Panasonic Viera TC-P50ST50 TV and Not any Other Brand?
Let’s go back to the consensus thing. The general notion is that the TCP50ST50 has an excellent picture quality. After all, it is a television and its primary purpose is about picture performance. You are spending your money to at least get good visual performance in return.
So we have it settled now, this flat screen Panasonic TV has a sublime picture quality. Let’s move on to the sound related aspects. If you are thinking of NOT buying this TV just because you’ve heard from someone saying, “Hey dude, don’t go for the Panasonic Viera TC-P50ST50 television because its sound sucks.”
Well, it is a TV. Televisions do not have high grade sound output. To get the best audio, you’re going to have to spend a decent amount of money on an AV Receiver and a Home Theater Audio System. The AV receiver acts as a medium between your audio system and the television.
Panasonic TCP50ST50 in Unopened Box Packaging – Amazon Images
You can never connect your home theater speakers directly to the television. Technically, you can, but it will not generate audible output. Normally, the speakers need to have an external power source. I hope I have cleared some of the concepts about the so called “low sound” quality.
Good Stuff about Panasonic Viera TC-P50ST50 50 Inch Plasma TV:
- Black color is indeed black. No greys, no “tint” of black, but pure black color. Especially when you turn off the TV screen, the first few seconds are crucial to helping you notice the black on screen color. You can even turn your room lights off to see this color shade to its full potential.
- By default/ straight out of the box, the Panasonic Viera TCP50ST50 picture quality touts out noticeable motion smoothness. Overall, the colors are vibrant, except for the fact that when you look at the picture dimensions, the edges look a little thinner at the ends.
- Last year, Panasonic released its Panasonic Viera TC-P50ST30 model. Given its screen size, this TV had bezel problems. It was a little thick. I want you to know that whenever you are buying an LED/LCD Television, always go for a thinner one screen bezel – this way it is better. Fortunately for the Panasonic Viera TCP50ST50, the bezel is thin.
- Some people have complained about the plastic covering around the Viera TC-P50ST50 TV screen. These edges are 1.5 inch thick. But I am alluding their thickness to an added layer of protection around the screen. To be honest, the edges are sensitive and I wouldn’t want you to see them getting nicked, or damaged.
- The Anti glare/ anti reflective screen property in Panasonic Viera TC-P50ST50 offers better viewing. Call it undistracted viewing, which was only made possible after their tech guys worked their asses off on the screen quality.
Firsthand Experience with the Panasonic Viera TC-P50ST30:
Again, I would like to remind you that I do not own the TV. I just watched a couple of videos and surveyed around on the internet. From what I have gathered, this TV does not have any buttons on the front panel. All you will see is a remote control sensor with an ambient glow.
The main buttons of the Panasonic Viera P50ST30 are on the right side of the bottom panel. This panel is easily accessible. You will find power, volume, channel control and menu buttons on this panel. The only time this panel is needed is when you have lost the remote control or your remote control batteries are dead.
However, if you are considering buying a universal remote control, I’d recommend the Logitech Harmony 550 series universal remotes. They are easy to set up; the 550 series model comes with touch screen with multiple device support going on.
On the left back side of the Panasonic TCP50ST30 model, there is an assortment of 3 HDMI ports, 2 USB Input ports and probably a DVI/ VGA connector. I said probably, because I haven’t personally examined this TV yet. But from what I am guessing, the three HDMI ports should be more than enough, since HDMI is the latest display standard.
Back Panel View of the Viera 50 Inch TV – 3 HDMI and 2 USB Ports
Out of these 3 HDMI ports, one of them has an arc look. You can also use the USB to directly play media files. If you having trouble accessing USB media or it is not running automatically, you can go to the Viera TC-P50ST30 main menu options and scroll to the media controls from there.
Now let’s talk about the default colors. I made a slight mention of them damn colors earlier in this article. Straight out of the box, if you have not tinkered with any color settings and just gone through the channel setup, the color tones on the Panasonic Viera TC-P50ST30 will look natural. In fact, they are more about non natural, with a slight tint that calls for adjustment.
Maybe I am not used to watching stuff on a Plasma TV, so I wouldn’t know much about how the display is supposed to look like. In case you doubt my expertise in the LED/ LCD business, let me assure you that I do have a rich background. I have dealt with monitors and as a side business, I am keeping Samsung, Sony and Toshiba LCDs. They are big. The Sony Bravia is in the TV lounge, the Samsung LED is in my room and the Toshiba panel is in my brother’s den.
What was I saying? Oh yeah, the Panasonic Viera TCP50ST30 television display. I prefer Cinema mode when watching movies, and Vivid color settings when playing video games. Both the PS3 and Xbox 360 look crisp clear, with sharp colors that look pleasing to the eyes. The Game Mode is not that much impressive because whenever I switch from Vivid color to the Game Mode, it kind of looks dull.
Most of the fellas, I know, have switched to HD movies because they look too damn good. That being said, there are people who are still stuck on the SD movies. Well I have to break it to you; SD movies look good on the TC-P50ST30, but they are not that “good”.
Generally, SD stuff looks pixelated. Maybe the screen is too big and demanding, but that’s how the pixels work. But if the quality of the SD stuff is high resolution/ uncompressed media, you will get better results.
Other Matters of Concern about the Panny Viera TC-P50ST30:
- I don’t think that there are any “fluctuating brightness” related issues with this TV. There are Panny TV forums on the internet. You will find answers to many questions over there.
- Extremely easy and simple to set up. If you have already set up you channels on the old TV, you just need to plug the cable. I have written the display settings for Panasonic Viera TC-P50ST30 below; use them for further image optimization.
- The bottom panel does not swivel. It is bad for people who want to swivel the TV according to their viewing angle. I think that you should install all your LEDs/LCDs, especially televisions on the wall, rather than using stands.
Screen Buzzing and the Hockey Guy Issues with Viera TC-P50ST30:
First the screen buzzing thing: there are reviewers who said that the TCP50ST30 Panasonic TV screen sides emit a buzzing sound. You have heard that on magnetic screens, remember? “Bzzzzzz Bbbbbzzzzzz” kind of sound. It is low and pretty hard to hear, but you will hear it eventually.
On the flip side, this particular Panny model reduces the screen buzzing sound over time. You will hear it in the first few weeks, especially at phosphorous levels glowing to 100% settings. Over time, these buzz sounds will be gone. If there is a factory fault in your Panasonic Viera TC-P50ST30 and despite of the screen buzzing, the display performance and sound is not affected, I don’t think you need to return the unit for replacement.
Also, do not have it examined by a technician. You know how LCDs are; once they are disassembled, even by company officials, they can never work the same way as they used to. The hockey guy is a guy who bought the Viera TC-P50ST30 model in high hopes of watching sports channel in all their glory. Maybe he is a diehard hockey fan or whatever but the story goes that he wasn’t able to get a satisfying experience.
From what I have read so far, the overall sports channels look, sound and feel excellent. There’s no need to worry about hockey channels. I am sure they’ll work out amazingly well.
Panasonic Viera TC-P50ST30 Optimal Picture Settings for Expert Viewing:
The following picture settings were obtained from someone at Amazon. This guy bought the TV and figured out that his settings were worth sharing. As it happens, many people, who have tested and applied these settings, got great results.
Picture Mode: Custom
Sharpness: 0 (yes, turn this all the way down from 50)
Color Temp: Warm2
Photo Enhancement: Off
Video NR: Off
W/B High R: +5
W/B High G: 0
W/B High B: +2
W/B Low R: +8
W/B Low G: 0
W/B Low B: +1
Black Extension: 0
Gamma Adjustment: 2.4 (I dropped this from 2.6 because my personal preference is slightly brighter)
Panel Brightness: Mid
Contour Emphasis: Off
-Aspect adjustments submenu
Screen format: Full
HD size: Size 2
H size: [grayed out]
Zoom adjustments: [grayed out]
Leave all settings in this menu at their default
-Advanced picture submenu
3D Y/C filter: Off [grayed out]
Color matrix: HD [grayed out]
Block NR: Off [grayed out]
Mosquito NR: Off
Motion smoother: Off
Black level: Light
3:2 pulldown: On
24p Direct in: 60Hz
Overall, this TV is a nice addition to your master bedroom or main lounge. Buy it, love it and if you don’t like what you see, you have the right to go for a refund. Amazon offers a 30 day product purchase grace period. Utilize it ONLY if needed. Good luck with your new Panasonic TC-P50ST30.
By the way, if you have any trouble with this TV. Don’t forget to write to me at email@example.com. I will be more than happy to be of service to you.
Word From Panasonic (On Environment and Ergonomics):
Panasonic’s commitment to sustainability and producing products that are ecologically sound is evidenced in the 100,000 hour life span of the Plasma Display panel and the lack of lead or mercury in the panels. Thanks to a newly designed phosphor process and rear panel process, Panasonic’s plasma panels last for up to 100,000 hours before the brightness decreases by half.
That’s more than 30 years of viewing 8 hours a day. Plus with Eco Mode, Panasonic TV’s turn off and adjust brightness depending on the VIERA’s operating status. Settings can be configured by selecting Eco mode from VIERA Tools. The Power Save setting also adjusts screen brightness to reduce power consumption.