Vizio P50 HDM
Cheap plasma panel
- Low price, easy to set up
- No NTSC or ATSC tuner, image quality could be better
Vizio's 50-inch P50 HDM plasma HDTV monitor doesn't require the same cash outlay as a full-fledged plasma HDTV. However, you might be able to find products at a similar price point that deliver better picture.
The first thing to understand about the Vizio 50-inch P50 HDM is that it's a plasma HD monitor, not a full-fledged plasma HDTV. This means that it forgoes an analog NTSC tuner and a digital ATSC tuner, instead requiring an external tuner to display any kind of TV content. The P50 HDM costs considerably less than an actual HDTV. However, PC World (US) has found better image quality in another plasma HDTV monitor at the same cost.
Our jury found the Vizio's image quality adequate on high-definition and standard-definition TV content, with a few caveats. Colour looked good, but the P50 HDM's picture appeared dark and lacking in detail on both high-def and standard-def content. These problems became even more apparent on our DVD test of a shady scene in The Lord of the Ring: The Return of the King. Though it wasn't unwatchable, we've seen better performance from other plasmas.
The P50 HDM's strength lies in its ease of use. Like Vizio's L32HDTV LCD TV, the P50 HDM comes with a setup poster as well as a very detailed manual. Colour-coding makes it easy to match inputs to the poster. Finding the inputs on the back of the monitor is a snap, but plugging devices into them is a bit awkward. The inputs face down, so you have to feel for them when inserting connectors. The monitor also lacks a CableCard slot, which would be handy.
The glossy black P50 HDM looks attractive. I found the remote control comfortable and its layout easy to navigate. The onscreen menus were easy to master, too. The picture-in-picture function was especially simple to use, and it's flexible to boot: You can set the PIP window in four different positions and three sizes.
To my ears, audio sounded fine (but not fantastic) coming through the built-in speakers with SRS TruSurround XT. The P50 HDM offers one RCA audio output, but no digital audio output.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Sony 75-inch UHD TV (X9400C) review: Sony and Android are a winning duo
- 2 LG 55EG960T OLED UHD TV
- 3 Panasonic Viera UHD TV review: good hardware, fragmented software
- 4 Ford Focus ST (2015) review: Absolutely mental styling, engine, handling
- 5 LG 65-inch UHD TV (65UF950T) review
Deals on Good Gear Guide
- Networking, Wireless & VoIP
Deals on Good Gear Guide
Latest News Articles
- A new HDMI certification program will make it easier to avoid crappy cables
- Samsung denies its TVs game power consumption tests
- NASA joins the 4k party with an Ultra HD channel of its own
- Apple iPhone 6s, iPad Pro & Apple TV: The bullet points
- Apple gets Siri-ous about television with Apple TV
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
- FTDatabase Marketing ManagerNSW
- CCE-Commerce - Senior Web Application DeveloperNSW
- FTAndroid DeveloperNSW
- FTLevel 2 IT Support TechnicianVIC
- FTAccount Manager | Client Side - Previous Agency Experience Welcome!!NSW
- FTSenior Consultant | Project work | National Systems IntegratorVIC
- FTSenior Account Manager - PR AgencyNSW
- FT1st & 2nd level IT support all-rounder in beautiful rural BathurstNSW
- FTBusiness Development & Account ManagementNSW
- FTAccount Manager | Music IndustryNSW
- FTProduct Marketing ManagerNSW
- FTSystems Administrator | National commercial law firm | MS, AWS & eDiscoveryNSW
- FTManual Test Engineer | Financial Institution | Web testingNSW
- FTLinux Administrator with AWS & DevopsNSW
- FTField EngineerNSW
- FTMid level IT consultant | Systems Integration & Managed ServicesNSW
- FTSales SpecialistNSW
- CCMilitary simulation programmer with C# and Unity - 3 monthsNSW
- FTSystems Administrator - Managed ServicesNSW