Need to buy a gift for somebody who loves technology but you can’t afford the big ticket items?
Panasonic TH-P50G10A plasma television
This 50-inch Panasonic plasma TV is a great all-round package
- Decent design, great black levels, realistic colours
- Not power-friendly, limited picture customisation
The 50in Panasonic TH-P50G10A is a great choice if you're after a plasma television. It costs less than Pioneer’s plasmas but offers very similar picture quality and a modern design, as well as a few extras that may sway digital media enthusiasts.
Price$ 2,799.00 (AUD)
Panasonic's TH-P50G10A is a 50in plasma television that sits near the top of the company's range. A modern design houses a plasma panel with bleeding edge technology and the quality of the picture is exceptional for this price point.
It may not be as attractive as Samsung’s LED-backlit TVs, but Panasonic has done a good job with the design of the TH-P50G10A plasma television. The bezel is less than an inch thick for the most part and has a fading silver accent on the bottom lip. Unlike Panasonic’s previous stands that were chunky and rectangular, this television has a curved one. The stand uses a bracket mounting system that prevents it from swivelling.
The remote control is simple to use (if a little boring), although we noticed that the location of some buttons had been shifted around from previous Panasonic remotes.
The menu system is easy to navigate. It has a simple blue and yellow colour scheme, and a few icons to spruce things up a bit. It’s fine for changing settings and adjusting picture quality, but we found it a little slow when switching between inputs.
We can understand why this was the case, however: there are plenty of inputs to choose from. Three HDMI, two component, two S-Video, one VGA (D-Sub) and four composite ports means that you’ll be able to connect more digital video devices than you can poke a remote at. There are no USB ports, but Panasonic includes an SD card slot.
The TH-P50G10A's picture quality is its crowning glory. By chance we had the Pioneer KURO PDP-C509A set up as well, so we decided to see whether the TH-P50G10A was a worthy spiritual successor to the much-loved KURO plasma TV range. The minimal difference in quality was impressive, given the thousand-dollar disparity in price tags.
Black levels are very impressive. In our The Dark Knight test Blu-ray disc, we were able to see detail in the darkest areas of the picture, while flat black scenes were pure and inky. The screen excels with high contrast scenes as well, with bright white and coloured segments of the screen in stark contrast to pitch black sectors. Colour from the Panasonic TH-P50G10A was well balanced after some tweaking, with blues and greens quite realistic. Reds were a little over-saturated for our liking, but if you prefer a warm picture the default settings are fine.
A full 600Hz sub-field drive refreshes the screen within milliseconds. This means fast panning in documentaries and action movies will be smooth.
Power consumption is this Panasonic plasma’s stumbling point. Competing LED and LCD TVs get energy ratings of four stars and upwards, while the TH-P50G10A nets a disappointing two star rating. This may work out to the order of only a few dollars per year, but if you plan on keeping this television for a long time, tack on an extra couple of hundred dollars to the cost.
Despite this, the Panasonic TH-P50G10A is an exceptional television. We fully expected Panasonic to inherit the mantle of Pioneer in creating the best consumer plasma televisions.
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