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Panasonic Viera TX-P50X10 50in Plasma TV review

John Archer



  • Recommended by TR
Panasonic Viera TX-P50X10 50in Plasma TV


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User Score

Review Price free/subscription

At 50in across, the TX-P50X10 is comfortably the largest screen we've seen to date from Panasonic's massive new range of TVs. And as such, despite sitting relatively low down the new Panasonic pecking order, it should be well placed to give us the most accurate impression yet of just how Pioneer's plasma technology is moving forward this year.

Before we get into that, though, a surprise: the P50X10 really is quite attractive. Why is this surprising? Because I haven't been especially enamoured with the designs of Panasonic's smaller X10 models. Yet strangely, stretching the design to fit around a 50in TV screen seems to bring it to life, emphasising the glossy and robust build quality as well as bringing my attention to the slender nature of the bezel in a way the smaller models do not.

Not surprisingly, though, while the P50X10's bodywork might look more striking than that of its smaller siblings, in terms of features and connections it's more or less the same.

Connections, for instance, include the anticipated three HDMIs, D-Sub PC input and SD card slot for playing back digital stills (but not the AVCHD video files supported by the SD slots on higher-end Panasonic sets).

The set also shares the 100Hz processing found on the Panasonic P37X10 we looked at recently, and rather handily claims the same eye-poppingly high 2,000,000:1 contrast ratio. Plus there's still the handy new Viera Tools button on the remote, providing direct access to the TV's JPEG viewing and Viera Link enhanced HDMI functions; and an Eco mode that uses a light sensor on the TV's exterior to adjust the image's brightness in response to the light levels in your room.

As usual with a Panasonic TV, the P50X10 is extremely easy to use, thanks to a superbly designed remote control and no-nonsense onscreen menu system. In a perfect world Panasonic would avoid using such vague submenu descriptions as 'Other settings' and 'System Menu', but for the most part this is definitely a TV your dear old nan will have no problems getting to grips with.

Before getting into the P50X10's performance, there is one potentially key difference in its specification to run by you. For it provides a 1,366 x 768 resolution versus the 1,024 x 768 resolution sported by its smaller 37in and 42in brothers. This fact has the potential to leave images looking sharper than they do on the smaller screens.

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Mikey uk

March 26, 2009, 4:07 pm

I guess here we see Pioneer's problem. A 50" plasma for 𧿘 with a good picture and specs. Not a 'great' picture that you get with a Pioneer of the same size and similar spec, but quite good enough for the mass market, and hundreds of pounds cheaper. It seems not enough of us are willing to pay the extra to get Pioneer's level of quality (I am one) - a shame.


March 26, 2009, 4:54 pm

No 1080p on a 50" screen? No interest.


March 26, 2009, 5:37 pm

An overall 9 for a 50" screen with 1366 x 768 resolution. Gimme a break.

The reason you seem to get flooded with Panasonic kit is because of reviews like this. You keep puffing up mediocre kit like this they'll keep sending.


March 26, 2009, 6:02 pm

Newsflash people: resolution is NOT the be-all, end-all of image quality. Especially not with plasma displays.


March 26, 2009, 6:11 pm

@Hugo - agreed. The 42in first generation Pioneer Kuros were all 720p and there's still not a TV out there to touch them, 1080p or otherwise, apart from the Kuro second generation!

Andy Vandervell

March 26, 2009, 6:24 pm

I'd add, too, that the award is largely for value - as is highlighted in the verdict. Not saying people haven't, but scores are closely tied to the review, so looking at the scores without reading the review doesn't give you the whole picture.

Also, we're looking into adding a Value award in future...not a promise mind, but we have talked about it. If people feel strongly that this would be a good or bad thing, do let us know.

solus 1

March 26, 2009, 7:28 pm

What's the big difference between 1080 and 720? Is it really noticeable? And yeah, personally think the value award would be a great idea.


March 26, 2009, 9:17 pm

@Hugo - Well why does anybody bother making 1080p sets then?

And how come nobody ever mentions how much juice these babies guzzle?


March 27, 2009, 12:03 am

@basicasic - Hugo didn’t say that 1080p isn’t important, just that it’s not the only factor. As I always say, I consider black level response to be the most important factor in TV picture quality. This is why, as Gordon pointed out, the non 1080p first generation Pioneer Kuro sets still wiped the floor with everything else out there.

That said, the larger the screen, the more important a Full HD resolution is and I’m not sure that I would buy a 50in TV that wasn’t 1,920 x 1,080. But many people aren’t as critical as I am, and most of them wouldn’t pony up for a 50in 1080p Kuro like I did. What can’t be ignored is that this TV offers amazing value for money, and for a lot of consumers a 50in Panasonic plasma for under 𧿘 is a dream come true.


March 27, 2009, 4:44 am

More unattractive Panasonics, guess design isn't that important. Shame...


March 27, 2009, 5:48 am


Yes your right. If 1080p is so important to someone then they would not be buying what is ostensibly a "value" set.


"why does anybody bother making 1080p sets then?" To be slightly cynical - marketing and the need for continued consumer aspiration. - The old ploy of providing what the consumer whats. But they (the consumer)can only want what we (the manufacturer) decide offer.

Otherwise, we would all be watching analogue B&W 425line(?)TV.


March 27, 2009, 4:27 pm

I have a 50" Panny that is 1080p, but most of the HD content I watch is not 1080p and to be honest I don't really notice the difference. Sure, if you fire up 1080p and get closer and study the picture you can see the differences, but is nothing like as great as going from 480p to 720p. I got a 1080p because I thought I wanted it (don't believe the hype and all that!!). If you want 1080p, then go for it, but if you want to start enjoying HD content on a large TV, on a budget, then I would not hesitate in recommending a lower resolution one.


March 30, 2009, 1:43 pm

Can you do comparative review of which flat screen TV makes a good alternative to Computer screens? Or include this as one of the features you check in your normal reviews. Ta.

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