Panasonic Viera TX-P50X10 50in Plasma TV - Panasonic Viera TX-P50X10

John Archer

By John Archer

Reviewed:

Awards

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

Summary

Our Score:

9

In action, the P50X10 generally - though not completely - reinforces the strengths and weaknesses I noted with the smaller P37X10.

Starting with the weaknesses, the P50X10 shares the colour issues noted with the P37X10. Tones sometimes - quite often, actually - don't look entirely natural or convincing, especially when watching standard definition. Reds and skin tones can look a bit orange, for instance, and greens occasionally look rather sickly too, especially during dark scenes.

The set also tends to judder a little when watching 24p sources. Not excessively, but enough to catch your eye during slow camera pans such as those on show during the opening credits of Casino Royale on Blu-ray.

I did not, however, feel a lack of brightness in the P50X10's pictures as much as I did with the P37X10. This may simply be down to the fact that the bigger screen dominates a greater chunk of my retina, making its image seem more striking. Or maybe the greater number of pixels tucked away inside the screen helps it produce more light. But to be honest, who cares. All that really matters is that the picture looks more eye-catching and dynamic.

I'd also say that the P50X10's HD pictures look a touch sharper than those of the smaller P37X10. Obviously, larger screens tend to deliver more impact from HD, but I don't believe this explains the full extent of the sharpness improvement. It seems likely to me that the screen's higher pixel count is helping out too, particularly when it comes to picking out really fine details like facial pores or convincingly portraying subtle colour blends.

There is, perhaps, a tiny price to pay for the extra sharpness of the P50X10 in the form of a marginally grittier look to HD fare. But this is seldom if ever distracting, and could even appeal to the 'grain is more cinematic' school of thought.

Strengths the P50X10 has in common with its smaller plasma sibling, meanwhile, inevitably kick off with the screen's excellent black level response. Panasonic has long been one of the finest proponents of this key plasma advantage, and their experience shines through yet again here, enabling the screen to reproduce dark scenes with an authority, naturalism and depth that no standard (as in, non LED) LCD can challenge.

It's worth pointing out, too, that despite suffering a little judder, the P50X10 still leaves motion looking sharper and more detailed than the vast majority of LCD TVs, thanks to both its 100Hz processing and the fact that unlike LCD, plasma technology doesn't suffer with any significant response time issues.

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.

Jmac

March 26, 2009, 4:54 pm

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

basicasic

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.

Hugo

March 26, 2009, 6:02 pm

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

Gordon394

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.

basicasic

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?

Riyad

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.

Ohmz

March 27, 2009, 4:44 am

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

Chocoa

March 27, 2009, 5:48 am

@Riyad


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





@basicasic


"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.

Guest

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.

Ash

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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