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Panasonic Viera TX-P50S10 50in Plasma TV review

John Archer



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I took receipt of Panasonic's P50S10 with slightly mixed feelings, truth be told. Putting a smile on my face is the TV's price; under £1,150 is a mighty aggressive figure for a 50in TV with the dependable Panasonic name attached. Slightly denting my excitement, though, is the fact that the S10 part of the P50S10's name reveals that it sits - as you might guess from its price - quite low down in Panasonic's current plasma hierarchy. Which means that it's not built around one of Panasonic's new and impressive NeoPDP plasma panel designs, with their enhanced brightness and operating efficiency.

This effectively means that how much I end up liking the P50S10 will depend on whether the value factor outweighs the potential performance compromises of not having a NeoPDP panel.

Helping the value argument, to some extent, is the fact that you're getting plenty of TV for your buck. For the frame around the 50in screen is solidly built to say the least, and the chunky stand supports the TV's hefty weight with ease.

I've said in numerous reviews of recent Panasonic TVs, though, that I'm no great fan of the brand's current design ethos, finding the black sculpting a little bland compared with what many rivals are now putting together. The arced bottom edge and metallic strip just above it add a modicum of flare to proceedings, I guess, but there's no doubt that Panasonic's Korean rivals in particular are a few steps ahead aesthetically.

Turning to the TV's connections, there's a small sign of the P50S10's relatively entry-level status in its carriage of three rather than four HDMIs. But on the upside, it's nice to find the set not only sporting an SD card slot, but also allowing you to play AVCHD video files as well as the more predictable JPEG fodder via this interface.

There's quite a bit of other promising stuff in the TV's specifications, too. It's a Full HD screen, for a start, and one promising a huge claimed dynamic contrast ratio of 2,000,000:1, which is high enough to make your average LCD rival cry into its pint.

Also worthy of note is the screen's 400Hz Sub-Field Drive processing system, where the TV calculates enough new extra frames of image data (to reduce judder and enhance motion clarity) that it effectively produces a 400 field-per-second refresh rate.

The mechanism used to achieve this is the latest version of Panasonic's Intelligent Frame Creation system, with more processing support coming from Panasonic's reliable, multi-facetted V-Real Pro 3 engine. Which is all great, so long as the processing doesn't partner its benefits with nasty side effects.

One thing the P50S10 does not have is a built-in Freesat tuner to accompany its Freeview and analogue TV tuners. The lowest models in Panasonic's range to offer those are the G10s.

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June 2, 2009, 5:59 pm

Fantastic another 50in Plasma with built in FREEVIEW

A lot of hoo hahh about the vast costs involved in R & D and costs of software and freedoms and needs to show a profit. I could not agree more with many of those points and would encourage far more action than words

Times have changed for the consumer, when money is tight, they are bewildered by format wars of one kind or another and at the end of the day being offered a lousy deal in the High Street.

And almost every TV salesman I have talked to on a recent shopping expedition was being downright dishonest to get a sale. (Pointing to a supermarket 720p set with "Freeview", - That TV there sir has the same screen as that £3,000 model over there, but its our own brand. ( Bargain then! ).

Putting FREEVIEW on a High Definition TV, even on entry level models is like a Windows 3 user putting "Go Faster" lights on his PC,

In the brocure it looks great to add FREEVIEW as a plus - its free - and is true plug and play.

FREESAT however which carrys and controlls fantastic HD content we have allready paid for with our TV licences is nowhere to be seen, Or only at a hefty premium above an equivalent model without the tuner.

Sure some TV manufacturers are coughing up for a Freesat Licence but at what coist to us the consumer?

I simply dont understand why any 1080 set is sold with "built in" FREEVIEW" when the world has moved on.

Whatever the excuses from Freesat, The BBC, The Regulators, retailers, Manufacturers or some Euro Quango - Sort It Out!

TV BUYERS If you can hold out on going "HIGH DEFINITION" wait, let these shelves full of "Almost High Definition Televisions" gather dust and choke the supply lines, In a short time ALL but the very low end bargain bucket TVs in the high street will have FREESAT built in.


June 3, 2009, 2:49 am

Forget skys efforts to undermime this service as the numptys running this seem to be doing a good job themselves. When you have the logistical problems that plenty will still have in installing this aswell youd think theyd relent.

Or you could instead hold out for freeview hd set which is likely to be coming soon, perhaps even as early as this autumn as some say.


June 3, 2009, 6:01 am

Not sure what the hell you are on about DavidDB with inbuilt FreeSat ... not everybody wants or can even get FreeSat and if you do decide to go down that route (if you actually want to record HD Shows) add a Freesat PVR you just plug it in. Why not go the whole hog and demand that Panasonic add a Blu Ray Player into the side of the TV??

But it looks like you want FreeSat built in so every manufacture should be adding that feature and factoring in the premium pric of that service simply for you now??

Will Trusted Reviews be featuring any of the new LG Plasmas that seem to be getting very good reviews at the moment as it would be nice to hear how you reckon they stack up against the Panasonics. Be nice to see a LG 42PQ6000 review and say

Aero 1

June 4, 2009, 7:35 pm


I was wanting to see the LG's Plasmas but they are not Full HD! :(

Still waiting on the Panny 42" V10 review though ;-)

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