Arun

Panasonic TH-P50GT50D (GT50) Plasma TV Review

33 posts in this topic

Got the Panasonic TH-P50GT50D (50 inch) Plasma TV yesterday. It is the 2012 edition under the "Smart Viera" branding. I am upgrading from a Samsung 32" LCD TV which is over a couple of years old. I opted for Plasma since it has better color saturation when I compared different TVs in showrooms. GT30 was a great buy for 2011 as per many reviews, so I went for the GT50 as soon as it was launched in India as the reviews in other countries like US had only good things to say about it. Panasonic launched the 2012 models this month (14th) and stock is now available with dealers.

The MRP mentioned in the sticker is Rs.1,38,900 and I got it for Rs.1,15,000 with 1 extra free 3D glass (2 * 3D glasses are included - so total 3). The dealer also gave me a Casio keyboard as a free gift.

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Model number for the included free glass is TY-EW3D4MA and the additional free glass is model number is TY-EW3D2MA. TY-EW3D4MA is cell battery operated while the TY-EW3D2MA is rechargeable using the USB cable.

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The remote control looks nice and feels good:

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The base stand was easy to setup with instructions clearly mentioned in the manual

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HDMI and USB ports are on the side:

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VGA port and Composite Video ports are a bit awkwardly placed:

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Composite cable has to be connected using a connector cable which is included:

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Overall the design looks good

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The picture quality for high definition content was excellent and I have checked using AirTel Digital TV HD STB, PS3, Xbox and PC.

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Standard Definition channels were (obviously) not-so-good, just what you would expect anyway

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3D was great and I have tried a couple of stereoscopic 3D games (Uncharted 3 on PS3 & Batman Arkham City on Xbox) which looked very good. I also tried a Blu-ray 3D movie (Transformers: Dark of the moon) which was fantastic to see on 3D. Unfortunately there is no way to take any pics of the 3D in action to post here.

I haven't noticed any burn-in yet though I will be doing the initial break-in procedure for about 100 hours. Dealers may say that new Plasma TVs don't require it but to be safe it is better to do it.

The out-of-the-box settings were fine though it needs to be tweaked according to the content you are watching. The THX Cinema mode is excellent for watching movies. I have to do further picture setting tweaks after the break-in period.

"Viera Connect" (internet based feature) is amazing and I spent more time checking them out than tweaking the picture quality settings. When you start the internet mode (I had also selected WiFi network during the initial setup) it would check for the latest firmware version (for Viera Connect) and there is a new version already:

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It took about 20 minutes on my 4 mbps connection:

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That would take you to the Internet menu with apps:

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Few apps are installed by default including the Panasonic Viera social networking app where you can add Twitter and Facebook accounts. This app allows you to watch the TV program alongside the Twitter/Facebook content:

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YouTube works well and you can login to your YouTube account as well:

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YouTube video being played that I had uploaded earlier:

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continued in next post...

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Shoutcast Radio app:

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Viera Connect Market has many apps that you can install and the icon will appear in the home screen.

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There are dedicated Facebook and Twitter apps as well:

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The browser app even plays flash videos:

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The Media Player can play images, videos and music from USB drive. Many formats are supported too.

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I have also installed the Viera Remote app on my iPad (get it from the Apple App Store) and it even automatically detected the TV as both are connected to the same wireless network:

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Controlling the TV including typing through the iPad is fun!

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So that's it for now. I have to check out the Media Server and Viera Link features tomorrow and will try to update this post about it as well ;)

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man this is ****ing great stuff !! ...

post a 3D video screenshot too!

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Congratulations Arun.

It is wonderful Plasma with appreciations all over.

Price is good too. Enjoy. :)

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Nice review

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Congrats Arun.

Superb detailed review. Great pictures.

This definitely deserves a separate REVIEW topic. Please create.

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Nice Review Arun Sir

Congrats for your new TV

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great product, arun sir

really stunning quality pics on plasma.

also great experince for xbox and ps with 3D.

u havnt posted picture of keyboard?

it is wireless keyboard meant for only TV?

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Congrats Mr. Arun!

How did you convince @Home to spend lot of money for a TV - if you can share, it will be helpful :)

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This definitely deserves a separate REVIEW topic. Please create.

There you go :biggrinthumb:

post a 3D video screenshot too!

I wish I could, but how??

u havnt posted picture of keyboard?

it is wireless keyboard meant for only TV?

No, it is a piano-keyboard, nothing related to the TV - hence I did not post. The higher end VT series has a Touch pad included (functions like the Viera Remote app). ST, GT and VT are the high end Panasonic Plasma TV series with NeoPlasma displays (ST > GT > VT)

How did you convince @Home to spend lot of money for a TV - if you can share, it will be helpful :)

They did not know until I purchased it :P

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Observations until now and additional inputs:

In other reviews I have seen people discussing about buzzing noise on Panasonic Plasma TVs. There is a buzzing sound if you go close to the back side of the TV. Anyway it is inaudible when you are not close. Hope the sound doesn't get louder.

If you go very close to the display screen any content which is not 1080p will be very grainy and artifacts are visible. However when you sit back you won't notice it at all. I think it is normal on Plasma TV displays from what I see in many discussion topics. Can anyone with Plasma TVs comment on that? I haven't seen that on LCD/LED. I may have to play around with the picture settings to see if it is something to do with the settings/mode.

When you change the source (HDMI, AV, etc.) it will show both the source details you selected and the actual input details after that. For example if I start a game which is supports 720p it shows the actual source configuration as 720p. AirTel Digital TV STB gives 1080i only, hence it shows:

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Plasma TVs are better viewed in dark lit room since it reflects light too much. However I haven't noticed any problem on this Plasma TV when the light is switched on in the room, thanks to the Infinite Black Pro panel. So I might put away with the plan I had earlier to place a shade on the light in my room. From the Panasonic website:

Deeper Blacks Even in Bright Rooms - Infinite Black Pro

Enhancements to the panel and cells help reproduce images with smooth, natural gradation and deep, rich blacks - even when viewed in bright surroundings.

Panasonic India hasn't updated their website yet and shows 2011 models only. Panasonic US webpage for this model is here: http://shop.panasoni...odel/TC-P55GT50

It has 3 year warranty. Most dealers will give you additional warranty cover for extra cost.

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WOW...WOW... that's all I can say about this, it's amazing product with amazing pictures. Many Congrats to you Arun for your purchase. On a light note I should say this page is the slowest web page to load I've seen for long time, it took almost 3-minutes to load in google chrome with my 10MBps beam telecom internet connection :surprise:

I haven't noticed any burn-in yet though I will be doing the initial break-in procedure for about 100 hours. Dealers may say that new Plasma TVs don't require it but to be safe it is better to do it.

May I know what is this burn-in, I've never own a plasma tv so I'm asking this.

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May I know what is this burn-in, I've never own a plasma tv so I'm asking this.

A new Plasma display will have very active phosphor which is susceptible to image retention / ghosting / image burn in. When viewing static images for a longer time (even channel logo, etc.) the image gets retained in the screen. So experts recommend to use certain image slides or videos that does not have any static images for the first 100 - 200 hours continuously so that the phosphor would become less active. However nowadays technology has improved and so manufacturers claim that burn-in period is not required now.

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Modern TV have Memory array which see if any pixel is drawn with same colour again and again if this happen it switch it off for micro second and again starts it,

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amazing buy :)

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Outstanding review Arun and great price for the TV. Seems Panasonic has finally learned to keep the prices moderate in India as well.

I do have few questions:

1. Can you use 1080p pure direct mode for 4:4:4 sources other than 1080p? This is very important as PS3 (most probably XBOX360 as well, haven't tested yet), Airtel HD DVR and Tatasky+HD output at upscaled 4:4:4 (from original video content with 4:2:0 or 4:2:2 croma) uncompressed quality Y'CbCr component level and hence using that mode should get rid of the artifacts and noise you see on these sources! This is one primary reason I am still inclined to go with Samsung as naming the input as PC or DVI PC gets away from subsampling which Panasonic notoriously do on all their flagship TVs (they convert to 4:2:2 for video processing and hence we never see 4:4:4 real quality on Panasonic plasmas like what I see on Samsung LCD or Plasma TVs). I have extensively tested this and hence find it to be very important deciding factor for color fedility and ensuring that additional noise or artifact do not get introduced due to resampling. Will share more info later, but as of now, lets conclude its equally important to the panel quality and picture processor for other content.

2. Can we use NTFS HDD on USB? Also, NTFS SD card, etc? If not, I see on the manual from UK that atleast the UK model support exFAT (more concerned about this as most HD movies are more than 4GB size and unless either of these two formats are supported, we will have to modify the source to play through USB on this TV). I heard last year's Panasonic does so hoping this year will also do.

3. Any issue playing MKVs with internal/external subtitles and DTS audio? I see on the manual, this should not be an issue.

4. Can we play multichannel FLAC files and those with higher bitrates than 48kHz?

5. On the manual it says it supports DD/DD+/DTS audio but on HDMI input capabilities it only says 2 channel 44.1/48kHz PCM. Can you feed DD/DTS track through HDMI and see if reproduce and best if it can pass it through ARC and SPDIF?

6. I see on the manual that DD/DD+ and multichannel AAC gets converted to Dolby Digital (in a way better as earlier Samsung used to pass AAC content as 2.0PCM only). If we set audio output to PCM, can it support multichannel PCM for AAC audio instead of compressing as Dolby Digital? This can help in ARC over HDMI which should be capable to pass it to an AVR.

7. Can you check by upscaling through PS3 or other sources like an AVR to 1080p for content or game less than that and see if it gives better quality than the TV doing the job?

8. Does outputting video in RGB from PS3 give better quality when we set Deep color, Super Bright as ON and setting RGB limit to FULL on both the TV and PS3? This can help overcome 4:4:4 resampling issue if it passes RGB as received through PS3 without resampling.

I have been trying to get answer to these questions over the Internet and I would appreciate your help in getting atleast some of the questions answered and I will keep looking for other answers on other forums.

Thanks a ton for taking time in checking these for me and keep rocking with such excellent reviews (snaps look like been taken from an SLR camera, which one was that?)

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1. Can you use 1080p pure direct mode for 4:4:4 sources other than 1080p? This is very important as PS3 (most probably XBOX360 as well, haven't tested yet), Airtel HD DVR and Tatasky+HD output at upscaled 4:4:4 (from original video content with 4:2:0 or 4:2:2 croma) uncompressed quality Y'CbCr component level and hence using that mode should get rid of the artifacts and noise you see on these sources! This is one primary reason I am still inclined to go with Samsung as naming the input as PC or DVI PC gets away from subsampling which Panasonic notoriously do on all their flagship TVs (they convert to 4:2:2 for video processing and hence we never see 4:4:4 real quality on Panasonic plasmas like what I see on Samsung LCD or Plasma TVs). I have extensively tested this and hence find it to be very important deciding factor for color fedility and ensuring that additional noise or artifact do not get introduced due to resampling. Will share more info later, but as of now, lets conclude its equally important to the panel quality and picture processor for other content.

The "1080p Pure Direct" setting disappears when you are connected to a non 1080p source; so I don't think it would be possible to use it for sources other than 1080p

Here is the Advanced Settings menu on a 1080p source (PC):

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Same menu when a 1080i source (AirTel HD DVR in this case) is connected:

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Other than the option to add a name to the AV input sources, I could find any option to name it differently like you did in Samsung.

I will try the rest of your queries tomorrow! BTW are you prankey from SoD?

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Congrats Arun. :)

Nice detailed review with awsome pics. +2 :)

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Yes, its me :)

Renaming inputs wont help on Panasonic as its cosmetic. Only on Samsung it disables sub-sampling irrespective of resolution. There is a workaround to use an AVR which faithfully upscale all inputs to 1080p so we can use that feature on this TV. I truely believe this is one of the best TVs we can buy for Bluray and DVD content coming from a Samsung or equivalent BR players. But PS3, and our DTH upscale them to improve color quality over HDMi, which is again down converted by Panasonic TVs significantly reducing quality potentially to be lower than 4:2:2 we may get from the BR without such additional levels of conversions.

PC and other graphics apps also suffer due to such sub-sampling with strangly looking and colored texts :) Hopefully there could be some way to get around these as I also feel this TV is outstanding for the price otherwise.

Eagerly waiting for your revert on other quesitons. Don't bother much if you could not do all the tests (especially if you do not have an AVR yet).

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Great buy Arun. Congratulations.

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congrats sir

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The picture quality for high definition content was excellent and I have checked using AirTel Digital TV HD STB, PS3, Xbox and PC.

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What a wonderful review pictures speak louder than words and indeed picture quality is good. love to see bay watch in this and FTV in 3D

Enjoy

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What a wonderful review pictures speak louder than words and indeed picture quality is good. love to see bay watch in this and FTV in 3D

Enjoy

I appreciate your taste in these visual treats :)

(I envied the picture sharpness of this but it didn't strike me to watch such program in 3D Plasma luxury.

Let me try to examin samples atleast in Demo @ Panasonic Showrooms.)

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Arun - Just following up. Any luck in testing the TV more? Eagerly waiting for your findings. Also let me know how much are you getting the best price for 42GT50, thanks.

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Congratulations, just read this review, wonderful buy.

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