Panasonic Viera TC-P50S30 Plasma HDTV HT Labs Measures

HT Labs Measures

Contrast & Resolution
Peak white level: 29.2fL
Black level: 0.009fL
Peak contrast ratio: 3244:1

Since this TV clipped the highest level of white at all settings of Contrast, I set it so the peak white level in a window pattern measured 29.2 foot-lamberts. This required the Brightness control to be reduced by one click, though the black level increased from 0.008 to 0.009fL. I decided to live with the ever-so-slightly higher black level for the sake of a greater overall contrast ratio.

BTW, the step-up TC-P50ST30's black level measured 0.008fL, while its peak-white level was 24.1fL. I could have obtained nearly identical results with the S30 if I had lowered the Contrast.

Grayscale & Color Resolution
All measurements were taken in the Cinema picture mode with color temperature set to Warm 2.

The pre-calibration color tracking was quite good, with slightly too much red and too little blue. The error at each brightness level was high enough to be visibly off.

After calibration, the color tracking improved, but it wasn't perfect. Still, the error at each brightness level (except 20% of full white) was below the threshold of visibility.

The color points were all exceedingly close to correct all the way around with the Color Management parameter turned off. Turning it on produced virtually identical results.

Video Test Bench


3:2 = film-originated content sent interlaced to display (broadcast movies and many TV shows)
2:2 = progressive video-originated content sent interlaced to display (not common)
MA = Motion Adaptive (interlaced video-originated content sent interlaced to display; becoming common for 1080i TV shows)

As with most TVs, this one passed the 3:2 tests but failed the 2:2 tests, which isn't normally a big deal because 2:2 is not common. It passed the other tests, though scaling standard-def images was borderline.


DSharkey's picture

I bought this TV about two weeks ago and absolutely love it. The picture quality is superb and the color differentiation is outstanding. I've watched a blu-ray disc and hooked up my PS3 and have been very happy. Also, I've been blown away at how crisp and detailed the images are when I watch sports. Using an HDMI is mandatory to take advantage of this TV's graphics.

I have one criticism. The sound quality is not that great. I don't think it's terrible by any means, but more just adequate. I hook up most of my sound to go through my surround sound, but when the TV sound stands on its own, it is ok but I was hoping for more. I'd encourage you to look into getting decent surround sound. If you're going to invest in this TV, might as well have some decent sound to match the awesome graphics.

Two details: First, like most plasmas, it is HEAVY and weighs a lot. Make sure you have a proper TV stand that can handle its weight (I bought a new TV stand with the TV). It comes with a docking stand that is easy to assemble and keeps it secure and in place. However, you will need two people to lift it into the stand. Second, like most plasmas, it uses a lot of power. If you're worried about energy consumption, this probably is not the TV for you.

I did a lot of research prior to getting this tv. First, Panasonic makes awesome plasma TV's which get great reviews. Second, I know that LED tv's are really popular these days, but from what I've read the color and picture quality as well as the motion on plasmas are much better. Third, all the horror stories about "burn-in" are probably more relevant to older plasma tv models and seems to be exaggerated. If you take proper care of your tv (don't leave it frozen on the same image for 8 straight hours), I think you'll be fine. If you don't know what is the proper care of a plasma, do some research beforehand. Also, as mentioned in another review, it has a screensaver that kicks in if it stationary for too long to prevent burn-in. Another reviewer suggested playing around with the contrast and brightness which I agree with. You want to tweak it for optimal settings (I have my TV in a darker place with less light so I don't need to boost it up).

All in all, this is a really great TV for a good price. I have been very happy and have no regrets.

*** NOTE, If you're will buy this TV, I suggest you have to check for best deal before you decide at:

Thank for reading!