Panasonic VIERA TC-P50VT25 Plasma 3D HDTV 2D Forever After?

2D Forever After?

The Panasonic TC-P50VT25 isn’t just a 3D HDTV, of course. For well into the future, most of your viewing on it will be with 2D source material.

It has five Picture modes: Vivid, Standard, THX (2D only, called Cinema in 3D), Game, and Custom. While each of these modes is individually user adjustable, the settings for each mode are global, and you can’t adjust them separately for each input. Not all of the picture controls are available in all Picture modes. Custom offers more adjustability than the others. These added controls include White Balance (high and low for red and blue), a limited set of color management controls (Hue and Saturation for red, green, and blue), and several Gamma settings from 2.0 to 2.6.

For 1080p/24 program material, which generally means movies on Blu-ray Disc, a 24p Direct in setting gives you the choice of 48 Hz (fps) playback (each 24-fps frame flashes twice, with no 3:2 pulldown), 96 Hz (each frame flashes four times), or 60 Hz (the set converts the 24-fps source to 60 fps with 3:2 pulldown). For 24-fps sources in 3D, your best option will generally be 96 Hz.

The set will also have ISFccc calibration features. Although these weren’t yet available in our review sample, they should be by the time this review hits the newsstands.

With your broadband cable or DSL router, the Panasonic can connect to the Internet either directly or through your home network. You can connect wirelessly via the optional DY-WL10 adapter ($100) that plugs into one of the set’s USB jacks. With this connection, VIERA Cast provides access to a growing number of Internet sites that Panasonic has partnered with—sites such as YouTube, Fox Sports, Picasa, Amazon Video on Demand, Pandora, Bloomberg News, Netflix, Twitter, and Skype. For full Skype A/V operation, you’ll need Panasonic’s TY-CC10W camera, a $170 option. You can also check the images from a video camera (not included) located anywhere in your home and linked to the set through your home network.

In addition, you can view still photos and full-motion images and listen to music through a connection to your home network or from a USB device or SD card. Your computer can also feed content to the set over your home network, or directly via the Panasonic’s PC input.

VIERA Link allows for simultaneous control of all Panasonic HDAVI Control–equipped components using the HDTV remote. The latter is Panasonic’s version of the industry-wide Consumer Electronics Control (CEC).

As with all Panasonic VIERA sets, the TC-P50VT25 is ENERGY STAR qualified.—TJN

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