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Panasonic TC-P50V10

>> Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Panasonic TC-P50V10 is one sleek plasma. Its main external differentiator is what the company calls "one sheet of glass" design, where a pane of glass extends beyond the edge of the screen and over the bezel itself, leading to a seamless look that's even more impressive in person than in pictures. (It's worth noting that only the 50 and 54 inch models feature the one sheet design; the larger members of the series have the more traditional, visually separate bezel around the screen).

Panasonic TC-P50V10 series eschews the relatively bright silver fade along the bottom of the frame seen on the company's step down TC-PG10 models, instead opting for a much subtler silver accent that arcs slightly upward in the middle. We think Panasonic TC-P50V10 looks more attractive and sophisticated than the G10, and indeed it's one of the coolest looking TV designs we've seen this year. The black frame around the screen is a bit wider than that of the G10 series, leading to Panasonic TC-P50V10's slightly larger height and width dimensions (0.2 and 0.9 inch larger, respectively, on the 50 incher, for example).

The panels' depth dimension, on the other hand, is just 3.3 inches not quite as thin as Samsung's 850 series plasmas or Panasonic's own Z1, but thinner than the 4.2 inches of the G10 models. If you're keeping track, the 50 inch Panasonic TC-P50V10 also weighs 4.4 pounds more than the 50 inch G10, which is probably due to that big pane of glass. We also appreciated that the 50 inch Panasonic TC-P50V10 model's stand includes a swivel, an extra not found on less expensive Panasonic plasmas nor on the larger members of the series.

Beyond the panels and stands, the V10 models are pretty much identical in design to the G10s. The remote differs from the one found on less expensive Panasonic plasmas, and in general we liked it. Panasonic's marketing guys got to the button designers, however, and apparently mandated that an unnecessarily prominent trio of keys Viera Link, VieraCast and VieraTools appear above the central cursor control.

Each provides direct access to functions we'll warrant most users won't access as frequently as the Menu key, and the trio relegates that button to an easily overlooked spot near the top of the clicker. We still like the feel of the keys, and appreciate the size, color and shape differentiation that helps us forget that only the huge volume and channel buttons are illuminated. The remote cannot control other devices via infrared (IR) commands, but it does allow some control of compatible HDMI devices connected to the TV via Viera Link (a.k.a. HDMI-CEC).

Panasonic tweaked its menu design for 2009. The same yellow on blue color scheme is in evidence (albeit a lighter shade of blue), and navigation is basically unchanged, but the main menu actually has a couple of icons now. Overall it's still one of the more straightforward, basic looking menus on the mainstream market, but we still wish the company would see fit to include on screen explanations of selections. A new Tools menu showcases some of the TV's functions, including THX mode, Digital Cinema Color, and VieraCast.


christmas gifts October 31, 2009 at 6:40 AM  

The Panasonic picture quality is incredible.Single glass style is sure to be copied by others. Sound is incredible out of the box. Love the swivel base for easy any adjustments.

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