Monday, December 8, 2008

The Panasonic 50" Plasma 1080p TH-50PZ850U with Viera Cast

This television is incredible! As I have said in an earlier post, I had been looking at Panasonic televisions for a long time. I had done lots of reading and research and had decided I really wanted the Panasonic. I had done the side by side comparisons and had always liked the crisp pictures and deep blacks that the Panasonic provided. I had been looking at 42-46 inch screens and was unsure as to whether I was going to go for 720p or 1080p. (confused by all of this? Panasonic explains it on their website and you can get the tv specs here:

I was tempted by the lower prices of the 720p and may have settled for one of those before winning this one. Now that I have the TH-50PZ850U, however, I know that I would have been settling.

Here's a tip- if you are debating which one to buy, the 780p or the 1080p, go for the best you can afford. Had I purchased a 780p tv, I may have always wondered what I was missing. With this television, you won't ever miss a thing! I am blown away by the clarity of the pictures on this 1080p Panasonic Television. The colors are vivid and can be adjusted to your liking with relative ease. There are preset modes to make it simpler or you can fiddle with it to your heart's content. The blacks are deep and true, and the contrast ratio is amazing. The television has an extremely quick refresh rate and handles action sequences with no blurring or pixelating. High definition channels look AMAZING (run through the HDMI cables of course). One of the first days we had the tv we sat down to watch Planet Earth on one of the HD channels...It was jaw-droppingly stunning.

With a blu-ray DVD player connected to it, movies take on a whole new life. Our family loves movies and has a weekly movie night that has been going on for over 9 years now. The first movie we watched on our new Panasonic Plasma television was Sleeping Beauty- it had just been released on Blu-ray two days before and we happened to grab a copy. If you haven't seen it in a while, it is worth a look. If you can see it on this television, it is worth watching again and again and again. I wanted to hug my television!

Iron Man is incredible on Blu-ray and the television picks up every glint of armor, every grain of sand and every explosion beautifully.

Video games play smoothly and look great (we got a Wii, too- more on that in another post), but the Wii is not an HD system.

There are plenty of HDMI inputs to handle all of your audio video equipment and the Viera-Link makes it all work seamlessly. When everything is connected properly, turning on one component automatically turns on the other components that go with it. Beautiful!

The SD card in the front of the television is a remarkably convenient feature. Our digital cameras and digital video camera all use SD cards to record. just pop the card into the television, hit the SD button on the remote and you can view slideshows of your pictures or watch HD videos of the family without ever hooking up a cable, transfering anything onto your computer or a disc, or having to remember what setting to switch the tv to.

The Viera Cast sounds like a gimmick at first, but it has quickly become one of my favorite features on the television. This is a free web-based channel provided exclusively for Panasonic. Currently we have access to the Weather Channel, Bloomberg, Picasa photo albums, You Tube, and the Panasonic Concierge line through the internet connection on the television. Panasonic has said they are looking to add more content soon to the VieraCast channel.

Having access to our photos has been great. We LOVE viewing our slide shows on the huge screen! Having You-Tube at our fingertips has been more fun than it should be because we get to watch our choice of videos on the huge screen! The drawback here is that the content on You-Tube is not in HD (yet) so the picture quality isn't as good as other video.

The same can be said for non-HD channels. It is amazing how quickly we have gotten spoiled by the clarity of this television. It has ruined us for non HD programming!!

A word about size: When you go into a store and see all the tvs side by side, they don't look nearly as large as they do when you get them home. A 50 inch screen is a HUGE television- It will definitely look much bigger at home than it did in the store, I guarantee it. It is very helpful to get the specs for the television and then cut a piece of black paper to the same size as the television. Put this up where the television will be to get the size in your head before you buy.

As for the sound on this television, I will need to address that another time. Our receiver is hooked to the tv and the VieraLink turns the receiver on when we turn on the television- we have not needed to runsound through just the TV. I'll try it soon and post about that another time.

In short, there is NOTHING that I do not like about this television. The Viera Link makes keeping track of all of the devices simple, the VieraCast may be a gimmick, but I love it and I think it's got legs if Panasonic keeps adding content (DEFINITELY WORTH IT), but most of all, the picture quality is superb. Movies look better, television looks brilliant, and even the most mundane show filmed in HD is worth watching just so you can see how pretty it looks on this beautiful screen!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the great advice!

    I also think Vieracast is super convenient. It is nice to be able o flip over to your own stuff (pictures etc.) with the push of one button.