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Panasonic's TC-P50S2 HDTV Plasma Quick Review / Budget Entry Level HDTV Print E-mail
Written by Kevin Miller   
Thursday, 12 August 2010

panasonic-viera-g25-g20-s2-u2-c2-series-plasma-tvs-1.jpgPros:  Good blacks translate into solid contrast ratio. Relatively good color fidelity. Incredible value for the money.

Cons: Color points, especially green, are well outside of the Rec 709 specifications.

To Buy or Not To Buy? This budget entry level plasma leaves a little to be desired in the performance arena, but the price can not be beat. Solid value for the money.


Panasonic’s second generation S-series plasmas are the bargain of the summer. Carrying a list price of just $1,299, the TC-P50S2 can be found for well under a thousand dollars on the net. Surprisingly enough the set performs better in some ways than the much pricier VX Premiere series albeit without many of the Premiere’s excellent setup features and options. Blacks are good, color gamut is a little on the wide side beyond the Rec 709 specifications, but the panel does calibrate very nicely. If you are on a serious budget, the S-series, which comes in 42, 46, 50, 54, 58, and 65-inch screen sizes should be on your short list.


Contrast Ratio: Blacks are good on the TC-P50S2, and light output is high for a plasma, which means this panel has good contrast ratio. Gamma in the Cinema mode is relatively close to the 2.2 standard generally accepted for flat panels. Disregard the gamma curve in the CalMAN Pro PDF as my calibration was done in the Custom mode with contrast set to 100, as the client was using the panel mainly in an extremely bright environment.


Color Accuracy: Overall color accuracy is decent, and color decoding is accurate. Grayscale tracking is excellent, and once professionally calibrated the Warm color temperature setting is right on the mark for tracking D65 for the entire range of the grayscale. The color gamut or color space (the primary and secondary colors) are a bit off of the Rec 709 specifications. Interestingly, the entry level S-series measures somewhat more accurately than the premium priced VX series Premiere panels from the company.


Video Processing: Video processing is reasonably good. Unfortunately, the S series does not offer a 24fps compatible processing option so 1080p/24fps will be displayed at 1080p/60. For true 1080p/24fps compatible processing, you will have to step all the way up to the flagship VT-25 series. The processing does have 2:3 pull-down for motion artifact elimination from film based sources from your satellite and/or cable service.


Wrapping Up: The S-series Panasonic plasmas are certainly not the pinnacle in flat panel performance. However, considering that this is Panasonic’s entry level panel, the performance is actually quite good, especially when you compare it to some of their other pricier models like the VX-100 series. All in all for a budget flat panel, the TC-P50S2 represents one of the best values in the category.

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Copyright (C) 2007 Alain Georgette / Copyright (C) 2006 Frantisek Hliva. All rights reserved.

Last Updated ( Friday, 22 October 2010 )
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