In the past few years, Plasma TV's have made a lot of progress in catching up with LCD televisions. Indeed, many Plasma TV's can now prevent and treat screen burn-in, which is considered one of the biggest problems with Plasma TV's. Some have even found ways to consume much less energy than usual, just like the Panasonic TC-P50S1, which also comes with some great features.
The Panasonic TC-P50S1 delivers excellent picture quality, making it at par with many high-end models. The black levels are especially worth mentioning, since they are the deepest that Panasonic has been able to produce so far. The shadow detail is also impeccable and the colors are saturated and vibrant, seemingly bursting all over the screen, which is why they are still great in spite of the less than accurate color temperature – a common problem with Panasonic panels.
Even moving images appear crisp and clear on the screen of the TC-P50S1 – a feat achieved by the combination of its 600Hz sub-field drive and its Full-Time 1080 TV Lines Moving Picture Resolution. This means that the TC-P50S1 shows all 1080 lines even during fast-moving scenes, compared to some HDTVs which temporarily reduce the number of lines to keep up with the pace.
The TC-P50S1 has a simple and elegant design similar to other models, sporting logos, buttons and an indicator light that blend in nicely with its glossy black frame, which also comes with gently rounded edges and a thin silver strip at the bottom. It also has a glossy black stand. What sets the TC-P50S1 apart, though, are its hidden speakers, which add style and appeal.
The remote control of the TC-P50S1 is neither infrared nor equipped with a backlight, which makes it not as good as many TV remote controls. Still, it has soft buttons which come in different colors, sizes and shapes, making them easy to find and use even in the dark.
The Panasonic TC-P50S1 has three HDMI inputs for you to plug in your Blu-Ray player, DVD player and your game console. It also has two component-video inputs, two AV inputs, an RF input and a digital audio output. It even has an SD card slot. It does not have a VGA input, though, which means you cannot plug in your computer unless it is HDMI capable, nor does it have a USB slot.
As mentioned earlier, the TC-P50S1 does not consume as much electricity as most Plasma TVs, which consume around two times the electricity used up by LCD televisions. This is because it has an innovative plasma display panel and a default picture setting that is slightly dimmer than others. Because of this, the Panasonic TC-P50S1 earned an Energy Star 3.0.
Another great thing about the Panasonic TC-P50S1 is the Viera Link. With this feature, you can turn on all your HDMI-capable devices with the push of a button which saves you the time and inconvenience of switching each one on individually. It also has features to prevent and treat screen burn-in, such as the pixel orbiter and the scrolling bar function. In this way, it is similar enough to several high-end models but its price isn't, which makes it a good HDTV to look out for when you go shopping for your own.