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Panasonic VIERA TH-P50V11S Plasma TV review

Panasonic VIERA 50-inch V-series Plasma TV

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Overall rating 9/10
HD Performance:
9.5
SD Performance:
9
Features:
8.5
Value:
8.5
THE GOOD
Impressive black levels
Decent de-interlacing capabilities
Stellar handling of HD and SD sources
Wide viewing angle
More affordable than its predecessor
THE BAD
Lacks Ethernet option
No USB interface


Deeper Into Black

Deeper Into Black

The plasma display panel (PDP) landscape feels rather dismal at the moment and yes, that comment has to do with Pioneer's impending exit from the display business into oblivion. In fact, there aren't many left to carry the torch for the PDP segment. There are a remaining few industry players, of course, like Hitachi for example, who inserted a 500GB hard drive into their HDTVs recently in an effort to embellish their lineup. Ironically, PDP sales have enjoyed a minor surge in the early half of 2009, with unit sales of 42-inch 720p resolution plasma TVs up to 40% from quarter-to-quarter. In fact, the PDP faction is the only large screen category to show significant growth this year, according to Quixel Research.

Still, plasma display makers, like Panasonic, have to be wary with the emergence of new fangled technology like LED-backlit TVs for instance. Furthermore, the plasma camp has to contend with the looming presence of OLED displays as well, although these organic screens probably wouldn't see the light of day till 2010 rolls around or perhaps even later. As current champion of the OLED cause, Sony has wisely chosen to apply the brakes on a full-scale release, with only the 11-inch XEL-1 for consumer consumption. Interestingly, LG looks to be joining the OLED ranks soon, so do keep them under your radar.

Competition aside, Panasonic's name has become almost synonymous with PDP screens, and it's obvious that they aren't ready to slow down their gears in the plasma channel. The 50-inch TH-P50V11S PDP, flagged under Panasonic's premium V-series, will enter the fray as a replacement model for the PY850 PDP introduced last year. Proudly fitted with their top of the line NeoPDP panel and a built-in DVB-T digital tuner, let's see if this V11 engine is fierce enough to drive our hearts.