Pros + Picture quality is outstanding and very crisp, 3D is amazing
+ Black levels are deep and the contrast is amazing
+ WiFi connection was easy and automatic
Cons - Advanced setup doesn't offer as many customizations as other TVs
- Does not come with 3D eyewear
Summary This is an quick review, having had my set for less than a week and just set it up yesterday. I'll update if needed at a future time. This is GREAT television with nearly all the bells and whistles. If you like the latest and greatest gimmic like hand gestures and voice command, then look at the Samsung line of LED's. Also if you like an overly bright and yes, sometimes phony artficial look, then look to LED's. But if you already decided plasma is the way to go, this and its sister models is one of the best plasma sets on the market at any price... it is that good.
As much as you might be tempted do NOT attempt to take this beast out of the carton yourself and attach the stand. It simply is too big and to be honest it really is a three person job. Two to lift the set out of the carton, slide it into the base guides while another person screws in the four bolts securing it to the base. The instructions don't say, the tiny hole in the base goes to the back.
One feature of this set is what Panasonic calls "first time setup" which is a fully animated seven step how-to of basic connections including hooking up to your WiFi home network. The help on screen of the tv itself is very good. Easily accessible from the remote anytime you need it.
The remote has a built-in light that lights up the keys, useful in dark viewing situtations. The menu system is a bit different than some in that the main choices appear on the left, with a sub menu to the right, BUT you need to press OK first in order to access the sub menu features and sometimes step through multiple presses of return. Just takes a little getting use to.
Right out of the box, set it set to "standard" mode which might be disappointing to some. This as the other modes are easily changes to whatever values you want and will be remember. Many options appear on multiple pages and sometimes not seen unless you press the little down pointing arrow. Too early to say how I'm changing my setting, several have already commented on that.
Internet access: Setting up to my WiFi connection was easy and automatic. All you need is your router's name and password and your tv should find and conect to it in a minture or so. The remote keypad will allow you to enter your password, but torture as far as how slow doing it that way is. If you plan on using this set to view the Internet and do more that just pick movies invest in one of the supported optional keyboards.
I tried a SD card from my video camera and it flawlessly played as a slideshow without issue. I haven't tried DLNA features to access my other assets on the network yet nor the USB feature.
A couple issues you might run into. One depends on your cable box. Mine has a curious option when you have to use the cable remote to go to settings and select between HDMI and Dolby output. If you don't, then the audio output via HDMI was only left and right channel, not Dolby. Simple fix. Also on my A/V receiver I had to change it's settings to ARC-auto otherwise it too would interfer with proper audio playback. The audio output from the TV itself is ok, but just ok. Do yourself a favor and get a A/V receiver to properly playback digital audio. Once you hear the difference, you'll never go back.
File under dumb mistakes: In taking away my old TV and disconnecting from my A/V receiver I managed to pull off one wire that went to the center speaker. So, when I first turned on the new tv I was not happy I could only hear muffled background sounds and saw the actors mouths moving but not hearing them. Simple fix. So if something weird happens, check your other equipment before blaming the new tv. (wink)
About the picture quality:
Jaw dropping. Yeah, that good but only after tinkering with some settings, having a STRONG signal from your signal source, proper ambient room lighting and viewing from a proper distance from the screen. This of course is somewhat a personal choice. One dispute that has been waging forever is there seems to be two camps, those that prefer the more natual look and color saturation of plasmas, and another camp that likes what to most videophile purists seems artfical and cartoonish in "some" viewing situations. Only having watched a few hours so far, I feel I made the right choice going with my second plasma. The picture quality especially when viewing full live 1080i content (most cable boxes show in their window what resolution is being broadcast)is outstanding and very crisp without look a bit phony as it can on some LED's.
A few quick tips on calibration for the do it yourself crowd:
Assumed: You have the ability to download images from the Internet, have a DVD and or Blu Ray burner to make your own disks. Google "Indian Chief test pattern". You'll find tons of them. They're suppose to be black and white. Try to find one close to the resolution of your new TV or failing that use some photo enhancement software such as Photoshop to enlarge to 1920 x 1080 or as close to that as possible. Remember to keep aspect ratio in tact otherwise you'll defeat the purpose of this adjustment.
Now burn to a DVD (add other test patterns test images if you like, more on a future post). Let set warm up a good 20 minutes, in a semi dark room, load your DVD in. Be careful not to keep the test pattern on screen for more than a couple minutes, it should take way less time. Record your settings. Set color to 0 to remove all color. Now while watching the test pattern slowly adjust the sharpness control to get the best seperation between the lines in the test pattern and the best looking indian with a feather headdress.
Many people make the assumption more is better and will crank up sharpeness or focus control to near maximum. Wrong! This is reality will only distort the picture. While observing the test pattern as you adjust setting watch for fuzziness of the lines and also blooming or the lines seeming to grow in size or "blooming" a sure sign you have too little or too much sharpness. Once you get the most seperation between the lines in the test pattern without otherwise distorting something else stop, your done. Reset your color control and now you may want to recalibrate your other settings a bit.
Doing a grayscale adjustment is just as simple, and no, you don't really need to buy some fancy set up disc to get close to ideal settings.
Note: check for low price of this TV at: 3dplasmatvslowprice.blogspot.com/p/panasonic-tc-p65st50.html
I'll give details in a few days or so after I get around to doing mine.
"Life changer"on by fakedeath
Pros Great 3D
Perfect color accuracy
great smart service
low input lag(for gaming)
amazing black levels
Cons uses a bit more power than led/lcd
Summary Ibought this tv a month ago, befor that I had an old 24 inch CRT TV for 8 years. when I bought this tv I was blown away by the colors and black levels, in 3D the ghosting was little to none and this tv is perfect for movie waching and playng games. I recommend this to anybody who want's a great tv that has amazing picture and doesen't want to buy ridiculously overpriced led/lcd Tv's