Pros THX Mode
Overall picture quality.
Quality feel of TV.
Cons Remote a little obtuse.
There really should be a way to adjust picture setting without having to access a sub-menu.
Summary I researched ad-nauseum for months until I was ready to pull the trigger. I looked at all of the different sets in the stores, but that is really no way to judge the picture quality. Salesmen are clueless at best and outright dishonest at worse. There comes a point when you just have to trust the experts and take a leap of faith. I could not find a single expert review that wasn't overall glowing and gushing about Panasonic plasmas, no-matter which model. I don't think you can go wrong with any of them. The reputation for dependabilty is there for a reason. This was a big reason I chose this over the Samsung.
Speaking of Samsung, I looked at both the 650 and the 860 series plasmas. They are gorgeous sets, and the PQ on the 860 I saw when hooked up to a Blue-Ray was simply amazing. I don't think I would have been unhappy with either of them. I went with the G15 because I got it for less than 1300, and the reputation for durability. The G10 would have worked as well, as the picture is identical. The G15 is a little sleeker looking, with a thinner panel and not as gaudy of a silver fade on the front. I also picked up a sc-bt300 blue ray home theater with it, and got a 200 dollar rebate for buying the TV, HTIB package. Overall I am exstatic with the deal I got on everything.
Blue Ray is awesome. I haven't tried the 24p mode so I can't attest to the flicker issue, but just running it out of the box it looks great. I have my cable box hooked up via component (hdmi output not working on box) and even that looks great. If it will be better with HDMI, lucky me. Standard Def. looks like crap, just like it does on any set after watching HD. I have had zero issues with IR after watching programs in 4:3. Speakers are just fine for TV speakers. It amazes me to hear people ***** about speaker quality on TV's. They always suck, and for sucky speakers these are just fine. No better or worse than your standard TV speakers. Why would you get a 50 inch plasma and watch movies with 2" speakers?
I haven't hooked up the ethernet cable yet, but the online features are kind of gimicky anyways. Don't even know if I will bother with it.
If you are looking at this set or the G10, get it, you won't regret it. You will not find a better bang for your buck out there. If money is no object, get the v10 for the sleeker design and 96hz. I don't regret saving the 500 dollars and going with the 'G' one bit.
Pros An excellent viewing experience! The remote is intuitive and the setting options are easily understood. THX is certainly a justifiable criteria for my choice. Viera Cast and internet connectivity are welcome features. HD graphics are stunning!!!
Cons The sound is very disappointing. The bezel casts odd reflections under some lighting conditions.
Summary I am thoroughly convinced that extensive research led me to the correct selection of this product. I viewed it in several different stores and settings and most displays were awful. After reading reviews for several products, the G15 kept coming up as the one to buy. One of the main indicators was THX certification. This TV is technically ahead of the competition. The blacks are deep, but you can still see a black button on a black shirt! Colors pop. The separation of individuals in a crowd at a stadium is amazing. I had to wait a few weeks for the delivery of my Onkyo 9100 THX sound but once that was in place - oh my.... A few salesmen knew what they were talking about, but it took many hours of surfing and lots of legwork to convince me this system combination was worth it. The one mistake I made was judging the viewing distance. In my room the main couch would have been 12 feet away whereas the optimal spot is closer to 9 feet for me. Buying a bigger set was beyond my budget, so I simply had to move closer to appreciate the detail.
The packaging was very good so it was easy to transport with two people, Surprisingly the date of manufacture revealed it was only three weeks old. Don't use the provided cleaning cloth on the screen - it's for the case and stand only. I lived with it for a few weeks on the pedestal before wall mounting it. Definitely better on the wall.
The manual is well written, however the details are a bit overwhelming in one reading; best to digest it in smaller doses. Calibration was easy right out of the box. I was expecting YouTube quality to be blah but some things are surprisingly OK, which bodes well for it's inclusion on Viera Cast. Toggling between HD telecast and the SD of the same show reveals how superior the technology is. Having seen a few things in 3D (like the Grammy sequence tribute to M.J.), I'm not sure the leap to 3DTV will be as big a difference. Yes the red/blue glasses work just as well as they do on the computer. Anyways I think it will be at least a couple of years before that technology becomes affordable and content-worthy. I was convinced that connectivity was key to my purchase of the G15 and ten weeks later the experience has blossomed with the availability of peripherals. I'm glad I did not postpone purchasing this TV until something better comes along. The emotional intensity of the participation in viewing has been raised to a whole new level.
Sports are more enjoyable when you can see the play developing down the field or the ice surface. The surround sound puts you at the event, but you don't have to stay in your seat - you can fly along and over the play! Blue Ray
recordings are the "icing-on-the-cake." One can not appreciate how good they are without an HDTV.
Occasionally I will be doing something else in the room when the G15 is on (no longer "theTV") and it will intercept my vision. I'm compelled to look into it; not merely distracted to look at it. Only a few possessions have the ability to absolutely consume my attention when interacting with them - my piano, my car, my iPod... Panasonic has undoubtably planned on attaining that between their products and their customers. Nothing succeeds like success. Watch for sales on these. I saved 37% at a one-day-only store-opening event.
Pros Good picture in custom mode.
Cons THX mode issues on older TVs.
Summary THX mode has a known defect for older TVs. If you buy a TV that is manufactured prior to a certain date, the THX mode will look overly green and yellow. I don't know the exact date, but it seems like it's likely in September or October 2009. Panasonic is aware of the issue and has not been able to fix it in older TVs, so if you buy one that was made several months ago, you may not want to use the THX mode. The problem can't be calibrated away. It also doesn't seem to effect the 65 inch TVs.
This is a bummer to me since I got one of the bad TVs and I wanted to use the THX mode. I calibrated the custom mode to produce a good picture, but it doesn't look as good as THX mode on a properly working TV.
Otherwise the TV has been perfect. It's a shame my TV can't be fixed and I doubt Panasonic would replace it.
There's also an issue of HDMI handshaking with certain Onkyo receivers. I think Panasonic can fix this if you specifically request a certain firmware version and know how to install it. The fix isn't part of the normal firmware update cycle.
Pros The G15 has an outstanding picture - same TV as the G10 but thinner. Controls are easy and lots of connections in the back. The THX mode renders beautiful colors in a darkened room. Using CNET settings for CUSTOM is ideal for a brighter venue.
Cons THX mode is a little too dark for a bright room. Optical output does not pass through 5-channel (Dolby Digital or DTS) signals from DVD player, only 2-channel. A separate digital connection from the DVD player to the home theater system is required.
Summary Fantastic TV for the price. Plasma TVs are still tops for picture. Next to LCD TVs, the picture is noticeably richer, with deep blacks and bright colors. Color accuracy couldn't be better. The G15 (and sibling G10) are stylish and versatile. CNET has rated the G10 and I purchased this based upon that review. I am totally satisfied.
Pros Beautiful picture with ability to customize look of picture. Good price for the size(50 inch). Good amount of connection options. Nice remote which is easy to use. Nice clean look. Stays relatively cool for a Plasma, based on my research.
Cons Only criticism I can find is the sound, although this was anticipated based on reviews of other units. Will be connecting to surround sound system in the very near future so should not be an issue, or deal breaker.
Summary Ok, here it is. After reading numerous reviews from different websites, including CNet, Consumer Reports, and other "techy" sites, not to mention recommendations from friends. I was overwhelmed by the opinions and choices. Since cost was a major consideration I boiled it down to two manufacturers...Panasonic and Samsung (Pioneer too expensive). I then visited a couple of retailers to see the TV options in person.
After much consideration and factors (including cost), I was down to the Samsung 50 inch 650 model and the Panasonic 50 inch "G" series. I am sure you could spend a little more within reason and upgrade to a "higher" performing model. In the end I went with the Panasonic TC-P50G15. I just bought it on Sunday and have set it up and ran it through numerous "test" at home. I have a PS3 and Comcast HDTV box hooked up. TV shows, movies (both regular and Blu-ray), and video games, all look great! I have them all hooked up with HDMI cables (expensive ones not needed). What I discovered is that the average consumer will not notice a significant performance difference among the top rated Plasma?s. Most of the organizations that test the TV?s use equipment to measure performance that most of us don?t have or would even know how to use.
That being said, I have viewed other units both at stores and over friend?s homes and can see a difference in lower end models. My recommendation would be to do some homework by checking reviews, and talk to people who own similar sets. Then consider how much you want to spend and what size unit you want. Once you have that, choose your top 2-3 and make your own choice. As long as you feel comfortable with the unit being rated as one of the better performers (doesn?t have to be #1), in the price range and size you want, you really can?t go wrong. Also consider personal preference to a particular manufacturer?s style. I was leaning to the Samsung because I did like the ?touch of color?, but ultimately went with the Panasonic based on previous experience with their products, reviews, and pretty decent price ($1398 at BrandsMart). You can shop around and save a little more than I paid, but I prefer to deal with a local retail just in case any issues came up. I also went with the Plasma over the LCD?s because of price. I was able to get a 50 inch for far less than a LCD, not to mention most reviews I read indicated that Plasma?s were better than LCD for watch sporting events (new LED-LCDs could be challenging that now).
Overall, I am very please with my TC-P50G15 choice. Would highly recommend it and you can?t go wrong with a Panasonic!