"Excellent picture-good value-nice style!"4.5 starson by BaldeagleTR
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!