"Panasonic TC-P50S2 Review by Plasma TV Buying Guide!"5.0 starson by WilliamWerner
Pros: + Superior picture quality
+ Color is plenty saturated and dark shadow detail remains excellent
+ Viewing angle is phenomenal
+ Power consumption less than S1
+ Great black levels
Cons: - No internet connectivity
- No D-sub input
- No THX picture setting option
Summary: 1080p HD Picture Quality: The picture presentation of the from the 50S2 is still very bright and with the improved black levels much improved. Black levels are deep and strong with an HD signal input through HDMI. While not the best we've seen lately, they lose the dark gray haziness that the S2 can display with a 480i signal. Color is plenty saturated and dark shadow detail remains excellent.
Picture Presentation from 480i signals: We always test every TV with a 480i resolution. It is a great test of a TVs upconversion and processing chip sets. The signal may be likened to what you would see with your normal digital cable or satellite signal.The TC-P50S2 series plasma contains the new an updated version of the NEO PDP (i.e. plasma screen) from Panasonic. This is the same screen used in some of the higher end Panasonic series which should make this model a good value if picture quality is your primary objective. We find the picture quality overall improved from the prior S1 series. The drives do a little better job of eliminating motion artifacts than the S1 series did. Color rendition is still with black levels being the primary progress area of the S2 series delivering more depth and solidity. As was the case on the S1 series, brightness is a strength of the these newer Panasonic plasma models.
Calibration Notes: Overall, calibration to D6500K was very easy with this TV. Though there are no white balance adjustments available on the menu without entering the service menu, the 50S2 calibrated so close to D65 from the start that it would have improved the TV inappreciably. We started our calibration from the custom setting in the Warm 2 color temperature position. The S2 series TV does not contain the THX picture setting option. Follow the following settings to calibrate to a nearly perfect D65. These picture settings are best viewed in a controlled light environment fairly dark room:
Picture Mode: Custom
Color Temp: Warm2
Color Mgmt: OFF
Video NR: Weak
Block NR: Off
Misquito NR: Off
Black Level: Light
3:2 Pulldown: Off
HD Size: 2
Black Level/Contrast: Black levels were an area that the S1 series needed a makeover on. They got it with this S2 series. These are not going to be the best black levels we see this year and we dont anticipate them coming close to some of the Samsung plasma black levels. However, Panasonic has brought black levels back into welcomed focus. Final ANSI contrast measurement was 1261:1 which is a nice improvement over last year but far from what we want. One of the TVs greatest strengths lies in its white brightness which measured an average luminance of 31.50. This result nears LCD TVs in brightness and points to Panasonic's desire to compete with LCD TVs in this area.
Dark Shadow Detail: Partly due to the high brightness of this plasma dark shadow detail is excellent. Panasonic plasma TVs have long been a favorite of ours in this important area.
Color Rendition/Color Accuracy: Color rendition is much more saturated with HD content. The TV excels with HD content and is much more subdued in presentation with lower signals. Colors can seem a little weak and hazy at times with lower end signals. I will give them the thumbs up on reality however.
Features: One of the key feature differences of the S2 series with the G20 series of plasma by Panasonic is the absense of The Viera Cast feature set, which enables online content via a web interface. As a result, there is also no Ethernet port. The included Viera Link feature allows the user to control other Viera link capable outboard equipment. Viera Image viewer is the Panasonic compatible technology which enables use of SD memory card viewing via the SD card slot.The S2 has discrete picture settings for each input as well as Panasonic's new "600 Hz" specification for blur reduction.
This TV is Energy Star compliant due to an energy saver feature option. Power consumption for the S2 has been reduced from the S1. This is one of the main feature differences aside from improved black levels. Panasonic started improving efficiency in their plasma TVs in 2007 and have improved it 400% with this S2 model. They are now close enough to LCDs in energy efficiency that is should not matter.
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