Panasonic Viera TC-P54G10 Plasma HDTV First Impressions Review
The Panasonic TC-P54G10 seems like a solid set, although we do have some concerns.
Display Size & Technology
The TC-P54G10 is a 54-inch plasma TV. The series will also be available in 50, 46 and 42 inch models.
As a plasma TV, the viewing angle is quite god.
Format & Resolution
The TC-P54G10 runs 1080p, which is the highest HD quality on the market. This means it has 1920x1080 resolution and displays pictures in the 16:9 aspect ratio.
Brightness, Blacks & Contrast Ratio
The TC-P54G10 has a manufacturer-stated contrast of 40,000:1. Plasma TVs are often capable of high contrasts, but this number is about 20x larger than what we typically see in testing. When manufacturers measure contrast, they boost settings that might decrease overall picture quality just so they can achieve a high ratio. You'll have to wait for us to get this TV in the lab if you want a standardized value.
Refresh Rate & Motion
The TC-P54G10 has a plasma screen, so it isn't affected by refresh rate like an LCD is. We eyeballed the screen, however, and found motion to be relatively smooth. There wasn't any blurring, artifacting, or jitteriness, of course display TVs like this are tuned to look good. We'll see what happens when we throw some of our test patterns at it in a full review.
Like all good plasmas, the TC-P54G10 has a great viewing angle. We didn't notice any significant degredation of color or contrast, just a very subtle darkening as we approached a 90º angle. The one complaint we had looks to be caused by reflection. Any time a bright image was displayed on a dark background, we could see a refleciton that looked like a drop shadow. This wasn't some added affect, as the orientation of the reflection changed as our viewing angle did.
Of course, our standard caveat applies: the unit we looked at could have been a pre-production unit and, regardless, the TV isn't due out until March: the problem could very well be fixed by then.
The TC-P54G10's color representation seemed good. Viewing angle didn't change color quality significantly, although a bit of luster was lost at extreme angles. Bright colors did seem to bleed slightly around their edges, but only very slightly.
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