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Panasonic TH-50PZ800U

50" VIERA® 1080p THX®-certified plasma HDTV

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  • Panasonic TH-50PZ800U

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Item #: 13350PZ800
 

Review Summary

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Original price $2,499.99
 
 
 
 

Our take on the Panasonic TH-50PZ800U

by Steve Kindig
Panasonic

For years, movie enthusiasts have relied on THX-certified A/V receivers and speakers to deliver precise, theater-like surround sound in their homes. THX recently launched a certification program for HDTVs, and the Panasonic TH-50PZ800U was among the first models to pass. This set's THX badge means you can count on enjoying an accurate, lifelike picture on your favorite movies and TV shows.

THX enhancements close the gap between movie screen and TV screen
THX's strict requirements are based on tests that measure each TV's display quality (resolution, brightness level, color accuracy) and video processing (scaling, deinterlacing). To earn a passing grade, the TH-50PZ800U had to meet performance benchmarks for both standard- and high-definition video, ensuring that all your sources will look their best. Movie fans will love THX Movie Mode, a picture preset that optimizes settings for watching movies on DVD, Blu-ray, and broadcast TV.

Panasonic's most advanced plasma screen design
The TH-50PZ800U boasts Panasonic's most advanced 1080p plasma panel technology. It can reproduce 5,120 shades of gray — 25% more than last year's models — for naturally seamless colors. Picture contrast is outstanding too, with notably deep black levels. This TV's 24p Cinematic Playback mode optimizes 1080p video from a Blu-ray player — it doubles the original playback frame rate to 48 frames per second, just like most theater projectors do. You'll feel even more like you're sitting in a theater.

A versatile performer that's beautiful to look at, on or off
With four 1080p-capable HDMI inputs, the TH-50PZ800U is ready for the very best high-def sources available. A front-panel SD™ memory card slot also makes it easy to share your digital photos on a big, beautiful screen, without booting up your computer. And check out this TV's bezel-less "single-sheet glass" design — the entire front of the TV is one seamless surface.

Learn about the ins and outs of HDMI connections at the Crutchfield Learning Center.
Shop our selection of HDMI cables.

See more info on this item

Highlights:

  • 49.9" screen (measured diagonally)
  • widescreen 16:9 aspect ratio
  • built-in digital (ATSC) and analog (NTSC) tuners for over-the-air TV broadcasts (antenna required)
  • built-in QAM cable TV tuner receives unscrambled programs without a set-top box (cable service required)
  • 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • 30,000:1 contrast ratio (1,000,000:1 dynamic)
  • Sub Pixel Controller video processing
  • THX Movie Mode picture preset for optimized movie viewing
  • 24p Cinematic Playback mode (displays 1080p/24 content at 48Hz)
  • Deep Color and x.v.Color™ support
  • built-in stereo speakers (15.5 watts x 2)
  • multibrand remote control
  • VIERA Link™ simplifies remote control for compatible Panasonic components (HDMI-CEC)
  • picture settings memory for each video input
  • 8 A/V inputs, including:
    • 2 composite video (1 rear, 1 front)
    • 2 S-video (1 rear, 1 front)
    • 2 component video (accepts signals up to 1080i)
    • 4 HDMI v1.3 (3 rear, 1 front) — accepts signals up to 1080p (60Hz, 24Hz)
  • PC input: analog RGB (D-Sub 15-pin)
  • RF input for antenna/cable signals
  • optical digital audio output for Dolby® Digital
  • front SD™ memory card slot for digital photo playback
  • Energy Star® compliant
  • detachable stand (stand "footprint" is 18"W x 15-1/4"D)
  • wall-mountable (bracket not included)
  • 50"W x 31-1/4"H x 4-1/2"D (33-3/8"H x 15-1/4"D on stand)
  • weight: 99.3 lbs. with stand; 88.2 lbs. without stand
  • extra long-life panel (100,000 hours)
  • warranty: 1 year parts & labor — in-home service or pick-up for service
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

Tip: For a list of over-the-air digital TV stations you can receive, as well as antenna recommendations for your location, enter your zip code in AntennaWeb's mapping tool.

FREE "white glove" in-home delivery: This item will be delivered and placed in any accessible room in your home. Some flat-panel TVs include a pedestal stand that requires assembly by the customer — the delivery crew is not responsible for assembly. White glove service is available to physical addresses in the United States only. Limited delivery to Alaska and Hawaii is available for $99 per item. Sorry, we can't ship to freight forwarders. Delivery takes 5-7 business days once your order has been processed. Please allow extra time to remote addresses.

Hands-on research from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

Features and Specs
Display
Screen Size
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50"
Screen Design
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Flat
Aspect Ratio
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16:9
Screen Resolution (pixels)
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1920 x 1080
Screen Refresh Rate
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60
Backlighting Type
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N/A
3D
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---
Features
Instant Internet Movie Streaming
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---
Wi-Fi
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MHL-compatible
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---
Picture In Picture
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No
Parts Warranty
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1 Year
Labor Warranty
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1 Year
Type of Warranty Service
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In-home
Connections
Total Video Inputs
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8
HDMI Inputs
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3
Component Video Inputs
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2
Composite Video Inputs
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1
RF Inputs
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1
PC Input
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Yes
Ethernet Port
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No
USB Port
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Yes
Optical Digital Audio Output
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1 Rear
Coaxial Digital Audio Output
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None
Analog Audio Output
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1 Rear
Power Consumption
Estimated Yearly Electricity Use (EnergyGuide)
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Not Given
Estimated Yearly Energy Cost (EnergyGuide)
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Not Given
Dimensions & Mounting Information
Width (inches)
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50
Height with Stand (inches)
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33-3/8
Height without Stand (inches)
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31-1/4
Depth with Stand (inches)
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15-1/4
Depth without Stand (inches)
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4-1/2
Stand Width (inches)
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18
Weight with Stand
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99.3 lbs
Weight without Stand
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Not available
Wall Mountable
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Yes
Wall Bracket Included
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No
Pedestal Stand
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Assembly required
Product Research
What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • 50" Widescreen plasma TV
  • Wireless remote control (N2QAYB000220)
  • 2 "AA" batteries
  • 6.5' AC power cord
  • F-type antenna adapter for 5C-2V
  • Pedestal base
  • 2 Pedestal poles
  • 4 Machine screws (M5 x 18mm)
  • 4 Machine screws (M5 x 25mm)
  • 2 Cable ties
  • Cleaning cloth
  • Operating Instructions (Eng/Span/Fren)
  • HD setup guide (Eng/Span/Fren)
  • Plasma Concierge brochure
  • Product Registration card
  • Panasonic Customer Care Plan card (extended service plan)
  • "How to secure the AC cord" sheet
  • "Maintaining the shiny parts" sheet
  • Pedestal base assembly diagram

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team — they open the box, verify contents, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

Features
Remote Control
Input And Output Notes
Mounting

Features

Built-in Tuners: The TV has both analog (NTSC) and digital (ATSC) tuners, as well as a QAM tuner for unencrypted cable signals. With these built-in tuners, you don't have to purchase a separate digital set-top box to receive and decode HDTV/SDTV signals.

Increased Contrast Ratio: The Panasonic TH-50PZ800U Widescreen VIERA plasma 1080p HDTV has an increased native contrast ratio of 30,000:1 and dynamic contrast ratio of 1,000,000:1.

Anti-Reflective Filter: The TV's flat panel features a new AR (anti-reflective) screen coating that acts as a filter to reduce annoying reflections and improve picture quality.

68.7 Billion Colors: From deep blacks providing excellent shadow detail to vibrant colors rendering brilliantly bright scenes, the TH-50PZ800U displays an incredible 68.7 billion colors.

5,120 Shades of Gradation: Plasma displays can suffer from an artifact called false contouring, where transitions between different shades of the same color are too sharp. These transitions can appear as distinct lines between the different shades of color. Having 5,120 shades of gradation helps minimize the false contouring artifact so color transitions take on a smooth, natural appearance.

Deep Color/x.v.Color Compatible: This unit is compatible with the Deep Color and x.v.Color technology that corresponds with the HDMI Version 1.3 specification. This technology supports higher bit rates and more color possibilities than previous HDTV signals.

24p Playback: This TV is capable of displaying film-based video at the frame rate of 24 fps via HDMI. Some Blu-ray and high definition discs offer special 24p frame rate video for most accurate display of film-based material.

Native Resolution: The TH-50PZ800U has a display resolution of 1920 x 1080. All incoming signals are converted to this native resolution. The HDMI digital and component video inputs will accept 1080i, 720p, 480p, and 480i, and will display them as 1920 x 1080. The HDMI inputs will also accept a 1080p signal.

Aspect Modes: Depending on the input signal, you can choose one of the following aspect modes:

  • 4:3: displays a 4:3 picture at its standard size with bars along the sides
  • Zoom: magnifies the picture uniformly (vertically and horizontally) to fill the screen, so the top and bottom are cut off (recommended for letter box sources)
  • Full: stretches the picture horizontally to fill the screen (recommended for anamorphic sources)
  • Just: stretches a 4:3 picture to fill the screen but with aspect correction applied to the sides of the screen so that elongation is only apparent at the left and right edges of the screen (recommended for normal TV broadcasts)
  • H-Fill: enlarges the 4:3 picture horizontally to fill the screen, the side edges are cut off

Picture Menu: The Menu list allows you to make the following adjustments in picture quality:

  • Picture Modes: You can choose one of the following picture modes:
    • Vivid: provides enhanced contrast and sharpness when viewing in a well lit room
    • Standard: recommended for normal viewing conditions with subdued room lighting
    • THX (Cinema): faithfully reproduces the image quality that the movie makers intended in order to provide the ultimate cinematic experience at home
    • Custom (Photo): adjust picture, brightness, color, tint, and sharpness
    • Game: for playing video games. The mode will be set automatically if "GAME" is selected from the input label setting.
  • Picture Adjustment: Several picture settings can be individually adjusted, including Picture (white areas), Brightness (dark areas), Color, Tint, and Sharpness.
  • Color Temperature: This feature selects the level of warm color`s (red) and cool colors (blue). You can choose from a Cool, Normal, or Warm setting.
  • Color Management: When turned on, color management enhances green and blue color reproduction. This is especially useful for outdoor scenes.
  • x.v.Color: When set to Auto, this setting provides the appropriate picture when images corresponding to "x.v.Color" are input via HDMI or component input of this TV.
  • C.A.T.S. (Contrast Auto Tracking System): adjusts the brightness and gradation accordingly to optimize contrast.
  • Zoom Adjust: adjusts the vertical alignment and size when aspect setting "Zoom" is selected.
  • PC Adjust: sets the PC display for sync, dot clock, H-position, V-position, clock phase, input resolution, and Horizontal (15-110kHz) or Vertical (48-120Hz) frequency.
  • Advanced Picture: Some advanced picture settings include:
    • Video NR: Video Noise Reduction removes snow from a weaker analog TV signal.
    • Digital Comb Filter: The motion adaptive 3D-YC comb filter minimizes noise and cross-color in the picture when the composite video input is used.
    • Color Matrix: When viewing a signal input through the component video inputs, this TV will automatically optimize the color parameters based on the color matrix setting:
    • MPEG NR: Reduces the block noise specific to digital signals from DVDs, STB's etc.
    • Black Level: You can adjust the TV's black level to Dark or Light.
    • HD Size: This mode selects between 95% or 100% for the scanning area of the HDTV. This allows you to move any edge noise out of the viewable area.
    • 24p Direct In: Achieves more cinematic playback by reproducing the movie contents at twice the speed of 24 frames per second (60Hz or 48 Hz).

Anti-Image Retention Features: The TV's Pixel Orbiter feature helps to prevent image retention (burn-in) by shifting the display image. You can set the feature to automatic or force, and designate the time interval for the "Force" setting as 1, 2, 3, or 4. You can also change the brightness of the side bars that appear in 4:3 mode, or start a scrolling white vertical bar across the screen to prevent burn-in.

VIERA Link: VIERA Link HDAVI Control lets you operate all of your Panasonic "HDAVI Control" compatible home theater components connected by HDMI by pressing a single button on your TV's remote control. Panasonic equipment with the "HDAVI Control" function enables the following operations: Automatic input switching, Power on link, Power off link, Speaker control, and One-touch theater playback. Equipment with HDAVI Control 2 (or more) function enables the following operations: Providing the setting information, Automatic lip-sync function, and Direct TV recording. Note: VIERA Link is the new name for "EZ Sync."

SD Card Slot: The SD card slot on the front-panel of the TH-50PZ800U allows you to view JPEG photos from an SD, SDHC or miniSD card. An adapter is required to use a miniSD card. The maximum capacity for each type of media are: SDHC (16GB), SD Card (2GB), miniSD card (1GB). You can view images as thumbnails (up to 12 images), view them individually allowing you to rotate the image 90-degrees clockwise or counter-clockwise or view them as a slide show, with adjustable picture duration. You can adjust the time duration for the slide show between 1-10 seconds, 15, 20, 30, 45, 60, or 120 seconds. You can also adjust the TV's picture settings for your still photos.

Audio Menu: In addition to bass, treble, and balance, the TV's audio menu includes the following advanced features:

  • AI Sound: This audio feature equalizes the overall volume levels across all the channels and external inputs.
  • BBE: BBE High Definition Sound restores clarity and presence for better speech reproduction and musical realism.
  • BBE VIVA 3D: BBE ViVA HD3D (High-Definition 3D) Sound provides musically accurate natural 3D image with Hi-Fi Sound. The clarity of the sound is improved by BBE while the width, depth and height of sound image are expanded by BBE's proprietary 3D sound process. BBE ViVA HD3D Sound is compatible with all TV programs including news, music, dramas, movies, sports and electronic games.
  • Surround Function: The surround function enhances audio response when listening to stereo programming. This function is active only for the TV's built-in speakers.
  • Audio Leveler: The Audio Leveler monitors the difference in audio levels between inputs and minimizes the change in volume when you change inputs. This function is active only for the TV's built-in speakers.
  • Bass And Treble: The television features independent bass and treble settings to increase or decrease bass and treble response of the unit's built-in speakers.

Closed Caption: The television includes a built-in decoder that is capable of providing a text display of the audio. The program being viewed must be transmitting Closed Caption (CC) information. The TV features analog and digital close captions:

  • Analog:
    • CC 1-4: displays information related to pictures (appears at bottom of screen)
    • T 1-4: displays textual information (appears over entire screen)
  • Digital: The digital Closed Caption menu lets you configure the way you choose to view the digital captions when viewing a digital station with (CC). You can adjust size, font, style, foreground, opacity, background and outline settings.

Input Labels: Each input can be labeled to reflect the source connected. The label options are Skip, VCR, DVD, Cable, DBS, PVR, Game, Aux, and (blank). If "Skip" is selected, the TV/Video button will skip the input.

Station Caption: You change a channel's station name to a custom seven character name.

Favorite Channels: Channel numbers can be registered as Favorites and displayed in the TV's Favorite Tune menu for easier access.

Sleep Timer: This television features a built-in sleep timer, set by remote control, that turns the TV off automatically after 30, 60, or 90 minutes.

Programmable On/Off Timers: The programmable timers allow you to program the TV set to turn itself on and off at designated times, on designated days, tuned to designated channels. Up to 5 events can be programmed using the timers. An event can have multiple episodes (Daily, Mon-Fri, Every Wed, etc).

Lock: The Lock function has four settings to block viewing of particular channels or inputs. You create a 4-digit password that's required to bypass the lock. The available settings are:

  • Off: nothing is locked
  • All: all channels and external inputs are locked
  • Game: channels 3 and 4 and the video inputs are locked
  • Channel: locks up to seven specific channels
  • Program: block programs based on their TV or movie rating

Automatic Shut-Off Function: The television is equipped with the following automatic shut-off functions to conserve energy.

  • No Signal Shut-Off: To conserve energy, the TV automatically turns off when no signal and no operation is performed for more than 10 minutes.
  • No Action Shut-Off: To conserve energy, the TV automatically turns off when no operation of remote or front panel buttons continue for more than 3 hours.

Remote Control

Multibrand Remote: The supplied remote is pre-programmed to operate this unit and a number of functions on other brands of components; including VCRs, DVD players, DVD recorders, personal video recorders (PVR), cable boxes, combination cable box/PVRs, DBS receivers, and combination DBS receiver/PVRs. The OK button and directional keys allow you to move the on-screen selector, making menu navigation simple and efficient. The remote control will also operate certain functions of Panasonic equipment with "HDAVI Control" connected by HDMI automatically through the TV's VIERA Link feature.

Input And Output Notes

HDMI Inputs: The TH-50PZ800U has 3 rear-panel HDMI inputs and 1 front-panel HDMI input. All of the HDMI terminals can accommodate copy-protected digital signals (HDCP) from other devices (such as digital set-top boxes) that have compatible interfaces. All of the HDMI inputs can be used with an HDMI-to-DVI adapter and the left and right RCA audio jacks or 3.5mm stereo jack (for the audio portion of the signal) from the Component 1, Component 2, Video 1, Video 2 or PC input of the TV if necessary. The side-panel HDMI input does not support HDMI-to-DVI conversion.The HDMI inputs will accept 1080p, 1080i, 720p, 480p, and 480i inputs.

Component Video Inputs: The two component video inputs will accept 1080i, 720p, 480p, and 480i inputs.

Digital Audio Out: The rear-panel optical digital output allows you to send a Dolby Digital bit stream to a Dolby Digital receiver or decoder. If the program doesn't include a Dolby Digital soundtrack, a 2-channel PCM bit stream is output.

Front Panel Input: The TV's front-panel input includes an HDMI input, left and right RCA audio connections, RCA composite video, and S-video connections.

SD Card Slot: The television features a front panel SD-card slot for viewing JPEG images stored on an optional SD-card (sold separately). The SD-card slot is compatible with SDHC cards up to 16GB, SD cards up to 2GB, and miniSD cards up to 1GB (miniSD cards require a miniSD card adapter).

PC Input: The TV is equipped with an RGB (15-pin D-Sub) input for connecting your PC. A 3.5mm mini-jack is provided for PC audio.

Mounting

Pedestal Base: The TH-50PZ800U includes a pedestal base for cabinet-top mounting. The base comes unassembled, and unattached to the TV, so assembly is required. With the pedestal base the TV weighs 99.3 pounds.

Wall Mounting: On the back of the TV are four threaded inserts to attach an optional wall mount bracket. The inserts require M8 (8mm) machine screws, the horizontal hole spacing is 26" and a vertical hole spacing of 12-5/8". Without the pedestal base attached, the TV weighs 88.2 pounds.

 
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Panasonic TH-50PZ800U Reviews

Average Customer Review:

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5 out of 5

A simply incredible HDTV!

Written By Jarod, Hays, Kansas on Saturday, January 24, 2009
 
For months I did countless hours of research both on-line and in several popular electronics stores around my entire state. I have had over 5 years
of hands on experience with home theater so I knew exactly what I was looking for. Between the incredible reviews this HDTV recieved from both
perfessional sites and public purchases, and hours of instore comparison, I made my decision to order the Th-50PZ800U. I have had two other 720p
plasmas and this set outperforms both of them considerably, thanks to its deep blacks, great 1080 up-scaling, and the THX modes insanely accurate
and natural colors. I have this set hooked up to a Sony Blu-ray BDP-S300 with an HDMI cable to an Onkyo reciever, and also DirectTVHD cable box
with and HDMI. I purchased the Blu-ray disc "HD Basics" that I used to get the THX mode dead-on accurate! HD programs look breathtaking, and Blu-
Ray is a whole new demention! Up converted DVD looks great too. This set makes colors pop and peoples faces look as natural as in real life, and it also has a real 3 deminsional look. Like I said, the THX mode is the real deal! I looked at many HDTVs and this one has the best picture of all of them, and to me the Panasonic's color accuracy was a little better. This set is also half the price of the others I looked at. I gaurentee you will love this set! As usual, ordering with Crutchfield was the best!
7 out of 8 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Love It!!!

Written By Rick, Oak Ridge NC on Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I really enjoy this TV. Great picture,great price, great customer service, great delivery. You guys at crutchfield provide great service and quality products. Your customer service is the best I have had in a long time. Even the delivery guys were great! I am using this TV for a home theater and it has been alot of fun having movie night with friends and family! Keep up the good work!
4 out of 6 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Amazing Picture Quality

Written By Anonymous, Cleveland, OH on Sunday, November 02, 2008
 
This line of Panasonic plasmas produces amazing picture quality, with super bright whites and very dark blacks. I strongly considered an lcd, but this model Panasonic provides a better contrast ratio, longer lifetime, and no ghosting with fast action scenes. I'm very impressed with this plasma and would say it's a close second to the $5,000 pioneer elite line, widely accepted as the industry's best plasma.
14 out of 14 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Great quality!

Written By Aaron, Powell, OH on Thursday, October 30, 2008
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I researched TVs and decided to get a plasma screen for the picture quality. I avoided LCD because of some of the potential negatives like light bleed and stuck pixels. I've seen dead pixels (not so bad), and I've seen stuck pixels. Nothing bothers me more than a bright anomaly such as a stuck pixel.

I avoided DLP because of the potential rainbow effect. Also, because DLP is rear projection, it's harder to view the picture if you're not watching it head on.

The ability to watch this TV from pretty much any angle is a huge bonus as well.

This TV is not disappointing in the least. I chose this plasma TV as it is highly rated by consumers and professional reviewers.

The picture quality is phenomenal. It's not too heavy (about 90 lbs) so it's easy to wall mount with the help of a friend. It might not be too heavy for a single person to pick up, but it's certainly too awkward.

The picture quality is great in all lighting. The screen does give off glare from lights depending on the angles, but it's not as bad as a CRT.

The sound is good as well, but that wasn't my major focus on deciding on this TV.

Unless you're looking for a larger TV, I can assure you that this TV is an excellent choice if you have the budget.
16 out of 16 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Extremely Happy with this TV

Written By Dan, Plano TX on Thursday, August 21, 2008
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Have had this TV for about a week and couldn't be happier. I agree with the reviewer that said the PQ is better in THX mode and am puzzled by the the reviewer that scored this TV at 1/5. HD PQ is excellent, sound is surprisingly good, and it's a great looking unit. You have to have realistic expectations regarding SD but in my opinion, this set performs better than most.

I too have read a ton of reviews and done exhaustive research and am COMPLETELY happy with the 50PZ800u.

Lastly - the purchase and delivery experience with Crutchfield was outstanding.
34 out of 34 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

So far, so good

Written By Rob, Reston VA on Friday, August 15, 2008
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I am only writing because the other reviewer panned this TV, and I am not sure why. You can read reviews online to get a balanced viewpoint here. The reviews are glowing. Otherwise I would not have bought mine.

I am not a TV expert, but I can say the TV and picture are terrific. BUT - if you buy this, you NEED TO CHANGE THE PICTURE SETTING TO THX. We
were disappointed with the picture quality at first, and then set the picture to THX and went, "Wow."

Also, if you are hooking your Viera to a HD cable box, the TV WILL NOT AUTOMATICALLY SET UP CHANNELS. You need to push the TV input button
and navigate the menu to the appropriate input.

I hope this helps.
46 out of 48 people found this helpful
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1 out of 5

Bad Standard Definition

Written By JohnGreenMountain, Vermont on Thursday, August 07, 2008
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I purchased this TV because it was highly rated by the forums. I wanted a second TV to go to my basement as I already have a 50". When I first installed it, I was very disappointed that the Standard definition and even the high definition was far inferior than the 50" which happens to be 2 years old. I decided to return the TV and purchase another instead.
88 out of 239 people found this helpful
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We'll repair or replace your item in five business days or less after we've received it, or your plan is free. And, as always, we pay for all shipping.

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3 Year Protection Plan
3 Year Protection Plan
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4 Year Protection Plan
4 Year Protection Plan
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