Panasonic TC-P50S2 Plasma HDTV Reviewed
By: Adrienne Maxwell,
HTR Product Rating
- 4 Stars
- 4 Stars
- 4 Stars
Disagree with our product rating? Email us and tell us why you think this product should receive a higher rating.
The TC-P50S2's connection panel includes three HDMI and two component video inputs, as well as a single RF input to access the internal ATSC and Clear-QAM tuners. This model does not include a PC input. The HDMI inputs accept both 1080p/60 and 1080p/24 signals, and one HDMI input is located on the side panel for easy access. Also on the side panel is an SD card slot through which you can view digital photos; this model can't play MPEG-2/AVCHD video through the SD card reader, a feature that is available in the step-up lines. The TV lacks an Ethernet port and does not support the VIERA Cast Web platform through which you can access Amazon and NetFlix VOD, Skype, YouTube, and other Web features. It also lacks advanced control ports like RS-232 and IR.
The TC-P50S2 has a solid assortment of picture adjustments but lacks some of the advanced options you'll find in other displays. Picture settings include five picture modes, three color-temperature options (but no advanced white-balance controls to fine-tune the color temperature), video and MPEG noise reduction, blur reduction to improve moving-picture resolution, and a C.A.T.S. feature that automatically adjusts the picture based on ambient light. This model does not have the 24p Direct In mode found in the higher-end models, which lets you dictate whether to output 24p film content at 60 Hz (which involves 3:2 pulldown) or 48 Hz (which involves 2:2 pulldown and produces less judder). The TC-P50S2 has several features to prevent or counteract the effects of short-term image retention (a common plasma concern), including a pixel orbiter, a scrolling bar, and the option to use gray sidebars instead of black. There are five aspect-ratio options, and you can configure the TV to display a 1080i/1080p image with no overscan.
The TC-P50S2 has a straightforward design, with a black bezel, a detachable square base, and speakers incorporated into the bottom panel. The audio setup menu includes bass, treble, and balance controls, as well as an option to enable basic surround processing and a volume leveler that deals specifically with reducing level variations between the external inputs. Energy-saving features include the ability to set the TV to shut itself off after 10 minutes of no signal or three hours of no activity.
Competition and Comparison
Compare the TC-P50S2 by reading our reviews for the Insignia NS-P502Q-10A plasma HDTV and the LG 50PK750 plasma HDTV. To learn more about plasmas, visit our All Things Plasma HDTV section.
Read about the high points and the low points of the TC-P50S2 plasma on Page 2.