Panasonic TC-P42UT50 Review

42" 3D Plasma TV

Strengths:

  • One of the only Tier 1 42” TVs in market
  • Dark Shadow Detail
  • Price – Value
  • Color saturation post calibration
  • Anti Image Retention Orbiters Work
  • 1080p plasma in 42” difficult to find

Weaknesses:

  • Color saturation prior to calibration
  • Appearance and Design
  • Wifi Dongle Optional (Extra)

Panasonic TC-P42UT50The UT50 is set apart from the ST50 by not having the new Infinite Black Pro plasma panel. It still has a good picture but black levels and contrst aren't quite as strong as the higher-tier Panasonic plasma televisions.

Picture and Viewing Feaures

The TC-P42UT50 does have 1080p processing and continues with Panasonics Infinite Black panel which was used in the S30 series last year. Picture quality is not nearly as refined on this TV as on models with the Infinite 2 Black panel and above. Characteristics are very good dark shadow detail, average black levels, and well saturated color once the TV is calibrated. Access to the white balance controls is critical to this. Side angle viewing on this TV is flawless. Contrast is not nearly as high as some of the better TVs on the market but that is one of the absences that make it an outstanding value play. You will notice the black bars top and bottom the picture on a 16:9 image being somewhat hazy.

Standard definition programming looks very good on this TV. It does a very nice job of maintaining color rendition even with lower signals and the aspect ration adjustments for proper sizing are also stellar. There are some motion artifacts to contend with, but overall this TV still delivers a sound picture.

3D Performance

Even without the Infinite Black Pro panel the TC-P42UT50 does well with 3D content. There is plenty of depth to the image and color performance is good. The immersion level of 3D on the UT50 is excellent for a value oriented 3D plasma television.

Black Level And Contrast

Black levels aren't as strong on the UT50 when compared to Panasonic's top tier plasmas but dark shadow detail remains strong and the more than adequate black level helps colors pop and gives the picture plenty of depth.

Side Angle Viewing

While LED televisions make incremental improvements in this area plasma still gives viewers the same picture quality all the way out ot the very edge of viewable area. The UT50 has excellent side angle viewing.

Internet Applications and Connectivity

Viera Connect Smart TVThe UT50 has the basic Viera Connect suite with streaming video from Netflix, Hulu and more and also has apps like Youtube and Pandora as well as sports, news and weather. The ST50 lacks the social network connectivity of the higher end models like MySpace TV and Ooyala features.

Sound Quality

Many of today's ultra thin telvisions are lacking in sound quality from the onboard speakers. Like most of Panasonic's plasma televisions the ST50 does not suffer in this area. We found the sound on the UT50 to be clear with easy to understand dialog and good separation between the speakers.