Panasonic Viera TC-P54VT25 3D Capable 1080p Plasma TV

Model: Panasonic Viera TC-P54VT25
Description: 54" Full 1080P HD Plasma TV 3D TV Ready
Includes: Table top stand and 1 pair of Panasonic 3D TV Shutter Glasses
Reviewer: We
Date: Late summer/fall 2010

Panasonic TC-P54VT25 Review
Color information on the TC-P54VT25 is very ramped up. This scene from the Blu Ray of 300.

The TC-P54VT25 is the highest end top tier offering from Panasonic for 2010. The TV is 3D ready, has THX certifications, is Skype enabled (camera sold seperately), and contains Panasonic's new NEO PDP (plasma display panel). How do all of these new features and the accompanying picture quality add up?

Processor Testing: For a top tier TV we expected a better processing chip set. There was significant background motion artifacts and noise as well as significant judder jerky effects with objects moving side to side. Though the VT25 scored well in a few categories, we were disappointed overall by what we saw. The artifacts and background noise also came through in the picture as noted below.

Panasonic TC-P54VT25 Review
With a standard definition picture we were impressed with how vivid colors were displayed. This shot from the standard definition DVD of The Three Amigoes.

If you love ramped up oversaturated color reminiscent of movies like The Fifth Element, 300, Kill Bill, Fox Sports Football in your TV picture even sacrificing accuracy and realism, then the VT25 may be the TV for you. Or if you have a large standard definition DVD collection and want to bring some pop to the old movies (and you don't mind extraneous motion artifacts), the VT25 may also be for you.

3D TV Viewing: It took us about 20 minutes to get used to wearing the 3D glasses. For one reviewer that wears glasses it took longer. In the negative category, we experienced flashing from the glasses when there was room or ambient light present. This was apparently caused by the 3D glasses sensing the ambient light and reacting to it, for instance, when we turned our heads. Without other light sources in the room we didn't experience the issue. I also found that keeping my head still during viewing. Overall, after I got used to it, I enjoyed the experience and the movie (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs). The big question: Did the 3D movie, TV, and glasses enhance the experience? For me the answer is yes, it did, I felt that it enveloped me in the movie more. 3D TV is all about making the viewer feel more involved in the content and I would agree that it succeeded in that. On a critical note about the Panasonic VT25 I felt the edges were distractingly out of focus at times, in comparison to the Samsung which we were also reviewing. Click here for our 3D TV Shootout comparison of these TVs.

Panasonic TC-P54VT25 Review
A scene from the 3D Blu Ray of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.

Panasonic TC-P54VT25 Review
We were not fans of the unattractive contrast between the wide 2.25" bezel and the dark teal green screen on the VT25.

Remote Control/Menu Funtionality: The menu is too unfriendly for this price level. One has too make an adjustment and go back to the main menu and then back to picture settings again. It's cumbersome to start over after each picture setting. Another slight annoyance is that the TV does not sense connected input cables so one has to scroll through from scratch to select which input. Many TVs today sense which input is hot and give you an option for just those. The remote control is gray, plastic, unappealing with a plastic white arrow key button top center. The backlighting when needed is all red light. The feel of the depressed buttons is also cheap. Can you tell I wasn't a fan of the remote for this tier of TV?

Panasonic TC-P54VT25 Review

Audio Output: The Panasonic VT25 includes 3 X 10W speakers in total. There is no voice enhanced feature option for sound though I found the volume to be sufficient. Sound quality is good, especially with music, but I would recommend every TV include a voice enhanced option as so much broadcast and film based material these days needs it. The A-I sound option equalizes sound as a compressor and is useful for watching TV by toning down volume increases in those annoying ads.

3D TV: Obviously the TV has 3D capability as an added feature. Our evaluation of the performance of the feature was satisfactory.

Though prices are a bit higher for 3D TV compatibility, this is the only plasma 3D TV available in 54". However there are plenty of Samsung LED TV choices with 3D compatibility such as the Samsung UN55C8000 or UN55C8000. We suspect pricing on the 54VT25 will come in at about $2700 putting it squarely faced against these two LEDs. However, we believe that for now, picture quality is discernibly better on plasma for 3D TV viewing.


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