Panasonic TC-P65ST50 Review
65" 3D Plasma TV Viera Connect Smart TV
- Infinite Black Pro Panel (deep black levels)
- 1.5 X Brighter Screen than last year
- Louvered Screen for anti reflective effect
- Built in Web Browser
- Built in Wifi
- Social Networking Feature
- Active Shutter 3D
- Great Value for the Price
- Appearance of Frame and Bezel is somewhat dated
- Detailed Calibration in Advanced Menu Necessary to optimize picture
Picture and Viewing Feaures
The TC-P65ST50 has the Infinite Black Pro panel which the VT series had in 2011 with a cell structure that increases black levels by 1.5 times by blocking more ambient light with the louvered filter. This filter also prevents screen glare very well from our experience. It just absorbs the light without allowing it to reflect. This is a fantastic panel and picture quality for such a value oriented and well price active 3D plasma. The "self Illuminating" panel has very good contrast from the high efficiency panel while the Louver filter provides better light transmittance and clarity to images. All of these new technologies fall under the term NeoPlasma for 2012 which entails the over 6 million pixel cells full local dimming capability and over 24,000 steps of grayscale for improved color and balance across spectrums.
In the ST50 the 3D jumped off the screen and appeared to be deep inside the set. Panasonic's active 3D is very immersive with colors that pop and tons of detail. You will impressed by 3D on the TC-P65ST50. Panasonic's active 3D is one of the best we've tested for 2012 with the ST50 receiving the best panel from 2011 in the Infinite Black Pro panel. The 3D quality is lively, smooth and rich with the full 1080p resolution being broadcast to each from the panel. The new 3D glasses are light and comfortable as well.
Black Level And Contrast
Panasonic is known for strong black level and contrast and the ST50 is no exception. The dark, inky blacks make the colors pop off the screen but do not overpower detail in darker scenes. Every wrinkle in a dark suit is apparent as are individual hairs in a dark head of hair. The ST50 continues to show off plasma's dominance in this important part of overall picture quality.
This picture of the ST50 series plasma shows great black levels and contrast
Side Angle Viewing
While LED televisions make incremental improvements in this area plasma still gives viewers the sam picture quality all the way out ot the very edge of viewable area. The ST50 has excellent side angle viewing.
Internet Applications and Connectivity
The ST50 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.
We were impressed with the new 3D Real Sound speakers that Panasonic has implemented in this model. The new 8 – Train speakers redirect the sound in such a way that it comes from the center of the screen rather than the bottom where the speakers are located. We tested the system next to a plasma from last year and were amazed that it works as well as it does. It really seems to come from the center of the screen and the quality of treble and voice is also very good.
Value-wise the TCP65ST50 is an exceptional deal on a per square inch basis with competition from the Samsung PN64E6500 and large LED TVs from Sharp such as the 70" LC-70LE847. At $2700 the 65ST50 offers great picture quality, lots of premium features (Wifi, Web Browser, Viera Connect Apps, Active 3D) and decent aesthetics. The sound system quality was not what we thought it would be, but with a TV this large you will likely want to use a home theater surround system anyway. The 3D glasses are not inexpensive at around $60 per pair, however with the ST50 series you can use any universal active 3D glasses as well
Picture Quality Rating: 9.2/10
Features Rating: 8.9/10
Value Rating: 9.4/10
Overall Rating: 9.2/10