|Panasonic TH-50PH9UK 50-inch Plasma HDTV|
|Home Theater Flat Panel HDTVs Plasma HDTVs|
|Written by Kevin Miller|
|Sunday, 01 October 2006|
Page 3 of 3
Some folks might find the limited connectivity, and the fact that you have to go to the trouble to customize the set by purchasing and installing additional input cards, a negative. People wanting consumer convenience features like a built-in ATSC tuner or a cable card will also be disappointed. If these are deal breakers, then you can always opt to buy one of Panasonic’s consumer plasma panels that offer some of these features. However, if you are interested in the best picture quality, the industrial models handily outperform their consumer siblings. My biggest complaint is the inaccuracy of the red and green primary colors.
The bottom line: The TH-50PH9UK is the best bang for the buck in the 50-inch plasma panel category. In terms of color accuracy, it is one of the tops in its class. If the primary colors were either close to accurate out of the box or addressable through a CMS (Color Management System), then it would be a world beater in every aspect of picture quality and performance, regardless of cost. There are a number of plasma sets on the market that have the CMS feature that work very well, and as a result exhibit incredibly good color accuracy across the board, but they do cost about twice what the Panasonic does (5 to 6K). By way of comparison, the current Fujitsu 50-inch P50XTA51UB carries a list price of $6,500 and does offer the CMS feature. Of course, there are a few panels out there that cost less than the Panasonic, but they can’t compete in terms of picture quality. Panasonic’s industrial model plasmas do reproduce black better than any other brand, period. This means you get a higher contrast ratio and consequently pictures that deliver more impact than other competitive models. At around $4,000, give or take a few hundred bucks with additional input boards and optional speakers, the TH-50PH8UK is the one to beat for the money!