|Vizio P50HDM 50-inch Plasma Display|
|Home Theater Flat Panel HDTVs Plasma HDTVs|
|Written by Andrew Robinson|
|Wednesday, 01 March 2006|
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As much as I loved the piano-black frame of the P50, I found it was rather reflective and if you watch TV with any light, it’s only going to be amplified by the shiny plastic material. Your best bet to avoid this is to keep the P50 away from direct light and/or reserve your critical viewing to low/no-light situations. This seems obvious, but in the real world, plasmas end up in all sorts of locations that are less than perfect in terms of ambient light.
I was a bit bummed to not see an auto aspect ratio circuit on the P50. When displaying high-definition material, the P50 will switch between 16x9 and 4x3 when needed. However, when switching between high-definition and standard, it will not change the image to the proper aspect ratio on its own, forcing you to have reach for the remote.
Speaking of remotes, I’m afraid the P50’s just doesn’t cut it. It was easy enough to operate and felt pretty good in the hand, but the second you kill the lights, it’s useless. Like I said earlier, keep a backlit universal remote handy and you shouldn’t have a problem.
Lastly, there are the speakers. I would’ve liked them to be detachable, since I really have no use for them in my system. They’re not terrible-sounding, they’re better than most plasma speakers, but if you’re planning on making the P50 part of your home theater, I would recommend separate speakers.
A year ago, if you had told me that I’d be able to have a rather top of the line, 50-inch, high-definition plasma screen for $2,600, I would have called you crazy. Hell, if you had told me that six months ago, I would have said the same thing. But that was then, and this is Vizio. The P50 is, without a doubt, worth every penny and then some. The overall quality of the P50’s image is just stunning, despite any minor shortcomings. I know 2006 has just gotten underway, but the Vizio P50 gets my early vote for product of the year: it’s that good.