Panasonic Viera TH-P50UT30A


A 50 inch new plasma TV

Ever since the financial crisis hit people’s pockets, the need to find cheap devices grew even more prominent. Many companies started to reply to those needs by manufacturing TVs, laptops, tablets, monitors, smartphones and various other dependable gadgets that cost less but don’t sacrifice quality for a lower price. Panasonic’s reputation exceeds barriers and, with the purpose of satisfying every category of customers, they released the Viera TH-P50UT30A with a selling price between $887.70 – $1.000 and with nonetheless good specs and performance. We’ll let our review do the speaking.

Interesting design

Panasonic Viera TVs might not have the same visual appeal as products designed by the able hands of Samsung or Sony people, but the TH-P50UT30A remains a nice sight for sore eyes amidst the somewhat ugly-looking TVs of today that are expensive and pack the most boring specs and features, not to mention the crappiest performance. The simplicity, clean lines and the shiny bezel painted in black didn’t give us headaches, but the reflections drawn to the bezel were hard to avoid and they sure distracted us a lot. The 1212mm x 782mm x 93mm this TV measures are enough to turn it into a thick set and the 34 kg it weighs in its assembled mode make it a tiny bit difficult to maneuver it throughout the house; when sitting on a wall mount, this TV has a weight of 30kg, so that’s good. However, if you’re one to prefer thin plasma devices, you have to be prepared to spend more that the maximum of $1000 this product costs.Panasonic-Viera-TH-P50UT30A

No WiFi and 3D glasses

As for the reflective screen, the 50″ bestowed on the latest Viera brought into view, when we tested image quality, brilliant levels of black, white, contrast, brightness and sharpness. Of course, the beauty of the colors we spotted in every movie and TV show we watched was downright wonderful. But we were immensely bothered by the nature of the display that picked up reflections like there was no tomorrow; one word of advice: avoid this annoyance by using a bias light that takes away the strain to your eyes caused by reflections or simply go buy some thick curtains.

The set of features that Panasonic’s Viera TH-P50UT30A boasts is plainer than what Samsung, LG and other competitors lure customers with. You’ll have to get by with 3 USB ports, the fact that there are no glasses for 3D and there’s no Wi-Fi. What the TV lacks in connectivity options makes up for with a lot of applications, Twitter and Facebook being among them. Navigating through them isn’t quite something to write home about, because of the complicated UI.

Excellent image after calibration

When the time came to have a more in-depth look at the quality of onscreen image, the home settings that were default weren’t much to our liking; they had much too much brightness and the contrast took almost all the details from areas covered in shadows and highlights away. The best thing to do is a calibration before watching a film or going into the mode labelled True Cinema. All problems went away when we discovered the TV’s excellent way of dealing with videos that were in full high definition. Onscreen motion made us restore faith in plasma devices thanks to the Viera TH-P50UT30A’s lack of image break-up. Films in 3D lost their appeal when we watched them with the 3D glasses firmly on our noses, especially when there was a fast-paced scene and objects had blurred edges.

Review conclusion

The conclusion is that the new Panasonic Viera TH-P50UT30A can be described as a neat plasma TV with a good price, perfectly usable features and solid performance.

Technical specifications

ResolutionFull-HD 1,920 x 1,080 (16:9)
Screen Size50″ (127 cm) diagonal
Moving Picture Resolution1080 lines
600 Hz Sub-Field DriveYes
Contrast Ratio (in dark surroundings)Dynamic: 2,000,000:1
Applicable PC signalsVGA, WVGA, SVGA, XGA, WXGA, SXGA, 1920 x 1080
Applicable Scanning Format Full-HD1125p (50/60/24, HDMI), 1125i (50/60)
24p Smooth Film/Playback24p Smooth Film/Playback
Shades of Gradation6,144 equivalent steps of gradation
Deep Colour (10/12-bit)Yes
x.v. ColourYes
THX Mode
isf Mode
Resolution EnhancerYes
3D Colour Management
Picture ModeDynamic/Normal/Cinema/True Cinema/Game/Photo
VIERA ConnectYes
IPTV (Facebook/Shoutcast)
VIERA ToolsYes
VIERA LinkY (HDAVI Control 5)
Wireless LAN AdaptorWiFi Ready
Multi WindowPAT
Eco NavigationYes
Game ModeYes
Off TimerYes
Child LockYes
Virtual SurroundV-Audio ProSurround
Speakers2 x 10 watt 2 Speakers
Sound ModeMusic/Speech/User
Dolby Digital/dtsDolbyPulse/dts2.0/dts Digital Out
VIERA Image Viewer (SD Card input/USB)Y (AVCHD/SD-VIDEO/Motion JPEG [Lumix]/MP4 [Xacti]/DivXPlusHD/MKV/WMV/JPEG/MPO/MP3/AAC/WMA playback)
USB HDD / SD Card RecordingY (USB HDD / SD Card)
USB3 (2 side, 1 rear); Mass Storage/Keyboard/WiFi/SK Camera/USB-HDD Recorrding
Support FeatureAudio Return Channel (Input 2)
PC InputMini D-sub 15-pin x 1 (rear)
LAN PortYes
Headphone Jack1 (side)
HDMI Input3 (1 side, 2 rear)
Digital Audio Output (Optical)1 (rear)
Composite Video InputAV1/2: RCA phono type (1 side, 1 rear)
Component Video InputRCA phono type [Y , PB/CB, PR/CR] (1 set rear)
Audio Input (for HDMI, Composite, Component, PC)RCA phono type (1 set side, 2 sets rear)
Analogue Audio OutRCA phono type (rear)
Weight (w/o stand)30.5 kg
Weight (with stand)34.0 kg
Dimensions (W x H x D) (with stand)1,212 x 782 x 324 mm
Dimensions (W x H x D) (w/o stand)1,212 x 747 x 93 mm