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Panasonic Viera TC-P50S60

Est. $700
Reviewed
October 2013
by ConsumerSearch
Panasonic Viera TC-P50S60

Cheap plasma TV

Pros
  • Great picture quality
  • Inexpensive for a plasma TV with this level of performance
  • Incredible value
Cons
  • Picture quality is best in a darkened room
  • Only limited streaming features

Bottom line

For those on a budget, but who still prize the best picture quality that their budget will allow, the Panasonic TC-PS60 is a near-perfect match. It acts like a typical plasma TV, which means it's not a good choice for a sun-drenched room. But its picture quality approaches that of sets that cost much, much more when the lights are turned down. Though features are few, one plus is a limited streaming platform that brings content from the top entertainment providers. Models include the 50-inch Panasonic Viera TC-P50S60 (Est. $700) , 60-inch Panasonic Viera TC-P60S60 (Est. $700) and 65-inch Panasonic Viera TC-P65S60 (Est. $700) .

Performance

Standard plasma perfection. Like many plasma TVs, especially older models, the Panasonic TC-PS60 isn't a great choice for viewing in a well-lit room, as the picture will wash out. Turn the lights down low, however, and the picture quality is spectacular. "In a dark room its inky-deep black levels, accurate color, and perfect uniformity can make it look almost as good as flagship models that cost twice or three times as much," says David Katzmaier at CNET. At Reviewed.com Television, black levels tested out deeper than those of 2012 flagship models. One reviewer complains a very little bit about some subtle color banding visible only in certain scenes, but that isn't echoed elsewhere. Everyone says that color accuracy is spot on -- or as close to spot on to make very little visible difference. As with most plasma TVs, screen uniformity and off-angle viewing are terrific.

Features

Not completely bare bones. It's fair to expect that a plasma TV in the TC-PS60's price range will be light on features, and that's accurate. However, this set is not totally devoid of goodies. Primarily, there's a very limited streaming platform that brings content from six of the best-known entertainment providers, such as Netflix. It's also DLNA compliant for streaming movies, music and photos from your own PC, and Wi-Fi is built in. There's no 3D, however. Some picture features, such as a dejudder option, are missing -- so if you are among those who like the super-smooth effect that dejudder processing introduces (sometimes called the soap-opera effect because it makes films look like they were shot directly on video), you'll need to look elsewhere.

Design

Almost completely bare bones. The TC-PS60 is a plasma TV, and Panasonic doesn't take great pains to hide that fact. The bezel might be a little less imposing than those of years past, but it's still relatively chunky compared to more upscale plasma sets', let alone the almost-not-there designs of LED models. A couple of reflective accent strips (top and bottom edges) are the only pretenses of style. The black base does not swivel. The remote is an unremarkable standard clicker. There are only two HDMI inputs, so those with complex home theaters will need to get a little creative to hook up all their gear.

Value

In the right setting, you can't get this good a picture for anywhere near the price. In rooms that aren't well controlled for light, you'll need to step up to at least the Panasonic TC-ST60 for satisfactory viewing, and be prepared to pay hundreds more. However, if you are used to the traditional limitations of plasma TVs and have an appropriate room that can be made appropriately dark, the Panasonic TC-PS60 is an incredible value, outperforming flagship sets of just last year.

Where To Buy
Panasonic TY-WL20U Wireless Adapter for Panasonic 2012 Internet Ready TVs

 
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Our Sources

1. CNET

The Panasonic TC-PST60 earns a 4-star (Excellent) rating and lots of kudos for its picture quality and value -- which Katzmaier calls one of the best the site has seen. Poor performance in well-lit rooms is the biggest negative.

Review: Panasonic S60 Plasma TV Review: Basic, Budget Plasma Gives Great Picture, David Katzmaier, April 19, 2013

2. Reviewed.com Televisions

Black levels that outdo flagship plasma sets from last year and terrific color accuracy help earn the TC-PS60 an Editors' Choice award here. Neikirk holds that the display will look fine in anything but the sunniest of rooms -- a little bit of a departure from what some other reviewers say. Like others, however, he is very impressed with the set's value.

Review: Panasonic Viera TC-P60S60 Plasma TV Review, Lee Neikirk, March 13, 2013

3. ConsumerReports.org

ConsumerReports.org tests the Panasonic Viera TC-P60S60 for its current plasma and LCD TV report. Discussion is relatively short, but covers most important points. A rating is issued, and the TV is ranked alongside both plasma and LCD TVs.

Review: Panasonic Viera TC-P60S60, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, Not Dated

4. Amazon.com

More than 150 owners have provided reviews of the Panasonic TC-PS60 here (reviews of all screen sizes in the series can be accessed from this page). Most have nothing but good things to say. Some do note that the plasma TV is only a good choice if used in the right setting -- a dark room. Some negative comments refer to previous-year Panasonic TVs and Panasonic customer service. The set earns an overall score of 4.4 stars.

Review: Panasonic TC-P50S60 50-Inch 1080p 600Hz Plasma HDTV, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of October 2013

5. BestBuy.com

BestBuy.com has even more feedback than Amazon.com for the Panasonic Viera TC-PS60, and satisfaction that's even a touch higher. For example, the 50-inch Panasonic Viera TC-P50S60 draws more than 300 reviews and an overall rating of 4.6 stars. Around 94 percent say they would recommend the TV to a friend. Other screen sizes draw considerable feedback as well here, and scores that are as good or better.

Review: Panasonic - Viera - 50" Class (49-9/10" Diag.) - Plasma - 1080p, Contributors to BestBuy.com, As of October 2013

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