Panasonic HDTV - Panasonic HDTV Reviews

Panasonic is at the pinnacle of home electronics and the Panasonic HDTV lineup is no exception. Long focused more on plasma HDTV, they now sport many models in LCD and DLP as well. Like most manufacturers the plasma Panasonic HDTV models tend to be more expensive than either LCD or DLP, but prices in all three lines are dropping. That trend is expected to continue.

Offsetting those price drops are an emphasis on larger screens and higher resolutions. The 37 inch plasma is still available and can - theoretically - display over 8 billion colors. 'Theoretically' since the human eye cannot discern that many differences anyway. Most models are 42 inch or larger. Several offer an in built card that makes a cable box unnecessary, in some cases.

The 42 inch TH-42PM50U plasma Panasonic HDTV sports a 4000:1 contrast ratio. In general, higher is better - though, here again there's a limit to what humans can perceive. Some plasmas are rated as high as 10000:1. Any set within that range is likely to offer very black blacks and vivid, realistic colors.

Most of the differences among plasmas, like other types, is size and price but some carry extras. The 50 inch TH-50PX60U Panasonic HDTV comes with an additional SD memory card slot, which allows displaying digital camera photos on the large, flat panel set.

There are a dozen different models to choose from, ranging from 37 inch to 50 inch with several 42 inch models available. Differences lie mostly in the small details. Some have more input and output slots and ports, some have PC card slots or SD slots, others have more speakers than another.

The Panasonic LCD HDTV line is a good option for those wanting to spend a little less and willing to accept a smaller screen in exchange. Some extras are available among the LCD models. The 26 inch TC-26LX60, for example, comes with an included pedestal stand which many of the larger units do not.

The PT-50LC14 is a 50 inch model that supports 480i, 480p, 720p and 1080i in a flat panel design. Picture quality is excellent, but like any LCD it's important to view from the proper distance. For this size, eight feet would be the minimum recommended.

The 'i' stands for interlaced, a technique in which the pixel rows are illuminated every other line, a complete screen 'painted' in two passes. 'p' types make one pass across the screen. While, all other things being equal, 'p' types offer a superior picture, interlaced models are still excellent. Older technology suffered from some flicker with interlacing, but that's largely no longer true.

Whatever size you choose, be sure the model includes an High Definition Multimedia Interface or HDMI interface and component ports. Without it, you may be frustrated by the poor picture quality from your DVD player. With it, even 480p DVDs can display an impressive picture quality.

Though among their newer offers, the DLP line is second to none. Currently, only three models are available - though you may find older models at some outlets - but all are outstanding.

The Panasonic HDTV model PT-56DLX75, for example, offers an extraordinarily clear, sharp 56 inch screen with a range of resolutions supported: 480p, 720p and 1080i.

Prices are affected by screen size, obviously, but also by resolution supported, 720p vs 1080i for example, extras and a host of other factors. As with any TV, be sure to view under good lighting conditions before deciding.

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