Since taking over the empty space let by Pioneer in the plasma TV market, Panasonic has done well, focusing as much on products meant for the budget-minded customer, as well as on plasma TVs designed for those that crave feature-loaded gizmos, no matter the price tag attached. Panasonic TC-P50V10 from 2009 is still behind the Kuro PRO-111FD manufactured by Pioneer, but, since this one is no longer in production, this 50-inch plasma TV is aiming for the role of leader on the market.
The Panasonic plasma TV line named V10 stands better than other counterparts, and even with other series coming of Panasonic production line, like the G10 series. Let’s see what’s the fuss about this specific product, that enjoys much praise both from specialists and the general public.
While this specific review is based on the 50 inch Panasonic TC-P50V10, everything you read here also applies to the 54-inch variant Panasonic TC-P54V10. Both models are part of the Panasonic V10 series and have the same features and performance. If you want to buy any of them, they are both listed at the bottom of the review.
- Exceptional black levels – best seen on a 2009 HDTV
- Excellent video processing capabilities
- Accurate colors, in THX modes
- Great connectivity options
- Slim Design – only 2 inch
- Many features
- Very good anti-glare performance. Some LCD TVs do perform better, however.
- Not so accurate colors, in non THX modes
- Not so good at displaying standard definition content
- Hefty price tag
Specifications of TC-P50V10
- Screen size: 50 inch
- Resolution: 1080p (standard) / 1920×1080 (exact)
- Panel type: NeoPDP
- Contrast ratio: 40,000:1 (native) / 2,000,000:1 (dynamic)
- Shades of gradation: 6144
- THX certified: YES
- Anti-glare filter: New AR Filter
- 24p cinema mode: YES
- Digital Cinema Color
- VIERA CAST™
- VIERA Image Viewer™ with AVCHD Playback
- VIERA Link™
- 600Hz Sub-field Drive
- 4 HDMI inputs
If compared with the less expensive G10 series from Panasonic, V10 has the same performance in displaying accurate black levels, but it also comes packed with some extra features. Its video processing capabilities are improved so they can handle nicely 1024p/24 mode, and the possibility to transcend even THX mode limitations, due to its many picture adjustments options.
This 2009 line of Panasonic plasma TV’s has the new NeoPDP panel – which you will not find in the least expensive plasma models from Panasonic, even if they are released this year, as well (such as X1, C1 and U1 series). Other aspects to be noted about TC-P50V10 are its 40:000:1 contrast ratio and the new 600Hz sub-field drive (common to Panasonic 2009 plasma models), considered to be a contributor to fast video processing.
A great thing about the plasma TV that seems to garner all the attention from the public and critics altogether is that it comes fully packed with new and exciting features, such as Digital Cinema Color gamut, which allows for a wider color range than in other HDTVs. Let’s not forget about TC-P50V10’s interactive features, such as VieraCast, which can be used to watch YouTube clips, Picasa photos or news about the weather.
Amazon Video on Demand via VieraCast is also available with this Panasonic plasma TV, allowing you to preview content before making a purchase, although you cannot use the THX mode to watch it at that stage. Although there are so many incredible features worth using, on the other hand, Panasonic TC-P50V10 has others that are not that important, like 600Hz sub-field drive (which does very little to improve an already awesome picture), and the Neo PDP panel, claimed to help saving energy. While this may be true, this Panasonic will still affect your energy bill, as it is one of the energy-demanding HDTVs on the market right now.
With 4 HDMI inputs, 2 video inputs, one AV input, one optical digital audio output, and one analog stereo audio output, it cannot be said that Panasonic TC-P50V10 lacks in terms of connectivity. You can also hook up your PC with your plasma, you can do so by using the VGA input, but it is recommended to use instead a HDMI source, and the THX mode for better performance, as the VGA input can stand a resolution of a maximum of 1,366×768, and the result is inferior to the one delivered via HDMI.
Panasonic TC-P50V10 is only 2 inches thick and the glass extends over the entire screen, covering the bezel.
The appearance of TC-P50V10 may be considered in itself a recommendation. It does impress with its sleek design – it is just 2 inches thick, as the G15 series from the same manufacturer – and the general look spells elegance. One trait that the company boasts about is the sheet of glass that covers the screen, passing over its borders, complementing the product with a seamlessly sophisticated look.
Many consider the V10 design to be one step up from the G10 series, even though the one-sheet design makes the models with the same dimension weigh a little more when you opt for a V10.
Another thing that is largely appreciated by customers looking for a competitive plasma TV is the swivel stand that Panasonic TC-P50V10 comes equipped with, that cannot be found in less expensive products.
While some customers would look twice at the price tag for Panasonic TC-P50V10, the expense can easily be justified by the performance this 2009 model displays. The truth is that TC-P50V10 stays with upper-level plasma TV’s and its place on the market is recognizable. It is famous for its excellent black levels and its accurate colors, as well as its performance in video processing. We will take a closer look at each of these traits, as follows.
Black levels represent an area where Panasonic TC-P50V10 performs very well, yet one can hardly tell the difference between the V10 and a representative of the G10 series. While it surpasses any LCD, as well as many plasma TV’s, this Panasonic plasma TV has yet to challenge the quality of black levels one still enjoys on a Pioneer.
For what it is worth, seeing that the long appraised Kuro models from Pioneer are discontinued, this 50 inch plasma TV is as good as they get, in terms of black levels. This excellent black level quality is a warrant for a real cinematic experience, as the shadow details are displayed with great accuracy, and the blacks are the deepest seen in 2009 plasma TV models.
Although, it is worth mentioning that, as far as shadow detail level goes, Panasonic TC-P50V10 stands on the same spot as the acclaimed Pioneer. It must be said, though, that black levels on a G10 representative are about the same quality, which is actually a big plus for the manufacturer as they succeed to promote such great products.
If someone were to have something to say against Panasonic TC-P50V10, then they would go for criticizing color accuracy. The overall quality of the colors displayed on the screen at any given time is very good, but not the absolute best, especially in non-THX mode. As a result, the users need to tweak a little with the color saturation when in Custom mode, if they want to get rid of some reddish tinge to skin tones, or of too much green in other scenes.
Due to these minuses, some images may not look as realistic and accurate as they should, but the great grayscale V10 is equipped with can compensate, providing the means to tweak the image until natural colors are achieved. Luckily, due to its perfect blacks, no bluish tinge can be identified in darker scenes, which makes for a great contribution in making Panasonic TC-P50V10 better than any LCD on the market.
In order to get the best of what Panasonic TC-P50V10 can do in terms of video processing, one needs to run their television in the hyped 96Hz mode. While many such marketing gimmicks usually fail to deliver, it is not the case with this one. If you want to see no flicker when running 1080p/24 frames content on your plasma TV, you need to switch to 96Hz mode, as it does deliver as promised.
This is a must, as in 60Hz, or 48Hz modes, the watcher will notice hitching effects, also encountered in G10 models, that will ruin the whole movie experience. Panasonic TC-P50V10 handles well any kind of 1080p and 1080i content, so, all in all, at video processing, this model surpasses its competitors, hanging yet another tress on its shoulders.
When standard definition content is displayed on the screen, Panasonic TC-P50V10 fails to overcome the troubles genuinely attached with this type of video sources. While it does succeed to reduce noise quite well, experiencing jagged lines is not uncommon with this type of plasma TV.
If you intend to watch DVD format content on Panasonic TC-P50V10, do not expect it to provide as much sharp details as other plasma TV’s that are currently sold on the market. One needs to tweak with the Video NR and MPEG NR settings for getting rid of the ‘snow’ effect from skies when such scenes are displayed on the screen.
Glare and Reflections
As many other plasma TV’s, Panasonic TC-P50V10 does not outperform LCD’s at this task. For V10, Panasonic did not come up with a new type of anti-reflective screen, which is the same we encounter in the G10 series. While it does a good job, it is hard to say that the black levels keep the same quality when we are watching our favorite programs on this plasma model, in a room scalded in light. It can be noted, however, that Panasonic is one step further than its counterparts designed by other manufacturers, except Sony and the discontinued Pioneer.
The V10 series from Panasonic shows plenty of goodies to go around. Yet, for now, Panasonic TC-P50V10 is not oriented to the budget minded consumer, but to the one that does not mind spending a little extra to complement their house with an elegant looking plasma TV, that also performs well; these lucky people can boast about having installed in their living room one of the best plasma TV’s that are currently sold on the market.
While it does not perform off the scale at every performance aspect, if you have the money, Panasonic TC-P50V10 is worth a second glance, as, for the moment being, it can be said that this is, indeed, the best plasma TV on sale on the market.
This article was last updated on August 27, 2021 .