Panasonic Viera TC-P50U50 Plasma TV Review$899.00
As we expected, the Panasonic TC-P50U50 has an excellent maximum contrast ratio, over 5000:1, due primarily to its impressively deep blacks. It's a very dim TV, however, and likely won't fare well in any bright environment. More on how we test contrast.
Color & Greyscale Curves
As you can see from the chart, these color curves weren't terrible, but they were just barely on the cusp between acceptable and bad. Gamma and sRGB are peaking early, meaning a big loss of detail between highlights across the entire spectrum of visible light. The choppy nature of the curves also means sudden jumps in detail between shades of the same color; probably not enough for the human eye to notice, but we'd still like to have seen smoother curves. In our opinion, this doesn't invalidate this TV's performance, but it's worth keeping in mind while shopping around. More on how we test color performance.
It's rare to find a low-end TV with perfect color temperature; in fact, it's rare for any TV to maintain stability across the entire input spectrum. That said, this isn't an awful performance. As the chart below indicates, most of the temperature errors in the bright- to mid-grays is not perceptible to human vision. But as the light input drops, these color temperature errors become more and more visible, and will be noticeable in the darkest shades. More on how we test color temperature.
Hands down, an excellent color gamut. While it wasn't perfect, it was very close. The green point, blue point, and white point were spot on, with just mild oversaturation keeping the red point off of its mark. This is a great color gamut in a general sense, and even better considering that you can get this TV for under $1000. More on how we test color temperature.
Like most plasmas, the black and white level of the P50U50's picture varied depending on how much of the screen was given over to a particular shade, but for the most part did not vary in very large amounts. At 100% and 5% of the screen, the P50U50's peak brightness was roughly the same--around 50 cd/m2, which is extremely dim. The same consistency was found in its black level. There was some mild auto dimming, which we couldn't change, but for the most part the P50U50 tested with solid picture dynamics. More on how we test picture dynamics.