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Panasonic VT-50

By Matt Simpson - Friday, March 23, 2012

We love HDTV. We can’t get enough of it. It has only been a few years since HDTV signals were pretty much available anywhere in the country. Yet, many people are on their third or fourth HDTV. Not because the old ones have stopped working, but because people want to upgrade to the newest and best, with all of the new features and performance benefits that the New Year’s model receives.

TV manufacturers are keen to this change in paradigm from previous generations. It used to be that people would purchase a TV, put it in the living room, and there is sat until the set either died or the family moved. The evolution of the CRT television was very slow. Even when something changed, there were only a small percentage of TV owners who took notice. Many people were still watching black and white TV’s many years after color came out, simply because they didn’t feel the need to upgrade. Today’s culture demands the latest and greatest, even if they don’t actually need or understand it.

HDTV’s

HDTV or high definition television has indeed made a big change in the images we see. Standard definition TV offered about 480 lines of horizontal resolution. HDTV can offer 1920. The difference in resolution is amazing to behold with good source material. That’s not the only thing that has changed however. We are now watching progressive scan images, giving a smoother look to everything over the interlaced images of the past. We now are using purely digital signals, which are less likely to be maligned by interference as analog signals are. TV’ is now connected to the internet as well, giving us access to many of our favorite internet sites without taking our eyes off of the TV. If that weren’t enough the new 3D technologies are making a strong push for control of the living room.

Plasma

That’s one of the first questions people ask when shopping for a new TV, do I want LCD or Plasma?  Actually, due to the not quite true nature of marketing these days, people are most likely to ask If they need and LED or a plasma. The confusion coming from the LED backlighting typical of many of the modern LCD TV’s on the market. LED backlighting replaced fluorescent to improve contrast and reduce power consumption, but many TV makers forget to mention that it’s only the backlight that is LED and not the panel itself.

As a general rule of thumb, plasma will look better under ideal conditions, giving that inky black background that makes all other images pop off the screen. They are limited by the amount of ambient light they can tolerate before becoming washed out. LCD’s on the other hand, may never have the same level of blacks as plasmas, but they are typically much brighter and would be a better choice for a well lit living room, perhaps with open curtains that allow sunlight in. These differences were more pronounced in early models as both technologies have become quite mature. Now regardless of which technology you choose, you are still likely to get a better picture and more features that was even available o the top end models a year or two ago.

Panasonic VT-50

The all time king of the plasma TV’s was the Pioneer Kuro. No other TV Has generated the kind of fierce loyalty that TV saw. Pioneer no longer makes TV’s at all, but there are untold Kuro owners who believe the rest of the world has yet to catch up to their TV’s. Pioneer sold Panasonic their tech and now Panasonic is the undisputed leader in plasma TV’s. The new model for this year, the VT-50, improves on black levels yet again making it much darker, with better shadow detail than last year’s model which already had what was called an infinite black panel. A better anti reflective screen and Smartphone app control of the device are also included to round things out.




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