Expert Recommendation

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Best 50- to 52-Inch HDTV for Watching Sports or Playing Video Games
By jminsky
Expert (1 Recommendation)
Send a ComplimentComplimented (Change)
October 11, 2009 Updated: October 29, 2009
Overview

The Panasonic TC-P50V10 is well equipped to handle all of your high definition sports, movies, games, and a whole lot more.

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My Best In Class Pick
Panasonic TC-P50V10

For years now TV’s have been getting bigger screens, slimmer profiles, better pictures, and have dropped considerably in price. The progress in the consumer grade HDTV market has resulted in brands specializing in different types of HDTV’s for different purposes and environments. Panasonic’s entire line of plasmas have an amazing picture and you can find one to fit any budget.

Earlier this year, Panasonic released the TC-P50V10, currently retailing for $2100. It combines a variety of cutting-edge technologies that really put it in a class by itself; it has an amazingly lifelike picture that brings out the sports fan in everyone. It is also one of the few models that is THX certified, which means an eye-popping picture for movies and especially games.

The TC-P50V10 has blacks that are true to real life, something LCD HDTV’s generally lack. That means that you will a more lifelike picture through color contrast.

The plasma is capable of reproducing quick movement with almost no blurring. This means that when something flies across the screen in the newest Xbox game, for instance, or when Kobe Bryant slam dunks the ball jumping from the free throw line, the picture always stays crisp and clear so you know exactly what’s happening and nothing is lost in the details.

The TC-P50V10 has pretty much everything you are looking for in a plasma. It has the highest resolution available on the market with the full HD or 1080p resolution. It has all the newest and most up-to-date connections and it also has all the older connections in case you’re watching something that is not in HD. It is also capable of connecting to the Internet to stream content over the web.

Panasonic plasmas, like most HDTV’s, are built for the picture and not the sound, so at their loudest people will keep asking you to turn up the volume. These TV’s work better in combination with external speakers and even better with a home theater or surround sound speaker system.* First item. * Second item.

Comparison with Sony KDL-52V5100

Both Panasonics are plasmas and this Sony is an LCD HDTV. It retails for around $2100 and has many similar features as the plasmas. The Sony would be better suited for a higher lit environment if you are unable to control the lighting. However the Sony is not able to connect to the Internet and is not THX certified.

Comparison with Panasonic TC-P50S1

Both have the same resolution, both have anti-glare coatings, and both will keep you happy for years to come. The TC-P50S1 has a lot of the same features as the TC-P50V10, but has less HD inputs, is not able to get online content, is not THX certified, and does not offer quite as sharp a picture on Blu-ray movies.

Pros
  • +
    Full HD 1080p
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    4 HDMI inputs
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    1 PC input
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    THX certified
Cons
  • -
    Poor sound quality
Panasonic TC-P50V10 is the Best 50- to 52-Inch HDTV for Watching Sports or Playing Video Games
Where to buy
Panasonic TC-P50V10
Specifications
  • Screen Size: 50 in.
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Website Reviews (1 review)
  • Rated Excellent by CNET.com

Comparing My Best In Class Pick with Other Good Choices

Product
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Panasonic TC-P50V10
2
Sony KDL-52V5100
3
Panasonic TC-P50S1
Customer Rating
Price
Screen Size 50 in. 52 in. 50 in.
Display Type Plasma LCD Plasma
Display Resolution 1920 x 1080 pixels 1920 x 1080 pixels 1920 x 1080 pixels
Anti-reflective Coating Yes - Yes
Cinematic Playback Yes Yes No
HDMI Inputs (Total) 4 4 3
VGA Input Yes Yes Yes
Ethernet Interface Yes No No
Energy Star Compliant Yes Yes Yes
2
Sony KDL-52V5100

This 52” LCD HDTV is better suited for a household that is more likely to play video games than watch sports. Because LCD’s pixels are slower to respond than plasma pixels, this Sony TV refreshes at 120hz, which means smooth motion, less blurring to you. Also the Sony is 2 inches bigger than the Pansonic plasmas. Its drawbacks are similar to the plasmas, in that it has poor sound quality.

Pros
  • +
    full HD 1080p
  • +
    120hz refresh rate
  • +
    4 HDMI inputs
Cons
  • -
    poor sound quality
Sony KDL-52V5100 is one of the Best 50- to 52-Inch HDTVs for Watching Sports or Playing Video Games
Where to buy
Sony KDL-52V5100
Specifications
  • Screen Size: 52 in.
More
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3
Panasonic TC-P50S1

For people on a tighter budget, the TC-P50S1 is a less expensive 50-inch plasma that is worth taking a serious look at. It retails for $1400 and could probably be found on sale for $1100 or so. This TV looks great mounted on the wall, os set on its pedestal, it like all Panasonic plasmas are reliable and easy to use. It looks great when you are watching sports, movies, or playing games.

Pros
  • +
    full HD 1080p
Cons
  • -
    poor sound quality
Panasonic TC-P50S1 is one of the Best 50- to 52-Inch HDTVs for Watching Sports or Playing Video Games
Where to buy
Panasonic TC-P50S1
Specifications
  • Screen Size: 50 in.
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4
Mitsubishi LT-52249

This is an LCD HDTV, like the Sony. Unlike the Sony it has a 240hz, smooth motion processor. This smooth motion is to keep the image clean without blurring when watching sources with quick movement like sports. This HDTV costs more than the other TVs retailing for around $3100, but it also has a significant advantage when it comes to HD sound. The LT-52249 has 18 speakers mounted neatly behind its grill. Meaning that this TV would be perfect for someone who will not be using surround sound, because it has good sound by itself. It has a great picture like the all other TVs listed and I am sure that this TV also has the ability to connect to the internet for instant movie watching, and other widgets.

Pros
  • +
    full HD 1080p
  • +
    good sound quality
  • +
    240hz refresh rate
  • +
    4 HDMI inputs
Cons
  • -
    expensive
  • -
    no VGA (computer input)
Mitsubishi LT-52249 is one of the Best 50- to 52-Inch HDTVs for Watching Sports or Playing Video Games
Where to buy
Mitsubishi LT-52249
Specifications
  • Screen Size: 52 in.
More
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