We haven't had a chance to fully test this product yet, but we've assembled this helpful overview of relevant information on it.
The Panasonic TC-P54G25 is a part of Panasonic’s 2009 Viera G25 series of plasma televisions. This 54-inch TV comes with a Infinite Black contrast ratio of 5,000,000:1 which is more than most TVs which come in at 2,000,000:1.The G25 series carries a THX-certified Display giving viewers cinema-level quality images and features a 600Hz Sub-field drive for clarity of motion and images. The broadcast display is in 1080p HD and comes with three HDMI ports. Two 20 watt speakers are built-in to the system allowing for greater sound considering that most TVs only have 10 watt speakers built-in. The Viera series televisions feature Viera Cast which allow you to connect to the internet through your television. You can view Netflix, stream Youtube or Foxsports, use your Twitter and Skype accounts through Viera Cast. This TV is webcam capable and features two USB ports and a PC connector for those who want to use the set as a monitor or connect peripherals to it. The G25 series are Energy Star Compliant.
– 54-inch Plasma TV
– Infinite Black Contrast ratio of 5,000,000:1
– 600Hz Sub-Field Drive
– Two 20 watt speakers
– 1080p HD display
– 3 HDMI ports, 2 USB ports
– Viera Cast for Internet Access
– Webcam Capable
– Energy Star Compliant
LCD or Plasma?
Debating between LCD or plasma can almost get as subjective as debating between chocolate and vanilla. But unlike the never-ending ice cream debate, there actually is a superior TV choice, depending on how you plan to use it.
Check out some of our previous guides on the subject to get a better look, but in short, plasmas use more electricity, come in bigger sizes, have deeper blacks, don’t suffer from motion blur, and offer an unlimited viewing angle that’s best for off-axis viewing. LCDs are more energy-efficient, have fewer problems with glare due to their matte screens, can hold an image for hours or days without suffering “burn-in,” and generally look brighter.
What is a LED backlighting?
Traditionally, LCD TVs have used compact fluorescent (CFL) tubes placed behind an LCD panel to provide the backlighting that literally lights up the screen. More modern LED TVs replace these tubes with clusters of light emitting diodes – LEDs.
When LEDs are placed at the edges of the screen, as CFL tubes traditionally were, TVs can be made significantly thinner, and LEDs use less power than fluorescents. The most inexpensive LED-lit HDTVs take this approach.
However, the biggest advantage to using LEDs is realized when they light the screen in a grid from behind. Sophisticated electronics vary the intensity of every LED in accordance with action on the screen, making dark areas of the image darker, and bright areas brighter. This effectively increases the contrast ratio compared to uniform lighting. Although it also increases costs, many people believe this type of LCD is the first to truly rival plasma on black levels.
Read more about LED backlighting and the differences between both techniques in our guide to understanding LED backlighting.
What are widgets?
Many of the top television manufacturers – including Sony, Sharp, Panasonic and Samsung – include Ethernet jacks on the back of their premium televisions for high-speed Internet connectivity (or in some cases, have integrated Wi-Fi for wireless connections). TV viewers will then use the remote to select “widgets,” graphicalicons on the screen that plays relevant (and customized) content ranging from YouTube videos and Flickr photo galleries to local weather, news, sports updates and stock quotes, usually delivered by Really Simple Syndication (RSS). Even more exciting is the partnership between Netflix and various TV companies, such as LG and Sony, allowingtelevision viewers to access tens of thousands of movies on-demand, many of which are in high-definition.
How large of a screen do I really need?
“Bigger is better” doesn’t make any more sense when choosing an HDTV for your living room than when choosing a couch for your living room. A lot of factors come into play. As a general rule, consider a TV 1.5 to 3.0 times the screen size. For instance, a 32-inch television might make sense for viewing distances as close as four feet away, and as far as eight feet away. Check out our guide to choosing the right size HDTV for more details, including a helpful chart.
Which other panel specs should I pay attention to?
In short: brightness, contrast, and refresh time.
Brightness is measured in Candelas per square meter, or cd/m2. A typical figure, for instance, might be 500 cd/m2. More is always better, especially if you plan to plant your TV in a bright room where the screen will have to overcome other light sources.
Contrast is measured as a ratio of the brightest white a TV can produce, over the darkest dark. For instance, Insignia’s NS-L42X-10A offers a 4,000:1 contrast ratio. More is also better, but beware of “dynamic contrast ratios,” which use unrealistic measurement conditions (the brightest white is measured with the backlight set to full, and the darkest dark with the backlight to minimum, even though those levels could never occur side by side on the same screen) to inflate the number to levels like 2,000,000:1.
Refresh time is measured in milliseconds, such as 5ms. Lower is always better, and will prevent the “ghosting” that can sometimes be seen in fast-motion video.