Panasonic TC-P50GT25 50" THX 3D Plasma with 2D Conversion First Look
- Product Name: TC-P50GT25
- Manufacturer: Panasonic
- Review Date: August 18, 2010 05:00
- MSRP: $2,099.95 ($1,699.95 for 42" TC-P42GT25)
- First Impression: Gotta Have It!
Panasonic’s proprietary IPTV functionality
VIERA CAST which features USB connectivity, allowing for the addition of a wireless LAN adaptor, keyboard and USB memory.
VIERA CAST now includes such favorite entertainment sites as:
- Amazon Video-on-Demand
- Picasa Web Album
- Weather service
600Hz Sub-field Drive
1080p Full HD resolution
1080 lines of moving picture resolution
VIERA Image Viewer (for viewing of digital still images)
24p Cinematic Playback and new fast switching phosphors
The GT25 Series also includes 2D to 3D conversion which can convert a 2D image or video to 3D
Avatar lovers can rejoice as more and more 3D displays hit the market. Just step into your local HiFi store and you'll see people crowded around a 3D display usually sharing a few pairs of marginally functional glasses tethered to the furniture like a pen at the supermarket. If you've managed to squeeze in and get your 30 seconds with the glasses, you may have been impressed (depending on the skill of the worker who set up the display and/or how damaged the glasses were after the poster boy for obesity sat on them). You may even be envious of those that can afford such high end tech.
We remember not so long ago when a new type of product would come out and you'd have to pay five figures or more for it. Flat panels certainly were that way. But 3D has certainly entered the market at a much more reasonable premium. Panasonic's new GT line, due out at the end of August, is a great example. At a fairly reasonable $1,699.95 for the 42" TC-P42GT25 and $2,099.95 for the 50" TC-P50GT25, you're not exactly going to have to mortgage the house to one-up the Jones.
Panasonic has included quite a bit of tech in their Viera line and just about all of it makes it into the new GT versions. Of course you have full 1080p resolution, 24p playback to eliminate 3:2 pulldown errors, and a host of special features. While many (like streaming Netflix, Amazon, Youtube, Picasa, Bloomberg, Pandora, Twiiter, and weather updates) will require a network connection, others will require more. Currently, there is Skype4 available but you'll need not only a network connection but an optional camera to use it to full effect. Frankly, we get interrupted by Skype enough when we're working in our office, the last thing we'd want is to have it in our living rooms as well (even though it's already on our iPads, iPhones, iPods, and other devices).
The GT line will include USB ports so that you can view custom content through the Viera Image Viewer or add a wireless LAN adaptor, keyboard or just memory. Panasonic also has a proprietary IPTV functionality which will allow you to view Internet TV similar to cable or satellite TV but with more interactivity. THX certification means that the displays have been certified to playback content as the intended. Unlike ISP certification which usually just means that all the necessary controls are available for proper calibration, THX Certification usually comes with a "THX mode" which tends to be much closer to a professional calibration than normal users can get on their own.
The elephant in the room, of course, is the glasses. Currently, most manufacturers are using propriatary glasses that only work with they brand of TVs. We're sure one day someone will develop an aftermarket pair that will cross compatible (and they may make a mint doing so), for now, you'll need to buy Panasonic's glasses. The press materials indicate that the displays won't come with any glasses (though they probably will come with at least two pairs if other offerings are any indication). Panasonic's glasses are of the shutter variety and run a cool $150 a pair (if Panasonic's website is to be believed). That means a family of four must add $300 to $600 to the price of the display just to enjoy the 3D they bought the TV for not to mention having guests over.
The one thing that has got everyone abuzz about the new GT line from Panasonic is their 2D to 3D conversion feature. This takes your normal broadcasts and converts them to 3D. While we've never seen this in action, we know that if we paid $150 a pop for shutter glasses, we'd want to get the maximum use out of them.
If Panasonic decided to throw in a couple of pairs of glasses (or decrease the price of the ones they sell), the price of the GT line would be much more attractive. At $1,699.95 for the 42" TC-P42GT25 and $2,099.95 for the 50" TC-P50GT25, the price doesn't sound too bad until you tack on an extra $150 per pair of glasses. There is a lot of interesting technology in the Viera line on top of the 3D including a slew of networking and streaming options. So who's going to buy one of the new GT plasmas? Well, someone that is more interesting in Plasma performance than LED marketing hype for one. Maybe someone interested in 3D, someone interested in 2D to 3D conversion, someone interested in streaming or Netflix or Skype, or maybe just someone that like the reassurance and convenience of THX certification. So, basically, everyone. Featured packed is a good way to describe the new Viera line. High priced shutter glasses aside, these new 3D displays should be turning a lot of heads.
For more information, please visit www.panasonic.com.
Isn't Panasonic's VT line the 3D ready one? I don't think the GTs can do 3D, but maybe I'm reading the panasonic website wrong...
I think you are. These are the "GT" series, not simply the "G" series. The First Look was at the TC-P50GT25; that specific model is not listed on Panasonic's site (yet).
Go to Panasonic.com, and browse the "Viera 2010 HDTV Series". You'll see a bunch of categories, and I see "VT25", "VT20", "G25" and "G20", plus a bunch of others. Only the VT ones are listed as 3D-capable. I would expect in the next month or two to see "GT25" and "GT20" categories go up. I guess the "T" (Three?) denotes 3D capability or something.
So who's going to buy one of the new GT plasmas?
From what I've read and demoed the picture, especially the black levels, is excellent. I also tend to prefer the picture of plasma over LCD. The latter seems to exaggerate the colors a bit too much.
Here's a very intriguing idea:
1. my eyesight is is not equil in both eyes
2. this is just going to be a passing fad