September 21, 2022


Like its brethren, this tv delivered image high quality a notch or three under what competing LED TVs can muster, and up to now behind Panasonic’s plasmas that it is nearly a joke. The WT50 does have one plasmalike saving grace — very good constancy when seen from positions exterior the candy spot straight in entrance of the TV — however that is not sufficient to beat its flaws. When you think about its excessive value, Panasonic’s WT50 joins the ranks of flagship LED TVs that merely aren’t well worth the cash.

Collection data: I carried out a hands-on analysis of the 47-inch Panasonic TC-L47WT50, however this evaluate additionally applies to the 55-inch member of the sequence.

The 2 units have similar specs and in accordance with the producer ought to present very related image high quality.

“=”” bgcolor=”#CCCCCC”>Fashions in sequence (particulars)

Design

The WT50 is likely one of the nicest-looking TVs available on the market, falling simply shy of Samsung’s UNES8000 and LG’s LM9600, each of which scored a 10 on this class. The WT50 earns its 9 with a vanishingly skinny black bezel edged in silver, however whereas some may just like the strip of clear plastic protruding from the underside, I believe it is extra cheesy than elegant. I do just like the stand, nevertheless, a splayed V of rounded, tapering silvery legs that terminate in a swivel base on the crux. The general impact is inconspicuous and high-end, with a grace that befits a flagship LED TV.

The WT50 comes with two remotes: the usual clicker that comes with fashions just like the DT50 and a bit of puck with a thumb contact pad identical to a laptop computer pc’s. In contrast to the contact distant included with Samsung’s high-end TVs, this one’s truly as responsive as I would anticipate from a contemporary contact pad, making it enjoyable to make use of in lots of circumstances. It was at its greatest zooming by means of teams of thumbnails on the Netflix and Vudu apps; for searching the Internet, whereas higher total than the usual distant, it has its points (see under). It is Bluetooth as a substitute of infrared, so it would not want a line of sight to function.

There is a sensitivity adjustment (I caught with medium) besides I can envision individuals who aren’t touch-pad veterans turning into pissed off with it. And, after all, in case you’re eager to attenuate espresso desk muddle with a common distant, the puck will most likely simply find yourself gathering mud.

Panasonic additionally tried to jazz up its normal distant this yr, however the newly shiny face serves principally to indicate fingerprints. We like the remainder of the adjustments, although, from the properly differentiated button sizes and teams to the in depth backlighting to the brand new devoted Assist button.

Panasonic’s menus stay unchanged: an all-business yellow-on-blue that also appears a bit dated in contrast with Samsung’s and Sony’s consumer interfaces, however will get the job carried out. One welcome boost is the Assist part with an onscreen consumer guide, which is not as full because the included print model however nonetheless covers most of what new customers will wish to know.

“=”” bgcolor=”#CCCCCC”>Key TV options “=””>Different: Non-compulsory 3D glasses (mannequin TY-ER3D4MU, $65 every), Skype digital camera/speakerphone (TY-CC20W, $130), community digital camera (wired BL-C210; $199; Wi-Fi BL-C230, $299); suitable with USB keyboards

Show expertise LCD LED backlight Edge-lit with native dimming
Display end Shiny Distant Customary and touch-pad
Good TV Sure Web connection Constructed-in Wi-Fi
3D expertise Energetic 3D glasses included No
Refresh price(s) 240Hz Dejudder (easy) processing Sure
DLNA-compliant Picture/Music/Video USB Picture/Music/Video

Options
The primary further that separates the WT50 from its inexpensive brethren in Panasonic’s LED TV lineup is native dimming. Its edge-lit LED backlight is claimed to have the ability to regulate the brightness of 16 impartial zones throughout the display. In follow, this implementation did not do a lot to enhance image high quality (see under).

Panasonic claims its 240Hz panel is augmented by high-speed “1920” backlight scanning for greater moving-picture decision and smoothness throughout quick motion scenes. It divides the display into eight components and the backlight turns off for the parts being scanned.

Turning to options that do not have an effect on image high quality, Panasonic features a dual-core processor, which joins the touch-pad distant among the many WT50’s step-ups over the DT50.

I used to be dissatisfied within the lack of 3D glasses; even Samsung’s least costly 3D TVs include two pairs, whereas LG and Vizio passive 3D fashions often embody 4 or extra. Like all 2012 Panasonic active-3D TVs the WT50 complies with the Full HD 3D normal, so along with Panasonic’s personal 2012 glasses it additionally performs properly with others, particularly the $20 Samsung glasses. Try my comparability for critiques of every.

Good TV: Final yr I ranked Panasonic’s Good TV interface, known as Viera Forged, highest for its easy format and ease of use. The corporate did not change a lot past the title — it is now Viera Join — for 2012. I like the truth that you may simply shuffle the gadgets you need most, like Netflix, into outstanding positions. Navigation and app launching had been a bit sooner than on the ST50 plasma, doubtless due to the dual-core processor, however as soon as I used to be inside an app I did not discover any variations in response time. The WT50 additionally will get “multitasking”; once I hit the instruments key a digital web page flips as much as reveal essentially the most not too long ago used apps, offering fast entry.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Panasonic’s content material choice is top-notch because it added Vudu, though I would prefer to see a devoted 3D app like those LG and Samsung supply. There is a new-ish Social Networking app that allows you to mix dwell TV, Twitter, and Fb on the identical web page. Audio apps embody Pandora, Shoutcast, and a karaoke app in addition to a brand new addition, Rhapsody, which ought to be a boon to subscribers of that service.

The Viera Market has a strong number of apps, though I did not respect having to register to an account to obtain even the free ones. There’s additionally an actual buying part with overpriced Panasonic gear and different sundry {hardware} like keyboards (which assist in case you’re the one man who actually enjoys tweeting in your TV).

The corporate says it can add new apps, together with a partnership with MySpace touted at CES and an unique with Disney digital books, quickly. It additionally presents a distant management app for iOS, Android, and BlackBerry.

The Internet browser is sort of nearly as good as those on Samsung and LG TVs so long as you employ the touch-pad distant, however that is not saying a lot since no TV browser can maintain a candle to any telephone, pill, or laptop computer browser. Clicking over to CNET.com, I discovered I could not navigate down the web page till it completed loading, which took endlessly (a few minute). I attempted to scroll down by transferring the cursor to the underside of the web page however it would not reply. As an alternative I had to make use of the scroll bar on the far proper.

Getting into textual content by way of the onscreen keyboard, a painful necessity, was truly a lot simpler by way of the usual distant for the reason that contact clicker tends to overshoot, and the shortage of autofill is extremely annoying. Load occasions had been hit and miss — principally miss.

Viera Join has extra promoting than different TV makers’ sensible TV programs. The TV truly reveals you a banner advert once you first energy up. It popped up and lasted solely about 3 seconds, however it was nonetheless annoying. Here is how you can disable it. Like many TV makers, Panasonic additionally reserves a spot on the Good TV house web page for an advert, and there isn’t any option to take away it.

Image settings: In contrast to Panasonic’s high-end plasmas the WT50 would not have a THX mode, however in any other case it does have a lot of the image changes provided on the flagship VT50. Sadly, they do not work as properly.

Each the Cinema and Customized modes supply niceties like a colour administration system, selectable gamma (no 10-point gamma just like the VT50 nevertheless), and a multipoint grayscale management (though it is a bizarre 7-point system, not the usual 10). Cinema is mainly damaged for videophiles, nevertheless, as a result of it inexplicably omits the flexibility to disable dejudder/smoothing — the Movement Image Setting is caught at Sturdy in Cinema, inflicting the notorious, apparent Cleaning soap Opera Impact and accompanying artifacts in film-based materials. Customized does let you disable dejudder, however its colour efficiency is not almost as correct as Cinema regardless of loads of controls. See under for extra particulars.

Connectivity: Loads of inputs, together with 4 HDMI, three USB, and a PC enter, grace the WT50’s bottom. Element- and composite-video connections require use of the included breakout cable.

Image high quality

All informed the WT50’s picture high quality is considerably worse than you may anticipate from a high-end LED TV. The TV’s depth of black is worse than a number of mid- and entry-level fashions we have examined, colour is inaccurate, and there isn’t any option to repair it as a result of the controls do not work correctly. I appreciated the superb display uniformity, highlighted by best-in-class off-angle constancy, however it’s not almost sufficient to beat the WT50’s faults.

Click on the picture on the proper to see the image settings used within the evaluate and to learn extra about how this TV’s image controls labored throughout calibration.

“=”” bgcolor=”#CCCCCC”>Comparability fashions (particulars)

Black degree: Like the opposite Panasonic LCDs we have examined this yr, the WT50 had hassle mustering a convincing depth of black. The TC-L47WT50 I reviewed produced the lightest shade of black in our lineup. Its letterbox bars and shadowy areas, for instance the tunnel and shadowy alley from “Sherlock Holmes: Sport of Shadows” (1:21:46), appeared markedly brighter and fewer real looking than on the Toshiba and Samsung, whereas the Sony and the plasmas regarded higher nonetheless. The distinction was primarily seen in darkish scenes however spilled over into brighter ones as properly.

I did not embody any of Panasonic’s different LCDs within the lineup however judging by my measurements of 0 % black — the WT50 bought 0.039, the E50 0.054, and the DT50 a horrible 0.24, and all three price “Poor” by my Geek Field chart requirements — Panasonic’s edge-lit native dimming system, unique to the WT50 among the many three, is not that efficient.

Past the lighter blacks I additionally observed a extra washed-out high quality in lots of scenes, each vibrant and darkish, brought on by too-bright gamma. The WT50 had no issues conveying particulars in shadows, however the development from darkish to gentle was too abrupt, making darkish areas look much less pure. The opposite units regarded extra real looking compared and confirmed higher punch.

In contrast to the Samsungs and the HX850, the WT50’s backlight did not flip off fully throughout fades to black, for instance in the course of the intro to “Watchmen,” and that is an excellent factor. The problem did happen after we switched to Cinema or Customized mode, nevertheless.

Colour accuracy: Once more the WT50 fared worse on this space than some other TV in our lineup. The pores and skin tones of Moriarty and Adler in chapter 2 (10:09) regarded very similar to the opposite colours compared: pale and barely sickly. This was primarily as a result of I needed to desaturate the picture to make up for vital over-accentuation of crimson within the Panasonic’s colour steadiness.

One other drawback, made extra seen by the lighter black ranges, was the WT50’s tendency to plunge into blue in black and near-black areas. Not one of the different TVs confirmed as extreme a blue tinge when reproducing darkish materials.

Video processing: As I discussed above, the WT50’s important drawback on this space is that Cinema is caught in easy mode, rendering it ineffective for individuals who favor to see movie the way in which the director meant — sometimes, with judder. The management that causes smoothing, labeled “Movement Image Setting” and providing 4 settings (Off, Weak, Medium, and Sturdy), is simply adjustable within the different image modes.

Selecting Off brought on the TV to appropriately reproduce movie cadence with 1080p/24 sources. Apparently, Weak additionally got here very near ultimate cadence too, betraying simply the merest trace of smoothing in my check. That setting could also be preferable to Off for barely much less hardcore movie buffs who wish to make the most of the superior movement decision afforded by participating dejudder on this TV.

The Panasonic scored the complete 1,200 strains in my movement decision check once I select Sturdy or Medium, falling to a still-respectable 900 to 1,000 in Weak and the standard 300 to 400 strains in Off. As standard I discovered it almost unimaginable to detect blurring or different traces of low movement decision in regular program materials, so I used to be high quality holding it set to Off.

Uniformity: From the standpoint of sustaining constant gentle output over your entire space of the display, in addition to picture constancy when seen from off-angle, the WT50 displayed wonderful display uniformity.

In contrast to most different edge-lit LEDs I’ve examined, the WT50’s display was just about freed from vibrant spots and clouding. Its gentle black ranges might assist on this regard, successfully masking any imperfections, however both approach the WT50 deserves a whole lot of credit score right here.

Much more spectacular is its capability to keep up image constancy when seen from angles to both aspect of the candy spot proper in entrance of the TV. In contrast with the Samsung and Toshiba, each of which have higher black ranges from on-angle, the WT50 truly delivered a barely darker black when seen from angles as shut as one seat cushion to both aspect (examined from a 7-foot seating distance). It additionally maintained colour constancy higher, taking for much longer to indicate a shift towards crimson or blue.

Transfer farther to both aspect and that benefit will increase; when seen from excessive angles, the WT50 blows some other LED TV (together with the DT50 and E50 we examined) out of the water. In fact, most individuals watch TV from the candy spot or near it, and sit farther away than 7 ft. For them, the WT50’s off-angle prowess can be a lot much less precious.

It is also price noting that even from much less excessive angles the WT50 nonetheless misplaced some image high quality, and that loss elevated the farther off-angle we moved. In different phrases it is nonetheless no plasma, a expertise that maintains basically good high quality from any angle.

Vivid lighting: Beneath the lights the WT50 behaved much like the Sony and Samsung units, with vibrant, distracting reflections and the flexibility to reject some ambient gentle to protect black ranges. In fact its preliminary black ranges had been dangerous sufficient that it did not make the set look higher than the others on this regard.

3D: The 3D image of the WT50 was wonderful in a single essential space: crosstalk discount. So long as I selected the 48Hz possibility below the Superior image menu, the TV did nearly as good a job of quelling the annoying double-image of crosstalk because the very good Samsung UNES8000, and outperformed the opposite units within the lineup. My crosstalk torture check is “Hugo,” particularly drawback areas like Hugo’s hand because it reaches for the toy mouse (5:01), the tuning pegs on the guitar (7:49), and the face of the canine because it watches the inspector slide by (9:24). In these areas the ghostly double picture was nearly invisible.

The WT50’s Cinema mode once more has non-defeatable smoothing, so I switched to Customary and the Heat colour temperature as the perfect out there preset (I do not calibrate TVs for 3D). In that mode colour was fairly dangerous, considerably redder than any of the opposite units. It was additionally dimmer than both of the opposite two LEDs, particularly the superb Samsung. Aided by the glasses, black ranges had been higher than 2D however nonetheless not nice, particularly in contrast with the inky plasmas.

Panasonic’s normal 3D glasses match higher than the Samsungs and supplied marginally higher efficiency since they enclosed my eyes extra totally, shutting out extra ambient gentle. Try my comparability and critiques for extra.