Monday, July 28, 2008

Panasonic 50PZ800u Review - The Bad

Now that I wrote all the things I love about the Panasonic 50PZ800u, I figured I would write the things I don't like about the TV.  The good thing is that most of the things that I don't like about the TV are small and minor.  The good definitely outweighs the bad in this case.

  •  The Remote - I absolutely hate the remote.  The most annoying thing is that the Channel and Volume are on the opposite sides of where they normally are found on other remotes.  I constantly find myself changing the channel when I want to increase the volume.  This is especially annoying because I use DirecTV, and changing the channel on the TV will force the TV to go to the internal tuner, and away from my DirecTV feed.  I'll talk more about this later.  I also hate that the TV doesn't control my HD DVR very well.  It doesn't do the skip correctly.

  • Can't disable the TV option - I don't use the internal tuner, but there is no way to disable this from the tv input menu.  Therefore, I have to travel through this setting every time I'm trying to change inputs.  It is annoying.   I should be allowed to treat this input like every other input on the TV.

  • The upconversion of standard def media is so so - Standard TV doesn't look so great, but that is to be expected.  DVDs look OK but not great.  I have a media center PC, and the upconversion it does is noticeably better.

  • CATS is useless -  It has a feature to brighten the TV when it is lighter, darken it when it is dark.  The dark setting is way too dark though, so I disable it for everything.

  • 24P playback is questionable - People complain about the flicker that the 48HZ feature of this TV.  I don't see it, but my girlfriend does.  Your mileage may vary on this one.

  • The settings for each of the different picture modes, other than custom, are across the TV set - So change the brightness of one input in that mode, it changes it for all THX setting across all inputs.  Kind of annoying, it should remember

  • Volume is the same across all inputs - minor annoyance.  Don't know if any TV does this, but my different input sources all have different volume levels.  When I change inputs, sometimes it is way to high and I almost lose my hearing

  • Anti-reflective isn't that great - if you watch this TV in bright daylight, you are going to get glare.  If you can't control the light you are getting into the room, you may have to deal with glare.  This is probably no worse than other plasmas, but it is there.

  • The Size function works across all inputs - One of the problems with Standard Def on DirecTV is that you need to have Overscan enabled on the TV because they don't output it at full 1080 resolution.  This wouldn't be an issue if I let the TV do the upconversion but that leads to the TV taking too long to change channels as it adjusts the picture.  This means that I have to have "Size 1" enabled just for the DirecTV feed.  But this setting holds across all inputs, so I have to have my computer output at a lower resolution.  There is no way to make this setting custom to each input.

Despite the rather long list above, I love this TV, and would absolutely recommend it to anyone looking to get what is, in my opinion, the best TV out there for the money.


  1. Oh, and I promise this will be the last post about the TV :)

  2. Hey,
    Nice review. I had a question though. How bad is the flicker on 24p? Cnet said it was almost unwatchable but again I have heard a lot of people say it's not too bad. I'm about to pull the trigger on this TV (after returning a Samsung LNA650) but the only thing holding me back is the 24p thing. Do let me know.

    Many thanks :-)

  3. Thanks for the comment. Like I said in my post, it is not bad to me at all but I'm not particularly sensitive to these types of things. I literally don't see it at all. My girlfriend on the other hand said it was killing her eyes, so she would agree it is unwatchable.

    To be fair, I only had my Media Center PC to output the movies I was watching, not a Blu-Ray player with 24P playback capability, and that could have definitely affected the picture.