Conclusion: Whether you want 3D at all or think you don't need all the smart TV connectivity isn't really the issue here. The TC-P55ST50 offers picture quality that is so good at such a reasonable price that the 3D and Smart TV features come along for the ride. It has excellent black levels, good color accuracy and also offfers WiFi connectivity to the home network and beyond. What's not to love?
Pros: Thin bezel, Attractive and sleek profile, Excellent black levels, Accurate, saturated colors, Excellent value ($1699 MSRP)
Cons: 3D glasses not included, Only three HDMI inputs
Conclusion: With the Panasonic TC-PST50 series you get accurate colors and solid black level performance in a nicely styled plasma HDTV, but the panel doesn?t get very bright, and 3D glasses are not part of the deal.
Pros: Excellent color accuracy. Good black levels. Robust audio output. Sleek design.
Cons: Not very bright. Uses lots of power. Only three HDMI ports. 3D glasses not included.
Conclusion: At around $1550 the TC-P55ST50 is possibly the best buy in a 55” TV on the market for 2012, partly due to the fact that neither LG nor Samsung make a 55” plasma TV. LG's 60PM6700 is tough as a value model in 60”. LED competition for the 55ST50, there are lots such as the LG 55LM6700 or Samsung UN55ES6580, but they cost around $150 more.
Pros: Great Value for Picture Quality, 2D to 3D Conversion is pretty solid, Image edges, Sharpness, Large Feature set (3D, Viera Connect, Skype)
Cons: Sound from 8 train speakers hollow, Small Viera Connect Apps for Sale have little value, Slight amount of dithering artifacts in bright background scenes, 3D glasses expensive (but now they are universal so you can purchase other brands)
Conclusion: If we didn’t already know that the TC-P55ST50 wasn’t Panasonic’s top-of-the-line plasma, we’d swear that it was. Based on picture performance alone, this could just as well be Panasonic’s flagship model. That it isn’t comes down to a few bells and whistles and a slightly trimmer form factor. For the majority of shoppers interested in plasma, the $,1500 (roughly) TC-P55ST50 is the ticket to top-tier performance at a totally accessible price.
Pros: Outstanding black level and contrast performance, Great brightness, Nearly perfect color, Naturally smooth motion, Excellent Internet portal (Viera Connect)
Cons: Black levels suffer in bright rooms, Limited HDMI connections, High power consumption, high heat output, Calibration takes a while