- Audio & Video
Review of 50-Inch HDTVs
Buying a 50 Inch HDTV
If you're going to buy a large screen HDTV and spend a good bit of money, you want to make sure that you get the best for your dollar. You don't want to go into the deal blindsided of the potential problems with the TV, which is why it's always good to read a few reviews first, so that you can weigh your pros and cons carefully and evenly.
Plus, you want to make sure that you get the best and the biggest within your buget. You'll rarely find HDTVs under 40 inches, which is because the 50 HDTVs have more features and a better pictures. It's just a matter of finding the perfect 50 HDTV for your home and entertainment.
Below, I've included four of the most popular HDTVs on the market with four of the better television brands.
Samsung HL50A650 50-inch DLP HDTV
The Samsung HL50A650 has a bright picture with sharp color clarity. The deep black levels in the color is actually probably one of the better features of the HDTV, especially since the black color is typically an issue with rear-projection sets.
The HL50A650 features the traditional DLP engine versus the LED light source that some of the other models use.
This 50 HDTV has a full HD 1080p that features a resolution of 1920x1080, which displays every pixel from 1080i and 1080p. This Samsung HDTV up-converts 720p accordingly, and features multiple picture modes, to include a 3D option.
There are plenty of connectivity options, including the 3 HDMI 1.3 inputs, that many other HDTVs have not utilized yet, but this can also be a complaint since all three inputs on are the side of the panel versus the back. In theory, having the inputs on the side is easier to access, but in reality, it may cause you to have to rearrange.
The HL50A650 also has an S-Video and a PC (RGB) input on the back, as well as side composite S-Video inputs. There is also a USB input with WiseLink USB 2.0 for picture and MP3 audio playback. As for the audio playback, the HL50A650 features two 10-watt speakers that support SRS TruSurround XT, which result in a failed attempt at a true multi-channel surround sound system.
But, you will find that the HL50A650 is offered at a reasonable price, and you receive a 1 year warranty.
Panasonic TH-50PZ850U 50-inch Plasma HDTV
The Panasonic TH-50PZ850U is a full HD 1080p set, that can handle 1080i and 1080p content, making it the ideal HDTV set for both HDTV content, satellite, cable set-up, and Blu-ray players, especially since it will also read 720p HD. It can even bring online content onto the screen with its Ethernet port.
The internet ability of the TH-50PZ850U is actually pretty cool with direct connectivity to YouTube and Google's Picasa Web album websites. This Panasonic 50 HDTV can be used with your PC via the RGB input, but the Web connectivity option simplifies the inferface- you don't need a mouse or keyboard, all you need is your remote.
This 50 HDTV has wonderful black colors that are near lifelike, although the green will generally appear in the wrong hue. You can use the color enhancements and multiple adjustments that may help customize the colors on-screen better to your liking.
The TH-50PZ850U has tons of A/V inputs, 4-HDMI 1.3 inputs, S-Video inputs, a composite inpute, PC inpute, and even optical digital audio output, as well as an SD card slot so that you can view digital photos. The one thing that the TH-50PZ850U doesn't have is a headphone jack, but the set does include built-in speakers with a total system power of 31 watts, which is great but a total surround sound is still needed if you're looking for that theater volume.
One of the best features, is the anti-reflective coating that reduces glare from light, including indirect sunlight. The HDTV will still view better in rooms with low lighting, you will still get good picture under moderate amounts of ambient lighting.
The TH-50PZ850U also features image retention protection, meaning you don't have to worry about burnt-in images on the screen. Basically, the whitewash option erases any sight of retained image, and the pixel orbiter that reduces the risk of burn-in.
The web quality could be worked on a bit, but with the 1 year warranty and the relatively affordable price, this HDTV is one of the best.
Sony Kds-50a2020 50 Inch HDTV
The Sony Kds-50a2020 50 HDTV is an LCD rear projection TV that features 1080p resolution. For the most part, rear projection TVs haven't changed much in the past few years, except for a price drop and a color change from silver to black. But, even still the Kds-50a2020 is one of the best in its class. The Kds-50a2020 may have a cheaper price tag, but it does not compromise its quality with a very deep black contrast and the 1080p high definition resolution, a 16:9 widescreen. aspect ratio, and a contrast ratio of 10,000:1.
The ATSC tuner is included in the box, so that you can receive over the air HD programming as soon as you plug in the 50 HDTV set. This Sony 50 HDTV features SXRD technology, which displays smooth pixels for a smooth picture.
The Sony Kds-50a2020 has 3 composite inputs, 1 S-video input, 3 component inputs, and 2 HDMI inputs. It does not have an DVI inputs.
One feature that you may enjoy is that the Sony Kds-50a2020 is PC compatible.
Two of the major concerns that you may have, though, are that there isn't a picture-in-picture feature, and there are slight color inaccuracies with the primary colors. But, for hte most part, it is top of the line, one of the best rear projection 50 HDTVs that you can purchase for your home. It's projected that Sony will make changes to their next rear projection HDTV, but it will be a while before there is a new release, meaning the Sony Kds-50a2020 will be the latest Sony rear projection HDTV for some time to come.
LG 50PC5D 50 inch Plasma HDTV
The LG 50PC5D 50 HDTV has a good SD picture and great HD quality, and will truly give you the best of both worlds - old movies and TV shows. The 50PC5D has a nice, stylish design with a glossy, black exterior and silver highlighting. The stereo speakers are located below the screen, which helps provide a simple look.
The LG 50 HDTV features 1366x768 resolution, which handles all 720p HD content from either a satellite or cable box, and standard definition 1080i and 1080p are scaled to fit the pixels. There are also a ton of ratio modes to help accomodate different content, include 4 modes of HD content and a 5th mode called "set by program," that adjusts automatically. There are even 5 modes for SD content, allowing you to zoom in, stretch, or find a nice middle ground so that your picture doesn't have the black bars on the sides of the screen, which can sometimes be an issue.
The LG 50PC5D has defense to combat burn-in images, image retention, and other screen-damaging effects. There is an orbiter option and a whitewash feature that minimizes the risk of burn-in.
There are 5 picture controls, which include 2 user presets so that you can customize the picture for different light conditions, including the color temperature and the black levels. But, even still, there is a noticeable problem of inaccurate colors, where some images will appear too green.
There are only 2 inputs at the rear of the set, which can create a bit of a problem. There are also only 2 component video inputs- a VGA input and an S-video/coposit video input, but there is a second S-video/composite inpute on the side of the panel. There is an RS-232 control port on the 50PC5D, which isn't usually included on lower-end HDTVs, which is a definite plus. There is only one optical audio output and the 10 watt speakers. Although, the speakers do not have much power, featuring a Dolby Digital decoder and an SRS TruSurround XT system.
For the most part the problems with this 50 HDTV are minimal. There is a 2 year parts and labor warranty with the LG 50PC5D.
The complaints are relatively minor, so if you're seeking a large and affordable flat-panel HDTV, this one is hard to beat. The LG Electronics 50PC5D offers a big screen that can handle HD and SD content very well, and even if the colors are bit off, it is still a fine-looking picture.