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Vizio, a new name in display technology, has delivered a brand new 50″ Plasma TV into the Australian market.

There’s a new kid on the Plasma block: Vizio. And if its first product offering is anything to go by Vizio is going to be a pain in the backside of big-brand plasma vendors such as Pioneer, Panasonic, and Samsung, who during the next few months will simultaneously come up against Vizio across the LCD TV, HD TV tuner and video storage markets. 

Don’t go diving into a mass market retailer to look at Vizio’s big, shiny new 50 inch plasma screen, you’ll only find them in specialist resellers such as CEDIA members. And shiny it is. The polished black panel frame looks classy, but can also provide distracting reflections in certain strong daylight conditions. The overall styling is authoritative, yet refined. Like most thin-panel displays on the market today whose designers seem to find combining silver and black irresistible, the P50HDM’s polished black border perches on a chunky silver base, which houses the speakers.

The big difference today with many slimline TVs is not so much in the quality of the physical panel – as long as one is comparing generation with generation – but more in the quality of the video processing. A jewel in the P50HDM’s crown is the internal graphic management system which was in this case developed by William Wang, who earned his excellent reputation designing and building cards for high-end graphics workstations. For the record, the Vizio P50HDM uses a seventh-generation LG plasma panel that comes with a 5year warranty. Many brands share components such as panels – Sony’s Bravia LCD uses a Samsung panel, for example.

The P50HDM has a display capability at 720P and 1080i, allowing you to enjoy high-definition content in either format. It also delivers a 10,000 to 1 contrast ratio.

Another of the P50HDM’s strengths is its ability to accept and switch between two HDMI inputs, something rarely found on any HDTV. As digital sources proliferate, this feature will become more important. In testing the component versus HDMI inputs, we found that the HDMI input did yield generally better image quality with fewer artefacts, especially at 720P (an artefact is extraneous image noise on the display screen that is not present in the source material).

Video quality is very good. What looks like video wobble when you expand the onscreen image to panorama can be eliminated with an external video processor, such as a basic HTPC, plugged into the DVI port. Using the DVI port for digital clarity, and feeding the native resolution of 1366×768, the monitor will put itself into a pass-through mode and will do no scaling, with minimal or no processing by the monitor. Widescreen mode functions perfectly well. Sound from the two inbuilt speakers shaped into the screen’s base is decent, given their considerable size.

Conclusion

The Vizio P50HDM 50-inch plasma has great styling and an even better video display, complemented by an easily-accessible wealth of connectivity, it’s a serious contender amongst its peers for the price. Just don’t try lifting it by yourself. At 56 kilograms it might be worth putting on a case of ale for your mates to enjoy during an install party.

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Vizio P50HDM Plasma TV | | $5480

For: A great looking plasma TV that will impress the in laws and your mates. It has good image quality and easily accessible cable connection access. It also has its own speakers which will complement an attached home theatre kit.

Against:  A tad heavy which is not necessarily all that bad but must be taken into account when being set up.

For Information on this Plasma screen go to: www.vizio.com.au |

 

 

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