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The Vizio P50HDTV: A Quality 50" Plasma for under $2,000

Introduction

At a Glance
ProductVizio P50HDTV Plasma HDTV (P50HDTV10A)
SummaryGreat color and contrast offset by video noise and other image processing weaknesses
Proso Excellent color and contrast performance
o Price
o Exterior Design
Conso Video noise, false contouring artifacts
o No backlight on remote
o No stretch mode
o Fan Noise

The Vizio P50HDTV 50" plasma was released in June 2005, which expanded their plasma offering alongside the P42HDTV 42" plasma. The P50HDTV is Vizio's second-generation 50" plasma, replacing the P50HDM, which did not have a built-in tuner.

Some of the key features of the Vizio P50HDTV include:

Walkaround

The P50HDTV was shipped directly from the manufacturer and came with basic RCA cables, a power cable, remote control, user manual, installation guide and a bezel/screen cleaning cloth. All of the current Vizio displays have a similar appearance, which is a good thing as they all have a very classy look and feel, especially considering their budget pricing. The P50HDTV has a thick shiny black bezel and a silver table stand/speaker section at the bottom of the display. The shiny black bezel, while attractive, does give off a decent amount of reflection from any light source from behind the viewer.

The P50HDTV weighs in at a whopping 120 lbs, which is 15-30 lbs. more than industry-leading 50" displays from as Panasonic, Pioneer and Samsung. I'm not sure why the P50HDTV weighs so much more as most 50" plasmas have built in speakers, etc., but the extra weight does make it more stable if you plan on using the integrated table stand. Needless to say, you will need two robust individuals to wall-mount this baby. One great feature is that the P50HDTV has a mounting depth of only 3.9", which is very shallow for a 50" plasma display.

The input panel is on the bottom of the display and is clearly marked with a color-coded input guide. While this is the traditional position to place inputs on flat-panel displays, some are easier than others to read and accommodate cables. I found the P50HDTV relatively simple, with plenty of room under the inputs.

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