Panasonic VIERA TC-L55E50 55-Inch 1080p 120Hz Full HD IPS LED-LCD TV

9 Oct 2012

Panasonic VIERA TC-L55E50 55-Inch 1080p 120Hz Full HD IPS LED-LCD TV

As a programmer and a gamer, I have my share of expensive monitors (just ask my wife!). And the regular LCD TV never satisfy my quality standard; colors are either too cartonish, black is not black, and white is tinted blue. So I have only used plasma as TV. It’s warm, have rich real color, it’s perfect for movie night, there is no argument there.

So for my second TV, which in my study and music room, I want to try something else, since I keep hearing the LED LCD are the bomb nowaday (even most of them still do not look as life like as good plasma to me), the energy usage is low, thin and light. So I try my first LED LCD with this model after researching the latest 2012 models within my “2nd tv” price range.

Sales person kept pushing LG (got magic wand, apps, thin bezel…..), but for me, IPS is the magic word. For people who do not know what it is just google “IPS panel”, if no time, just know this, IPS is supposedly the best panel you can get as LCD panel (I believe all big Apple monitors are IPS, no exception), color is more vivid and the view angle should be a perfect 178.

Got the baby home, set it up, hook up to my 15TB home server w/ HDMI, play some 1080p clips. Wow, it’s so clear and real looking, this is some great monitor/TV I told myself. Flipped to the movies folder, open Avatar, wow, so this is 120hz, looking real smooth, real clear.

IN FACT, it’s so real and clear, I double check my refresh rate (at 60hz from source) all the codecs. The images looks like a pre-rendered animation, totally flawless. But after the first 5 minutes, it feels kind of weird to me as the movie somehow look much smoother, but “cheaper” at the same time. Then I remember the stuff I heard….soap opera effect.

I never consider my eyes to be sensitive in any case (if anything, years of looking at multi 27″ monitor should have desensitized me…), so whenever I heard SOE, I’d just brush it off as some people’s sensitive eyes. IT’S NOT, it’s very much noticeable to anyone, albeit some people just don’t care about it when watching movies in the first place. In 300, all the grains are gone! Now it’s really looking like animation, watching them fighting the monsters.

By now, 2 hours after I unpacked it, I’m panicking and start looking at all the menu items. After much google, some site suggested to use Game mode, so the TV wouldn’t add additional frames by itself to smooth out the frames. BINGO, the movies are looking absolutely stunning, got the good colors, no bleeding, black is pretty black (not as black as the best plasma…but blacker than most mid price monitors out there, which is a tall order for this size and price). So I open up some calibration graphic test for monitor and tune it abit, I’m pretty much set — happy.

BTW I have not try any apps in there, but I tested the iphone app remote, works great.

So to sum it up, if you just want picture quality with a good price in a LED LCD, not gimmicks like 3D, apps, hair thin bezel, this is it.

Make sure you understand the usage of GAME MODE, tune the brightness/contrast/color to watch movie, and use all the other ones for TV, personal videos, then it’s good. OTOH, if the SOE do not bother you, doesn’t matter then. The color and contrast will win you over in no time.

Edit:
Thanks to helpful reply, the setting to turn off the SOE is under Advance Picture->Motion Picture Setting. Good stuff.

[Technical Details/Product Features]

  • IPS Full LED Panel
  • 360 Backlight Scanning
  • Viera Connect Wi-Fi Ready. 55″ is measured diagonally on the screen

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