I bought mine from Amazon so I can type up a review for the set.
If someone who is good at writing reviews on this kind of stuff could come up with a basic review template for everyone to go off of it would be a big help for everyone.
Here is a review I wrote of the set back when it was new (pre swap out), I'll probably modify it for my Amazon posting.
This is my first impressions review of the Panasonic 54g10, this set marks TV #5 since February on my quest to find a TV that I am happy with, is my quest over, or do I still have a ways to go, to find out, read on.
(Flat Panel TV history for reference)
4254 Samsung Plasma, summer 2007, returned
42px75 Panasonic Plasma, Fall 2007, still have
5020 Pioneer Kuro Plasma, February 2009, returned
52a630 Samsung LCD, March 2009/April 2009, returned X2
52a750 Samsung LCD, May 2009, returned
54g10 Panasonic Plasma, July 2009, ?? ?? ??
Opening the box.
The first thing that jumped out at me when the top of the box was removed was that the screen coating was much darker than on my 42px75. This darker coating led to very little reflections and a very nice looking screen. There was no visible damage either, looking good so far.
Once the set was on and the initial setup was through I started up my trust PS3 and threw up my screen uniformity test image (dark grey break-in slide), and nothing was visible, this test showed uniformity issues with all prior sets that I have had this year. Next up was a 1:1 dot mode test image, which has various colors to represent various amounts of overscan, and for some reason the red outer edge flickered in color for a few seconds before the set felt that the color was right.... very odd. Next up was a grey 1:1 test image, and again I got a similar color flicker on the right side darker grey section.... what is going on here? Also during this testing I noticed 1 bright red pixel about 7 inches to the upper right of the center of the screen, noticeable up to 8 feet away in normal content.
I decided to keep the set since Amazon's turn around time on refusal of deliveries is over two weeks for the return alone, not to mention getting a replacement.
Now on to the meat of the review.
First thing that I tested was input lag, something that always bugs me when there is too much of it. So I fired up Guitar Hero 3 and started Rock you like a Hurricane on hard, and I failed badly, I checked the lag offset and it was 61ms, which was what I had set it to to play well on the Samsung LCDs that I had sent back, so I adjusted it to a 16ms offset (because I like to strum before the note actually hits) and I played perfectly considering how out of practice I was (93% instead of my usual 98% on that song) I have since been playing GH:WT and have no issues with the lag at all. (didn't bother to set the lag offset on this game)
Next up I ran Call of Duty 4's level "Charlie Don't Surf" which I use as both a Screen Uniformity test and as a Green Phosphor Trails test. First thing that I noticed (or didn't notice in this case) was the almost complete lack of green phosphor trails on this set, it was a big surprise at how much they had improved them in comparison to my 42px75. Another thing I noticed was that I had some very mild vertical banding on my set that covered the screen. It is exactly like what Cnet saw in their review of the 50x1, I haven't found any reference to this on the G series so I might try for a swap out if they bug me enough.
Next I loaded the level "All Ghillied Up" which is probably my favorite level in the game. As I proceeded through the level I was just loving how smooth it looked and then I came to a building and had to stop and just look, it had been forever since I had seen great motion resolution on a TV, I had almost forgotten how important it was. Having LCDs for the last few months I hadn't realized how I had gotten used to poor motion, to the point that I just accepted it, Call of Duty 4 was a slap in the face wake up call reminding me that no LCD is acceptable when it comes to moving picture performance. (more on LCD vs Plasma motion later when I compare blu-ray)
Next up was the black level testing, and what better test than The Dark Knight, I chose the nighttime IMAX escort scene about half way through the film. I watched this scene in the day and it wasn't any better or worse than the Kuro in similar lighting conditions, somewhat washed out. However in a dark room the set absolutely shocked me, I haven't seen a set this dark since I returned the Kuro, at first I honestly thought that they were at Kuro levels, then my eyes adjusted and I realized that while they weren't Kuro levels, they were actually really close, close enough that only someone who had seen a Kuro would be able to tell. 100% uniform blacks that are also really dark is a very nice thing. Another thing that I noticed during this testing was the complete lack of Panasonic's Real Black Drive, which causes some nasty floating blacks on my 42px75. It is really nice to no longer have that eye sore of a feature to deal with. (this is also a major complaint against Plasma sets by a few of the more vocal LCD fans, so it isn't a valid complaint anymore.
About this point I was wondering why I hadn't seen a hint of IR during this testing, so I did a quick test with a movie to leave some black bar IR, after watching about an hour of TDK I switched to a blank input and could make out some faint IR but nothing major at all. This set is far better than my 2 year old 42px75 is, even though it is fresh out of the box, a massive improvement on Panasonic's part.
I also noticed that there was far less Judder with blu-ray movies on the Plasma than the 120hz LCDs, it is almost like they added more judder to the LCDs to get you to use the Motion Enhancers that they have added to the LCDs, no need for any of that crap on these Panasonic Plasma sets.
Next up was a quick check of white levels, during normal content they are very bright, but when most of the screen is white they do dim, but never to the levels that my Kuro would dim to. Now do take into consideration that I run my set in THX mode, so your mileage may vary.
I also checked the buzz levels, which I could only get to audible levels on a test pattern in a completely silent room, so I don't consider the buzz with this set to be an issue at all, it is far better than the Pioneer Kuro that I returned, which sounded like a hornet's nest.
Another thing that I missed about Plasma was the depth that the colors had, even when there was extreme washout from sunlight they still had more punch to them than my old 52a750 LCD did at it's best.
Probably the most shocking thing about this Plasma was something that I didn't notice, the heat output, after 6 hours of the set being on, it was still fairly cool, much cooler than the any of the LCDs that I have had. This was a very nice surprise considering how much heat the Kuro put out. The LCDs also put out a large amount of heat, something this plasma just doesn't do. The science may say that this isn't possible, but it is a fact, this Plasma runs much cooler than an LCD that uses much less power.
About the only things that I can say in the LCDs favor was that their 10bit panel did it's job in eliminating color banding and the lack of dither was also nice as well. The Panasonic does have a good bit of Dithering to it, more so than my 42px75 does, which was a bit of a disappointment.
Last but not least was the viewing angles, it is so nice to once again have perfect viewing angles, something that no set, Kuro included can match.
Overall I would say that this Panasonic is a real winner, and I will be keeping it, but I do want to look into the few issues that I do have to see if I could get a set without them.
Not bad for the low price of $**** along with a free blu-ray player as well.
I really have to update some of the sections because further testing and different picture modes have changed my opinions of some of the sections (mainly dither, it is nowhere near as noisy as my 75 was, my memory was playing a trick on me) I will also heavily update the black level section about the increase that has happened on two different units so far.