I've had a Vizio P50HD for about 3-4 months now. I'm probably going to [regrettably] return it. I wish I didn't have to, because I considered it a great value. Here are some of my impressions:
- The picture quality is great. But doesn't have enough control available at the user level. I have gotten no screen burnin at all.
- It looks good on the wall. I have it on a heavy duty articulating bracket about 30 degrees out from the wall, and a few degrees down (pointed directly at the viewing area, the corner of an angled couch).
- I wish I could remove the speakers, since they're not useful to me. I wonder how many 50" plasma buyers don't hook up to an external sound system.
- The buzzing sound from the transformer is very distracting. Even when movies are played at high volumes, in quiet periods of dialogue, the buzzing is clearly audible when lighter shades are drawn on screen. If there's bright white, it's downright annoying. From what I've read on the forums, there's not a great chance a replacement will make a significant difference.
- HDMI/HDCP handshaking with my Cox Cable SA3250HD box is flaky. I must have the TV powered on first, then power on the cable box for handshaking to work reliably.
- The HDMI interface doesn't like to be driven by my HTPC's video card. For clear text on screen, I have to use 720p output from my nVidia 7600GT card, which when scaled by the monitor is overscanned by what looks like 30 or so pixels on each edge. Using "native" (1360 or 1368x768) resolution makes text unreadable, so cutting off all edges of the screen is what I can get. I know that some other 50" plasma monitors are better able to handle PC video cards with DVI-HDMI connections than this one, and my HTPC is the primary video source.
- The display occasionally (1 out of 75 times or so, I'd say) fails when it starts up, doesn't display anything but garbage and must be restarted.
- The display very occasionally (1 out of 200 times? 2-3 times so far) boots into an error condition like the one noted previously, but doesn't recover with power cycling. It has required power disconnect/reconnect in these cases.
In sum, I have found that the picture quality, which is excellent, hasn't allowed me to forgive the several negative factors. I think that they still have some way to go until they get their componentry right (I would have gladly added another $50-100 for a quality power supply that doesn't buzz) and improve the software.
Overall, I think that general consumers will get an excellent value out of this display, provided they use traditional HD sources (cable, HDDVD/BRD) and don't focus as much attention to technical issues as I do. For me, I'll probably try the new Panasonic 50" from Costco, or a 45" Sharp LCD.