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PT51DX80 Owner's Review

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Tip from MikeG: "I finally received my new Panasonic PT-51DX80 51" SDTV today. A little history first... I originally bought a 61" Hitachi Ultravision back in September. The picture was one of the best in rear projection sets I've seen. At the time, I didn't know too much about home theater, and only knew of Sony's high-end XBR RPTVs with DRC. The picture was much better, but the TV was $3000 more, so I didn't even consider it.

I was happy with my Hitachi for about a week, and then I found this forum. I am now addicted to this place, and I thank you all for sharing your knowledge. As soon as I learned about the Toshiba's with progressive scan, and that they sold for the same price I paid for the Hitachi, I had to return it. The store I bought it from didn't carry Toshiba though so I was out of luck. The only alternative was a Hitachi with progressive scan, but the 53" model cost $5500 here (Toronto) at the time.

Then I found out about the Panasonic SDTV sets which were due out later in the month, so I ordered one and waited patiently. Theysupposedly aren't releasing the 61" model in Canada, so I got the 51". I am actually happier with it because I found the 61" too much for cable tv.

So I have had the Panasonic for a day, and despite having some flaws, it has a tremendously better picture than the Hitachi did. I like the Toshiba better because it has more features (customizeable picture setting, SVM-disable, much nicer menus) and there is so much info on service mode modifications available on the net.

My review of the Panasonic:


  • great picture (line-doubled to 480p)
  • very few noticeable line-doubler artifacts
  • very bright picture (I had trouble making it bend with the VE test signal
  • option to turn off the line doubler (great feature for showing off the capabilities of progressive scanning; interlace looks like I'm watching through a screen)


  • only one convergence point!?! Why would they do that?   The convergence is way off in some spots
  • only one picture setting! Who let that one get by?
  • Even my 7 year old 27" GAOO (awesome TV by the way) had 3 user-saveable setting
  • no anamorphic squeeze (I know it's alot to expect, but since their 32" SDTV has it, why not put it on the big ones too?
  • remote control doesn't have a code for my Hitachi DVD player
  • even with the color at 100%, there still is not enough blue to set it properly with VE; and plus with the color so high, it becomes painfully obvious they've pushed the red gun too far (everything yellows look orange-y)


I don't regret switching the Hitachi for the Panny. The progressive scan is a tremendous advantage. I watch DVDs and have Look instead of cable (digital picture/sound via MMDS), so my input signals are very clean (Look is awesome by the way all Ontarians ... cheaper than cable, better than satellite) The Panasonic has an excellent picture, and is very bright. But how could have only one picture setting? DVD requires different settings, am I supposed go into the menu and change them each time? BIG mistake on Panasonics part. The single-point convergence sucks, and I wish they would just put some more thought into features like vertical squeeze, 3:2 pulldown, and the ability to disable SVM."