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Best cheap 1080p plasma: Panasonic TC-P50U50 | CNET
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Best cheap 1080p plasma: Panasonic TC-P50U50 | CNET rating: 4 stars out of 5 (Excellent)

The good: The inexpensive Panasonic TC-PU50 series in its superb picture quality surpasses many TVs costing hundreds more. Its black levels can get as deep as any but those of the very best plasma TVs. Color is accurate, off-angle viewing and uniformity are perfect, and its Cinema picture setting requires very little tweaking for optimal quality. There's a rare SD card slot for photo viewing.
The bad: The TC-PU50 washes out in bright room lighting, and it can't get as bright in its most accurate picture mode as some plasmas this size. It has just two HDMI inputs. It also uses significantly more power than a like-sized LCD or LED TV.
The cost: $697.99 to $899.99
The bottom line: A low price, excellent picture quality, and bare-bones features make the Panasonic TC-PU50 series a superb entry-level plasma TV value.

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Best cheap plasma TVs

If you're looking for a cheap TV 42 inches or larger, there are a lot of advantages to buying a plasma instead of an LCD. The biggest is picture quality: an LCD is typically not able to reproduce the black levels and contrast of an equivalently priced plasma, and plasma always trounces LCD for viewing angle and uniformity. We recently reviewed a bunch of entry- and mid-level plasma TVs, and our favorites are collected below.