Vizio VP505XVT Plasma TV Comparisons & Conclusion
I don't have direct experience with any plasmas that can compete with the VP505XVT in terms of its price/performance ratio. Tom Norton reviewed the Panasonic TH-50PZ85U ($2300) for Home Theater and liked it very much, but it's $700 more than the Vizio. He also reviewed the Samsung PN50A550 for HT, but it's the same price as the Panasonic, it's black level is substantially higher, and it didn't calibrate nearly as well as the Vizio.
Just for grins, I used an HDMI splitter to feed the same signal to the Vizio and the Pioneer Elite PRO-101FD 50-inch plasma monitor ($4500, review forthcoming). Of course, the Pioneer beat the Vizio with much lower blacks and an even punchier picture, but I was shocked to see that the difference was not all that pronounced, at least in relatively bright scenes. If money were no object, I'd choose the Pioneer, but the Vizio gives you 80 percent of the picture quality for a third of the price—and the Pioneer has no tuner or onboard audio.
As you can no doubt tell by now, I'm very impressed with the Vizio VP505XVT. I rarely wax rhapsodic, but this is the flat-out best flat-panel value I've ever seen. Its detail is superb, its color is excellent despite what the measurements say, its shadow detail is great, and its blacks are as good as anything in its class. It offers a simple, straightforward user interface, and it calibrates very well. What more could you possibly want for $1500?
Razor-sharp detail with HD content
Great shadow detail
Simple, straightforward menu system
Calibrates very well
Aspect-ratio control unavailable with HD content and DTV channels
No color-management system
Less-than-inspiring performance on DVD