The Panasonic TC-50CX600U (MSRP $999.99) is a 50-inch smart TV that’s ready to display a world of 4K content right out of the box. And although it
doesn’t quite reach the dizzying heights of last year’s AX900U, it’s still a heck of a bargain in a 4K TV market starved of bargains.
Panasonic’s new TC-50CX600U 4K Ultra HD TV, a budget-friendly set from the storied TV maker that’s available in a 50-inch model. That’s the kind of
price you’d pay for a mid-tier 1080p HD TV just a year or two ago, and the CX600 comes loaded with Panasonic’s capable new Firefox smart interface.
Panasonic’s got a long track record of building sturdy-but-attractive TVs, and that trend will continue in 2015. Between the CX600U and the CX800U.
Around back you’ll find a cutout that houses just about every input you’ll ever need to revel in glorious, 4K content. All three of its HDMI ports
are HDCP 2.2-compliant and support 4K content at 60 Hz. If that wasn’t enough, one of the TV’s three USB ports is USB 3.0, which means that if
you’re so inclined, you’ll be able to enjoy 4K content from a USB device right out of the box.
Naturally, the CX600U also supports WiFi, should you decide that an ethernet cable is one cable too many parts.
Panasonic TC-CX600U Features:
The most affordable 4K UHD TVs in its class, Panasonic doesn’t skimp when it comes to inputs, loading the CX600 with a trio of HDMI 2.0a inputs,
including one with ARC for better communication with connected devices. All are equipped with the latest HDCP 2.2 protection and support 60Hz 4K UHD
content. Three USB inputs are carved into the side, including a single 3.0 input to allow for direct connection to a 4K UHD device. Other inputs RCA
input, an Ethernet port, and a optical digital audio jack.
Behind the screen, the TV boasts Panasonic’s Quad-Core Pro processing engine, supporting a 60Hz native LED LCD panel.But Panasonic does have one of
the least offensive motion processors on the market, and it’s offered here in strengths of weak, mid, and strong. Engaging the mildest setting
smooths with only a slight touch of the wrenching Soap Opera effect.
Panasonic’s Adaptive Backlight Control does attempt to aid in black levels. Those craving convincing contrast and richer black levels will have to
step up in price to one of Panasonic’s upper tier models, which can run you an extra grand or more.
And for most people, a bright, vivid TV for watching cable, Netflix, and the occasional football game does the trick just fine. The CX600U does this, and you get lot of ultra-vivid colors. While not clinically accurate, that extra saturation will better hold up when it has to compete with loads of ambient light—something many higher-end TVs can’t do very well.
And for the CX600U’s asking price, it’s hard to be picky. You can find it on sale for just $999.99, which is well below average for a 50-inch UHD
TV. If you want a 4K TV that can handle movie night with a little more accuracy. we’d recommend either Vizio’s 2014 P Series or its 2015 M Series,both of which were good enough to take home our coveted Editors’ Choice award. The 50-inch M Series even retails for a whopping $200 less than the CX600U, even if it’s not quite as pretty as the Panasonic.