Panasonic TX-50CS520 review

4K? No. Great value HD? Definitely.

Panasonic TX-50CS520
Can a big-screen TV justify not having 4K?

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With HD (as opposed to 4K UHD ) TVs still apparently accounting for the major of TV sales from most retailers, the full HD Panasonic 50CS520 is a long overdue arrival on our now 4K-dominated test benches.

Especially since its no-nonsense combination of a friendly smart TV system; impressive picture and sound quality; and eye-catchingly aggressive price work together handsomely to keep the HD flag flying high.

We liked

At £520 the 50CS520 feels like a bargain for the quality, screen size and features on offer.

The space-saving design is attractive for such an affordable TV too, and while its smart TV engine may look dated it's easy to use and offers a good selection of catch up services. Best of all, both picture and sound quality are strong.

We disliked

Backlight inconsistencies require you to remove quite a lot of brightness from pictures during dark room viewing, which can also lead to a reduction in shadow detail.

Standard definition sources can feature rather unnatural colours, and more HDMI and USB ports would have been appreciated.


If the 50CS520 is a sign of things to come from the 2015 HD TV market, people not ready to commit to 4K yet are going to be in for a treat.

Panasonic's mid-range HD model looks smart and modern, is well stocked with impressively customisable smart TV features, and delivers picture and sound quality that are both far, far better than you might expect of a £520 50-inch TV.

John Archer
AV Technology Contributor

John has been writing about home entertainment technology for more than two decades - an especially impressive feat considering he still claims to only be 35 years old (yeah, right). In that time he’s reviewed hundreds if not thousands of TVs, projectors and speakers, and spent frankly far too long sitting by himself in a dark room.