The Dell W5001C 50-inch High Definition Plasma ($3,799 list) represents the company’s first foray into 50-inch territory. Unfortunately, the results were disappointing. Image quality with most analog sources was noisy, and all inputs introduced color errors and other artifacts into video containing dark scenes. Worst of all, HD video viewed via component input or HDMI produced a picture that was vertically squeezed, resulting in flattened imagery. The W5001C offers above-average audio quality for a TV, but we’ve seen better deals on similarly sized plasmas that deliver the picture quality you’d expect from a high-definition display.
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