I have the same setup as you, so I have to ask. Does your screen show red/blue specs for the first hour it's on? It's like burn-in, but it's not burn-in. It's odd. Do you know **bleep** it is?
50" Panasonic Viera HD Plasma? No, I don't get any type of distortion at all man. I run a HDMI cable to my PS3 and one to my DirecTV box too, picture looks **bleep**.
Not sure why you're getting that but if bought it within a year you may get a free in-home service call, might wanna check on that.
Sonys are obviously good, but Panasonic actually created the Plasma technology and I've yet to see them get beat in that dept. Mine is actually a 3D model, I forgot to mention that, and even though I never turn on the 3D technology and wear teh glasses, it still gives a better depth than non-3D models. I highly recommend you check into Panasonic before making a purchase. And like David the Wastelander said, the level of "black" is really rich. Don't be fooled either, LCD and LED DO NOT surpass a Plasma when it comes to gaming and blu-ray, you want Plasma.