Best TV 2012
Packed with extra features it may be, but smart apps, web browsing and cute designs can be bought for less cash; buying the Panasonic TX-P50GT50 is all about a serious quest for picture quality prowess. And, boy, does this 50-inch plasma TV deliver.
Nicely styled and reasonably thin, this app-packed plasma television is relatively rare, in that it has both Freeview HD and Freesat HD tuners. What's equally rare these days is an affordable, though reference-level advanced picture.
Boasting detail-laden, smooth 2D Blu-ray and excellent upscaling – all free from motion blur and endowed with profound yet natural black levels – the Panasonic TX-P50GT50 also supplies the cleanest, most convincing 3D images we've seen yet.
With no 3D specs in the box, we do wonder how many owners of the Panasonic TX-P50GT50 will ever get to see its quite stunning 3D images.
With a few tiny caveats, we have no major issues with its picture quality, with our main concerns surrounding the drab user interface, rather average sound and the manual nature of its media streaming feature.
A class-leading plasma TV at an affordable price – at least compared to other high-end TVs – it's impossible to think of a better screen on which to watch both 2D and 3D Blu-ray.
Standard definition sources are coped with unusually well, too, and while the image isn't as immediately bright as an LCD/LED TV, a picture this good shouldn't be difficult to live with in any setting.
However, the user interface is a little drab, and we're sad to see no 3D specs in the box (especially as the cheapest ones don't cost much), but a picture completely lacking in motion blur and with awesome black levels makes this a reference-level television.
The Panasonic TX-P50GT50 represents one of the best 3D plasma TVs around, and though it's not at the pinnacle of Panasonic's range – that honour goes to the VT50 Series – on past evidence we're not sure the other brands can quite match it for quality or price.
The closest rivals with a similar feature count (3D, smart TV and a Full HD resolution) include the Samsung PS51E6500 and LG 50PM970T, though we've not reviewed the Samsung just yet.