With a loveable, smart TV user interface and truly awesome hi-def images stamped with plasma richness, has Panasonic produced the ultimate 50-inch all-rounder?
Where to start? Black levels, HD detail – retained during fast-moving sequences – colour, contrast, SD upscaling, My Home Screen, built-in speakers, the Remote2 app, digital file support… There's so much to like.
It's plumper than most TVs these days, and has a wider bezel, too. Three HDMI slots is definitely one short of what we'd expect, and they're all situated on the side-panel. We noticed some flicker during 3D, as well as the over-cooked THX Bright Room mode, while more video on-demand and catch-up TV apps are required for Brits.
One of the best value, and best quality, ways to create a big-screen home cinema in one swoop, the TX-P50GT60 impresses with HD and 3D, and upscales low-bitrate sources exceptionally well. My Home Screen is likeable and just a Lovefilm app away from impressing us totally. Sure, this plasma is a tad fatter than a same-price edge LED TV and its bezel is a little wider, but beyond such shallow consideration, the TX-P50GT60's images have that rare distinction of being glorious with almost everything.
If plasmas disappear amid shrinking sales – and we sure hope they don't – be sure not to shun the TX-P50GT60 in favour of an LED TV. Snap it up – and savor it.
It's worth tracking down Panasonic's step-down ST60 Series of plasmas, which includes the 50-inch TX-P50ST60. Elsewhere, there are a good few much cheaper 50-inch plasmas from the likes of LG and Samsung that are great value despite not featuring Full HD resolution. The key thing to remember is that even a HD-ready plasma TV likely contains more detail in a moving picture than a Full HD LED screen, which is still susceptible to motion blur and resolution loss. The closest we have to plasma perfection outside of the Panasonic stable is Samsung's 64-inch PS64F8500.