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Panasonic TX-P50ST30B review

A decent 50-inch 2D plasma TV that can be upgraded to 3D later

P50ST30B

The Infinite Black plasma panel on the TX-P50ST30B measures a mere 42mm deep, which is about as thin as plasma tech allows.

It shelters not just a Freeview HD tuner, but also the improving Viera Connect online hub. There are actually around 15 apps pre-loaded (automatic firmware updates keep it fresh and ever-changing), though the only must-haves are BBC iPlayer, YouTube, Acetrax (movie streaming) and Skype – though making voice or video calls is only possible if you buy a separate TY-CC10W HD mic/camera from Panasonic.

Elsewhere on Viera Connect there's a marketplace with more apps and even a few pay-for games, an interesting dimension that's bound to expand.

The set's ins and outs are exceedingly generous. The back of the TV plays host to three HDMI inputs, one of which is Audio Return Channel compatible. There's also a Scart, a set of component inputs, optical digital audio for routing sound to a home cinema, a set of analogue audio ins and outs, Ethernet LAN, and a USB slot. It's only the latter that we have any concern about; its back-facing design means a thumbdrive – unless it's a tiny design – will poke out enough to cause an issue if the TX-P50ST30B is wall-mounted.

Close-by, the side panel is almost as stuffed, with slots for a SD card, USB (given a label that suggests it can be used to take recordings from Freeview to a hard disk, but it cannot), a composite video input, a headphones slot, some more analogue phono inputs and a Common Interface module.

The only hardware hissy fit we'll throw is about the TX-P50ST30B's lack of a Wi-Fi module (Panasonic's DY-WL10 can be bought for around £70), and those missing 3D specs, which just seems mean. Unfortunately, the extra cost for a Wi-Fi dongle is confounded by the fact that home networking isn't an option on the TX-P50ST30B – so the likes of MKV and DivX files are restricted to the USB slot only.

Tech Specs

Product TypePlasma TV
Scan Format1080p
Standard Refresh Rate50 Hz
Digital TunerDVB-T (MPEG4)
Analog TunerPAL
Video Signal StandardHDTV 1080p
Number of HDMI Ports4
Number of SCART Interfaces1
Product FamilyViera ST30
3D Type3D
Brand NamePanasonic
Screen Size127 cm (50")
Aspect Ratio16:9
Green CompliantYes
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityREACH
EthernetYes
Ethernet TechnologyEthernet
USBYes
HDMIYes
Weight with Stand (Approximate)30 kg
Operating Power Consumption355 W
Standby Power Consumption300 mW
RMS Output Power20 W
Electronic Program GuideYes
VGAYes
HeadphoneYes
Digital Audio OutputYes
Height with Stand779 mm
Width with Stand1204 mm
Depth with Stand335 mm
CI+Yes
Composite VideoYes
Component VideoYes
SCARTYes
Teletext Memory1000
3D ConversionYes
Motion Interpolation TechnologyIntelligent Frame Creation Pro
Enhanced Refresh Rate600 Hz
Height744 mm
Width1204 mm
Depth69 mm
Sound SystemVirtual Surround Sound, Dolby Digital Plus, DTS
Product SeriesST30
Maximum Resolution1920 x 1080
Colour Depth68.7 Billion Colors (12-bit)
FeaturesWeb Browser, Web Content Access, PC Streaming, Child Lock, Teletext, Picture and Text (PAT), Media Player
ManufacturerPanasonic
Product ModelTX-P50ST30B
Product NameViera TX-P50ST30B Plasma TV
Product LineViera
Manufacturer Part NumberTXP50ST30B
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.panasonic.co.uk
Marketing Information

The viewing experience has never been so lifelike and compelling as it is with Panasonic's 3D Technology. The fast switching phosphors used in the Neo Plasma panels and an original light-emitting process minimise crosstalk (double images) to deliver clear 3D images and ensure comfortable viewing. This technology also helps to improve 2D picture quality.

SpeakersYes
Limited Warranty1 Year
Weight (Approximate)26 kg