Panasonic TX-P50ST50 review

  • £1200
  • $1399.99

It's another great day for plasma TVs

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Usability

There's definitely room for improvement here. For starters, Panasonic has stuck to more or less the same remote control design that it's been using for the past few years - a slightly lazy decision, if you ask us, which leaves the remote feeling poorly organised, with no real flow to the button layout.

There are also some cases where the weighting/emphasis given to certain buttons seems out of kilter with their usefulness. Overall the feeling you get is that Panasonic has just shoe-horned all of its latest features on to a remote that wasn't designed for it, rather than investing time in making a remote properly suited to a TV fan's 2012 needs.

The Panasonic P50ST50 also feels a bit out of date with its menu system. There's no Smart Hub home screen like you get with LG and Samsung's latest TVs, meaning you have to manage three separate (and separately accessed) menu systems - one for picture adjustments, one for your own multimedia playback, and one more for the Viera Connect online service.

Panasonic TX P50ST50 review

The presentation of the set up and multimedia menus is pretty drab too, compared with what we're used to from other brands - although things are much better in this respect when it comes to the Viera Connect online service.

The marketplace, where you can download extra apps or buy hardware accessories, is particularly well organised and presented, and it's also handy that you can choose your own running order for where your apps appear on the main Connect services menu.

We still feel, however, that this main Connect menu needs to start handling more services on a single screen, to reduce the amount of burrowing down through different tiers that you currently have to struggle with.

Panasonic TX P50ST50 review

Please note that the Panasonic P50ST50 does not ship with the touchpad remote that's included with Panasonic's flagship TVs, and nor can this remote be bought as an option. You can, though, control the TV via Panasonic's mostly good iOS and Android Viera remote apps.

Sound

The Panasonic P50ST50 is a very robustly built TV, as well as not being as skinny as most LCD TVs. So you can't help but hope that it will be able to use bigger and therefore better speakers.

However, it joins most skinny TVs in sounding rather low on bass and slightly narrow with its middle range. While these issues can be heard during raucous action scenes, though, the set's audio is perfectly acceptable for normal TV fodder.

Panasonic TX P50ST50 review

Value

In a year where some of its rivals - most notably the Korean ones - seem to be going more expensive with their TVs, the £1,200/$1,400 or so you'll need to bag a Panasonic P50ST50 really doesn't seem much at all, given its 50-inch screen size and the amount of picture quality and features it has to offer.

It also looks a steal when you consider that it performs pretty much as well as last year's flagship - and thus much more expensive - VT30 Panasonic plasma TVs.

Tech Specs

Product TypePlasma TV
Scan Format1080p
Standard Refresh Rate50 Hz
Digital TunerDVB-T (MPEG4)
Analog TunerPAL
Video Signal StandardHDTV 1080p
Number of HDMI Ports3
Number of SCART Interfaces1
Product FamilyViera ST50
3D Type3D
EU Energy LabelC
Brand NamePanasonic
Screen Size127 cm (50")
Aspect Ratio16:9
Green CompliantYes
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityREACH
Memory Card ReaderYes
EthernetYes
Wireless LANYes
Ethernet TechnologyEthernet
USBYes
HDMIYes
Weight with Stand (Approximate)27 kg
Operating Power Consumption355 W
Standby Power Consumption300 mW
Electronic Program GuideYes
DLNA CertifiedYes
VGAYes
HeadphoneYes
Digital Audio OutputYes
Height with Stand757 mm
Width with Stand1180 mm
Depth with Stand335 mm
CI+Yes
Component VideoYes
SCARTYes
Teletext Memory1000
Network (RJ-45)Yes
Number of USB Ports2
3D TechnologyShutter
3D ConversionYes
USB RecordingYes
Energy Consumption per Year263 kWh
3D Glasses RequiredYes
Enhanced Refresh Rate2 kHz
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC)
Height709 mm
Width1180 mm
Depth50 mm
Sound SystemDolby Digital Plus, Virtual Surround Sound, Dolby Pulse, DTS
Product SeriesST50
Maximum Resolution1920 x 1080
FeaturesWeb Browser, Teletext, Media Player, Web Content Access, Picture and Text (PAT)
ManufacturerPanasonic
Product ModelTX-P50ST50B
Product NameTX-P50ST50B 50" Smart Viera Plasma TV
Product LineViera
Manufacturer Part NumberTXP50ST50B
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.panasonic.co.uk
Marketing Information

50" Smart VIERA Plasma TV - A Smart Experience with Rich Blacks and Powerful Sound (Energy Efficiency Class C)

The display alternately shows images for the left and right eyes. The left and right lenses of the eyewear open and close in sync with this display timing to show separate images to the left and right eyes. By repeating this action at high speed, the brain perceives 3D images. And because this method displays FULL HD 3D images just as they are, both eyes receive 3D images in high, full-HD quality.

SpeakersYes
Limited Warranty5 Year
Weight (Approximate)23 kg