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Panasonic TX-P50VT30B review

Is this the best home cinema plasma TV around?

panasonic tx p50vt30b

The Panasonic TX-P50VT30B's NeoPDP panel is indeed something special for both 2D and 3D.

Firstly, it handles motion exceptionally well; a scene from our test disc District 9 involving several fast-moving shoulder shots didn't show up any significant motion blur (but perhaps the odd artefact) while film judder wasn't evident either.

The lack of blur is critical, because it helps the HD images retain their maximum detail and full impact. All the while, the Panasonic TX-P50VT30B supplies pictures that swim in exceptional colour and high detail, although the overriding sense is one of crispness.

During a shot featuring both light and dark areas, the Panasonic TX-P50VT30B excels; peak whites revel in brightness while heavily shadowed areas of the image are deep, yet detailed. Take that, light-emitting diodes! Overall, we're happy to say that we've not seen pictures this good before.

It doesn't take much more than the opening sequences of Avatar before we realise that this is a truly special screen for watching 3D, too. There's really only one word to describe it: spotless. With no crosstalk or ghosting, we're left to enjoy the sublime depth, although there is the continuing issue of contrast.

The 3D glasses increase the depth of black, which is in theory very welcome. However, when compared to a 2D image, those 3D specs do remove some detail. During a shot of Pandora from space, the surrounding starlight doesn't look quite black enough in 2D, but it does contain a lot of faintly red-ish detailing of far-off galaxies.

Switch to 3D and the blackness gets more convincing but the galaxies completely disappear. This kind of crushing is to be expected, but the constant removal of brightness can be detrimental to the overall picture; it's an issue that needs some work if active shutter 3D is to advance.

Down the quality scale to digital TV and it's another batch of highly watchable pictures. Stretched to 50 inches, images from BBC Two's Autmnwatch Live are surprisingly enjoyable, although we did experiment successfully with the Panasonic TX-P50VT30B's digital noise reduction setting to smooth the edges and reduce some artefacts.

Finally, although we're assured over and again that screen burn is a thing of the past in the plasma world, we did notice the remnants of a Sky News logo in the top right-hand corner of the panel. Given that this particular sample has 'done the rounds' and clocked up hundreds of hours use, it's a fair assumption that image retention is an issue.

Our advice to counter this only very slight problem (it didn't affect our enjoyment and was really only visible on a blank screen) is to avoid leaving the TV on one channel for hours and hours at a time. Who watches Sky News all day anyway?

Tech Specs

Product TypePlasma TV
Scan Format1080p
Standard Refresh Rate50 Hz
Digital TunerDVB-T (MPEG4), DVB-S2
Analog TunerNTSC, PAL, SECAM
Video Signal StandardHDTV 1080p
Number of HDMI Ports3
Number of SCART Interfaces1
Product FamilyViera VT30
3D Type3D
Brand NamePanasonic
Screen Size127 cm (50")
Aspect Ratio16:9
Green CompliantYes
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityREACH
Memory Card ReaderYes
EthernetYes
Ethernet TechnologyEthernet
USBYes
HDMIYes
Weight with Stand (Approximate)35 kg
Operating Power Consumption410 W
Standby Power Consumption300 mW
RMS Output Power12 W
Electronic Program GuideYes
DLNA CertifiedYes
HeadphoneYes
Digital Audio OutputYes
Height with Stand768 mm
Width with Stand1202 mm
Depth with Stand335 mm
CI+Yes
Composite VideoYes
Component VideoYes
SCARTYes
Teletext Memory1500
3D ConversionYes
USB RecordingYes
Motion Interpolation TechnologyIntelligent Frame Creation Pro
Enhanced Refresh Rate600 Hz
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital (SD)
Height733 mm
Width1202 mm
Depth50 mm
Sound SystemDolby Digital Plus, DTS, Virtual Surround Sound
Product SeriesVT30
Maximum Resolution1920 x 1080
Colour Depth68.7 Billion Colors (12-bit)
FeaturesChild Lock, Picture and Text (PAT), Picture and Picture (PAP), Picture in Picture, PC Streaming, Media Player, Web Content Access, Teletext
ManufacturerPanasonic
Product ModelTX-P50VT30B
Product NameViera TX-P50VT30B Plasma TV
Product LineViera
Manufacturer Part NumberTXP50VT30B
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.

The 600Hz Sub-field Drive* in VIERA plasma TVs teams up with Intelligent Frame Creation Pro technology to deliver smooth, fluid, on-screen motion. By using an intelligent algorithm within the picture processing based on motion detection, the best combination of frames is created to deliver ultra crisp sports, film and game action.

Package Contents
  • Viera TX-P50VT30B Plasma TV
  • 2 x Pairs of 3D Eyewear
SpeakersYes
Limited Warranty1 Year
Weight (Approximate)31 kg