Our general love of My Home Screen is talked about in other Panasonic TV reviews, so for now we'll mention its few minuses. Unless you've put a link to the service you want on to one of the three customisable screens, engaging, say, Media Player means launching the Apps page then navigating to the icon.
Do that and you then get a choice of source, and type of media – video, photos or music – which is a lot more long-winded than the 'old' way on Panasonic remote controls of merely touching the VIERA Tools button. The onscreen menus for Media Player are otherwise unchanged, so we don't see why the VIERA Tools button has been dropped.
The VIERA Remote 2 app for smartphone's two-way file swaps impresses once again, with Swipe & Share 2.0 able to fetch digital files stored on networked computers as well as play files stored on the device (though only MP3, JPEG and MOV files, so downloaders can forget it). However, probably the most impressive aspect of this app is a 2012 feature that lets you browse the web then physically push a web page onto the TX-P50GT60's big screen.
Dock a USB thumbdrive and the likes of AVI, MKV HD, AVC HD, MPEG-4 and WMV video files all play without fuss, while the TX-P50GT60 also supports WAV, MP3, M4A, FLAC and WMA music and JPEG photos.
The twin 20W speakers impress. Because the TX-P50GT60 is plumper than most TVs, its engineers have managed to insert a subwoofer, too – and it's a great addition. The virtual surround sound mode widens the soundstage a tad, but what we're most impressed by is the broadness of movie scores. The first few phrases of Hugo contain bassy whisps of a cello that few TVs make audible, yet the TX-P50GT60 manages to put it at the base of the mix. As well as low frequency antics, there's plenty of treble detail and mid-range, too, in a balanced performance that does well with both music and dialogue.
A couple of pairs of Bluetooth-connected active shutter 3D specs are decent enough at this price, though it's the sheer versatility of the TX-P50GT60's images that make it a great value choice. Despite the hi-def brilliance and deep, inky blacks, it's an effective upscaling of standard definition sources that remains its biggest success – so few TVs can manage to make a ropy ITV 3 broadcast look watchable on a screen this big.