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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.
Jamie is a freelance tech, travel and space journalist based in the UK. He’s been writing regularly for Techradar since it was launched in 2008 and also writes regularly for Forbes, The Telegraph, the South China Morning Post, Sky & Telescope and the Sky At Night magazine as well as other Future titles T3, Digital Camera World, All About Space and Space.com. He also edits two of his own websites, TravGear.com and WhenIsTheNextEclipse.com that reflect his obsession with travel gear and solar eclipse travel. He is the author of A Stargazing Program For Beginners (Springer, 2015),