Panasonic TX-P50ST30B review

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

Panasonic TX-P50ST30B
This TV comes with a built-in 3D transmitter, but no 3D glasses

TechRadar Verdict


  • +

    Clean, involving 2D images

  • +

    Built-in 3D transmitter

  • +

    Excellent 3D images

  • +

    Clean pictures from all sources

  • +

    Viera Connect hub improved

  • +

    2D-3D conversion option


  • -

    Drab Freeview EPG

  • -

    3D specs cost extra

  • -

    Lacks some home cinema settings

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    No DLNA streaming

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That a 50-inch, 3D-ready plasma TV originally on sale for over £1500 can now be had with over a third off is proof of how short-lived a fillip the third dimension has given TV sales, but there's a big reason why the Panasonic TX-P50ST30B can be had for such little spend.

Lacking 3D glasses in the box – they're available for an extra £130 – this is Panasonic's offering for those who are undecided about 3D.

As such it's the perfect TV for a living room (despite a bare bones design) where a desire for future proofing, rather than a thirst for the latest tech, is dominant. Still, this entry-level 3D screen does, at least, feature a built-in 3D transmitter, so there's no need for a Wii-style accessory on the top of the telly.

Not everything is built-in; a Wi-Fi dongle is merely optional, a shame since a wired connection to a broadband router just isn't possible in many home environments, and the TX-P50ST30B has a significant online dimension that demands bandwidth. Viera Connect, much tweaked since its lacklustre debut in 2010, now sports the likes of BBC iPlayer, Lovefilm and Acetrax movie streaming.

The TX-P50ST30B is the biggest example in the ST30 line-up, with the 42-inch Panasonic TX-P42ST30B and 46-inch Panasonic TX-P46ST30B selling for around £550 and £700, respectively. The ST30 range is Panasonic's most basic in 3D terms, and much improved upon in both its GT30 and VT30 Series.

The former matches an Infinite Black Pro plasma panel and a slimmer bezel with THX Certification, for an exacting home cinema calibration. It's available in the UK as the 42-inch Panasonic TX-P42GT30B, 46-inch Panasonic TX-P46GT30B and 50-inch Panasonic TX-P50GT30B for around £900, £1,050 and £1,200 respectively.

Thoroughly respectable, and good value, efforts at 3D LED-backlit LCD TVs also come from Panasonic in the shape of the 32-inch Panasonic TX-L32DT30B and 37-inch Panasonic TX-L37DT30B, which sell for around £550 and £800 respectively.

Further up the scale is Panasonic's ultimate plasma range, the VT30, which comprises the 42-inch Panasonic TX-P42VT30B, 50-inch Panasonic TX-P50VT30B, 55-inch Panasonic TX-P55VT30B and 65-inch Panasonic TX-P65VT30B. Though it's the feature-laden, much-discounted GT30 Series that is the biggest challenger to the Panasonic TX-P50ST30B.

Jamie Carter

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 He also edits two of his own websites, and that reflect his obsession with travel gear and solar eclipse travel. He is the author of A Stargazing Program For Beginners (Springer, 2015),