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

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This isn't a 3D plasma unless you add 3D specs for £130, but that's actually all you need to do, for the 3D transmitter is already built-in. There are one or two features lacking, but overall the TX-P50ST30B is the kind of plasma that keeps the panel tech going in the face of the LED challenge; it's just such great value.

We liked:

Built-in Freeview HD, the now genuinely engaging Viera Connect, a great smartphone app, MKV support from USB, pictures more versatile than we've a right to expect, and effective 3D. Enough? And then there's the price – a thoroughly advanced 50-inch Full HD plasma, with 3D upgrade options, for £900? Where's the queue?

We disliked:

No Wi-Fi and no 3D glasses make this a future-proof option rather than the finished article. The same goes for its lack of calibration options, while the loss of DLNA streaming seems plain odd on a set that can easily be networked. Contrast doesn't match-up to higher-spec plasmas, Full HD detail can underwhelm, and 2D-3D isn't yet effective enough to consider using regularly.


A great choice for a living room that wants BBC iPlayer and a 3D option in future, this 50-inch plasma is kind to dodgy sources at the cost of slightly soft Blu-ray. A smooth picture with awesome colour and great contrast compared to LED rivals, this is the everyman plasma defined – and it's going for a song.

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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),