Panasonic TX-P50VT50B review

Is this the ultimate home cinema screen?

Panasonic TX-P50VT50 review
Editor's Choice
The Panasonic TX-P50VT50 produces rich blacks

TechRadar Verdict


  • +

    Intense black

  • +

    No motion blur

  • +

    Peerless 2D and 3D Blu-ray

  • +

    Viera Connect interface


  • -

    Dated TV user interface

  • -

    Limited digital file support

  • -

    Touchpad feels first-gen

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Panasonic should consider its flagship 50-inch TV blacklisted. Among home cinema aficionados the talk is always of the importance of a TV's ability to produce pure black.

And while there can be too much emphasis on this, there's no doubting how much more nuanced, detailed and believable a well-made film appears when viewed on a top spec plasma. And this 50-inch Panasonic VT50 Series plasma is exactly that.

We're not downgrading LCD or LED-backlighting, both of which have massively improved of late, but less than convincing purity of black, and even a slight bluish tinge to black on LCD TVs, means that plasma, for now, is king among AV perfectionists who want as near to total accuracy as possible.

Panasonic TX-P50VT50 review

That those perfectionists often appear to have less regard for plot and character in films is immaterial. Because though plasma televisions do tend to treat high-octane action films such as Avatar and Tron particularly well, plasmas such as the Panasonic TX-P50VT50 work wonders on 'normal' movies and TV, too.

The traditional downsides to plasma technology are largely aesthetic and to do with wider bezels and fatter chassis, but on the Panasonic TX-P50VT50 we're struggling to see where the problem is.

A depth of 50mm (2 inches) isn't as slim as an ultra-expensive LED-backlit LCD TV, but it's fine by us. And a bezel measuring just 21mm (0.8 inches) - with a further 5mm (0.2 inches) around the visible screen - is instantly visually appealing.

Panasonic TX-P50VT50 review

But it's the 'One Sheet of Glass' design that stretches from corner to corner that's most arresting. The fine edging is finished off by a metallic trim that adds even more class to the glass.

Despite this plasma TV having best-ever good looks, it's the presence inside of what Panasonic calls the Infinite Black Ultra filter that makes this NeoPlasma unique, though the use of 2,500Hz Focused Field Drive tech is also a one-off.

As with many of Panasonic's plasmas, the Panasonic TX-P50VT50 also sports Active Shutter 3D compatibility, THX certification, Viera Connect smart TV apps, and both Freeview HD & Freesat HD tuners.

Panasonic TX-P50VT50 review

The 50-inch Panasonic TX-P50VT50 is accompanied in the VT50 Series by the 55-inch Panasonic TX-P55VT50 and 65-inch Panasonic TX-P65VT50. All of these televisions are unique, primarily for their use of that Infinite Black Ultra filter, though they also ship with two pairs of 3D specs and a touch pad remote.

Lower down the plasma TV ranges are the Panasonic GT50 Series - including the 50-inch Panasonic TX-P50GT50 - and ST50 Series - sporting the cheaper Panasonic TX-P50ST50.

Both of these use lesser-capable - though still mightily impressive - Infinite Black Pro black filters and 2,000Hz Focused Field Drive tech. Neither choice comes with 3D glasses included in the box.

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),