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Panasonic TX-P42GT30B review

No feature has been left unturned by Panasonic's 3D-ready 42-inch plasma HD TV with Freesat HD and Freeview HD

Our Verdict

For

  • Rich, detailed 2D picture quality
  • Freeview HD and Freesat HD
  • Clean, crosstalk-free 3D performance
  • VIERA Connect IPTV portal

Against

  • No active shutter 3D glasses supplied
  • No side-mounted AV inputs
  • No EPG for non-Freesat services

The GT30 range is Panasonic's secret weapon in its continuing war with 3D LED TV vendors. The Panasonic TX-P42GT30B is more affordable than the brand's headline VT30 models yet shares much the same technology, this set oozes enticing functionality.

With both Freeview HD and Freesat HD (DVB-S/S2) tuners, it takes just 17 seconds to tune in the standard Freesat channel assortment.

More adventurous viewers can journey outside this environment by selecting the TV's 'Other Satellite' tuning menu. From here you can tune via other presets selecting from Astra2/Eurobird, Astra 1, Hot Bird or 'Any Satellite' and filtering FTA or pay channels.

We opted to tune in the free stuff on Astra2/Eurobird. This took about 18 minutes but garnered 329 FTA TV channels and 80 radio stations. The downside is that there's no EPG data to accompany this. You can only select as many or as few as you want and shunt them into a scrollable channel listing.

The set also provides a manual tuning option, wherein you can specify frequency, polarisation and symbol rate. DiSEqC, however, isn't supported.

Net gain

A wide range of network functionality includes Panasonic's new online VIERA Connect IPTV portal with access to the BBC iPlayer, YouTube, Daily Motion, Ustream, Daily Motion, Shoutcast, Skype and Picasa and others. There are also social media apps for Facebook or Twitter, plus a growing selection of games within its apps market.

Alternatively, you can stream media across your own home network from PC or NAS and access content from the brand's 2011 DIGA DVD and Blu-ray recorders.

File compatibility is generous. There's network streaming support for AVC HD, AVIs and MKV-wrapped content, as well as MP3, AAC and WMA music files.

High-end picture performance

2D picture quality is excellent. Black levels are profound and colour reproduction is bold yet believable. We also noted that the 3D crosstalk that was evident on last year's models has all but vanished from this season's screens.

The TX-P42GT30 exhibits next to no double-imaging, even on 3D Blu-rays with known problem sequences. Still, we must confess to being slightly confounded by Panasonic's decision not to bundle any 3D glasses with the set (its active shutter specs cost around £110).

If you're after a cheap PVR option the set allows you to timeshift and record onto a USB-connected hard drive. Having a single tuner brings obvious recording restrictions – once you've started to record one programme you can't switch to another – but the system works well enough.

Verdict

Overall, this 42-inch screen is extremely impressive from both a feature and picture perspective. If you're looking for a 'smart' 3D TV with superior performance it is definitely one to shortlist.

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Tech Specs

Product TypePlasma TV
Scan Format1080p
Standard Refresh Rate50 Hz
Digital TunerDVB-T (MPEG4), DVB-S2
Analog TunerPAL
Video Signal StandardHDTV 1080p
Number of HDMI Ports3
Number of SCART Interfaces1
Product FamilyViera GT30
3D Type3D
Brand NamePanasonic
Screen Size106.7 cm (42")
Aspect Ratio16:9
Green CompliantYes
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityREACH
EthernetYes
Ethernet TechnologyEthernet
USBYes
HDMIYes
Weight with Stand (Approximate)23 kg
Operating Power Consumption325 W
Standby Power Consumption300 mW
RMS Output Power20 W
Electronic Program GuideYes
DLNA CertifiedYes
HeadphoneYes
Digital Audio OutputYes
Height with Stand649 mm
Width with Stand993 mm
Depth with Stand320 mm
CI+Yes
Composite VideoYes
Component VideoYes
SCARTYes
Teletext Memory1000
3D ConversionYes
USB RecordingYes
Motion Interpolation TechnologyIntelligent Frame Creation Pro
Enhanced Refresh Rate600 Hz
Height615 mm
Width993 mm
Depth58 mm
Sound SystemVirtual Surround Sound, Dolby Digital Plus, DTS
Product SeriesGT30
Maximum Resolution1920 x 1080
Colour Depth68.7 Billion Colors (12-bit)
FeaturesChild Lock, Web Browser, Web Content Access, PC Streaming, Media Player, Picture and Text (PAT)
ManufacturerPanasonic
Product ModelTX-P42GT30B
Product NameViera TX-P42GT30B Plasma TV
Product LineViera
Manufacturer Part NumberTXP42GT30B
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.panasonic.co.uk
Marketing Information

The viewing experience has never been so lifelike and compelling as it is with Panasonic's 3D Technology. The fast switching phosphors used in the Neo Plasma panels and an original light-emitting process minimise crosstalk (double images) to deliver clear 3D images and ensure comfortable viewing. This technology also helps to improve 2D picture quality.

SpeakersYes
Limited Warranty1 Year
Weight (Approximate)19.50 kg