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Panasonic TX-P42ST30B review

An ugly, yet affordable 3D plasma capable of delivering very impressive pictures

Our Verdict

For

  • Effortlessly good 3D images
  • Excellent 2D pics
  • Viera Connect and multimedia capabilities
  • Good build quality

Against

  • Ugly design
  • Lacks a couple of vital manual tweaks
  • Horrible Freeview EPG
  • Picture tweaks buried in menu system

The Infinite Black Pro-toting TX-P42ST30B is 2011's most affordable active 3D plasma screen. It has been shorn of one or two fancy features that Panasonic reckons the mass market won't feel deprived of, but is still crammed with the latest plasma technology, including faster-switching phosphors, reduced power consumption and a new screen filter.

The most immediate difference between the TX-P42ST30B and its superior stablemate, the TX-P42GT30B, is that visually this is clearly no catwalk queen with a 2-inch wide gunmetal grey plastic bezel, industrial-looking base and a grey-green screen that when switched off is reminiscent of an old-fashioned CRT.

Compared with its pricier sibling, also missing from the spec sheet are DLNA networking, a built-in Freesat tuner, USB HDD recording, colour management and THX/ISF calibration.

The even more expensive flagship TX-P42VT30B improves on both models by also offering 2.1 audio, a Wi-Fi dongle and two free pairs of 3D specs. Despite the TX-P42ST30B's 'affordable 3D' tag you're going to have to shell out a fair bit of dough for the specs.

As with the GT series, the ST is available with a 46-inch screen in the form of the TX-P46ST30B and as the TX-P50ST30B with a 50-inch screen. Only the VT series also comes in 55-inch and 60-inch sizes, which is just as well, because it's hard to imagine anyone wanting anything so dull-looking as the TX-P42ST30B in such a large screen size.

Tech Specs

Product TypePlasma TV
Scan Format1080p
Standard Refresh Rate50 Hz
Digital TunerDVB-T (MPEG4)
Analog TunerPAL
Video Signal StandardHDTV 1080p
Number of HDMI Ports4
Number of SCART Interfaces1
Product FamilyViera ST30
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 Consumption295 W
Standby Power Consumption300 mW
RMS Output Power20 W
Electronic Program GuideYes
VGAYes
HeadphoneYes
Digital Audio OutputYes
Height with Stand675 mm
Width with Stand1020 mm
Depth with Stand320 mm
CI+Yes
Composite VideoYes
Component VideoYes
SCARTYes
Teletext Memory1000
3D ConversionYes
Motion Interpolation TechnologyIntelligent Frame Creation Pro
Enhanced Refresh Rate600 Hz
Height640 mm
Width1020 mm
Depth69 mm
Sound SystemDolby Digital Plus, Dolby Pulse, DTS, Virtual Surround Sound
Product SeriesST30
Maximum Resolution1920 x 1080
Colour Depth68.7 Billion Colors (12-bit)
FeaturesChild Lock, Picture and Text (PAT), Media Player, PC Streaming, Web Content Access, Teletext
ManufacturerPanasonic
Product ModelTX-P42ST30B
Product NameViera TX-P42ST30B Plasma TV
Product LineViera
Manufacturer Part NumberTXP42ST30B
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.

The 600Hz Sub-field Drive in VIERA plasma TVs teams up with Intelligent Frame Creation Pro technology to deliver smooth, fluid, on-screen motion. By using an intelligent algorithm within the picture processing based on motion detection, the best combination of frames is created to deliver ultra crisp sports, film and game action.

SpeakersYes
Limited Warranty5 Year
Weight (Approximate)19.50 kg