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Panasonic TX-P50ST30B review

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

Our Verdict

For

  • Clean, involving 2D images
  • Built-in 3D transmitter
  • Excellent 3D images
  • Clean pictures from all sources
  • Viera Connect hub improved
  • 2D-3D conversion option

Against

  • Drab Freeview EPG
  • 3D specs cost extra
  • Lacks some home cinema settings
  • No DLNA streaming

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.

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 Size127 cm (50")
Aspect Ratio16:9
Green CompliantYes
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityREACH
EthernetYes
Ethernet TechnologyEthernet
USBYes
HDMIYes
Weight with Stand (Approximate)30 kg
Operating Power Consumption355 W
Standby Power Consumption300 mW
RMS Output Power20 W
Electronic Program GuideYes
VGAYes
HeadphoneYes
Digital Audio OutputYes
Height with Stand779 mm
Width with Stand1204 mm
Depth with Stand335 mm
CI+Yes
Composite VideoYes
Component VideoYes
SCARTYes
Teletext Memory1000
3D ConversionYes
Motion Interpolation TechnologyIntelligent Frame Creation Pro
Enhanced Refresh Rate600 Hz
Height744 mm
Width1204 mm
Depth69 mm
Sound SystemVirtual Surround Sound, Dolby Digital Plus, DTS
Product SeriesST30
Maximum Resolution1920 x 1080
Colour Depth68.7 Billion Colors (12-bit)
FeaturesWeb Browser, Web Content Access, PC Streaming, Child Lock, Teletext, Picture and Text (PAT), Media Player
ManufacturerPanasonic
Product ModelTX-P50ST30B
Product NameViera TX-P50ST30B Plasma TV
Product LineViera
Manufacturer Part NumberTXP50ST30B
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)26 kg