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Panasonic TX-P50VT50B review

Is this the ultimate home cinema screen?

Our Verdict

For

  • Intense black
  • No motion blur
  • Peerless 2D and 3D Blu-ray
  • Viera Connect interface

Against

  • Dated TV user interface
  • Limited digital file support
  • Touchpad feels first-gen

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

Buying Guide
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Best TV 2012

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.

Tech Specs

Product TypePlasma TV
Scan Format1080p
Standard Refresh Rate50 Hz
Digital TunerDVB-S2, DVB-T (MPEG4)
Analog TunerPAL
Video Signal StandardHDTV 1080p
Number of HDMI Ports4
Product FamilyViera
3D Type3D
EU Energy LabelC
Brand NamePanasonic
Screen Size127 cm (50")
Aspect Ratio16:9
Green CompliantYes
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityREACH
Memory Card ReaderYes
BluetoothYes
EthernetYes
Wireless LANYes
Ethernet TechnologyEthernet
USBYes
HDMIYes
Weight with Stand (Approximate)29.50 kg
Operating Power Consumption410 W
Standby Power Consumption300 mW
Dynamic Contrast Ratio6,000,000:1
Electronic Program GuideYes
DLNA CertifiedYes
HeadphoneYes
Digital Audio OutputYes
Height with Stand754 mm
Width with Stand1171 mm
Depth with Stand335 mm
CI+Yes
Composite VideoYes
Component VideoYes
Teletext Memory1500
Network (RJ-45)Yes
Number of USB Ports3
3D TechnologyPolarized
3D ConversionYes
Energy Consumption per Year270 kWh
3D Glasses RequiredYes
Enhanced Refresh Rate2.50 kHz
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital (SD), Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC)
Height706 mm
Width1171 mm
Depth50 mm
Sound SystemVirtual Surround Sound, Dolby Pulse, Dolby Digital Plus, DTS
Maximum Resolution1920 x 1080
FeaturesPC Streaming, Web Browser, Teletext, Picture in Picture, Picture and Text (PAT), Picture and Picture (PAP), Media Player
ManufacturerPanasonic
Product ModelTX-P50VT50
Product NameTX-P50VT50B 50" Smart Viera Plasma TV
Product LineViera
Manufacturer Part NumberTX-P50VT50B
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.panasonic.co.uk
Marketing Information

50" Smart VIERA Plasma TV - A Reference Model in Both Functions and Picture Quality (Energy Efficiency Class C)

The display alternately shows images for the left and right eyes. The left and right lenses of the eyewear open and close in sync with this display timing to show separate images to the left and right eyes. By repeating this action at high speed, the brain perceives 3D images. And because this method displays FULL HD 3D images just as they are, both eyes receive 3D images in high, full-HD quality.

This original Panasonic technology detects image movements like the human eye, and optimises the drive accordingly. By achieving instantaneously powerful light emission rather than finely divided emission, it reduces the afterimages that cause blurring. As a result, fast movement is reproduced with excellent clarity.

Package Contents
  • TX-P50VT50B 50" Smart Viera Plasma TV
  • Remote Control
  • 2 x 3D Glasses
SpeakersYes
Limited Warranty1 Year
Weight (Approximate)25.50 kg