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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

Already named the European Plasma TV of the year 2012-2013 by the European Imaging Sound Association (EISA), the Panasonic TX-P50VT50 comes with a big reputation.

In testing, the TV delivers in spades, with that new black-boosting panel filter a key - if niche - piece of tech that will be lauded in home cinemas across the land.

We liked

Picture quality - loved it - the THX Cinema preset worked wonders with everything we threw at it amid some startling contrast and awesome upscaling.

Despite fluid, naturally coloured 2D and 3D images, inky blacks and detail throughout, perhaps what's most impressive is that this plasma's obsession with perfection isn't at the cost of versatility; it handles poor quality sources of video just as well.

We also liked its SD XC card slot, a rarity on flatscreen TVs, while the red-backlit remote is also bang on the money for life in a home cinema environment.

We disliked

If we had to nit-pick, we'd say that this plasma is not as bright as an LCD TV, though that's only likely to be noticeable in a brightly-lit shop environment.

Far more of an issue is a poor Freeview EPG that lacks even a live TV thumbnail, let alone audio, the rather old-fashioned core user interface, and the lack of MKV support while networking.

The touchpad controller is a matter of taste, though it feels like what it is; faltering first-gen tech. At this price, we feel there should be a 'proper' touchscreen remote.

Final verdict

We'd say that Panasonic's even larger TX-P65VT50B takes the crown of the brand's - and the flatscreen TV industry's - king of plasma TVs.

But at the arguably more important 50-inch size, this sumptuous Full HD plasma TV barely puts a foot wrong.

Still, unless you're a perfectionist, it's worth considering a more affordable plasma, and buying the 3D glasses yourself - but stick with Panasonic and you'll retain the core brilliance of the Panasonic TX-P50VT50.

Also consider

If you want a Full HD, 50-inch plasma TV and care more about networking, streaming and general digital frippery than pitch-perfect pictures, head immediately for the thoroughly good value LG 50PM670T plasma.

There are no 3D glasses included and the Freeview EPG isn't much better than on this Panasonic, but otherwise the user interface is peerless. The drawback is a thoroughly average black level that doesn't get anywhere near this plasma.

Samsung also does a decent line of plasma, such as the 60-inch Samsung PS60E6500, which also comes in a 51-inch Samsung PS51E6500 flavour.

Both Freeview HD and Freesat HD tuners are included, though once again it lacks ultimate contrast compared to the Panasonic reviewed here.

Although LG and Samsung do make good value plasmas, it's the Panasonic TX-P50GT50 and Panasonic TX-P50ST50 that are the Panasonic TX-P50VT50's two main competitors.

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