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Panasonic Viera TX-P50ST30 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £1287
inc VAT

Stunning black levels and useful internet TV functions make this a fantastic mid-range 3DTV, although the next model up is better value.


55in, Freeview HD, analogue, 1,920×1,080 resolution, 3D: yes, 4x HDMI

In spite of these refinements, picture quality wasn’t quite as crisp as a top-end LCD screen when viewed up close; at a regular viewing distance, though, we preferred the more accurate black levels of the plasma display. Colours were very accurate at default settings, but there are further options to adjust them to suit personal preference.

High definition content looked very sharp over Freeview HD, as did some of the higher-quality SD channels. Unfortunately a lot of detail was lost on lower-quality channels, with facial features in particular suffering from excessive blurring. The on-screen EPG was just as responsive as the other menus, although it lacked a live preview window.

Panasonic TX-P40ST30

Plasma TVs are almost always superior to LCD when watching 3D content and the ST30 is no exception. With an almost instantaneous 0.001ms response rate, there was no noticeable screen flicker and there was no visible ghosting in most scenes, with only a few minor artefacts where the effect had been accentuated by the filmmakers. Using active shutter glasses, screen brightness was significantly dimmer than on an LCD screen, to the extent that we would only watch 3D content in a dark room.

We tested the TV with a pair of Panasonic’s own 3D glasses, which unfortunately aren’t included with the set – one of the key reasons that 3D sets appear more affordable this year. You’ll have to factor in the £80-per-set cost into the overall cost of buying the TV.

With very few negative points to highlight, the ST30 looks like the ideal Plasma TV, but there’s one important point to take into consideration. Panasonic’s own GT30 (full review coming soon) currently costs around £50 more at any given size, but includes a FreeSat HD tuner, DLNA multimedia streaming, THX-certified video (which means that colours on a certified DVD should look as the filmmaker intended) and recording to a USB device.

In every other practical respect, it’s an identical set. And even if you might only use one or two of those, it’s not a lot of extra money for a TV this expensive already. That makes the GT30 the better buy for most people.

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Basic Specifications

Rating ****


Viewable size 55in
Native resolution 1,920×1,080
1080p support Yes
Aspect ratio 16:9
HD ready yes
3D capable yes
Contrast ratio 5,000,000:1
Speakers 2x 10W


D-sub inputs 0
HDMI inputs 4
Component inputs 1
S-Video input 0
Composite inputs 0
Audio outputs optical S/DIF out, headphone minijack
Other CI Slot, 2xUSB, headphone, SD Card slot


Tuner type Freeview HD, analogue
EPG 7 day


Power consumption standby 1W
Power consumption on 272W

Buying Information

Warranty five years RTB
Price £1,287

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