Initial impressions of my new 50" Panasonic


Standard Member
Hi all
I have been asked several questions by several people (particularly KBDVD and Fulabeer) about my general impressions and my take on the performance of the TH50PHW30 that I recently bought. If there's anything I haven't covered here feel free to ask and I'll try to observe / provide an answer:
1) Delivery / service. I bought it from Sound and Vision in Bolton. I live in Preston which, despite having been promoted to City status as a Queen's Jubilee present, is not well provided with good HiFi dealers IMHO. Any that DO exist do not have anything like the demo stock and willingness to please that S&V have. I dealt with Robin; this guy is definitely a salesman but he is also obviously an enthusiast and sold me some really good stuff. Currys it is NOT. The delivery was due Friday PM. It arrived at 11:55AM - pretty good. After sales service so far has been very good. I have had a few questions/afterthoughts and Robin has been very fair. I did have some negative experiences but to be fair they were dealt with professionally.
2) Fan noise. As I menioned in another thread, this baby has four fans in it and it also electronically buzzes. I suspect the power supply as the pitch does change with the screen brightness. I guess this varies the load on the PSU. It is NOT silent, and frankly, if my Yamaha AV amp can be silent, why can't this? I'm not going to start p*****g about with returns and engineers. This is just the current state of Panasonic's art. They will get better just like cars, computers and washing machines. I decided to buy one now. I am going to play around with some acoustic foam or carpet underlay and some cardboard boxes, see if I can't prototype an acoustic jacket (not forgetting airflow!).
3) Lip sync. This was my main concern having read so much about it. Given the facts (that scaling and deinterlacing WILL take time), there is bound to be some. It's fine. I would guess that it's about .2 of a second and is a bit more with zoom modes. I guess this is due to the screen doing even more work. Maybe one day I'll get an amp with a delay or perhaps someone will design a delay box to go inline on the speaker outputs (Symanski, are you out there?)
4) Scaling. Very impressive. I am more happy than I expected to be with the PQ on Sky Digital. I'm running RGB but will be getting an RGB > Component converter soon (Fulabeer - honest :) ). On DVD it's also brill. I am on Svideo with my old Sony 325 but I have ordered a Philips 963SA. Will report when I get it.
5) 3:2 Pulldown. I BELIEVE this model dosen't have it, but to be honest I haven't spotted a problem on e.g. Fifth Element R1 (although you might spot it yourself). With the progressive scan DVD player this should cease to be a problem anyway.
6) Colour banding. This is also known as solarisation from the computer graphics world. Thanks to KBDVD I am now aware that this can be a problem!! :( . OK, here's the truth: I have noticed some but only twice so far and believe me, I have looked. Last night on Casualty I noticed that Colette's face (she's a nurse and is brown-skinned, possibly West Indian) was showing banding in the darker corners of her jaw-line. It happened again during Frasier where I noticed a pinkish coloured column (Yeah, small titter) in his apartment was solarising . Now, this morning I watched programmes with talking heads and saw NO banding. So, maybe it's an MPEG compression issue on Sky, maybe a brightness issue, or something else. It is not an major issue but will probably be less noticable on the newer model with more grey scale video memory. Perhaps there'll be an upgrade made available; after all it IS only a memory issue and memory is pretty cheap and easy to come by, innit?
Well then, there it is. (Amadeus is one of my faves).
Sorry if it's a bit long-winded but I though some of you might be interested.


What an interesting write up, thanks for taking the time.:)


yes - agreed...of course this is making it more difficult for me to decide between pio433, 503 or this baby..
the colour banding you say i guess could be in sky, you would need to look at a dvd and then compare that with your old crt set .
anyway, thanks again for your write up.


Active Member
Hi Red Rose,

Thanks for your time and trouble.

All in all it sounds like your pretty happy with your purchase!

I'm very sorry if my questions directed to Joe Fernand regarding the £5k price of the "30" versus the potential improvements of the "5" series model have caused you any dissatisfaction with your purchase. Although it does sound as if the improved grey scale performance of the "5" may be significant, it still may not be £1.5K significant! If it helps, I may well decide to take the "30" route myself!

If my experience with my NEC 42MP2 is anything to go by you can look forward to seeing a significant improvement in DVD picture quality when you switch from S-Video to Component Inputs.

Interestingly, some DVD's that utilise an older print eg: "Dumbo" actually look better via S-Video on account of the fact that the "texture" detail in the print is not being accentuated!...Try it, I think that you will see that this is the case! (60th Anniv Edition - R1) This is however the exception to the norm, and 95% of your DVD's will be significantly improved via the Component route.

I managed to get to see both your model and the newer "5" version yesterday in Watford. (Panasonic shop = 30 / John Lewis = 5) Both looked great though amazingly, both were only being demonstrated via S-Video signals off DVD! (It seem's that the average salesperson / shop has still to realise the improved image quality that is there for the taking via Component.

On this short viewing I certainly could'nt see £1,000 / £1,500 worth of difference! As you said, the lack of 3:2 pulldown for 480P/480i DVD is not a major issue if the screen is to be used with a Progressive scan DVD player that is so equipped! The new phosphers being employed on the newer screen may / may not have a marked effect, again, on this viewing I could make out no such difference. The two changes that could still be significant IMHO are:

1. The supposed easier upgrade of the input board in the event that a Digital connection between DVD players and screens is ever standardised and implemented.

2. The increased "steps" of grey scale offered by the newer model, which I believe is now 1,024 on normal RGB/Component & a massive 2,048 when DVI is being employed. I'm unaware of the number of steps employed on your "30" model, anyone know?

The Grey scale improvement therefore is the only one that I believe offers a potential "real world" visible improvement over your model in that it may well reduce the "solarisation" or "banding" effect in large poorly defined areas of an image.

Thanks once again for the info & enjoy the screen!

(You must be very happy that you now own a screen who's 1366 x 768 resolution shall ensure a fantastic performance with HD-DVD when it launches in approx 18 to 36 months)

Best Regards,


The fan noise is no worse than a VCR motor and I don't notice it, unless I consciously listen for it. My TiVo fan seems more noticable. I have never noticed banding. It is the best display I have ever seen and in due course it may be even better, but for now I am more than happy.

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