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Panasonic VT30 (TX-P50VT30) 3D Plasma Review

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Reviewed by Phil Hinton, 1st May 2011.
The VT30 is an exceptionally good plasma TV that offers the best black levels and image quality we have seen so far this year. Yes, it is not perfect, there is no such thing as a perfect TV, but as a consumer model it certainly offers excellent image quality in both 2D and 3D. It won’t be for everyone and the price may be a barrier for some, but we are struggling to think of a TV already available or coming soon that will better the VT30 in every area where it excels, so I guess you can’t get a higher recommendation that that to go and see one.
Read the full review...
 
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Cheers for the review Phil, looks excellent.
 
Cheers for the review Phil, looks excellent.
 

tetsuya68

Standard Member
Great review!

Few questions on this TV:
- is the 50hz issue fixed with IFC set to MID, as I understood from reviews of GT30? If yes, it is something we can use for SKY HD football games?
- is the floating brightness present even in THX mode?
- does the black levels on VT20 risen since the first time you tested it? This is just to avoid bad surprises during the panel life ... which for me will be some 10 years :)

What screen size (50-55-65) are you suggesting for mainly 2D viewing at tipical 3,5m distance?

Thanks again
 

tetsuya68

Standard Member
Great review!

Few questions on this TV:
- is the 50hz issue fixed with IFC set to MID, as I understood from reviews of GT30? If yes, it is something we can use for SKY HD football games?
- is the floating brightness present even in THX mode?
- does the black levels on VT20 risen since the first time you tested it? This is just to avoid bad surprises during the panel life ... which for me will be some 10 years :)

What screen size (50-55-65) are you suggesting for mainly 2D viewing at tipical 3,5m distance?

Thanks again
 

mz_milan

Standard Member
good review mate :)

is there any chance for 65VT30 review ?

i think i will buy this tv bec i have sony 46X4500 !! do you recomend this tv for me or i should keep my old tv ?

thanks
 

mz_milan

Standard Member
good review mate :)

is there any chance for 65VT30 review ?

i think i will buy this tv bec i have sony 46X4500 !! do you recomend this tv for me or i should keep my old tv ?

thanks
 

Phil Hinton

Editor
Staff member
Great review!

Few questions on this TV:
- is the 50hz issue fixed with IFC set to MID, as I understood from reviews of GT30? If yes, it is something we can use for SKY HD football games?
I didn't see any major issues with IFC off, so if you like the Mid selection I see no reason why you shouldn't use it. I just checked it with football on Sky in Mid and it looked fine for movement and no obvious signs of the break-up issues. They are still there but extremely subtle and you need to go looking for them.

- is the floating brightness present even in THX mode?
Yes, but as I said in the review, on our sample it occurs a few times and is not distracting enough to be a major issue for me personally. You may disagree so go and see one if you can to make up your own mind. Also I can only base my opinions on our sample here, but I am hoping to do long term testing on another VT30 soon.

- does the black levels on VT20 risen since the first time you tested it? This is just to avoid bad surprises during the panel life ... which for me will be some 10 years :)
Nope, was consistent. I have used this set about 180 hours now. I am not aware of any major rises on 2010 models either. For example the VT20 I have had here for about 8 months and used every day measures the same now as it did on day one.

What screen size (50-55-65) are you suggesting for mainly 2D viewing at tipical 3,5m distance?

Thanks again
Depends on content you will watch, with mostly HD I would be tempted to go larger with the screen size. HTHs
 

Phil Hinton

Editor
Staff member
Great review!

Few questions on this TV:
- is the 50hz issue fixed with IFC set to MID, as I understood from reviews of GT30? If yes, it is something we can use for SKY HD football games?
I didn't see any major issues with IFC off, so if you like the Mid selection I see no reason why you shouldn't use it. I just checked it with football on Sky in Mid and it looked fine for movement and no obvious signs of the break-up issues. They are still there but extremely subtle and you need to go looking for them.

- is the floating brightness present even in THX mode?
Yes, but as I said in the review, on our sample it occurs a few times and is not distracting enough to be a major issue for me personally. You may disagree so go and see one if you can to make up your own mind. Also I can only base my opinions on our sample here, but I am hoping to do long term testing on another VT30 soon.

- does the black levels on VT20 risen since the first time you tested it? This is just to avoid bad surprises during the panel life ... which for me will be some 10 years :)
Nope, was consistent. I have used this set about 180 hours now. I am not aware of any major rises on 2010 models either. For example the VT20 I have had here for about 8 months and used every day measures the same now as it did on day one.

What screen size (50-55-65) are you suggesting for mainly 2D viewing at tipical 3,5m distance?

Thanks again
Depends on content you will watch, with mostly HD I would be tempted to go larger with the screen size. HTHs
 

Phil Hinton

Editor
Staff member
good review mate :)

is there any chance for 65VT30 review ?
Hopefully when they are available we will have one covered.

i think i will buy this tv bec i have sony 46X4500 !! do you recomend this tv for me or i should keep my old tv ?

thanks
Not my place to tell you what to buy ;) I would suggest you go and get a good quality demo of the VT30 and make up your own mind, based on what you need from a TV.
 

Phil Hinton

Editor
Staff member
good review mate :)

is there any chance for 65VT30 review ?
Hopefully when they are available we will have one covered.

i think i will buy this tv bec i have sony 46X4500 !! do you recomend this tv for me or i should keep my old tv ?

thanks
Not my place to tell you what to buy ;) I would suggest you go and get a good quality demo of the VT30 and make up your own mind, based on what you need from a TV.
 

hybridtheory

Well-known Member
Hi Phil

Thx for the review, was worth waiting for :thumbsup:. Hope u still had time to enjoy the bank holiday weekend.

Baz
 

hybridtheory

Well-known Member
Hi Phil

Thx for the review, was worth waiting for :thumbsup:. Hope u still had time to enjoy the bank holiday weekend.

Baz
 

tetsuya68

Standard Member
Just one more question about reflection.
I think you are stating that it's very good on facing top and side ambient light but .. "Indeed, the VT30 is quite reflective and when I placed it opposite one of my living room windows all I could see during daylight viewing was the window and me sitting on the seat opposite"

Does it means that it is reflective as other plasmas or is actually much worse when ambient light comes from behind?
 

tetsuya68

Standard Member
Just one more question about reflection.
I think you are stating that it's very good on facing top and side ambient light but .. "Indeed, the VT30 is quite reflective and when I placed it opposite one of my living room windows all I could see during daylight viewing was the window and me sitting on the seat opposite"

Does it means that it is reflective as other plasmas or is actually much worse when ambient light comes from behind?
 

Pepe

Novice Member
Thanks a lot for the review.

Just one question; one of the main uses I want a new TV for is gaming (plus 3D and HD viewing), and I was debating about buying an ST30 given your advice on its low input lag. Now the VT30 also seems to offer a fast response, plus overall considered is a much better TV, so were you able to note any real differences in terms of lag/gaming between the two models? Thank you.
 

Pepe

Novice Member
Thanks a lot for the review.

Just one question; one of the main uses I want a new TV for is gaming (plus 3D and HD viewing), and I was debating about buying an ST30 given your advice on its low input lag. Now the VT30 also seems to offer a fast response, plus overall considered is a much better TV, so were you able to note any real differences in terms of lag/gaming between the two models? Thank you.
 

Smurfin

Distinguished Member
Thanks for the review Phil, as ever extremely thorough, though I did note the "go see it for yourself" comment several times ;)

I've found two very interesting points in the review:

1. Panasonic have stated they aren't (and it seems, never will) produce an enthusiasts TV, simply because the economics don't work. This is consistent with Pioneer and Fujitsu dropping out of the plasma market, and also with ********'s comments that the 9G Pioneers were underpriced in the first place. (this also begs the question, if they were underpriced, would any of us paid an extra £1-£2k for them? Personally I wouldn't, because it was difficult to justify £4.5k in the first place - £6k+ is getting beyond the realms of what I'd be prepared to spend).

2. Black levels are on a par with the 9G Kuro's, which is one big thing on my list.

I do wonder if issues get blown out of proportion on AVF and AVS to be honest, but I'm still dubious about the 50hz and fluctuating brightness issues. Which comes down to....I need to see them for myself (as you suggest).

I'm a little more enthusiastic about this now, but still torn between this and the 63D8000 Samsung, which is significantly cheaper. Oh what to do :rolleyes:
 
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Smurfin

Distinguished Member
Thanks for the review Phil, as ever extremely thorough, though I did note the "go see it for yourself" comment several times ;)

I've found two very interesting points in the review:

1. Panasonic have stated they aren't (and it seems, never will) produce an enthusiasts TV, simply because the economics don't work. This is consistent with Pioneer and Fujitsu dropping out of the plasma market, and also with ********'s comments that the 9G Pioneers were underpriced in the first place. (this also begs the question, if they were underpriced, would any of us paid an extra £1-£2k for them? Personally I wouldn't, because it was difficult to justify £4.5k in the first place - £6k+ is getting beyond the realms of what I'd be prepared to spend).

2. Black levels are on a par with the 9G Kuro's, which is one big thing on my list.

I do wonder if issues get blown out of proportion on AVF and AVS to be honest, but I'm still dubious about the 50hz and fluctuating brightness issues. Which comes down to....I need to see them for myself (as you suggest).

I'm a little more enthusiastic about this now, but still torn between this and the 63D8000 Samsung, which is significantly cheaper. Oh what to do :rolleyes:
 

Skodked

Standard Member
Thanks for the review.

Would you say that the amount of reflections is worse than on my old Panasonic 42G10 ?
 

Skodked

Standard Member
Thanks for the review.

Would you say that the amount of reflections is worse than on my old Panasonic 42G10 ?
 

micks_address

Well-known Member
Thanks for the excellent review. I love my one day old vt30. I also find the screen doesn't buzz at all compared to my vt20. The vt20 had a definite buzz that got louder when bright material was shown on screen. My hunch is the one sheet glass design has sorted this. Id echo the findings in relation to 50hz. Much better than the vt20. Also find thx a little washed out looking. Be keen to see what settings you ended up with post calibration. Also how do you get isf day/night? I just have professional 1/2 cheers mick
 

micks_address

Well-known Member
Thanks for the excellent review. I love my one day old vt30. I also find the screen doesn't buzz at all compared to my vt20. The vt20 had a definite buzz that got louder when bright material was shown on screen. My hunch is the one sheet glass design has sorted this. Id echo the findings in relation to 50hz. Much better than the vt20. Also find thx a little washed out looking. Be keen to see what settings you ended up with post calibration. Also how do you get isf day/night? I just have professional 1/2 cheers mick
 

Smurfin

Distinguished Member
Thanks for the excellent review. I love my one day old vt30. I also find the screen doesn't buzz at all compared to my vt20. The vt20 had a definite buzz that got louder when bright material was shown on screen. My hunch is the one sheet glass design has sorted this. Id echo the findings in relation to 50hz. Much better than the vt20. Also find thx a little washed out looking. Be keen to see what settings you ended up with post calibration. Also how do you get isf day/night? I just have professional 1/2 cheers mick
Mick, you say much better than the VT20 re: 50hz, however do you still notice it?

Phil - can you confirm how many ISF settings there are available per input please? i.e. is it day/night or is there an option for a third?
 

Smurfin

Distinguished Member
Thanks for the excellent review. I love my one day old vt30. I also find the screen doesn't buzz at all compared to my vt20. The vt20 had a definite buzz that got louder when bright material was shown on screen. My hunch is the one sheet glass design has sorted this. Id echo the findings in relation to 50hz. Much better than the vt20. Also find thx a little washed out looking. Be keen to see what settings you ended up with post calibration. Also how do you get isf day/night? I just have professional 1/2 cheers mick
Mick, you say much better than the VT20 re: 50hz, however do you still notice it?

Phil - can you confirm how many ISF settings there are available per input please? i.e. is it day/night or is there an option for a third?
 

Televiewer

Active Member
Hi Phil, thanks for the review.

Does the louvre filter only filter light from above? Will it filter light from a table lamp or window to the left or right of the screen?

Roger
 

Televiewer

Active Member
Hi Phil, thanks for the review.

Does the louvre filter only filter light from above? Will it filter light from a table lamp or window to the left or right of the screen?

Roger
 

Phil Hinton

Editor
Staff member
Just one more question about reflection.
I think you are stating that it's very good on facing top and side ambient light but .. "Indeed, the VT30 is quite reflective and when I placed it opposite one of my living room windows all I could see during daylight viewing was the window and me sitting on the seat opposite"

Does it means that it is reflective as other plasmas or is actually much worse when ambient light comes from behind?
It is about the same as other plasmas in terms of reflections. My point was that you will get reflections even though the ambient light rejection is present. It was to address some confusion I have seen where users think the filter makes the screen non-reflective.
 

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