The Panasonic TX-P50GT30 3D plasma is one of the brand's star attractions and it's significantly cheaper than the flagship TX-P50VT30 flagship, arguably, with a better picture
From build quality to feature set, the Panasonic TX-P50GT30 is a thoroughbred. Attractions include a Petri dish of cultured picture processing, best in class Active Shutter 3D and a content rich Smart portal. Its nearest competitors are the Samsung 55D8000 and the 55-inch Sony KDL-55HX923. But does the TX-P50GT30 have what it takes to be one of the best TVs around?
Panasonic TX-P50GT30: Features
The Panasonic TX-P50GT30 boasts two hi-def tuners (Freeview and Freesat) so you have the choice of dish or aerial telly, and connects to Panasonic's VIERA Connect IPTV and apps portal.
Panasonic has been busy filling this up of late, with the result that it now offers a rewarding selection of streaming services (BBC iPlayer, YouTube HD, Dailymotion, Fetch TV, Acetrax), apps and games. You can also use it for social media malarkey and Skype video calls.
This GT30 doesn't stutter when asked to stream local media files. From hi-def MKVs to MP3s with album art, it'll play them all from USB or across a network without breaking a sweat. And if you need PVR backup, it'll also timeshift to an external hard drive.
Panasonic TX-P50GT30: Design
As you might expect from Panasonic, the design errs on the side of staid. The panel is reasonably thin, bulging out at the base to accommodate decent sounding stereo speakers.
Panasonic TX-P50GT30 : Specs
There's no integrated Wi-Fi, so you'll need an overpriced Panasonic Wi-Fi dongle (the DY-WL10) to get online if you don't have a wired LAN connection handy. In addition to Ethernet, the set has four HDMIs, 3 USB ports, component and Scart.
Panasonic TX-P50GT30: Performance
Image quality is outstanding. In 2D, The TX-P50GT30 exhibits a wealth of fine detail, rich colour and well balanced black levels (the more expensive VT30 seems almost over contrasty in comparison).
The result is deeply cinematic. Its stereoscopic performance is similarly peachy. 3D looks clean and crisp, with no crosstalk double imaging evident on our source discs. Budget extra for 3D glasses though, as Panasonic hasn't bundled any in the box.
Sonically, the set doesn't disgrace itself. Its audio performance is punchy and well-rounded.
Panasonic TX-P50GT30: Verdict
Let's not beat about the bush, the TX-P50GT30 is a fabulous plasma display. While we'd like to see greater design flair, the panel compensates with a high def image performance that shows 90 per cent of its rivals a clean pair of heals.
We'd rate this a top choice for movie lovers (dim the lights and you're not punished with an uneven backlight or graying blacks, so common with LED), and with Panasonic continuing to secure content for its VIERA Connect portal, it's not starved of ancillary entertainment.
The screen also does a remarkably good job with miscellaneous media, both from USB and across a network. If you've a collection of video files on a NAS, there's a good chance this GT30 will play them all.
Panasonic TX-P50GT30 availability: Available now
Panasonic TX-P50GT30 price: £1099 (Dixons)