Panasonic TX-P50VT50 review

The Panasonic TX-P50VT50 brings dual core processing power to its plasma TV range

T3 Platinum Award
Reasons to buy
  • +

    Outstanding HD image quality

  • +

    Dual core processor updates

  • +

    Convincing Full HD 3D

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Secondary touchpad controller

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The Panasonic TX-P50VT50 brings dual core processing to its plasma TV range. But has the brand really managed to up the performance ante yet again?

The Panasonic TX-P50VT50 is unapologetically aimed at the enthusiast. A THX certified flagship, it allies a wealth of new picture processing tech, including for the first time dual core processing, with a cosmetic design to die for.

Its main competitors are the gesture-controlled Samsung UE55ES8000 and the LG 55LM960V (or their 47-inch equivalents, if you want to round screen-sizes down).

Panasonic TX-P50VT50: Features

The VT50 offers mod cons with a new twist. Catch-up and VoD (iPlayer, YouTube, Acetrax etc) options get a boost in usability thanks to that aforementioned dual core silicon.

It's this that enables up to six Net services to be kept active at the same time, accessed beneath an onscreen image that peels back like the page of a book. This eye-catching effect can also be used when simply changing channels.

Multimedia file playback is comprehensive, with support for all popular formats including MKV and FLAC. The set also offers two tuning options, Freeview HD and Freesat HD.

Panasonic TX-P50VT50: Design

The TX-P50VT50 is the brand's best looking big-screen yet. With edge-to-edge glass and trim silver metallic bezel, it's a sumptuous beast. It may not be the slimmest screen out there, at 50mm, but build quality is top notch.

Panasonic TX-P50VT50: Specs

Offering four HDMIs, three USBs (one of which can be used for timeshifting to an external hard drive), component, composite, Scart and Ethernet, there's not much missing on the back.

Wi-Fi is resident, as is Bluetooth. The latter can be used both with a secondary stubby, touchpad controller (supplied), or a keyboard, to better navigate the HTML browser. There's also an SD card reader and CI slot.

Panasonic TX-P50VT50: Performance

When it comes to black level uniformity, plasma has always had the edge over LED, and on this set, an Infinite Black Ultra filter takes that advantage to a whole new level. The TX-P50VT50 oozes dynamic detail; black levels are profound yet you can look deep into surrounding shadows.

Motion resolution is fine, thanks (apparently) to the implementation of a 2,500Hz Focused Field drive (nope, we have no idea what that is either). 3D is similarly enjoyable. Not only is crosstalk double-imaging negligible, there's a smoothness to live action 3D unmatched by rival screens. Two pairs of 3D Active Shutter goggles are included in the box.

Panasonic TX-P50VT50: Verdict

With the TX-P50VT50, Panasonic has created a TV capable of hyper-reality. Its images are darker and more dynamic than real life, yet pictures always appear natural.

Whether your thing is sports or movies, this high-end set is not going to disappoint. Throw in the über-slick presentation that dual core processing brings, and add a level of industrial design that wouldn't be amiss in the Tate Modern, and you have a television that goes a long way toward justifying both its expense and its reputation.

Panasonic TX-P50VT50 availability: Available now

Panasonic TX-P50VT50 price: £1,899

Steve May

For over 25 years, Steve has been casting his keen eyes and ears over the best that the world of TV and audio has to offer. He was the creator of Home Cinema Choice magazine, and contributes to huge range of technology, home and music titles along with T3, including TechRadar, Louder, Ideal Home, the i newspaper, and more.