A few weeks ago we checked out and pretty much fell for Panasonic’s 37in TH-37PX70: the only 37in plasma TV you can currently get in the UK. In fact, there was really only one thing we could fault that set on: it just wasn’t big enough! So naturally we couldn’t resist hunting down the biggest model currently available from the PX70 range: the 50in TH-50PX70. Can Panasonic’s picture quality hold up when pushed to such a prodigious size?
Panasonic’s return to a glossy black finish rather than last year’s rather uninspiring grey plastic works superbly for the 50PX70’s aesthetics. A 50in TV is never exactly going to blend invisibly into your living room, but the 50PX70’s design is a good combination of subtle and stylish that’s more likely to enhance your décor than ruin it. You should note, too, that the TV can be had in three configurations: with a wall mount, with a pedestal stand, and with a cabinet stand (the latter of which adds the best part of £300 to the asking price). We’ve included pics of all the options over the pages of this review.
Dragging ourselves away from the glamorous fascia, the ‘business end’ containing all the connections turns out to be reasonably easy on the eye too. Two HDMIs get the ball rolling, aided and abetted by component video inputs, a PC jack, and a couple of Scarts. Unusually you get neither a four-pin S-Video nor an RCA composite video input. But then anyone (other than, perhaps, a camcorder enthusiast) thinking of feeding pictures to a TV this large and HD-focussed using such low quality connections as S-Video and composite video frankly needs their head examining anyway.
Aside, perhaps, from the fact that its resolution is 1,366 x 768 rather than full HD, the 50PX70’s specifications make impressive reading. For starters, the contrast ratio claim of 10,000:1 promises some cracking black levels, especially as Panasonic tends to be, in our opinion, rather more conservative with its contrast ratio figures than some rivals.