Also notable on Panasonic’s online platform is the quality of some of its online games, with Asphalt 5 and Let’s Golf 2 delivering experiences not too far short of console quality.
The Panasonic TX-P42GT50 is endorsed by both the THX and Imaging Science Foundation groups, leading to dedicated presets (including a well-considered THX Bright setting for use in normal living room light conditions) and a wide range of calibration tools including full gamma and colour management.
At this point we should probably look for ways in which the P42GT50 falls short in specification terms of Panasonic’s flagship VT50 models. The most significant difference is the P42GT50’s use of an Infinite Black Pro panel versus the Infinite Black Ultra panel found in the VT50s. This results in a slightly lower claimed contrast ratio figure of 5,500,000:1 versus the VT50’s 6,000,000:1.
Please note that these figures are all native, meaning they’re measured without the need for a dynamic lighting system like that employed by almost all LCD TVs.
Elsewhere, you can’t record to SD cards on the P42GT50 while you can on the VT50s; you don’t get any free 3D glasses as standard with the GT50s while you get two pairs with the VT50s; and last but not least, you don’t get the second ‘touchpad’ remote with the GT50s that you get with the VT50s. Though given the issues we’ve had with this second remote, it’s no great loss to be honest...
Other key specs of the P42GT50 include a full HD resolution (still no other brand has squeezed 1,920 x 1,080 pixels into a 42in plasma screen) and the same ‘2500Hz’ focused Sub-Field Drive technology sported by the VT50 models. This should result in greater stability, less noise and less judder than you commonly get with plasma technology.
In action the P42GT50 proves a chip off the old Panasonic plasma block for 2012, producing mesmerisingly brilliant pictures for watching films in ‘serious’ dark-room conditions, but also producing more brightness to support light room use than previous recent Panasonic plasmas have managed.
It also offers something slightly different to the cheaper ST50 and more expensive VT50 series in picture terms, proving slightly more contrast rich and clean than the ST50’s pictures, and slightly brighter but less contrasty than the VT50’s pictures. As such we could readily imagine the P42GT50 becoming the preferred ‘all-rounder’ option for many people - regardless of how ‘quietly’ Panasonic might have introduced the series.
The 42in Panasonic TX-P42GT50 is, of course, given added appeal if you can’t run to anything bigger by virtue of the fact that there isn’t actually a 42in VT50 model you could consider stepping up to.
Having discussed the P42GT50’s picture in comparative terms, let’s also consider its many strengths and couple of weakness more specifically.