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Panasonic TX-P42ST50 - 3D, Sound Quality and Verdict

John Archer

By John Archer

Reviewed:

Awards

  • Recommended by TR
Panasonic P42ST50

Summary

Our Score:

9

Panasonic TX-P42ST50 3D

The Panasonic TX-P42ST50 does however suffer a touch of crosstalk. It doesn’t appear as often or as aggressively as it still does on many active 3D TVs, including the recently tested Philips 46PFL8007. But it’s certainly gently visible over the occasional background object, especially if that object is bright against a dark backdrop.

Another smaller issue is the appearance of some low-level colour banding as the Panasonic TX-P42ST50 struggles to resolve colour blends as smoothly in 3D mode as it does in 2D mode. Overall, though, the P42ST50’s 3D pictures remain great fun to watch.

Panasonic P42ST50

We should stress before we’re done, though, that the Panasonic TX-P42ST50 could be a problematic choice if your room is unusually bright, or if it’s not practical to dim the lights whenever you want to engage in a serious viewing session. The reason we say this is that its screen filters aren’t as effective as those in the more expensive GT50 and VT50 models, allowing ambient light to ‘pollute’ its pictures so that they lose brightness and some colour accuracy (thanks to the infusion of a greenish undertone) if watched in light environments.

Another issue we’d ideally like Panasonic to sort out for its next plasma generation is the appearance of dotty noise and slight lag over horizontally moving objects - especially skin tones. This is especially noticeable while watching standard definition.

If you’re planning on doubling the Panasonic TX-P42ST50 up as a gaming monitor, you’ll be pleased to hear that it isn’t especially prone to plasma’s image retention problems, and turned in an input lag figure of just 34ms - low enough not to damage your skills.

Panasonic TX-P42ST50 Sound Quality

The Panasonic P42ST50’s audio performance is solid to middling meanwhile, with a reasonably robust mid-range and a more rounded bass sound than you tend to get with most of today’s flat TVs. However, it’s a little short of treble detailing, and can sound a bit thick and muddy where vocals are concerned.

Panasonic P42ST50

Panasonic TX-P42ST50 Verdict

If you’re a serious movie fan, the Panasonic TX-P42ST50 is a quite brilliant TV for its money. Dim the lights and you’ll get HD pictures to die for, with stunning contrast, rich and natural colours, bags of detail and superb motion clarity.

The way the set loses contrast and colour accuracy in a bright room might put more casual users off, and the surprising appearance of crosstalk with 3D sources will be an issue for the handful of 3D fans out there. But to the right person, the Panasonic TX-P42ST50 is simply the most cinematic 42-inch TV £800 can currently buy.

Overall Score

9

Scores In Detail

  • 2D Quality 9
  • 3D Quality 9
  • Design 7
  • Features 8
  • Sound Quality 7
  • Value 9

paul a harrison

October 5, 2012, 12:48 pm

I have this TV and I'm really impressed. You are incorrect about the 3D glasses though as for the last couple of months you have got 2 pairs for free by redemption from selected retailers. The offer was amended to include the ST series, making it even more of a steal! See link below:

http://promotions.panasonic.co...

AJ

October 5, 2012, 4:47 pm

I have the 65" version and there have never been any issues with viewing in a bright room. I often see this issue in reviews being levelled at Plasmas but wonder if anyone really ever tests it or it's just a legend now that comes from spec sheets and theory.

I think you were right about the "handful of people that use 3D"... Even the TV manufacturers have given in flogging that horse (at long last) :-)

frokka

June 20, 2013, 5:00 am

The correct input lag on this unit sould be 16 ms, maybe you didn't test it in game mode..?

http://www.hdtvtest.co.uk/news...

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