Review Price £942.28
There’s a degree of judder during camera pans, especially when watching 50Hz material. But this is reasonably effectively dealt with by the Mid setting of the IFC processing, which smooths away the judder without causing too many unwanted side effects - at least when you’re watching TV broadcasts. The IFC system makes Blu-ray films look too video-like for comfort.
The P46ST30 does a good job of upscaling standard definition pictures as well, notwithstanding the occasional slipped colour tone noted earlier. The standard def presentation isn’t as sharp as that of Samsung’s latest TVs, but noise is well suppressed, and obviously standard def images also benefit from the other P46ST30 picture strengths noted previously.
Donning a pair of Panasonic’s still too narrow and still uncomfortable 3D glasses (of which none are supplied with the TV as standard, sadly), we’re soon enjoying the same almost crosstalk-free 3D pictures lapped up on the other Panasonic 3D TVs we’ve seen this year. Not having to try and squint through crosstalk’s double ghosting noise immediately makes watching 3D less tiring and more immersive. Plus it allows you to appreciate more easily the other strengths of Panasonic’s 3D pictures this year vs last, such as richer, more vibrant colours, and much more detailed dark areas. Both of these improvements are down predominantly to the enhanced brightness ushered in by the new NeoPlasma technology.
Having recently had the good fortune to spend some quality time with Sim2’s extraordinary, genuinely crosstalk-free new Lumis 3D-S projector - a snip at 30 grand - we have to say that the P46ST30 exhibited a little crosstalk during particularly difficult scenes like the lantern release sequence in Tangled. There also for some reason seems slightly less clarity to the P46ST30‘s 3D pictures than there was with the GT30 and VT30 models. But in the context of the active 3D TV world at large, the P46ST30’s 3D efforts remain impressive.
It’s important to stress, though, that the P46ST30’s pictures certainly aren’t perfect. For as well as one or two minor issues mentioned already, we also noticed some occasional brightness ‘jumping’ as the screen seemed to be adjusting its overall gamma position in response to slight changes in the image content. Plus there’s trace evidence of dithering dot noise over skin tones as they move across the screen - especially using one of the screen’s highest brightness presets. And as usual with Panasonic’s plasmas, the best settings for colours, contrast and noise suppression do leave pictures looking less bright than those of a typical LCD/LED TV - a possible issue for people who’ve got a lot of ambient light in their room.
A set as good as the P46ST30 deserves us to finish up on a high note, though. So let’s conclude by saying that we measured input lag using its game preset at under 20ms, making the screen an excellent gaming monitor, and that its sound is quite well rounded and clear by flat TV standards.
So long as you don’t mind the P46ST30’s lack of DLNA PC streaming support, the P46ST30 is the most affordable way out there of getting your hands on a satisfyingly large screen equipped with Panasonic’s latest 3D technology. Plus it just so happens to be a very fine 2D performer as well
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