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Panasonic TX-P50G30 review

John Archer

By

Reviewed:

Awards

  • Recommended by TR

1 of 4

Panasonic TX-P50G30
  • Panasonic TX-P50G30
  • Panasonic TX-P50G30
  • Panasonic TX-P50G30
  • 50nch PLASMA - FULL 1080 HD - FREEVIEW HD - VIERA Connect - Wi-Fi Ready

Summary

Our Score:

9

User Score:

Pros

  • Excellent picture quality
  • Affordable for a 50in Panasonic plasma
  • Good multimedia features

Cons

  • Not the brightest picture
  • Some jaggedness with 50Hz sources
  • Not helpful for wall mounting

Key Features

  • 50in plasma TV
  • 600Hz sub-field drive technology
  • Infinite Black technology
  • Viera Connect support
  • THX and ISF certified
  • Manufacturer: Panasonic
  • Review Price: £1,029.00

For some of you, as we’re only too aware, 3D is about as appealing a prospect as pouring vinegar into your eyes. Even for some people who are interested in it, it’s something that they can’t quite bring themselves to pay lots of extra cash for.

In other words, there’s still a very healthy market out there for TVs that don’t carry 3D. This is especially true at the cheapest end of the TV world, but we’re also pretty confident that there some quite ‘serious’ TV viewers who want a quality TV without having to pay for 3D features they don’t want.

It’s to this latter group that Panasonic’s P50G30 seems designed to appeal. For despite lacking 3D, its build quality and spec sheet reveal it to be anything but basic.

Its design isn’t exactly the most stylish around (though the introduction of a light grey section in the middle of the bottom edge and the application of a decent amount of gloss to the bezel both make it a notch or too more attractive than anything Panasonic launched in 2010). It certainly is incredibly robustly built, though, giving you real confidence in its long-term reliability. This is not a TV that should break easily.

Panasonic TX-P50G30

The downside to this is that its substantial weight makes it not particularly conducive to wall hanging. A fact that’s underlined by the surprising fact that the vast majority of its connection sockets face straight out of its rear, rather than providing access from the side as people wanting to wall hang the set would almost always prefer. We should add here, too, that the P50G30’s rear is markedly deeper than that of the 3D-capable P50GT30, suggesting that the non-3D model isn’t packing Panasonic’s most state of the art panel design.

The set’s connections may not be helpfully positioned, but they are, at least, plentiful. There are four HDMIs for a start, three built to the v1.3 spec and one built to the v1.4 spec, with the v1.4 one offering audio return functionality.

There are also an impressive three USB ports, all capable of playing AVCHD, SD-Video, JPEG, MP4, DivXPlusHD, WMV, MPO, MP3, AAC and WMA files. You can add an optional USB dongle to make the TV wi-fi ready moreover, and you can even use the USBs to record from the set’s Freeview HD tuner to suitably formatted HDD drives.

You can’t, though, also record from a Freesat HD tuner like you can with the P50GT30, for the very good reason that the P50G30 doesn’t have a Freesat tuner.

The P50G30 does carry a LAN port, though, and happily this does provide access to Panasonic’s new Viera Connect online platform. More on this later.

Looking at the P50G30’s panel specification, it’s a relief after noting its extra chassis depth to find that it definitely uses Panasonic’s 2011 NeoPlasma technology, with its extra brightness, contrast and energy efficiency improvements. We couldn’t help but notice, though, that it ‘only’ enjoys Panasonic’s Infinite Black technology, whereas the P50GT30 3D model gets Infinite Black Pro.

This might not sound a big deal on paper, but actually it’s potentially quite significant. For while Infinite Black reduces the amount of black level-impacting ‘pre-discharge’ in a plasma cell, Infinite Black Pro completely removes pre-discharge from the picture, resulting in a richer, more consistent black level response.

Having said that, both the P50GT30 and P50G30 quote the same very high native contrast ratio of 5,000,000:1.

Jmac

July 19, 2011, 11:21 am

"The net result of all this is a 50in 2D picture that's hugely engaging ***in either 2D or 3D mode***"

Copy and paste from the P50GT30 review by any chance??

PoisonJam

July 19, 2011, 4:59 pm

I'd really like to see a spec list at the end of these reviews like your camera reviews etc.

I know the first page goes into detail over the specs but it's always good to have things laid out in a scan-able table format too.

Andrew_TR

July 19, 2011, 5:01 pm

The specs should usually be available in the "Specs" tab at the top of the review, in a nice quick-to-read table.

WAgile Guru

July 19, 2011, 6:32 pm

@PoisonJam

I Asked Jeeves and he gave me this link:

http://www.trustedreviews.com/panasonic-tx-p50g30_TV_specs

Hope this helps!

Don Kanonjii

July 20, 2011, 1:49 am

Is it really too difficult to include input lag results for all inputs? I find myself drifting from TR for TV reviews to other sites like hdtvtest and avforums as they have this crucial info.

Cliff

July 21, 2011, 6:53 pm

With reference to John McLean's comment, John meant to write 'in either standard def or HD mode'. That is fixed now.

Don Kanonjii - I've looked at recent reviews on both the sites you mention in your post, and could find no mention of multiple input lag measurements for different inputs - or different picture presets, come to that. They seem to do as we do, which is give a single input lag figure. Feel free to point me towards a particular review that does what you suggest, and we'll certainly consider if it's something we feel we can take into our reviews without making them start to get spec heavy.

I add that last qualification because TrustedReviews is quite deliberately different to the other sites you mention. While we are technophiles ourselves like yourself, we want to reach a majority of people out there who would be baffled by the sort of measurement-filled, graph-heavy, jargon-laden reviews those other sites carry. This is certainly not to denigrate the quality of those reviews; far from it. I'm merely pointing out that we at Trusted work to a 1500-word limit for our reviews in order to make sure that they're digestible and approachable for everyone, not just hardcore enthusiasts and to enable us to cover more products.

commonplace

January 3, 2012, 8:44 pm

Hi. I know this is looking at a comparison between a plasma and LED, but I wondered what your thoughts might be in making a selection between the Panasonic TX-P42G30 (given an overall 9/10 rating) and Toshiba 40TL868 (given an overall 8/10 rating)? Current prices show a price difference of approximately 㿨 with the Tosh being the cheaper, though I'm leaning towards the Panasonic at the moment. Your thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks.

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