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Panasonic TX-P55VT30 review

John Archer




  • Recommended by TR

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Panasonic TX-P55VT30
  • Panasonic TX-P55VT30
  • Panasonic TX-P55VT30
  • Panasonic TX-P55VT30
  • Panasonic TX-P55VT30


Our Score:



  • Stunning 3D picture quality
  • Stunning 2D picture quality
  • Impressive multimedia toolset


  • It’s, um, reassuringly expensive
  • calibrated images not the brightest
  • 50Hz judder

Key Features

  • 55in plasma panel
  • Active 3D playback
  • Viera Connect online functionality
  • Extensive multimedia playback
  • THX and ISF certified
  • Manufacturer: Panasonic
  • Review Price: £2,505.94

It must be pretty lonely being Panasonic these days. For while every other brand in the TV firmament turns its attentions increasingly towards LCD technology, many of them exclusively, Panasonic continues to bet the farm on its beloved plasma. It ploughs enormous amounts of R&D into significantly improving its plasma engine every year, while also producing plasma panels on a scale we could scarcely comprehend when we visited the brand’s Japanese plasma factories earlier this year.

It would be easy for Panasonic to lose its faith in plasma as it ploughs its lonely furrow, or have a crisis of confidence as to whether it’s pursuing the right course. But actually, the more everyone else does LCD, the more Panasonic just redoubles its efforts to keep plasma not only current, but ahead. So it is that the P55VT30, a member of Panasonic’s 2011 flagship range, hits our test benches boasting Panasonic’s new ‘NeoPlasma’ panel design packed with innovations galore.

Among the highlights of the NeoPlasma tech are a revamped phosphor material that responds faster than its predecessor (a key element in reducing crosstalk noise with active 3D playback); reduced ‘ribbing’ between the screen’s plasma cells to make the screen brighter and more efficient; a new louvered filter on the screen’s front that suppresses room reflections and enhances the image’s brightness; and the ability to make phosphors discharge without needing as much current, to boost the screen’s efficiency.

Panasonic TX-P55VT30

The effort Panasonic has put into improving the energy efficiency of its latest plasma screens isn’t just important on ecological grounds. As 3D demands more brightness than 2D, on account of the dimming effect of Panasonic’s 3D glasses, Panasonic needs to get more brightness out of its panels without putting plasma at too great a disadvantage in energy consumption terms versus its LCD rivals.

The P55VT30 has one extra construction trick up its sleeve, as befits a flagship model, in the form of an extra filter built into the screen to boost contrast to even greater levels than those achieved by the brand’s already exceptional GT30 series.

Other signs of its flagship status include a USB wi-fi dongle provided for free (rather than being an optional extra as it is elsewhere with Panasonic’s range), two pairs of 3D glasses included for free (you don’t get any with Panasonic’s other 3D TV series), the facility to record to SD card as well as USB sticks, and a revamped audio system that features a separated woofer built into the TV’s rear to enhance bass.

The P55VT30 inevitably carries Panasonic’s latest online content service, dubbed Viera Connect. Highlights of this platform are the BBC IPlayer, the AceTrax movie rental/purchase service, YouTube, Eurosport, Facebook, and Skype - though the latter feature is only available if you cough up extra for a webcam.

Denis iii

June 15, 2011, 2:52 pm

Better then Pioneer Kuro?


June 15, 2011, 4:45 pm

C'mon guys! You're embedding the full-size images on the page and just using HTML to force the browser to resize them. This means to just view the reviews we're having to download the full 1.7MB+ (x2 per page) images even if we're not clicking on them to enlarge...

Think about us on smartphones etc.

Mr Mitchell

June 15, 2011, 5:33 pm

????Have panasonic sorted out the panning problem out? As I have last years model & it give's me head ache.
The only way I know how to improve the motion is turning off IFC in the setup menu:( otherwise it's the best tv picture out there!

Matt Ross

June 15, 2011, 6:08 pm

Knock a few hundred quid off in return for taking away the 3D functionality and I'd buy one of these.


June 15, 2011, 7:52 pm

Very rare that I post now as the new site is totally incompatible with IE6 that is standard still at work. Having to do this on the iPad.

I'd also love a TV this good without 3D but it seems it's going to be a long time yet before Manufacturers realise that most of us don't want it.

Does this TV buzz..?? This is really important to me having had to sell a G20 and lose £400 because of the buzzing.


Energizer Bunny

June 15, 2011, 10:22 pm

Oh Trusted Reviews for the love of god go back to the old website. In times gone by there would have been 20 comments up about this article already. Instead you have 5 and 2 of them are complaining about the website. A huge amount of people are still stuck on IE6 at work and your site is an absolute dog on that browser. If comment numbers are any kind of proxy for general traffic you must be down massively since the ugrade. Please either fix this one or go back :(

The TV looks nice.


June 15, 2011, 11:08 pm

Agree, stunningly lazy programming.


June 15, 2011, 11:10 pm

+1 to the 3D comments. I don't want the gimmick that is 3D, but I would like a top end TV. Can't wait for the 3D fad to be over!


June 16, 2011, 1:48 am

Thank you Trusted Reviews for not supporting IE6!

Personally I'm sick of having to support that antique. The fewer sites that support it the quicker it should finally die.

I do sympathise with those like AJ who don't get a choice of browser though, but sadly there are always casualties for the sake of progress.


June 16, 2011, 3:57 am

I'm really happy that Panasonic finally sorted out their dated aesthetics. But at the risk of whining, I kind of expect Wi-Fi to be integrated into the set instead of via an inelegant dongle before the price point of 2500 quid. Not too much to ask - built in Wi-Fi really comes as standard on every other electronic device now. If manufacturers want to make progress with this connected TV lark, they've got to move on from thinking it's a novel extra.


June 16, 2011, 7:26 pm

@AJ - I had to return a P42G30B because of its buzzing. I now have a buzz-free LCD. From what I've read on AVForums, this is a feature on some Plasmas, with the degree they buzz varying form TV to TV. It also depends on your own tolerance.

Even though the picture was superb on the G30B I bought, I'd be put off buying a Plasma again because of this issue. However, as you pointed out, it's rarely brought up in reviews.


June 16, 2011, 7:29 pm

Unfortunately, it seems that to get a top-end TV now, all of them come with 3D. You can't get one without it. And it looks like it will stay that way for the near future, until this 3D fad is over (like you say).

A Scotland

June 16, 2011, 9:00 pm

I actually like the new website. The old one was aesthetically offensive ;). I am surprised people regularly using this website have internet explorer at all let alone 6.

With 3D, I was originally sceptical too but no longer consider it a fad at all. Too many have invested too much in the format for it to fail now. Don't forget that you are basing your views on experience of something which is in early stages of development having only just begun to receive major investment and attention. I would hope that eventually the technology will reach a stage where all but the most hardened luddites will have to endorse it.


July 3, 2011, 5:46 pm

Why do you never mention the Rated Power Consumption, this one is 430 Watts. Could just about afford the TV, but could only afford to switch it on for special occasions. Like Royal Weddings and The World Cup.

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