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Panasonic TX-P65ST50 - 3D Picture Quality

John Archer

By John Archer



Our Score:


Turning to 3D, the P65ST50‘s extra brightness means 3D pictures look much punchier and more vibrant than they have before on a Panasonic plasma TV. This makes them more engaging, and also makes the sense of depth in the image more immediately easy to appreciate.

Also excellent is the P65ST50‘s reproduction of 3D motion. For with the set’s 24p mode set to its Mid level, the judder problem that generally affects plasma 3D playback almost completely disappears without, crucially, the processing generating significant amounts of unwanted side effects.

3D brightness

It’s not all totally plain sailing, though. Even with the brightness boost Panasonic has created this year, the P65ST50’s 3D images aren’t as eye-catchingly bright as those of most LCD TVs, and just occasionally the extra work the plasma cells are having to do causes a slightly dotty appearance in very dark areas.

The extra 3D brightness vs previous Panasonic plasma TVs also appears to cause an increase in crosstalk. This only shows up under pretty extreme circumstances, most notably the lantern sequence in Tangled with its small bright lanterns floating against a night sky. But it definitely seems more noticeable than we remember it looking on any Panasonic plasma before.

Panasonic P65ST50

To be clear, the crosstalk only appears rarely; it’s not the ever-present phenomenon it is on so many LCD TVs. And you can greatly reduce its impact if you use the TV’s Normal 3D setting rather than its Dynamic one. However, we suspect many people will find the drop in brightness and colour vibrancy connected with shifting to Normal too heavy a compromise.

Shifting brightness

With crosstalk only rarely cropping up, the biggest issue we’d have with the P65ST50’s 3D performance is a curious brightness ‘jumping’ effect that comes into play when watching dark 3D scenes. It’s not rapid or consistent enough to be considered actual flicker, but it is noticeable enough to be distracting. Odd.

Before getting on to how the P65ST50 sounds, we really must add a word about the set's scintillating performance as a gaming monitor. Its contrast and sharpness join forces with a highly respectable sub-35ms input lag figure to make it possibly the most accurate and engaging screen for gaming we've tested so far this year.

The P65ST50’s audio quality is decent. It’s not as powerful or full of range as we might have ideally liked it to be from such a huge and robustly built TV, but the mid-range is open enough to avoid sounding harsh under all but the most extreme circumstances, voices always sound clear even during action scenes, and the soundstage produced is ALMOST big enough to keep the colossal pictures company.


The P65ST50 is a hugely desirable - not to mention just plain huge - TV. The idea of being able to get our hands on such a supreme movie-playing machine for under £2,450 is enough to make us come over all unnecessary.

Certainly if you’ve got a nice, dark, designated home cinema room for it to live in, we have no hesitation whatsoever in urging, nay pleading with you to go and get your hands on a P65ST50 right away.

It’s possibly a more considered purchase for someone looking for a TV to live in a bright living room, and regular 3D watchers might be perturbed by the curious floating black level issue noted during our tests.

But overall the deal here is that you’re getting 65in of more or less ‘pro’ standard, beautifully cinematic pictures for less money than you’d end up spending on many rival - and inferior - 55in TVs. And that’s a deal we suspect many people will rightly find impossible to resist.

Overall Score


Scores In Detail

  • 2D Quality 10
  • 3D Quality 8
  • Design 8
  • Features 8
  • Sound Quality 8
  • Value 10


February 26, 2012, 3:19 pm

Low power? I'd be amazed if this thing uses less than half a kilowatt of electricity. For me this just rules out plasma technology for a TV, which is likely to be powered on for a fair few hours each day. Of course you could argue that if you can afford to spend £2k on a TV, you're not going to worry about your electricity bills, but that's not the point; my 50" LED LCD uses less than 100W...


February 26, 2012, 4:30 pm

It won't be as much as that. More like 200-300W - bare in mind it's bigger than your TV. Last year's range topping Panasonic VT30 50in plasma only just went over 200W in 3D mode.


February 27, 2012, 10:34 pm

Ed is more or less right here. Consider that the 65VT30 was rated at 500w max and the 50VT30 at 410w, a difference of less than 25%. The ST line is rated lower with the 50ST30 rated at 355w max. If we infer similar difference in power rating as the VT line and then calculate the added efficiency of the 2012 models we arrive at less than 400w max output. This would be someone watching a white screen in torch mode. Real world scenario would be 50-70% of that according to Panasonic's site and test sites.
Still a lot more than LED, but you get the added bonus of amazing picture quality and vast screen size :)

Martin 6

May 29, 2012, 6:37 pm

@Beaky69 I always thought that to get the picture quality and fluid motion handling of a Plasma on an LCD TV you have to pay about 50% more than the plasma so the cost is negated if you cycle your TV every 3-4 years at 65 inch there is no real LCD option other than a plasma. Just my opinion not based on fact!


May 29, 2012, 7:35 pm

Just think how big the BBC News logo will be when its burnt into your screen!!!


May 30, 2012, 5:00 pm

Really, the best comment regarding this 2012 monster you could come up with was a screen-burn dig for 2007 ? :-)


May 30, 2012, 5:07 pm

Love the sound of this TV and I am royally tempted. Just purchased my first LCD screen for the "snug" but this monster could be perfect to replace my 50" Panasonic that's 4 years old in the main room. Problem is that I know 55" will fit, 60" could be a push, 65".... Not sure.

Can you comment on how much "buzzing" this TV made ? Would I hear it from 10ft away ?

How much is 3D on this TV effected by sitting slightly above eye level ? I know that LCD 3D can suffer quite badly.

Any comment on how much (in real terms) this TV might be better / worse than my 4-year old 50PZ70 ? Appreciate the thoughts.


August 3, 2012, 1:44 pm

AJ, I own the 2011 monster 50VT30 so my comments come from 2012 and having the bbc news logo burnt into screen from watching the Leveson Inquiry.

Steve Clegg

December 21, 2012, 10:38 am

This TV is not for people who want to use it as a computer

I bought to replace a 52in Samsung LCD which was used as my
primary computer monitor

The picture quality on the Samsung was excellent but the
blacks where poor especially

While Windows was booting up.

However this TV flickered from the moment it was turned on
even while tuning the channels

The flicker was even worse when connected at 60htz windows

This is not a problem with the set but a general problem
with plasma sets (just Google it)

The picture quality on the TV side are excellent as long as
there is movement.

Lakshmanan Chandran

February 1, 2013, 11:06 pm

After reading lots of praises, I tested one of these at a Panasonic Brandshop... It did impress me, but no to the point making me buy it... I tried some chroma patterns from the lagom lcd test... this television did not pass the contrast & black level test


It was not able to differentiate between 1,2 & 3... They were all black...


This disappointed me the most, it couldn't differentiate between the first 8 boxes... They all looked same black to me...

I tried all the modes normal, dynamic, cinema and true cinema. With every mode tried adjusting contrast, brightness, gamma. Didn't help...

Tried playing transformers & avatar Blu-Ray, blacks were ink deep, extremely deep to the point its missing some shadow details and that explains why this panel failed to pass the contrast & black level test. why is this issue not mentioned by any reviewer?

Is this how the panel really is, or am I missing something?

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