There’s yet more excellent black level news too, in that unlike the vast majority of LCD/LED TVs, the P46G20 does not see its dark bits turning grey if you’re forced to watch its screen from a wide angle. You have to be almost at right angles to the P46G20 before any severe contrast - or colour - degradation sets in.
We’ve occasionally had cause to moan about some slight colour tone issues with previous Panasonic plasma generations. But the NeoPDP revamp seems to have largely put these issues to bed, with the vast majority of tones looking both rich and natural. There’s still very occasionally a minor green bias during dark scenes, but reds now look consistently red rather than orange, and greens are generally far better balanced. This is especially true with HD, but there’s also much less of a colour tone drop-off when moving to standard def than we’re prone to seeing with non-NeoPDP plasma TVs.
The P46G20’s impressively expressive approach to colour combines with the purity of Panasonic’s V-Real 5 video processor and the screen’s Full HD resolution to produce a superb sense of definition and clarity when showing HD material. A fact reinforced by the fact that plasma technology doesn’t suffer with the sort of motion blur/resolution loss that LCD technology does.
Really the only picture quality complaints we can muster - especially considering the P46G20’s extremely aggressive £1029 price - are that there’s a little dotting noise from time to time over skin tones during camera pans, and occasionally minor evidence of colour banding within subtle colour blends. Otherwise it’s all very good.
The P46G20’s sound isn’t as stellar as its pictures, but it’s perfectly acceptable, delivering enough power, dynamic range and clarity to produce a soundstage able to do the scale of the 46in pictures justice. A more open sound and deeper bass would improve things, but that’s the very least that can be said, too, of the vast majority of other flat TVs on the market.
The P46G20 continues what is becoming a long stream of successes for Panasonic’s latest plasma range. In fact, with its combination of a reasonably practical size, typically excellent picture quality and seriously aggressive pricing, we have a suspicion this could prove to be the most popular model yet.