Home / TVs & Audio / TV / Panasonic Viera TX-P50GT30 / 3D Glasses, Audio and Verdict

Panasonic Viera TX-P50GT30 - 3D Glasses, Audio and Verdict

John Archer

By John Archer



  • Recommended by TR
Panasonic Viera TX-P50GT30


Our Score:


People who insist on watching the P50GT30 in a brightly let room might be upset by the flickering effect of the shuttering glasses, but this doesn't bother everyone. And in any case it's easily avoided by doing the right thing and dimming the lights when going to the effort of watching a 3D film or programme.

The only real irritation with the P50GT30's 3D playback so far as we're concerned is Panasonic's glasses, which are too narrow and sit too high up your nose, meaning some people will have to constantly tilt their head to line the glasses up with the screen.

One rather handy thing about TV innovations ushered in for 3D is that they also tend to improve 2D. And there's proof of this in abundance on the P50GT30. Particularly mesmerising with 2D sources is the new-found intensity of colour Panasonic has managed to deliver. Colours across the board look richer, more vibrant and more dynamic than ever before on a consumer Panasonic plasma screen, helping them look even more natural than usual. Even better, the new-found colour vitality stands proud against a gorgeously uniform black level response that beats the already impressive effort of the GT20 series hands down, making the set a real movie fan's dream.

HD images look at least as sharp as they did in 3D mode too, and motion is better than it was on last year's Panasonic models. There's still a little judder and even occasional double imaging during camera pans with 50Hz PAL broadcasts, but this can be largely tackled by judicial use of Panasonic's more polished Intelligent Frame Creation system. As usual, plasma's innately super-fast response time means there's no sign of the blurring problems that routinely afflict LCD TVs. Plasma's self-emissive nature means you can watch the P50GT30 from wider angles than LCD TVs too before the picture quality deteriorates.

With some reasonably if not spectacularly clear, loud and open audio keeping the barnstorming pictures company, the only thing that really troubles us at all about the P50GT30 is that it seems more susceptible to temporary image retention than recent previous Panasonic plasma generations - perhaps because of the extra intensity Panasonic has managed to eke out of its phosphors this time out.

This doesn't lead to distracting moment-to-moment retention like that seen on some LG plasmas recently, but prolonged exposure of the screen to a heavy channel logo or video game health bar can see a ghost of that image element hanging around for quite a few minutes - or until you call in the handy 'screen wipe' tool Panasonic has provided especially for dealing with the retention issue.


Where we'd frankly expected the GT30 to nudge forward from last year's already accomplished GT20 sets, instead it delivers a real leap ahead that finds the P50GT30 delivering a performance that's nothing short of superlative with both 3D and 2D.

LCD may have closed the gap a bit, and hard commercialism seems set to rock the once-cosy active 3D world. But if you're motivated first and foremost by sheer picture quality, the P50GT30 is going to be hard to beat.

Overall Score


Scores In Detail

  • 2D Quality 9
  • 3D Quality 9
  • Design 8
  • Features 9
  • Sound Quality 8
  • Value 9


April 14, 2011, 9:19 pm

Can we assume this review will also apply to the 42 & 46" versions?
50" is a bit more than I can accommodate!


April 15, 2011, 12:59 am


Thats what she said!


April 15, 2011, 1:33 am

I am right in thinking these tvs HALVE in value after 1 year?

The G20 was £650 pounds three weeks ago.



April 15, 2011, 3:43 pm

Gotta say I'm consistently impressed with Panasonic's plasma sets. They seem to remember that all the gimmicks in the world are useless without a good picture and, better still, have recently started coming with really good built-in picture modes as well. The THX mode on my G20, f'instance, really doesn't need any tweaking at all to provide a perfectly acceptable picture and is superb with just minor tweaking. Wish more companies would follow their lead in all honesty.

Oh, and scoobiesnacks, most TV's drop like a stone, especially when they reach the end of their life. The sensible way to buy one is to look for a really good set with a replacement due soon, there's almost always a good deal available. Also the G20 was a 2D screen, not a 3D. so is considerably less money.


April 18, 2011, 7:34 pm

Well I don't think the G20 ever actually sold for £1300 - so no the TV won't half in value in a year but you will undoubtedly pay a couple of hundred pound extra for being an early adopter in any new release ... that is something you have to factor in.


November 18, 2011, 4:42 pm

We bought the 42" version of this TV a few months back. Side by side with other plasmas in the shop, it knocked spots off them and was even better when we put it in our living room environment. Can't recommend highly enough. Absolutely stunning.


February 11, 2016, 10:08 pm

I've had the TX-P50GT30B since October 2011 and it has always offered a great picture, though the sound is rather mediocre. However, like many Panasonic sets built between 2009 and 2015 they suffer from penny-pinching build quality and some design flaws in the circuitry. Many of you,especially if you have one of the 42, 50 or 55 inch units will have experienced their premature burnout, especially if wall-mounted as opposed to left on its stand. There are shorting and heat issues which damage the PSU and Y-SUS printed circuit boards. This has caused many sets to fail within two years. The prime causes of these issues are:

1. Panasonic opted not to use heatsinks on critical components and boards, with the notable exception of the PSU
2. Panasonic saved money by securing the boards with short screws without lock-washers. These screws, which also act as grounding pegs, work lose and arc thereby causing shorts and component burnout and failure
3. Many of the boards were designed to be used with two banks of three IGBTs (insulated-gate bipolar transmitters) but Panasonic later reduced this to two banks of two - this put heavier load on the devices which were board-mounted without heatsinks so they too burn out with great regularity.

The above components not only have to contend with their individual and neighbouring component's heat dissipation but also the tremendous wall of heat from the neo-plasma screens mounted in ever-more slim cases surrounds which limit air-flow, despite the internal cluster of fans. This is exacerbated when the TVs are wall-mounted as there is less opportunity of air circulation and dispersal of heat.

A cursory look at your local eBay will show the very many Panasonic TV's being sold as 'spares or repairs' due to these very regular burnout issues.

Such is the notoriety of the inherent problems that a number of specialist component companies, including Sundance Multiprocessor Technology Ltd in the UK and ShopJimmy and Moduslink PTS in the USA offer their own solutions to these issues. ShopJimmy offer longer screw sets with lock-washers to reduce the incidence of arcing. Sundance replace key components with better quality ones and then also integrate heatsinks to prevent future burnout.

Annoyingly, Panasonic have been very much aware of these issues since at least 2010. In the rather more litigious USA they have replaced the faulty components free of charge. They are rather less benevolent with their European customers.

My flagship model TX-P50GT30B has had issues for a while and kept turning itself off when the processors started to cook themselves under the added strain on switching to on-demand services via the inbuilt Viera Cast utility. My set, gave up the ghost on Monday despite being just over four years old. Thankfully it's still covered by an extended warranty as Panasonic UK where uninterested. I bought three Panasonic plasma TVs in 2011 - the 50" unit for our living room and two 42" versions for the bedrooms; they replaced three Bang & Olufsen televisions which I'd bought in 1989 and were still going strong but did not have inbuilt HD or DVB so I thought it timely to upgrade. I rue that decision as the Bang & Olufsens which I gave to friends are still working flawlessly.

I have since 1976 used and owned both domestic and professional Matsushita, Panasonic, National and Technics equipment. I will be reluctant to either buy or recommend their products in future and will instead opt for Samsung or LG. Panasonic's Customer Service is a disgrace to the principles of its founding father, Konosuke Matsushita, and an utter affront to their customers.

comments powered by Disqus