The P46G10 also improves significantly over Panasonic’s X10 models with its motion reproduction. Objects generally pass across the screen more fluidly, and camera pans are in a completely different league. I’m not saying that even the use of a 600Hz system has removed every last trace of judder, because it hasn’t. So there’s still room for further improvement. But fast camera pans are certainly much less jarring, and crucially the P46G10 achieves its motion enhancements while generating seemingly no nasty processing side effects at all.
The P46G10 employs a full HD 1,920 x 1,080 pixel count, and gets good use out of all these pixels if the amount of detail visible in HD pictures is anything to go by. You can, for instance, easily discern the filmic grain visible in the high-contrast black and white shots at the start of Casino Royale (blimey, I’m starting to sound like an Alan Partidge-esque Bond obsessive!), and regular HD delights such as facial pores and the weave in clothing are regularly on the menu.
The P46G10 is not just HD’s friend, though. For unlike many large Full HD TVs it’s also got the video processing know-how – powered by Panasonic’s latest V-Real Pro 4 system – to upscale standard definition extremely adroitly. Standard def images thus appear with a commendable level of sharpness, and with decent subtlety when it comes to colour blends. This latter achievement means that faces generally avoid the rather plasticky look they can take on with lesser screens.
Although improved over the pictures of the X10 models, though, the P46G10’s images aren’t completely perfect. For as well as the residual judder during camera pans noted earlier, I also didn’t always feel 100 per cent convinced by its colours. Gentle orange or green undertones seemed to slip into proceedings from time to time, occasionally making skin tones look marginally unnatural, and even occasionally having the effect of reducing the picture’s overall colour dynamism.
I’d argue that this is actually a pretty small price to pay for all the strengths the P46G10 delivers, especially when it comes to black level. But I guess there may be people out there who set rip-roaringly vibrant colours above all else on their picture check list who might prefer a good LCD model instead.
With so many interesting picture issues to get my teeth into, I’d fully expected the P46G10’s audio to be a bit of an anticlimax. Especially as other Panasonic models from lower down the food chain have been entirely run of the mill sonically. But in fact the P46G10 doesn’t sound at all bad. It’s certainly got the raw power to serve up some surprisingly extreme volume levels without succumbing to speaker phutting or harsh trebles, and bass levels are unusually strong. The only significant problem is that voices – especially male ones – occasionally sound a little ‘thick’ and forced.
While some minor colour issues have got me champing at the bit for Panasonic’s V10 plasma models, which will carry Digital Cinema Colour processing, the P46G10 is nonetheless a hugely accomplished and, under the circumstances, great value Freesat TV that really brings Panasonic’s new range to life.