The P46S10’s black level response is also a force to be reckoned with, allowing dark scenes in films and TV shows to be reproduced with precious little of the greying over that’s still rife in the LCD world. Dark scenes look very stable and consistent versus those of some LCD TVs too, and contain levels of subtle greyscale and detail that show how effortless such black levels are for this TV.
It’s well worth pointing out too, of course, that unlike the vast majority of LCD TVs, the P46S10’s black level response doesn’t drop off significantly if you’re forced to watch it from somewhere down the side. In fact, the black level depth on show here even outguns that of many rival plasma TVs, falling short of only Pioneer’s KURO plasmas, Panasonic’s own NeoPDP screens, and one or two of the latest LED TVs.
Another likeable quality of the P46S10’s pictures is how cleanly standard definition pictures are upscaled to the screen’s Full HD resolution, suppressing any noise that might be present in the source image with impressive aplomb.
Now for the little problems I have with the P46S10. For starters, while HD looks beautifully clean, pure and natural, it’s not quite as blisteringly sharp as we’ve seen on some of the best rival TVs.
Next, while objects move around within the frame with strikingly little blur, the 400Hz engine isn’t quite powerful enough to stop a little judder creeping into camera pans, especially with 24p Blu-ray playback.
Finally, while standard definition pictures are impressively free of noise, they’re also a little softer than I’d ideally like them to be. And I also occasionally noticed a little colour banding while watching standard definition pictures, giving me an unwanted if thankfully quite rare reminder of what used to be a common plasma failing.
It’s well worth stressing before turning to the P46S10’s sound, though, that the sort of problems we’re talking about don’t remotely stop the TV from being a very accomplished performer that would almost certainly have nabbed a TrustedReviews Recommended award last year, before the latest LED and NeoPDP screens shifted the goalposts on us.
Panasonic’s audio used to be notoriously flimsy unless you forked out for its old flagship screens, with their separated tweeters and woofers. But this old bugbear really seems to have been put to bed with Panasonic’s 2009 generation, as even this relatively low-end model produces a nice, solid, clean, and engaging soundstage well-matched to the screen’s dimensions and general picture quality.
Although the P46S10 is not without its problems, if you’re a sports lover after a surprisingly affordable large plasma screen that really does deliver a marked advantage with motion over most LCD rivals, you owe it to yourself to check out the P46S10.