The 3D sub-menu also contains some quirky feature complications not noticed on the Samsung model. You can reverse the 3D left/right sequence, for instance, if – according to the rather vague manual – ‘you feel that the sense of depth is unusual’. We can’t really imagine when such a feature would become necessary, but maybe we’ll stumble across a relevant situation in the 3D future.
There’s also an ‘Edge Smoother’ designed to remove (as in, ‘soften away’) the slightly jagged look to contoured edges that can occur with side by side or top and bottom 3D formats.
There’s even a mode for turning a 3D image into a 2D one should not everyone in the room have 3D glasses when watching something on a 3D channel. But there’s no 2D-3D conversion like you get with the Samsung set.
Settling down to watch (on Panasonic’s BDT300 3D Blu-ray player) our currently only 3D alternate frame Blu-ray source, ”Monsters Vs Aliens”, the P50VT20B makes an instant and profoundly good first impression by suffering far less with crosstalk noise than Samsung’s 3D LED TV.
All of the subject matter which showed the crosstalk ghosting all too clearly on the Samsung TV – the tension ropes of the golden gate bridge, the mid-range shot of the robot monster walking towards the bridge, etc – is here reproduced with only the tiniest trace of echo images. In fact, for the majority of the time, the crosstalk noise is negligible, even over background image content.
Switching to the Sky ‘side by side’ 3D channel and a repeat showing of the Championship play-off final, and the crosstalk story is the same. As in, there’s hardly any of it, making the players look cleaner and the image thus more consistent throughout its depth than on the Samsung LED set.
Samsung has tried to combat crosstalk with its LED TVs via a new, faster driving system and sophisticated processing system that introduces blank frames to the image in a bid to get round LCD’s inherent response time issues. And they’ve talked at length about plasma’s decay time issues potentially causing the same problems as LCD’s response time issue. But the simple fact, obvious to anyone who cares to watch them side by side, is that Panasonic’s plasma 3D system simply doesn’t suffer from crosstalk nearly as much as Samsung’s LEDs.
It’s worth adding, too, that unlike the Samsung LED TV, the P50VT20B doesn’t have to warm up for a couple of hours before it’s able to deliver its best 3D efforts.
The P50VT20B additionally delivers motion in 3D mode with great clarity, and with little if any noteworthy judder. And the sense of depth and ‘3D-ness’ it portrays appears comparable to that of the Samsung C8000 series. But the lack of crosstalk somehow makes its 3D images look more solid.
The lack of crosstalk noise has its most significant positive impact with games. For the Xbox 360’s ”Avatar” 3D game looks significantly cleaner on the P50VT20B, to a degree that actually makes it more fun to play. Which is saying something considering what a poor game it is.
Plasma’s inherent advantage when it comes to contrast, meanwhile, helps it deliver a richer and more convincing black colour than the sometimes rather grey effort of the Samsung UE55C8000 TV we’ve seen.