The Best TVs of 2010 - Panasonic Viera TX-P65VT20/P50VT20 and Philips 58PFL9955H Cinema 21:9


2. Panasonic Viera TX-P65VT20/P50VT20

Prices: £3,948 and £1,524.99, and

Rather than use up two separate slots in our top 10 TV list, it makes sense to put the 65in and 50in versions of Panasonic’s ground-breaking 3D plasma TVs together, with us simply saying that if you can afford the bigger one, go for it, as its greater size really does greatly enhance the 3D experience.

Both TVs, though, remain comfortably our favourite way of watching 3D, simply because they suppress the crosstalk ghosting phenomenon associated with the new 3D tech better than any other screens. This makes 3D viewing infinitely less tiring than it is on all the 3D LCD TVs out there, which is kind of handy if you fancy watching a full-length 3D movie or having a long 3D gaming stretch.

Awesome black levels, exceptional colours, and good sharpness seal the deal with the set, with our only significant bugbear being that 3D pictures look a touch less bright than we’d like them too. But we’d take this shortcoming over crosstalk any day.

1. Philips 58PFL9955H Cinema 21:9

Price: £3,999,

For all the high quality TVs we’ve seen this year, it’s striking just how immediately this Philips TV sprung to mind as our overall favourite of 2010.

When we saw Philips’ first 21:9-ratio (as opposed to the usual 16:9 ratio) TV in 2009 we were dumbfounded by the visceral, immersive impact created by the set’s extra width compared with 16:9 models. But this impact has been massively increased on the 58PFL9955H, thanks partly to its slightly larger size but mostly to its shift to direct LED lighting.

This helps it bring more colour vibrancy and vastly superior black level response to the table, resulting in a viewing experience so appealing with games, Blu-rays, TV shows and especially 3D sources that you just want to hug it. Or you would if you could actually stretch your arms that wide…

Obviously there are issues with stretching non-21:9 source material to fit such a wide screen, and there’s the usual need with Philips TVs to regularly visit the 58PFL9955H’s processing options to keep pictures looking their best with different sources. But once you’ve been seduced by its ultra-wide pictures, your reaction to such niggles will likely be the same as ours: ‘so bloody what?’