With its high contrast Infinite Black Pro panel, net connected features and 3D compatibility Panasonic’s new GT30 plasma TV range clearly isn’t looking to shortchange buyers. The screens even come with both Freeview HD and Freesat HD tuners, to ensure maximum reception flexibility. If there’s a box, Panasonic appears to have …
"Advanced PDP Development Centre"
Okay, so now we know that at certain pan rates a test pattern remains clear.
How does this relate to real life footage, and how does it compare to everything else on the market?
How does it compare?
Plasmas are miles better than LCD at maintaining resolution on moving subjects. We await OLEDs to see what they can do...
This is known but not relevant to the question
What is not known however is what the test results given in the article mean. Notwithstanding the clear differences between panel technology families, how do you know whether this TV is better or worse than any other given TV based on that number alone?
I have said it before and I'll say it again........
............without *any* glasses bundled this is in practice, sold as is, a *2D* TV - and a rather pricey 42 inch 2D telly at that. Fortunately we upgraded to a 55 in Sammy just before the producers started this shell game with 3D tellys. We won't in all likelihood upgrade again until they get OLED fixed - ie a genuine advance in display tech that is actually worth paying for.
they lost a feature?
I picked up last year's TH-P42U20Z cheap (about 400 pounds if I convert the NZ$) a month or so ago and it shows a live picture while browsing the FreeView program schedule.
Surely they wouldn't take that away in what appears to be a slightly higher spec new model?
Lack of 3D glasses and ads on EPG
If I was British, the lack of glasses and ads in EPG would mean one thing to me: "Greedy UK management.".
If you won't bundle some cheap glasses, don't add 3d or add some 50 pounds to price and add them. These guys (whoever manages UK) makes Panasonic look like some el cheapo Taiwan no name manufacturer. Some hardware state of art which doesn't deserve it.
To that OLED fan: Plasma doesn't need OLED technology and it is affordable, even in such high end.
Shame it still has the 50Hz bug
inherited from last year's models and still not fixed.
Just a word of warning on a (minor) feature
... none of these Panasonic Viera plasma TVs seem to be able to read AVCHD Standard structured video files from digital camera SD(HC) cards or H264 MOV files - at least not those from non-Panasonic devices. I've tried 25 and 60 fps 720 and 1080 footage from a Canon point&shoot, a Kodak budget camcorder and a Sony DSLR-interchangeable compact. All fail to be read. Annoying! HDMI, when available, does work though.
If I were upgrading...
...and to a Panny plasma at that it would need to fix the following from the 2010 G30.
Image retention (don't believe the hype it still exists)
Rising blacks (after a few thousand hours your blacks will be greys).
50Hz PAL artefacts
Better and more configurable motion smoothing/interpolation algorithm when enabled. Right now you get artefacts on some broadcast material.
Better support for video playback from the SD and USB slots. Some crappy SD DIVX file is not what I call decent format support. x264 in MKV and h.264/VC1 support in other formats like MOV and MP4 is a MUST!
Crappy adverts in EPG
Lack of video window in EPG
Rubbish iPlayer support (No streaming HD)
No streaming Youtube in HD
For an HDTV it lacks so much HD anything other than the display it's attrocious.
Flicker = Fail?
Does it still flicker like a bitch? Could stand watching the last model for more than a few minutes.
What sort of flicker?
My Panasonic plasma (cheapo 42" 720p) has a weird habit of flickering the RGB balance around if the displayed picture is mostly static white.
That's the reason Panasonic are out of the reckoning for me...
2010 vs 2011
Shame Panasonic have crippled their 2D version of this TV, last year's G20 had FreeSat but they've removed it (and a few other connectors) off this year's G30 model. Only leaving useful features on their most expensive sets and I'm sure not paying £1300 for a 2D TV and I have no desire or forseeable need for a 3D TV for the next few years.
I bought a g20 earlier this year. The picture was truly awesome. Had to take it back though as it was so noisy when turned on, like a high pitched squeal or whine. Even an hour after going to bed my ears were ringing. Also the flicker gave me a real headache. The motion issues were there too when watching 50 Hz stuff.
As mentioned above also, the damn thing recognises precious few file types. The hard drive recording is picture perfect, but would frequently note record things.
But to see that whale in the arctic under the ice was stunning in hd.
Oh finally there customer services were not the most receptive when I complained.