A truly billiant blend of perfmance and price. Panasonic's televisions got nothing but praise from us in 2011, with its GT30 range walking away with the TV Product of the year award and four more best-in-class. Set expectations to high, then. This year Panasonic TX-P50GT50 use a brand new panel, alongside a new filter and a faster processor: three massively important aspects of any smart TVs make-up. Infinite Black-pro, High Contrast Filter Pro and the 2500Hz Focused Field Drive will are all new for this year and will aim to deliver deep, dark blacks, dynamic contrast and smooth motion respectively.
The Dual Core Pro4 Processor, meanwhile should help deliver as speedy smart TV experience complete with Flash support via a free browser, while also allowing you to "multitask" between apps. The connectivity on offer is more predictable but no less impressive. Four HDMI inputs and three USB inputs form an orderly line on one side of the TV with an SD card input nearby.
Connections for the Free-sat and Free-view HD tuners, plus Ethernet, digital optical, component and composite video connections are just a cable stretch away. The Pnasonic chooses to cluster all the inputs and outputs together, eschewing the trend for putting and HDMI input on each side, which is helpful should your devices approach from all angles. As well the ethernet port, the P50GT50 has an integrated wireless receiver. There's Bluetooth, too, designed for connecting as Bluetooth keyboard and mouse for use within apps such as Facebook, Twitter and the browser. DLNA certification lets you connect to and stream from as NAS box or DLNA certified product.
Panasonic has kept the faith with its familiar menus, which have simply been given as subtle lick of paint every so often. Thankfully, while they might not be desperately exciting, they're intuitive-so it's easy to get started. This is ah THX certified TV, so you have choice of the THX modes wihtin the viewing mode. You can still make adjustments to the rest of the picture setting once you've done this.
Deeply Impressive Picture Quality
This is a brilliantly detailed, vivid picture, with every aspects handled expertly. The option of Freesat and Freeview HD tuners ensures that the set will appeal to everyone, though we'd imagine not many people will be choosing between the two. Luckily, both are excellent. Watching standar-definition content the picture is detailed and gives an impressive sense of depth. Images are clean and reasonably free of blocking or noise, with the Freesat tuner arguably just a little sharper, though there's very little difference. Switch to the HD channels and edges are more cleanly drawn, colurs are punchier and black levels are impressive. Switch to Blu-ray and the pictures just get better.
DVDs don't have quite the same wow factor, but the TX-P50GT50 must get the best out of them, with the strength of this set deep black levels, bright colors and smooth motion - ensuring the key aspects are dealt with confidently. The 3D experience is better than ever, with few fast-motion issues and a deep, involving picture.
Super-Fast Internet Connection
The viera connect hub is easy enough to navigate, although it has a few foibles we'd like to be able to move between pages of apps without having to go to the much smaller "more/back" icons for example the content.
The content is better than last year, with the latest version of BBC i Player, a full Skype app, the addition of Netflix, and the likes of Acetrax, BBC News, Eurosposts, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. iPlayer looks great too, especially the HD channel, which gives traditional SD content a run for is money (if your network is up to speed). Press the Vieara tools button, meanwhile to access content on an SD card, USSB hard disk or NAS device on your network. We do just that and connect to our NAS to play some FLAC files.
1. SD Card slots - What's that? You say you like SD cards? So does Panasonic meaning you can load music, moviews of pictures to view on the TV via Viera Tools via the slot provided.
2. USB Inputs - Three USB inputs should be ample. The first can host a USB hard drive which lets you do basic recording or playback, PVR-style on the Panasonic.
3. Wire or Wi-Fi - You have the choice of wireless or wired internet connection . You can also access wireless and DLNA certified devices. Its super-fast, too.
4. Bluetooth Technology - Bluetooth is on board for syncing the 3D glasses and connecting a wireless keyboard for better browsing, but it won't sniff out portable devices.
Screen size: 127 cm/50 inches
Type: G15 Progressive Full-HD NeoPlasma
Tuners: Freesat, Freeview HD, analogue
Inputs: 4xHDMI, componet, RGB Scart, 3 x USB, ethernet, SD Card, compostie, stereo
Dimension: Dimensions (W x H x D) (w/o stand)
Weight (w/o stand): 23.0 kg
Weight (with stand): 27.0 kg
Rated Power Consumption: 400 W
Annual Energy Consumption: 270 kWh
For 3D Glasses and pictures are better; excellent tuners; excellent blacks, colours and detail
Verdict: The best just better - The Panasonic TX-P50GT50 is the TV to beat in 2012
Price: prices from £1500.00
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