4 expert reviews - 0 user reviews
We have collected 4 reviews of the Panasonic TC-P50ST30. Experts rate Panasonic TC-P50ST30 7.8/10. Reviewsor.com helps you find reviews, best prices, user reviews of the Panasonic TC-P50ST30 and Panasonic Plasma TV.
You might expect a 50-inch 3D plasma set from a respected manufacturer to put on a great show. In that regard, however, the Panasonic TC-P50ST30 (estimated street price of $1400 as of June 8, 2011) might disappoint you. Sure, it has all the right features--Wi-Fi, a generous selection of Internet feeds, and multimedia via USB, SD, and DLNA. But the picture quality leaves much to be desired, and the audio will make your ears hurt. In our image-quality tests, the TC-P50ST30 had particular problems with motion. The landscape vibrated significantly in our diagonal-panning test, for instance. To be fair, that torture test is designed to exaggerate problems that would be slight in real-world use. But we saw plenty of motion problems in our real-world tests, too. Moving-camera shots from the Blu-ray releases of Mission: Impossible III (chapter 7) and The Dark Knight (chapter 9) produced shimmering. In our baseball test, one judge noted that the pitcher's mound was vibrating. Color and contrast problems cropped up as well. The TC-P50ST30 tended to apply red or orange tints over light colors, so pale skin tones often ended up looking sunburned. Scenes often appeared dark or oversaturated.
This model is the 50'' version of the 42'' TV that we tested in our labs, the Panasonic Viera TX-P42ST30. Everything we said in the original article holds true--the only thing that's different is the size! The only exception is that some manufacturers fit different sized televisions with panels from different sources. In that case, our comments are only valid for the panel that we originally tested. Contrast, black levels, colour handling and ghosting are all subject to change from one panel to another. Manufacturers who do fit the same panel in all of the TVs in a range can expect the same results across the whole range. The only factor which could be prone to slight variation is the brightness, producing slightly different contrast. According to our own tests, and assurances from manufacturers, the results of one TV can accurately be applied to others in the range.
LED-backlit HDTVs are all the rage lately, but the plasma panel continues to stick around. Standing tall among plasma-producing HDTV manufacturers is Panasonic, whose $1,499.99 (direct) TC-P50ST30 is an affordable, feature-packed 50-inch plasma 3D HDTV with a great picture. While it has its share of flaws, the TC-P50ST30 is a good choice if you want a big screen at a reasonable price, aren't hung up on low power consumption, and can live with only three HDMI ports. The TC-P50ST30 shares a similar minimalist design aesthetic as the good-looking LED-backlit Sony Bravia KDL-46EX720 ($1,599.99, 4 stars). The HDTV's bezel is slightly curved, smooth, glossy black with few flourishes, distinguished by only a metallic Panasonic logo and a status light on the bottom edge of the bezel. It's a simple look that emphasizes the screen, not the frame, and it serves the HDTV very well. The base is a simple, swiveling, glossy black rectangle that securely holds the screen in place with little wobble. The various ports are spread out between the left side and back of the set.
When Panasonic detailed its 2011 plasma TV lineup at CES this January, we immediately pegged the TC-PST30 as the one model that "might hit the value sweet spot." After putting it through its paces we're going to eliminate the uncertainty from that phrase. The TC-PST30 may lack the THX certification of its more-expensive brother the TC-PGT30, but picture quality between the two is largely a wash, and excellent overall in both cases. Both share identical, well-stocked feature sets, highlighted by improved Internet suites, Wi-Fi dongles and 3D capability (albeit sans included glasses). The ST30's only major downside, and the reason why some buyers might spring for another model, is pedestrian styling. At each of its six sizes the Panasonic TC-PST30 series is our early favorite for best plasma TV value of 2011. We will be conducting long-term tests on the ST30 and other plasma TVs this year to monitor black-level performance and other picture quality factors. Until then we assume they will behave the same as their 2010 counterparts and show some black-level performance loss as they age (more info). We performed a hands-on evaluation of the 50-inch TC-P50ST30, but this review also applies to the other screen sizes in the series.