3 expert reviews - 0 user reviews
We have collected 3 reviews of the Panasonic TX-P42ST30. Experts rate Panasonic TX-P42ST30 8.7/10. Reviewsor.com helps you find reviews, best prices, user reviews of the Panasonic TX-P42ST30 and Panasonic Plasma TV.
Panasonic's P42ST30 sits below the top of the range VT30 and mid-tier GT30 models in the company's current line-up of 3D plasma TVs, but above the recently announced UT30. It boasts many of the same features of the higher-end sets in the range, but lacks a Freesat HD tuner and media streaming capabilities. It is, however, available for a relatively low asking price of £600 online, which is around £200 less than the GT30 model. While the likes of LG and Samsung have done a lot of work to make the user interfaces on their TVs look as appealing as possible by using lots of neat animations, lashings of colour and cute icons, Panasonic is sadly yet to follow suit. In comparison to its Korean rivals, the menu system on this TV looks very bland. For the most part the menus are quite static and boring, with the result that they feel out of step with most of the newer TVs on the market at the moment. Panasonic has added some icons in the main menu for the picture, sound, timer and set-up options, but the rest of the menus are predominantly rendered just as white text against a blue or black background. On the plus side, the menu structure is logically laid out and easy to find your way around.
Since the start of this year, Panasonic has offered not just two ranges of 3D TVs, but three. We've already reviewed the VT30 and the GT30 series, but now it's the turn of the ST30, which is even more affordable than its two predecessors. It seems that one way that Panasonic has kept costs down is by reusing a case from 2010. Not only does the design fall behind current standards, some other features have been left by the wayside too. One of the things we really liked about both of the ST30's big brothers was their sleek design, but this new TV just isn't in the same league. At first sight, the TV looks like it's been shoved into a frame that's lying around unloved for several years, with a thick, bulky exterior measuring 7 cm from front to back. The only change in the inputs and outputs is the removal of one USB port, leaving two in total. Otherwise, the four HDMI inputs, Ethernet port, optical audio out and composite and component video remain unchanged. If you compare the multimedia options to some of Panasonic's competitors, the offerings look pretty slim. Here, you only get widgets from Facebook, Twitter, Skype and a few other services and an online app store. Without UPnP, though, there's no way to play video stored on a computer elsewhere on your network.
The Infinite Black Pro-toting TX-P42ST30B is 2011's most affordable active 3D plasma screen. It has been shorn of one or two fancy features that Panasonic reckons the mass market won't feel deprived of, but is still crammed with the latest plasma technology, including faster-switching phosphors, reduced power consumption and a new screen filter. The most immediate difference between the TX-P42ST30B and its superior stablemate, the TX-P42GT30B, is that visually this is clearly no catwalk queen with a 2-inch wide gunmetal grey plastic bezel, industrial-looking base and a grey-green screen that when switched off is reminiscent of an old-fashioned CRT.Compared with its pricier sibling, also missing from the spec sheet are DLNA networking, a built-in Freesat tuner, USB HDD recording, colour management and THX/ISF calibration. The even more expensive flagship TX-P42VT30B improves on both models by also offering 2.1 audio, a Wi-Fi dongle and two free pairs of 3D specs. Despite the TX-P42ST30B's 'affordable 3D' tag you're going to have to shell out a fair bit of dough for the specs.