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230 of 234 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent TV
I spent a long time researching TVs this year (as I do most years) - last year I had a P42G20, itself a good TV. Having read through various forums and their numerous threads as well as viewing nearly all the current £1000+ TVs in various shops (I am sure most of you know that the picture quality in retail outlets is not what you will see at home - the first question on...
Published on 31 Aug. 2011 by Mr. P. J. Brown

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95 of 103 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Ruined by fluctuating brightness issue
The GT30 SHOULD BE a top plasma, and there's a great deal to like about it, but like its VT30 brother it suffers from a serious problem which is likely to all but ruin your viewing experience. Namely its inability to transition smoothly from dark to bright scenes and vice versa (another reviewer referred to it as 'contrast shifts'). Instead of a clean transition the set...
Published on 6 Aug. 2011 by Marcus H.


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230 of 234 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent TV, 31 Aug. 2011
By 
Mr. P. J. Brown (Brighton England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I spent a long time researching TVs this year (as I do most years) - last year I had a P42G20, itself a good TV. Having read through various forums and their numerous threads as well as viewing nearly all the current £1000+ TVs in various shops (I am sure most of you know that the picture quality in retail outlets is not what you will see at home - the first question on the menu is if for home viewing or shop - make sure you press the home option!) If you can, find a shop that has a proper viewing room if you are unsure.

First impressions are the TV is visually stunning (probably a first for panasonic). The bezel having a silver inner surround I thought might be a problem with the TV on, but is not, so please don't be concerned as I initally was. I also like the way the surround fades from black to gun metal around the panasonic logo. The bezel inself is the thinnest panasonic have done (please be aware this is not like lcd/led sets which on some of the expensive Samsung TVs is only mm thick - however personally I like this look better). The thichness of the TV is very thin as well, about half last years models.

A very important note for plasma TVs is the "run in time", for this set it between 200 and 500 hours long to get to the optium picture and calibration (google avforums for information on calibration, which most people will never do, but will make your picture stunning). The picture will noticeably improve over this time (mine is not fully run in but is a huge improvement over "out of the box").

In the menu section the picture options I would leave initially on THX or True Cinema, prehaps a touch of adjustment on the brightness (up) - please note do not use dynamic or make the contrast or brightness to high for the first 200 hours to allow accurate pixel development.

For day time viewing the picture will not be as bright as lcd/led TVs and I would put the CATS option on as will will help compensate for bright rooms. If you need any further info on set up send me a email.

Now firstly the HD picture. My Tv is using the integrated Freesat (this is generally better than Freeview HD) which is stunning, I sit about 11 feet from my TV and now I have adjusted from 42 to 50 inch (so glad I did). The colours are amazing and watching the Belgium GP last weekend on BBC1HD there was no picture lag (sometimes a problem on 50Hz TVs - this is not a "true" 600 Hz TV, no such TVs exist) or pixel problems. Watching Football again there was only the smallest lag on the ball. If you compare this to any lcd/led tv they will not be able to match this performance - try for yourself in large retail outlet and get them to show you HD sport with an lcd/led next to a plasma and you will see. The best sport to watch is golf as the ball moves very fast and there are lots of greens to really test the TV. The black levels (again plasma is best) are as good in my opinion as the Pioneer Kuro G9 (arguablely the best TVs made - and they stopped making them 3 years ago as they did not make a profit even though they cost £2000 to £4000! - I have 2 friends with them so I know what they look like).

SD picture quality is OK - but on any 50 inch TV it is not going to be fantastic - fortunately BBC, ITV and CH4 now broadcast most new TV in HD (but not kids tv). The best way to watch SD TV is to record to PVR or Hard Disk Recorder which has an upscaler built it (most do) and the picture is better, a bit more video looking rather than film looking but smoother - you can also use the various picture enhancements in the menu set up which smooth out poor quality pics. If you intend to watch mainly SD pictures I would not recommend a 50" TV.

DVD picture is upscaled very well, again most players have an upscale built in (when the picture comes on in the left hand corner 576p shows). Although not as good as blu ray it is still pretty decent. I would only replace my very favorite films with blu ray.

Blu Ray - pics are amazing and the sound through an external AV Receiver (buy Onkyo HST5405 all in one about £350) is superb. I watched Transformers as a test last week - picture perfect and the sound through the external receiver was absolutely amazing. All my connections are using 1.4 HDMI cables which means as soon as the tv is switched on av kit, blu ray dvd/hdd recorder all switches on. With the 1.4 version if you have a good av receiver you do not need an optical cable to get full 3d sound.

As well as a dvd/hdd recorder I use a 1 TB external hard drive to record TV using the USB connection. The picture quality is excellent, although you cannot use the THX picture mode - you would need to buy a Humax system. I use True Cinema picture setting which with a bit of fiddling is excellent. As external hard drives only cost about £50 this is the best way to record tv.

I am still waiting for my 3D glass so cannot comment on 3D performance but as I also got a panasonic blu ray player with 7 blu rays free offer including Avatar 3D I am looking forward to when Panasonic finally send some to England!

Overall this is an excellent TV - not perfect, as there is no such TV and until OLED or similar becomes available in the next 5 years then plasma will remain the best option for all large TVs. For value this is probably the best bang for your buck you can get. I could not see much difference to the VT30 which is £400 to £500 more, plus has a bigger surround so takes up more room.

I have not included all the many other functions this TV does such as wi fi etc etc as they are not the main reason for getting a TV

One final point, which is very important, if you are buying now the Firmware should be 1213.000, this seems to have fixed some fluctuating brightness issues some people experienced with the first batch of TVs - again email me if you want to know how to do this, it is simple.

If you read reviews this has pretty much cleaned the board this year. The latest What Hi Fi has the best ever TV review (for what thats worth) - I'll give you one guess which set won.....

Buy this TV - I know there are 2 poor reviews, but if you look at the 42" reviews they are all 5 star. With the right audio equipment, cabling, running in and fiddling with the set up this will make your viewing experience the best you can get......until next year
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Pleasure To Use, 19 Aug. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Panasonic Smart VIERA TX-P42GT30B 42-inch Full HD 1080p 3D 600Hz Internet-Ready Plasma TV with Freeview HD and Freesat HD (Installation Recommended) (Electronics)
Didn't originally intend to spend this amount on a TV but glad that I did. HD picture is great, as is SD. Viera Connect is a bit of a let-down, it really needs more apps. Got the TV connected to Freesat, Freeview and Sky HD and also found that I could connect up my old Tivo using the one scart provided. The remote is intuitive and there's plenty to play with in the menus.

Bought the Netgear N600 wireless usb adaptor from Amazon and this worked straight away without the need to set it up with the accompanying CD. Also bought compatible 3D glasses on ebay but have tried them only on the 2D to 3D application (for which you need 3D glasses) and they work ok. However there is a noticeable dimming of the picture when using the 3D glasses although you do get used to it.

There are two small cooling fans at the back of the TV and I haven't noticed any noise from them, but as this TV consumes approx 300W they are obviously necessary to dissipate the heat from the inner workings.

Very pleased with my TV, a pleasure to use it.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very pleased. Plasma is definitely not dead!, 14 Jun. 2011
By 
M. Surrey - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Great picture out of the box. Once calibrated even better!
3D has very little ghosting and looks so much better than the cinema.
I've experienced no image retention / burn.

Nice online features for I player, U-tube, Facebook and the like.

Connected to my PC film and music library very simply, not had a problem playing back any content yet.

HD content (TV or Blue Ray) looks stunning.

I don't use the DVB-t, DVB-S tuner or speakers, so couldn't comment on the EPG or sound quality.

Really pleased I saved myself £1000 over a LED screen.

Only dropped a star as it does'nt come with a pair of 3D glasses, which are good but very expensive!
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51 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing TV, 16 April 2011
Well its a Panasonic Plasma so its bound to be good especially since Panasonic now own Pioneer's Kuro patent's?
Well it does not disappoint, Panasonic have blown Sony, Samsung, LG and others away with this years line up of the ST30, GT30 and VT30.

Sure there's only 3 manufacturers now making plasmas (Panasonic, Samsung and LG) but Panasonic is the only one the devotes its time to plasma more and it shows. Panasonic once again prove that plasma is superior to LED TV's, 3D is better, better black depths, better viewing angles, no motion blur and better colours.

Nice, stylish design with a metal frame giving super build quality and its thin. Sure it may not look as cool as a Samsung but the picture quality surpasses any Samsung LED TV. Until there's no true LED or OLED TV, Panasonic Plasma will always win hands down.

Pros:
- Amazing black levels, no TV this year will achieve black levels as good as this Panasonic Plasma, except maybe the VT30 but the black levels of this TV are already by far better than last years TV's.

- Super high contrast ratio giving more depth and better colours than LCD or any LED TV.

- No annoying buzzing like last years plasma.

The three fans on the back are quiet

- The TV does not get hot, mine stays cool after 8 hours of constant TV a day.

- Image retention is near to none unlike LG and Samsung Plasmas.

- No problems with 50Hz (thanks to the new IFC setting) like the VT20 last year, not that I saw and I looked closely on football where it happens the most according to people when the camera pans on the field.

- 24p, blu ray playback is super smooth! HD 1080p picture quality is absolutely brilliant. Dark scenes look amazing, all the tiny detail can be seen and the IMAX scenes of The Dark Knight have never looked better on any TV (The Dark Knight is my test blu ray).

- Gaming is awesome too, no input lag whatsoever and no Image Retention or extremely very little IR which can only be seen if you put your face up close to the TV, even after an hour of gaming where counters from games stay on the screen.

- Sound is ok, really good for normal TV users as its loud, no complains there. The Music setting is the best.

- Connections face to the left or bottom so no wires stick out the back if you want to wall mount it, the connections are quite deep in so you don't have to worry about wire or wire head sticking out the side.

- USB, SD card slot.

- 24Hz(1080p/720/blu ray films) and 60Hz(PS3 gaming) viewing is flawless and 50Hz(Sky) viewing has not shown any issues yet.

- I can not stress how amazing and beautiful blu ray films look. Its EXACTLY how the director wanted you to see the film. You will be wow'd when you first watch a blu ray.

- SD quality is very good.

Cons:

- No 3D glasses supplied so you will have to pay over £100 for one pair of 3D glasses. I guess not including these keeps the price down for people who want a TV first and then 3D.

- No wifi dongle included but Viera Connect at the moment isn't so good anyway, has iPlayer and YouTube but they buffer way to much so might as well use my PS3 to view iPlayer or YouTube as it has no problems.

3D is flawless, no crosstalk, no ghosting and no loss of signal from glasses to the TV where as there are problems with other manufacturers.

Reviews on internet are saying the 3D on this TV is flawless and possibly the best of any TV so far. So I tried out Superstar Dust 3D on PS3 and it is absolutely amazing, out of the other demos on the PS store, this is the best and truly shows of the TV"s 3D capabilities.
Also the TV can achieve a really high brightness which helps a lot in 3D mode!

As of right now, I haven't tried the USB HDD recording. Playback of video files from a USB HDD is flawless, it plays MKV files flawlessly, no problems with motion.

The TV has many other neat features which can be seen in the manual or Panasonic's website.

If you're looking for a 46" TV, then no doubt this is the BEST 46" TV on the market. The 5,000,000:1 contrast says it all, no LED TV can achieve a contrast ratio that high yet hence why Samsung or Sony and even Panasonic in fact don't state the contrast ratio as its around 1,000,000:1.
Panasonic are the leaders in plasma technology.
However if you're looking for a 42" or 50" TV, go with the Panasonic VT30 models as they come with wifi and two pairs of 3D glasses and a few other features so make up for the price difference.
Either way, you can't go wrong with Panasonic this year. I love this TV. The best 46" TV on the market.

Also if you're looking at the 42" or 50" version of this TV as there's no 46" version of the VT30, I'd just get the Panasonic VT30 version unless you like the design of the GT30 and don't want the extra included features but for a 46" TV this is the way to go!

In summary, the best 46" TV on the market. For this price you can not go wrong.

Quick Note: The two big stores (who's name both start with C) don't do this TV justice, they're all paid to promote LED TV's, which by the way aren't even LED, they're still LCD with a LED backlight.

Best 42" and 50"+ TV of 2011 - Panasonic VT30 models
Best 46" TV of 2011 - Panasonic TX- P46GT30B

Also if you have any questions, just drop a comment and I'll gladly help.

Edit:-
I stick to my 5* review for now, I've read over on the internet and AV Forums about people starting to have issues with the GT30 and VT30 models from the green tinge, loud buzzing, loud fans, brightness fluctuations etc
I'm thinking these are hardware issues and not software related. I for one haven't experienced these issues yet and I hopefully won't as I'm really picky when it comes to small issues, if one pixel was dead on the TV, I'd know about it and it'd drive me crazy.
Also I want to say I got this TV from C*met the week it was available in the UK so I have a TV from the first set of delivery to the UK, I think these issues are on some of the later TV's being shipped around the world?
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great TV..., 22 Sept. 2011
By 
This review is from: Panasonic Smart VIERA TX-P42GT30B 42-inch Full HD 1080p 3D 600Hz Internet-Ready Plasma TV with Freeview HD and Freesat HD (Installation Recommended) (Electronics)
This is my 2nd Panasonic Plasma and I have to say it's really very good. Picture quality is outstanding on High Def sources and pretty good on standard def. I'd tried a Samsung LED panel before opting for the GT30 and the difference couldn't be more obvious. The GT30 delivers CINEMA quality pictures. Sound is also pretty good. Excellent range of connections on the back although the HDMI connectors are vertical so you may want to invest in some right angled HDMI cables if you don't want loads of stuff protruding from the rear. Has built in freeview HD (works great) and FreeSat receiver as well (also works great). EPG for both is a little ugly but functional. Also supports playback from USB and HDD and recording to HDD direct from broadcast which is quite nice.

3D playback is also pretty good although I've only had limited use of this so far... certainly the independent reviews online for it's 3D performance rate it very highly.

Also features VIERA Cast (now called Connect I believe) which has an 'app' portal for the TV (if you have a wired CAT5 network connection - or the WIFI dongle - this has to be purchased separately though). Works fine and has things like iplayer, although I would say that the Samsung has the edge with it's Smart TV implementation which had more apps (such as Lovefilm).

Screen reflection has been an issue on some older plasmas but I'm happy to report the coatings on this TV mean this is kept to a bare minimum..

Negatives :? Some people have complained about issues with brightness control. I don't seem to be suffering any major issues but it's certainly been reported elsewhere (search for FBr and Panasonic on google). The only other thing of slight annoyance is FAN noise. There _are_ some small fans which are used for cooling which can be audible very occasionally. If this is something you think could bother you I'd suggest demoing one of these in a quiet environment to see if you think it would be an issue. Certainly, it didnt bother me but we're all different.

Overall I can heartily reccommend this TV. Great picture, reasonable sound and feature rich. Also has loads of 'expert' settings so you can fiddle to your hearts content if you are into 'calibrating' your TV :-) Also THX certified if that means anything!

As always, demo in the real world before purchasing...it's a must. Some people seem to like the vibrancy of LED/LCD tv's but personally I'd rather have uniform backlighting and deep blacks any day... A great TV for SD/HD/BluRay.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stunning Picture Quality if you get a good one!, 11 Sept. 2011
Having purchased a lemon in the form of the ST31B, (Review posted) I upgraded to the GT30B. Initial impressions were good. The TV has a nice chrome trim around the screen which you would think is distracting but is not in fact. It also has a very nice jet black bezel which fades into a gun metal grey around the Panasonic logo bottom centre. It really is a very nice effect. Its a nice looking TV and quite thin for a Plasma too.

Connections are on the back left hand side and face left. Some say the connections are too near the edge making cabling visible but this is not an issue I have found. Connections include 3 USB ports & 4 HDMI ports, a free sat connection, useful if your cable TV or sky box fails, a Scart connector, an RCA input, component input (Y, Pb, Pr) and an RF connection too. A Lan connector is also provided for a cable or wireless dongle to take advantage of Viera Connect as well as firmware updates. Digital Audio out via an optical connection is available (PCM/Dolby Digital/DTS Fiber Optic) and RCA.

The first thing I noticed when I switched on the set was a visible green blob down the left side of the screen. This was the exact same issue I had with the ST31B but since these blobs can fade in time decided to live with it for a while to see if it improves. Filling most of the screen height and around 6 inches wide it affects grey scale images and skin tones in particular, giving a green tint to both types of image in this area of the screen. Less severe green blobs were visible elsewhere too but I am pleased to note that they are slowly fading away.

FBR: That dreaded fluctuating brightness issue that plagues some ST, GT & VT sets. My GT came with Firmware 1213 pre-installed and I have to say FBr was not really an issue. I have seen some brightness shifts in one or two BBC programmes but these were always using hand help cameras so I think they may be a source issue, i.e. camera automatic exposure adjustments rather than an issue with the TV.
I have updated the firmware to 1217 which Panasonic released recently just to be on the safe side. Overall though I have not had any annoying FBr on the GT30B.

PICTURE QUALITY: Green blobs aside, the GT30 produces some of the most stunning images I have seen on a TV. They are not glaringly bright and in my opinion unrealistic like many LCD sets produce, this is not what Plasmas do. They are instead full of contrast, deep blacks and wonderful colours. High Definition images, particularly from Blu-Ray are fantastic.

3D: I purchased the Panasonic Plasma specifically for the 3D feature and have not been disapointed. 3D images, particularly those produced in native 3D rather than post production conversions, have a wonderful sense of depth, not just in terms of elements in the image such as foreground and background objects, but also in terms of people and object shape. People "look" real having shape and curves that 2D images and almost all post production converted 3D images are incapable of producing. Avatar, available from Panasonic only if you buy certain home theatre equipment in addition to the GT30B, looks amazing.

Overall I am delighted with my GT30B. Firmware 1217 seems to have solved FBr for those that previously had it and the green blobs seem to fade as the TV ages. One or two say otherwise so there is a bit of risk in buying a GT30B hence my 4 star rating rather than 5 but I think the slight risk is worth taking in view of what a good GT30B can do.

UPDATE: Sep 2012
A year on and the green blobs I mentioned above have now almost entirely dissapeared. I used to watch shows with lots of white snow such as Ice Road Truckers and snow in the middle of the screen had a distinct green tinge to it.. I watched episode 1 of the new series a day or two ago and noticed that the issue has improved considerably. If I look hard, I can just about see a slight tinge but its much much better.

It's still not a 5 star set, in my opinion no set can be awarded 5 stars if there is room for improvement and since we cannot give half stars my original 4 star score stands. I would say it 90% excellent though.

This set continues to impress me with some stunning images in both 2D and 3D.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Panasonic GT30, 26 Sept. 2011
This review is from: Panasonic Smart VIERA TX-P42GT30B 42-inch Full HD 1080p 3D 600Hz Internet-Ready Plasma TV with Freeview HD and Freesat HD (Installation Recommended) (Electronics)
Firstly a massive thank you to Amazon, I have used their service many times but my order of this television was a perecft example of how excellent the customer service is.

I have had 2 of these televisions the first of which arrived was faulty, a loose connection on one of the internal speakers which resulted in a loud buzzing / vibration noise everything the volume was above 20%. I reported this to amazon and within 15 minutes of the phone call a second item was on order on my account and I had received all the details required in order to return the original. The replacement arrived less than 48hours after I had reported fault. A*

The TV itself is a very good example of Panansonic's investment into Plasma technology. I have so far only used the out of the box settings, SKY HD picture is excellent (Football and SKY 1 / Atlantic channels viewed so far) Blu ray play back is also superb with excellent nature colour and deep blacks.

The set feels very well made and has an excellent finish. There are many connections to suite everyones needs. 1 small negative point would be that the HDMI ports could be slightly better placed. The use of right angle adapters may be required to prevent the cables showing at the side of the television.

As with all plasma's it is worth considering that the picture on this set is not as bright as the LCD/LED televisions so if your room is very bright I would consider looking at those instead.

The remote and user menus are intuitive to operate and are responsive.

Not tried the 3D or Interactive features, but so far very pleased with my purchase.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a tv, 21 Sept. 2011
This review is from: Panasonic Smart VIERA TX-P42GT30B 42-inch Full HD 1080p 3D 600Hz Internet-Ready Plasma TV with Freeview HD and Freesat HD (Installation Recommended) (Electronics)
Absolutely loved this tv. After spending weeks searching for the right tv for my needs I eventually settled on this 1 and what a tv it is.

42" flat screen that rivals any of the LEDS out there. I bought this tv to go in my bedroom, specifically for watching films on at the weekend. I wanted a cinema experience & I truly believe I've got it.

The clarity of the picture was amazing. I tried the freeview HD channels just to have a look and WOW I felt like I was there, not watching it through my tv. The detail shown was fantastic, I could see individual hairs, waves crashing and blades of grass - (small things I know, but I was impressed).

I have only tried 1 3d film so far and that was Ocean Wonderland. The 3d effects on some scenes were awe inspiring but others not so much - I can't comment on it being fault with the tv or the dvd but I was still very impressed and the 3d effects that were good were in fact great. Point to note that glasses didn't come with the tele, but the glasses I got were extremely comfortable and easily charged, I won't state the product code as I have been informed new glasses are being released soon.

The TV felt quite heavy but I've attached it to the wall with a flat screen wall bracket & I'm confident it will stay in place.

The internet services leave somthing to be desired and I would say if you are looking for a tv specifically for this purpose look elsewhere, it is wi-fi ready but you need to but a dongle and as yet I don't feel there are many worthwhile apps on Viera connect - although BBC Iplayer is usefull.

The TV guide is good and when I selected programmes from the BBC which had been filmed in HD I was given the option to watch the normal channel or the 3d channel, which I thought was quite good.

All in all, I love this tv, it's packed with features, it has a sleek and stylish design, extremely slim and the picture is perfect. I am quite sure I will never use this tv to it's full potential but I have loved everything I've used so far.

A great buy!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars P42GT30B 3D TV, 20 Sept. 2011
This review is from: Panasonic Smart VIERA TX-P42GT30B 42-inch Full HD 1080p 3D 600Hz Internet-Ready Plasma TV with Freeview HD and Freesat HD (Installation Recommended) (Electronics)
Superb picture and suprisingly good sound from inbuilt speakers (unless it's a "loud" movie I don't use my surround sound). Extremely easy to set up and no problems in use. Used in conjunction with a Panasonic BD recorder it's a truly splendid combination. I can't recommend it highly enough.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another amazing Panasonic Plasma!!, 11 July 2012
By 
P. Hardy "petehard" (GB) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Title says it all!

I have had a number of Panasonic Plasma's over the years and they keep getting better.

I have run this for nearly 200 hours and the picture is the business! Gaming and HD images are stunning, Blu Rays in THX mode are impressive. Infact, what ever you are watching this TV makes the best of everything.

3D is excellent when watching stereoscopic inputs but the 3D conversion isn't all that.

Out of the box the picture is good but trust me, it gets better. Worth mentioning that the fan noise and plasma buzz does reduce after about 100 hours.

Connectivity is brilliant.... 3x USB's, SD card, ethernet, wireless, 4x HDMI, digital out and the list goes on. Most files play from USB or SD card, even HD!!

Plug a HDD and pause and record TV..... Plug a wireless dongle in and enjoy iPlayer in HD! This mean you can enjoy Top Gear in HD over & over again!

Sound isn't too bad considering how thin the TV is.

Good looking TV even when it's switched off and the build quality is up to Panasonic's normal high standard.

Over all this is a top TV with no bad points.

Top Tips....

1. Check out some calibrated settings in AV Forums, with a bit of tweeking you get impressive results.

2. Dont buy a G30! i made this mistake twice thinking i was being clever and saving £400 for an identical TV just without the 3D function. This is not the case! The GT's have so much more to offer and there is a good reason why they are £400 more.

Worth every penny!
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