190 of 194 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 3D content and great quality at an affordable price but missing some advanced features
This is my first Panasonic TV (or 3D TV for that matter) and I've been very impressed with it. Having done a fair amount of research on 3D Tv's this seemed like an affordable option. This is the 2nd generation 3D Tv that Panasonic have come out with as far as I know and there are improvements - the first generation are VT20's or GL20's. The main difference as far as I am...
Published on 24 July 2011 by Silverfrog
182 of 192 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Intolerable fluctuating brightness & green patches
The Panasonic P50ST30B Plasma Television is at face value a very nice piece of equipment. It had full 1080P high definition capability, displays full HD 3D, produces deep blacks, deep colour and very nice picture quality.
Unfortunately it also has two glaring problems that are so obviously unacceptable in a TV costing as much as this model does that I wonder...
Published on 26 July 2011 by Mr. Alan T. Fidler
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190 of 194 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 3D content and great quality at an affordable price but missing some advanced features,
This review is from: Panasonic Smart VIERA TX-P42ST30B 42-inch Full HD 1080p 3D 600Hz Internet-Ready Plasma TV with Freeview HD (Electronics)This is my first Panasonic TV (or 3D TV for that matter) and I've been very impressed with it. Having done a fair amount of research on 3D Tv's this seemed like an affordable option. This is the 2nd generation 3D Tv that Panasonic have come out with as far as I know and there are improvements - the first generation are VT20's or GL20's. The main difference as far as I am aware to the older versions are that Panasonic have developed technology to reduce crosstalk which occurs when you are viewing material in 3D and it's not looking quite like it should (each active pair of glasses basically show separate images to each eye making it seem as though something is in 3D but fails to happen properly during crosstalk).
This ST30 model is missing DNLA (which allows for easier and better networking with your other multimedia items in your household, and better looks from it's more expensive brothers GT30 and VT30. It also has faster-switching phosphors, reduced power consumption and a new screen filter.
Out of the box
When you get your brand new shiny 3d TV, the first thing you will need to do is attach the base stand to the actual TV. You can do this on your own but is a little tricky. There is a forked prong that fits into the base and you screw this in but make sure that you look for the black plastic cover before you attach it to the TV which was found separately at the bottom of the box with mine. The TV then slots onto the forks and you screw this on. The TV can then swivel on it's stand to about 35 degrees either way from straight ahead .Unlike the Panasonic flagship the ST does not come with any 3D glasses so you'll have to buy your own. I've got the Panasonic TY-ew3D2ME Rechargeable Active Shutter 3D Glasses for GT and VT Plasma Range - Medium which work perfectly.
The initial auto set up attempts to connect to internet immediately so ensure you have either your ethernet cable in or alternatively you can connect wirelessley (i connected via ethernet cable so haven't tried wireless connection yet. After this the TV searches for analogue channels.
The TV looks good although those of you that like sleeker designs may want to view picture differences to the GL or VT versions which have more elegant frame but this didn't bother me. I found it odd that the 2d-3d conversion is only currently found on the remote control. Talking about the remote control it isn't particularly nice lookikng or sleek and has a very tacky silver plastic feel to it. This doesn't bother me again but those of you who are ultra image concious may want to avoid this model. There are 4 HDMI slots, a component connections, SD card slot for immediate viewing of pictures from your camera and USB connections for charging. I've still got to try connecting an external hard drive to see if I can record content and playback but I'm not sute if it's capable of this.
There is no PC connection but this doesn't bother me and I've heard that plasma tv's aren't great for pc use anyway.
The picture quality is very clear and bright with a little tweaking with contrast, brightness etc. The hd content really shines (we have virgin and may upgrade to ensure we get as much hd channels as possible now). We watched the original clash of the titans in hd and the quality was absolutely superb
The default when turning on is analogue tv but you can change this to AV. As we have all our connections on AV channels , virgin hdmi, ps3 xbox360, apple tv.
As I mentioned earlier this version has better screen compared to 20 version which reduces cross talk when viewing 3d. Those who don't already know and haven't tested at their local Currys/pc world 2d-3d conversion just gives depth to the picture, so don't expect things to jump out at you as this will only happen with 3d specific content. Playing on my Xbox360 is reasonable using 2d-3d conversion- I tried Call of Duty black ops on the Xbox which was fantastic - in case you didn't know you can go to options and select to use Stereoscopic 3D. Some parts of menu are more obviously layered and gameplay is very good in 3D although you need to get used to the new perspective for aiming.. I watched 3d tron, Legend of the Guardians to test 3d properly which was just as good as 3d at the cinema. I've not tried 3d on ps3 gaming yet but there are titles out there that supprt 3d like revamped Batman Arkham Asylum. I updated my ps3 to view 3d bluray - do this by going into "display settings>video output settings" then set up the HDMI view and Voila, it should say that it now set up for 3D bluray movies.
Viera cast & online facilities
One thing that you should note about online facilities - don't expect too much. There are limited basic applications like facebook, flickr, basic games like chess, youtube, video online movies only via Acetrak (don't expect to be able to view regular web pages or LoveFilm) because there isn't anything like Safari or Internet explorer. Acetrak and one or two other apps are the only online video rental apps available which is disappointing. You'll have to join and prices are comparable to virgin on demand. If you have an alternative like apple tv like I do, I would advise you to stick to this. If you don't have any rental services like Sky or Virgin, Acetrax is a convenient alternative. Viera cast isn't great to navigate as there are 8 apps per page and no way of rearranging them which is frustrating as i just won't use some. It's in it's infant stage at the moment and I hope that Panasonic will take time to develop this area.
All in all this is a superb TV for the price and is packed with lots of great features. It does miss out on features that the GT or VT models have like DNLA networking etc but to me these aren't desperately needed. To some it may seem clunky but to me it looks stylish. It's very thin and the quality of image is brilliant whether on TV, Xbox360 or PS3. I'm really glad with it and that I didn't have to purchase another 3D bluray player as my PS3 was able to play 3D content with a software update and display setting tweak. Worth a look but do some extra review research.
I've recently tried connecting a hard drive directly to the TV via the USB port and you can perform slideshows of pictures to music (default music is Panasonic's own but you can choose a folder or file on the hard disc to play too). You can also play video content on your Hard disc directly although the file formats are limited (i've only successfully played H.264 format which is the format of video for Apple TV/Iphone/Ipod etc and didn't like .mov files)
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BRILLIANT FOR LOUNGE NOT FOR BEDROOM,
This review is from: Panasonic Smart VIERA TX-P42ST30B 42-inch Full HD 1080p 3D 600Hz Internet-Ready Plasma TV with Freeview HD (Electronics)I have both a LCD tv and this panasonic plasma! This plasma tv is better picture quality than the LCD because of its deep rich colours and amazing definition also this tv has amazing features. I was looking at this and the model above it but it wasnt worth paying around £300 for the model above that only has a few added features like freesat which i wont use and also dnla laptop connecting thingy. The only reason i dont advise this tv for a bedroom is that it can make a very,very slight buzzing from its internal power supply on standby and if ur in a bedroom it would drive me crazy(many might not hear it but my hearing is sensitive). Perfect for a lounge as you wont notice it there. Best tv i have ever bought, totally amazing. I bought mine from comet who are currently doing a deal on this tv for £500 with 2 free pairs of 3d glasses and a half price wifi dongle which is a MUST to have with this telly as the viera cast features with internet are great!!!! Highly recommend, i researched thouroughly before buying. Go to comet...
182 of 192 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Intolerable fluctuating brightness & green patches,
This review is from: Panasonic Smart VIERA TX-P50ST30B 50-inch Full HD 1080p 3D 600Hz Internet-Ready Plasma TV with Freeview HD (Electronics)The Panasonic P50ST30B Plasma Television is at face value a very nice piece of equipment. It had full 1080P high definition capability, displays full HD 3D, produces deep blacks, deep colour and very nice picture quality.
Unfortunately it also has two glaring problems that are so obviously unacceptable in a TV costing as much as this model does that I wonder how Panasonic have the nerve to even consider marketing the set.
The first of these is a sudden and highly distracting shift in brightness in certain scenes. Panasonics customer services department call it a feature, I call it a very obvious and totally unacceptable design flaw that makes the set virtually unwatchable. Imagine if you will an audio device that randomly alters the volume and how annoying that would be and you will have some understanding of how frustrating an apparent brightness shift would be on a video display.
The second issue which my ST30 has is random patches of green on some areas of the screen which are particularly visible on greyscale images. This is also visible in colour images, depending upon the colour of the image being displayed.
I am deeply disappointed with this TV set and would not recommend it to anybody until Panasonic UK have the decency to recognise the flaw in their product and takes steps to address the issue. Panasonic in the US are doing just that and are hoping to issue a firmware update. The same update is needed in the uk but I cannot see that happening when the company refuses to recognise the issue.
Stay well clear!
UPDATE: Panasonic UK are are now achnowledging that FBr is an issue are are collecting data from customers as well as investigating the issue at their factory. This is a great step forward and Panasonic UK deserve recognition for doing so.
UPDATE 2: Panasonic have now released a Firmware update 1217 which many people say solves the FBr issue that has plagued the ST, GT & VT sets. Kudos to Panasonic for taking the issue seriously and working to come up with a solution, Thank You!
29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW!,
This review is from: Panasonic Smart VIERA TX-P42ST30B 42-inch Full HD 1080p 3D 600Hz Internet-Ready Plasma TV with Freeview HD (Electronics)I can not reiterate how amazing this TV is. I use it for my PS3 to play blu rays (3D & 2D) and games the picture quality is fab! the only concern in 3D was during the day with a lot of natural light in the room would make the glasses flicker, but thats why god created curtains.
I work as a projectionist at a 3D Cinema and I have to say I was a bit sceptical about the cost/quality of this TV, but the 3D is amazing!
so far i've watched 3 3D films and played Killzone 3 with no problems, also you can revert from 3D to 2D at any point by pressing the 3D button on the remote (which does feel a bit cheap, but you don't watch the remote!)
ok you have to spend a fortune on glasses (the TV doesn't come with any) and at £100(ish) a pop (I bought the Panasonic ones), they're not cheap...However for £550 (which i paid) for a 42" Plasma 1080p TV with HD freeview is a steal! I will end up buying 3 pairs of glasses eventually so even the £850 I will spend...it's still a steal!
it doesn't take long to set up, quite painless infact. i was watching 3D films in well under an hour after it'd been delivered, it does state on the box for 2 people to handle the TV, But i'm a wimp and I managed to set it up myself!
The sound on the TV is pretty good too, however, i use my external 5.1 surround. even during quiet films or when i've turned the surround off the fan some have commented on I can hardly hear, infact the Sky box i've got makes more racket!
The TV has internet access (if you buy a wireless adaptor), but why would I want my TV to have internet access?? surely thats what computers are for?
if you want a decent 42"HD 3D TV, you could do far worse than this baby!
My advice if your looking for a 3D TV:buy this, get the crisps and pop in ;) and invite a few friends round just to show off your new toy! that's what i'm going to do :)
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pan-tastic Plasma,
Ok, down to the TV itself. The picture quality is astounding, once you have calibrated it yourself away from the factory settings. This is a pretty simple task, with a minimum of parameters to choose from. You have six basic picture presets, each with a different set of values. For example; "dynamic" mode is very vibrant, over saturated and uses a high amount of contrast. "Normal" mode is very dark with low contrast and colour, this incidentally is the setting that the TV comes shipped with and really doesn't do the set justice, but as i mentioned earlier in the review, once you choose your own settings and have calibrated it yourself, this Plasma really shines. The next two presets are the ones worth concentrating on, these are "Cinema" and "True Cinema" take the time to make adjustments to these, using the brightness, contrast, colour and sharpness settings and you won't be sorry you have bought this TV. Personally i use the "cinema" setting as i find it gives the best balance between brightness, contrast and realistic colour reproduction. The other two setting are "Game" and "photo", which are pretty self explanatory in what they are best used for.
A word of advise though. For the first couple of months it is recommended that you keep the contrast levels to about 50% to help combat image retention or as it is often called "screen burn" this is a common problem with plasma TV's and although Panasonic does have a method of eliminating it using something called pixel orbiting, it's better to keep the contrast settings low while the screen beds in.
Picture quality from the built in HD Freeview receiver is excellent, especially in high definition. Watching Avatar recently on terrestrial TV was a real eye opener and shows just how good this Plasma is. The clarity and sharpness was breathtaking, with even the most minute detail visible and the 600hz sub field scanning really helps keep the picture motion nice and smooth. To turn this on, simply go to the menu, select "picture", scroll down to advanced settings and set "Intelligent Frame Creation" to max. It takes a bit of getting used to but once you've used it for a while, you wont want to turn it off.
Picture quality in standard definition is equally impressive, which is important with most channels still broadcasting in this format through the Freeview system. If you have cable or satellite TV it wont be as much of an issue.
Of course to get the most out of this set you will need to hook up a Blu Ray player through one of the four HDMI sockets.
There simply aren't enough superlatives in the dictionary to describe how good it is. It's a definite step-up from DVD or HD television broadcasts! watching The Dark Knight was amazing. Again, the clarity, sharpness and colour reproduction was spot on. This set perfectly reproduces what the film makers intended you to see. There was no visible judder thanks to it's 24p compatibility and no noticeable motion blur or colour banding.
Playing video games is also excellent on this TV. The graphics from my XBOX 360 look superb and the ultra quick pixel response time means games play with minimal lag which helps when you're trying not to get your butt kicked playing multiplayer on MW3! The "game" mode on the picture presets work very well and is perfectly suited to playing video games.
In case you missed it, this TV is also 3D compatible and uses the active shutter system which means buying extra 3D glasses at some cost. Prices go from anything between £30 to £100 per pair. I was lucky enough to get 2 free pairs with the TV in a deal at Comet so it might be worth trying to find a similar deal. 3D is a kind of love it or hate it technology and to be honest i'm not totally sold on it. I haven't had the chance to watch any true 3D content on this TV yet, so i can't comment on it's quality or effectiveness. I have however used the 2D to 3D conversion that the TV provides which, while not producing true "jump off the screen" 3D, it does give the picture more depth and a layered feel to the image. I tend not to use it though. I am looking to get a 3D compatible Blu Ray player sometime in the future and look forward to seeing what a true 3D picture will look like on this TV.
As is common with most plasmas and LCD's the sound isn't all that great so it is definitely worth spending extra on a surround system but as plasmas go, it's definitely better than a lot of the others out there. The sound is clear with a better than average amount of bass considering it's slim frame.
Other features include "smart TV" allowing for content to be streamed over the internet through either the Ethernet port located at the rear or through a wireless dongle sold separately for an extortionate price. Panasonics "Viera cast" system works well, with most of the major players accounted for, including; BBC iplayer, Facebook and twitter with a host of other music and video streaming services also included. The interface isn't particularly pretty but it does it's job well and functions as it should.
There is also an SD card slot for memory cards and 2 USB ports. Apparently the USB ports allow for connection of an external HDD which will allow you to record TV and play films but i haven't tried this function out yet so i can't comment on it's usefulness or compatibility.
A few of the other reviewers have mentioned problems with their TV's such as a Buzzing sound or constant brightness fluctuations. As yet i am yet to experience any fluctuations in brightness but do have a very slight amount of buzzing, this is only noticeable when there is no sound coming from the TV and therefore doesn't cause any problems for me personally, though i can understand how this may be annoying for some.
This for me is an excellent TV especially for the price. There isn't anything else on the market and at this price point that can match what this TV can do. The positives hugely outweigh the negatives and it should be at the top of any wish list for anyone looking for an inexpensive, High definition 3D TV.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mostly excellent,
This review is from: Panasonic Smart VIERA TX-P50ST30B 50-inch Full HD 1080p 3D 600Hz Internet-Ready Plasma TV with Freeview HD (Electronics)Having lived with this television for the past month now I have to say it's well worth the money..the floating brightness mentioned in the other review is visible yes, sometimes annoying, but seems to be disappearing with age. It is something that can be fixed with a firmware update also. It's on the GT30 and VT30 and not just the ST30 model, as so is the green blobs issue. I haven't seen any green blobs on my model.
There is no buzz from my model either, it's whisper quiet. In a dark room watching a 2.35:1 ratio movie the image appears to be hovering as the black bars cannot be seen, nor can the gun-metal grey bezel. The picture calibration options are limited unless you can access the service menu, but I still managed a very decent image using the THX Optimizer on the "Terminator 2" bluray. The Viera Link button takes you to the online sites such as Facebook, Youtube and the latest movie trailers. You need a separate NETGEAR RangeMax wi-fi dongle which can also be purchased on Amazon.
SD and in particular HD picture quality looks superb to me, using True Cinema for movies and Cinema for TV broadcasts.
3D for me was a revelation. The images really leap out of the screen and the depth of the image is phenemonal. The glasses weren't supplied with the set when I purchased it and can set you back over £100 each.
The speaker in the ST30 isn't great though if you mess with it can be acceptable. I use my 5.1 home cinema setup for everything anyway as the sound of course is way better.
Overall I'm very happy with the ST30, It's perfect for my needs. Everything looks good on it, even SD broadcasts.
Edit: The one flaw in my TV was the fluctuating brightness, and that is fixed with firmware 1.217. So now I absolutely love this television. And the image seems to be getting better with age.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars PANASONIC 3D TV,
WOW!! THIS IS THE MOST FANTASTIC TV I HAVE EVER OWNED. The picture quality in all modes is just quite unbelievably good. It takes TV viewing to a whole new level. The 3D is breathtaking and even the pseudo 3d is pretty awesome adding a new depth to non 3d programs and films. The sound is perfectly acceptable but we have it linked to a Panasonic surround sound system.
My only gripe is why Panasonic have made the accessories so expensive compared to other manufactures. Here are alternative accessories sourced from other manufactures that we have found to work well with this model at a fraction of the Panasonic prices.
WiFi: Netgear WNDA3100v2. Amazon £32.
3D glasses: Uerotek 3D active glasses Amazon £33.
Skype cam : Logitech TV cam for Skype Amazon £129.99. Currys £99.
I hope this saves you some hours searching for accessories. I can only say if you are looking for a 3D TV then I can highly recommend this product. As for the friends who started this, they took delivery of theirs two weeks after us and have taken the same accessories package.
Hi we have both ran our Packages for over a year without any problems still delighted with our purchases. Still to see them any cheaper than we paid here last year.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lovely Tv but a few flaws,
However within 2 days I returned the TV due to it constantly switching back to 2D whilst viewing 3D.
During this time a few other niggles became apparent. It had the dreaded green splodge, albeit feint
but noticeable in certain areas of the screen, the fan noise was distracting when veiwing the tv quietly
at night & the screen made a buzzing noise during high contrast scenes.
A real shame as it was a very good picture for HD viewing.
I exchanged the TV for a Samsung le40d6530 led tv & must say even though the screen is 10" smaller it more than
makes up for it with an absolutely stunning HD picture & far superior SD picture compared to the ST30. Also
it is an absolutely gorgeous design for a tv set.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Panasonic TX-P42ST30B TV,
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unbelievable quality at a budget price,
Firstly the pictures on this set are very,very good - in Freeview, Freeview HD, DVD and Blu-ray. I am very fussy about SD broadcasts - I initially only bought a 26 inch LCD TV six years ago because I was unconvinced about picture quality of SD broadcasts on anything larger. I also own a Sony 40EX503 which was 2010 top TV in What HiFi and also a 37inch Samsung LCD 5 series which was a What HiFi 5* review in 2010 also - both were noted for their excellent picture quality - this set is much better. Last night I came home and my daughter was watching something on Channel 5 and I was sure she was watching a Blu-ray disk ! The TV is only as good as the source material and alot of SD broadcasts are not good quality.
Fan noise - if you are a normal well adjusted person the cooling fan noise will not disturb you - my PVR and DVD players make more noise. It is only noticable up close to the TV with the sound down to zero - which is not a normal viewing position.
Brightness - LED TVs are very bright and in your face - particularly the Samsungs with their tiny chrome frames. The picture on the Panasonic is more accurate and less blingy - as is the understated frame.
Sound - The main thing that put me off regarding the Samsung LED TVs was their awfful sound quality - tiny frame = tinny sound. We have a 7.1 sound system in our dedicated TV room and have this TV in our 24' lounge (because Plasma has a wide viewing angle and a big room needs a big telly). We only use the built in sound of the Panasonic and find this perfectly adequate for everyday needs. The Samsung TVs would have needed a discrete sound system.
Looks - Some reviews call this TV dull compared to the Panasonic GT - if you look at them side by side there is actually hardly any difference - the GT has a metal strip running around the edge and the bezel is a little thinner and darker colour but fundamentally they are the same. If you look at Panasonic TVs of the last 2-3 years this is much nicer - much slimmer overall and the bezel is slimmer too - my Sony 40EX503 - highly rated TV of 2010 is much, much clunkier and no review called it dull. Times and fashions move on but I think most people want a TV that fits in with their living room when it is off rather than shouting 'look at me - I have arrived from outer space' even whenit is off.
Blinking LEDs, lines down the screen, green blobs - personally I haven't seen them - the TV has been rock solid (as is the construction - it has a metal back and is very well put together).
Summary - ST versus GT or VT - I read a lot of reviews of the three sets and came to the conclusion that this TV is an absolute steal - I hear Panasonic are actually losing money on their TV sets and can see why. This has fundamentally the same spec as these other two TVs but lacks DNLA (but you can get this on a £110 3D blu-ray player - Sony BDP-S480 or Panasonic DMP-BDT110 which you will need anyway to watch Blue-ray films), THX certification, FreeSat, advanced picture calibration and the fancier frame - is this really worth £200 - £600 more ? More than that if you get it for the lowest price around - or get an offer with free blu-ray glasses you get a TV that blows away any other TV costing up to £2-300 more for 2D performance, but also includes class leading 3D performance, Freeview HD and has iPlayer support at an unbelievable price point. The Panasonic DMP-BDT110 3D blu-ray player at £91 on Amazon is also a steal - this has the same internals as the 210 (Blu-ray player of the year) but lacks a wifi dongle.
I wrote this because the bad reviews give a completely false picture of this television - combined with the DMP-BDT110 this represents the best technology purchase I have ever made. Finally this TV really delivers on the promise of large screen flatscreen TVs - thin, beautiful pictures (and not just from Blu-ray) and reasonable sound - at a price everyone can afford. Hooray!
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Panasonic Smart VIERA TX-P42ST30B 42-inch Full HD 1080p 3D 600Hz Internet-Ready Plasma TV with Freeview HD by Panasonic Consumer Electronics
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