Panasonic TC-P55GT30 Review
Model: Panasonic Viera TC-P55GT30
Description: 55" Full 1080P, HDTV Plasma, 3D TV Compatibility, 1.5" deep
Dimensions (without/with stand): 51.1"/51.1" W x 31.1"/32.6" H x 2.4"/15.3" D
Includes: Table Top Stand, Breakout Cables for Component/Composite, 3D glasses charger, USB Wireless Dongle. (No glasses included)
Date: Spring/Summer 2011
Following on the success of last year's VIERA 3D plasma models, Panasonic has introduced 3 lines of 3D plasmas for 2011. The GT30 falls in the middle of that lineup and is available in 4 different screen sizes ranging from 50 inches up to 65 inches.
The TC-P55GT30 uses the Infinite Black Pro panel that debuted in 2010, we noted it's impressive brightness and saturated colors in our reviews last year and for the most part found it to have excellent picture quality.
- Picture Quality Color (using our picture settings)
- 3D picture quality depth
- Wifi and Wifi Dongle included
- Audio Sound quality
- Menu System User Friendly
- Some instability in picture (wobble)
- Video Processor not the best
- Standard Picture Mode Dim
- No 3D glasses included
- Motion Smoother Feature (turn off)
This close up shot in Iron Man shows the strong detail present in the 60GT30's picture.
Picture Quality Rating (HD): 9/10
Normally our picture calibrated settings may make a 5% to 10% difference in color accuracy, vibrancy and picture quality. However with the GT30 we highly recommend you try out our settings which include some major modifications in the Pro Settings menu. We thoroughly tested picture quality with both HD and Standard Definition and find that our settings far outperform the THX, or our own adjusted Cinema mode settings. No matter which picture mode you use, be sure to turn off the Motion Smoother which greatly reduces natural background blur, reduces depth perception and hurts picture quality. The post calibration picture is extremely vibrant but still realistic. Colors pop off the screen and envelop you in the picture. Our increases in some of the Blue and Red phosphor settings will no doubt place more tax on those phosphors but with a specified 100,000 hours to half life who's counting. The Standard picture mode in the GT30 is set to an energy saving mode and is very dim as a result. No doubt this is to state energy consumption figures (399Watts) and "position" Panasonic as competitive in every usage. All this to save the equivalent of about $15 per year? Ramp it up, enjoy your picture. Go to the next page to see our picture settings for this TV.
This shot from the Blu Ray of Iron Man shows awesome detail and clarity
Picture Quality Rating (SD): 9/10
As mentioned we did not note the wobble issue through the composite input. The calibrated picture is very bright and dark shadow detail excellent. Colors remain intense with lowly signals and can bring dull old 480i DVDs to life. We did note judder during slow panning side to side scenes as the GT30 does little to overcome this challenging issue (present with almost all TVs).
This shot from the standard definition 480i version DVD of Seabiscuit shows how clear images can appear even from low end signals.
Motion Lag: There was little to no motion lag present in fast moving scenes
Viewing Angle: Is just about perfect. There is not contrast or depth loss at side angles.
A shot from the 3D Blu Ray of Alice in Wonderland
3D TV Viewing: Plasma is the best technology for 3D programming since the plasma displays full 1080p HD to each eye. After the initial adjustment getting used to the glasses, we were enveloped by the 3D imagery from Alice in Wonderland and watched with ease and enjoyment as the bright colorful images flowed by. The 3D glasses displayed much better than last year, and did not exhibit the same problems with flashing. The depth experience with 3D on the GT30 is exceptional. I will admit now that I did not think I would become accustomed to wearing 3D glasses or even enjoy the technology for entire movie, but I was wrong. I am weaker and more impressionable and not as old school as I thought. I admit I like 3D. Whew! Admitting that is a great relief. Great content is a key to 3D. The quality of the production is as or even more important than the TV itself. But the GT30 did an admirable job displaying this fun movie, with eye-popping colors correct processing of the signal. So again I admit that 3D enhanced the overall viewing experience.
Features Rating: 8.5/10
Panasonic's Viera Cast Internet menu displays in layers and is cumbersome to navigate. The offerings however are pretty good.
Internet Options: The Viera Cast Internet Suite consist of many of the same options such as Netflix, MLB, NBA (lite), Associated Press news services, Pandora Internet Radio, You Tube, Accuweather, Amazon VoD, Fox Sports, Facebook and more. There is also an impressive array of Apps including mostly games available for purchase in the Viera Connect Market.
A shot from the NBA App from the GT30's Internet options.
TV Appearance: This year's GT30 is certainly a step in the right direction in appearance though it will not win best-looking TV of the year award. The television is 1.5" deep in the top part of the screen and 2.3" deep at the very bottom to accommodate the speakers. The gloss black framing bezel is 1.2" in width and 2" at the bottom. It has a silver metal band around its edges which adds a metallic touch to the entire panel. The panel screen is not seamless over the bezel like top end models. At the bottom of the TVs bezel, it slopes inward about 30 degrees. Overall, it's much more attractive than last year but still a good few steps behind the competition.
Value Rating: 9/10
At $1979 from our recommended resellers the TC-P60GT30 represents a very good solid value considering picture quality, 3D future proofing (keeping in mind that the glasses will cost $ in the future), skype, Viera Connect, and Viera Cast Internet suite. Included also is a Wifi dongle for easy Internet access – a nice accessory to not have to purchase. Competition comes from the Samsung PN59D7000 and the LG 60PZ950 in the plasma realm. Other competition in LED-LCD TVs is also present.
Overall Rating: 8.9/10
- 55" screen class (55.1" diagonal screen size)
- 16:9 native aspect ratio
- Full HD 3D ready (Requires 3D glasses)
- 4 HDMI inputs with 3D capability
- 1 component video input + composite audio, 1 composite AV input, 1 PC input, 1 analog audio input, 3 USB ports
- Audio Return Channel (HDMI input 1)
- L/R full range speakers (10W + 10W)
- Includes tabletop stand; Wall-mounting bracket sold separately
- Remote control included
- 6,144 equivalent shades of gradation
- 24p video playback
- Improved 600Hz sub-field drive
- THX Mode (2D/3D)
- Deep Color and x.v.Color
- VIERA Connect (IPTV) with included wireless LAN adapter
- Pixel orbiter (Anti-image retention)
- Game Mode
- VIERA Tools
- VIERA Link
- Panel half-life up to 100,000 hours
- 3D image viewer
- Mercury- and lead-free display panel
- 3D 24p Cinema smoother
- Infinite Black 2
- 2D to artificial 3D upconversion
- 1920 x 1080p Full HD resolution
- Dimensions (without/with stand): 51.1"/51.1" W x 31.1"/32.6" H x 2.4"/15.3" D
- Weight (without/with stand): 69.5/82.7 lbs.