Panasonic GT50 plasma boasts improved picture and design

The Panasonic GT50 is a step-down model, but as in previous years it promises to offer excellent performance and bang-for-buck.

Panasonic

LAS VEGAS--In the past, Panasonic's GT variants have been almost as good as the flagships they supported, and at much more affordable prices. We anticipate that this trend will continue with the new GT50.

The GT50 will come in four sizes from 50 inches to 65 inches and ships with an "Infinite Black Pro" panel. The full-HD 3D panel features 2D-to-3D conversion and a new louver filter designed to provide better contrast in lit environments.

With the exception of the Z1, design wasn't a key consideration for Panasonic plasmas until last year, with the "metallic brown" of 2009's otherwise-excellent VT25 a memorable low point. From the canned photos at least, the GT looks like it's spruced itself up a bit with a "glass and metal design" consisting of a gradated metal pedestal, glass-eque bezel, and metal frame.

Step-ups from the ST50 include an extra HDMI port (a total of four), a "smart browser," multitask feature--presumably for quicker flicking between TV and smart TV functions, and a THX tick for both 2D and 3D modes. The 2012 TV also includes onboard Wi-Fi for the first time.

Panasonic has been experimenting with its smart TV offering and, apart from the new browser, this year will make two major changes: the first is to keep the "apps" on a cloud-based server and the second is to introduce a sidebar.

Rather than talk in absolutes--this TV has twice the black levels of last year's, for example--this time around the company has chosen to go all-out with the figures: it has a 6-million-pixel dimming driver (something-or-other) and 0.25sf drive technology (thingamajiggy), but what we think they mean is, "It's better."

For a closer look at the tech behind this and the other TVs in Panasonic's range, check out our preview on the ST50 .

Panasonic TC-PGT50 series features:

  • Plasma TV
  • 3D compatible
  • 2D-to-3D conversion
  • Infinite Black Pro Panel
  • Fast phosphor panel
  • Cloud-based Viera Connect Internet suite with Web browser
  • Multitask
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
  • Four HDMI ports
  • THX certified for 2D and 3D

Panasonic TC-PGT50 series models:

  • TC-P50GT50, 50-inches, price and availability TBD
  • TC-P55GT50, 55-inches, price and availability TBD
  • TC-P60GT30, 60-inches, price and availability TBD
  • TC-P65GT50, 65 inches, price and availability TBD
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