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Panasonic 3D plasma performs great with 2D too

With both 2D and 3D sources, Panasonic's flagship TC-PVT20/25 series plasma TV delivers outstanding overall picture quality.

The Panasonic TC-PVT20/25 series is among the best 2D TVs we've ever tested. Sarah Tew/CNET

There's plenty of hype surrounding 3D TV, much of it promulgated by the people at Panasonic, but the main reasons we like the TC-PVT20/25 series so much are contained by the traditional two dimensions. Yes, it beats the one other first-generation 3D-compatible TV we've tested, and yes, it actually includes 3D glasses, but with the scarcity of 3D content available today, the need to buy additional, expensive glasses for every family member, and the basic fact that 3D TV isn't for everyone, we think this TV's 2D prowess is the main reason to buy it.

Of course there are plenty of reasons not to as well, chief being the company's black-level loss issue with 2009 models. Until the results of our long-term test of the VT25 are in we can't speak definitively to that, but in the meantime naysayers could also point to its hungry power use, some issues with 1080p/24 playback, or the imperfection of its grayscale.

But weighed against its excellent general color accuracy in THX, its improved anti-reflective screen and especially those inky black levels, the knocks against the initial 2D picture quality of the Panasonic TC-PVT20/25 series seem minor. Standard exceptions aside, it's the best 2D TV we've ever tested, although we'll reserve final judgment until we can examine the competitors' best 2010 HDTVs.

Read the full review of the Panasonic TC-PVT20/25 series.