Panasonic TC-PVT30

The Good The Panasonic TC-PVT30 has outstanding overall picture quality, with superior black-level performance, very good shadow detail and accurate color points in THX mode. It can handle 1080p/24 sources and bright rooms well and exhibits the nearly perfect screen uniformity of plasma, as well as very good 3D picture quality. It includes one pair of 3D glasses and a Wi-Fi dongle. Its Internet suite is simple to use yet content-rich, and its styling is understated and classy with a single-pane design.

The Bad The VT30 is very expensive, and last year's Panasonic plasmas lost black-level performance over relatively short periods of time. Its color is not as good as the best current plasmas and it uses significantly more power than LCD TVs.

The Bottom Line Superb all-around picture quality, anchored by the deepest plasma black levels of the year, make the Panasonic TC-PVT30 series the best-performing TV we've tested in 2011.

Editors' Rating
  • Design 8.0
  • Features 9.0
  • Performance 9.0
8.7 Overall

Compare

Panasonic TC-P55VT30
Panasonic TC-P55VT30
TCL 55P605
TCL 55P605
TCL 55P607
TCL 55P607
LG OLED55C7P
LG OLED55C7P
Sony XBR-55X900E
Sony XBR-55X900E
Price $2,500 MSRP $890 Amazon Marketplace $736 Amazon.com $1,700 LG $1,198 Dell Home
Design
8
7
7
9
8
Features
9
9
9
10
9
Performance
9
8
8
10
8

Review

Panasonic TC-PVT30

For the last couple of years Panasonic's best plasma has been the most highly anticipated TV review on CNET, and 2011 is no exception. The top-of-the-line Panasonic TV-PVT30 series is the most clicked-upon TV on our site and my most asked-for review on Twitter, and despite coming in No. 2 in our poll to the flagship Sony, we're confident that no other TV commands the same expectations.

In nearly every way the VT30 lives up to the expectation. If Panasonic's claim about its black-level stability holds true, allowing it to outdo the 2010 models after a few months of age, the VT30 is the blackest plasma we've tested since the Pioneer Kuro (but the Kuro is still better). Other areas of this Panasonic's picture quality are also generally superb, although it doesn't stand quite as tall above the competition as last year's VT25 series did. The competition, namely Samsung's best plasmas, has gotten better, and the PND8000 we tested (review posting soon) outdoes the color accuracy of the VT30, although the Samsung falls short of the Panasonic in a couple of other areas. The Samsung is the better value, however, so if you want the best picture for your dollar, the VT30 is not the way to go. But if you want the best picture regardless of cost, the Panasonic TC-PVT30 series is our No. 1 pick this year.

Editors' note (September 1, 2011): The reviewed size of this TVis undergoing long-term testing, the results of which don't affectthis review but may be interesting nonetheless. Clickhere for details.

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Specs / Prices

  • MSRP $2,500
  • Brand Panasonic
  • Type Plasma
  • Diagonal Class 55 in
  • HDMI Ports Qty 4 ports
  • Display Format 1080p
See full specs
model Panasonic TC-P55VT30

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