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Panasonic Viera G30 (TX-P42G30B) review: Panasonic Viera G30 (TX-P42G30B)

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The set's Infinite Black panel offers faster-firing phosphorous, which helps to cut down on trailing, and indeed the set's motion handling is top notch. You can enhance this further by calling the Intelligent Frame Creation Pro system into action. It's best left turned off, though, when watching movies, as it can lend them a flatter, less natural look. Bear in mind this is something that affects all of these types of systems.

Colours are also beautifully rendered with soft, realistic skin tones and lush greens and reds for outdoor scenes. What's more, the G30 does a fine job of upscaling standard-definition content, such as normal Freeview channels, so the video looks as crisp as possible without taking on an overly processed, smeary or noisy appearance.

While many thinner TVs struggle when it comes to audio, the G30 is better than most in this department. The TV's chassis actually bulges out slightly at the bottom to create some extra space for the speakers and the results speak for themselves. The set has much more bass-end thump than most TVs and even the mid range sounds quite punchy.

Niggling annoyances

There are a few negatives, however. One constant bugbear with the Panasonic sets is the poor Freeview EPG. Rather than using the normal guide, the company uses the Guideplus system. This is annoying because it displays small, Web-style adverts on the left-hand side of the EPG, which somewhat compromises the available space for showing programming data.

The design of the TV won't set the pulse racing, either. At best it can be described as conservative; at worst, well, it's boring. It does look better than some of Panasonic's 2010 models, mainly due to the metallic strip that runs across the bottom of the TV, but it's still a long way from the sexy designs of some of LG's sets.

Also, if you tend to watch TV during the day with light streaming through your window, the GT30's Infinite Black Pro panel works better under these conditions and so may be worth the extra asking price.

Conclusion

On the whole, though, these are fairly minor points, because the G30 gets the important stuff right. It delivers fantastic HD and SD pictures, has good sound quality and a decent lineup of features for the price. If you're just not interested in 3D at the moment, it's great buy.

Edited by Nick Hide

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