CNET First Look
Panasonic TC-P50ST30If you can live with its homely design, the excellent picture quality and feature set of the Panasonic TC-PST30 series combine to make it one of the best plasma TV values available.
-Hi there, I'm David Katzmaier, senior editor at CNET, and I'm sitting next to the Panasonic TC-PST30. This is a 50-inch plasma. This TV also comes in 5 other screen sizes ranging from 42 to 65 inches. This TV set right in the middle of Panasonic's line up. When I first heard about it, I kind of tagged it as the best looking best looking bang for the buck in terms of having the best features at the best price according to their initial announcements and since I've the chance to test it, it's pretty much worn out. It's an excellent value at its price point ensuing the picture quality. Start up with the design with now, which is actually this TV's low point, it's pretty generic when compared to a lot of other TVs out there. You will notice that it edged around. The screen itself is relatively wide. It's glossy black. It also got this strange sort of finish behind the glossy black that seems like a little bit of a smudge. The standard swivel, however, and it's really not totally obtrusive looking TV, but will blend in the most of course. I think about the set is a little bit thicker than a lot sof other plasmas and LCDs on the market But of course, when you hang them on the wall or gonna stand, it doesn't seem that good. Panasonic included its Viera connect internet suite with this television. That means, in addition to Netflex and amazon video on the demands and some of those standards, you also get access to a bunch of apps on the Viera market place and really did like the design of this particular internet suite. It's a lot less complex than some of the ones you seen and it does allow you to customize the tiles on the home page to your [unk] content. Now the next option Panasonic throws in is this dongle for Wi-Fi connection. Wi-Fi isn't built into the TV. With the dongle, you basically get the same thing, although it does pick with a USB ports. Around back, connectivity is a little skimpier than some other TVs that should be playing for most folks. It's got 2 HDMI on the back, a 3rd on the side in addition to the component input. There's no PC input, however, so if you wanna connect an analog PC to this television, you're out of luck. Now, the feature on this television is 3D capability. It is the least expensive Panasonic Plasma with that capability. Panasonic does not include any glasses with this television unlike Samsung for example that does include 2 pairs. Later in the year, we might expect the Panasonic to throw in some free glasses to the set, but right now, there's no such bundle, and the glasses cost hefty 150 bucks a piece. Although the ST30 is a mid range model, we its performance excellent overall, lacks the THX mode of the step up GT30 series, but this actually got very good performance in its standard cinema mode. It catches the cinema's relatively dim, so of course if you have bright lights and then you're gonna use another picture modes that like custom; it's a lot less accurate. I told this TV has excellent black labels and video processing is pretty good. We actually appreciate that it handles 1080p24 content even though it only serves as 600 Hz TV, so that's really nice for film boost. On the flip side, the color wasn't quite as accurate as like you see and it's also little bit less saturated, so it lacks a little bit of punch in the cinema mode, but again it is the most accurate of TVs presets. Panasonic could have cured that by throwing in a few more picture adjustments, which we really wish the company would have, but I told this TV performance is very well otherwise. That's the quick look at the Panasonic TC-PST30, and I'm David Katzmaier.