Review: Panasonic Viera TX-PF50G30

 
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Published: June 9, 2011 11:00 PM
By Pierre Anzil / Pierre-Jean Alzieu
Translated by: Sam McGeever
The latest addition to Panasonic's collection of plasma TVs is the new G30, which is billed as an alternative to the five-star GT30 series but without support for 3D.  Apart from that, the two TVs share the same hardware and features.

We've tested the G30, and we're happy to confirm that it's almost identical to the GT30.  If you'd like to find out more, we suggest you read our review of the Panasonic GT30, but we'll recap a few key points in this review.

Build Quality and Design

For the first time, Panasonic's 2011 range of TVs has been designed in studios in the US and the UK rather than in the firm's native Japan, and the result is thinner, more attractive televisions that are now just 7 cm thick in place of 8.3 cm last year.

The G30 has four HDMI ports, Ethernet, an optical audio output, composite and component video and three USB ports.  The latter are designed for use with an external storage device, either for use as a PVR to time-shift and record your favourite programmes, or to access your own videos, music and photos.  The good news is that the media player is compatible with FAT32 and NTFS, but it's otherwise far from perfect and supports very few video formats.  A dedicated media centre would be a much safer bet.

Just like on the GT30, the external power adaptor is virtually silent, and isn't as annoying as on previous generations because you have to mute the sound on the TV before you can hear it.

PF50G30
The glossy panel picks up reflections

PF50G30 Profile


PF50G30
Menu
PF50G30
Inputs and Outputs


Ghosting time and input lag

The plasma display used in the G30 is as responsive as the one used in the GT30, and has an average ghosting time of 8.5 ms.

Connecting it up to a TV didn't pose any problems,  with an input lag of 33 ms or under two frames behind a CRT monitor.   Gamers won't have any problems using this TV with their favourite console.

Image Quality

All of our other test results were similar to the ones obtained by the GT30, and you can read more in the inset.  The G30 has the same strengths as its 3D cousin: deep blacks (0.03 cd/m²), a good contrast ratio (6000:1), wide viewing angles and a perfectly even distribution of brightness across the surface of the screen.

Good colour reproduction in 'Real Cinema' mode: average deltaE: 3.3

The only small discrepancy came with colour reproduction.  We measured a deltaE of 3.3, slightly higher than the GT30's 2.6, but still a respectable result.

Audio Quality

Another big difference is that the G30 produces much better sound than the GT30, but still can't replace a dedicated Home Cinema speaker system of course.

Energy Consumption

Once again, the figures here are very similar to those we found on the GT30.  The G30 only needs 0.1 W while on standby, and 353 W while switched on, around 15 W than the GT30.
4/5 Panasonic Viera TX-PF50G30 DigitalVersus 2011-06-10 00:00:00

Pros

  • Great picture quality
  • Excellent contrast ratio: 6000:1 in THX mode
  • Very wide viewing angles
  • No Blackfloating in THX mode
  • Good audio quality

Cons

  • Glossy screen susceptible to reflections
  • Power adaptor makes annoying noise
  • High energy consumption: 355 W in THX mode

Conclusion

The Panasonic G30 is very similar to the GT30, except it doesn't have support for 3D. Once you're in THX mode, the picture quality is good, with accurate colour reproduction and high contrast ratios making it the ideal choice for Home Cinema fans.

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