The Viera GT30 series is Panasonic’s middle Plasma series unveiled at the 2011 CES, of which the Panasonic TC-P65GT30 is the largest. Just like its predecessors, it strengthens Panasonic’s hold on the Plasma HDTV market, while introducing some grounbreaking aesthetics and technologies.
Panasonic Plasma screens have finally lost some weight with the advent of the Viera TC-P65GT30. It has a seamless, flush design with a glossy black bezel measuring just over an inch wide and softly rounded at the
corners. A slim silver border adds just the right touch of sophistication, while maintaining the panel’s clean look. Nothing much can be said about the stand, which is the same as previous models, but it does swivel to accommodate better viewing angles.
The clicker has well-spaced buttons that are responsive to the touch and easy to distinguish from each other, most of which are sufficiently illuminated. On the screen, the corresponding menu is relatively user-friendly, with large text amid a blue and yellow color scheme and helpful explanatory text accompanying major options, although it still lacks some advanced options.
The TC-P65GT30 has a THX certified, Infinite Black 2 panel, which allows it to deliver very deep black levels that are at par with the best available. Color accuracy and shadow detail, though not as excellent as some of the competition, is still good especially after a bit of calibration, while color saturation is outstanding, making images vividly burst to life on the screen. In fact, the only problem worth noting in terms of this Panasonic HDTV’s picture quality is the fluctuations in the screen brightness, which diminish contrast and color, though not by much, and in a manner only videophiles will be able to mind.
In terms of video processing, this model can handle various types of video sources exceptionally well, including 1080/24p sources, thanks to its 24p Cinema Smoother technology and its 60Hz setting. It now comes with a refined dejudder processing system, as well, and is capable of displaying the maximum resolution of 1,080 lines even up to an extremely high speed of 1,200 pixels per second.
As for processing 3D content, the TC-P65GT30 is equipped with the latest 3D technologies and as such, performs fairly well, at par with the competition, even preserving its deep blacks to a greater extent, though ghosting is still present in some scenes.
Whereas previous Panasonic models were equipped with the Viera Cast, the Viera TC-P65GT30 comes with Viera Connect, which is the improved version of Panasonic’s interactive application platform, providing access to content from Netflix, Amazon Instant, YouTube, Pandora and other select providers. There are widgets for Twitter and Facebook, as well, along with an Internet radio service called Shoutcast. There are numerous picture controls, as well, along with an improved grayscale control system, although a full color management system remains absent, while the connectivity options, though not as comprehensive as others, is still good, with four HDMI inputs, one input each for composite and component video, one PC input, an ethernet port, three USB ports and an SD card slot. The model even comes with a WiFi dongle for wireless connectivity so consumers won’t have to make the purchase separately, though it does not come with 3D glasses.
All in all, the Panasonic TC-P65GT30 is an outstanding Plasma HDTV, providing that Plasma sets are here to stay in spite of the onslaught of LED screens. Although quite expensive, it still is more affordable than similarly priced sets, while offering 2D picture quality and 3D viewing experience at par with the best.
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