Everything you could want from a TV, including fantastic image quality, but the GT30 is better value
42in, Freeview HD, Freesat HD, 1,920×1,080 resolution, 3D: yes, 4x HDMI
For this review we tested the 42in model in the VT30 range, but it’s also available in 50in (TX-P50VT30B), 55in (TX-P55VT30B) and 65in (TX-P65VT30B) screen sizes. All models have identical specifications except for their dimensions and power usage. We’re confident that image quality will be practically identical across the range.
A lot of high-end TVs have an endless number of features that clearly differentiate them from the lower-priced competition, but it’s rarer to find one that places picture quality at the top of the list. Panasonic’s VT30 plasma 3DTV breaks this pattern, as it has been designed solely with cinemaphiles in mind.
Much like the similar GT30 range, this TV supports THX certified video modes for both 2D and 3D content, so you can be sure you’re seeing movies exactly how the director intended. The VT30 goes one step further, however, as it includes a service port on the back of the set that can be used by an ISF-certified technician to calibrate the TV automatically (prices start at £250 exc. VAT). This allows for even greater levels of control, making this the ideal TV for anyone considering their own dedicated home cinema room.
This 42in model is the smallest version of the VT30 Panasonic currently produces. Larger 50, 55 and 65 inch behemoths are also available, albeit at much higher prices. Regardless of screen size, each model has a fantastic edge-to-edge glass bezel that looks great either free-standing or mounted on a wall.
As we’ve come to expect from Panasonic, there’s a wide array of ports on the back. As well as four HDMI ports, component and composite video inputs, digital and analogue audio outputs, three USB ports and an SD card reader provide plenty of ways to connect a memory stick to play multimedia files. All the major file formats are supported, including DivX HD. You can also use one of the three USB ports to attach an external hard disk and turn the TV into a single tuner PVR, which is great if you don’t already have a dedicated set-top box. Freeview HD and Freesat tuners are built in.
Although there is an Ethernet port, you don’t have to worry about running a network cable to the TV since Wi-Fi is built in. You’ll be able to stream content from any DLNA compatible devices or access Viera Connect internet TV services straight away. All the usual suspects are present, including YouTube video streaming, social networking courtesy of Facebook and Twitter, and catch-up TV from BBC iPlayer.
|Speakers||2x 6W, 10W subwoofer|
|Audio outputs||optical S/PDIF out, 1x stereo phono|
|Other||headphone output, CI slot, RJ45 LAN (DLNA), USB, stereo phono in|
|Tuner type||Freeview HD, Freesat HD|
|Power consumption standby||1W|
|Power consumption on||296W|
|Warranty||five years RTB|