Best Panasonic TV 2010: what to buy this year
20th Oct 2010 | 07:46
All the best Panasonic TVs to buy including plasma, LED and LCD
Best Panasonic TV: all the best models tested
If you're looking for the best Panasonic TV to buy, you've come to the right place.
While it's never enjoyed the devotion reserved for the likes of Apple, Panasonic is surely one of the strongest brands on the planet – and especially in the flatscreen TV sphere.
Having garnered umpteen Best Buy awards and 5-star reviews from TechRadar, we thought we'd round up the current big players in the Japanese brand's arsenal.
The result is a veritable kaleidoscope of what's currently on sale; Panasonic may be a devotee of plasma technology (producing the best gas giants around), but it's an expert at LCD TVs, too, having popularised IPS-Alpha panels – thus widening the viewing angle hugely.
This year has seen the brand introduce its first 3D Full HD plasmas TVs alongside its debut LED-backlit LCD TVs; the Panasonic hall of fame is impossible to ignore if you're after a a new HDTV.
Panasonic TX-L32D28 (£712)
Purple pro LED takes it to the edge
Is there room for a no-expense-spared purple LED TV? Also available in silver and white, the TX-L32D28BP marks Panasonic's first ever LED TV – and it's a stonker. Most of the constituent parts of a reference Blu-ray picture are present on the TX-L32D28BP, though a touch more contrast and shadow detailing – as well as a more forgiving frame insertion feature – would take it alarmingly close to LED perfection.
Panasonic TX-L32S20 (£415)
Freeview HD stars on this (otherwise) no-frills TV
The S20 isn't blessed with the fantastic looks of the brand's high-end models, but it's probably Panasonic's best TV in the budget LCD range. Delivering great picture performance, it did seem over-priced to us upon its release; Panasonic had obviously added a premium to this set to allow for its built-in Freeview HD tuner, with the price not reflecting the fact it lacks extras such as Viera Cast and USB ports.
With its new lower price confirmed, the TX-L32S20 makes for a great value 32-incher.
Panasonic TX-L37D25 (£749)
This Edge LED-equipped 37-inch is no ordinary TV
Now and then a TV comes along that makes everything else seem rather ordinary. One of an exciting new breed from Panasonic that lays down a marker for spec and performance, this 37-inch LED-backlit LCD TV includes both Freeview HD and Freesat HD tuners.
It's easily one of the best displays in its class, so if you're shopping for a do-it-all telly, but are serious about picture performance, the TX-L37D25 should be the top entry on a very short list.
Panasonic TX-P37X20 (£379.99)
Panasonic's budget plasma TV offers a lot of bang for your buck
Incarnations of Panasonic's best budget 37-inch plasma have been around for years, principally because this unique size and spec has been heaped with awards. That lack of Full HD resolution is starting to grate, but the TX-P37X20 is still a fine purchase; arguably its HD Ready resolution makes it more forgiving to DVD and DivX.
Black levels aren't as imperious as those on the best Panasonic TVs and pictures aren't as bright or dynamic as those of your average LCD, but it's surprisingly detailed with hi-def – and is certainly worth an audition.
Panasonic TX-P42V20 (£1,043)
Want top plasma pictures, but aren't fussed about 3D?
Panasonic's V20 sets deliver most of the premium picture quality features developed for its top-end VT20 3D series without costing as much.
The P42V20 really does offer a performance boost over its G20 equivalent, and so more than justifies its existence to anyone willing to pay a little more to get the best quality they can.
It's a shame Panasonic didn't build the P42V20 into a more glamorously sculpted body, but aside from that it's easily one of the best 42-inch TVs we've ever seen.
Panasonic TX-P42VT20 (£1,800)
Panasonic brings Full HD 3D to the plasma party
There are minor differences between the GT20 and this VT20: the step-up model has an additional speaker, comes with a wireless LAN adaptor and has Infinite Black Pro contrast, which delivers sensational contrast levels; no LCD TV can come close.
Panasonic TX-P46G20 (£898)
Bursting with features, this Full HD plasma covers all the bases
With Freeview HD and Freesat HD tuners, this is one of the best Panasonic TVs ever made.
Elsewhere, images are beautifully precise in terms of detail, resolution and especially colours, which are so much more accurate than LCD or LED. The screen's other fortes are HD sport and broadcast HD on Freeview and Freesat. It also makes a jolly good fist of standard-definition content too, with commendably little MPEG noise.
Panasonic TX-P50VT20 (£1,779)
The 3D Panasonic VT20 is here, and it doesn't disappoint
The Panasonic VT20 is Panasonic's first 3D TV, and it's a belter. Away from 3D, this screen shares much in common with the brand's 2D TX-P50G20, with dual Freesat HD and Freeview HD tuners. Identical to the TX- P65VT20 bar the size difference, this plasma pumps out the best 3D pictures around, with a much cleaner picture than can be found on LCD versions.
Panasonic TX-P50G20 (£973)
NeoPDP re-opens the old plasma versus LCD debate
This 50-incher is where plasma tech usually performs best, and this model from Panasonic has a great chance; it employs one of the brand's high-spec 'NeoPDP' plasma panels. Panasonic claims numerous improvements to NeoPDP since its debut last year, including a new filter, a new discharge gas, improved phosphors, and even a redesigned cell structure.
It works wonders, though don't get too excited by this set's ability to record TV broadcasts to an external hard disk – compatibility is very limiting.
Panasonic TX-P65VT20 (£4,000)
The largest 3DTV has a big reputation
The whole point of 3D is immersion, so it follows that if a 3D screen is big enough to fill your field of vision, it's more likely to deliver an immersive stereoscopic experience – and that's exactly what Panasonic's 65-inch 3D plasma does. Clean and powerful – its plasma panel's faster response time beats LCD technology when reproducing 3D images – this is the biggest and best 3D set around, though a 58-inch version is destined to follow shortly.