Is the Panasonic TCP50ST30 the best value 50" TV in the Market for 2011?

by Jack Burden, senior reviewer

The ST30 represents great value in the 3D TV marketAt $1099 for the TC-P50ST30 there just might be a case for this TV as #1 best value in the 46" to 50" size. First off it has a great post calibration 2D picture quality. Those plasma colors and viewing angles are superb IF you use your picture settings. The Standard picture mode settings will look dull, but we judge picture performance by optimum calibrated performance. The extra features on this TV make it a loaded option. It has excellent 3D picture performance, a full Internet options suite, Wifi capability, and the newest Panasonic Infinite Black 2 panel. So basically, you've got most of the future covered. It does not have the THX certification of its higher end GT30 counterpart, but that saves you $250.

When compared to some other competitors such as Samsung's PN51D6500 which has a comparable feature set, it sells for a discount of about $200. But, the Samsung 3D TVs normally come with a couple pair of 3D glasses so take off $100 of that premium and the 50ST30 still wins by a hundred bucks.

The LED TVs that would compete on features have given the 50" size a wide birth to avoid direct price competition. They typically jump from 46 or 47" size to the 55" size without touching down - so there's really no problem there for these dominant and maturely priced 50" plasma TVs.


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