back to article 2011's Best... HD TVs

If there’s one thing we’re not short of for this annual review, it’s good TVs. Large and small, thin and thinner, the things are legion. To streamline the list, all our 2011's Best… TVs finalists embrace one key feature: net connectivity. Whether they connect to the net over integrated Wi-Fi or a wired Ethernet line, these …


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  1. Richard 122

    Panasonic Viera TX-P42GT30 review is stupid

    "Blacks are deep, resolution high and images vibrant"

    Surley the resolution of all the TVs featured on this article are exactly the same. So the "resolution high" is a pathetic and stupid comment to make.

    This one comment has turned an slightly informative and interesting article into something that looks like it was written by a moron who has no clue about TVs.

    1. Arnold Lieberman


      There's a lot more to it than pixel count, esp when motion artefacts cause the resolution to drop. For instance, a cheap way of deinterlacing broadcast video is to merge alternative lines, this halving the vertical resolution. More sophisticated deinterlacers use temporal as well as spatial cues to decide how to resolve picture detail ("3D" deinterlacing).

    2. TooDeep

      Not so

      Not all pixels are created equal. As image motion increases the resolvable detail diminishes, but in general plasmas retain their resolution much better than LCD TVs (however illuminated) for instance.

    3. ChrisC

      The pixel count of each panel might be identical, but unless the image processing capabilities of the LCDs in the review are at least as good as those of the plasma, then the additional artifacting may reduce image clarity. The improved colour rendering and contrast of plasmas also helps give the impression of a clearer image when compared to all but the best LCDs.

      So if you take the comment as referring literally to the pixel count alone then, yes,it is an odd thing to say. But in the context it was made - between the comments "blacks are deep" and "images vibrant" - it comes across to me more like a comment on the perceived resolution. Which is exactly the sort of thing a TV review ought to be mentioning.

  2. romanempire

    All a bit expensive...

    How about an article/review of 37", 42" HD TV's for under £500. Lots of them in the shops and that price point is very attractive in the current economic climate. But are any of them any good???


    1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

      In my experience

      Samsung sets seem to be good quality for the price.

      As an aside, one has to wonder what the real manufacturing costs of the panels in these is, how much cartel style price-fixing is going on, and how long it will take the authorities to catch on in the way they did eventually with CRT price fixing, if indeed such price-fixing is going on*.

      *Legal disclaimer, etc. IANAL.

    2. toffer99

      Agreed; these are high-end tvs for the 1%, don't forget us 99% poor people.

    3. Graysonn

      Hear hear...

      I looked at the prices here and just thought "Ouch!". It would be nice to review something your average bloke could afford.

    4. Jay_x386
      Thumb Up

      Panasonic Viera TX-P42ST30

      amazon the Panasonic Viera TX-P42ST30,

      You wont be disappointed for £500 (I paid 560 - a couple of months back and even that is still a bargain)

      1. outofcoolnames
        Thumb Up

        I got this one about 5 months ago for E1000 and its still amazing

    5. Richard 81


      I doubt I'll ever pay a grand or more on a TV in my life. Something a bit more down to Earth would be nice.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not the best

    The Panasonic VT30's are much better. These are just cheapo mid-range sets.

    1. mikeyboosh


      Much more expensive

    2. Mark Pitchless

      Not so, the VT is not actually that much better than the GT, both have Infinite Black Pro so all you really get extra is a slightly better black (the GT is already amazing), 2 pairs of glasses included, record to SD and advanced calibration (only useful for true videophiles who have calibrators). The GT30 really does hit a sweet spot, which will be why so many sites are saying it is their TV of the year.

  4. eSeM

    Difficult One To Predict

    The Panasonic only wins because Apple do not make a TV ........ yet!

    1. GitMeMyShootinIrons

      Surely Carlsberg, if they made TVs, would be the best in the world... ;-)

  5. Sushi


    An absolutely glowing comment from my significant other regarding our recent purchase (7000 rather than 8000 as glass frame is a little 'quieter' than the chrome one - no other difference between them) ...

    "I find this really relaxing to watch, because it's just a picture. No great big frame and speakers."

    Plasma may have better colour fidelity (Although having changed from a plasma to LED , I'm not so sure) but the Samsung wins for us by delivering what's really needed. A great picture and nothing else to get in the way.

  6. Iain Thomas


    But does the panasonic still plaster the freeview EPG with advertisements? Not a problem any of the others seem to have...

  7. tmTM


    You seem to have confused the inferior VL series telly with the far superior UL series.

  8. I understand now

    Mouldy metrics

    Sort out your metrics already. the percentage score seems to be no good at differentiating anything on this site.

    The best Christmas gift tellies, all rated between 80-90%.

    Ten Monster Tellies, all rated between 80-90%

    Ten small screen HD TVs, all but 2 rated between 75-90.%, and the ones that are below 75% are blatantly bargain basement brands anyway.

    Lets make 50% == 0% and work it out from there, or if everything is perfectly adequate, just point out what's crap - rather than what to go for.

    1. Jedit

      No, you don't understand now

      A TV with poor picture, naff controls and few connections would still work as a TV, and hence justify receiving some kind of positive score. To get a rating of 0%, a TV would have to not work at all.

      Also, when it comes to TV group tests, Samsung, Sony, Toshiba, LG and Panasonic TVs are mostly of the same high quality and relatively interchangeable due to industry standardisation. Review ten 3D TVs and the winner will be the one with the least crosstalk. Most of the time it will be a single unique feature that swings the last few points.

      1. I understand now

        Find a review under 50%

        I'd hope that anything being reviewed as a TV actually IS a TV. There's not been a TV review under 50% this year. What's the point in using a score out of 100 if it's only out of 50?

        If they're all high quality, those missing 50 percentage points will show their use.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Samsung PS51D6900

    Genuinely surprised that the aforementioned set is not in the list, as it's a great TV available for around the £800 mark.

  10. Jean-Paul

    LOL @ Richard

    Richard, I think you are the one not getting it. Resolution in that context does not relate to the amount of pixels being display ;)

    And yes I agree, these are not the BEST HD TVs for 2011 imo. I agree the VT30 is better whether is better value for money is a different matter though. But what's up with the small size of these sets....Mine is a Samsung 59" plasma :) still for image quality bettered by the Panny but even more so by the Pio Kuros, but thousands less.

    1. Richard Willetts

      As mentioned...

      Pioneer dropped out of the TV market a while back and Panasonic now own the tech so the higher end Viera TV's are at least as good as the Kuro was allowing for time!

  11. Trollslayer
    Thumb Up

    Very good review

    There are other places that do in depth reviews and go up to £4,000 on the models they choose, this is a very good 'man in the street' review.

    As someone who is a member on AV Forums and an avid large plasma owner it's good to see something aimed at others.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I'd hardly call the Samsung D8000 series (nor the 7000 series for that matter), "cheapo mid-range sets". They are excellent panels and systems all round - and certainly not cheap...

  13. Nick L

    Will you stop it, please?

    I'm trying to buy one of these Panasonic units, and everyone giving them awards is really starting to get on my nerves: I want a bargain and if you keep on irresponsibly saying they're great, you're not helping them come down in price! They're not perfect, but they're absolutely in the sweet spot of picture, features and price.

    As for 'VT30s are much better". After struggling to see a difference side by side at a specialist, I disagree. The G30 vs GT30 is a big difference - I wanted a G30 until I saw the difference the infinite black pro (aka Kuro) screen makes. The GT30 vs the VT30? Not a lot. Yes, I could plump for the VT if I wanted to, but I can't justify the difference.

    Actually, the AC is right. The panasonic is useless and these are just mid range sets. Cheapo, if you will. You're a loser if you don't stump up for the top of the range. Please, no-one buy one so there's a plethora of them for sale in January at a decent price!

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sony products are currently boycotted by any self respecting geek.

    So their inclusion lowers the street cred of the whole review.

  15. DZ-Jay

    Question about Panasonic Viera TV

    >> 2D image quality is sublime and 3D crosstalk free.

    What does that mean? Suppose I was interested in this telly to use it for 2D--with no interest in the 3D capabilities whatsoever--would it work well?


  16. Jay_x386

    Panasonic Viera TX-P42ST30

    If you don't need in built FreeSat or indeed feel the need to spend more money on getting it professionally calibrated go for the Panasonic Viera TX-P42ST30

    It has the same Infinite Black Filter, supports the same 3D (glasses required) as the GT. I can't imagine anyone apart the very serious would change much apart from brightness, colour, contrast etc. And to be fair to Panasonic the defaults are spot on.

    The ST loses a couple of features, and doesn't support recording PVR style to a external USB hdd like the GT/VT, but in truth who has not got a dedicated PVR or sky+/ virgin box that is spending that amount on a TV ?

    It has the same menus.. is actually slightly faster for gaming. Check the specs.

    Best of all it is also around £500. Probably the best value 42 plasma you can buy at the moment. I've no idea why Panasonic are not promoting it more ......

    1. Flugal
      Thumb Up

      Agree 100%

      I made the mistake last year of buying a 42" LG (42LD490), primarily for use with my Xbox, but was not aware of the potential issue of 'input lag', and my research at the time didn't highlight it. Most reviews don't mention it and, it turns out, most people selling TVs for a living I've spoken to are unaware of it.

      The effect of this lag on my gaming (mainly F1...each to their own!) was horrible, always "behind" the action.

      I recently did some more research and based on that purchased the Panasonic Viera TX-P42ST30 you suggest. For games it's input lag time is considerably reduced compared with the LG. Sure, not as fast as a CRT, but small enough to be inperceptible.

      Anybody thinking of buying a big telly for gaming really need to think about this. My focus is racing but I believe for first person shooters the issue is even more accute.

      I would like to see El Reg's reviews of TVs compare their input lag times with CRT...I can't be the only El Reg reader who uses their TV mainly for gaming.

    2. Nick L


      Thanks, I'll take a look at that... Picture quality is most important to me, not features, so if that's go the right screen and decent enough upscaling it'll do.

  17. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  18. Richard Willetts


    Pioneer haven't made any TV's for a while, someone is out of touch!

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