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Panasonic TC-PST30 4 Star Rating: Cheapism Good Pick
Where to Buy Panasonic TC-PST30

Panasonic Viera TC-PST30 reviews say this series of active 3D plasma TVs is good, though not great. Black levels, color, and overall picture quality are decent enough, concludes a Panasonic Viera TC-PST30 review by PC Mag, but these metrics don't reach the heights set by others in its class. Experts at Television Info are impressed with what the Panasonic Viera TC-PST30 review describes as "remarkably deep" black levels but consider peak brightness to be just OK. These reviewers also like the color accuracy, which tends toward warm, and the contrast ratio that measured at a strong 5053:1. Panasonic Viera TC-PST30 reviews also mention some artifacting, such as blockiness and color banding, and grouse about the slow Internet apps menu. Consumers posting reviews on Amazon likewise grumble about the stodgy menu but otherwise rave about the Viera TC-PST30's excellent picture quality. Other quibbles with this series: TC-PST30 sets only have three HDMI ports while competing models have four, and the plasma screen technology sucks up electricity (no surprise there).

Unlike other 3D TV series that come in two, three, or four sizes, the Panasonic Viera TC-PST30 (42-inch set starting at $1,200) is available in six: 42, 46, 50, 55, 60, and 65 inches, and all but the 60- and 65-inch sets have starting prices below $1,500. The TC-PST30 runs at 600Hz and offers full 1080p resolution. In addition to the three HDMI ports, there's one component and one composite input, one Ethernet port, and two USB ports. This is an active 3D display, and you'll have to buy active 3D glasses separately for about $150 each. Television Info says the newest glasses for this 3D TV are lighter and better balanced than previous iterations.

The Panasonic Viera TC-PST30 is solid but not without a couple of weak spots. Color accuracy isn't as dead-on as some other cheap 3D TVs we researched, but you'll need a pretty discerning eye to really notice the inaccuracies. The slow Internet menu will annoy consumers who enjoy using TV apps and widgets, and the cost of the 3D glasses might count as outrageous. But with your pick of screen sizes in frugal territory and performance that's above average, the Panasonic Viera TC-PST30 deserves more than a glance in its direction.

by Michael Sweet (Google+ Profile) – January 2, 2014
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