Panasonic VIERA ST30A 3D plasma TV (preview)
Panasonic's cheapest 3D plasma TV still has good picture quality and some improvements from last year's models
- Cheaper than the VT30A and GT30A, but still Full HD 3D
- Panasonic's new video-on-demand looks good
- Video-on-demand is still better from Sony and Samsung and LG
- Designs are getting better, but they're still a bit boring
Panasonic's ST30A plasmas aren't even the company's best model, with the VT30A and GT30A both more expensive. Picture quality looks good from our short time with the screen, and there are more video-on-demand services than in last year's models. Other televisions from brands like Samsung, LG and Sony do have more features built in though, so the Panasonic ST30A will have to stand on the strength of its picture quality alone.
The Panasonic VIERA ST30A is the company's cheapest range of 3D TVs. There are five models, ranging from a modest 42in to a massive 65in, all with good picture quality credentials and modest improvements in features over last year's televisions.
Panasonic's VIERA Connect is the new name for the range of Web features and video on demand services built into its 2011 VIERA plasma and LED TVs. Last year's basic features (weather, YouTube, stocks and Picasa) have extended to include Facebook, Skype, Twitter and Yahoo!7 video on demand. This offering isn't as extensive as what Samsung, LG or even Sony's new TVs can offer, though — they have movies on demand as well as more comprehensive catch-up TV and other video services.
Because of this, we think the Panasonic ST30A — and other Panasonic plasmas — will need to distinguish themselves with excellent picture quality. We're confident they'll deliver as last year's models had excellent detail levels and great colour performance — but we'll have to see when we get our hands on one.
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