Panasonic 3D System Gets Impressive Review
HD Guru tests Panasonic TCP-50VT20 50-inch plasma and DMP-BT300 Blu-ray player.
Panasonic 3D home entertainment system
Panasonic’s 3D system consists of the 50-inch Viera VT20 plasma, DMP-BDT300 Blu-ray player, and one pair of active shutter 3D glasses.
March 11, 2010 by Stephen Hopkins

Thanks to a recent Best Buy-Panasonic partnership, the first 3D bundles are starting to trickle out.

Our friends at HDGuru.com were lucky enough to spend some time with Best Buy and Magnolia’s flagship 3D package. (Read entire review)

The package consists of the Panasonic TCP-50VT20 50-inch plasma, DMP-BT300 Blu-ray player, and one pair of active shutter 3D glasses (with additional pairs available for $149 each). These are derivative models exclusive to Best Buy and Magnolia, but nearly identical to the 50VT25 display and BT350 disc player. Derivative models allow stores to skirt their own price-match policies. 

Due to the minimal amount of 3D content available, 2D performance should be high on any shoppers priority list when looking for 3D TVs. According to HD Guru, the 50VT20 is an excellent 2D performer with “VIVID” mode facilitating infinite black levels (blacks measured at 0 IRE), and calibrated black level measuring an impressive 8097.5:1, blacks stay black while colors pop and brightness shines.

HD Guru had some hiccups with 3:2 pulldown of 480i sources, but the 50VT20’s 96hz mode eliminated the need and provided smooth, flicker free video with no artificial video appearance as is common with 120hz and 240hz displays.

HD Guru was equally impressed with the 3D performance, saying cross talk and ghost images were nonexistent. Some flicker was present when 96hz mode was forced, but not in the recommended 120hz mode. The display even shifts brightness and other calibration parameters to compensate for the light loss associated with the included 3D glasses. The 3D image was reportedly even brighter and more vivid than theater-based 3D content.

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Stephen Hopkins is chief technology editor for EH Publishing. He writes product reviews, features, and focuses heavily on 3D TV, iPhone and iPad apps, and digital content.

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