HDGURU Gets the Scoop on 2011 Panasonic Plasmas

So far details around the specific performance improvements found in Panasonic’s 2011 Plasmas have been scarce.  We’ll still have to wait for reviews to get the whole story, the HDGURU has been able to round up some details for those itching to upgrade. 

I think the most disappointing thing that came out of CES around the 2011 lineup was that only the top-of-the-line (VT30) displays support 24p, and are limited to 55″ and 65″.  So while it’s interesting that the GT30’s panel should perform similarly to the VT25, it lacks a critical feature found on many competing displays. 

Last week Panasonic personnel met with members of the press to display and discuss its 2011 HDTVs, disc players and home theater systems. We took the opportunity to learn more about plasma performance improvements with a Panasonic engineer and product manager on hand for the event. The changes are dramatic especially regarding the lowering of minimum black levels now claimed to be reduced down to the levels of the legendary Pioneer Kuro plasmas (more below) and other performance improvements.


  • It sounds like Panasonic has

    It sounds like Panasonic has made some good improvements in their luminance performance. Supposedly Samsung is down to .004 ftL this year so consumers have some great options if these numbers hold. Maybe I need to upgrade to a 65″ Money mouth

    • Yeah 58″ only feels big for a

      Yeah 58″ only feels big for a few weeks, then it’s normal, now it’s too small 🙂

  • I dislike you both.

    I dislike you both.

  • Rising Blacks and Floating

    Rising Blacks and Floating Blacks

    The 2009 V series had rising minimum black levels confirmed by tests performed by CNet’s David Katzmaier A small number of persons on some TV forums claim “floating blacks” occur at times on earlier Panasonic plasmas during changes of average picture brightness levels. HD Guru has not seen this on any Panasonic plasma tested to date.

    Due to pending litigation, Panasonic US would not comment on these topics, however, in a meeting last week of European journalists with Panasonic executives, Andrew Everard of whathifi.com (link) writes Panasonic has eliminated the issue with their 2011 models. Here is the quote  ” Oh and by the way – and for those who obsessively niggle at these things on forums worldwide – both the rising and floating black problems have been addressed, and are sorted in 2011 models. There’s now no black level shift to compensate for stabilising brightness levels after initial use…”

    Yeah, I’ll believe it when I see it.  The floating and rising black issues are the two biggest complaints I have for Panasonic plasma displays.  I’m really sick of always having to sacrifice something when I buy a TV.  How hard can it possibly be to make a TV that just does everything correctly?  Long live the Kuro legacy.


    • It is actually impossible to

      It is actually impossible to buy a TV that just does everything correctly. 

    • It is my understanding that

      It is my understanding that MLL is the only feature where the last generation Kuro is “better” than the VT25.

      IMO it’s ridiculous that we beat up current gen TVs for not matching one metric (that once you get past a certain level only matters under very specific conditions) on a set that proved uneconomical.  It would be great if this is finally the year when Panasonic can put that to rest, but even if the VT30 doesn’t it will annihilates the Kuro in a more important metric – value.