Panasonic TC-P55ST50 3D Plasma HDTV Review$1,699.00
Panasonic manufactures plenty of fine televisions, but their integration of 3D technology into their existing line-up has been an uphill struggle. Like many other successful TV brands, Panasonic's addition of 3D options and content has felt like more of an afterthought than a highlighted feature in a majority of models. This has been a problem for many companies, and for the advent of 3D technology in general: regardless of screen size or Smart content, 3D tends to generally feel like the additional extra features consumers get when they purchase those as-seen-on-TV products ("A $50 value, FREE!"). At TelevisionInfo, we tend to treat a television's 3D capability within its own sphere, outside of the TV's 2D performance and other more integral features like connection options and physical efficacy.
That said, the 3D capabilities of the Panasonic TC-P55ST50 were about average. We've definitely seen a lot worse, but during our standardized content playback, the ST50 still struggled with the usual problems: crosstalk during the real "up in your face" images, trouble upholding 3D clarity in grays and shadows when situated against graphically complex backdrops, or similarly shaded gray/black backgrounds. The glasses that, for whatever reason, don't come with the TV, are comfortable enough, but they don't allow for much, if any, flexibility in their arms or nose bridge, and don't fit terribly well over your thick-framed hipster spectacles. They do, thankfully, hold a pretty good charge, in case anyone wanted to subjugate themselves to 7 or 8 hours of shoddy 3D images.
The biggest problem with the ST50's 3D, from an objective and performance-focused outlook, is its color production. We figure most people only want to implement 3D with the idea of enjoyable high-performance immersion into their content--once the gimmick of tricking your brain wears off, watching pop-up images that are colored or shaded incorrectly just seems like an expensive and fanciful waste of time. Compared to its decent 2D color production, the 3D has some moderate, but still noticeable, color problems. This is our biggest problem with the ST50's 3D implementation, and our biggest problem with 3D as a feature.