You can pick up a TH-50PX70 for a fair wodge less than the already pretty reasonable £1800 list price. And you’ll be well pleased if you do, because, like a giant in a dinner jacket, this Panasonic is very big and very classy.

Indeed, big-screen TVs are getting so cheap our enduring dream of lining every surface of Stuff Towers with retina-scorching plasmas gets ever closer by the day.

Big screen, little cash

The set is understated but elegant and the menus, which are clear and graphically neat, round out the package.

However, the Panasonic really shows its class is when it comes to visual performance.

In particular, this set really loves discs, and it isn’t fussy whether they’re new fangled hi-def ones or plain old boring DVDs. Black attack

If our test is anything to go by, Lord of the Rings obsessives will burn a hole in the disc through constant replaying of the bloody Battle of Mordor scenes, such is the extra detail brought out by the TH-50PX70.

HD content is, as you would expect, even better. The deep, natural blacks are really impressive, and sharpness and detail are up there among the best available.

Despite the TH-50PX70’s 1366 x 768 resolution, Panasonic has made a big song and dance about the special chip-set it’s shoved inside to process 1080p images. All very impressive, but we’d still recommend sticking to 720p, which shows off the set to its best.

Off-air’s a little off

If the Panasonic lets itself down at all (and that’s a big if) it’s in its handling of material through its digital and analogue tuners. There’s a little more noise and softness than you’d expect after seeing how confidently it handles HD and DVDs.

Even so, it’s only a minor complaint, and when compared with other rivals, is barely worth mentioning. In fact, forget we said anything. Buy this TV.

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Stuff says... 

Panasonic TH-50PX70 review

Everything about this set is big and clever. If you’re big and clever too, then you’ll want to get your wallet out