OK, my VT30 arrived yesterday. Shipping went fine and there was no damage. The tips from Robert (VE) concerning how to remove the top portion of the box was very helpful. Got everything hooked up fairly quick and we watched part of Tron (the only DVD Blu-Ray we have) and watched OTA programming, mainly Survivor. Picture quality was outstanding, especially in THX mode. Upped the settings in Standard some, but still went back to THX. My VT is not calibrated. The digital tuner seems strong…had no issues pulling in the channels that I knew, plus the auto scanning found a few more. Our prior TV was a Sony 34” HDTV CRT unit. Watching Survivor was a real treat…really can’t see how the picture could be any better.
Sound quality of the VT30 is good. I was concerned since I don’t usually run our sound system when watching OTA programming, nor do I want to, and our Sony had fairly good front oriented speakers. The VT has a small mesh screen at the very bottom of the front, to allow sound to travel out. Since our unit sits inside a furniture/entertainment center, the sound is probably more focused toward the room that if it was just wall mounted. Just my general theory, but I’m pleased this turned out good.
Tried the 2D to 3D conversion...the kids thought this was fun. It was cool, but I don't know how much of that I would use. Especially since I only got one pair of glasses. Come on Panasonic...that sucks and you know it...
What I don’t like….
Why Panasonic needed to change standard connection configurations I just don’t know. My optical sound cable, running from the TV to my receiver now needs a special adapter to fit the VT30. The adapter was included, but why change this simple connection point. Same for video and component hook-ups…adapters are required (and supplied). Why not just have the standard connection points?
Aspect ratios. My wide screen Sony seemed to display proper OTA aspect ratios automatically…no requirement to change aspect ratios. Non-HD programming would have side bars. But the VT seems to want to display all programming in full screen regardless. This means that the viewer has to switch to an appropriate aspect ratio. Maybe I’m doing something wrong…I’ll have to study this more. I’m using “Just” as the aspect ratio for regular viewing. I never had to contend with this on my Sony. Maybe Panasonic is trying to avoid the TV from showing the sidebars, since the manual mentions that this can cause IR issues.
The stand; it’s very sturdy, but somewhat ugly in my opinion. Would think something with “legs” would have looked better. My wife thinks its fine.