But none of this stops the TX-P46G15's HD pictures from being absolutely stunning for the price, thanks to their superb sharpness, extreme clarity, surprisingly dynamic colours, and, best of all, tremendously deep black-level response.
While LED-backlit TVs are starting to challenge plasma sets' traditionally unequalled black levels, there's something so overwhelmingly natural and unforced about the TX-P46G15's presentation of dark scenes that even the very best LED-backlit screens would struggle to emulate it.
The TX-P46G15 isn't quite so competent with standard-definition pictures, though. They look slightly soft for our liking, and their colours look less consistently natural, especially where reds and greens are concerned. It's not a massive issue, and there are certainly many 46-inch TVs that deliver markedly worse standard-definition images than the TX-P46G15. But it's definitely an area for Panasonic to work on with its next generation of plasma TVs.
Our only other serious complaint about the TX-P46G15's images would be that horizontal motion in a picture can occasionally result in some dot noise when watching 24p Blu-ray material. Again, this is hardly significant enough to be a deal-breaker, but it provides another reason to consider stepping up to Panasonic's V10 range, with its Blu-ray-boosting 24p Smooth Film mode.
The TX-P46G15's audio performance is surprisingly decent. It delivers more punch, range and clarity than we'd expected given the TV's slender frame.
While the Panasonic Viera TX-P46G15's standard-definition pictures might not be all we'd hoped for, they're still quite good by the standards of most 46-inch, 1080p TVs. This slight shortcoming is also made pretty easy to tolerate by the set's generally outstanding HD performance.
Edited by Charles Kloet