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Panasonic TX-P65VT50B review

Say hello to 65 inches of home cinema heaven

Our Verdict

For

  • Awesome 2D picture
  • Brilliant 3D quality
  • Multimedia multitasking
  • Solid online platform

Against

  • Pictures not the brightest
  • Not cheap
  • Poor touchpad remote
  • Dynamic mode flickers

The Panasonic TX-P65VT50 has all the credentials it needs to be the daddy of all 2012 TVs. For starters, it's 65 inches from corner to corner, making most TVs look puny by comparison. It also boasts the very top tier of Panasonic's latest plasma panel technology, including a special high-contrast filter designed to deliver hitherto unimaginable contrast.

It packs dual-core processing too, which it uses to deliver excellent multitasking for the TV's online features, as well as Panasonic's most accomplished video processing system to date. This produces particularly excellent motion and colour handling, but also seems to enhance the set's standard definition upscaling.

There are a couple of image flaws you need to work around, but so long as you do this then as a serious movie machine, there really is nothing else out there right now to touch the Panasonic TX-P65VT50.

We liked

The 65-inch screen size brings movies and 3D content to life like nothing smaller ever could - especially as every inch of it is filled with spectacular, high-contrast, colourful and detail-rich images of unprecedented quality. The Panasonic TX-P65VT50's multimedia talents mostly hit the right notes, too, and 3D is as good as we've ever seen it.

We disliked

The pictures tend to lose quite a bit of their punch if you happen to be watching them in a very bright room. There's a little dot crawl over motion too if you drive the picture quality too hard or sit too close, and some flickering problems if you leave the set in its Dynamic preset. But all these issues are pretty easy to avoid.

Final verdict

After seeing its plasma TV rivals gain on it substantially last year, Panasonic has pulled out all the stops for 2012 to put clear blue water again between its top-tier plasmas and the chasing pack. In fact, its efforts have resulted in the Panasonic TX-P65VT50 delivering the best pictures we've yet seen from a flatscreen TV - including the legendary Pioneer Kuro sets.

There are still one or two areas Panasonic could work on to nudge even closer to perfection, but if you love watching films and can afford the entrance fee, the Panasonic TX-P65VT50 is pure home cinema heaven.

Also consider

To be honest, the Panasonic TX-P65VT50 is so good that we're tempted to say you shouldn't consider buying anything else. But of course, not everyone will be able to afford the £3,500 (around $5,490) asking price.

If you want most of the quality of the VT50 series for a bit less money, you could consider Panasonic's GT50 series. But there's no 65-inch model available here, and the sets don't get the same level of high-contrast filter.

The most compelling alternative to the Panasonic TX-P65VT50 from a rival brand is Sony's 55HX853. This is surprisingly affordable, and thanks to a brilliant new local dimming system for its Edge LED lighting, it delivers the best black levels yet seen from Edge LED technology.

Another option would be the excellent 55-inch Samsung UE55ES8000. This needs a bit of care with setup to get the best out of it for watching films - in particular you need to sacrifice substantial luminance to get a convincing black level and backlight uniformity. But you can get there in the end, and with normal daytime TV viewing its pictures are outstanding. It looks the part, too.

Next there's the phenomenally affordable Sharp 60LE636, which you can get your hands on, amazingly, for under a grand if you shop around. This looks great with bright material, but be warned that there are backlight uniformity issues during dark scenes.

A final option to mention here is the LG 55LM660T. This has a few backlight flaws too, but its pictures generally look great, and its passive 3D technology is the family-friendly option.

Tech Specs

Product TypePlasma TV
Scan Format1080p
Digital TunerDVB-T (MPEG4), DVB-S2
Analog TunerPAL
Video Signal StandardHDTV 1080p
Number of HDMI Ports4
Product FamilyViera
3D Type3D
EU Energy LabelC
Brand NamePanasonic
Screen Size165.1 cm (65")
Aspect Ratio16:9
Memory Card ReaderYes
BluetoothYes
EthernetYes
Wireless LANYes
Ethernet TechnologyEthernet
USBYes
HDMIYes
Weight with Stand (Approximate)48 kg
Operating Power Consumption520 W
Standby Power Consumption300 mW
Electronic Program GuideYes
DLNA CertifiedYes
HeadphoneYes
Digital Audio OutputYes
Height with Stand939 mm
Width with Stand1499 mm
Depth with Stand400 mm
CI+Yes
Composite VideoYes
Component VideoYes
Teletext Memory1500
Network (RJ-45)Yes
Number of USB Ports3
3D TechnologyShutter
3D ConversionYes
Energy Consumption per Year445 kWh
3D Glasses RequiredYes
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital (SD), Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC)
Height891 mm
Width1499 mm
Depth50.5 mm
Sound SystemVirtual Surround Sound, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Pulse, DTS
Maximum Resolution1920 x 1080
FeaturesTeletext, Web Browser, Media Player, Picture and Picture (PAP), Picture and Text (PAT), Picture in Picture
ManufacturerPanasonic
Product ModelTX-P65VT50
Product NameTXP65VT50 65" 3D Full HD Plasma Television
Product LineViera
Manufacturer Part NumberTXP65VT50
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.panasonic.co.uk
Marketing Information

The display alternately shows images for the left and right eyes. The left and right lenses of the eyewear open and close in sync with this display timing to show separate images to the left and right eyes. By repeating this action at high speed, the brain perceives 3D images. And because this method displays FULL HD 3D images just as they are, both eyes receive 3D images in high, full-HD quality.

This original Panasonic technology detects image movements like the human eye, and optimises the drive accordingly. By achieving instantaneously powerful light emission rather than finely divided emission, it reduces the afterimages that cause blurring. As a result, fast movement is reproduced with excellent clarity.

Package Contents
  • TXP65VT50 65" 3D Full HD Plasma Television
  • Remote Control
  • 2 x 3D Glasses
SpeakersYes
Limited Warranty5 Year
Weight (Approximate)42.50 kg