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65in plasma tv Review

Panasonic TX-P65V10B Turn over for more‌

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50 Panasonic TX-P65V10B ➜ £4,500 Approx ➜ www.panasonic.co.uk

Panasonic plasma thinks big 65in? Gadzooks, says Chris Jenkins. Panasonic’s monster P65V10 comes up with another winning argument for the longevity of plasma

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eplacing last year’s PZ800s, Panasonic’s V10s are second only to the flagship Z1 screens in its TV range, and have been touted by some as the natural successors   to Pioneer’s Kuro sets. While the Z1 series majors on fancy design, the V10s offer the same display tech but with a rather more bread-and-butter design. There’s   no Wireless HD either, but screen sizes go up to this Greenpeacebaiting 65in version. As the largest set in the V10 range, the TX-P65V10B has much to live up to, but a cursory look at its spec indicates that all the stops have indeed been pulled out. It’s bleedingedge both in terms of display and functions, and if you have to worry about the price, then you’re probably missing the point.

One glass design The massive NeoPDP plasma panel is surrounded by a black bezel and topped by a silver control bar.   The ‘one sheet of glass’ design   does indeed make it impressive, but this is not an overly designed set; you would need to have a very large room or a sliding panel arrangement of some kind to be able to ignore   this sizeable slab when it’s switched   off. The pedestal foot is a huge rectangle in brushed aluminium with a plasticised coating, and the back   of the set is a sheet of aluminium which contributes to its considerable 53kg weight. Home Cinema Choice november 2009

There has been no attempt to make this set as slim as the Z1, though it’s still quite svelte at around two inches thick; the part which protrudes furthest from the back is the connector for the Freesat plug. Otherwise, a familiar selection of connections is situated on the rear. A side-mounted SD card slot supports JPEG still images, AVI or DivX files up to 720 x 576 resolution, and AVCHD files. It’ll be useful to owners of one of Panasonic’s SD card-toting cameras or camcorders, though I’m not sure it’s a substitute for the convenience of a USB socket.

The panel is, of course, Full HD 1,920 x 1,080 resolution, and claims an ‘Infinite Black’ contrast ratio of over 2,000,000:1 in

Dynamic mode, and a more downto-earth 40,000:1 in native mode. Multimedia functions include access to websites through Viera Cast, still-image display using the Viera Image Viewer, and networking using the DLNA standard.

HD on tap The TX-650V10B has three tuners: analogue, digital and Freesat HD   – Panasonic is still championing the upstart sat platform, but it remains   to be seen what happens to the platform when rival Freeview HD launches in the coming months. Auto-tuning of Freesat, analogue   and digital channels is blindingly fast and efficient.

AV/CV Product: 65in plasma TV with Freesat HD and THX certification Position: Panasonic’s biggest screen, but under the 54in Z1 in ‘flagship’ terms Peers: LG 60PS8000

The OSD uses large, clear text and unfussy icons, while the Picture menu offers a selection of viewing modes. Each of either Normal, Cinema, Games and Dynamic mode uses   its own preset levels for brightness, contrast and colour, and there’s also a THX setting for movie-viewing, which calibrates the picture to THX-taste. You also get the standard contrast, colour, brightness and sharpness tweaks and a choice of Cool, Normal and Warm colour temp presets. However, for a prestige   set such as this, picture tuning parameters just don’t go far enough. There is no substitute for manual adjustment of individual RGB levels, despite the fact that the smaller Z1 has them. Other features include an Eco Mode, which reduces screen brightness and saves power, when you’re viewing in a dimly-lit room, and a Multi Window function   for picture-in-picture and split   screen functions. The ‘VIERA tools’ button on the handset brings up access to still and video files from an SD card, control   of compatible players via the TV’s remote (this includes a ‘Pause Live TV’ function which works with Panasonic DIGA HDD recorders), and media server access via a network. Note that the DLNA network compatibility extends to still and video files, but not to music formats. Viera Cast, meanwhile, is Panasonic’s way of giving you (limited) access to


Reviews 51 ➜ Specifications HD Ready: yes including 1080p/24 Progressive scan: yes NTSC and PAL Digital TV tuner: yes and Freesat and analogue Scart: yes 2 sockets, both RGB Component video: yes 1 input HDMI: yes 4 v1.3 inputs PC Input: yes 1 VGA input Sound: NICAM stereo 2 x 10W Resolution: 1,920 x 1,080 Brightness: N/A Contrast ratio: 2,000,000:1 (claimed) Dimensions: 1,422(w) x 933(h) x 387(d)mm Weight: 53kg Features: Viera Link; Viera Image Viewer; Viera Cast; Q-Link; Freesat HD; DNLA; SD card slot; CI card slot; DivX and AVCHD compatible; 600Hz intelligent frame creation; 24pSmooth Film mode; Dolby Digital Plus decoding

Super-sized flatscreens, like Panasonic’s TX-65V10B, are becoming a rare sight

november 2009 Home Cinema Choice


52 Reviews ➜ Tech Labs

Test card

HCC’s test card has been designed to torture even the toughest screens...

Power consumption: Watts

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A Greyscale

Our test card runs from 5% white to 100% black, and presented no problems for the P65V10, performing better than the flagship 46in Z1.

B Golden 

Convincing golds often present problems for display technology. Here, the big V10 makes our trophy shine with high-end lustre.

the internet. The sites supported at the moment are funny-cat videofave YouTube, the Picassa photo sharing portal, EuroSport news, Bloomberg financial news and a weather channel. Not a terribly exciting selection, but I think it works faster and more efficiently than comparable systems from Samsung and Sony.

Bigscreen bonanza You would be rightly miffed if you shelled out close to five grand on   a TV and got a dog’s dinner of a picture. Good news, then, that the Panasonic’s performance is   seriously impressive. Our Tech Labs measured its contrast ratio at over 68,000:1, comfortably outperforming last year’s Pioneer Kuro screens in the pure numbers game. Okay, it’s not the 2,000,000:1 claimed – but you have to take figures like this with an industrial lorry-load of salt. Despite the ratio, I didn’t perceive the blacks to be the blackest ever; in a darkened room there wasn’t quite that sense that the image is floating in space. This minor criticism is very much compensated for by a rich colour palette, which reproduces reds, in particular, with a fidelity rarely seen on plasma screens. Other highpoints include an impeccable rendering   of greyscale, and dazzling levels of fine detail, and detail in shadows. Motion-handling is also first rate, although the Intelligent Frame creation (not available in THX or Home Cinema Choice november 2009

C White detail

The Panasonic pulls the fine detail from challenging white fabric without sacrificing image depth.

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White Screen: An enormous power consumption that busts our TV scale, though it falls to 351W with Eco Mode in dim lighting

Powered: You can save power by killing the set’s audio. Mute consumption drops to a still huge 563W

TV Contrast: ratio

Colour temp: Kelvin

Claimed 2,000,000:1

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Actual 68,593:1 Picture: Despite relatively low luminance of 20.07fL, contrast ratio is an impressive 68,593:1, or 76,110:1 in Dynamic mode

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Presets: The Warm preset is acceptable, but the lack of manual settings is incomprehensible Normal: 7,120K Warm: 6,662K Cool: 9,679K

Game mode) and 24p Smooth Film mode options (to provide smoother playback depending on the framerate of the material) should be treated with respect. I managed   to get Infestation (Blu-ray), looking like both a real movie and a cheap video, depending on the display mode selected. The TX-P65V10B’s pseudosurround sound system has three settings, V-Audio, V-Audio Surround and V-Audio Surround Pro. Though they do add a progressively greater sense of stereo space, they don’t convey any real sense of surround   – listen to the effect on speech,   and you realise that the effect is actually a short delay. The V10’s speakers themselves have a fair amount of oomph, though, and even some bass response.

One-horse race In essence, the 65V10 offers the picture performance and networking abilities of the brand’s highlyregarded Z1, on a much bigger scale, but lacking the arty design, Wireless HD and some of the user picture adjustments. Overall I’d be happy to trade these for the bigger screen size. Considering that there are few other comparable displays on the market right now (if any, actually), it’s going to have the super-size flatscreen field pretty much to itself. But what a shame that Panasonic hasn’t enabled the level of picture control that fans of a set of this calibre would surely expect

 Verdict Panasonic TX-P65V10B  £4,500 Approx  Price check: www.techradar.com/631206 Highs: High-impact bigscreen pictures; Freesat HD Lows: Lack of manual colour temp controls; limited online content; high power consumption Performance: Design: Features:

Overall:


Panasonic TX-P65V10B plasma TV review