12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
I'm extremely pleased to have been given the opportunity to test drive the Panasonic TC-L55ET 60, if only because I've owned several Panasonic TVs and VCRs (in fact, I still have one hooked up to my system) and have always been very happy with their performance. Now that the ante is upped with the availability of flatscreen TVs, the opportunity to compare with past performance has been like a dream come true.
First, the good. The Panasonic TC-L55ET 60's video quality is gorgeous. Beautiful resolution, wonderful black levels that never dissolve to inkiness, and fabulous color that can actually be boosted to "Vivid" if you're of a mind; you needn't but should you be so inclined, the effect is beautiful rather than garish. The the TC-L55ET 60's speakers provide excellent audio if you're not planning on hooking your set up to external speakers although I tend to be a little more aware of noise when viewing vintage content than I am with my LG set. Setup is dead-easy; we're talking, in my case, literally plug-and-play (I run my sets through my provider's HD DVR box and so still use their remote a lot). For some reason, it took longer than it seemed it should have to acknowledge my WiFi signal, despite have signed in, but things righted themselves eventually. I was good to go in no time.
To tell you the truth, I prefer the the TC-L55ET 60's stand to that of my other set; it's your typical, as-pictured, flat stand--quite sturdy and with a small enough footprint that one doesn't need to get too fussy about TV cabinets as long as they're able to support the 60-odd lbs. that this set weighs (it's really quite heavy). The remote control is chockablock with dedicated buttons which means relatively less fiddling with menus when an adjustment is called for. Applications are many, more, in fact, than are available on my other set, including more that are free. Included, among others, are a media player (for the legions of humanity who, unlike myself, are inclined to network socially and store photo and music libraries and the like), a photo frame, and an unnamed Web browser. I doubt I'll be using much beyond YouTube and the browser but who's to say I won't get the urge to open a Netflix account someday? It's nice to know that the option exists and I really do need to start playing with the free ones. A wealth of riches by way of customizing your audio and video (including 3-D levels) preferences--truly, there's much to like about this set.
The not-so-good (nothing even approaches "bad"): There's a matter of obnoxious advertising banners that appear seemingly out of the ether. There's nothing in the manual about eliminating them so I had to do some online research. Suffice it to say that it CAN be done; it just takes a little effort on the part of the owner. And there's also something a little strange going on with the 3-D signal alert--I'm sometimes informed that a 3-D signal is detected and that I may, if I wish, change my mode of viewing from 2-D. I find this singularly bizarre given that it occurs when I'm watch something vintage, e.g. TCM or some such. I KNOW what I'm watching wasn't shot in 3-D and hence am a little confused.
The stand that I otherwise prefer to that on my other set doesn't swivel at all--not a big deal but I wish it did. Image retention isn't mentioned in the manual but it IS in eHelp. I've read that this tends not to be the issue that burn-in on plasma sets is and that running the TV in whatever full-screen option is available for 100 or so hours pretty much eliminates the possibility of its occurring. My other set's "about this TV" feature clocks the number of hours the TV has been used; no such option exists for the TC-L55ET 60, alas.
It's safe to assume that flatscreen TVs are much more energy-efficient than standard TVs. Be aware, though, that the Energy Star rating for the TC-L55ET 60 is based on the "Standard" picture setting only, which means that my preferred "Cinema" setting is utilizing enough extra energy to affect its rating (although in all fairness, I'm certain it's still much more efficient than any of my old TVs).
The deal-breaker for me, however, are the image format options. Unlike my other flatscreen set, the TC-L55ET 60's options are contingent on whether or not the broadcast signal is HD. There are far fewer options for shows broadcast in standard definition and the only one that fills the screen is, occasionally, a horizontal zoom that stretches and distorts the image, otherwise one needs to stick with "Full" (usually your best bet), "4:3," or "Just". All three will leave black bars on the sides of the image--mind you, I prefer viewing things that were shot in Academy Standard in this way. However, if you watch lots of vintage and you're looking to avoid image retention by watching full-screen content for those 100 hours, you might not be happy about this; I know I'm not thrilled, especially since filling the screen on my other set gives me an undistorted image that's very easy on the eyes. In addition, playing with some of the TC-L55ET 60's available format options can yield rather horrible results, including a zoom that's vertical and gives the feeling of strolling through a "house of mirrors."
As much as I like the remote control, I have a bad habit of hitting HOME instead of a directional arrow; although this is mostly my fault, I wish those buttons were a bit farther apart. And my biggest complaint about today's gadgets exists here as well--insufficient hard-copy instructions. Why anyone who has spent well over $1,000 should be expected to pull up instructions on a screen instead of a paper manual because manufacturers are too cheap to go the extra 50¢ is beyond me. What happens if I lose my Internet connection (i.e. the modem craps out over the weekend) and I need an answer to something about the set? Panasonic isn't the only manufacturer that's guilty of this but the owners manual for the TC-L55ET 60's is worse than that for my other set.
In spite of my minor grousing, the Panasonic is a terrific Smart TV, especially for its current list price. I realize that not everyone is as picky as I am about certain features and honestly, the TC-L55ET 60 delivers outstanding audio and video performance. In all honesty, I prefer my other set a bit more but it lists for quite a bit more money than the TC-L55ET 60. If this is your price range and you're on the fence, my advice is an unqualified "go for it." I really don't think you'll have cause to regret your decision.
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Review from person 1 in the House:
Initial setup was a snap
Very nice, sleek, pretty design
Tons of apps
Tons of user features
Display resolution is superb, crisp, clear and amazingly sharp
Very good 3D (comes with 3D glasses)
TV is very thin and, if mounted to the wall, is very flush (this does pose a problem if trying to access the HDMI/USB ports after its mounted
The design attributes and overall functionality is very well engineered
TV uses very little energy. I tested this myself. Manufacturer states that TV uses ~$12 a year if used for 5 hours a day. Their estimate is pretty accurate
TV is very heavy (around 60 lbs.) Much heavier than it looks
Remote is horrible to search on line with or browse (although you can connect a wireless mouse and keyboard which works flawlessly)
The power cord is too short. Very annoying. About 5' long. (makes no sense) I purchased a longer one (8 feet)
If mounted on the wall, its difficult to access the HDMI and USB ports as they are recessed several inches inward and TV is virtually flat against the wall. Better have every wire connected before the TV is mounted. Especially the power wire as it is impossible to connect afterwards!
The remote is horrible all the way around. It is uncomfortable to hold and has an unnatural feel to it. Might as well glue some buttons on stick and use that as the remote! The button layout on the remote is non-intuitive as it is difficult to differentiate between which button is which from feel alone. They definitely need to substantially improve the remotes "tactile interface."
The advertising is very confusing! Is it an LCD or LED? The box suggests that its both and LED and LCD. The back of the TV says LCD and stickers on the front say LED. The user's manual is even more confusing. I honestly cannot tell you which one it is.
Overall, I would recommend this TV. I give it 5 out of 5 stars
Review from person 2 in the house:
This TV is very pretty to look at, with only a thin edge around the outside to keep the picture from actually going edge to edge. The design is sleek and very attractive. The remote looks surprisingly like my PS3 remote only it's not quite as intuitive. For example when we were playing with alternating the TV back and forth from 2d to 3d one wrong button takes you back out of the movie and to the home screen - then 7 clicks later we were back into Amazon Prime watching the movie again. Some of the apps are very nice but not set up as intuitively as I would like.
As to the 3D - I don't generally care for 3D because I hate wearing glasses and after a while it tends to give me a headache. I will give them credit, the up-conversion from 2d to 3d is actually better than I expected. We don't currently own any 3D media so I can't comment on that. But one area of annoyance is that the TV comes with two pairs of 3D glasses - and if you put it into 3D the quality goes to crap for the people in the room without the 3D glasses - so unless you own enough of the glasses for everyone - expect to not use the 3D option very much. Other than that - I love love love this TV
**Update after lots of use**
New things that annoy us:
-when adjusting the volume, advertisements come up. There is probably (I hope) a setting where we can turn this off, but as of right now, I don't approve of paying money for something to advertise to me.
-More often than not, when we turn the TV back on we have to re-login to our network. For some reason it's not saving the network password.
-The Amazon Prime app is really old, there is no watch list or anything, so every time I use it, it's like starting all over again
If possible I would re-rate this TV to a 3 star rating.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on November 22, 2013
Very nice TV, I have been happy after I calibrated using settings found on the web ([...] which goes a long way to get rid of the "Soap Opera" effect. 2D and 3D picture is great and overall the TV functions well, however after using this TV for 2+ weeks I have 3 main complaints.
1. The built in media player will not play DIVX/AVI files. That is a HUGE disappointment. With the wide array of supported file types, why no DIVX/AVI support? Very disappointing. On the flip side of this it has FLAC audio support, kudos on that Panasonic!
2. Ads. After I enabled the Smart TV functions I get an ad sometimes when I turn on the TV. I don't know if that's an industry standard thing, but that's really annoying.
3. Alerts for 3D content when the content is not 3D. A message will randomly pop up on my screen informing me the 2D content I'm playing is apparently 3D capable. It is not. This is a bug hopefully Panasonic will fix.
Otherwise this is a nice TV with a very nice picture after calibration. On a side note I found this TV selling for $100 cheaper online slightly after the 2 week price match guarantee period and Amazon refunded the difference. One of the many reasons I love Amazon!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 25, 2014
i purchased a high end tv from panasonic 11 months ago. About a month ago I noticed gray lines stretching across the panel. I called tech support who had me run a series of diagnostic tests. They also asked me to send them a bunch of pictures and my receipt for the tv. Within 30 minutes I had sent them everything they asked me for. The tech told me that the panel needed to be replaced and that he would put in the work order. A couple days later I called to follow up and learned that Panasonic was not going to honor the warranty. Their excuse was that my receipt didn't show that I had paid cash, it only said that I had paid. Panasonic says that the method of payment doesn't matter when it comes to warranty, however, they are turning down my claim. I am not sure of the legality of this, however, I think that people need to be aware of their business practices and to take this into strong consideration when thinking about buying a Panasonic product.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 15, 2013
Gorgeous looking TV. Super slim, love the silver color. Delivery service was great. It was conveniently scheduled and it was no problem to change the delivery date at the last minute (you get an 800 number of the delivery company once your order is ready for delivery.) TV was easy to setup. Picture quality is great. Sound is a little tinny, that is the only reason for the 1 star deduction. TV only has 1 component/RCA input, no S video, and no Bluetooth. Some reviews complain about lack of Amazon Prime/video app, it's just not pre-installed like Netflix. You can download and install Amazon Instant Video app.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 18, 2013
I have owned this tv for about 3 weeks and the TV is fantastic so far. The image and colors are very good. The apps work great. I've never had any trouble streaming on youtube, netflix, amazon prime videos. The sound is similar to other led's. You will not get amazing sound from 99% of led tv's. The tv itself is very thin and attractive. 3D works fine and there are no noticeable glitches. Downsides are the ads/banners that panasonic uses - i disabled those and you should too. I have not tested DLNA so far. I turn on game mode when I use my ps3 and everything has been very smooth with no lag (no noticeable lag at least). So far, I would recommend this tv to others.