on April 20, 2013
Panasonic as far as I am concerned is the best producer of television sets in the world right now. Nothing compares to the picture clarity and quality of a Panasonic Plasma TV and this model is no different. I replaced a 42" Plasma from 5 or 6 years ago with this model and a week later I'm not even slightly regretting the choice.
Update: Recently found out Panasonic has discontinued their Plasma models. If you're on the fence, make sure you decide before they are completely gone (I would NEVER recommend buying used Plasmas). Here is a great article from CNET with a summary of some very well spoken words regarding Panasonic and their Plasma line of TVs.
Presuming you do buy a Plasma this year from Panasonic, it should last you until the next generation of OLED TVs become reasonably cost affordable.
Plasma technology has come a long way, you'll find that not only do you get the high refresh rate, deep blacks and crisp picture but you also get a longer lifetime now (~30 years of 8 hours a day viewing before the TV will begin to fade), much lower power consumption (CNET rates this model around $44 a year, Panasonic states $28, so figure it somewhere between $35-40 without using Eco-mode settings) and better picture control than in the past (multiple ratios, you can choose to cool/warm the picture in minute quantities and set different profiles for each input).
Still, if you're sitting here trying to decide between a Plasma and an LED, you need to really only consider a few scenarios.
If it is going to be in a family room that has bright lighting and won't be used for a lot of high action (sports) programming, you're probably better off going with a newer LED model for the screen reflectivity and to avoid the color saturation you get on Plasmas. If you want a Plasma and to avoid any serious glare problems, try stepping up a model to the ST60 or the VT60, each step up will dramatically improve screen glare (and add a crisper picture, which isn't terribly noticeable unless a side by side comparison is performed when in a scarcely lit room). Otherwise in a bedroom or somewhere you don't mind closing the blinds, this is a great buy. Update: Recently read about the P50S64 which has the anti-reflection coating on the S60 model here, try looking online to find your nearest dealer if this interests you.
Trying to decide between the ST60 and the S60? Even I had a difficult time with that. The final decision really only came down to the fact that there isn't a noticeable difference in picture quality in the setting I have my TV and I don't need the Smart TV/3D ability.
This model has Netflix, Amazon, Youtube, Hulu and a few other Apps. All of which are updated applications so the interfaces are more modern, which is nice. The Wi-Fi set up was very easy, so despite not being Wifi certified I wouldn't be concerned, it comes built-in and ready to go.
Another great feature some Techies might find useful is full DLNA support with no complications. All I had to do was connect the network, pull up my DLNA apps on my Surface or Lumia 920 and boom, streaming right to the TV in all of its glory.
Don't be fooled for other knockoff brands like Samsungs which just copy market innovators or LG/Sharp whom don't have the same technology built into their TVs like Panasonic does. The S60 is a great deal for the consumer, bringing affordable HD sets to the masses and backed by a brand that lasts, my TV still works from 6 years ago without ever needing a repair and I know of other people with Panasonics from 10+ years ago that never had problems.
Update: I've seen a lot of people trying to find a magic configuration for their picture quality, but it's unlikely one settings configurations will match someone else's. Your best bet is to setup the TV and begin tweaking the main settings for your common programming. For instance, I watch a ton of hockey and like for the ice to be vivid and cool, I leave on CATS to dynamically adjust brightness from day to night, the human eye is only so precise so I wouldn't recommend obsessing over tweaks you can't actually recognize. Some people claim to see enhanced reds, pro settings can drop that level when you're in Cinema or Custom.
on May 10, 2013
After exhaustive research and subsequent comparison shopping, I decided on this TV in its 65" form factor. I am extremely pleased with the purchase (and subsequent Amazon delivery), and can recommend it heartily, especially considering its price point.
Another reviewer echoed an important sentiment in these reviews to note if you're upgrading from an older TV: the performance of this set will almost undoubtedly trounce your older TV for a fraction of its original cost. In my case, a 2006 Panasonic 42" plasma that cost about $2,300 at the time; its picture quality and black levels don't hold a candle to this one.
Also, going from 42" to 65" is like having a hallelujah chorus sing every time you turn it on. It's pretty glorious.
Since picture quality is highly subjective, I will leave you to the professionals for their specific opinions and testing results (CNet has an informative review up). As for my personal opinion, the picture is stunning with Blu-ray and HD streaming content (Netflix, Amazon, and Vudu via the PS3). Gaming, specifically related to input lag and fluid motion, is an absolute joy to behold. The ST60 series was on my short list, but after the definitive input lag tests on those sets, I passed them up in favor of what I found to be a better deal in the S60 series.
In terms of the visual aesthetic, this TV looks like a much more expensive model, with a particularly slim black bezel (it's about an inch) and understated stand. To quote one of my more eloquent friends, her first reaction to seeing the set when turned off was, "Whoa...fancy."
Prior to purchasing, I spent some time trying to figure out if this TV would be too big for the space I wanted to put it in, and ended up addressing that question with about $4 worth of poster board stapled to the measured dimensions of the TV (for each size in this series you can easily find its specific measurements). I simply took the measured, combined pieces of poster board and held them up over my existing stand, and judged accordingly. And then grinned for about five minutes. To those of you debating a larger vs. smaller model, I'll relate one of the forum threads I found in which one of the early S60 owners simply said, "How often have you ever heard someone say they wish they'd bought a smaller TV?"
The one serious knock (and honestly, the only legitimate knock I've heard against this TV) is that it is highly reflective in well-lit conditions. That point cannot be over stressed; this TV is not for you if you can't control your viewing room's lighting conditions. I hung blackout curtains in my home theater room (which I'd recommend doing regardless of your TV choice), and in those low-light conditions, the picture really shines. This TV becomes a mirror (a good-looking one at that) in bright conditions, so keep that in mind.
All in all, I cannot recommend this TV enough, especially for the price point. I would suggest you go for a larger size if within your price range, and do what you can to control the lighting conditions in your viewing area. That's one particularly minor stipulation for an otherwise outstanding TV.
on August 15, 2013
After remodeling our basement and media room , we needed to find a nice TV. We found that most of the LED offerings on the market were unacceptable. Horrible clouding and flashlighting, very poor black levels, etc... Plus, to get an LED TV that can compare to the picture quality of this S60, we would have needed to spend $3000+. At first we were hesitant to go plasma because of "burn-in", thickness, and some other issues on older models. I can assure you those issues no longer exist on modern plasmas.
I was originally drawn to the ST60 instead of the "base model" that is the S60. However, the input lag is bad on the ST60. It is very annoying for any sort of video gaming. I found that with the S60, the difference in picture quality is negligible and the lack of input lag is a HUGE advantage. I realized that I will never use 3D and that my Mac mini and Xbox have all the apps I could ever want/need- so I picked up the S60.
The picture quality is fantastic. Turn off Eco-mode and you're set. There are some great settings on AVSForum if you want to dial it in and make it even better. But even the stock settings will look fantastic to 95% of people. Blacks are extremely deep and colors are vibrant. After watching the S60, it is amazing how washed out picture looks on our other LED TVs. It's almost unbearable to watch after getting used to the S60. Not sure what else to say regarding PQ- you won't be disappointed.
Design- I think it looks nice on the wall. Not the most beautiful TV ever made, but still very nice and the frame is very small. It has a nice profile.
Glare- I was originally going to get the 65S64, which is the S60 with the anti-glare filter from the ST60, but they sold out everywhere. Glare has not been an issue even with all of the lights on in our basement. If you have it in a room with a ton of windows, and no blinds, or if it is going poolside in the backyard- this may not be the TV for you. Basically as long as you don't have direct sunlight that you can't control, you shouldn't have an issue.
Overall, the S60 is a home run. We are picking up another S60 for the living room next week. I really believe it is the best value on the market today.
on March 20, 2013
It replaces a 2006, 50" Viera and seems to be the same quality product but a lighter and smaller set built around the same screen size. It was delivered to my living room and set up and checked. I was very happy with the delivery. The set has an improvement that lets you directly access internet movies from several vendors by using my wireless network in-house server. I am not much of a pay-per-view person but U-tube videos are free. The only drawback compared to my older set is the lack of a reflection free screen. The older model featured some type of coating that stopped the mirror effect of lighting on the screen. The new screen acts like a mirror and reflects lighting brightly. Not good. The preference and set up menus are more elaborate to walk through than the older system but offer more. Overall I feel the reliability will be good in this set as it has been in the past with no service needed for 6 years. I gave my old set to someone and it was working like the day it was delivered in 2006.
on June 5, 2013
Don't let the stories of image retention or burn in sway you from purchasing Plasma as your primary PC monitor. I currently use the 60S60 as a home theater PC monitor for gaming, movies, and internet. Picture quality and "input lag" were the only two concerns while I was shopping for a new monitor. IMO Plasma delivers the best PQ versus equivalently priced LCD, LED. Input lag was a concern of mine for gaming, particularly fast paced games and first person shooters. After much research I found the 60S60 to have one of the better response times on the market.
A few things you must be aware of:
- Plasmas can be "broken in" for maximum PQ. I did this by running color slides off a USB drive for the first 100 hours
- Plasmas can be calibrated. I found some generic calibration settings on the Internet. Alternatively, you can purchase the "Disney WOW" calibration Blu-Ray - great product, cheap
- Soap Opera Effect: If your picture is too sharp/giving you the Soap look, you can adjust the settings to look exactly like the standard television. Search the Internet for help here.
- Plasmas have a slight buzz from the rear of the panel. Not noticeable unless I walk behind the panel
- Plasmas infrequently generate a feint "pop" sound, similar to a house settling. This is normal
- Plasmas run warm
- The 60S60 has a very reflective screen, not great for bright rooms
1 Month Later:
After using the set for 1 month I am extremely happy. No image retention after gaming, even with set HUDs. No input lag on any game. Great picture quality. Thinner and lighter than I expected. Love the ability to set each input with its own picture settings.
on April 11, 2013
This is our 3rd Panasonic plasma TV. Two 50's preceeded it. This 65" model was a great value for the quality at $1500. You must tweek the video settings to get the best out of it, however. The standard setting is too dim and the CATS system just doesn't work well, so turn it off. Play with it till you get it right and you'll be rewarded. Our other units are 2 and 4 years old and have had no problems. The built-in wireless internet and apps like Netflix/YouTube are awesome for the price you pay. It's also surprisingly light for such a big screen (85 lbs!) and about 40% thinner than our previous units.
1. On such a large screen, even at 1080p if you sit too close you may find the picture almost "blurry" compared to smaller sets.
2. Only two HDMI (fine with me), but it can be limiting with some setups.
3. No RCA audio out for older or more basic devices such as wireless headphones for Xbox, only optical audio out. Work-arounds exist, though.
4. Some may not like the expensive looking metal trim on the edge if they want an all-black setup. Again, I could not care less.
5. There is some reflection if you have a lamp on behind you or it's bright in the room. Just place light sources further to the flanks of the unit and the problem vanishes.
6. Still tweaking, but picture may not be as sharply focused as our 50" models. This may also be due to the huge size of the image, where you notice flaws in the signal more than on a smaller TV.
We went with it for the quality, reliability, and vivid image vs LCD/LED TV's. We've had two of those and were disappointed with both, one of which died after a year of use.
I would highly recommend Amazon's enhanced delivery and buying direct from Amazon.com rather than other sellers here. They bring it in and set it up so there is no question about a broken unit being an issue. We tried another 60" unit from another (highly rated) seller and it arrived with a cracked screen. It's been a hassle getting it picked up and a refund issued. Also, there are some reports that warranties on non-approved sellers are not honored. Amazon sends your unit out in a smaller truck that can actually get in your driveway manned by experienced TV delivery men. Others just ship it freight in a huge semi truck and hope for the best. In our case they didn't even call first, but showed up at 10pm!!! on a Saturday night with a huge rig and we had to actually help them get it in. In our case, even the seller recommended we not try them again, as shippping cross country such a delicate device there was plenty of chance of a box getting dropped or mishandled and I assume they were not relishing having to file a claim with the shipper again.
on September 2, 2013
I ordered this tv for $669 with free shipping. CEVA did a wonderful job getting the TV to me and was right on time with everything they told me. I'm not sure what kind of complaints people would have with the shipping company, but from what I experienced they were wonderful. I also only live 10 miles from their distribution center, so maybe if you live very far away from a center they may be more difficult to work with. The TV came packaged in a very large shipping box, and inside of that box was the TV box. Everything was very secure and undamaged. Lots of foam protecting everything.
I have the 50inch TV. It's a good size TV. Weighs around 60lbs. It's rather difficult for one person to pick up and set up, but it can be done. The design is very nice, a little understated. It's thicker than a nice LED, but it's thin enough to not matter that much.
I'm actually impressed with the way the speakers sound on this TV. They are much better than I thought they would be. Perfect for any normal circumstances and video games. For movies I still use my surround sound system. You have a myriad of sound options so you can tweak whatever you want. The sound comes out crisp, clear, and can get very loud. Of course if you need some good bass and multi channels then get a sound system.
It only comes with 2 HDMI inputs. I don't mind it that much, but I can see it being a problem if you have multiple devices that need to be plugged in. It has built in wifi and an Ethernet connection. It also has digital audio output which is nice. Nothing out of the ordinary as far as inputs/outputs go, but you can't expect a lot from a sub $700 TV. There are enough menu options to keep almost everyone satisfied. You can tweak every setting that you would possibly want. It does have a couple of internet apps. Netflix, Amazon, Youtube, a few more. The apps are a little slow, but work very well. We use our smartphone to control the youtube app on the TV. It makes it much easier and makes browsing youtube just as easy as it is on the computer.
THIS TV WON"T LOOK GOOD UNTIL YOU TWEAK THE PICTURE SETTINGS. This is a common complaint that people can't seem to understand. For starters, there is an eco mode on this TV (and a lot of other tv's). What this mode does is it dims the brightest and contrast down automatically, so it basically washes out everything and makes it look terrible just to save some power. When you go to a retail store (Best Buy etc...) and see this TV I promise that the eco mode is turned on and that's why the TV might not look so good. If you can ask an employee for the remote and turn the setting off. Once the stupid eco mode is turned off, you can make this TV look spectacular. There is a pre-loaded setting on the set called "Vivid" and it looks great. Colors are so pure and blacks are as black as can be. Seriously the blacks on this are as black as possible. This is the best picture I've seen on a TV under $1000, maybe even under $2000. An again, once you turn the eco mode off, the TV is plenty bright enough and the whites are very nice.
The TV (like most plasmas) does make a little bit of white noise from the panel. You can't hear at normal volumes over the tv, but if you have the volume low then you can hear it. THE GLARE IS NOT AN ISSUE. If you have blinds of curtains, don't worry about the glare on the TV. If for whatever reason you always have light in the room then you may want to get the S64 from Costco (same TV with the antiglare coating). But the glare has never been an issue in my living room. However it does look bad at Best Buy with all of the bright overhead lights.
BUY THIS TV. As far as I'm concerned, this is the best TV under $1000. Don't hesitate to pick it up, and be aware that the TV will look much better in your living room than it does in the showroom of a store.
on November 29, 2013
Seriously for the money you spend, you won't find a better deal on this planet. This TV only has about 20 hrs of usage time but Im already amazed of the out of box picture quality its outstanding. Then I looked the model # up on cnet .com and used their inputted professional picture settings, and was completely blown away with the black levels..sure their are TVs that are better but they'll have to cost a lot more to match . I strongly advise a look into this TV before they get discontinued. ( only because 4k ,UHD, OLED, are here and will eventually come down in prices with expansive models, plus plasma s tend to use more energy then modern day LCDs and LEDS
on July 4, 2013
I bought this set locally because I sell them at a retail store. Customers always run to the LCD or LED TV's because they are the brightest. None in my opinion are as black or as accurate in color as this TV or any other plasma set. Next time you shop in a brick and mortar store always look at the colors green, and the flesh tones, plasmas produce a natural greens, NOT a phosphorous looking color green and movies look like 35mm film not the appearance of being shot on a video camera. If they look like just a video than you will see that in the lack of good flesh tones. Look for blacks and greens if they are right chances are you will be happy with any TV. Brightness could be factor, but all plasmas are generally dimmer than other types. But way more accurate regardless of 60,120,240 HZ rates. Except blue ray disc and gamers will provide 1080P most are interlaced at 1080I.
on April 2, 2013
This is a great tv. The picture quality is amazing, and setup is really easy. I was looking for a no-frills tv, without 3D. The tv connects to your wifi, and its ready to go. It connects to netflix, and has a connection to other online movie providers (Amazon, hulu, you tube,etc.). The only slight issue is that there is no filter on the screen, so if there is light, you'll see a reflection on the tv. It doesn't bother me, but know that it happens. And it's really not too bad, but it might bother some folks. For the price and quality, it's a good buy.