208 of 216 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Panasonic VT60 65" Plasma - Nothing is perfect, but so far VERY pleased!
Caution: What follows is a long-winded review, read before bed time if you are having trouble falling asleep! ;-) Happy reading.
For those looking for a "Readers Digest" version of the review - overall I am extremely satisfied with the VT60 picture quality and features. IMHO, it lives up to all the hype, and the Value Electronics shootout experts picking it...
Published 4 months ago by Timothy J. Sexton
53 of 67 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great picture, but old tech w/ burn in!
I was in the market for a new TV. I wanted the best picture possible (without spending $6,000 on a new 4K TV set) for a 65". Unfortunately, I still paid almost full retail for this one as I was waiting for it to come out. With such rave reviews from both experts and customers alike for the prior year model, this was sure to be even better. I have always been...
Published 2 months ago by A. J. Way
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208 of 216 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Panasonic VT60 65" Plasma - Nothing is perfect, but so far VERY pleased!,
This review is from: Panasonic TC-P65VT60 65-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV (Includes 2 Pairs of 3D Active Glasses and Built-in Camera) (Electronics)Caution: What follows is a long-winded review, read before bed time if you are having trouble falling asleep! ;-) Happy reading.
For those looking for a "Readers Digest" version of the review - overall I am extremely satisfied with the VT60 picture quality and features. IMHO, it lives up to all the hype, and the Value Electronics shootout experts picking it as the "top dog" in Plasmas is warranted - it beats out any other plasma I have owned or seen - and it is a lot bigger at 65" to boot! The only other plasmas, or any TV for that matter, that are on the same level as the VT60 are the Panasonic ZT60 and Samsung F8500, and if these sets are better than the VT60 it is not by much. Now, on to the details...
First - I am *not* a true "videophile" but I do have a long history with plasmas, and purchased my first two plasma TV's way back in 2003. They were both Sony's (a 42" and a 32") and they were both built like tanks. I still own both today and use them daily, with the 42" in my family room and the 32" in my shop. They both also still display a wonderful picture 10 years later, and they were one of the best TV purchases I have ever made! I also currently own a Sony 46" Bravia LCD I purchased about five years ago (our bedroom TV) - another wonderful TV. I also own a couple of smaller TV's
I have owned the VT60 for 2 weeks now as of the date of this review. I spent about 8 weeks debating, comparing the 65" VT60, ZT60 and the Samsung F8500 64", with many trips to electronics stores where I could commandeer the remotes ;-) and spend time with different video sources comparing the sets. (nothing worse than comparing the TV's in the Standard and Vivid modes the retailers use on the floor). Note I also recently purchased a 65" Samsung 7000 LED from Costco about 12 weeks ago, but that set was returned as I was not at all satisfied (to put it lightly) with the picture quality, the contrast, and overall viewing experience. I always seemed to be "messing" with the picture settings on the LED when changing viewing content, I could never get it right as what worked well for one channel / show did not hold true for others... I have read how others have the same issue.
There are still times that I wish I would have purchased the ZT60 for ~$500 more, as there is a little glare on the VT60 compared to the ZT60 when viewing during the day. Those looking at the VT60, you may have read that there is a little glare in brighter environs, and it is true. Whether it is beyond your tolerance is personal preference; my viewing room is not overly bright and it is within the tolerance level for me, though sometimes I still notice it. If you have an overly bright viewing room, take a more critical look at the Samsung F8500 plasma or the Panasonic ZT60 plasma as they are better for brighter viewing locations.
What did I think of the VT / ZT compared to the new Samsung F8500 plasma? Bottom line - for my eye (and YMMV of course) the Panasonic was just more pleasing to the eye on displaying the "blacks", and appeared to have better contrast and color transitions than the Samsung series. I know the Value Electronics shootout "audience" chose the F8500 as the overall top pick, whereas the "experts" picked the VT60 as the top dog which illustrates that BOTH are great displays, and that it is a tough choice for anyone comparing the two. Note that in all cases in the VE shootout, the Panasonics won on contrast, black levels, motion viewing - it was the brightness feature that put the Samsung F8500 over the top as it was markedly better. For me, I think the contrast / black level rating should have been weighted more heavily in the final tally, but that is just me - if it were then the Panasonic would have won hands down, even in the "audience" vote as the results were virtually a tie as it stood.
Now on to more detailed observaations on the VT60:
The VT60 is packaged VERY well. The box is huge, and there are thick Styrofoam inserts inside the box holding the TV, and a lot of space between the TV and the side of the box. As a result, the box weighs around 140lbs with the TV inside. Panasonic did a good job of giving this box adequate protection! (not all TV's do). By comparison, the 65" Samsung LED set I returned to Costco - the VT60 box dwarfed the Samsung LED box, and the Panasonic had higher quality packaging materials and heavier cardboard IMHO.
Construction of the VT60:
The older plasmas are thicker and heavier, but these days they have thinned them down and made them more streamlined. In addition, the back panel of the VT60 is not plastic like many of the TV's sold today - it is metal and very substantial. I appreciated this, the 65" Samsung 7000 LED was plastic and I seem to recall the F8500 was also. Although the plastic construction lightens up the weight a bit on other models, I prefer the metal / solid construction of the VT60 plasma.... I guess I am just old fashioned and appreciate things built more solidly. Also, the stand is heavy, solid and substantial. The stand does NOT swivel, but this was not important to me due to the configuration of the room where it is set up. It is made of high quality stainless and holds the TV well. Mounting the TV into the stand requires two people for the 65" and probably the same for the 60". You could probably do it alone in a pinch, but having two people reduces the stress level when attempting to insert it into the stand!
The VT60 "look and feel" is not flashy / sexy IMO, it is simple, unassuming and pedestrian. The silver bezel around the edge is a nice touch, and overall I prefer the toned down look and its simplicity.
Installation / Setup:
As with most TVs these days, and due to the HDMI cables of today, the setup / cabling is a breeze. I run all of my optical / sound cables directly from the device to the AVR, and have one Optical Out coming from the TV for watching Over-the-air signals, and for the Smart TV menus / streaming. My AVR does not have HDMI inputs, as it is an ancient Denon 2800 (I need to upgrade ;-)) so I have to route all of my devices HDMI directly to the TV! Thus, I wish the VT60 had more than 3 HDMI ports as I am one with too many devices - don't most of us - but for many of those that do not have "too many" devices it won't be an issue. Five would have been better, but I make do.
The setup of the TV on initial start up was easy - although I did not have my wireless keyboard at that point and entering in the data for things like the WEP wireless key (25 characters) was a pain with the included remotes. (See the remote critique below - I am not a big fan so far of the included remotes - I already purchased a wireless keyboard, and plan on upgrading my universal remote).
In the 2 weeks of owning the VT60, I have viewed a good degree of varying content to make an assessment of picture quality. I have watched three 3d movies - Avatar, Avengers and Toy Story ; viewed various sporting events including around ten (or so) baseball games on ESPN, WGN and more, watched the Stanley Cup Game 7 recorded from DVR, watched Game 7 of the NBA finals recorded on the DVR, soccer, etc. I have watched Bluray movies of different titles, older 480p titles like Rocky, Groundhog Day and more. I have watched Discovery, Science channel for many hours, shows like Deadliest Catch, Storage Wars, Pawn Stars, Through the Wormhole, cartoons (with my boys), cooking and home improvement shows, and more. We are a TV watching type of family, and we view many types of shows to put the TV through its paces We have nearly achieved the 100 hours of "break in time" called for with the VT60 - we are enjoying it, plus the boys are on summer break and the TV is on at least 6-7 hours a day whether watching movies, playing the PS3, etc. The novelty has not worn off yet I guess! Here is what I have found:
- Picture Settings - as recommended in many forums, I have been using the THX Cinema picture setting and think it produces the best overall picture for all content I view. During the "break in" period I am leaving the contrast, color and brightness at the default settings, or very close to it. I am not running any break in "slides" and do not plan on having the TV professionally calibrated - I am just planning on *maybe* running the THX optimizer at a minimum at a later date. YMMV.
- Brightness - the biggest "knock" on the VT60 by the critics is regarding the brightness of the VT60 - it is not "knock your socks off bright" - but from my experience, that is like most plasmas. That is the big selling point on Samsung's F8500, it is a bright plasma. However, most plasma's today have had the same characteristic, and for my taste this is not an issue - compared to the overly bright LED displays, I appreciate the muted, more realistic look of the plasma, even if they are a tad dimmer. Others may find it not to their liking, especially if it is your first plasma, but it depends on the person. To me, again, the brightness is fine. The best combination of brightness / contrast is found using the "THX Cinema" or "THX Bright Room" settings - other settings like "Standard" don't give as much brightness. As mentioned above, I would recommend leaving the TV set at THX cinema setting as that is touted as giving the best overall picture for all content.
- Contrast - As advertised, VT60's contrast is top of the heap. The color transition and sharp edges are incredible. Bright colors next to more muted colors are well discerned, and it has no trouble delineating / separating deep reds right next to dull grays. The Value Electronics plasma shoot out rated the VT and ZT series TV's as the best contrast in the industry, and you have to see it for yourself to believe it. It is better than any TV I have ever owned, and probably as good as any TV I have ever viewed.
- Black Levels - This is where the VT and ZT series shine. The black levels are astounding. The 65" Samsung LED I returned absolutely failed on the black levels, and by comparison the VT60 is light years ahead. One unforgiving test of the black rendering is on the Discovery Science channel; the show "Through the Wormhole" with Morgan Freeman, it often shows him in a dimly lit room with different shades of black shadows where he is wearing a black suit. That scene is a test for a TV's ability to render the black levels, and the 65" Samsung LED butchered this scene, with "pixelated" / washed-out blacks and all sorts of choppiness. It was awful. But the VT60 has no issue rendering this scene - you can pick up the different shades of black in the shadows, and they contrast with the black suit he is wearing very well. The VT60 also does a much better job on this than the two other plasmas I own - it is very evident. The hype about the black level rendering of the VT60 is living up to expectations so far...
- 3D Quality - granted, it is not IMAX, but if you choose titles filmed in native 3d (like Avatar) my guess is you will be quite pleased with the 3D experience. Avatar was awesome in 3D... period. Note that not all movies being sold as 3D movies were shot "natively" in 3D - many like Jurassic Park, Transformers and many more were shot in 2D and then re-produced to add 3D effects. Not the same thing, and some are not happy with those titles. Do a Google search on this topic (real vs. fake 3d movies) and you will find a lot of information. Overall, I am very happy with the 3D capabilities of the set - again, 3D was not the major deciding factor on the VT60, it is more of a bonus to me as picture quality trumps all... the fact the 3D works well and maintains an awesome picture whilst doing so is very nice!
The bottom line - I bought the VT60 for its touted Picture Quality - that was the MAIN factor in my decision. And it has not disappointed - what an awesome picture! Things like Smart TV features, camera, etc were secondary in my decision.
The Remotes / Peripherals, 3D glasses and Camera:
The Panasonic comes with two remotes - one remote that is more for using for all the TV functionality, and one smaller remote that has a track pad that can be used for the smart TV interface, etc. I am not overly excited about the remotes - one might want to consider getting a high quality universal remote paired with a wireless keyboard instead. The larger remote does not have the ability to control your other peripherals like other TV remotes do, and the smaller remote I found to be not so great IMHO. During setup, when tying in your information and especially the 25 character WEP keys, a wireless keyboard is better served. I bought a Logitech wireless KB to use with the VT60, and happier with that for navigating the smart TV features. The camera is OK, and the facial recognition is working, but I am realizing the camera is something I probably won't use much at this point.
The included 3D glasses (two pairs) are of good quality, and work well. If you have to buy more Panasonic 3D glasses, be aware they are expensive - I would recommend alternatively purchasing the Samsung 3D glasses instead for $20 if you need more. (the Panasonics can cost as much as $70). We have two pairs of the Panasonic glasses, and two pairs of the Samsung and both work well. One thing about the included battery with the Panasonic - the battery that came installed in the glasses died during the first 3D show after about an hour - so the included battery was either weak or low quality. It happened with both sets of glasses. However, after installing a Maxell 2025 battery in each, they both have lasted through three 3D movies, and are still more than 80% full... so just be ready to have some spare batteries on hand for the glasses. Overall, the Panasonic 3D glasses work well, are highly rated and I am satisfied with the experience.
Smart TV Features and Navigation:
If I had to sum it up, I would give a 6/10 so far for the Panasonic Smart TV interface and more importantly the "navigability" of the interface. For the most part, it is satisfactory, but there is still major room for improvements. Apparently, the Web Browser was not complete when they released the TV - you will have to see for yourself what I mean! For instance - pressing the "Help" feature came up with a dialogue "To be released later, under construction" or something to that effect. In other words, the TV's help feature is still being worked on - note I do have the latest software updates and all. Plus, the Web Browser is, for all intents and purposes, kind of painful to operate. It is very easy to "accidentally" hit the edge of the picture when trying to scroll with the scroll bars, and this results in the "hyper scroll" feature to kick in, basically frustrating you as the scroll kicks into hyper-drive and messes up the location where you are viewing. Plus, things like weather.com - if you try to click on the Doppler map, it tells you this feature is not supported. Finally, the interface crashed numerous times, especially when trying to view pictures / enlarge things at Costo.com. There is more, but some of the reasons I think they can do a little more development / refinement of the Smart TV interface, and get something released hopefully soon.
The access to Amazon, Netflix and more is well laid out and easy to use. The responsiveness / speed of the internet is adequate - I am running the TV wirelessly and do not have any issues with the speed / responsiveness to date. So that is good...
The "Break In" Period (first 100 hrs):
There is a lot of debate on whether there is a true "break in" period for TV's, especially plasmas, and what you read on the "experts" forums and what you get back from Panasonic can be very different at times. To calibrate or not to calibrate? That is up to you and your comfort level. Realize most casual viewers don't and won't, but others swear by it. I made the decision to just follow some simple rules during the first 100-200 hours of viewing, and NOT to calibrate my set. (other than maybe running the THX optimizer at some point). Do your own searches on this topic, make your own assessment and decision - the "right / wrong" arguments on this topic are not scarce. Do I think that the RIGHT professional calibration could squeeze out the extra 10% of picture quality out of the set? Maybe... but I am not sure I want to spend the $$ to find out. And I don't think I will regret that decision... YMMV.
That being said - the simple rules I am following during break in:
- I am not watching content for extended periods that has the black bars / letter box (aka 4:3 SD, 2:35:1 movies, etc). If it is letterboxed, I just fill the screen with Zoom or Just or whatever works.
- I am avoiding channels with a large degree of "crawl" on the bottom of the screen, and shows / games that have a lot of static content. Plus, I am being careful not to leave the set on for extended periods with static menus / content. (it can be a challenge with two 13 yr old video game players as some of you know - but they seem to get it).
- I have only allowed a couple of hours total of video games due to their high degree of potential static content - my boys are dismayed but they will live!
- Finally, I am leaving the contrast, brightness and color settings pretty close to the default. I am using THX cinema, and to be honest the default settings for this still throw up one heckuva picture, and do not need that much tweaking IMHO.
- Other than those simple rules, I am enjoying the set and not worrying to much about things like the "History" channel logo, commercials with black bars, shows that have the dreaded crawl as long as they are not constantly on...
In summary, every test I have thrown at the VT60 - whether it is viewing cable TV, playing older 480p movies, playing Bluray, viewing 3d or even when my boys use it for gaming - the VT60 never fails to impress and has passed with "flying colors" (pun intended!). I continually marvel at the quality of the picture, and compared to the Samsung 7000 series LED I returned in favor of the Panasonic, I could not be happier with that decision. There is no comparison; the Panasonic plasma just plain smashes the Samsung 7000 series LEDs in every aspect of picture quality, and it will do the same to many of the other TV's on the market. Comparing the VT60 to a Samsung 7000LED is probably not a fair comparison, but just offering that as a data point. But then again, the Samsung was still $2600 new... so you be the judge.
Would I recommend the Panasonic VT series, and would I buy it again? Most definitely. But take the time and decide for yourself, as the ZT series and F8500 series are also great TV's.
Thanks for reading!! I hope this helps you in your purchasing decision.
107 of 116 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Astounding! Jaw Dropping Picture Quality and a Wonderful Design,
This review is from: Panasonic TC-P55VT60 55-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV (Includes 2 Pairs of 3D Active Glasses and Built-in Camera) (Electronics)I received my Panasonic TC-P55VT60 mid-April from Amazon. I have had a few days with it and would like to offer my thoughts.
Previously I have owned a Samsung UN55F8000 55-Inch 1080p 240Hz 3D Ultra Slim Smart LED HDTV, LG INFINIA 47LE8500 47-Inch 1080p 240 Hz Full LED Slim LCD HDTV with Internet Applications, and Samsung LN46A650 46-Inch 1080p 120 Hz LCD HDTV with Red Touch of Color. They were all very nice LCD/LED TVs but I was always upgrading for one reason or another. The VT60 is my first plasma. Having owned a small assortment of TVs I am happy to report the Panasonic VT60 trumps anything I have owned and frankly, anything I have ever seen up until this point. This TV produces the most amazing picture I have ever seen! My initial thrill has not worn off. This thing continues to impress me. The pq is absolutely phenomenal, even right out of the box!
TV came well packed and assembly of the stand was straightforward and incredibly simple. I do recommend you have a second person to help you. The VT60 is heavy.
Initial setup is a breeze and pretty standard. Panasonic walks you through and shows you the included features, emphasizing their different home screen options. Fun fact: there is a silly narrator that sounds like a robot. I weirdly enjoyed it, a bit of 80s/90s nostalgia. I setup mine to go straight to the last source (HDMI) as opposed to my home screen. Also, there is a goofy advertisement that pops up at times. You can however turn it off in the settings.
Panasonic includes two remotes. I am not a fan of the smaller remote. I find the touch track pad on it to be cumbersome. Not an issue for me though as I use the included standard size remote. My girlfriend however likes the track pad. To each their own. I'm sure it takes a little getting used to.
The apps work as you would expect. I haven't had a chance to check all of them out, but my time with Youtube and Netflix worked without a hitch.
The TV itself looks wonderful. The stand and full glass panel make the TV a true piece of art. The glass itself does pickup glare and reflects light. I have a 7 foot picture window that lets in a ton of light directly opposite of the VT60 but it is not unbearable. I can see the reflection of the window but it is not any worse than previous TVs I have owned. I would argue it is better than my old LG LE8500 which also had a full piece of glass. All this doesn't matter though as I do most of my watching at night.
As I previously mentioned, the picture quality on the VT60 is absolutely stunning! The hype for this set is true. The VT60 delivers on all cylinders. Inky blacks, clean whites, incredibly rich colors, jaw-dropping detail. I've been watching in the included THX Cinema modes and haven't felt the need to make any adjustments. I am no professional calibrator but I would like to make it clear this is the best picture I have ever seen. You can certainly adjust the picture to your personal preference and their is no shortage of access for professional calibration if you wish to do so.
As my first plasma, I am thoroughly impressed with the off angle viewing as well. Excellent blacks from any angle and the picture never seems to wash out or lose its integrity. There is certainly no clouding, ghosting, spotlighting, etc. to worry about. If I get unrealistically close to the screen, with my eyeball nearly touching, I can see a bit of dithering which is a function of the plasma technology. It is used to prevent color banding and create a smooth gradient. It is not distracting and I only see it when my eye nearly touches the screen. From far away I do not see it at all. It is not an issue but worth mentioning.
I can't comment on 3D quite yet as I haven't had a chance view any 3D content. I've spent most of my time with blu-rays and streaming HD. I will update my review when I get a chance to sit down with a 3D movie
I have added a few photos to the Amazon Customer Images section of Samsara [Blu-ray]on the VT60 . Pictures were taken at 1/13 F20. They closely represented what I was seeing on the screen, but I argue this still doesn't do the TV justice. The picture produced on this TV is even better in person!
Overall, the Panasonic VT60 is absolutely astounding! I highly recommend the TV and am incredibly satisfied with my purchase. The Panasonic TC-P55VT60 is worth every penny :)
I wanted to update the review with a few other details after having more time with the TV
The built in speakers do not match the TVs picture quality. They are about .5" wide and are housed on either side of the TV. They run vertically. I believe the total speaker output is 20w (5w for each speaker and 10w for the built in sub). Honestly, out of all of the flat panels I have owned, the VT60 produces the best "built in" sound. That being said, I certainly recommend a better sound system if at all possible. If you are spending this much on a high-end TV, do yourself a favor and pair it with a nice home theater sound system. I realize this is not always an option, and if that is the case, the built-in speakers are adequate and do offer a decently full sound.
The camera, when you want to use it, does pop-up automatically and can be activated via the touchpad remote with voice commands. No joke, you can actually talk to your remote and the camera will pop-up. Once the camera is up, it has facial recognition and will switch to personalized home screens if you wish. You can configure different "users" as well. I don't use the feature, but it might be convenient for family members who all watch different content and might use different apps. A few things to keep in mind though. The camera is in a fixed position on top of the TV. If your seating arrangement is lower than the TV, you might not be in the best position to show up on the camera. Also, if you are like me, I keep the lighting in my home theater area to a minimum which is not the greatest lighting for the camera to pickup. The camera does pop-up, turn on, and turn off automatically but it does not retract automatically.
The TV mounts easily on the wall and looks incredible! I bought this Ultra-Slim Adjustable Tilting Wall Mount Bracket for LCD LED Plasma (Max 165L... (get it cheaper from Monoprice's website, item #5916). The cables did not interfere with mounting at all as the inputs are on the side of the TV. The power plug does come out of the back, but it doesn't stick out enough to interfere. Just be sure to plug everything in to the TV first before putting it on the wall.
Vierra Connect (apps) supports Hulu Plus and Amazon Movies. I believe Amazon even lists how to "register" the TV in the item details section of the VT60 product page.
I haven't noticed any "image retention" yet. Panasonic includes "pixel shift" and "screen wipe" features on the VT60 to help clear up Image Retention if it ever occurs. Being that it is a plasma though, I try to be cognizant of not leaving any static image on the screen too long just to be safe.
The screen does reflect light. In my experience, it is not any worse or any better than other flat-panel TVs I have owned. I recommend curtains if you are putting the TV in a window filled room.
61 of 68 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The best 55 inch TV money can buy: A critical review,
This review is from: Panasonic TC-P55VT60 55-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV (Includes 2 Pairs of 3D Active Glasses and Built-in Camera) (Electronics)The Panasonic P55VT60 is without a doubt the best 55 inch television one can purchase. Very low minimum light level means deep blacks and great contrast. Colors pop without being unnatural, and motion handling is the best I've ever seen on a TV. If you're in the market for a 60 or 65 inch TV, the ZT60 is slightly better with bright room viewing, at around 500 dollars more.
As a gamer, this is a fantastic TV since Panasonic has really upped their game regarding image retention from last year's sets. Leaving a static head's up display, score counter, or life bar for a few hours will leave mild image retention at the worst, and will be gone within a few minutes of pixel sweeper/mixed content. Input lag also measures between 38-42 ms which means that all but the hardest of the hardcore, pro-level twitch gamers will not notice lag, but they aren't going to consider large screens anyway. I play a lot of twitch games and can't notice or feel any sluggish response.
All types of signals look the best they possibly can on the VT60. Standard def never looks good on a 55 inch HDTV, but it's passable on the VT60. 720p signals look absolutely stunning, which is a step up from last years 50 series in which anything other than a 1080 signal was soft and had an "oil painting" effect to it. That's not the case with the 60's. Blu-rays and 1080p TV shows and games are absolutely jaw dropping. You cannot get a picture quality this good on any other TV currently on the market, and this TV even matches or beats (VERY SLIGHTLY) the Pioneer Kuro.
So why the 4 star review?
This is the best TV I've ever seen, but it's not perfect and I can't in good conscience give it a perfect, 5 star review. Here are the cons.
-I previously purchased one of these from another retailer and immediately after receiving it, I noticed a dark line running down the right side of the screen. After aging the panel for a couple hundred hours, the line got progressively worse. I called up the retailer and set up an exchange. When the new set came, the problem still existed but even worse. I'm not sure if this was an issue with Panasonic, the retailer, the shipping company, etc., but I ended up getting a refund, purchasing ANOTHER one through Amazon and having ZERO issues with my current set. Which brings me to the next con:
-I had contacted Panasonic customer service about the issue I was having and in so many words, they said there was no problem with the TV and that any of the manufacturing defects I was describing were within spec. This is not okay, considering the price of the TV. Nothing is perfect, but a dark, half inch wide line running down the set is simply unacceptable for a reference level TV. I've dealt with Panasonic before regarding other products and they are ABSOLUTELY IMPOSSIBLE to deal with. Probably the worst customer service of any electronics manufacturer. Strange considering they make such great products, you would think they could spend just a little money to ensure that the people they hire to deal with technical issues can converse with customers and figure things out. Instead the customer service reps try their absolute hardest to ignore you. Such a weird concept to me. Buy a 3rd party warranty or hope nothing goes wrong, because you do not want to have to deal with these people over the phone or via e-mail.
-The price of the TV is very high compared to the almost-as-good-but-not-quite ST60. The 55ST60 runs for about 1000 dollars less, which is insane. The ST60 has very high input lag however, so it's a no-go for all but the most casual of gamers. If you do not need a reference level set and do not play games, go for the ST60 instead. It's a much better value and has amazing picture quality. If you're not entirely sure what "reference level" means, you likely wouldn't be able to tell the difference between the ST60 and the VT60 unless they were side by side. The VT60 is really a TV for videophiles and industry professionals. I hope this doesn't sound snotty, as I'm honestly trying to save you 1000 dollars! =)
-The bezel and overall design of the TV is very bizarre to me. It's got a great (non-swivel) stand, and the bottom part of the design is beautiful with a clear plastic trim that holds the on/off LEDS. The one sheet of glass design is very sexy too. What's odd is the built in speakers, which hurt the cosmetic appeal of the set greatly and add thickness to what could be a slim profile design. Most people who are looking to buy a VT60 are not going to be using the built in speakers to begin with, which is why I question Panasonic's decision with this. If this were a feature of the value models (the S60 and the ST60), it would definitely make sense, but it doesn't make sense on the reference level set. Yes, this is a nitpick.
This is it for my review. Overall, for videophiles and industry pros (I use this for post production color correction), you cannot get a better 55 inch TV at the moment. Accurate colors, the deepest blacks ever, and superb motion handling make this an amazing purchase. Please take my criticisms with a grain of salt as I am one of the most critical people ever when it comes to technology. Though I find faults with this TV (and every other TV I've ever owned), it's still the most amazing picture I've seen on a consumer set and blows me away every time I turn it on.
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You can still own the very best, its not too late!,
This review is from: Panasonic TC-P65VT60 65-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV (Includes 2 Pairs of 3D Active Glasses and Built-in Camera) (Electronics)I don't usually write reviews, but this TV is so outstanding that I just had to! To give you a frame of reference, I am a wholesaler in the high end AV business, and have been for 30 years. I have been trained by the worlds best manufacturers what to look for in TV's and what to listen for in Amps and Speakers. To give you a bit more background, my last 2 TV's were a 50" Pioneer Kuro and before that, a 34 inch 16 by 9 CRT Sony XBR. Meaning, I know world class pictures like the back of my hand. I sold the magnificent Sony XBR after a few years because it "shrunk" thru the years (if you know what I mean) and bought the magnificent Pioneer Kuro. It also "shrunk" thru the years...so I sold it about 4 months ago.
I studied the market very carefully, studied the worlds best 65" Plasmas and LCD/LED's, talked to Americas finest AV Dealers and Installers, (many of whom I sell my speakers too) read all the pro reviews from magazines and sites all around the world...and it was a no brainer. I bought the 65" version of the VT60 at a local dealer that knows me well. This Panasonic Plasma is utterly magnificent, don't let anyone tell you otherwise! The picture in THX mode is so stunningly good, with only minor tweaks to the color, contrast, and brightness modes, that I feel no real need for a pro calibration. (Yes, I know a Pro calibration would make it even better, but I'm not in a rush) I've had it about 4 months now and couldn't love the natural, creamy smooth, film like, "organic" picture anymore. Its that good!
It just massacres the LCD/LED's out there, for naturalness. If anyone tells you different, they haven't seen this one set up correctly, or they have no knowledge of film like naturalness. LCD/LED's look so fake in comparison, so "electronic" so "digital" so "paint by numbers"...never mind the crummy viewing angles, the screen uniformity issues, and the mediocre blacks.
I have no worries at all about image retention or burn in, and that's after watching tons and tons of broadcast HD, most of the channels having those stupid on screen logos. NFL, NBA, The World Series all looked gorgeous and Blu Ray discs are simply off the charts stunning!
I cant comment on the built in speakers since I've never heard them. I use a serious home theater system for sound, and I cant comment on any of the "smart" features either since I haven't tried any of them yet. I also cant comment on the 3D effect as I haven't tried it yet. I can tell you when the sound is totally off I can hear the TV's fans whirling away softly, but the minute I turn up the sound a bit, the fans become inaudible. Lastly, the Square Trade/Costco deal on the extra few years warranty is so cheap I couldn't say no...and I always say NO to extended warranties! The set doesn't have to be purchased at Costco to buy the Square Trade/Costco extended warranty.
I'll close by saying this...its incredibly sad that Panasonic cant turn a profit on Plasma and has announced they wont build anymore Plasmas as of early 2014. Dont be fooled, 4K LCD/LED still has all the traditional LCD/LED problems, and the pricing is terrible, and OLED is a few or several years away from being a mature/stable technology and the pricing is super terrible.
If you love the very best, you will love the VT60 series from Panasonic, the pricing is super fair, Consumer Reports readers report that their Panasonic Plasmas are super reliable, so get it now, as you wont be able to get it as we get into 2014.
I hope this review helps serious AV fans get and ENJOY the very best TV's in the world for 2013!
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great set with only one flaw.,
This review is from: Panasonic TC-P60VT60 60-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV (Includes 2 Pairs of 3D Active Glasses and Built-in Camera) (Electronics)The Panasonic TC-P60VT60 stands at the pinnacle of television development today, with only the ZT series just a inch higher. I had already owned an ST model, and after viewing that picture, I bought the VT series. I will not repeat the accolades about the picture quality; just to say, "I agree with the superlatives." I wanted to just review a highlight and a lowlight.
The highlight is in a peculiar place: the shipping box. The shipping box has an ingenious construction, with a low-boy base, holding the TV and accessories, and a high-boy cover that goes over top of it. The cover is held on by four ingenious plastic fasteners that come off with a squeeze and a pull. Then the box top just lifts off. I know this has nothing to do with TV, but getting an 80 lb. set out of the box could have been a trial. With this arrangement, it was easy. Kudos to Panasonic on this detail.
Now the lowlight: The ethernet design includes a feature "wake on LAN", which must be enabled, that allows the set to be controlled by a wired network (no Wi-Fi) even when it is OFF. However, the set does not broadcast on the network when it is off, so it cannot be found by the mobile remote control app "TV Remote 2". Now The TV does respond to the "power-on" command from TV Remote 2, but if one searches for the TV, the app will go into "Test mode", since it finds nothing on the network. I have put the TV on a static IP address, so its network address will not change, and the remote app will use the old address and control the set. However, the lack of network broadcast is unforgivable, especially considering that a $100 Panasonic BD player does broadcast on even the wireless network when it is powered off. Also my Sony BD player, and Yamaha network AVR broadcast over the network when powered off. Note that the set really will not respond when off: the ping command from a PC on the same subnet gets a "Host unreachable" error. I will be in contact with Panasonic about this problem, and maybe a future firmware update will fix it. Maybe.
53 of 67 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great picture, but old tech w/ burn in!,
This review is from: Panasonic TC-P65VT60 65-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV (Includes 2 Pairs of 3D Active Glasses and Built-in Camera) (Electronics)I was in the market for a new TV. I wanted the best picture possible (without spending $6,000 on a new 4K TV set) for a 65". Unfortunately, I still paid almost full retail for this one as I was waiting for it to come out. With such rave reviews from both experts and customers alike for the prior year model, this was sure to be even better. I have always been apprehensive of buying a plasma as I was afraid of burn it. I was assured that it is likely not to happen with this set as plasma has come such a long way over the years. My prior TV was a Samsung LED that is about 7 years old. I always loved the picture on that TV, but the blacks were not dark enough.
So, after much research and waiting, I purchased this set (from a local retail store, not Amazon as they matched the pricing). The TV itself is beautiful and well designed. I like the look of it on the wall even when it is off. I won't get into the technical aspects, and as you can read from all the other reviews on here, the picture is amazing. However, I cannot recommend this set and do wish that I had just waited for a 4K or even OLED which should surface if a short while. I am just going to share my personal experience with the set and hope that it helps others in their decision.
The reason for the 3 star rating is as follows:
Loss of one star for burn in. I had the set only 2 months when I noticed a faint logo in the bottom right corner. My wife likes to watch the channel Investigation Discovery and has it on this channel frequently. They have a rather bright "ID" logo in the lower right corner, as do most channels these days. Well, after only 2 months, it is now permanently burned into the screen. Yes, the TV has a 'screen wipe' function which I use regularly to prevent this from happening, but it does not seem to help. I find it very sad that my new $3,500 TV is already ruined by burn in, and as we all know, mfg warranty does not cover this.
Loss of another star for wireless connectivity. I enjoy Netflix quite often and was excited to have a TV that has this built in. I usually use my PS3 to do Netflix and it is set up on my same wireless network. Unfortunately, without fail, the TV disconnects from the wireless network within about 15-20 minutes of starting Netflix. It doesn't just disconnect and reconnect either; I have to go back into the settings and input the network security code each time it does this. I have since just gone back to using my PS3 for Netflix as it works without fail.
Also, I know that people have listed that they don't like the sound. I can't comment on this as I do not use the TV speakers at all and listen through my home theater system. I can't imagine that someone would actually use the TV speakers on a set like this without a home theater. But what can you expect from such small speakers on any TV?
One last thing that people seem to dislike about this TV is the fan noise. For me, I can only hear it when the sound is off. If you have any sound at all, you can't hear the fan noise in my opinion.
Anyway, I hope that this review helps you if you are looking at this set. Again, nice TV, but I would wait if you can. Plasma is just old tech and will likely not be around in a few short years.
*** UPDATE 10/6 ***
I have submitted 2 photos at the request of others on this site showing the burn in. Please note that my wife has completely stopped watching the ID channel since my last review as I was so upset with the burn in. I have gone so far as to run the screen wipe all night long to see if that would help as well. Unfortunately, the burn in is still there. I apologize for the poor photos, as there is quite a bit of glare on the screen, but you can still see what I am talking about. The photo taken of the ID channel on was the first time it was turned on that channel since the last review, and I simply did it so you can see better where to look on the other photo. When you look in the lower right corner, you will see a light area (glare), but look at the top left corner of that bright area and you will see a darker ID logo on the screen.
To reply to a couple of comments related to my post, first let me say that this has not discouraged me from buying a Panasonic product as I do not feel that they are the issue. The issue I have is the burn in. That is related to the plasma technology used for this television type. I don't feel that it would have been any different with any other brand. Second, I am glad to post any more photos if you guys want them. I know that these are not the best, but I wanted to get something up for you all to see. As I stated, I post reviews to help others make an informed decision regarding a product, not bash a product (unless warranted). I truly hope that my review has helped others in their TV buying experience and research. Thank you all for reading my review! Please keep the comments coming!
14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A comparison of the Panasonic VT and ST models from a video professional,
This review is from: Panasonic TC-P60VT60 60-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV (Includes 2 Pairs of 3D Active Glasses and Built-in Camera) (Electronics)After 2 weeks trying to get my new Panasonic TC-P60ST60 to look at good as a (then top-of-the-line) 2007 model 58" Panasonic, I returned the ST and exchanged it for the TC-P60VT60 model, and paid the difference in cost. I am happy to say it was, for me, money well spent - I have now achieved HDTV nirvana!
Not surprisingly, all the new Panasonic TVs have deeper blacks - much improved compared to the 2007 model's blacks, but for the overall most realistic picture, only the VT or ZT models can equal the older top of-the-line 2007 Panasonic. In comparison, the ST falls subtly, yet noticeably short on picture quality, no matter how I adjusted it. BTW, when I got the VT, I adjusted it using the same picture settings as I had arrived at when tweaking the ST, and those settings were very close to optimum on the VT as well.
Be advised that I am a video professional, and have calibrated studio monitors for a living in top TV studios in Silicon Valley, so I have super critical eyes for setting up and evaluating TV pictures. Please understand that any normal viewer will likely be very happy with the ST model, but I could not live with it, not with a 2007 model in the same house showing better, more realistic pictures than the new ST did, (other than the deeper blacks).
So if you are wondering if the VT is worth the additional cost over that of the ST price, my two answers are these:
- If you want the absolute best picture, then the answer is clearly yes - spend the extra for the VT (or even more for the ZT)
- If you are a more normal viewer and would be happy with "only" a very good picture, then save that extra money by getting the ST. It is also the top rated value in its (lower) price range.
A quick tip for making any TV look better: With all TV's, the out-of-the-box picture settings are poor compared to a professionally adjusted TV. Typically, the settings for color, contrast and sharpness are all set too high. Try cranking those three picture settings down for a slightly less bright, but far more natural looking picture. If you decide to get either the Panasonic VT or ZT model, you can simply turn on the THX picture settings - those settings are a BIG improvement over the default over-cranked factory settings.
Also, I'd say that the other reviews I've read about these TVs are generally accurate, like when they say things like this: the Panasonic VT and ZT lines are the best HDTVs currently available, unless you need the extra brightness of the Samsung 8500 for viewing in well lit rooms.
27 of 35 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice PQ,
These are really only first impressions as I have only had the 65VT60 since Thursday, 3 days.
For now, I have this stand-mounted. The stand looks deceiving as it is fairly heavy. The delivery guys perturbed me a little because when they removed it from the box so I could verify it worked ok, the one guy apparently had something sticky on his hands. Part of the left side screen and side bezel had a sticky residue on it. Took a bit of effort to get it all off, but I did.
By Saturday night, the PQ quality has achieved a wonderful and delightful look. While watching ShowTime, the ShowTime screen came up where just their trademark was shown on the screen with an all black background. I smiled because it looked just like the OLED screen on my wife's Nokia phone. All I saw was their trademark. It was just a trademark, but the black was breathtaking because well, it was black. Definitely an edge over the F8500. I wanted to take a pic to share, but I changed the channel instead of pausing, so I could not go back on the DVR dang it. Maybe tonight.
Most content types do look very good. Naturally, standard 480i content is just OK. Some better than others. 1080i is pretty good across the board and mostly because I have DirectTV. 1080P via DirectTV is perfect. 1080P playing a BRD from the OPPO likewise is beautiful. I did have to adjust some settings though on the OPPO so achieve the best pic. I don't really want to play with the VT60 settings just yet.
The home screen concept quite frankly is the best attempt at a menu system I have seen on a TV (This is my first Panasonic). You can make your own home screen and have the VT60 start on any you want. Different users can have their own home screen. Very personal computer like and since I develop software all day long on a PC, I am of course going to like this approach. Making a home screen that is "you" is a great idea.
I hear no buzzing on this unless I get really close with my ears. It increases slightly on bright scenes, but again, you have to be close. I do have a fan noise issue that from my reading on the Internet, others have posted about over the years with various Panny models. My ears may be more prone to this than others since I work with the computer equipment that I do. I found a filter solution someone else posted they did with their VT50, so I will try that first. I have 30 days to exchange, so plenty of time to try other things.
Daylight viewing is pretty good. I think the F8500 has an edge with screen reflections, but the VT60 is close enough. With night time viewing, the VT60 wins hands down. Neither TV is calibrated professionally. I did the F8500 myself with a WOW disc and I did not alter the VT60 at all.
3D: I played LOTR Hobbit today in 3D. I selected this one to comment on since I also seen it in the theater (OmniMax) in 3D. Even in daylight (I did not close the blinds), the 3D was good an strong. Not burry and the light from the windows did not cause too much of a problem. No cross-talk that I could see. The VT60 only comes with 2 pairs of glasses. They fit well and are mostly comfortable.
Lastly, the settings options on this VT60 are numerous to say the least. That is obviously a good thing, but it is a little daunting to a novice like me. I have so far settled (like others) on using the THX Cinema which produces a beautiful PQ. Not so much with sports though.
Oh, having the power light on while watching the VT60 in the dark is dumb. That little red light needs to go away. I found some tape I am putting over it. If someone knows of a setting for this, let me know please.
This is definitely a keeper and definitely a superb PQ. This is the new black.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First Plasma and Best TV I've Owned!!!,
This review is from: Panasonic TC-P55VT60 55-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV (Includes 2 Pairs of 3D Active Glasses and Built-in Camera) (Electronics)Like many others, I have done some research on my next TV to buy. What we considered were mainly LED/LCD's because that were what we've been using. We were looking at LG LA8600 and Samsung F8000 because they were what I thought were bang for the buck for value. My friend suggested that i looked into Panasonic's plasmas since he has one from several years back and have been very happy with them. I went to the major retail stores and compare the other TV's but nothing really stood out for me. I did more research on the Panasonic's plasma and decided to go with Panasonic's plasmas based on all the good reviews and time for a change. I took the leap and choseTC-P55VT60 based on recommendations from friends and great reviews, without even seeing the TV in person. The VT did it for me since the ZT was out of my price range and ST was not "eye-candy" enough for me.
Today, I received my Panny's TC-P55VT60 and am I glad I took the leap. The only regret if any was I couldn't believe I waited this long to go with plasma. The picture quality on this TV is stunning. While writing this review, my wife came down the stairs and saw the TV for the first time said "wow! amazing!". I'm still figuring out how to adjust the settings and functions. So far, I'm just using the preset settings and it still looks great.
Many owners or reviewers complained about the mundane or plain look of the TV with it's "V" pedestal and glass screen cover. To me, the TV looks very elegant and luxurious compared to the Samsung and LG models without being over the top. I also think the materials are higher quality than those of the LG and Samsungs.
I will continue to update this review as I learn more of the TV.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding TV. Couldn't be happier.,
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