Customer Review

55 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Final review -- success., September 22, 2011
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This review is from: Panasonic VIERA TC-P65VT30 65-inch 1080p 3D Plasma HDTV, Black (2011 Model) (Electronics)
I was reluctant to purchase this tv as are/were many secondary to the fluctuating brightness.

My amazon TV is an August 2011 build. A previous amazon customer who wrote a review here mentioned his recently acquired (sept 2011) tv was a July build. amazon, on the phone, could not guarantee me any build date, I guess I got luck of the draw on August, which apparently all August and beyond tv's have a replaced A board from the factory -- there is changing information on this on the 'net forums.

I was also a bit reluctant to purchase from Amazon, as I've never purchased something this expensive online before, but I've purchased from Amazon for years and have ZERO negative to say about Amazon reliability and service -- it's always been impecable.

I received this this tv only 2 days after I purchased it from Amazon, it arrived in great condition, my wife was home and she didn't know to ask the gentlemen who delivered it to put it on the stand, but they did not offer to do this for us. They turned it on, made sure it worked, and left (they just removed the top part of the box, pulled the styrofoam wrap down a bit, and plugged it in).

I got home, plugged in the wifi, updated firmware from 2.060 to 2.070 witout any problems.

I must admit -- for the purpose of this review -- so far I have not done any major testing. I currently own a Panny TC-P65S2 (2010) and came from a Panny TC-P65S1, and have only owned panasonic plasmas. I have dealt with fluctuating black levels (and am annoyed by them) on the S2, and the VT30 was a great prospect when I heard about the great black levels, apparently stable (thus far in reports from professional testing, i.e. cnet).

I'll report back as I start playing around with this thing. I gave it 5 stars because I did not want to lower the average rating.

I can already tell the black levels are much better than the S2, the one sheet of glass is very cool, it's 1/2 or 1/3 the depth of my s2 -- very thin for a 65" plasma. The brushed aluminum trim is also a nice touch.

Oh, and no buzz compared to my S2 .. my S2 can get rather loud, but this thing has no significant buzz - you can hear a little when you're a few feet away from it.


Final review:

My EEPROM number is 84.46 .. this is an August build, Serial MJ1214XXXXX. This has the updated a board/firmware, because I see NO FBr (fluct. brightness)

Performance -- stellar (compared to my previous panasonic plasmas).

This is clearly, without the 9G Kuro on the market, the king of plasmas. I hope all purchasing from Amazon get the August build or beyond. When I called Amazon, they could not guarantee me that, but they would guarantee that they'd return it no charge if I was not satisfied in 30 days. Nothing touches Amazon's no tax price right now.

Colors, black levels, "pop" .. all amazing.

Sure, it's not a Kuro, but it's 90% there, and that says something. I thought my S2 black levels were terrible once I got the tv and started using it. For someone who will be doing dark room watching and CARES about black levels, fluctuating brightness, fluctuating black levels -- here's your tv.

Thanks for reading.

Update (all good) 11/28/11:

This TV continues to impress me -- rock stable black levels and on brightness fluctuation issues (see my report above). Will definitely continue to stay with panny for plasma as currently their plasma is the best on the market. Time to get an oppo blu-ray player.
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Tracked by 3 customers

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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 22, 2011 12:32:20 PM PDT
Mac says:
I have been looking at getting this TV but am wanting to get a set with the FBR fix. I was under the impression that all the August builds had the update but I have heard that that may not necessarily be true and some of the sets from the beginning of the month may not have the fix. I was told you might have to call Panasonic to confirm your set has the fix or if you have a serial number above a certain number then it has the fix applied from the factory. Please let us know if you find out if you have any FBR issues or if you confirm that yours has the fix. I look forward to seeing your further review of the TV! :)

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 22, 2011 2:48:44 PM PDT
Chicago Pete says:
Mac -

Will call Panasonic tomorrow -- I do recall reading that they can confirm if I have the fix.

Will definitely also report back with a full review.

Apparently the low price on Amazon is good until this friday, fyi.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 23, 2011 12:03:29 PM PDT
Chicago Pete says:
I have an MJ1214 serial number and the EEPROM 84.46 -- apparently this is the updated version of the tv, and I have not yet seen enough tv time to comment on FBr, but the highdefjunkies site goers seem to think i won't have an issue.

Posted on Nov 1, 2011 9:57:19 PM PDT
dean-l says:
Nice review.

No doubt the best TV out, right now. Especially, with the non-MSRP (or street) prices. Most "pro" reviews give Samsung (either 7000 or 8000) the nod for "best" TV ONLY because their MSRP prices are CONSIDERABLY lower than VT30's MSRP price. BUT lately the VT actual price is actually cheaper than BOTH of them.

Posted on Nov 23, 2011 5:16:24 AM PST
Scott Wilson says:
I bought this set at the end of August - is a July build. Have had no FBr issues. The picture quality was excellent out of the box, but I improved upon it by having it professionally calibrated. If you visit, then you've probably come across Chad B, professional calibrator. That's who did my calibration, and he exceeded my expectations in every respect. He periodically does calibrations in Chicago, and if I were you, I'd get on his list for his next visit - I promise you'll be glad you did.

I'm convinced that the VT30 is the best flat panel out there, all things considered. I love my set, and heartedly recommend it to everyone. The recent price drop makes this a no brainer.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 23, 2011 5:18:54 AM PST
Scott Wilson says:
Actually, the Samy gets "best value" and "reference color" nod, but VT30 gets "best picture quality overall". I love my VT30.
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