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Panasonic TX-L65WT600 - The Best 4K Ultra HD TV

1/29/2014 10:07:22 AM
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TV manufacturers continue to pursue a 4K agenda, even though standards (unlike Ultra High Definition images), aren't clear. Panasonic, though, has stolen a major lead over the competition, with the launch of its first 4K set, the 65in TX-L65WT600. At the time of writing, it's the only UHD screen able to support high frame rate content, thanks to the provision of both HDMI 2.0 and Display Port v2.1a.

Cosmetically, it looks much like Panasonic's current Full HD range topper, the TX-L55WT65. It's slim with a narrow chrome bezel and distinctive translucent lip.

Panasonic TX-L65WT600

Panasonic TX-L65WT600

There are two Freeview HD tuners onboard, the inclusion of which opens up novel viewing options. A Multi Window preview mode allows the main screen to be scaled alongside a vertical TV listing. This fast-zapping program guide, with live window, can reflect either the DVB tuner, satellite feed or HDMI input. You can swap the channel positions as required.

The WT600 comes with a pair of remotes, a standard IR controller and a dumpy Bluetooth touchpad with integrated microphone, which can be used for voice control.

It has four HDMI sockets, only one of which is 4K HDMI 2.0 enabled, plus SCART and component/composite inputs, three USB ports (one for external hard drive recording), Ethernet, an SD card reader and an optical digital output. Wi-Fi is integrated. The surprise is the provision of the aforementioned Display Port connection, which supports 4K UHD.

http://www.whathifi.com/sites/whathifi.com/files/images/panasonic/PanasonicTXL65WT600detail2.jpg

It has four HDMI sockets

The screen shares the same Smart feature set as its stable mates. Apps include Panasonic's own 4K streaming service, allowing 50/60Hz 3840x2160 clips to be viewed, for which a connection of around 50Mb/s is suggested.

Of course, the set's main claim to fame is its eight-million pixel panel. To this with native 4K, we connected a media server loaded with UHD content from Euro sport, via Display Port. Unlike other 4K demo material we've seen, this footage was shot at 60Hz.

While UHD clarity always impresses, high frame rate 4K footage of rally car driving and equestrian events is stunning. The set also makes for a totally outrageous gaming monitor, when hooked up to a PC sporting a 4K graphics card. Playing Project Cars at 60Hz via Display Port on a 65in panel is the next best thing to sitting in the passenger seat. A growing number of cards support 4K, including nVidia's Quadro and GeForce series, as well as AMD's Radeon HD 7000 and Fire-Pro models.

The screen shares the same Smart feature set as its stablemates

The screen shares the same Smart feature set as its stable mates

The WT600 also does a fine job of up-scaling Full HD sources, be they from its own tuner or Blu-ray. The set's 4K Hexa-processing engine references a database of textures and applies them dynamically; alternatively you can scale 1080p inputs to the pixel dense display.

The screen's black level performance is satisfying, and not particularly prone to greyness (an LCD trait), even in full black out conditions. Color vibrancy is also high. While edge-lighting uniformity is good, the set does struggle to maintain color and contrast when viewed off-angle, though.

Audio is the Panasonic's weakest feature. A low level of amplification and downward/rearward firing drivers make for a muddy noise.

Verdict

It may be early days for 4K Ultra HD, but this HDMI 2.0 model hints at what we can expect. In the meantime, thanks to the provision of Display Port, you can hook up a PC and enjoy the set's ultra-hires 2160p talents straight away.

This HDMI 2.0 model hints at what we can expect

This HDMI 2.0 model hints at what we can expect

Specs and price

·         Price: $8,249

·         Type: 65in 4K TV

·         65in 4K TV

·         3840x2160 pixels

·         2x 4W speakers with 10W woofer

·         Freeview HD, Satellite DVB-S2 tuners

·         1468x863x56mm, 38kg

Rating

·         Build: 4.5/5

·         Features: 5/5

·         Performance: 5/5

·         Value: 4.5/5

·         Overall: 4.5/5

 

 
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