Panasonic TC-P60S60 (TCP60S60) Review

60" 1080p Wifi Plasma HDTV

by , Reviewer

Panasonic TC-P60S60 Plasma TVThe 60 inch class size for plasma TVs is a very competitive one. The TC-P60S60 is a very strong contender in the budget class TV of the year as it offers a very high quality picture for the price, but without the heavy feature set to attain this. Panasonic still includes internet functionality, but it is light at best. 3D is not present either.

Positives

  • Great picture in darker rooms for Price
  • Side angle viewing quality
  • Black levels, color reproduction
  • Clarity, clear Images

Negatives

  • No light absorption in screen in brightly lit rooms causing washing out
  • Only 2 HDMI inputs, no SD card slot (but there are 2 USB)
  • Sound Quality
  • Standard Def picture has hazy effect

Picture Quality Rating: 8.6/10

The TCP60S60 has a full 1080p display for showing HD content at a great price. This is a great addition to the lineup considering that Panasonic's non-3D full HD plasma last year was on the bottom of the list. Black levels and color reproduction are strong points. In a controlled light environment the S60 provides a very strong picture quality for any price.

Video processing up-conversion from standard definition sources is strong, but not as good as the step-up ST60 in the 60Hz mode. There is apparent judder, but nothing out of the ordinary. There is no de-judder mode (Motion Smoother) on the S60 to smooth out the judder, but these de-judder technologies usually cause more harm than good by eliminating too much background blur.

Picture Mode Options

Vivid – ridiculous overblown except you will want to use it with non-animated 3D content with the Motion Smoother on Mid setting.
Standard – Too dim, Panasonic's energy saving mode, best to avoid this one.
Home Theater – Very nice picture in this mode brings a lot of light into the picture. TV set to Warm1 white balance.
Cinema – Similar to Home Theater mode in quality except it introduces a much greener tint to the picture (Warm2 WB setting).
Custom – Of course meant to customize, it starts out with 100% contrast and the Motion Smoother set to Mid and totally juices the picture color, overblown like the Vivid setting.

Black Level and Contrast

The TC-P60S60 drops the Infinite Black Pro panel of the ST60 series that resides above it in the lineup. Black levels and contrast suffer slightly as a direct result, but are still stout. Even though they are not as strong, they should still be considered excellent when compared to budget models. Dark shadow detail is a particular strong point that we noticed when viewing the set.

Panasonic TC-P60S60
Deep blacks are seen on the Panasonic S60 series. Color is also another strong point as seen in the example here. In a bright room, screen reflections tend to stand out more than desired

600Hz Sub-field Drive

This feature is really just a substitute for a plasma TVs refresh rate. Plasma TVs have always had a better refresh rate over LCD and LEDs simply because of the inherent display technology. The 600Hz sub-field drive in the TC-P60S60 handles fast action and side to side panning like the best of them. It lacks the 2500 focused-field drive of the ST60, but 600Hz is enough to handle the needs for most. There is little to no visible motion lag with fast action (at least not that the human eye can detect). Panning side to side camera action produces the judder effects you are accustomed to.

Features Rating: 7.9/10

Online Movies, Internet TV, and Wifi Features

Online Movies on the S60 offers 6 Online Movie Portals: Netlix, Hulu Plus, Vudu Movies, Cinema Now, Amazon on Demand, and You Tube. That's it for Internet TV options on the S60, just the premium movie stuff but it's really all most people use anyway. These Apps load quickly and flawlessly on the S60 and the Wifi connectivity on this TV works very well. This suite compares to the Viera Connect Suite on higher end Panasonic Viera TVs.

Other Connectivity Features

The TCP60S60 also includes networking features like DLNA for access to the home network. This allows for quick and easy sharing of content through the built-in wifi of the TV. It is a great alternative to online connectivity if you host a lot of content on your home network. Viera Link allows the user to control other Viera Link devices, like a blu-ray player, with the S60 remote. This helps to lighten the load of remotes if you have multiple Panasonic devices.

Panasonic TC-P60S60 Touch Pen
The optional Electronic Touch Pen is also available on the S60 series. The pen allows you to add a pesonal touch to photos and video by writing directly on the screen. The result can then be shared using the Swipe & Share 2.0 features. 2 pens can be added for $80

Inputs

As we go down the line, Panasonic continues to shed inputs. The S60 series only includes two HDMI connections and two USB ports. No SD card slot. Two HDMI spots may be too few for some, but that is nothing a good A/V receiver can't fix. This is an especially easy solution if you already have a home theater of some sort. The two USB ports shouldn't be a problem since wifi is built into the set, which frees up a spot.

Sound Quality

Sometimes there is hollow (tunnel-esque) effect that turning the volume up does not remedy. Sound is generally OK from the sound system that has 2 X 10 watt speakers. The standard modes are Standard, Music, Ambience, User. The Natural Surround mode isn't bad for movies but we prefer the simple Standard mode with everything else off. Treble (+6) and bass (-5) which helped slightly.

Appearance and Design


Panasonic TC-P60S60 Plasma TV Design
This shot shows the design of the S60 series. The silver trim only runs along the top and bottom of the screen. That small touch sets it apart from the ST60 series plasmas

I was pleasantly surprised by the design of this TV. It looks and feels more expensive than I though it would. The frame is about an inch and it has silver trim bars top and bottom. Depth is 2.5 inches except for the bottom of the panel which is just over 3” to accommodate the speakers.

Value/Bang for the Buck Rating: 9/10

It's hard to beat the S60 in the value department. At $1150 the TC-P60S60 is a great deal if you do not need the very best picture or 3D compatibility. General picture quality is outstanding for the money, with the one exception of brightly lit rooms. The Samsung PN60F5500 is the equivalent Samsung plasma, but I prefer the S60 for picture, appearance and performance. An equivalently priced LED TV like the Sharp LC-60LE650U is about the same price but cant compete on picture quality unless it's in a very bright room.

Overall Rating: 8.5/10





Jack Burden Jack Burden has been reviewing and writing reviews in the consumer electronics category for 7 years with CEAG. He considers grayscale gradation, film patterned retarders, and focus field drives to be fun topics. Read more about Jack

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