Panasonic TC-P65ZT60 (TCP65ZT60) Review
65" 3D Plasma HDTV Studio Master Panel, Viera Connect Smart TV
by Robert Wiley, Senior Editor
Panasonic's top of the line for 2013 and early 2014 is the TCP65ZT60 Plasma. Despite the fact that Panasonic has entered the LED backlit LCD market in a big way their best selling TVs continue to be their plasma offerings. This loaded model has the new Studio Master Panel, 2D to 3D conversion, a touch pad remote with voice interaction, ISFccc Calibration mode for installers, 3000 focus field drive, cloud based Internet TV function, Wireless LAN, BlueTooth, front facing camera built in, and THX certifications to name a few of the features.
This excellent image displayed on the ZT60 highlights the impressive black levels, brights, realistic color, and detail this plasma TV is capable of
This plasma offers what Panasonic calls "Beyond the Reference" level of picture quality. It has the Studio Master Panel to produce “Ultimate” black color, contrast and crisp image edges. The new Studio Master Panel has been developed by a craftsmanship application technique when applying the outer front glass directly to the plasma panel, thus eliminating any gaps which cause picture interference. At least that's Panasonic's explanation of how they contrived it. Nevertheless, one of the greatest characteristics of the picture performance of the VT60 series TV once calibrated is the exceptional deep rich black levels produced by the Infinite Black Ultra Panel. This panel is actually comprised of the Infinite Black Pro Panel with the Ultra Filter – combining to make the “Ultra” panel. In fact the black levels are only challenged by the new OLED TVs in black depth. The ultra filter is not actually part of the panel but an expensive overlay of sorts that enhances depth perception and also black levels by absorbing in-room light and not allowing it to escape. This little trick is especially handy for the anti-glare property it provides as well. This is called a louvered filter and these filters are normally only found on top end models.
This shot provides a good example for the super deep black levels Panasonic is proud of on the ZT60. You can also see a good deal of screen reflections, so it may be best for a dark viewing environment
3D Picture Quality
The ZT60 has a beautifully deep effect to the 3D material I viewed. There is no flickering or crosstalk unless there is a light source coming from the front of the room (especially a window). Then the 3D glasses appear to flicker.
2D to 3D programming looks better every year on these TVs. It dims the picture considerably so be prepared for that and also try to stay near the front and center of the TV. The 3D effect is not nearly as pronounced as originally scripted 3D material. It's 3D light.
Colors here are bright and realistic. Brightness has not always been a strong point for plasma TVs, but in the ZT60 we have seen improvements. Also take note of the built-in camera sitting atop the screen
3500 Focused-field Drive
Panasonic claims that this specification captures the effective speed of processing and even though they do not go so far as a direct comparison with other TVs, I think they mean Hz rate comparison. The specification went from 750 FFD, to 2500 FFD, last year to 3000 FFD this year. It reminds me of the crazy numbers put out by manufacturers for measured contrast. Nevertheless, the TV produces motion and fast moving images without a hitch. That's for sure. There is no problem with display speed.
Smart TV Features
Standard apps in the Viera Connect suite like Netflix, Hulu, Facebook and Twitter are of course offered as well as newer ones from social media network MySpace and its thousands of licensed music artists for MySpace TV, and Disney for a Disney app. Others are WSJ Live, Vimeo, Vudu HD movies, SnagFilms, Bigflix VOD, and Daily Motion (videos). Most of the Apps have a price and some are even after a monthly fee. In our opinion many are overpriced.
New Smart Connectivity Features
Swipe & Share 2.0
Owners of the 65ZT60 have the ability to transfer photos and videos from their Apple or Android devices directly to the large screen with a simple swipe, and then transfer them back to their smart device the same way.
My Home Screen
Tired of brother or sister's home screen settings? Not to worry. With the ZT60 everyone in the household can set their own Home Screen up to have easy quick access to the programming they access most.
This is the new Home Screen menu. Here each user will be able to decide which apps are most important and customize how they are arranged. It's a great feature aimed at providing the best experience for each user in the home
Touch Pad Controller
The touch pad controller may or may not be a helpful deciding factor for you in purchasing. It's an added accessory of dubious value as is the new Voice Interaction function that goes with it. We were not impressed with the small touch pad controller from the ZT50 series from last year as it did not add speed to the slow browsing or Smart TV selection functions.
The included Touch Pad Controller is most useful for speeding up web browsing, but doesn't really help navigation through the Viera Connect platform. A mic button located at the top-left of the controller makes it easy to access the new voice recognition controls
The ZT60 has a classy elegant look and it's a heavy TV with that front panel weight. Another way of looking at is in a cool industrial look and that's why they call it the glass and metal design. The top sheet of glass goes edge to edge over the black border banding.
This shot shows off the elegant glass and metal design of the ZT60
- 65 inch Diagonal Screen
- 3 USB
- Dual Core Processing Engine (Hexa)
- Includes 2 pair active 3D eyewear
- Built-in Camera for Skype
- Voice Interaction
|Having reviewed and written about Television Technology for over 10 years, Wiley never tires of researching the newest qualitative trends related to the technology. Most people do not get excited about possibilities behind the latest video engine...Wiley does. Read more about Robert|