Panasonic TC-P65VT50 3D Plasma HDTV HT Labs Measures

HT Labs Measures

Full-On/Full-Off Contrast Ratio: 16,165:1

All the post-calibration measurements shown here and all the observations in the review itself unless noted otherwise were performed in the Custom picture mode for 2D and 3D, through an HDMI input with the set adjusted as needed for the most accurate image in a darkened room.

The above 2D contrast ratio was measured at a Contrast setting of 79, a Brightness setting of 57, and a Gamma setting of 2.4, and Panel brightness set to Mid. The peak white level with these settings was 32.33 foot-lamberts, and the black level was 0.002 ft-L.

The Before Calibration RGB Balance shown in the charts was taken in the THX Cinema mode, adjusted for approximately the same peak white level mentioned above and the Color temp. set to Warm2. As you can see, the result was middling at best. The pre-calibration Delta E values ranged from 2.16 at 20 percent brightness (good) to 7.42 at 80 percent, with an average of 5.18. Post-calibration in the Custom mode, the low was 0.26 at 60 percent and the high 1.59 at 100 percent, for an excellent average of 0.62.

(Delta E is a figure of merit that indicates how closely a display adheres to the HD color standard. Experts generally agree that a level below 3 to 4 indicates a result that’s visibly indistinguishable from perfect color tracking. Delta Es can be used to characterize either white balance [gray scale] or color.)

In the Normal Color space setting, the set’s post-calibration 2D color gamut was close to the Rec. 709 HD standard with respect to the two-dimensional locations of the color points as shown on the CIE chart. The luminance values of the individual colors, however, were off. Unfortunately, the Luminance controls in the Pro menu proved largely useless for correcting this. With a little finessing of the main Color control (taking care to avoid adverse effects on the other color results), I was able to refine the overall post-calibration color Delta E values to an excellent average of 0.65—a high of 0.72 for cyan and a low of 0.51 for magenta.

The Panasonic’s gamma in the 2D Custom mode, at a setting of 2.4, averaged 2.23, with a low of 2.21 at 80 percent brightness and a high of 2.26 at 60 percent.

The 3D calibration (charts not shown) came out nearly as well. Post-calibration, the gray scale Delta E averaged 0.86 and the color Delta E averaged 4.92 (with green the outlier at 16.63; blue was the next highest at 5.4). At a Gamma setting of 2.2, which looked visibly best overall on most 3D material, the average gamma was a low 1.72 (high 1.97 at 20 percent, low 0.83—ulp!—at 90 percent). It’s now a relatively common practice for manufacturers to pump up the subjective 3D brightness level by using low gammas, which enhances the mid-brightness region. —TJN


figuredmaple's picture

I have been waiting for this review since the 2012 CES! Also, thank you for the comparisons with the Kuro models.
Although I was ready to buy this set this year, hopefully the 2013 VT60(?) will perform better than the previous Kuro Elite and be the new black level champ, especially without the black level crush that this model has. I'll be waiting for your review of the 2013 models before I finally buy one.

aleksandr's picture

Great review Tom. Now waiting for the first OLED review...

true audio's picture

Thanks for stroking my ego and my Pro-141FD !

Fosgate MC220's picture

Wow T.N. your review seems to be having a negative effect on the sales of this T.V.
What power your pen wields (but then you know how your opinion affects us).
I too have been waiting (impatiently) for your review... but I have not yet had the chance to
experience/audition this set for myself.
I for one missed out on the Pro-141FD (loved it... but I'm an over the air kind of guy, so the no tuner thing did not work out). Oh... and then there was the fact that I couldn't afford it anyway.
I will not be able to afford an OLED either, so I am looking for the best bang for the buck. I do appreciate the caveats, but I'm not sure about waiting for the next generation either. Will Panasonic keep improving their plasmas' at this price point or will we see a dumbing down of quality because they can't sell this model?

etrochez's picture

"The darkest scenes on the Panasonic weren’t quite as enticingly rich, a result confirmed by the two sets’ measured black levels (0.001 foot-lamberts on the Kuro after three years of use; 0.002 ft-L on the Panasonic after an estimated 200 hours of operation)."

So, you could tell the difference between 0.001 and 0.002 ft-L (that's one thousandth of a ft-L) even before the test? Mmm... I don't think so. Lost interest in the article after that comment.

mzaborowski's picture

I'm an avid fan of your column and Home Theater Magazine in general, and I'm glad the review of the TC-P65VT50 was finally published because I was waiting on your opinion before I finally fall of the fence and make a purchase.

I'm still hesitant because I've very interested in Panasonic's TH-65VX300 professional display but I've yet to see any meaningful reviews of it. Several forums praise it and several damn it as not being worth the premium price over Panasonic's consumer models.

Personally, I can leave features such as Viera Connect because I'm more interested in picture quality and color accuracy.

So, if you had your choice between the TC-P65VT50 or TH-65VX300, which one would you choose?

jerryyng's picture

Under the advanced picture settings, the recommended setting for 1080p pure direct is "light". I believe the only choices for this setting are either "on" or "off". I believe the recommended "light" setting is for Black Level which is not listed here. Hopefully Mr. Norton will update this review and correct his recommended setting for 1080p pure direct.

kent harrison's picture

Good review on this television,but im going to wait on Vt whatever next year it probably will be 4kby2k one that will be nice,that would be my last tv in the basement for at least 5 years if the price is right.

mlepito's picture

This TV definitely has burn-in issues. I watched only full screen tv on it for 200 hours at 50% contrast, then on game mode only set the contrast to 80% instead of the 100% set by Panasonic and it still burned the score from Modern Warfare IIII permanently into the screen. I'm even starting to get some Black Ops II sore on there too. I think maybe we need to look at permanent image retention again and not just assume the pixle warble will take care of it. This also happened on the VT30.

juanseva_2's picture

I am very happy with the purchase of my tv panasonic GT50, but I have a concern about the image retention. Although I have been very careful with these first months, not yet complete 100 hours of use, but I've noticed especially that with only two hours of use on channel foxhd, the logo has been printed on a little screen ... and has been declining, but what do you recommend caution to avoid these problems in the future? ...
Thanks !!

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