Panasonic has made some fantastic plasma and LED HDTVs in the past. Those that have purchased these displays and are still fully-functional today shouldn’t even bother looking at Panasonic’s new offerings. But if you own a much older plasma display or you wish to replace your small TV with a larger one, Panasonic’s new 2013 family of LED displays could be worth checking out. Panasonic’s flagship model is filled with all sorts of features that place the price well above $2,500. If you want 85% of those features in a 55-inch model, you can save a few hundreds by going for the Panasonic TC-L55DT60.
The design of the TC-L55DT60 may not match the elegance that the flagship WT60 models possess but the Panasonic TC-L55DT60 still looks premium and a lot more attractive than Panasonic’s previous HDTVs. The TV cabinet is very thin measuring about 1 and a half inches and the silver bezels are thin as well. The silver thin base of the TV is supported by a uniquely designed V-shaped chrome stand that can swivel although that might not be necessary because of the display’s impressive 178-degree viewing angle.
The TC-L55DT60 is a good non-flagship choice if display quality is one of your main concerns. It has an IPS panel which displays more accurate colors from all viewing angles. Color accuracy can be crucial if you want to enjoy all aspects of your favorite movies from the lush landscapes to the character’s skin tones. Thanks to the very high contrast ratio, blacks also look very deep further contributing to the amazing visuals. If you are not satisfied with the way your content is shown, you can switch to another picture preset or color temperature setting. There are 5 presets to try out and you can change to custom if you want to fine tune the various attributes.
The Panasonic TC-L55DT60 has a slightly dialed down version of their Back Light Scanning technology (1920 BLS) but the 120 Hz refresh rate still translates to very smooth motion video and it isn’t necessary to switch the motion smoothing feature on. High-action scenes shown in action movies and sports programs don’t produce blurring as a result.
The TC-L55DT60 features 3D technology as well and it works pretty well. Because it is passive 3D, you might experience some instances of image ghosting depending on the viewing angle but it isn’t severely distracting. Modern 3D titles display just fine and the included pairs of 3D glasses are enough for you and 3 other individuals to enjoy the experience all at once. There is also a 2D to 3D conversion feature which can be used if you don’t have any pure 3D content to try out.
Connecting the Panasonic TC-L55DT60 is simple as it has built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth so a separate dongle isn’t required. If the router is in close proximity, you may optionally use an Ethernet cable to connect the TV’s LAN port to the router for faster network speeds. Fast network speeds can improve the performance when streaming from PCs in the same network that have shared multimedia content. The SD card slot and 3 USB ports also allow media playback from any storage devices that can plug into these ports.
VIERA Connect continues to serve as a big component for the TC-L55DT60. This feature opens up with the “My Home Screen” which is a highly customizable hub for using the Internet features. You can change the home screen’s wallpaper and you can add useful widgets so you can see things like to-do notes and calendar reminders every time you see the home screen. Like any standard operating system, you can also put shortcuts of your favorite apps. These apps let you do things like access streaming services and social networking sites. A Web browser is included as well so you can access virtually any site you like including the ones powered by HTML5. The dual-core processor with Hexa processing engine contributes to the quick Web browser performance and smooth navigation experience.
Like the flagship model, the Panasonic TC-L55DT60 comes with the VIERA Touch Pad Controller which is a slightly smaller remote control with the essential buttons along with a circular touch pad. This touch pad offers a more convenient way in enjoying the VIERA Connect features. The remote can also listen to your voice through the built-in microphone. The TV can receive and interpret very basic voice commands which can come in handy if you frequently like adjusting certain settings or need to input text directly.
If you have a supported iOS or Android device, you can also control the TC-L55DT60 using the free VIERA Remote 2 app. This app basically puts a friendly touch interface on your device so you can quickly launch apps or do simpler things like adjusting settings. With Swipe and Share 2.0, it is also easy to transmit any stored photos, music, movies or webpages to the display by means of swiping.
Sound quality is surprisingly good with the Panasonic TC-L55DT60. It not only has a pair of down-firing 4-watt speakers but it also has a 10-watt subwoofer to provide some deep bass. Using a separate sound system or even a sound bar will still give you a far better audio experience but the built-in speakers still sound better than other TVs.
Because of all these high-end features and the built-in Wi-Fi, you might still be able to find some TVs that offer impressive image and audio quality but cost less than $2,000. But the $2,200 price tag is still a pretty good deal considering how beautiful this 55-inch TV looks. Considering the TC-L55DT60 over the TC-L55WT60 can also be a smart move since this pricey model offers a built-in camera, refined design and better refresh rate. Although there are plenty of 55-inch TVs to consider, the Panasonic TC-L55DT60 a rare gem with no serious weaknesses. It is a well-rounded TV that has a fantastic design along with remarkable performance and plenty of online features to dig into.
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