Consumers that are into huge cutting edge TVs have plenty of reasons to be excited. 2014 is expected to be the year where the prices of 4K displays drop to reasonable levels. Newer technologies like OLED are also expected to be brought into the mainstream and they should mold TVs with wider viewing angles, improved brightness and better power efficiency. However, these price drops won’t necessarily mean that 4K or OLED displays will instantly become the best deal. The prices of these displays will still considerably be higher than similarly-sized 1080p displays. So what do you do when you are not willing to spend more than $2,500 on a 55-inch display? You forget about all the waiting and simply go for a stunning plasma display that shouldn’t look obsolete even when the wave of 4K and OLED displays hit the market. So far, the Panasonic TC-P55VT60 still has the market cornered in terms of overall image quality.
You really can’t go wrong when designing a massive 55-inch TV. As long as the TV cabinet is very thin along with the bezel, the TV should make a fine centerpiece in the living room. But if you compare the TC-P55VT60 against the numerous other 55-inch LED displays, the Panasonic TC-P55VT60 ends up being on the more boring side. It even looks plain and uninspired compared to Panasonic’s very own LED displays so this could probably be a limitation on the plasma end. That being said, at least the 55-inch screen is supported by a uniquely-designed V-shaped stand with a thin metal base. Unfortunately, the stand is not capable of swiveling.
The TC-P55VT60 may not be Panasonic’s plasma flagship model but it is the most feature rich out of the available 2013 55-inch Panasonic plasma displays. Generally, the Panasonic TC-P55VT60 has really good image quality surpassing the vast majority of today’s 1080p LED displays. The only TV that beats this display hands down is Panasonic’s own ZT60 series which is considerably pricier and no 55-inch model exists. Panasonic has several technologies within the panel and filter that really help separate the display’s image quality from the competition. The Infinite Black Ultra technology is applied to the panel and cells so the black levels stay very deep and rich even if the room is black. Combined with the NeoPlasma Black 3000, more light is emitted to ensure crisp images in very high motion and 98% color reproduction.
The Panasonic TC-P55VT60 can also serve your 3D needs if you happen to have a collection of 3D movies and games. The 3D effect is very impressive especially if you spend time calibrating it. There is also a 2D to 3D conversion feature which works fine for any content that isn’t natively 3D. Plus, 2 pairs of 3D active glasses are included in the package.
Unlike many other TV displays, focus wasn’t just made on the picture quality. The TC-P55VT60 also features great built-in speakers possibly negating the need for a separate sound bar. Movie soundtracks sound really good and music tracks containing lots of bass held up pretty well. This combination of impressive sound and picture is enough for this TV to gain THX 3D certification which means that you should really have a pleasant experience when watching movies.
A lot of Panasonic TVs come with VIERA Connect so you can enjoy Internet features during those times when there is nothing good on TV. But the Panasonic TC-P55VT60 offers the very best of the Smart VIERA platform out of all of Panasonic’s displays. With built-in Wi-Fi support, it is very simple to connect the TV to the network and Internet to enjoy these features.
The interface begins with the “My Home Screen” area which you can conveniently access from the remote. It looks like a general computer desktop or tablet home screen complete with widgets and icons representing some of the apps you can run. It is customizable so you can put your favorite shortcuts and widgets and you can change the background wallpaper as well. Some of the good apps to try out include Netflix, Facebook and Amazon Instant Video and there are plenty of others to explore. The Web browser app even enables you to check out any other websites online including the ones powered by HTML5. The TV also comes with special remote equipped with its own touchpad for easier navigation. It is a pretty smooth experience compared to cheaper Panasonic models because the TC-P55VT60 is one of the few displays to have the dual-core processor with Hexa Processing engine.
Because the TV can be connected to the same router as all the other computers and mobile devices, the Panasonic TC-P55VT60 can also stream content stored in these devices. For PCs, it is pretty straight forward thanks to DLNA compliance but with iOS and Android smartphones and tablets, you will have to download the free VIERA Remote 2 app. This app not only lets you stream mobile content to the TV but it also lets you adjust the settings of the TV remotely using the app’s touch-friendly interface. Sending photos and other media to the TV is fun as it is just a swipe away with Panasonic’s Swipe & Share feature. Since the TC-P55VT60 has built-in Bluetooth as well, other mobile devices can stream content too even if these device’s don’t have built-in Wi-Fi.
The Panasonic TC-P55VT60 is Panasonic’s only 55-inch display that comes equipped with a built-in camera. This means that you won’t have to attach a separate accessory if you want to engage in a video conversation using the Skype app. You can also try out the face recognition feature which can use your face to apply your personal My Home Screen settings.
The TC-P55VT60 is proof that it is possible to create a solid plasma display with amazing picture and sound quality without compromises. Energy consumption is still low and the display is beautifully thin despite the ordinary look. The $2,300 price tag might be the main obstacle but as 4K and OLED displays go mainstream, prices are expected to drop.
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