LED TVs are dominating the market right now and it is primarily because of the way most manufacturers are promoting them. A lot of people like to believe that LED displays are the latest technology and are backed with all sorts of other innovations ranging from smart TV technologies to fancy display designs. Some people also believe that plasma displays don’t last as long as LED displays because of the burn in problems that older plasma displays used to suffer from. LED TVs do have a number of advantages over plasma displays like high light outputs, minimal input lag and low power consumption. But if the Panasonic TC-P60ZT60 is any indication, plasma technology still reigns supreme on one very important attribute – image quality. The TC-P60ZT60 is like the spiritual successor of the highly praised Pioneer Kuro and is a very difficult TV to beat when it comes to picture quality.
Manufacturers often pour more effort into designing their LED TV models simply because they can. The latest technologies enable these companies to design some ridiculously thin displays with nearly invisible bezels. Plasma is a bit more complicated in this aspect and the design of the Panasonic TC-P60ZT60 really shows that. It looks pretty similar to the cheaper, but also impressive Panasonic TC-P60VT60. That being said, the TV itself doesn’t look too ugly thanks to the single sheet of glass design that contributes to the thin profile and the classy chrome bezels. It also has the non-swivel same V-shaped stand and flat metal base that other Panasonic TVs have. Now pit that against the TC-L55WT60 which is Panasonic’s flagship LED model and the TC-P60ZT60 will lose in a beauty contest.
The biggest feature of the Panasonic TC-P60ZT60 is simply the fact that this display easily blows all the other displays out of the water in most areas. With its NeoPlasma Black 3000 panel, 30,720 gradation steps and Ultimate Black filter, the TC-P60ZT60 is capable of producing the deepest black levels ever. Research has already proven that plasma TVs have the best contrast ratio and the Panasonic TC-P60ZT60 is basically the cream of the crop as it backs up these very deep black levels with amazing color accuracy and a 3000 Focused Field Drive which allows very smooth action sequences. The less expensive TC-P60VT60 shares many of these display technologies but the TC-P60ZT60 is a better performer in brighter rooms. As a 3D display, the Panasonic TC-P60ZT60 performs very well regardless of the 3D content. The TV comes with 2 pairs of 3D active glasses and it should work fine with third-party 3D glasses. These display advancements are worthy enough to earn the THX 3D certification making this TV an excellent home cinema powerhouse.
The audio quality of the TC-P60ZT60 is average which is understandable for most TVs but it is a bit disappointing that this flagship model lacks the front-facing speakers that the TC-P60VT60 has. These speakers really helped the audio performance so you have no choice but to equip the Panasonic TC-P60ZT60 with a sound bar or other external speaker system if you want better audio quality.
As expected with any flagship TV nowadays, the TC-P60ZT60 has a laundry list of features that vastly extend the TV’s capabilities. It is packed with VIERA Connect which is Panasonic’s smart TV platform and it features a customizable interface called “My Home Screen”. This interface gives you the sense that you are operating a tablet or desktop computer where you can launch apps by means of selecting icons or place widgets so you can see some important data just by glancing on the home screen. You can also personalize this home screen by changing the wallpaper. Popular apps like Facebook, Netflix, Hulu Plus and Twitter work just fine and there plenty of other apps and games to install under various categories including a web browser. The Skype application is also included although you won’t be able to make video conversations right out of the box like the TC-P60VT60 since the Panasonic TC-P60ZT60 lacks the built-in front-facing camera. The TV houses a powerful dual core hexa-processing engine so you get better performance and responsiveness compared to other TVs with “smart” features. Of course, an Internet connection is required and the Panasonic TC-P60ZT60 should have no problem connecting to the home network through its built-in wireless LAN.
In addition to the standard remote control, the TC-P60ZT60 comes with a compact and stylish remote control that can still do things like change the channel, adjust the volume and access the My Home Screen but it has a circular touch pad on top that makes app navigation a lot easier. This remote connects to the TV via Bluetooth highlighting the TV’s built-in Bluetooth capability and it is pretty responsive. It also has a dedicated microphone button which activates the remote’s built-in microphone. This allows you to perform voice searches which can be useful if you find it tiring to enter text using the onscreen keyboard.
Panasonic also offers the VIERA Remote 2 app in the iTunes App Store and Google Play so most smartphones and tablets can act function as a remote for the Panasonic TC-P60ZT60 too once this app is installed. It comes with all the functions found on a standard remote control and lets you adjust settings and launch TV applications remotely. One of the cool features of this app is its ability to pull pictures and other content from your smartphone and display them on the TV. This feature is called Swipe & Share and its name really speaks for itself. You just swipe the image on the phone as if you are trying to beam it on the display.
Any TV deserves some recognition if it flat-out beats the Pioneer Kuro in image quality. The TC-P60ZT60 manages to do just that and it comes with plenty of smart TV features too. The very high $3,000+ price tag may put a lot of people off but you can’t really find anything else that can beat this TV unless you decide to check out OLED and 4K displays which currently cost ridiculously more.
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