Panasonic TH-65VX100U Review Ewa Beach HI
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Panasonic TH-65VX100U Review
February 9, 2009 By Geoffrey Morrison
Looking to carve out a piece out of the high-end custom market for themselves, Panasonic launched the Premiere line, with 50 and a 65-inch models.
Sporting many custom features aimed at the custom market, does the Premiere have what it takes to compete with the KUROs of the world?
The first thing you notice about the TH-65VX100U is how it looks. While not a deciding factor for some, the aesthetics of the Premiere line are noticeable step up from Panasonic's standard line. The brushed metal finish looks and feels very high end. A good start.
The remote, not that most buyers of this product will use it, has discrete input buttons for all the inputs. By far my favorite feature on a remote. I'm sure this was mostly to make it easier for installers to program universal remotes or Crestron type systems.
Setup is easy. The menus, while stark (not a bad thing), are laid out well. When you leave the menu, say to make a measurement while you're calibrating, it remembers where you were when you go back. This may not sound like a big deal, but it saves at lot of time when you're calibrating.
There are good number of adjustments, including RGB gain and bias controls, in the user menu. Again, making calibration an easy prospect. Perhaps most significant of these is the Gamma control.
Gamma is an odd concept for many to figure out, and there is no real simple way to describe it. Without getting to technical, it's how quickly the TV gets out of black, or into white.
Huh? Ok, say you have a dark scene. My favorite test for this is the scene in Batman Begins where Master Wayne is in jail, and Liam Neeson comes and visits him. This scene has a lot of shadow detail, as in parts of the image that are close to, but not perfectly black. Or in another example, think a dark jacket at night. It shouldn't be totally black (absence of information) but it should be close enough that it is dark, but you can still make out detail. In the Batman scene look at their clothes, the shadows on their faces, or the walls behind each of them.
Where gamma comes into play is how close to black are these, well, close to black objects. Some displays will make these objects very dark (or completely black) in an effort to fool the eye into thinking the black level is better than it is. These TVs are described often as having a lack of shadow detail. The "Brightness" control can make these areas more gray, but not actually return the lost detail. Ideally, that's where a gamma control comes in.
The gamma control will actually adjust how quickly the TV "gets out of black" or how dark these shadow details actually are.
There is no agreed upon setting for gamma, and, as blasphemous as this sounds, it is really up to you (at least on TVs like the TH-65VX100U that allow you to adjust it). Personally, I like a lower gamma, as in one that comes out of black fairly quickly. Other videophiles I k...