Sony, Sharp and Philips are on the bandwagon and will release TVs based on Android TV in 2015. Android TV combines streaming services, apps, and a game console in one platform. It will also be available in small TV streamer boxes.
LG has a range of new OLED TVs coming out in 2014 as well as new Ultra HD and Full HD TVs. LG is also introducing a new webOS-based Smart TV platform that looks promising. Could 2014 be the year where LG establishes itself as the leading Korean TV innovator?
Panasonic is introducing their new AX900 with “plasma-like picture quality” and a range of new Full HD models – some very basic, some with advanced features. Panasonic is also introducing a new Smart TV user interface called Life+ that recommends relevant content.
In 2014, Philips will introduce its first TV with the new Android-based Smart TV platform. They will also launch Ultra HD TVs and TVs with twin tuners, Miracast screen mirroring and a new Cloud TV app that streams TV channels over the internet.
See FlatpanelsHD's list of TV and monitor recommendations. The list is updated continuously Last update: March 12, 2014.
We bring you a full overview of Samsung's 2014 TV line-up. Samsung has a range of new curved & flat Ultra HD & Full HD TVs. But plasma TVs are almost dead and there are no new OLED TVs in sight.
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Panasonic DT60 review - FlatpanelsHD

Panasonic DT60 review
Panasonic DT60 review


By Rasmus Larsen (@flatpanels)
23 Jul 2013




Panasonic DT60 review

DT60 is one of the high-end LED models from Panasonic’s 2013 LED line-up. Just above it sits the WT60 with the most significant differences being design and the built-in camera that lacks on DT60. DT60 still offers passive 3D and Panasonic’s new Smart Viera platform.

Panasonic has traditionally been associated with its plasma TVs but in recent years they have intensified their LED push. So, can Panasonic match the best-in-class LED models with the new DT60? We will find out.

We have the 42 inch version. Panasonic DT60 is available in 55 and 60 inch sizes in USA, called TC-L55DT60 and TC-L60DT60. In Europe it is available in 42, 47, 50, 55 and 60 inch sizes called TX-L42DT60, TX-L47DT60, TX-L50DT60, TX-L55DT60, and TX-L60DT60.

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Size: 42" widescreen
Resolution: 1920x1080
Response time: -
Contrast ratio: -
Brightness: -
Viewing angles (H/V): 178/178
Panel type: LCD-TV with edge LED
Wall mounting:
Swivel stand:
Dimensions (HxWxD): 56.4cm x 95.6cm x 3.5cm (without stand)
Weight 12.5 kg
Built-in speakers:
Inputs
VGA
DVI (but possible to convert through HDMI)
Audio (type) (Audio in/out)
S-video
Composite
Component
HDMI (3 inputs, 1 HDMI 1.4)
Outputs
Audio (type) (1 output, headphones)
S/PDIF (optical)
Other

Price and retailer:

US retailerUK retailer


Our first impressions

Panasonic DT60 is an elegant and extremely slim TV. Just like its competitors, Panasonic has slimmed down the bezel to almost nothing, which makes the TV appear smaller in overall size. The frame is made from an aluminum shell and the same goes for the base plate.

Panasonic DT60 review
Panasonic DT60 review


At the bottom of the TV the bezel is a bit taller and accompanied by a transparent plastic edge. In the center is a Panasonic logo.

Panasonic DT60 review
Panasonic DT60 review


The base offers adequate support for the extremely lightweight TV. It has a built-in swivel function.

Input and output connectors are found on the back and all of them point either down or to the side, which is optimal if you want to wall-mount the TV. DT60 has 3 HDMI inputs instead of the typical 4 inputs found on previous Panasonic TVs. We similarly saw only 3 HDMI inputs on the VT60 plasma TV.

Test tools

Our TV signal is DVB-S (satellite) from Canal Digital and DVB-T (terrestrial). Testing is done with the DVE (digital video essentials) and Peter Finzel test DVD. Testing is also done via Blu-Ray and Media center/PC.

We use our own monitorTest. The software supports some of the traditional test patterns used to evaluate displays as well as some new and unique test patterns developed by the people here at FlatpanelsHD.

Sony PlayStation 3 is our Blu-Ray player.

All contrast measurements are based on the ANSI methodology.

Functionality

Panasonic DT60 comes with two remotes, which seems to be the trend amongst TV manufacturers nowadays. The large one is as ugly as ever (and has pretty much been left unchanged for many years). DT60 is an elegant-looking TV but the overall feeling of quality does not extend to the remote, which – for us – us is a letdown. The remote is 100 % plastic and it feels very cheap.

Panasonic DT60 review
Panasonic DT60 review


The second remote is a simple remote with only a few buttons and a touch pad in the center that can be used to control the cursor on web pages or just to navigate through menus in the TV. The small remote has a built in microphone that enables voice command control. It is also made from plastic and has the same feel as the larger one.

Panasonic DT60 review
Panasonic DT60 review


Besides that Panasonic DT60 packs the same Smart Viera features as Panasonic’s other high-end models, including a twin tuner, TV apps and mobile streaming integration. We went through all the features in our Panasonic VT60 review so jump in there and read the “Functionality” section for more details. Everything you read about the Smart Viera features in the VT60 review can be transferred to the DT60.

Energy consumption

Compare power consumption measurements on different TVs and monitors with our interactive power consumption applet here.


Standby 0.0 W 0.0 W
SD+HD 76 W 62 W
3D 63 W 66 W


After calibration we measured power consumption to 62 W on the 42-inch version of DT60, which is comparable to other modern 40/42-inch edge LED models. Expect slightly higher power consumption levels from the larger versions of DT60.

Also, notice that power consumption during 3D usage is not very high. This is because DT60 uses passive 3D technology.

Calibration on Panasonic DT60

Below you can see an out-of-box measurement in the Standard mode without the light sensor activated.

Panasonic DT60 review


The graph says this:

Right graph: The number on the left is the delta value. Delta is a difference between two; here it’s the difference between the measured color on the panel and the desired color.

  • A delta value higher than 2 means that a human eye can perceive a slight visible deviation from the actual color.
  • A delta value over 4 or 5 results in visibly wrong colors.
  • A delta value between 1 and 2 means that colors it is very hard to perceive a visual deviations in colors.
  • A delta value lower than 1 is basically perfect color accuracy. Our target value is 0.
  • Everything between 0 and 1 is barely visible to the human eye.

  • Out-of-box color accuracy is not very good, as you can see form the graph to the right. Bright colors are oversaturated and the darkest tones are too dark, which is a trick to make images appear richer in contrast than they actually are (and probably an attempt to improve the perception of black depth).

    The color temperature is also too high at 7800 Kelvin, making pictures appear too bluish. However, things are not as extreme as on last year’s DT50, which DT60 replaces. DT50 was quite extreme in this regard so it is positive to see Panasonic react to the criticism.

    There is no need to dwell on this for much longer. The Standard profile is not recommendable so we quickly moved on to the True Cinema profile and took a new measurement.

    Panasonic DT60 review


    As we have come to expect from Panasonic the True Cinema mode is better. Colors are now more accurate, although a bit too reddish and warm. We would like to add a bit of blue during calibration. The True Cinema mode also eliminates all the artificial sharpness effect introduced by picture processing systems in the Standard profile

    However, oversaturation of bright colors remains and dark colors are also a bit too dark. Panasonic does it by having gamma run from around 1.9 to 2.6, which is not ideal. It is a classical trick in the TV business in order to make some panels – typically IPS panel – appear more contrast-rich than they are. Why? Simply because IPS panels lack contrast and are unable to reproduce deep blacks. However, the trick introduces other issues, so let us try to calibrate DT60.

    Here is the calibrated result.

    Panasonic DT60 review


    After calibration we managed to improve color accuracy a bit and we now have better balance between colors. Blue is not undersaturated any longer but there is still a minor green push in colors.

    Some issues with gamma remain. Panasonic seems to insist on having some colors oversaturated even in the Professional color profiles. We saw the same thing on last year’s DT50 and we do not like it.

    Alas, the DT60 is still not par with Panasonic’s high-end plasma TVs in color accuracy and we have to reiterate what we said last year about Panasonic taking a different route with its LED models. But DT60 is also an improvement over last year’s DT50 so we hope Panasonic can continue to build on that.

    The main problem right now is that there is no way to achieve accurate colors without entering the advanced color settings with the IRE10-100 controls. We did not do that as we would be unable to share the settings with you users so we think it is only reasonable to limit ourselves to what our readers can achieve – not what is possible to achieve in our testing facilities with advanced measurement equipment.

    Below are our calibrated settings.


    Viewing mode: Professional1
    Backlight 53
    Contrast 100
    Brightness 0
    Colour: 50
    Sharpness: 50
    Ambient sensor On/Off
    Color temperature Warm2
    Vivid color Off
    Adaptive backlight control Off
    Noise reduction Off
    MPEG Remaster Off
    Resolution Remaster Off
    Caption smoother Off
    Brilliance Enhancer Off
    Intelligent Frame Creation Off
    Black Expander 0
    Clear White Effect 0
    Gamma 2.2
    16:9 Overscan Off
    R-Gain -2
    G-Gain -6
    B-Gain 5
    R-Cutoff -1
    G-Cutoff -2
    B-Cutoff 1


    Note: Some setting options are not active before you enable ISFccc in the Setup menu. The Ambient sensor option is set to On/Off in the table because it depends on your preferences. Ambient Sensor is the automatic brightness adjuster that adjusts brightness according to the surroundings. It is a practical setting if you watch TV during both daytime and nighttime but if you have a home cinema with controlled lighting, we suggest that you leave it off.

    Picture quality on Panasonic DT60

    In this section we go through picture quality with the calibrated settings.

    Panasonic DT60 has the same semi-glossy coating as most other LED models today. The funny thing is that LCD panels by nature are matte but to introduce color vividness, TV makers have applied a glossy layer to resemble some of the plasma advantages. During daytime the TV acts as a mirror whenever black or dark colors are reproduced on screen. It is probably not the optimal solution for a very bright living room but remember that you can compensate by turning up brightness. Also, the semi-glossy filter ensures that the picture stays vibrant even in brightly lit environments. And that is certainly a plus.

    Panasonic DT60 review
    Panasonic DT60 review


    While color accuracy is not satisfying, color gradation is great. We had a chance to compare DT60 with Sony W9 during testing and even though Sony W9 has the edge in this area, DT60 stacks up well. Most colors are distinguished and we also found DT60 to be an improvement over last year’s DT50. We found no banding color issues either, which is positive.

    SD picture quality is fairly good but it does not yet match performance from Panasonic’s plasma TVs. We found that while pictures are mostly natural, DT6’s inaccurate colors bothered us a few times during casual viewing. We also found black depth to be weak during mixed use, mostly noticeable in dark scenes. This was caused not only due to low contrast but also because we noticed backlight bleeding during TV watching.

    Panasonic DT60 review
    Panasonic DT60 review


    HD pictures are reproduced with a high level of detailing and are crisp and beautiful for the most part. However, in dark movie passages and games, DT60 struggles because of its weak black reproduction. We will confirm this with measurements in a minute. Blu-ray in the 1080p24 format is reproduced correctly after calibration.

    Panasonic DT60 review
    Panasonic DT60 review


    Motion reproduction is fairly good. We noticed some blurring of images during fast motion and DT60 also has some mild overdrive trailing but nothing critical that really affected the HD experience. DT60 is not amongst the fastest LED models we have tested in 2013 but it is not bad either.

    Panasonic DT60 review
    Panasonic DT60 review


    Input lag is crucial for gamers and modern TVs are not necessarily very good in this regard due to heavy picture processing that often is applied to all signals (even HD). The Game mode or PC profile often offers the lowest input lag levels on TVs and that is true for Panasonic DT60, too. With the picture processing system activated, DT60 exceeded 80 ms in input lag but after calibration we measured input lag to around 30-40 ms, which is average for an LED and adequate for most console games, even shooters and racing games.

    Panasonic DT60 review
    Panasonic DT60 review


    Below we have measured black depth and contrast.

    Black level 0.27 cd/m2 0.19 cd/m2
    Brightness 243 cd/m2 143 cd/m2
    Contrast ratio 900:1 753:1
    Contrast ratio +/- 50


    After calibration black depth was measured to 0.19 cd/m2, which is quite bad and comparable to last year’s DT50 (that gave a slightly deeper black measurement but as it was measured at a lower overall picture brightness level contrast is almost the same). Unfortunately, weak black depth is one of the shortcomings of the IPS panel type used in DT60. We saw the same thing on the LA8600 that had a bit better black reproduction but still a far cry from what the best plasma TVs achieve, as well as the best LED models such as the Samsung F8000 and Sony W9. In real use it is noticeable, especially when you watch TV in a dimly lit room, for example in the evening. Dark scenes in movies or games can appear a bit dull and weak on DT60.

    As discussed in the calibration section, Panasonic has tried to compensate by changing the gamma curve a bit. It has not helped much, and black depth is one of DT60’s primary weaknesses.

    Panasonic DT60 review
    Panasonic DT60 review


    Shadow detailing improved after calibration calibration but that is not enough to excite us. Because of Panasonic’s wrong gamma settings DT60 lost details in the dark tones of the picture, which is evident during dark movie scenes.

    As most of you already know, backlight bleeding and clouding can ruin a TV so we have examined Panasonic DT60 in a completely dark room below to check.

    Panasonic DT60 review
    Panasonic DT60 review


    Panasonic DT60 has clouding in all four corners; most pronounced in the upper right. It did bother us at times during practical use but it was never a critical issue.

    3D picture quality on Panasonic DT60

    Two 3D technologies exist. To learn more about the differences between active 3D and passive 3D see this article.

    Panasonic DT60 uses the passive 3D technology with inexpensive polarized 3D glasses (the ones used in movie theatres). The 3D glasses are 100 % passive. It is pretty much just a frame with some transparent filters for each eye. No batteries are required and the glasses do not flicker or cause eye fatigue.

    Panasonic DT60 review
    Panasonic DT60 review


    But the passive 3D system reduces 3D detailing a bit, which is also evident on Panasonic DT60. 3D detailing is still fairly good but you have to sit a bit further back than we would normally recommend for 3D watching. On the other hand, the 3D experience is much more pleasant and easy on the eyes, and with the 4 pairs of 3D glasses included in the box your whole family can join in. If you need more, you can always use the ones from movie theatres. We noticed a tiny bit of crosstalk at times but nothing worrying. The 3D movie as well as 3D game experience is quite pleasing.

    Panasonic DT60 review
    Panasonic DT60 review


    One of the other advantages of the passive 3D system is that it can be used during daytime as no flickering occurs and because more light is let through the glasses, making 3D images appear brighter and clearer. The overall 3D experience is very similar to LG’s LA8600. As we have said before; the next step in 3D comes with 4K, more specifically 4K TVs with passive 3D technology.

    All in all, Panasonic DT60 is a good 3D TV for casual 3D viewing. If you want the best possible 3D picture quality you should instead buy a 3D plasma TVs (and accept the disadvantages of the active 3D system).

    PC and Media Center

    In order to achieve 1:1 pixel mapping you need to deactivate “16:9 Overscan" in the screen settings menu.

    Viewing angles

    Panasonic DT60 is based on an IPS LCD panel, which also means that viewing angles are fairly wide and noticeably wider than on for example the Samsung F8000 and Sony W9.

    Mild color washout still occurs from 50-60 degree angles but you can still enjoy the TV when sitting off to the side. Contrast also drops from an angle, which happens on all LCD/LED models. Panasonic DT60 is above average in this area but not on par with plasma TVs.

    Panasonic DT60 review
    Panasonic DT60 review


    Panasonic DT60 review
    Panasonic DT60 review


    Panasonic DT60 review
    Panasonic DT60 review


    Sound quality

    Panasonic made a pretty big leap forward in terms of sound quality in last year’s LED line-up and Panasonic naturally builds on that with DT60. The speakers are far from great and sound still feels weak and trapped but bass and midtones are more intense than on typical LED models. The speaker system is adequate for casual, daily TV watching and mixed use.

    However, for movies, games and music we recommend separate speakers.

    Conclusion

    DT60 offers all of Panasonic’s Smart Viera features, except the built-in camera of the more expensive WT60. That is no shame as we found it to be mostly superfluous during our VT60 review. Sadly, the same can be said about most of Panasonic’s Smart Viera features and the majority of the TV apps. The processor is faster and some of the mobile streaming options are neat but for the most part were are left unimpressed by Panasonic’s “Smart” offerings, considered that you can get much more in an inexpensive box such as the Roku or Apple TV.

    We have reviewed three “generations” of Panasonic’s DT line. The first DT30 was mediocre to say at least. Last year’s DT50 improved in many areas, and DT60 follows the path. Colors are still far off in the Standard profile but with some massage (and a bit of calibration) DT60 loosens up and reproduces much better colors – at least compared to previous LED models from Panasonic. Still, that does not fix DT60’s other issues such as its weak black levels and its backlight uniformity issues. It is actually an interesting case to observe. In areas where Panasonic’s plasma TVs excel, its LED models trail the market by a margin. The TVs could just as well have been made by an entirely different company because - besides the Smart Viera platform – the plasma and LED models do not share many of the same virtues.

    All in all that leaves us with pretty much the same thoughts as in 2011 and 2012. Panasonic’s plasma TVs are excellent but its LED models are not competing for the crown in the LED arena. DT60 is certainly not a bad TV but we just feel that it is overpriced.

    Price and retailer:

    US retailerUK retailer


    HD picture quality Weak black depth Living room
    Passive 3D is most useable 3D system Clouding issues Home Cinema
    Better user interface for Smart Viera Smart Viera still offers little value
    Improved True Cinema profile Price
    Relatively wide viewing angles Some color accuracy issues persist


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