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Review: Panasonic VT20/VT25 3DTV


Panasonic VT20/VT25 3DTV review

Panasonic VT20 (VT25 in the US) is the new 3DTV and flagship model from Panasonic's 2010 line-up. I have been exited to take a closer look at this TV after I saw it at some of the first presentations earlier this year. VT20 does not only bring 3D into our home, it also features the most advanced TV technologies from Panasonic. VT20/VT25 has been called the new Pioneer KURO. It comes with the new Infinite Black Pro panel and incorporates functionality such as Internet, DLNA and a THX picture mode.

But is Panasonic's VT range the new reference in picture quality? Can it replace the KURO as our reference model here on FlatpanelsHD? And what about the 3D picture quality? FlatpanelsHD will tell you all that and more in this review.

Panasonic's 3DTV is called VT20 in Europe and VT25 in the US. VT20 will be available in 50 and 65 inches called TX-P50VT20E and TX-P65VT20E. VT25 will be available in 50, 54, 58 and 65 inches called TC-P50VT25, TC-P54VT25, TC-P58VT25 and TC-P65VT25.
We have the VT20 EU model here.

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Panel size: 50"
Resolution: 1920x1080
Response time: -
Contrast ratio: -
Brightness: -
Colour support: 16,7 million colours
Signal processing: 8 bit for each colour
Viewing angles (H/V): Angle Free
Dot pitch: -
Panel type: Plasma G13 (Panasonic)
Wall mounting:
Swivel stand:
Dimensions (HxWxD): 77.1cm x 122.4cm x - (without stand)
Weight -
Built-in speakers:
Input formats: 480p/i, 576p/i, 720p, 1080i & 1080p (50, 60 & 24p)
1:1 pixel mapping:
• DVI (can be converted through HDMI)
• Audio (type) (Audio in/out)
• SCART (2 indgange)
• S-video
• Composite
• Component
• HDMI (4 inputs, 1 HDMI 1.4)
• Other
• Audio (type) (1 output)
• S/PDIF (optical)
• Analogue

Price and retailer:

US retailer (TC-P50VT25 in the US)UK retailer

Our first impressions

Panasonic VT20 has a glossy frame that has a subtle brown toning. Most of the time the bezel looks completely black but with sunlight falling on it you'll notice the brownish tint.

Panasonic 3DTV VT20 / VT25

The stand is round and very discreet but it provides a solid foundation for the large TV. It also has a manual swivel function but the range is limited.

Panasonic 3DTV VT20 / VT25

Inputs are located on the back but unfortunately a lot of them are pointing towards the back wall making it hard to wall mount the TV. This is still a problem with Panasonic's TVs.
The HDMI 2 input is a HDMI 1.4 input with an audio return channel (ARC).

Panasonic 3DTV VT20 / VT25

On the side of the TV we found one HDMI input, two USB inputs and a SD card reader, together with some other inputs.

The frame is slimmer than most of the 2009 Panasonic models but not as slim as some of the other new TVs on the market.

The TV has some plasma buzzing from the back of the frame. I could hear it when I was behind the VT20 but not when I was sitting in front of the TV.

Test tools

Our TV signal is DVB-S (satellite) from Canal Digital and DVB-T (terrestrial). We also have an analogue TV connection. Testing is done with the DVE (digital video essentials) and Peter Finzel test DVD. Testing is also done with DVD, TV, 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 on FlatpanelsHD.
Sony PlayStation 3 is our Blu-Ray player.

All contrast measurements are based on the ANSI methodology.


The remote is almost similar to the one we saw on G20. It has large buttons and is made from black plastic.

Panasonic 3DTV VT20 / VT25

It feels cheap and lacks some weight. I can understand that a mid-range TV such as the G20 has this remote control but a flagship model like the VT range come with a more exclusive remote control.

The functionality is pretty much similar to the VT20 range and I have borrowed some of the text from our G20 review to explain the Internet functionality, DLNA and USB recording. For setup steps see the G20 review. I have also included a small section about the DVB-S tuner.

USB HDD recording on Panasonic VT20
VT20 has incorporated USB HDD recording to enable recording onto an external hard drive. This also enables you to put live TV on pause, and time future recordings.

I'm not sure if this USB recording is enabled on the US VT25 model. Please note that the external hard drive will be paired with the TV and cannot be used together with other devices without being reformatted. If you have important data move then to your computer before you connect the hard drive to the VT20.

By clicking on the red REC button you initialize recording to the external hard drive.

While recording you need to stay on the same channel. If you try to change channel VT20 tell you that you have to stop recording.

Panasonic VT20 / VT25 review

It’s no problem to switch to another source input such as HDMI to watch a Blu-ray movie. Recording on the digital tuner continues in the background. The maximum limit for one recording session is 180 minutes.

Panasonic VT20 / VT25 review

Panasonic has also combines USB recording with the TV Guide, so you can record future programs or set up reminders.

Panasonic VT20 / VT25 review

It’s not possible to program the TV Guide to record all episodes of for example friends, but you can extend recording at the beginning as well as in the end.

Panasonic VT20 / VT25 review

The USB HDD recording feature also allows you to pause live-TV transmission. You need to activate the REW function in the menu in order to do so. Recordings made with REW function are not stored on the hard drive. If you want to store anything you want to use the REC button at the bottom of the remote.

Navigation is fast and easy. The quality is actually surprisingly good. Sure there’s a small loss in picture quality from the actual broadcast but not it’s not significant. MPEG4 and HDTV is also supported by the USB HDD recording feature.

I tried to connect the HDD to a PC afterwards but I was not allowed to play back anything. Actually the hard drive was not visible at all with the FreeBSD/286 file system.

Panasonic VT20 / VT25 review

To access your recording afterwards you press the VIERA CAST button and select video. Here you have a lit showing you the stuff. Everything is named and time labeled but there’s no option to rename.

So, basically if you're planning on getting the VT20 / VT25 you should definitely buy yourself as slim external hard drive as well. Plug it in and mount it on the back of the TV.

Internet access - VIERA CAST
Panasonic has also updated their VIERA CAST system and added new services. Mp3 files are now supported through the USB port and the graphical interface has been refined.

Panasonic VT20 / VT25 review

By connecting a USB stick in one of the two USB inputs you can play video, show pictures and play backmusic. Music playback runs fine and the graphical interface is very attractive.

Panasonic VT20 / VT25 review

Pictures can be turned into a slideshow and some background music starts. I wish I could play my own music, though.

Video codecs has better support than last year. It ate mpeg2, mpeg4, avi (and divx) but no mov and wmv files.

The DLNA feature allows users to play back music, videos and images from another computer or device on the home network. I used a cable connection but you can also plug in a Wi-Fi dongle on the side of the TV to enable wireless connection.

Panasonic VT20 / VT25 review

The DLNA functionality is fair and better than on the 2009 models. It now supports more video codecs but no mov or wmv. On VT20 I was also able to playback mp3 files which I couldn't on the G20.

VIERA CAST also lets you connect to the internet and a variety of services. I found DailyMotion, Tagesschau, Youtube, Picasa, Bloomberg and Eurosport. You can also go one level deeper in the VIERA CAST interface and find, qTom and, although these are local services. qTom is German and I could not access it. I also miss some local services.

Panasonic has promised to update the VIERA CAST services later this year.

Calibration and menus
Panasonic has expanded the setting option with a THX mode and the new ISFccc calibration menu. The THX mode ensures very accurate and cinema-like picture quality. The ISFccc functionality enables users to access a range of advanced picture setting options. That' very cool.

Panasonic VT20 / VT25 review

The menus have not changed graphically but now you have the professional1 and professional2 profiles with gamma adjustment (S curve, 1.8, 2.0, 2.2, 2.4 and 2.6) and white balance control (white point) with RGB values in both gain (the brightest shades) and the cutoff (the darkest shades). There is also a color control, where you can adjust hue and saturation.

Panasonic VT20 / VT25 review

And of course you can find all the standard setting options such as brightness, contrast, sharpness, color, etc. And you can select from these picture modes: Dynamic, Normal, Cinema, THX, Professional1 and Professional2.

Panasonic has also incorporated a feature to copy settings from one input to another. Say you have calibrated the HDMI1 source and you want the same settings on the HDMI2 source you can easily do this without having to manually re-enter everything.

Finally, you can lock settings.

A quick look at the built-in DVB-S tuner. Below you can see the setup:

Panasonic 3DTV VT20 / VT25

The DVB-S tuner also has some submenus.

Panasonic 3DTV VT20 / VT25

I had no problems setting up a DVB-S picture but you need a CA module to receive pay channels. This is inserted in the side of the TV.

Energy consumption

I have measured energy consumption on the 50-inch VT20 below.

Out-of-Box After calibration
Standby 0,3 W 0,3 W
SD 374 W 190,4 W
HD374 W190,4 W

After calibration I measured 190 W which is about 25 W more than on the 42-inch Panasonic G20 and actually better than I had expected. Before calibration in the Dynamic mode VT20 consumed 374 W (average value - low: about 280 W, peak: about 475W).

I normally use the default picture mode for out-of-box energy consumption but on VT20 Dynamic might be a better reference for 3D viewing. Because of the 3D glasses that reduce brightness you need more light output from the TV and that's why I have taken an energy consumption measurement in the Dynamic mode.

In the Standard picture mode VT20 has an Eco mode and energy consumption is a bit higher than in the THX mode but not by much.

Also, please note that the flat panel TVs uses less power after calibration. This is common on flat panel displays because many picture parameters are reduced during calibration.

Calibration on Panasonic VT20 / VT25

Below I have measured the out-of-box picture quality on Panasonic VT20 in the default picture preset called Standard. I deactivated the Eco mode that adjusts light output in the screen according to surroundings.


The graph says this:

The number on the left is the delta value. Delta is a difference between two factors; here it’s the difference between the measured color on the panel and the actual color that is our target.

  • A delta value lower that 2 results in a visible deviation from the actual color.
  • A delta value over 4 or 5 results in wrong colors.
  • A delta value between 1 and 2 results in precise but not perfect colors.
  • A delta value lower than one results in almost perfect colors. The target is 0.
  • Everything between 0 and 1 is barely visible to the human eye.

    The standard mode is actually not bad. Panasonic's VT range has some color deviations because gamma is too low making most colors a bit too bright.

    Gamma varies from 2.0 to 2.07 so that all colors are brighter than our reference but this is very typical for an out-of-box picture preset on a flat panel TV.

    Panasonic 3DTV VT20 / VT25

    The color temperature is 6689 Kelvin and very close to our reference of 6500 Kelvin. Brightness is low but you also have to remember that the measurement has been made without the Eco mode that can increase brightness in bright surrounding.

    I now switched to the THX picture mode and have taken a new measurement.


    The THX mode is impressive. Color deviations are very low and the result is one of the best I have seen so far from a flat panel TV. Gamma is 2.2 and only varies with 0.04 which doesn't mean anything in practical use.

    The brightness was measured to 83 cd/m2 which is optimized for movie watching in the evening. For daytime use you should prefer a higher brightness value.

    Panasonic 3DTV VT20 / VT25

    The THX mode is also a bit better than on the Panasonic G20 that received much praise. VT20 has a very accurate picture, too, and the only thing I might mention is the slightly too low color temperature.

    Even though the THX mode offers close to what we can expect from TV today in terms of color accuracy I tried to calibrated VT20 and here's my result.


    Below you can see my calibrated settings.

    After calibration
    Mode: Professional1
    Contrast 36
    Brightness: 0
    Colour: 30
    Sharpness: 0
    Vivid colours Off
    Eco-format Off
    P-NR Off
    Intelligent Frame Creation On/Off
    16:9 overscan Off
    R-gain +1
    G-gain -2
    B-gain +4
    R-cutoff 0
    G-cutoff 0
    B-cutoff +2

    I did not change much from the THX mode but did make some minor changes to RGB values.

    To access the RGB values you need to activate ISFccc from the setup menu. When you do that you'll see the two professional1 and professional2 modes in the menus together with RGB values. From here you should also deactivate 16:9 overscan to ensure no scaling of HD content.

    Panasonic 3DTV VT20 / VT25

    Picture quality on VT20 / VT25

    VT20 / VT25 incorporates a new Infinite Black Pro plasma panel from Panasonic. A lot of people have speculated that this is actually built from KURO technology because Panasonic acquired the Pioneer KURO patents and technology after Pioneer's exit in 2009.

    In this section we will examine picture quality and see if TV20 actually incorporates some of the KURO elements that are still considered to reproduce the best picture quality.

    Panasonic 3DTV VT20 / VT25

    Before I do that I want to talk about another new significant change in the plasma panel. One of the significant changes compared the 2009 models is the reduction in reflections on the panel and we saw this on the G20 some months ago, too. This is made possible because of increased light output from the plasma panel enabling a brighter picture that is better suited for daytime viewing, but even more important because the glass layers are not separated anymore meaning that in-panel reflections are greatly reduced. Panasonic VT20 also has a different filter than the G20 and this should improve thing even further.

    The plasma technology is comprised of different layers of glass and often the light reflections from sunlight or lamps would reflect into the layers and the in-panel reflections would cause the panel to appear dim and lifeless.

    Panasonic 3DTV VT20 / VT25

    The VT20 is dealing with reflections and ambient light in a very similar way to the G20 that we tested earlier. In-panel reflections are reduced a lot and I experience no mirror effect. This improves daytime viewing a lot, simply because color fidelity and contrast is maintained even in difficult light conditions such as bright sunlight. That is a huge improvement compared to last year and especially the V10 model that had a very reflective glass front. See the picture of VT20 above taken in bright daylight.

    The filter on VT20/VT25 even improves daytime viewing further. Black levels look deeper and when VT20 is turned off you can also see that VT is indeed darker than G20.

    Color reproduction is good but not perfect. We explained before that color accuracy is very good but color gradation is also an important factor in color reproduction on a flat panel TV today. We usually check this with the help from color gradients from our monitorTest software that has a range of different color gradients.

    Panasonic 3DTV VT20 / VT25

    We saw some bands in the smooth gradients indicating that color gradation is not perfect. This happened primarily in the very dark colors. The result is good and VT20 has no critical problems but in terms of color gradation it's pretty much on par with the G20 model.

    This is also visible to the critical user in fast motion scenes sometimes because the plasma technology is creating some colors by mixing new colors from existing one (called dithering). We saw the same thing on the G20 and this is not improved on VT20. Plasma dithering noise in general is also visible if you watch the panel closely but it's not visible from a distance. In moving images you might experience some light banding because of this. But again, this is common with plasma panels, and not critical for picture quality.

    Panasonic 3DTV VT20 / VT25

    SD content is reproduced well. Panasonic had some scaling and de-interlacing issues in the past but VT20 has no critical issues. De-interlacing is very good ensuring that jaggies (stair like lines that appear where there should be smooth straight lines or curves) are greatly reduced.
    Together with the good scaling processor VT20 creates a detailed and nice SD picture that is the best so far from Panasonic and I really enjoyed watching SD content on VT20.

    HD reproduction is impressive. The image is very detailed and motion is handled very well. VT20 has no issues with processing the HD pictures and this gives us the best HD picture from Panasonic so far that is also a tad better than on the G20, probably because of better internal image processing. The image also has very good contrast levels and I feel that the deep black contributes to depth and vividness in the picture. Wauw. I'll measure the black levels in a second.

    Panasonic 3DTV VT20 / VT25

    1080p24 is also supported at 96 Hz frame rate. This means that you get no flickering from the 1080p24 format on Blu-ray discs but make sure to deactivate the IFC and 24p smooth motion. These two functions changes the frame rate.

    All content on VT20/VT25 also contributes from the new panel that has almost no reflections or in-panel reflections and this greatly improves daytime viewing on the TV.

    Panasonic 3DTV VT20 / VT25

    Response time on plasma TVs is very low by standard but phosphor trailing can be an issue. Phosphor trailing is often a green or yellow halo that is created around moving object because the phosphor layer in the pixels is not updated quickly enough. Panasonic had promised that phosphor trailing on VT20/VT25 had been greatly reduced because of a new pixel structure. And they were right.

    Phosphor trailing on Panasonic VT20/VT25 is indeed reduced. I still see some phosphor trailing but compared to G20, the VT range is much better with motion handling. Motion resolution is also very high on VT20. Moving pictures are very detailed and plasma TVs still has the edge compared to even the new LCD-TVs with scanning backlight such as the LG LE8500. These factors are not only important in 2D reproduction but also 3D.

    Panasonic 3DTV VT20 / VT25

    I'm very pleased with the good motion performance on VT20/VT25 that is definitely an improvement compared to the G20 and the 2009 line-up. The VT20 is also slightly better than the KURO in terms of phosphor trailing. Very nice.

    VT20 has a new and improved version of the Intelligent Frame Creation (IFC) system like we saw on the G20. The IFC system serves the same cause as 100/120/200/240 Hz systems on LCD-TVs. In brief IFC tries to smooth out motion and reduce juddering. Just like the 100/120 Hz systems on LCD-TVs this can be done by calculating (interpolating) new frames that are inserted between the existing ones.

    Panasonic 3DTV VT20 / VT25

    The IFC system n VT20/VT25 is fair and not too aggressive like we have seen on some LCD-TVs out there. IFC does appear to create smoother motion and the picture remains more natural without a heavy pseudo-look that is visible on some of the LCD-TVs. The video-like look is there, however, and IFC also introduces some artifacts. For HD content I personally prefer to deactivate IFC and if you want to playback 1080p24 content you should deactivate it.

    I saw some very minor retention in the break-in period (150 hours) but nothing serious. I'm not sure if image retention can occur later on in the process on VT20. Panasonic has changed the phosphor layer on VT20 (to enable faster response time, less phosphor trailing and 3D viewing) so it's not exactly the same phosphor structure as on the G20 that had no image retention whatsoever.

    VT20 is very resistant to image retention, however, and I only saw some very minor retention. LG and Samsung still has some image retention issues and we saw it on the LG PK9500 review too.

    Below I have measured black levels and contrast.

    Out-of-Box After calibration
    Black level 0,04 cd/m2 0,03 cd/m2
    Brightness 68 cd/m2 83 cd/m2
    Contrast ratio1700:12767:1
    Contrast ratio +/- 100

    After calibration I measured black to 0.03 cd/m2. This is a bit better than the G20 but not as low as on the Pioneer KURO (0.02 cd/m2 with our meter which is the lowest possible by the calibrator unit, review only available on our Danish site FlatpanelsDK) or the new LCD-TVs with LED local dimming.

    Black reproduction is very good and deep on Panasonic VT20/VT25 both in dark and bright environments but VT20 is no big revolution, rather an evolution. The Infinite Black Pro panel is not the new reference in terms of black depth.

    In a completely dark room black on VT20 is very deep but you can see that some light slips through (see the photo at the end of this section taking with a high shutter time).

    Panasonic 3DTV VT20 / VT25

    In daylight black levels are darker than on the G20, though. Even though the G20 performed very well in daylight and had only minor reflections the filter on VT20/VT25 improves reproduction of dark shades during daytime. VT20 is also darker when turned off than the G20. This is not really important but just shows that VT20 utilizes a different filter.

    In practice black looks very deep. The panel also greatly reduces reflections meaning that black reproduction is good in the evening but also during daytime which is important.

    Panasonic 3DTV VT20 / VT25

    Shadow detailing is very good. I can distinguish almost all dark shades and this ensures fantastic detail in dark scenes. I did see some plasma dithering noise (PWM) in some of the dark grey tones but it's only visible if you move very close. Good shadow detailing is important but when it's combined with very deep blacks it really contributes to picture reproduction and depth.

    I also examined light homogeneity on VT20 to see if light was evenly distributed across the screen.

    Panasonic 3DTV VT20 / VT25

    VT20 has no light homogeneity problems. I expereinced no floating blacks either.

    3D on Panasonic VT20 / VT25

    To playback 3D content you need a 3D Blu-Ray player. In this test we used the Panasonic BDT-300. Besides that you need some actual 3D content and there's not much to be bought at the moment. We used a 3D demo disc with a range of different 3D demo content ranging from documentary to movies to games (not playable). 3D content discs playback like regular 2D discs on conventional 2D Blu-Ray players.

    Panasonic 3DTV VT20 / VT25

    With the EU VT20 2 pairs of 3D glasses are bundled. The US VT25 model comes with 1 pair bundled. The glasses have with 2 different nose units and can sit on top of real glasses. The 3D glasses on Panasonic VT20/VT25 are active meaning that they communicate with the TV and have an active on/off switching system for each eye. This obviously also means that they require batteries. These are inserted in the side.

    Panasonic 3DTV VT20 / VT25

    The glasses look pretty stupid but when the person next to you is wearing them, too, it's alright. The feel comfortable on my face and I had no problem wearing them even during longer periods. I don't wear glasses or contact lenses.

    Panasonic DDT-300

    To get started with 3D you connect a 3D Blu-Ray and VT20 detects the 3D input and switches to 3D viewing. It's really easy and requires no actual setup except for cables. The VT range also has a 3D setup menu. Here you can also select other 3D formats than the 3D Blu-ray frame sequential format.

    I have seen almost all of the 3DTVs on the market already and even though some of them have been prototypes I can say that I have a qualified basis to talk about differences in 3DTVs. I'm still impressed with some of the 3D content but I can put my euphoria aside and watch 3D content with critical eyes.

    Panasonic 3DTV VT20 / VT25

    But what can we consumers expect from 3DTVs? Will a new 3D world unfold before our eyes where objects are flying around in the open? Or what should you actually prepare for this? My guess is that your initial impressions with the 3DTVs will depend largely on your expectations.

    3D is mostly about depth into the picture. You can experience objects that step out of the panel and these might be used in the gaming world but the 3D effect is not something fancy with objects flying around you. It's not a virtual reality world. The 3D effect is very similar to the one you saw on Avatar 3D in the cinemas with a lot of depth into the picture.

    3D on Panasonic VT20 is impressive. The 3D depth is really quite astonishing, and this is not only because of the 3D functionality but also because of the good picture quality from Panasonic VT20/VT25. 3D picture quality is still dependent on the actual picture quality from the TV.

    And because of the very fast response time and very little phosphor trailing 3D on Panasonic looks great. Even fast paced motion in 3D is detailed. Moving images tend to get blurry in cinemas but not with VT20/VT25. I did experience some blurriness, though. Objects that are very close to you in the foreground can get a bit blurry and if the TV tries to make something step out of the image it also tends to get a bit more blurry than objects in the horizon.

    On the other hand VT20 maintains a detailed and sharp 3D picture in a lot of layers. In the cinemas the focus object - for example a Nav'i in Avatar 3D - would appear very detailed and sharp but the horizon would get blurry, much similar to SLR focus effects. Panasonic handles this aspect very well and I'm very pleased with that.

    Panasonic 3DTV VT20 / VT25
    3D without glasses

    Panasonic VT20 also has minimal cross talking. Crosstalk is a 3D phenomenon where the left and the right images for each eye are overlapping. This is caused by too slow response time but on Panasonic VT20 I only experienced cross talking very rarely – mostly with picture on a black background. I have seen much more cross talking on some of the 3D LCD-TVs that has been demonstrated on the large consumer fairs.

    The 3D effect depends on the content as well. 3D works very well with games and animated movies but also with nature documentaries and your experience will vary depending on the type of content and the quality of the 3D production from the producers. If you have seen 3D movies you will also know that the 3D experience with Avatar is very different from the 3D experience with Alice in Wonderland - simply because of the way they're recorded and processes. The TV or projector is important, too, but it's not the only factor.

    Panasonic 3DTV VT20 / VT25
    3D without glasses

    I tried watching 3D on VT20/VT25 with the 3D glasses in different environments and I feel that the 3D effect is better in dark rooms. During daytime the 3D effect is reduced a bit but the most annoying thing is the sunlight. It enters the glasses and also caused some minor flickering. At least in heavy and semi-heavy sunlight.

    With a 3D disc you can choose to shift to 2D viewing any time in the 3D control menu. I tried to switch back and forth between the two modes an saw that the brightness level changed in 3D mode. Because the glasses reduce brightness VT20/VT25 increases light output by turning up brightness a bit and reduces gamma (to make the imager appear brighter (but also a bit washed out)). The brighter image is compensated by the 3D glasses and the image quality pretty much returns to the 2D settings when 3D is switched on and the glasses are used. 3D viewing also increases energy consumption a bit.

    Panasonic 3DTV VT20 / VT25
    3D without glasses

    I also noticed that black levels are reduced when switched to 3D mode (because of the change in gamma) but the 3D glasses pretty much compensate for this. Black levels are not perfect in 3D mode and better in 2D mode. I tried to switch between the different picture preset and even though I felt that THX could be used in heavy dimmed rooms or in the evening I preferred to use one of the brighter picture modes during daytime when watching 3D. 3D requires more light, partly because the glasses reduce brightness, partly because the 3D depth effect is enhanced.

    I had no problem watching 3D for 1-2 consecutive hours. I experienced no headache but my eyes felt a bit tired. My eyes very not irritated and I actually think it's just a matter of adaption. The very detailed and impressive 3D picture causes you to forget to blink sometimes.

    Also, at first you tend to concentrate heavily on the different perspectives and levels in the 3D picture instead of just relaxing. You want to see everything - every singles detail - and sometimes you even forget to listen or take notice of the actual story, and this might strain your vision. After a while you tend to relax and enjoy the experience instead of looking at detail.

    I did get a miner headache one time, though. Or… actually it the 3D glasses intensified my headache to be more precise. I tried to look at the 3D after a long night with some good wine and this was not good for my already existing dizziness / headache. But I guess that was my own fault. I get the same symptoms trying to write in front of a computer when I have a hangover.

    Below you can see the 3D menu:

    Panasonic 3DTV VT20 / VT25

    The 3D glasses work when you tilt you're head, too. Some 3D LCD/LED models have issues with the angle. So if you want to lay down on a couch (even though it's hard with the bulky 3D glasses) you can. The 3D effect vanishes. On VT20 this is possible. No matter the angle and not matter your position you can see the 3D effect as long as the glasses receive the infrared sync signal from the TV. At a 90 degree angle the glasses did lose the sync in some cases, however.

    I also tried to connect the PS3 and PS3 actually detected VT20 as a 3DTV. Here you need to select your TV size and I obviously selected 250 inches.

    Panasonic 3DTV VT20 / VT25

    From here you can’t do much. PS3 is only “prepped” (prepared) for 3D and the actual 3D options menu is not activated yet. It will be in a few months.

    So, verdict? 3D is here to stay and even though Panasonic VT20/VT25 is the first 3DTV to officially reach the final FlatpanelsHD front page I have seen most of the 3DTVs now. We will receive and review most of the new 3DTVs from all manufacturers with an open mind and forget about the 3D demonstrations that we have seen on the different consumer electronic fairs, but I have to say that Panasonic VT20/VT25 is the 3D reference right now. The 3D pictures are amazing and with minimal cross talking, good 3D depth that maintains focus in the front of the picture and in the horizon, and good overall picture quality Panasonic VT20/VT25 really sets a high standard for 3D.

    When I first heard that manufacturers wanted to release 3DTVs I thought that this has to be f... great to convince people after the many disastrous 3D attempts in the past. Panasonic is the first to prove that they're ready with a real solution and not just some crappy 3D prototype. VT20/VT25 is a complete product and whether or not you're planning on using the 3D functionality it's a very fine flat panel TV. At the moment 3D is a supplement but I can't wait to play Gran Turismo 5 in 3D. I just hope GT5 will be released before I die.

    Panasonic VT20 / VT25 cannot convert 2D content to 3D content.

    PC and Media Center

    To achieve 1:1 pixel mapping on VT20 you need to deactivate Overscan in the OSD. In the setup menu there's a 16:9 overscan option that you can disable.

    Viewing angles

    Viewing angles are wide and VT20 has no serious reduction in either color or contrast. Like with the G20 model the glass layers have been integrated so there's no mirror effect either like you would see with some plasma TVs.

    See viewing angles below.

    Panasonic 3DTV VT20 / VT25

    Panasonic 3DTV VT20 / VT25

    Reflections are also reduced a lot compared to previous Panasonic plasma TVs because of the new layer construction. See pictures of this in the picture quality section.

    Sound quality

    The hidden speakers are fair. Bass is a bit weak but better than most flat panel TVs today. The midtones are alright. The speakers have some different settings such as voice and music and voices are distinct and clear when you select the voice setting.

    The volume control goes from 0 to 100 but I recommend you to keep it below the 50 mark. Above 50 the speakers start to shrill a bit.

    For movies and music I still recommend a separate sound system. Sound quality on VT20 is not nearly as good as on the older PZ700, either. PZ700 came with improved speakers some years ago.


    VT20/VT25 is the best Panasonic TV ever and indeed a very, very good TV. It has impressive HD picture quality and very good picture characteristics. Black levels are a bit lower than the G20 but it’s no new reference in terms of black levels and in a dark room you can see that some light slips through the panel.

    Color reproduction is very accurate and color gradation is good, although not perfect. Response time has been greatly improved compared to previous Panasonic plasma TVs and phosphor trailing is now almost gone. Daytime viewing on VT20/VT25 is also great because of the new filter than reduced reflections and maintains a deep black level even in heavy ambient light environments. Also, viewing angles are very wide.

    The 3D performance is pretty much without flaws. 3D depth is amazing and I saw very little cross talking. Fast motion in 3D pictures is also handled extremely well on VT20/VT25 and I’m impressed. Yes, the 3D glasses are not the most fancy thing but that's the premise right now. I would have liked them to be rechargeable.
    Panasonic VT20/VT25 really sets a high standard in terms of 3D. We’ll soon review most of the other 3DTVs out there.

    The DLNA and internet features are a bit faster than on the G20 but we still lack support for some video codecs. The Internet function also lacks content. The system is working well but it’s not something you can’t live without.

    All in all Panasonic VT20/VT25 is a fantastic TV with beautiful 2D picture quality and reference 3D picture quality. It’s my impression that it’s not a KURO beater, however, and Pioneer’s KURO remain our reference TV. For 3D Panasonic VT20/VT25 is our new reference, though, and I’m looking forward to seeing if the other 3DTVs can live up to the very accurate and convincing 3D picture on VT20/VT25. We’ll find out soon.
    And with Pioneer KURO out of the picture (no longer available in stores) it will be fair to say that VT20/VT25 is the best TV on the market today, and therefore it received our Highly Recommended Award.

    Press the award logo to learn more.

    Price and retailer:

    US retailer (TC-P50VT25 in the US)UK retailer

    Subscribe to our Newsletter to receive e-mails when new reviews are online. We’ll soon publish our Panasonic V20, Samsung C8000, LG LX9500, and Sony EX500 reviews as well.

    ProsConsTarget group
    Picture qualityDLNA and Internet not completeLiving room
    3D picture qualityInputs facing backwardsHome Cinema
    Black and shadow detailingEnergy consumption3D viewing
    Phosphor trailing reduced a lot
    THX mode and color accuracy

    Panasonic VT20 / VT25 debate

    For questions and comments please visits this thread in our forums:

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