OK, we admit it: some days our job really isn’t too bad. For instance, until about five minutes ago we were playing Oblivion on our Xbox 360 in high definition on a 65in plasma TV and calling it work. Sweet.
The cause of this ‘hard life’ scenario is Panasonic’s TH-65PV500B: one of the very few truly giant flat TVs that’s been designed from first to last with your ‘Average Joe’ home user in mind. Well, Average Joes with seven grand to spare and a living room the size of the local village hall, that is…
The 65PV500B’s domesticity starts with its looks. It’s actually part of Panasonic’s popular and acclaimed Viera range, and in keeping with many other sets in this range it looks resplendent in its glossy black fascia and silvery trim. It’s worth saying, too, that considering the monstrous amounts of heavy screen glass the TV chassis has to support the screen frame is actually reasonably slinky, making sure the TV doesn’t take up any more of your precious wall space than it really has to. The speakers are detachable, too, so that you can position them away from the screen, or else ditch them entirely in favour of your own audio system.
Connectivity is for the most part impressive. You get the customary HDMI and component options for HD sources, a PC jack for king-sized World of Warcraft sessions, three SCARTs (two of which can take RGB-quality signals), and an S-Video socket. Plus there’s a nifty slot for inserting an SD memory card for playing back or (unusually) recording MPEG4 movies or digital JPEG stills.
The only slight miffer on the connections front is the presence of just one HDMI input. After all, it’s hardly as if Panasonic didn’t have room to fit an extra one on if it had really wanted to!
As you’d expect of such an uncompromisingly large TV, the 65PV500B is fully HD Ready, with a native resolution of 1,366 x 768 and compatibility with the required 720p and 1080i formats. In an ideal world we’d have loved the 65PV500B to also take 1080p signals, but them’s the breaks, we guess.