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The 65PV500B reinforces its domesticated stance by carrying a built-in digital tuner, complete with all the usual associated bangs and whistles like 7-day electronic programme guide (EPG) support and direct setting from the listings of up to eight timer events.
It’s also deeply pleasing to find the 65PV500B carrying the picture-tweaking processing systems offered by Panasonic’s smaller Viera sets. Heading these systems up is Viera Colour Management, which increases the amount of colour gradation shades to 2,084 and gives the screen more precise control over the brightness levels of each individual pixel. This helps the TV serve up a seriously healthy claimed palette of 8.6 billion individual colours. We’d love to verify this figure for you, but unfortunately we lost count somewhere around the five million mark…
Next up there’s Panny’s Real Black Drive system, which aims to improve black levels by reducing the amount of ‘accidental’ light-inducing current getting into plasma pixels that should be dark. There’s a new filter, too, that improves contrast by cutting back on the amount of ambient light reflected by the screen.
A so-called sub-pixel control mechanism, meanwhile, processes the red, green and blue parts of the colour signal separately (rather than together as happens normally) in order to make edges sharper and smoother, while new ‘motion sensing’ systems keep an eye out for fast-moving parts of the picture and process them to stop them blurring or looking noisy.
The results of all this Panny cleverness are pictures that are outstanding by the standards of the massive plasma fraternity. Their strongest point has to be colours. Many very large plasma TVs tend to suffer with a slightly limited colour range and muted saturations. But the 65PV500’s colours are driven off the screen with excellent vibrancy and superb subtlety when it comes to colour blends.