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Panasonic TH-65PZ800 65in Plasma TV review

John Archer



  • Recommended by TR
Panasonic TH-65PZ800 65in Plasma TV


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As I sit here chained to my PC in a darkened room for yet another day's hard labour watching TV (!), it suddenly occurs to me that my back is ruddy killing me.

This is actually not all that surprising when you consider that a few hours ago I was involved in setting up a 65in plasma TV. Ouch. What is surprising, though, is that until a moment ago I'd actually forgotten about my aches and pains. Not because I'd dosed myself up on pain killers, but because I'd been so entranced by the awesome spectacle that 65in TV had been presenting me with. Especially once my nice new copy of Gears of War 2 somehow got involved…

The monster TV in question is Panasonic's TH-65PZ800: the biggest proper TV Panasonic sells in the UK (though a 103in version is available ‘Stateside', infeasibly enough). And man, is it a whopper.

Seriously, unless you've had a 65in TV in your living room, it's hard to fully convey just how much such a vast screen dominates a room (unless you happen to live in a mansion). This isn't a problem if you're after a screen for a dedicated home cinema room, but living room users will probably wish its design was a bit more exciting. For essentially it's just a football pitch of a screen surrounded by a very sturdy, really quite wide glassy black bezel that merely exaggerates the screen's size.

There's an attempt to add a dash of panache in the form of a silvery arc along the TV's bottom edge. But this is so minimal in the context of such a large bit of kit that you barely notice it.

Strolling around to the TV's rear (there's no mere ‘peering round' with a TV of this size!) reveals a pretty healthy set of connections. Kicking things off are four V1.3 HDMIs, complete with Deep Color and x.v. Colour compatibility. But among the other regular stuff there's also a D-Sub PC interface, and an SD card slot capable of playing AVCHD video as well as JPEG stills.

The 11th-generation Panasonic screen at the 65PZ800's heart sports just the sort of specifications we love to find on our TVs. Its resolution is a Full HD 1,920 x 1,080, and its contrast ratio is quoted at a massive one million to one via dynamic contrast processing, or 30,000:1 native.

There's plenty going on under the 65PZ800's processing hood too. For starters you get Panasonic's Intelligent Frame Creation, which interpolates extra frames of image data to fill in the blanks in a 50Hz source. This should radically reduce the slight motion juddering we've sometimes noted as one of the only truly significant weaknesses of some past Panasonic's plasmas.

On a slightly similar note, the 65PZ800 also has 100Hz processing, and a 24p Real Cinema function that adjusts the frame rate interpolation to suit 24fps Blu-ray playback.

Then there's Panasonic's Digital Cinema Colour, a wide colour gamut system claiming to deliver 5,120 steps of gradation and cover 120% of the conventional HDTV colour standard. This allows the screen to approach the level of colour expression found in commercial Digital Cinemas - hence the feature's name.

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November 13, 2008, 7:43 pm

As a Panny guy who has been frightened off by the warning at the start of the manual about no warranty against screen burn, what is the latest position regarding Sky News logos etc?


November 13, 2008, 9:40 pm

I also have a Panasonic plasma screen (TH-50PZ70). My advice would be not to watch Sky News.

Failing that, provided you have run the set in (i.e lowered the brightness and contrast settings to half what they should be) for the first 100-200 hours you should be fine.

Note that there is a difference between screen burn and 'retention' the latter of which may occasionally appear but is soon removed after a few seconds and can be reduced by switching over to an un-tuned analogue channel.


November 14, 2008, 12:12 am

Thanks for that. However, you will understand that if I pay this sort of dosh for a tv I'm not a happy bunny to have to "not watch" Sky News (or a load of other channels with high visibility dogs)

You are quite right, but it is the reason why I am having to stick (unhappily) to lcd


November 14, 2008, 4:11 pm

961, there are numerous channels with hideous on screen logos these days so I wouldn't expect you to avoid them all especially if they are your main viewing channels. The problem of screen burn is almost non-existent nowadays.

With modern plasma screens you may get a little retention but from the better manufacturers this is becoming less and less of an issue. So long as your TV isn't on the same channel for hours on end you should be fine with a plasma, especially if you have run it in from new.


November 14, 2008, 10:03 pm

Question: Why would you buy a brilliant TV like this to watch the news on?


Victor Ian Clark

November 15, 2008, 5:53 pm

I have been waiting for a 32" set with integrated HD freeview and full HD resolution but I am dissapointed with the style of the new Panasonic it is nearly 2" wider than the previous 32" models and the thick bezal is ugly. The lack of 100hz is odd but Sony seem to think 100hz is not needed at 32", their top end expensive full HD sets do not have this. So is it needed? Would a 32lzd85 with a HD freesat box give a better picture than a 32lzd81? I had Sky for a while but it is a rip off and in Wales you are restricted to the regions you can receive by Sky. You have to have freeview to get Granada here.


February 6, 2009, 12:55 am

I saw this in a shop next to a Pioneer LX6090. It is stunning - this is from a Kuro owner and fan !!!!

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