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Panasonic TH-65VX100E 65in Plasma Screen - Panasonic TH-65VX100E
It's actually quite hard to put into words just how profound an impact the 65VX100E's combination of colour subtlety and total clarity has on pictures you've seen a million times before. A great example are the shots in the bank during the 6-minute preview of The Dark Knight that's on the Batman Begins Blu-ray. To some extent I felt like I was seeing this much-used clip for the first time, so astounding was the sense of solidity, precision, depth and total naturalism I experienced while watching it on this screen.
All this and I haven't yet mentioned the 65VX100E's black levels. These are profound in depth, completely natural in tone, produced with remarkably little of the subtle dotting noise that usually afflicts plasma technology, and yet also manage to produce seemingly infinite degrees of shadow detailing. In fact, so impressive are the 65VX100E's black levels that they deserve to at least be mentioned in the same breath as those of Pioneer's legendary KURO screens. And you can't say fairer than that.
Yet another ace up the 65VX100E's sleeve is its exceptional brightness. The image seems clearly more dynamic than that of the 65PZ800 - or any other plasma screen in the 60in plus image bracket, come to that.
It occurs to me at this point that however much I might be loving the 65VX100E's HD performance, I really ought to drag my eyes away from HD for a while to see how the screen handles standard definition. And guess what? Almost boringly, it handles standard def just fine, thank you very much. In fact, the lack of noise and the amount of colour accuracy and sharpness in its presentation of standard def sources is hugely impressive for such a vast screen.
Wrapping up what really does seem to me to be a flawless video performance, meanwhile, is the almost complete suppression of those still-common plasma problems of dotting noise over horizontal motion, and colour striping. Hell, even that old plasma ‘horror' of image retention seems to be a thing of the past (within reason), despite the screen's impressive brightness.
Having spent my second review in a row splurging out a breathless stream of excited positivity, I'm kind of feeling like I ought to have found something nasty to say about the 65VX100E. So here goes: in case you somehow hadn't noticed, it costs £8,000. And so precious few of us poor normal saps will ever be able to do more than dream about owning one. And that hurts. But other than that, I couldn't think of anything negative to say about the 65VX100E even if I tried. And frankly I don't even want to try.