The 85VX200’s ‘pro’ nature finds it equipped with an extremely extensive suite of picture calibration aids alongside the extra screen technologies we’ve already discussed. Since your 85VX200 will be professionally installed, though, there doesn’t seem much point launching into a detailed examination of these tools here, other than to say that full colour, gamma and white balance calibration is possible, and that the screen is endorsed by third-party picture gurus, the Imaging Science Foundation (ISF).
The 85VX200‘s professional grading isn’t all good news for the consumer market, though. For as well as that astronomical price, you have to also accept that the 85VX200 doesn’t have any built in TV tuners, and is also pretty limited in terms of its multimedia capabilities. There’s no USB playback support, nor any way of connecting to Panasonic’s online Viera Cast platform. But then, of course, there seems a pretty high chance that anyone able to spend £42,000 on a TV will be able to get around all these issues with other gear in a wider home cinema set up.
Donning the (tragically only) set of 3D glasses Panasonic ships with the 85VX200 and settling down to watch the screen strut its stuff with the 3D Blu-ray of Avatar has to rank as one of the highlights of our kit-reviewing lives to date. Strong words, we know, but with drool still dribbling off our chins, we stand by them!
The simple fact is that the 85VX200 creates the most convincing and immersive 3D experience we’ve seen outside of a commercial cinema. Obviously its sheer size has a big - literally - role to play in ensuring that you’re totally absorbed in Cameron’s immensely detailed fictional world. The vast screen acreage fills your field of vision, and the action it’s showing often looks pretty much life-sized - both important elements in building a connection with what you’re viewing.
Then there’s the almost total absence of crosstalk noise to consider. Crosstalk’s ghosting artefacts have proven the single biggest barrier to our full acceptance of active 3D technology to date, so not having our eyes strained and our brains distracted by crosstalk is a massive relief - especially given how disruptive crosstalk would certainly be if it was occurring regularly on a screen as big as 85in.
Not having to squint through crosstalk allows us to appreciate, too, the true HD sharpness and detail that’s basically supposed to be the whole point of going the active (rather than passive) 3D route.
More excellent news concerns the brightness of the 85VX200’s 3D images. For as hoped, the screen’s high brightness potential means that 3D scenes retain much more colour punch and shadow detail than Panasonic’s standard consumer 3D screens.