For the best results with motion in the Panasonic TX-P65VT50 we’d (perhaps surprisingly) recommend that you activate the set’s Intelligent Frame Creation processing on its lowest or even mid level. It's a recommendation we make only because the dual-core processing in the TV enables this processing to deliver its benefits without creating the sort of negative side effects we’d usually expect.
More evidence of the P65VT50’s processing prowess can be seen in the way it upscales standard definition sources to the 65in screen. Standard definition digital broadcasts don’t tend to fare well when pushed to extreme screen sizes, but the P65VT50 manages to add extra detail at the same time as keeping a lid on noise exceptionally well, making even relatively low-quality channels surprisingly watchable.
The P65VT50’s talents continue for the most part with 3D. The full HD nature of its active 3D approach allows its 3D pictures to look detailed and dense despite the screen’s epic size, delivering perhaps the most important reminder of this TV generation of exactly why the active 3D format was invented.
The sheer size of the Panasonic TX-P65VT50’s screen, meanwhile, helps reduce the impact of the shortage of brightness versus 3D LCD TVs that characterises the 3D plasma experience.
Having spotted a little more crosstalk than expected when reviewing the Panasonic P65ST50 recently, it was good to find less of it with this TV. Even the notoriously tough-to-show lantern sequence in Tangled betrayed only the smallest amount of the ghosting flaw.
Keeping crosstalk at bay
Please note, though, that oddly we found we had to restrict the set’s Intelligent Frame Creation system to its Min setting in order to minimise crosstalk. This is a touch unfortunate, as the Min setting isn’t quite strong enough to stop the appearance of some judder during camera pans. But nonetheless, overall the P65VT50’s 3D pictures are hugely impressive and truly immersive - especially given our belief that bigger is always better where 3D is concerned.
The Panasonic TX-P65VT50’s audio is solid but not quite as large in scale as its pictures, and the last test we did on the P65VT50 was to measure its input lag. And there were no nasty surprises here, as we came up with only 40ms at worst when using the TV’s Game preset.
The P65VT50 isn’t perfect, even when used in a dedicated cinema room. As well as the small issues already covered, we noted some very minor dotting noise occasionally momentarily visible over horizontally moving skin tones, and some weirdly severe brightness ‘jumping’ during mid-dark 3D footage if you use the set’s Dynamic preset. Thankfully this distracting issue all but disappears if you use the Normal setting.
Overall, though, the only TV that can currently hold a candle to the Panasonic TX-P65VT50 as a cinema TV is Panasonic’s own P65ST50. But actually the king-sized screen of the P65VT50 highlights the VT50’s premium advantages over the ST50 models slightly more strongly than the previously reviewed P55VT50 did. So while the P65ST50 remains a terrifically good value alternative to the P65VT50, in this instance we’d recommend trying to find the extra money for the flagship model if you can.
As a living room TV the P65VT50 is potentially a slightly more considered proposition - especially if your room is very bright - on account of its pictures looking less bright with the lights up than those of your typical LCD TV. But Panasonic’s latest panel redesign has at least enabled the P65VT50 to get brighter than last year’s plasma models, so its slightly muted daylight pictures could very well seem a pretty fair price to pay for the picture heroics that emerge when you’ve dimmed the lights.
The Panasonic TX-P65VT50 is every inch a flagship TV. In fact, it’s probably the best TV for watching films on we’ve ever seen - and if you’re a movie buff, you can’t really ask for much more than that.