Blimey, the P65VT20 is big. Clearly, you get a vague sense of its impressiveness from just reading on paper that it measures 65in diagonally, but nothing can prepare you for the true immenseness you’re faced with when you and at least one other person have hoiked the P65VT20 into its viewing position.
This is especially true in the P65VT20’s case because its 65in of screen is housed within a really quite wide and chunky bezel by today’s generally svelte standards.
Panasonic has tried to make this slightly dated-looking hunk of chassis a bit more modern by making it an unusual bronzey brown colour. But although the build quality is very good, this brown effect still feels a bit like sticking fake tan on a chav, if we were to be really harsh about it.
The good news for Panasonic is that as usual with its plasma TVs, we’re more interested in what’s going on inside the P65VT20 than we are with mere aesthetic matters. And inside the P65VT20 is anything but old-fashioned.
For starters, of course, it’s equipped with Panasonic’s 3D technology. And we’re not talking about the stripped down passive stuff found on LG’s 47LD950 last week. The P65VT20 is full HD, active 3D all the way – even thoughtfully shipping with a couple of pairs of active shutter glasses to get you on your 3D way.
It’s 3D nature also means the P65VT20 gets Panasonic’s new technology for reducing the decay time of each plasma cell – something deemed necessary to reduce the occurrence of crosstalk (double ghosting) that can occur with 3D pictures.
This key bit of panel tech is backed up, as you’d expect, by the latest version of Panasonic’s impressive NeoPDP system, which has seen Panasonic develop an almost completely new plasma cell structure to improve the contrast, colour and clarity of its premium TVs’ pictures.
Still more potential picture-boosting technology comes from Panasonic’s V-Real Pro 5 video processing, and a so-called 600Hz system (actually a sub-field drive engine that illuminates each cell 12 times for each 50Hz frame).
This is all food for hope with the P65VT20, with more sustenance coming courtesy of the quite impressive array of calibration tools Panasonic has seen fit to build into the TV’s menus. We’ve had cause in the past to criticise Panasonic for its reluctance to offer things like gamma controls and colour management systems on its TVs, but it doesn’t hold back here – a fact that’s helped it bag an endorsement from the Imaging Science Foundation (ISF).
Another third-party willing to lend its name to the P65VT20 is THX, which has got involved to the extent of including a calibrated picture preset that really does a great job of getting the best out of the TV for movie viewing.