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Panasonic Viera TX-P65VT20 review

John Archer



  • Recommended by TR
Panasonic Viera TX-P65VT20


Our Score


User Score


  • Powerful sound
  • Impressive calibration tools
  • Outstanding 2D pictures


  • Poor 3D glasses
  • Crosstalk
  • Dark 3D pictures

Review Price £3,895.00

Key Features: 50-inch screen; 32kg; 1224x810x335 mm; 720p, 1080i, 1080p; 4 HDMI inputs

Manufacturer: Panasonic

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.

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September 14, 2010, 1:03 pm

Now if only I could persuade the other half to allow me one room in the house for a Man Cave...

ronesh amin

September 14, 2010, 2:54 pm

A good alternative to this TV could be the Samsung PS63C7000 which you can find for about £2000 these days which has good 2D/3D picture quality - although it is does nto set the benchmark like this TV does. But it is a good option for anyone wanting a large TV for a relatively cheap option.

Erm, not too sure where to post this, somay just add it here- has TR considered making an iPhone/Android app for its website? so that even videos are converted to be played on the appropriate OS's too? i reckon it could go down well, and will make viewing articles a little more easier on the phone. Not bothered if it costs money or is free, as long as the UI is streamlined.

mike 41

September 14, 2010, 4:49 pm

Does Panasonic tv's still come with the ugliest possible remote?


September 14, 2010, 6:42 pm

Seriously a TV in the price range of a decent second hand family car, it's not straight ten's across the board either LOL


September 14, 2010, 8:07 pm

This is an excellent set, but its size means the ugly and dated plastic bezel is very hard to overlook. The addition of a chrome 'go faster' stripe indicates it really is time for Panasonic to get some proper designers in house.


September 14, 2010, 11:16 pm

Agreed with the stinking design - again. Also, it's not thoughtful to ship glasses with a four grand telly. It'd be scandalous if they didn't. Since so many people are buying for a whole family, the more they ship, the merrier. It's one thing to add more controllers to a two hundred quid console. But at this price, you really want to stop spending money and just plug in and go.

Chris01 1

September 15, 2010, 3:07 am

Panasonic seems to be addicted to this type of design. I'm really left wondering what the age average of the design team is.

Apart from that, I cant for the life of me, understand why the best plasma panels rank the same or lower at times than their LCD rivals. It's crystal clear to me by now, that good plasma monitors offer a more vivid and cinematic picture than the best LCDs. And that makes sense when one considers the technology and working principle behind plasma and LCD.

Beside the KURO series, that had undoubtedly and by far the best picture among the rest of the TV industry at the time, there have hardly been any plasma panels worthy of a top rank, while plenty LCDs managed a 9 or better (10). I find it hard to believe that LED technology had such a big impact on picture quality to make us consumers overlook the serious disadvantages that come with LCD technology, when it comes to motion picture quality. Even though LED is a purer light source, the basic working principles still apply for LED TVs as they do with LCD.

I wouldn't rather see 10's all over the place. On the contrary, a top mark should be saved for something exceptional rather than something very good. What i do find strange though is the fact that there is no difference in rank between the -currently- best contenders from each category. One possible explanation is that each LCD or plasma model is competing the rest of its own kind rather than the rival technology, but I do find this ranking system missleading since it shouldn't be the technology but the result -picture quality- that is being put to the test.

Apologies for the big write up, cheers.


September 15, 2010, 12:42 pm

Much has been made of the 50hz motion issue with panning on other forums, but its only briefly been mentioned in the review - is this because TR thinks its insignificant?

How does this compete with the £2300 Samsung 63c7000 - I'm really looking forward to the review on this one as it appears to be much better value.


September 15, 2010, 4:37 pm

TR should send me one for Christmas :)


September 15, 2010, 6:16 pm

At this size arent you better off with a projector?

tony cole

September 17, 2010, 8:54 pm

RE USB recording i bought a 1TB HD from Staples (think it was iomega)for 50 Odd quid and it was recognized straight away by my 50" G20 so its fantastic only use it for recording HD progs and my Humax for SD


September 18, 2010, 1:53 pm

is the 2d picture brightness of this tv better than the rather low 3d picture brightness -i wasnt sure after reading the review-it does seem to be implied

Robbie Gnome

September 19, 2010, 5:31 am

I'm a very lucky & proud owner of one of these monsters and I have to say, of all the AV kit I've bought over the years this and my projector are the two most fun and exciting to use. 3D content is very thin on the ground but this will change within a year but as a 2D Blu Ray display its almost on par with the last Pioneer panel. Only having them side by side though would show this. Avatar on Blu Ray looks AMAZING with the 24fps facility. If you have the money spare or can persuade the wife to sell a kidney GO FOR IT. Ignore all the "Oh the exclusive 3D Blu Ray tie ins is going to kill the tech" Rubbish, it will stall it but Pandoras box has been opened and the content, what there is of it, is VERY effective. Early adopters always have to pay the price to have the toys first but if you are one youll understand the physcology!!! LOL


October 15, 2011, 3:58 pm

Actually, I just purchased this TV today in Japan. I have had two projectors and 5 lamps in the last four years (I always have the set on). Total cost- more than this TV. Also, one must draw the drapes during the day, or see little or nothing.

I still love a projector for the evening, but if you are TV intensive - a projector just does not cut it.

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