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Panasonic Viera TX-P65VT20 - Connectivity and 3D Picture

John Archer

By John Archer


  • Recommended by TR
Panasonic Viera TX-P65VT20


Our Score


User Score

Review Price £3,895.00

Panasonic is the only brand this year offering dual Freeview HD and Freesat HD tuners in some of its TVs, and not surprisingly given its flagship status, both tuners are present and correct in the P65VT20.

While Freesat has certainly become much less interesting than it used to be now that Freeview HD is live, the fact remains that large parts of the country still can’t receive Freeview HD broadcasts. So for this year at least, there’s still a good argument for Panasonic’s inclusive free HD broadcasting approach.

This finds an LNB input sitting alongside the more predictable RF input, as well as an Ethernet socket as required on any TV that has an HD tuner.

The Ethernet’s usefulness doesn’t stop at merely opening the door to potential future interactive HD broadcast services, though. For it can also be used to hook up with a DLNA PC for multimedia file playback, or it can take the TV online to Panasonic’s ring-fenced Viera Cast service.

We’ve covered this service in depth in a recent article on the various manufacturers’ online TV services, so we won’t go into it again here other than to say that its interface is very elegant; that its highlights include YouTube, Picasa and the AceTrax movie rental/purchase service; and that it’s fair to middling by online TV standards right now.

Further multimedia support in the P65VT20 comes courtesy of two USB ports and an SD card socket. These give you playback of movie, photo and music files, as well as allowing you to record broadcasts from the digital tuners to USB hard disk drives. Um, so long as these HDDs are part of Buffalo’s JustSTore Desktop HD-EU2-UK range, which remain the only models guaranteed by Panasonic to be compatible with its recording system.

People who read our review of the P50VT20, the P65VT20’s smaller brother, will remember that we praised its 3D pictures for suffering relatively little with crosstalk noise compared with LCD 3D TVs we’d seen. This is also the case with the P65VT20 - though strangely, not quite so convincingly.

In other words, while the ghosting around certain objects in the middle and far distance in 3D mode continues to be less aggressive than it usually appears in the brighter 3D environment produced by LCD TVs, it also seems slightly more noticeable than it was on the P50VT20. Given that the technology driving both TVs is the same, we can only imagine that this is simply a product of the P65VT20’s extra size, which leaves even subtle traces of crosstalk noise with nowhere to hide.

The P65VT20’s enormity also makes it easier to appreciate the resolution difference between full HD 3D Blu-rays and Sky’s lower-res side-by-side 3D action – but this is hardly Panasonic’s fault.

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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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