Then there’s the inclusion of Panasonic’s very latest – and from what we’ve seen on the 37PX70, greatest – image processing system, Vreal 2.
One of the most intriguing elements of this system is its ability to receive pure 1080p feeds from any sources than can output them, and upscale other feeds to 1080p for playback. This raises questions about how sensible an approach this is given that the screen’s resolution is only 1,366 x 768 rather than 1,920 x 1,080, but we guess the argument goes that it’s best to start with the best source image quality possible before you set about scaling it to fit a screen’s actual pixel count.
Vreal 2 also employs a 3D colour management system to optimise tones at all times; has the processing power to produce a claimed 3,072 steps of colour/greyscale gradation for enhanced colour blends and tonal naturalism; looks for potential sources of video noise in an input signal and addresses them before any noise can appear, rather than tackling noise ‘after the event’ as is usually the case; and renders contoured edges with more accuracy thanks to ‘sub-pixel control’, which allows the red, green and blue elements in each pixel to be manipulated independently.
Panasonic plasma TVs are justly famed for their black level response, and with the 50PX70 sporting both Panasonic’s tried and test Real Black Drive black level booster as well as a new Deep Black Filter built into the screen glass, it seems highly unlikely that the 50PX70’s black levels are going to be anything less than outstanding.
One final feature worth a quick mention before we see just how successfully Panasonic’s new picture engine really does translate to a larger format is Viera Link. This is Panasonic’s system for permitting control via the TV’s remote of other Panasonic Viera Link kit attached to the HDMIs. This worked well with a Panasonic DVD recorder we tried, though we can’t help but wish Panasonic had gone for the ‘CEC’ HDMI control system instead, which would have made the system compatible with other brands than just Panasonic.