Panasonic TX-50AX802 - 3D, Sound and Conclusions Review

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Panasonic TX-50AX802: 3D Picture Quality

The picture qualities that make the Panasonic TX-50AX802’s 2D performance so outstanding remain predominantly valid with

its 3D pictures too. Having seen a number of passive 3D TVs in recent

times, the first thing that struck me about the 50AX802’s active 3D

pictures was how gorgeously detailed and sharp they look compared with

the reduced resolution of the passive system. It’s great, too, to see

small bright objects and curved edges appearing without a trace of the

jaggedness that’s part of the passive experience.

The extra pixel

density and detail that come with active 3D on a native 4K screen

really helps to make the 3D world feel more real, tangible and, as a

result, immersive. With this in mind we can’t wait to get our hands on

one of the 50AX802’s bigger siblings, so that the 3D can really fill our

field of view.

Panasonic TX-50AX802

Motion is also handled well in 3D thanks to the

extra processing power in the Panasonic TX-50AX802, with 3D’s tendency to suffer

judder being comfortably contained without leaving the picture looking

too processed.

The intensity of the 50AX802’s colours remains

clear to see even with Panasonic’s latest active 3D glasses on, and we

were really pleased to note, too, that there’s less of a brightness drop

off during 3D viewing than we became used to seeing from Panasonic’s

plasma TVs.

The Panasonic TX-50AX802’s exceptional contrast performance proves

helpful, meanwhile, in helping the screen delineate an excellent sense

of depth and 3D space, and it’s great to see that this sense of depth –

along with the extreme levels of detail – aren’t badly affected by

active 3D’s crosstalk ghosting problem.

We’re not saying there’s no

crosstalk at all. There is a little around bright objects in the extreme

foreground or background. But its occurrences are irregular and subtle

enough not to become a dominant, distracting factor.

Panasonic TX-50AX802: Sound Quality

The

50AX802 delivers a fairly potent audio accompaniment to its excellent

pictures. Vocals sound clear, the mid-range is wide and open enough to

deliver a good sense of scaling during the ebbs and flows of action

movies, and treble detailing is superb.

Panasonic TX-50AX802There’s even a

presentable stab at injecting some bass into proceedings. However, at

high volumes treble details and shrill voices can start to sound a bit

fragile, distorting quite distractingly at times.

There’s also no

denying that the 50AX802 (like most other TVs!) is no match for the

spectacular audio delivered by the large forward-firing speakers of

the Sony X9005B 4K TVs.

Other points to consider

The Panasonic TX-50AX802 ships with two remote controls: a ‘standard’ full-sized handset

containing a full set of buttons, and a second smaller handset with a

much-reduced button count and a small circular touchpad.

The full-sized

handset (picture in the gallery above) is rather lovely, boasting a gorgeously heavy metallic finish

that feels great in your hand and elegant backlighting to support use in

a darkened room.

The touch pad remote is also attractively

finished, but we just didn’t get comfortable with it. Especially the way

you have to tap it to select options.

If you’re a serious gamer,

you’ll be interested in the 50AX802’s input lag measurement. Our

measurements recorded a typical figure of just under 40ms, which is one

of the lowest figures we’ve seen from a 4K TV and shouldn’t majorly

impact your gaming abilities. Excellent.

Panasonic TX-50AX802
Should I buy a Panasonic TX-50AX802?

The Panasonic TX-50AX802’s picture quality is nothing short of outstanding and its smart

functionality offers some brilliantly thoughtful features.

During our initial review of the 50AX802 we nonetheless felt unable to give the set an unqualified recommendation due to its then seemingly terminal lack of Netflix 4K support. However, now that Panasonic has managed after all to bring Netflix 4K to the 50AX802 those qualifications melt away, leaving us able to give Panasonic’s 4K star the ‘two thumbs up’ it now richly deserves.

Verdict

Now Panasonic has fixed the 50AX802’s initial lack of Netflix 4K support, the set can be considered a dazzling success – and one which proves without question that 4K isn’t just worthwhile on super-sized screens.

Next, read our best TVs round-up

Score


Score in detail

  • 3D Quality 9
  • Value 8
  • Smart TV 9
  • Design 9
  • 2D Quality 9
  • Sound Quality 7
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