Panasonic TX-55DX650 – Picture Quality
Before getting into the TX-55DX650’s picture abilities, it’s worth saying up front that coming to it after a run of three HDR TVs, I seriously missed the extra brightness and richness you get with a quality HDR experience.
But let’s focus on the TX-55DX650 for what it can do. Unfortunately, the TV is average at best. The chief reason for that is a serious lack of contrast.
The IPS panel does the TV no favours. Even after you’ve drastically reduced the backlight output and set the adaptive contrast feature up, dark scenes still look greyer and flatter than they do on any half-decent VA-type LCD TV.
Leave the backlight significantly higher, and try turning off the adaptive contrast feature, and dark scenes lose any semblance of blackness. Even the darkest areas look like someone is shining a torch directly through them.
Slashing the backlight doesn’t help either, as picture gets quite dark, leaving it looking pretty flat and muted. Having to use the Adaptive Contrast feature on its highest setting means you’re sometimes very aware of light instability.
The TX-55DX650’s colour performance suffers, too, thanks to insufficient native contrast from the panel. The lack of profound black doesn’t help, nor does the intrusion of low-contrast greyness over dark colours.
Related: Best TVs 2016
On the upside, the TX-55DX650 handles bright colour rather well, delivering evenly balanced, subtly defined and punchy tones. They look extremely credible and believable.
Motion reproduction is decent by affordable 4K LCD TV standards. Even if you don’t use any motion processing, moving objects don’t look soft or juddery enough to stand out starkly against static 4K elements.
The TX-55DX650 is also good at upscaling HD footage to UHD. Its processing manages to make content look more detailed and sharp without exaggerating any source noise.
Finally, while Panasonic as a brand continues to support 3D (unlike Samsung and Philips), the TX-55DX650 is a 2D-only set.
The bottom line: while the TX-55DX650 does some things well, it constantly and uncomfortably wrestles with the contrast problems associated with its IPS panel.
How we test televisions
We test every TV we review thoroughly over an extended period of time. We use industry standard tests to compare features properly. We’ll always tell you what we find. We never, ever, accept money to review a product.