The pace of evolution of flat panel televisions is staggering. We’ve seen plain LCD TVs evolve into ultraslim LED backlight displays in under a decade. Plasma televisions have been around all this while, but customers haven’t really adopted them, due to a number of reasons. First, there was the price and the higher power consumption rate. Recently, we reviewed one of the best LED-backlit TVs around - the Sony KDL-55HX925. The biggest and the most happening plasma television TV around is the Panasonic P65VT30D. It’s being talked about all over the web and if you’re looking for a top-end plasma display, this should be in the list and we’re going to be reviewing it
Lightweight active 3D glasses
On Video: Panasonic VIERA TH-P65VT30D
Design and Build Quality
A 65-inch television, such as this is massive and unlike other plasmas in the market, it’s not really bulky. Sure, it’s heavy, but it’s not as thick as other plasma TVs. The P65VT30D is just over an inch in thickness, keeping it on par with some of the LCD televisions found in the market. The bezel surrounding the display isn’t as thin as some of the LED backlit LCD panels, though and measure some two and a half inches wide on all sides. To add to the elegance, Panasonic added a thin silver strip that protrudes slightly outwards from the sides. A feature of this TV is that it uses a single sheet of glass design, giving it a neat look. There’s one physical button on the front bottom towards the centre, which is the power button. It flushes neatly against the bezel and it’s hard to notice - not really a problem, since almost all of us use the remote control.
The downward facing rear connectors
The physical controls for the TV are placed on the right side of the screen, facing the rear. All the input and output connectors are located on the left, at the back and these inputs and outputs are down and side facing. This enables one to mount the television against a wall and not have wires hanging outwards from the back. Connectivity options include a SD card slot on one side, a digital audio out port, USB ports and HDMI ports. The downward facing I/O options include the RCA connector for traditional cable TV connections, the ability to connect to the Internet via an Ethernet port, component, composite and other ports. Cooling has been taken care of by the four fans that are housed underneath the metal back panel. There is not much heat emitted from the television, in comparison to some of the other plasma TVs that we reviewed.
The stand of this TV is pretty large and like the rest of the TV, it too has a black glossy finish. The television remains stable on the stand and it ought to be, considering the size and weight. The remote control that came bundled with the television is littered with buttons. This is mostly the norm with remote controls that come with smart televisions. The quality of the buttons is good, and can withstand the wear and tear of daily usage over a considerable period of time. The television uses active 3D glasses and they look pretty stylish. The glasses aren’t very bulky, so those with spectacles can wear them without much problem.
Remote feels sturdy
The simple appearance of the interface
The interface of this television is pretty intuitive and the home screen features widgets, such as options for Viera link control, photo, video, music, Viera connect and media server. Everything has been streamlined - for example, plug in an external drive and a preview of the clips show up when you access the Videos section. It’s same with the Photos menu - a background tune plays when you’re browsing. Users can choose to disable this music, switch between three presets or select a user defined track. The settings of this television can be accessed via the menu button on the remote control and while in this main menu, one can tweak the settings of the picture, sound, timer and setup.
Then, there are the others found on any other high-end TV today - 3D support and for those who don’t have ready 3D content, there is an option to convert 2D to 3D instantly, on-the-go. One of the neat things about the TV is that you can switch between modes by pressing a dedicated buton on the remote control. Some other TVs require you to go through complicated menus to enable the 3D mode. Media playback has been taken care of well. The television can read both NTFS as well as FAT32 drives, which gives one the ability to view content easily on this large screen by merely plugging in the drive. HD 1080p content is supported across all formats.
The controls at the side are easily accessible
Updated 20 May, 2013, 8:22 pm IST
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