Panasonic Viera TC-P58VT25 3D Capable 1080p Plasma TV

Model: Panasonic Viera TC-P58VT25
Description: 58" Full 1080P HD Plasma TV 3D TV Ready
Includes: Table top stand and 1 pair of Panasonic 3D TV Shutter Glasses
Reviewer: We
Date: Late summer/fall 2010

Panasonic TC-P58VT25 Review
A shot of the Blu Ray of 300 shows good contrast, detail and color. Colors are especially saturated on the TC-P58VT25.

I've been reviewing and testing flat screen TVs for more than 10 years, but this is our first go at a 3D TV with programming. There is little available in the content category. Still, we felt like we got a good look.

The TC-P58VT25 is the top top tier offering from Panasonic for 2010. The TV is 3D ready, has THX certifications, is Skype enabled (camera sold seperately), and contains Panasonic's new NEO PDP (plasma display panel). But how do all the fancy specifications measure up to our stringent testing standards? Read here to find out.

Panasonic TC-P58VT25 Review
A shot from Blade Runner shows good light throughput in this smoky room scene the standard definition DVD.

With a standard definition picture we were impressed with how vivid colors were displayed. Darker scenes show up very well due to the exceeding brightness of the light throughput. However, there were visible motion artifacts, flicker and judder effects with much programming and we were not impressed by the processing quality. The picture (especially standard def) is frankly a little sloppy for this price range and tier level of TV.

Panasonic TC-P58VT25 Review
A scene from the 3D Blu Ray of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.

3D TV Viewing: It took us about 20 minutes to get used to wearing the 3D glasses. For one reviewer that wears glasses it took longer. In the negative category, we experienced flashing from the glasses when there was room or ambient light present. This was apparently caused by the 3D glasses sensing the ambient light and reacting to it, for instance, when we turned our heads. Without other light sources in the room we didn't experience the issue. I also found that keeping my head still during viewing. Overall, after I got used to it, I enjoyed the experience and the movie (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs). The big question: Did the 3D movie, TV, and glasses enhance the experience? For me the answer is yes, it did, I felt that it enveloped me in the movie more. 3D TV is all about making the viewer feel more involved in the content and I would agree that it succeeded in that. On a critical note about the Panasonic VT25 I felt the edges were distractingly out of focus at times, in comparison to the Samsung which we were also reviewing.

Features: The Viera Cast feature enables Internet options which are a bit limited at the moment to Pandora, Bloomberg, Amazon Video on Demand, Skype, and Picasa. Fox Sports and twitter are supposedly coming soon. Notably, there is no Netflix feature. Skype is a highlight. When we hooked up the Internet options there had already been a software update, so it's good that Panasonic is actively supporting the Internet options feature.

Panasonic TC-P58VT25 Review

Aesthetic Considerations: Panasonic doesn't appear to have entered the contest when it comes to 2010's TV aesthetics. They answered, "not present," even with their top end entries. The VT25's looks hearken back to yesteryear. The bezel framing is black gloss plastic at 2" on top and 2.25" on the sides giving the TV a large frame with no real design quality. The dark teal color of the screen (when off) contrasts with the black gloss frame in an unappealing manner. Panel depth at 3.5" also ignores the trend toward thin and sleek.

Panasonic TC-P58VT25 Review
Small pic. We were not fans of the unattractive contrast between the wide 2.25" bezel and the dark teal green screen on the VT25.

Panasonic TC-P58VT25 Review

This TV will likely be priced around the same as its main competitor the Samsung PN58C8000 at around $2700. At least it comes with a pair of the 3D glasses which have a $249 value. It's a strange TV. Read the full features and picture quality sections carefully to decide if this is the model for you.

Also competing here are some of those pesky LED TVs such as the 3D ready Samsung UN55C8000. However, we believe plasma 3D trumps LED 3D in quality.


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