Panasonic TC-P65S60 (TCP65S60) Review

65" 1080p Wifi Plasma HDTV

Positives

  • Dark or dimly lit rooms is where the picture quality is going to be best
  • As usual for plasma TVs, the side viewing angles are great
  • For a value TV, the black levels and contrast are very strong
  • HD images produce a very clear picture

    Negatives

  • Images tend to get washed out in bright rooms
  • There may not be enough inputs for some (2 USB ports though)
  • Sound Quality and volume are weak
  • Standard Def pictures produce a haze

    Panasonic TC-P65S60This is the top of the line in the S60 series. The TC-P65S60 is a 1080p plasma TV that removes 3D functionality and internet connectivity in favor strong picture quality. The internet connectivity is not completely lost here, which will be a relief for Netflix and Hulu junkies across the board. It does lack the web browser from models above it in the lineup. What was not compromised was the picture quality. Panasonic dropped the extras, like 3D, in order to keep this an attractive option for budget plasma TV shoppers.

    Picture Quality Rating: 8.6

    1080p is the name of the game for the TCP65S60. You'll get HD content at its best here. This is a great addition to the lineup considering that Panasonic's non-3D full HD plasma last year was on the bottom of the list. So picture quality in terms of refresh rates, side angle viewing, and black levels are still top notch. If you aren't on the 3D or LED bandwagon, this is the TV for you.

    Side Angle Viewing

    Unlike LCD and LED televisions, side angle viewing is not a concern with plasmas. The S60 has no contrast degradation as you change viewing angles. Black performance remains strong as well.

    Panasonic TC-P65S60
    Deep blacks are seen on the Panasonic S60 series. Color is also another strong point as seen in the example here. In a bright room, screen reflections tend to stand out more than desired

    Black Level and Contrast

    The TC-P65S60 doesn't use the Infinite Black Pro panel of the ST60 series above it. As a result, black levels and contrast that are not as strong and detailed. Even though they are not as strong, we still consider the performance excellent when compared to budget models. Shadow detail was a specific strong point we noted while viewing the set. The S60 is especially strong when compared against low end LCD and LED displays.

    Picture Mode Options

    Vivid – ridiculous overblown except you will want to use it with non-animated 3D content with the Motion Smoother on Mid setting.
    Standard – Too dim, Panasonic's energy saving mode, best to avoid this one.
    Home Theater – Very nice picture in this mode brings a lot of light into the picture. TV set to Warm1 white balance.
    Cinema – Similar to Home Theater mode in quality except it introduces a much greener tint to the picture (Warm2 WB setting).
    Custom – Of course meant to customize, it starts out with 100% contrast and the Motion Smoother set to Mid and totally juices the picture color, overblown like the Vivid setting.

    600Hz Sub-field Drive

    Plasma TVs have always had better refresh rates when compared against LCD and LEDs simply because the display technology allows it. The 600Hz sub-field drive in the TC-P65S60 handles fast action and side to side panning like the best of them. It lacks the 2500 focused-field drive of the ST60, but 600Hz is enough to handle the needs for most. There is little to no visible motion lag with fast action (at least not that the human eye can detect).

    Features Rating: 7.9/10

    Internet TV and Online Movies

    The TCP65S60 includes networking features like DLNA for access to the home network. This allows for quick and easy sharing of content through the built-in wifi of the TV. Viera Link allows the user to control other Viera Link devices, like a blu-ray player, with the S60 remote.

    Panasonic TC-P65S60 Touch Pen
    The optional Electronic Touch Pen is also available on the S60 series. The pen allows you to add a pesonal touch to photos and video by writing directly on the screen. The result can then be shared using the Swipe & Share 2.0 features. 2 pens can be added for $80

    Panasonic uses Online Moves as a feature to holds the middle ground between a full Viera Connect platform and no internet functionality at all. To sum it up, Online Movies basically offers access to the top online content providers like Netflix, Hulu, and others like it. We see it as a very useful compromise for not implementing the full blown Viera Connect suite. Every content hungry viewer out there will appreciate having this option.

    Inputs

    As we go down the line, Panasonic continues to shed inputs. The TCP65S60 includes two HDMI connections and two USB ports. Two HDMI spots may be too few for some, but that is nothing an A/V receiver can't fix. This is an especially easy solution if you already have a home theater of some sort. The two USB ports shouldn't be a problem since wifi is built into the set, which frees up a spot.

    Sound Quality

    Sometimes there is hollow (tunnel-esque) effect that turning the volume up does not remedy. Sound is generally OK from the sound system that has 2 X 10 watt speakers. The standard modes are Standard, Music, Ambience, User. The Natural Surround mode isn't bad for movies but we prefer the simple Standard mode with everything else off. Treble (+6) and bass (-5) which helped slightly.

    Appearance and Design


    Panasonic TC-P65S60 Design
    This shot shows the design of the S60 series. The silver trim only runs along the top and bottom of the screen. That small touch sets it apart from the ST60 series plasmas

    We were pleasantly surprised by the attractive appearance of this TV. It looks and feels more expensive than I though it would. The frame is about an inch and it has silver trim bars top and bottom. Depth is 2.5 inches except for the bottom of the panel which is just over 3” to accommodate the speakers.

    Value/Bang for the Buck Rating: 9/10

    It's hard to beat the S60 in terms of sheer value. The TC-P65S60 sells for a little less than $1500. That's is a lot of plasma screen area for the price, especially considering the picture quality on this one. General picture quality is outstanding for the money, just watch out for brightly lit rooms. The Samsung PN64F5300 is the equivalent Samsung plasma, but I prefer the S60 for picture, appearance and performance. An equivalently priced LED TV like the Toshiba 65L7300U can't compete on picture quality unless it's in a very bright room.

    Overall Rating: 8.5/10







  •