Panasonic TX-65EX750B 4K LED 3D TV Review
The last of a dying breed
What is the Panasonic EX750?The EX750 is Panasonic's high-end LCD TV for 2017 and as you'd expect it supports 4K Ultra HD resolution and high dynamic range. However it also includes something that is rather unusual this year because the EX750 is the only new TV in 2017 to support 3D. That has elevated the model from merely another 4K LED TV to one that is of particular interest to fans of 3D looking for a way to still watch their collections of 3D movies. The EX750 also includes all the features that you'd expect on a Panasonic TV and the TX-65EX750B that we're reviewed can be picked up for £1,849 as at the time of writing (November 2017), which is a good price for a 65-inch screen size. So can the EX750 deliver the kind of performance we expect from a TV in 2017 or is this blast from the past just a one trick pony?
DesignThe EX750's support of 3D isn't the only thing that reminds us of TVs from three or four years ago, the design is decidedly retro as well. In fact if you put a curved screen on this TV it would be almost identical to Samsung's flagship models from a few years back. There's a 12mm wide dark silver bezel around the screen, with a brushed metal finish and chamfered corners. It's a simple appearance but does seem rather dated compared to the ultra thin bezel-less designs we mainly see today. The 65EX750 is 20mm deep at the top and 52mm deep at the bottom, with overall dimensions of 1457 x 841 x 52mm without the stand and 1457 x 921 x 446mm with the stand attached.The stand itself is another blast from the past, the kind of chrome 'quad foot' that was used all the time and, in another retro touch, it even swivels which means you can angle the screen for optimal viewing. The rear of the stand is a big solid piece of engineering that you can thankfully hide behind a black plastic cover that matches the rear of the panel and if you do use the stand there is 100mm of clearance beneath the screen. The stand measures 760 x 446mm but if you'd rather wall mount there are 400 x 200 VESA mounts for the purpose. The EX750 is certainly very well made and as a result it weighs quite a bit, clocking in at 39kg without the stand and 43.5kg with it attached.
The build quality is very good but the design appears rather dated
Connections & ControlThe connections are at the rear left as you face the screen and there are removable panels for tidier cable management. There are a combination of rearwards and sideways facing connections and the latter are 130mm from the edge of the screen. There are four HDMI inputs – one facing rearwards and three facing sideways – with one HDMI input that supports ARC (Audio Return Channel) and all of them supporting 4K/60p, HDR, WCG, HLG and HDCP 2.2. There are three USB ports, two facing rearwards (2 x USB 2.0) and one facing sideways (1 x USB 3.0), along with a sideways-facing CI (Common Interface) slot, an SD card slot, twin digital and satellite tuners and a headphone jack. Facing rearwards you'll also find component and composition video inputs, analogue audio inputs, an optical digital output and an Ethernet port, although the EX750 naturally has built-in WiFi.Although the EX750 is technically Panasonic's high-end LCD TV for 2017, the manufacturer clearly considers its OLED range to be their flagship models because the former doesn't come with the attractive silver brushed metal controller included with the OLED TVs. Instead we get a more basic plastic controller, although its silver and black finish does match the TV. The remote is light and comfortable to hold, with a groove on the back for your finger which makes it easy to use with one hand. It has an intuitive layout, with large buttons that are sensibly placed depending on how frequently they will be used and easily identified. The controller might not be as flash as the one included with Panasonic's OLED TVs but we like it because it has all the buttons you'll need and is very simple to use and effective in operation.
There's a good selection of connections, a decent remote and an effective smart platform
Features & SpecsThe EX750B comes in four screen sizes of 50-, 58-, 65- and 75-inches and supports High Dynamic Range, specifically HDR 10 and Hybrid Log-Gamma (HLG). There's no support for Dolby Vision but Panasonic do plan to add HDR10+ with dynamic metadata via a firmware update next year. The EX750 includes Panasonic's Studio Colour HCX2 processor that uses 3D look-up tables (LUTs) to deliver more accurate colours. The EX750 also uses what Panasonic call their 'Cinema Display', which basically means it combines a brighter panel with a wider colour gamut and local dimming. In addition the EX750B includes full calibration controls and, as mentioned at the beginning, it also supports active shutter 3D – although you will need to buy the glasses separately because Panasonic don't include any.
The EX750 uses Panasonic's Smart TV system which is simple and intuitive to use and very effective in operation. The TV features the latest version of My Home Screen 2.0 smart TV system, which introduces features such as favourites folders for multiple users, a My App button on the remote that can be customised for faster access to your own favourite content, and a revamped Media Player app that supports 4K HDR10 and Hybrid Log Gamma content. For UK users there is a new version of Freeview Play, which introduces new search/recommendation tools and a Quick Look Guide that shows past, live and future TV programs for the current channel. Also included are live thumbnails of what’s showing on other channels. The EX750 will also support 4K HDR streaming from Netflix, Amazon and YouTube.
Panasonic TX-65EX750B Recommended Picture Settings
Picture Settings – Out-of-the-BoxThe EX750 ships in the Normal viewing mode but to get the most accurate starting point we would suggest choosing the True Cinema mode where the majority of the settings are correct and any unnecessary processing has been turned off. We then set the Luminance Level for our target of 120nits, set Contrast so that it wasn't clipping, selected a suitable Gamma (in this case 2.4) and turned Intelligent Frame Creation (IFC) off before measuring the out-of-the-box performance.
All our measurements were done with a Klein K-10A colour meter, a Murideo Fresco Six-G pattern generator and CalMAN Ultimate calibration software. If you want to set your new TV up correctly then take a look at the video above or follow the simple steps in our PicturePerfect Guide.We have seen some very accurate out-of-the-box measurements from Panasonic TVs this year, so the EX750 was a bit of a disappointment. As you can see in the graph above, there is an excess of green and a deficit of blue, which gives whites a yellow push. A slight excess of green isn't unusual on Panasonic TVs but the DeltaEs (errors) are well above the visible threshold in the brighter part of the image. However the gamma was tracking our 2.4 target very closely and given that the EX750B has a 2- and a 10-point white balance control, we should be able to correct the excess green very easily.The colour accuracy out-of-the-box was better, with all of the primary and secondary colours tracking their saturation points quite closely. The main errors are introduced by the excess green in the greyscale and you can see that it is skewing blue, cyan and magenta, with white shifted over towards green/yellow. We suspect that as soon as we correct the greyscale, white and the colours will fall into place but if we do need to tweak them, there is a very effective colour management system (CMS).
For a Panasonic the out-of-the-box accuracy was a bit disappointing
Picture Settings – CalibratedAs we mentioned the EX750 has a full set of calibration controls including 2- and 10-point white balance controls and a full colour management system (CMS), which we used to address the errors in the greyscale and fine tune the colour accuracy.
We started by using the 2-point control to reduce green and bring up blue, which immediately gave us a very accurate greyscale. We then used the 10-point to fine tune the overall accuracy and the result was a reference performance with all the errors now well below one and the gamma curve tracking our target of 2.4 precisely.Once we had calibrated the greyscale, the colour temperature of white was hitting its target of D65 precisely and the colours were tracking the saturation points within the Rec.709 colour gamut, which is the industry standard for standard dynamic range content. We then used the CMS to fine tune the performance and, as with the greyscale and gamma, the results were reference in terms of measurements. Of course, we would expect nothing else from Panasonic.
The calibration controls are excellent and the results were reference in terms of accuracy
Picture Settings – High Dynamic RangeThe measurements shown below are for an out-of-the-box performance using the HDR True Cinema viewing mode and based upon a simple setup with the majority of the controls at their default settings (as with previous Panasonic HDR TVs with local dimming, you get the best results with the Medium setting). As you can see the EOTF (Electro Optical Transfer Function) tracked the SMPTE 2084 (PQ) target quite closely, with the luminance beginning to roll off at 60 IRE. The greyscale is also tracking very well and overall the errors were all below three, except when the curve rolls off, where there is a slight increase to eight.
Where the EX750 struggled was in terms of its peak brightness, which only measured at 420 nits in its most accurate mode, although it could reach 500 nits in less accurate ones. The TV could produce that on a 10% window and almost as much on a 100% full field pattern but it certainly is a long way from the levels of brightness found on competing TVs at this price point. However the good tone mapping meant that the EX750 was at least able to correctly show test patterns up to 4000 nits without clipping, which means that although the specular highlights might not be as bright, you aren't missing any detail.The EX750 delivered excellent colour gamut coverage, which we measured at 96% of DCI-P3 using xy and 98% using uv coordinates, which equates to 74% of Rec.2020. The tracking against Rec.2020 was also fairly good, at least within the limitations of the panel's native colour gamut.
The graph above shows how the EX750 actually tracked against the DCI-P3 saturation points within the Rec.2020 container and here it performed rather well, with the primary and secondary colours tracking their targets very closely within the limitations of the panel's native colour gamut. There was some under-saturation in red and some minor hue errors in green but overall this is a good colour performance for HDR content.
We measured the Perceptual Colour Volume of the EX750B, which takes the PQ EOTF out to 10,000nits and the Rec.2020 colour gamut and measures them against the ICtCp colour graph which takes into account human visual perception. This measurement uses 393 data points and delivers a number expressed in Millions of Distinguishable Colours (MDC) and the Panasonic delivered a number of 304, which reflects its limited brightness.
The HDR performance was reasonable but the peak brightness was limited
Black Levels & Contrast RatiosThe EX750 uses a VA LCD panel, which means that it can deliver a decent native black level of 0.026 nits, although that drops to 0.0004 nits when the local dimming is engaged. The Panasonic might be limited in terms of its peak brightness for HDR, reaching only 420 nits, but it can easily hit our 120 nits target for SDR content. As a result it has a native – that is without the local dimming engaged – on/off contrast ratio of 4,600:1 and an ANSI contrast ratio of 3600:1 – these are impressive numbers for an LCD TV but they can be improved by engaging local dimming.
Backlight Uniformity & Viewing AnglesThe backlight uniformity of the EX750 was fairly good for an LCD TV that uses edge LED backlighting and the image was pleasingly free of clouding, bright edges and bright corners on normal content during the day. This was equally true of darker material, although using the local dimming does obviously improve the perceived blacks and the overall contrast performance. The backlight uniformity was also good at night, although in a dimly-lit room the local dimming is certainly more important with darker viewing content, and with local dimming engaged the backlight looked good, even with a black screen.
Since the EX750 uses a VA panel, it does mean that the viewing angles are rather limited and once you move more than 30 degrees off axis in either direction, you will begin to see a drop off in contrast and colour fidelity. However, depending on how far you sit from the TV, the 65-inch screen size makes it pretty easy to stay central to the image. Since the stand swivels, you can also easily move the screen to ensure you are sat central to the picture. Just remember that off-axis performance applies to both horizontal and vertical angles, so bear that in mind when installing the EX750.
Local DimmingThe implementation of the local dimming was reasonably effective and it's generally something that Panasonic do very well. In our tests we found that the Medium setting delivered deep blacks and decent shadow detail, without introducing haloing or other unwanted artefacts. We initially used a white circle moving around on a black background and the EX750 handled this test very well, as did the TV with regular torture tests using scenes from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 and Gravity. Since the panel uses edge LED lighting, rather than rows of LEDs directly behind the panel, the image was also free of any annoying banding, which is good news for football fans.
Motion HandlingThe motion handling of the EX750 was the one area where it really struggled and although the motion seemed fine with normal content, it was terrible on our moving plate tests. The motion resolution was very poor with loads of blur and judder that we couldn't get rid of, even with Intelligent Frame Creation (IFC) set to maximum. Strangely when watching actual content like football at 25p, streaming content at 50p and film content at 24p, the motion seemed fine, within the limitations of the LCD panel itself, although the EX750 did have problems with 60p content. We always left IFC off when watching film-based content like movies and TV dramas but it can certainly help with sports content and along with the Min, Mid and Max settings, there is also a Custom option to allow you create a setting that suits you. As we mentioned earlier in the review, when watching HDR content you should also use the Medium setting for the best results.
Standard Dynamic Range (SDR)When it came to standard dynamic range content, the EX750 delivered an excellent image with natural colours (especially after calibration), a good contrast performance and excellent video processing. The HCX2 processor effectively upscaled lower resolution content to match the 4K panel and delivered clean and detailed images. The same was true of the effective local dimming, which improved the blacks and contrast performance, whilst retaining the shadow detail and avoiding any unwanted artefacts. Despite our reservations in testing, motion didn't appear to be an issue either, which suggests it may have been a specific problem with the test rather than something more general. So whether we were watching standard or high definition broadcasts, the EX750 delivered a very pleasing image, although the 65-inch screen size did reveal the limitations of standard definition broadcasting. However the colour accuracy, greyscale and gamma were excellent, so the BBC series Blue Planet II often looked superb in high definition, although the image did occasionally reveal banding due to broadcast compression. The picture quality was just as impressive with streaming content and both Preacher and Inhumans looked fantastic fantastic. The Panasonic also handled Blu-ray extremely, so a reference disc like Jurassic World or Moana really popped with detail and colour. Overall the XE750 is an excellent mid-range TV when it comes to SDR content.
High Dynamic Range (HDR)The HDR performance wasn't quite as good, primarily due to the limited peak brightness of the EX750. However, although the peak brightness was rather limited, it did mean that the Panasonic didn't suffer from clouding or bright edges or bright corners and the black bars on films managed to remain black. This was also in part due to the local dimming, which was very successful in making the most of the EX750's dynamic range to deliver a decent HDR performance. In addition, the greyscale and colour temperature for white were good and the tone mapping was effective, ensuring that detail was retained up to 4000 nits. The excellent native colour gamut also helped, as did the accurate saturation tracking and, as a result, the colours appeared both natural and saturated. As with SDR content, the motion handling on 24p HDR content appeared perfectly acceptable with no more judder than was in the original capture. When watching a disc like Passengersthe EX750 reproduced the star fields with precision and handled the sleek interiors of the starship very well. The Panasonic also handled the arriving in Neverland scene in Pan without clipping the sun and a recent release like Spider-Man: Homecoming looked very impressive, despite the frenetic action on screen. The EX750 also handled the HDR on Star Trek Discovery and Stranger Things 2 very well and overall we found that, despite its inherent limitations, the Panasonic handled HDR surprisingly well.
3D PerformanceIf you're thinking of buying an EX750, then the chances are that the section of this review that you're most interested in is this one. After all there's hardly a shortage of 4K Ultra HD LED LCD TVs with HDR support on the market but the EX750 is literally the only new 2017 model to support 3D. The good news is that as a 3D TV the EX750 is pretty good, with a bright, detailed and natural looking picture that is largely free of crosstalk. There was a little bit on the Spears & Munsil torture test and occasionally on objects in a film that had extreme negative or positive parallax – although modern films tend to avoid that – but overall this was a nice 3D presentation. We watched a number of 3D favourites like Moana, Gravity and Avatar and the EX750 handled them all well, whilst the local dimming was effective and the motion fairly good. The 3D created a nice sense of depth to the image and the decent screen size meant that you could fill your field of view fairly easily, thus creating a more immersive experience. As we mentioned earlier in the review, you will need to buy the 3D glasses separately because there are none included but luckily we had a pair of Panasonic glasses stuffed in a drawer, although they did need recharging because we hadn't used them for a long time. Sadly we suspect this is the last 3D TV that we'll review because we don't expect any to be released next year.
Panasonic TX-65EX750B Video Review
Sound QualityThe EX750 was capable of a decent audio performance and undoubtedly it benefited from the solid build quality and 65-inch screen size when it came to sound quality. The screen size certainly resulted in a good amount of stereo separation and the width of the front soundstage was suitably wide. There are two full-range speakers built into the base of the chassis and these are each driven by 10W of amplification. As a result the sound quality was certainly good enough for basic TV watching and even TV dramas and movies sounded quite impressive. Importantly dialogue was clear and focused and the midrange was well represented, as were the higher frequencies. The bass was more limited but the size of the TV and the solid nature of its construction meant that it had more low-end presence than we were expecting.
There are four sound modes – Standard, Music, Ambience and User – and we tended to find that Music offered the most balanced sound for general TV watching. There is also a VR-Audio True Surround feature and although it did give more of an immersive presence to the audio, it also tended to make the sound more echoey, so we wouldn't recommend using it. Ultimately, if sound quality is important to you then we would recommend a soundbar for a larger soundstage or an AV Receiver for immersive multi-channel audio that would better suit the 65-inch screen size when watching blockbuster movies. However when it comes to normal TV watching, EX750 is more than capable of handling an episode of Masterchef.
The input lag was very low at 18ms and the EX750 is also the only TV this year to support 3D
Input Lag & Energy UsageAs usual we measured the input lag on the EX750 using our Leo Bodnar tester and in Game mode we measured the input lag at 18ms, which was really impressive. It would seem that Panasonic has made great strides in terms of input lags this year, which is great news for gamers and the even better news is that this applies whether you're gaming in 1080p, 4K, SDR or HDR. This is actually one of the lowest input lags we've ever measured and the result is a pleasingly responsive big screen gaming experience that is sure to please even those with cat-like reactions.
In terms of the EX750’s energy consumption it proved to be surprisingly efficient considering the 65-inch screen size and using a full window 50% white pattern we measured the Normal picture mode at 65W and our calibrated True Cinema mode at 71W. The HDR mode naturally used more energy but, given the TV's limited peak brightness, it still wasn't that high at just 119W.
How future-proof is this TV?
4K Ultra HD Resolution HDR Support Colour Space (percentage of Rec.2020 - 100% best) 74% 10-bit Panel HDMI 2.0a Inputs HDCP 2.2 Support HEVC Decoding 4K Streaming Services Smart TV Platform Picture Accuracy Out-of-the-Box (score out of 10) 8 What do these mean?
- Accurate images
- Excellent video processing
- 3D support
- Low input lag
- Good build quality
- Motion handling poor
- HDR could be better
- Limited viewing angles
Panasonic TX-65EX750B 4K LED 3D TV Review
Should I buy one?The answer to that question really depends on how important 3D support is to you because that is the big selling point of the EX750. In general terms the TV is a competent performer, although its design is very dated, with the bezel and stand bringing to mind TVs from a few years ago. However the EX750 is well built and has a decent set of features, with a very low input lag and an effective smart platform. The TV naturally supports 4K Ultra HD, wide colour gamut and high dynamic range (HDR10, HLG and HDR10+ via a firmware update), although the HDR performance is limited by the EX750's peak brightness. However the performance with standard dynamic range content was very good, with natural colours, an accurate greyscale and gamma, and effective local dimming. The TV didn't perform as well in the motion tests, although motion seemed fine with actual content, and since the TV uses a VA panel, optimal viewing angles are limited.
The HDR performance was reasonably good, despite the limited peak brightness, with good tone mapping and a wide colour gamut that tracked the saturation points very accurately. Once again motion didn't appear to be an issue and the local dimming managed to deliver an improved dynamic range without introducing unwanted artefacts. The performance with 3D content was generally very good with bright, detailed and accurate images that were largely free of crosstalk. The motion handling seemed fine here too and the local dimming helped to give the images added depth thanks to the improved contrast performance. However you will need to buy your own active shutter 3D glasses because there aren't any included. Overall the Panasonic TX-65EX750 is a decent TV and is certainly worthy of a recommendation, especially if you're looking for 3D because frankly, it's the only game in town.
What are my alternatives?If you want 3D support your options are limited to buying a 2016 TV that is currently still available like the Panasonic TX-65DX902 or the Sony KD-65ZD9, both of which are excellent and can be picked up for £2,199 and £3,099 respectively. However if 3D isn't a priority, then there are plenty of other options at this price point, with the Sony KD-65XE9005 a particularly strong option. This TV has a direct LED backlight and local dimming, along with a more attractive design. It's capable of an equally good SDR performance and a superior HDR performance and can even be picked up for less with a current price of £1,799. If your budget is tight, there's also the Hisense H65NU8700 which can be picked up for £1,699 and offers a similar level of SDR and HDR performance, along with a comparable set of features, aside from the lack of 3D. Finally the current bargain as far as performance, features and price are concerned has to be the Samsung UE65MU7000 which is only £1,549. That will get you a TV that not only uses a very contemporary design and includes a boat-load of features but also delivers an incredibly low inout lag, along with a great SDR performance and a superior HDR one as well.
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £1,849.00
Contrast/Dynamic Range/Black Level8
SDR Picture Quality8
HDR Picture Quality7
3D Picture Quality9
Picture Quality Out-Of-The-Box8
Picture Quality Calibrated10
Ease Of Use9
Value for Money9
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