What is the Panasonic TX-47AS650?
It’s been a solid start to the new season of TVs from Panasonic.
Design & Connections
At the back are a decent collection of inputs and outputs, including 3 HDMI ports, two of which point downwards, on the rear, while the other is both side mounted and facing. You also get 2 USB ports, a headphone jack. A Scart socket and component terminals complete the rear facing connections and there’s a Freeview HD tuner and a digital audio out joining the downward pointing HDMI ports.
As ever, the True Cinema mode provided the best starting point for a detailed calibration and, as with many a TV with an IPS panel, the greyscale was tracking very accurately out of the box. There’s a bit too much blue energy near back, a small excess of both red and green in the mid-scale and a greener tinge to whites. With delta Errors topping out at 5, we’re in good shape however and gamma is tracking close to our nominated target of 2.3. The colours were equally as impressive with no significant errors to report. There’s a general under-luminance with both primary and secondary colours but a couple of clicks, upwards, on the global Colour control would probably fix most of that.
Since there are both 10-point white balance and gamma controls contained within the TX-47AS650, it is no surprise we obtain a virtual reference greyscale and gamma performance from it. To be picky, there is still too much blue energy near black and whilst we could eradicate that on the charts, it created some posterisation (banding) in darker elements of the picture in doing so. We’ll certainly take the results from anything over 10 percent stimulus, however.
By virtue of its panel type, the AS650 is blessed with only pedestrian contrast performance. In actual fact, for an IPS, it’s pretty good with an average black level of 0.15cd/m2, taken from a chequerboard pattern. That’s without the dimming system engaged (labelled Adaptive Backlight Control) and with it on, it comes down to close to 0.14. That’s not great, either, but ‘ABC’ does help with all/near all black screens without being overly impactful on details in the dark areas. Yes, it definitely will mask some picture elements in the shadows and you will get the odd quick and sudden flash when scenes transition from very bright to dark but it’s just about worth using, on balance. In doing so, we got an ANSI contrast figure of 787:1 which is definitely not going to set the videophiles’ pulse racing but its serviceable in bright(ish) viewing environments. The ABC control also helped to eliminate some uneven light spread on dark screen with just the odd small patch visible, here and there.
The same curious processing flaw which we unearthed in the AS640 is present and (in)correct on the AS650. That is, it doesn’t handle 50Hz content as it should, leading to stuttering pictures. It’s particularly noticeable with material with frequent camera pans but you can see it with everything, once you know it’s there. It happens in all picture modes but the issue disappears when the Intelligent Frame Creation (IFC) setting is in its ‘Min’ configuration. In fact, set that way, the AS650 behaves almost exactly how you would expect with it off. Since it is on by default in the True Cinema setting we can nearly forgive this but it warrants attention from Panasonic nonetheless.
By switching into the Game Mode from the Options submenu in the Picture Menu, the AS650 displayed an input lag around 57 milliseconds, which is far from great. As a now causal gamer, it didn’t really bother me but I’m not sure I’d want to take that kind of latency online, into the competitive arena.
• Standby: 0W
The following measurements were taken with a full screen 50% white pattern:
• Out-of-the-Box – Normal Mode: 55W
• Calibrated – Professional Mode: 65W
• Calibrated - 3D Mode: 97W
Panasonic TX-47AS650 Video Review
Panasonic TX-47AS650 Picture Quality
The general trend for improved screen uniformity in LED/LCD televisions, this year, is mostly continued with the AS650 but the sample did display a minor dirty screen effect on panning shots, especially noticeable on pale greens and whites. It’s not something that troubled us often, however, and the general motion handling was pleasing enough. At its best, the 48AS650 is capable of producing stunning images that are packed with detail and the fact it is capable of going very bright, indeed, means it’s a good fit for a room that sees a lot of daylight. It’s not a TV for those that like to dim the lights when viewing but, for everyone else, it will probably satisfy.
- Great colours
- Nice design
- Smart TV features impress
- Viewing angles are generous
- Contrast performance is mediocre
- 50Hz stutter without IFC on
- Some dirty screen effect on panning shots
- Media Player is flakey
Panasonic TX-47AS650 (AS650) TV Review
Panasonic’s 2014 Smart TV platform is very well presented and there are a couple of new major additions. Freetime brings with it access to all the major catch-up services and co-exists with the likes of YouTube and Netflix in the main apps areas. There is also MyStream to investigate, which is a personalised recommendation screen that we guess gets better the more that you use it but it’s not something we’ve found ourselves rushing back to.
There is no shortage of calibration controls available in the AS650’s comprehensive menu systems and by selecting the True Cinema mode, we had access to full gamma, white balance and detailed colour controls. The TV was pretty accurate even after following some basic adjustments but the calibrated picture was close to reference level once we’d taken advantage of the more specialised options.
The fantastically accurate colour palette of the AS650 is definitely its strongest card and helps it deliver pictures that appear extremely natural. We would have liked this Panasonic to boast better native black levels and we ended up activating the dimming system to improve their perceptible depth. This does come at the cost of losing some detail in darker scenes but, on balance, the compromise was just about worth it.
The same 50Hz stuttering issues we noted with the AS640 are also present in the AS650 but considering the default True Cinema settings activate IFC at its lowest setting – which alleviates the issue – it’s something we can forgive. We do, of course, recommend Panasonic addresses it. Otherwise processing capabilities are strong and the 3D performance is very pleasing with bright, flicker free pictures helping to immerse you.
The Panasonic AS650 isn’t a TV which will take your breath away. It’s solid rather than startling but it’s one to check out if you’re looking at a good all-rounder for a brighter room.
Contrast/Dynamic Range/Black Level
3D Picture Quality
Ease Of Use
Value for Money
Our Review Ethos
To comment on what you've read here, click the Discussion tab and post a reply.