Panasonic TX-55AX902B (AX902) Ultra HD 4K TV Review

Discussion in 'Panasonic TVs Forum' started by Steve Withers, Dec 11, 2014.


    1. Steve Withers

      Steve Withers
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    2. dave1956a

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      Looks like a good honest review - no surprise really to read the set does not come up to the plasma beating hype from a few months ago. I am reminded of an old saying "you cannot make a silk purse from a sow's ear" and that is the problem, LCD's need back lighting and the only way to do that with good blacks is the backlight to be per pixel not just 128 zones.

      The way forward is OLED as it self-illuminates like plasma and the CRT, but it will take some time before OLED sets are up to the mark - bit like UK colour TV's in the 60's The first sets came to market (at a price) just in time for the 2nd week of Wimbledon tennis in July 1967 shown in colour on BBC2 but it took until the early 70's before a lot of the problems with the early sets were overcome and prices became affordable.

      Let's hope the manufacturers give up on curving the sets by then and go back to what most viewers seem to want - flat screens

      It is only my guess but we need to wait till about 2016 or 2017 before 4k OLED really gets going, but by then the talk will be of 8k and it will all start over again

      Mind you - the talk of ever bigger screens is a worry because, back in CRT days the performance of larger screens was often questionable. Back then, the largest Grade 1 monitor was 20". Anything over that size the errors were such that it couldn't qualify to be a Grade 1 and today, the largest actual Grade 1 I've seen is 32" and costs just short of £11,000, yet many viewers seem to want to buy enormous screens but are upset when they don't get Grade 1 performance

      Sadly we can't have it all
       
      Last edited: Dec 11, 2014
    3. PhilA

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      thanks for the review. ive been waiting for this one :)

      good to read your thoughts.

      the fan noise does concern me, but i wouldnt worry about it if it was £2k... but £3.5k is far too much now due to the other flagships, direct lit or not.

      i wont consider an edge lit as i cannot stand them, so now im thinking:
      1. buy LG OLED HD and live with anything that isnt quite right with it.
      2. wait until CES and see what is coming out
      3. if nothing coming out next year, wait until this TV is lower in price, e.g. below 2.5k
      i dont own a tv just now, so time to buy a cheaper direct lit tv, or plunge for LG OLED i think.

      unless panny drop the price alot, following in LG's wake and dropping 1k off of the price.
       
    4. Mr Peebles

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      Good review.

      So how much better is the 902 compared to the 802?
       
    5. davejones2

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      Looks like an excellent set overall, but they won't sell many at this price.

      For anyone interested, if the WiFi is the same as the ax802 (sounds like probably identical problem), the solution is to set up a static IP address for the set (via the advanced router settings) after first connecting the TV. Otherwise it seems to have trouble allocating another IP address for some reason, hence the disconnection - I had to reset the TV to get it going again before I found the solution.
       
    6. elgriego

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      Great review as always and you are right, a big dillema at this price why someone shouldn't go for a fullhd oled tv at the same price or a much cheaper flagship model 4K from others like Samsung or Sony. However you have me confused with your statement about the ansi contrast. You say that natively the this IPS panel produces a 0.14cd/m2 black level and indeed at the brightness of 120cd/m2 that gives an ansi of about 850:1(857 to be precise). However with "the Adaptive Backlight Control (ABC) set to Low the blacks now measured 0.02cd/m2 and with it set to Mid or High we got 0.008cd/m2."However you find the ansi to be 950:1 with it(ABC) set to Low. How can this be when the black level with the low use of ABC is 0.02cd/m2? Isn't that 120cd/m2 divided by 0.02cd/m2 to be 6000:1 instead of 950:1 which is on par with plasma levels?

      I would understand if the ABC on low is unusuable like you say for the mid or high setting due to haloing and other artefacts but that does not seem to be the case according to the review on low setting. Did I do something wrong with the calculations? Thanks.
       
      Last edited: Dec 11, 2014
    7. Sonoman

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      Steve Withers, because it tells you that using ABC Mid / Max generates more haloing & artifacts... if they own the 55 "AX900 has not expressed having these problems under the configuration that you point out, have rather stressed its deep black levels in total darkness, and high uniformity, color, processing will put 9, when the other review described it as perfect in 10 ... I know you can say the complaint of black native IPS measurement ANSI contrast, but knows that there is no official measurement and standarizada to measure contrast ratio, so that only emerges as willingness to independent third parties, which is not supported by the authorities: SMPTE, ITU, DVB, nor follow manufacturers in their production lines.

      I know that you preference OLED, and thus is blind to not say this about his poor uniformity with DSE, useless and inaccurate it is to use your CMS, and the problems of video processing and motion resolution, its owners complain :

      [​IMG]
      [​IMG]
      [​IMG]
      [​IMG]

       
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    8. vism

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      £1,500 cheaper with a far better black level, I'll have the LG OLED thanks.
       
    9. elgriego

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      @Sonoman
      I find it hard to understand your message and its relevance with this review. Can you please elaborate what you mean? Why is your message so confusing? You mention an LG Tv at a Panasonic review? What did I miss?

      Edit: OK I think now I get what you are trying to say after you tidied up you message a bit.
       
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      Last edited: Dec 11, 2014
    10. vaktmestern

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      Price is the "killer" on this tv ... and 90ms lag lol
       
    11. lentrix

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      Very disappointing from Panasonic. Considering they used to be the 'premium' brand when they had plasmas - they have certainly lost their crown now and the LG OLED seems to rule-the-roost !!
       
    12. MahaRaja

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      Panasonic had advertised to the media this set set will have better blacks than even Plasma:laugh:, now test reveals that's it's worse than other rivals LCDs and rival sets are far more cheaper. What loads of xxx:mad:

      What did Panasonic had in mind when they priced this set? Just because they(Panasonic) used to produce Plasmas that plasma loving fans will embrace this TV, because of the claimed plasma like contrast ratio.:D

      Sony X9 is the best in the market for 4K Tv.
       
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    13. elgriego

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      I don't know but 0.02cd/m2 black level seems pretty low to me with the use of the Adaptive Backlight Control, unless I have missed something. But way too expensive as I would prefer an OLED for this money and sacrifice the 4K which for a 55" is kind of useless anyway. But it is a decent efford using full backlight LED dimming for those that are looking 4K wide angles(IPS) and good blacks on a LED LCD TV.
       
    14. gringottsdirect

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      I like Panasonic plasmas and bought three of the last 55", hopefully they will keep working through the next 4 or 5 years, whilst under guarantee, after that don't know what to choose.
      There is no way I'm going to pay a premium price ie £3499 for an LED tv with passive 3D, it will surprise me if other Panasonic plasma customers will be convinced either.
      With plasma I felt Panasonic had a quality niche worth paying extra for. Now they are alongside Samsung and LG, possibly even not as good in some respects.
      The one regard Panasonic did have in their favour for me over the Korean brands was the excellent after sales service from my local dealer, now closed down.
      I don't like the curved screen novelties, so will probably look at flat Samsung, Sony or LG LEDs from PC World or John Lewis, now sold with free 5 Year Guarantees which used to be a good Panasonic incentive from their dealers.
      I really wonder what the future holds for Panasonic tvs, they just look like expensive "me toos" standing in a row at Currys etc.
      Hopefully by the time I need to buy anything Panasonic will still be competitive in performance and innovation - I don't feel these models will excite anybody for the price.
       
    15. MahaRaja

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      I agree, they did have a (plasma) product, which had a niche market and produced higher quality plasma sets than samsung.

      Now, they're competing against Samsung and Sony on Led LCD sets.
      Samsung and Sony have always had better LCD sets than Pana, now their latest offering is far too expensive and inferior contrast ration than their main rivals.
      As far I'm concerned LCD has reached its limit, there is no way it can come near Plasma contrast ratio. However, Joe public is not too bothered about contrast ratio or black levels, so LCDs will be produced in bucket loads, and with 4K as a gimmick, to sell more TVs.
       
      Last edited: Dec 11, 2014
    16. V F

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      I feel a tear welling.
       
    17. gamemaker

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      This is the second top UK review with the lab test I have read and doesn't say the same consistent thing? Sonaman may have a point.....
      Going to have to wait for the US Cnet review from D Kaizmaier to decide...best of 3!He is working on it now.
      Unanimous trans-alantic verdict that the Samsung UNHU8550/8700 curved andSony XBR-X900B as the best 4k LED TV for now.....cnet has not declared on the Ax902....
       
      Last edited: Dec 12, 2014
    18. zAndy1

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      Looks to me like they're trying to fleece people for daft money like they did with the ZT when that came out, sorry Panasonic but you've lost the plot I'm afraid...
       
    19. fluxo

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      £3,5k = LG OLED + Lumagen?
       
    20. Smith2004

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      I think the general consensus on this set is that it's pretty decent as far as LCD standards go, but way overpriced. I reckon the price will take a hefty tumble in the new year.
       
    21. gamemaker

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      To put things into perspective, Sony's full array LED lit X950Ba US model released in July 2014 cost even more.
      65 inch model from Sony US Direct is 6,999 dollars as of Now.In stock.The TV is better than the X9000 edgelit model as seen by those who have reviewed both.Not a qauntum leap......and if released here would be the best 4K LED made.Sony knew there is no market here for that model and may be Panasonic should just concentrate the AX models elsewhere.
      If you want a localised dimming in LED TV then it will be a grand more.

      Panasonic isn't ripping people off and if they are then Sony is also doing it?No.
       
      Last edited: Dec 12, 2014
    22. Smith2004

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      It's a pity Vizio don't sell their sets over here. AFAIK their 4K FALD P series 55in set retails for $1,349.99 in the states.
       
    23. JDN

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      Price aside Panasonic seem to have done a good job with the panel they had to work with. I would be interested to see a review of the larger 85" TV which has a VA panel.

      I have a soft spot for Panasonic. I have not lost faith in them yet but there is no ignoring OLED especially at this price point.
       
    24. VEGACORTEZ

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      Glad i bought mine before reading the review as i would have missed out on a great tv. Looked at the settings they used of BL 30 and contrast 75 with FALD at low for 120cdm2 and no wonder it looks poor. I calibated mine at BL 15 C90 for 120cdm2 with no issue so i start with a better black level and using FALD on max creates a perfect picture with very deep blacks. I see no issue with halos on my settings when watching movies, boxsets etc. After full calibration i couldn't be happier. It was worth the money to me in the absence of 4k plasma.
       
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    25. gamemaker

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      At the end of the day....when the dust settles on the 4k paraphernalia....'we all want one' your eyes can see the extra 4K pixels if you are watching the best best decoded material or/and sitting close to the ...OLED or LED.
      Would You sit closer because you are watching a 4k TV or even sit closer in a 4k digital cinema to where the best seats
      are?
      Too earlier to lose our heads in 4K. In the Cineplex 4K and beyond is where the extra pixels really count!

      With smartphones and tablets and even PC screens it is a completely different perspective.As your eyes are 11 inches or so from the screen.....and not viewing across a room your eyes can make out the quad hd or even 4k.It makes sense on those devices.
       
      Last edited: Dec 13, 2014
    26. ALIEN1X

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      if Price is put to one side, how dose the picture quality compare with Sony X9005B and Samsung UEH8500?
       
    27. JDN

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      The reviews from Steve, Mark and Phil are of great value to me but the opinions of owners such as yourself are also of great value.

      A high end TV is a significant investment for most people and only the owner knows whether it represents value to themselves. To my eyes this TV is one of the best pictures I have seen this year for use in a general purpose lounge/reception room.

      I will see what news emerges from CES but I am still thinking this is the TV for me but I will not be purchasing until March/April...... a lot can happen in the meantime.
       
    28. gamemaker

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      Edgelit 'Local dimming' in TVs if done right like on the Sony and Samsungs can be good enough.The dark scenes viewed in darkness can emerge out as if it was injected out of the dark room suroundings except for the most most critical scenes....twinkling twinkling stars in a very dark scene.
      Besides,the best full array dimming set is a US Vizo brand with 384 zones beating the X950k and AX902
       
      Last edited: Dec 13, 2014
    29. PhilA

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    30. Andris L

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      While i agree with Steve that 3D is really really good on this set (especially taking into account that it's passive) there can be some issues with 3D if the TV is not positioned optimally.

      I think the rest of the review is very good and probably sums up this model quite well and I've been studying this particular model myself for a few weeks now and have to say i'm very impressed with what this LCD based technology can deliver and picture quality from Blu-ray is rather impressive and if i'd be in the market for a new TV to watch films on then this would defiantly be on my shopping list (would wait till the price comes down a bit though), and that comes from a Plasma supporter.

      Going back to 3D and taking into account my personal experience with this set i'd more agree with this statement:

      In my personal experience the above is more accurate description and if you are planing to be fairly close to this TV and we are probably talking 2.5m (~8ft) or less and won't have it bang on at your eye level you might be in for a rather disappointing 3D experience. 3D viewing angles certainly becomes much better at 3m and over (~10ft+) but vertical viewing angle can still be problematic so positing of this TV is very critical measurement to take into account when buying.

      It's a great TV for what it is but if 3D is a major part of your film experience then a Demo is an absolute must to fully asses this set.
       

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