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Panasonic TX-50DX802B User Review

  • Paul Iddon
    Excellent once tweaked
    Review of Panasonic TX-50DX802B tv by Paul Iddon, Nov 14, 2016.
    I originally purchased one of the 700 series Panasonic televisions, and despite my best efforts, I found the picture quality somewhat lacking - so I paid the difference and exchanged it for the 58" DX802B.

    What a great decision!

    This television is worth the money in my opinion. However, this is once I had made some tweaks to the picture to get what for me is something like a true high quality result.

    But lets start with the aesthetics. The stand. It's art-deco and it will be something you will love or hate. Personally, I think the stand is very clever and looks different enough to warrant it's unique design and inclusion - and had I got the right place to use it, then I would surely have done so - alas though, my stand was nowhere near big enough so I had to buy an AVF stand to hang it on - but it does look excellent now it is sitting in the corner of my living room.

    Now let me mention the audio. You get a sound bar included which has, it appears, 12 speakers inside. And it packs a punch. The bass is deep and rhythmic, the treble subtle enough. It looks wonderful when placed just below the screen and having front facing speakers, you get the sound just where you want it - coming at you! The only peculiar thing is the sound bars plug - it is not standard like HDMI, and seemed a little easy to bend as you put it into the socket and remove it as you jiggle the bar into the best position - hopefully if this little plug breaks, replacements are available...

    And so to the features. The Firefox OS is well known and is adequate (whilst not the most fluid, it does enough). The apps included are plentiful and varied, and Netflix and Amazon are the main players. I did find sometimes that when streaming, it took a few seconds to settle down to the maximum image output, but that is most likely the internet connection rather than the hardware. The TV has Wi-Fi for ease of use, but an Ethernet socket means directly linking to your router is the best method for connecting to the net. You can add your own choices to the Home Screen which initially shows Live TV, Apps, and Devices - you simply pin your choice using the option key to say add Netflix to this home screen (however, the remote has a dedicated button for Netflix anyway). Oh, and I will just mention the remote while I'm here - it has a brushed metal finish and is quite heavy - but it looks and feels premium quality. There is even a "light" button to illuminate the keys.

    Moving on to the most important thing then, the screen and it's picture quality. Straight out of the box you have several screen settings which work pretty well, but I found some tweaking to one of the presets took the quality a step further, to another level...

    I used Professional 2, and diving into the plethora of calibration sliders I tweaked the picture to give me what I have to describe as "excellent viewing pleasure". Having amended so many things to find the right output, the resulting picture quality is almost sublime. The blacks are deep and for the most part clean, and the whites are not burning bright. The range of colours seems well balanced and skin tones are very realistic (to me at least). On the 700 series television I first bought, the dark scenes especially looked blocky and a nasty bluey-brown, most noticeably when streaming 4K content from Netflix, where the night scenes were very poor indeed and it surprised me that Panasonic had a set costing over £1000 which managed to perform so badly (a faulty panel or some hardware problem maybe?) - but rest assured - moving to the 802B presented the opposite, excellent deep dark areas with little or no blocking obvious and a smooth palette of colours with little noise problems being apparent.

    The 802B gave reasonably good 3D viewing too. Crosstalk was minimal for the most part, and the active 3D was bright enough not to be a problem (no glasses provided sadly though). The pop-out which viewers actively look for had plenty of depth when they happened, and the front to back depth was uniformly good throughout. It's nice to see that Panasonic are still supporting 3D when many other of the majors players have excluded this feature from the 2016 range of TV's.

    The 802B upscales HD signals very well, presenting good clean and sharp viewing (I am using a Virgin Tivo HD set top box).

    The 2160 streaming from Netflix is worthy of their monthly fee too; the 802B giving excellent clarity. Plus there are many freely legally available examples of native 4K that can be downloaded to see the set performing to it's maximum, and I have to say, with 4K, the television is outstanding. The HDR is near enough perfect too, without going crazy on the colours (greens often look "loud" in HDR, but the 802B did a top notch job with the colours across the range (even greens) with near perfect blacks and whites (and blood reds)) that were crisp and vibrant... (watch The Revenant!)

    You can pay more and go up to the 900 series, or other brands' offerings, but for the price, what you get from the 802B is fantastic. 4K, Ultra HD, HDR, 3D, and a sound bar, plus a modernistic stand if you have the room to leave it on it...

    All in all, a worthy contender to be up there as one of the best 4K televisions of the year.
    This item was purchased for £1289 from Currys in 2016. The reviewer still owns this product.

    Pros

    • Picture quality, sound bar, style
    • Pro settings

    Cons

    • Large stand - some will not like it when they find it is bigger than your table!

    Contrast/Dynamic Range/Black Level

    9

    Screen Uniformity

    9

    Colour Accuracy

    9

    Greyscale Accuracy

    8

    Video Processing

    9

    2D Picture Quality

    9

    3D Picture Quality

    9

    Picture Quality Out-Of-The-Box

    9

    Picture Quality Calibrated

    10

    Sound Quality

    10

    Smart Features

    10

    Build Quality

    10

    Ease Of Use

    9

    Value for Money

    9

    Verdict

    9
    1. ComfortablyNumb likes this.
    No comments have been posted on this review yet.
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