Long known for having some of the most natural pictures around, Panasonic come into 2016 off the back of high praise for several of its televisions in the past year…
The Panasonic TX40CS520B, TX40CX680B and TX50CX802B ranges all got 5 Star reviews from What Hi-Fi? (click here to see all the 2015 What Hi-Fi? award-winners), whilst the ’CX802 also received critical acclaim from AV Forums.
2016 is quite an important year for all TV manufacturers, as it heralds the dawn of 4K (or Ultra High Definition) becoming a real force, with the resolution finally making its way onto Blu-ray disc. This coupled with Sky’s new Q box promising various 4K broadcasting later on this year and the ever growing catalogue of content available online to stream from various providers, this year really is the year that 4K puts its foot fully on the throttle and into our homes.
It should come as no surprise that Panasonic’s line up of 4K televisions has widened compared to last year, with the DX750B range sitting firmly in the middle of it (click here to view our range). Featuring sizes of 50”, 58” and 65” this is definitely a range for those who are looking to consume as much detail as possible. It’s not all about size though, as this range has another key feature – HDR. HDR stands for High Dynamic Range and is a technique that greatly increases the range of colours and contrast of your picture and it’s going to be used on a lot of 4K sources, chiefly 4K Blu-ray (click here to find out more about HDR, and what it means for you). Whereas only the top range of televisions featured this in 2015, this year they’ll be many more and the DX750B range is one of them. Panasonic are achieving this by using their 4K Studio Processor coupled with Wide Colour Phosphor Technology to render accurate and lifelike colours, all lit by a local dimming enabled panel that adjusts brightness in zones to keep areas of the screen darker/bright where necessary.
The usability and interaction of the Smart features has stayed as effective and easy as it was last year, with Panasonic sticking with their Firefox operating system, merely changing to a mark 2 version this year. Powered by a quad-core processor, all the popular apps from last year (such as Netflix, Amazon Instant Video and FreeviewPlay for your catch up television) are there along with the customisable home screen, allowing you to “pin” specific apps, channels or web pages there – just like on your tablet or phone. Its Viera app allows you to share content from mobile devices and you can access content saved from computers or network drives on the “Devices” tab. As to be expected, a Freeview HD tuner is built in, along with wired or wireless network connectivity. 4 HDMI ports (2 of which are HDCP 2.2 spec), 3 USB ports (1 of which can be recorded onto from the internal Freeview HD tuner) and audio output using ARC, digital optical or a headphone socket are all expected but welcome specs. 3D viewing is also possible but glasses will be optional extras.
Straight out of the box we’re immediately impressed by the thin and sleek chrome bezel surrounding screen along with its recessed input terminals on the rear that can be covered with a vanity plate for tidiness. Its big surprise however is that you can mount the DX750B range in four different configurations using its feet at either the far ends of the frame underneath the bottom corners of the screen or in the centre if you’re limited for space. They’re curvaceous and shiny and only add to the quality feel of the range. Once you switch your chosen screen on you’re greeted with a Firefox OS welcome screen which gives you a glimpse of the contrast range that awaits you once the TV is set up. After going through the standard aerial tuning and network settings, the DX750B comes on in its “normal” picture mode and it’s only a moments work to set our preferable settings before we’re pretty darn happy with what we’re seeing. As with most Panasonic TVs, we are treated to a natural colour palette with deep colours from the off and (regardless of whether we’re watching SD or HD) we’re quite impressed with how even the colour saturation is. The DX750B does a good job of upscaling, but naturally with screen sizes starting at 50” you’ll want to stick to HD whenever possible. Sound isn’t too bad either with a solid weight coming from the 20-watt digital amp inside, but we suggest and hope you look at some sort of audio equipment to get a comparable audio experience to go with the great picture.
Without wanting to wait too much longer we progress onto the Blu-ray of Kung Fu Panda and it’s good to see that Panasonic hasn’t lost its touch when it comes to detail. The craggy mountains surrounding Po’s village look sublime as do close up shots of any of the characters (particularly Po’s shorts in their woven glory). It would be easy for a TV to lose definition of a panda’s many strands of black fur but the DX750B takes it all in its stride without any problems. Finally, onto 4K streams of Netflix and Youtube, as well as viewing the various segments of demo content we have available in the shop. Well what can we say? It’s awesome… We sit entranced as we watch a time lapse video of dusk in the Grand Canyon, with the shadows lengthening as it simply draws you in… Wanting you to step into the picture and sit admiring the vista! The red, dusty rock is vivid without ever becoming over saturated or over the top, as is the lush rainforest documentary that follows afterwards. We’re absolutely hankering to watch a proper 4K disc, but alas, at the time of writing, the 4K Blu-ray players haven’t quite arrived yet at Richer Sounds in Bristol (Edit: That’s all now changed – click here to view the current range of Ultra HD Blu-ray players). Panasonic’s DMPUB900 4K Blu-ray player was recently reviewed in What Hi-Fi? and was awarded 5 stars (unsurprisingly), so if ever you wanted evidence that Panasonic are at the forefront of 4K UHD tech, their new TV range coupled with their player should surely convince you.
Based on what we’ve seen from the DX750B range, it looks like there’s a very exciting year ahead from Panasonic’s TVs. To find out more about the DX750B range click here. Alternatively, to check availability or to organise a demonstration, give you local store a call today.
Author: Steve, Bristol store