Whenever we hear about a new range from Panasonic in-store here at Richer Sounds we always want to be the first to witness the latest and greatest tech from one of our favourite manufacturers. This year they have once again surpassed our expectations, producing a thing of beauty in the CX802 range.
I’m going to start this off by saying I’m slightly biased when it comes to Panasonic TVs. I saved all my pennies up when I was younger and invested my hard earned cash into a Panasonic 42” Full HD plasma TV over 9 years ago and it still gives me a great picture today (that shames many modern basic LED and LCD screens). The build quality is great, its reliability is unfaltering and the sound was equally impressive for my needs at the time.
Fast forward to today, and immediately the improvements made to the smart hub by integrating the Firefox operating system have paid dividends. The menus are smooth, sleek, responsive and most importantly very simple to navigate around. The CX802 series is powered by a Quad Core processor, which means that this TV is capable of handling anything you can throw at it which explains the especially quick app loading times, motion processing is also smoother too.
So to test the picture quality, the CX802 is a 4K Ultra HD screen but we started things off fairly simply, watching a live Sky HD feed of badminton. What we could gather from this was that the colour pallet on this TV is about as natural as you are going to get apart from physically strutting onto Centre Court at SW19 – although you’d probably get a few funny looks turning up there with a shuttlecock.
Once we had given our favourite players a cheer it was time to crank up the resolution to a Blu-Ray disc with our go-to tester, Pacific Rim (a Blu-Ray I suggest any TV aficionado should own). The detailing is incredible! Some scenes were upscaled so well that they could be mistaken for actual 4K Ultra HD content. The colours once again are vibrant but natural as well as having a wonderful sharpness to them that stayed clear throughout the frantic action scenes.
Lastly it was time to see how it handled the top end of the spectrum, true 4K material. instantly we were awe-struck, some silently approving and others letting out a loud, “WOW!” There were no motion issues to mention as we expected with such a powerful processor, the colour spectrum seemed even wider too (it has an impressive gamut range like a Quantum Dot TV). In fact it was so impressively intimate and involving we heard some customers referring to it as, “an almost 3D like image” thanks to its precision clarity.
Focusing on the design, the build quality is still to an extremely high standard. The newly designed smart remote is a very clever bit of kit with a rugged touch pad that should certainly be able to last for the life of the TV; a basic remote is also included with easy to use chunky buttons and a dedicated Netflix button for those wanting to dive straight into their favourite streamed shows. There are only 3 HDMI sockets on this TV as opposed to the usual 4 but they’re all HDCP 2.2 capable and of the HDMI 2.0 standard so no issues when it comes to hooking up your high end equipment to it.
You also have a satellite connection on this TV if you want to get rid of an existing box as well as having Freeview HD as per the norm. You can also utilise the Freetime system from last year’s range, plus it’s ready for the new Freeplay catch up service that’s due for release later this year, so you’ll have all the catch up services you could want at your fingertips.
The last major advantage of this TV over its rivals is the fact it can cope with the HDR (high dynamic range) content becoming available on Amazon Prime. This is currently only available in the 9 series Samsungs and therefore really is punching well above its weight in terms of the cost (an important exception is the 40″ screen size that does not support HDR).
I can honestly find no faults with this TV. There were a few niggles when it came to some background motion at lower definitions but again after a little playing around with the settings it turned out just fine. For anyone looking for an exceptional screen that is future ready and will serve you for years to come, Panasonic are leading the way. It’s one of my favourite sayings but this screen really does give you excellent bang for your buck value.
If I had to be picky, I believe that it deserves either a decent surround sound system with an amp or indeed a good soundbar to get the most out of the viewing experience. But this is generally the case with most TVs nowadays as they get thinner and thinner.
Author: Andrew, Weybridge store