A 58″ 4K HDR LED TV from Panasonic and what a TV.
Connection wise it has:
2 x HDMI 2.0 A ports,
1 x HDMI 1.4,
3 x USB ports,
1 x Ethernet for hardwired setups,
Digital Audio Out as well as RCA and a mini headphone jack.
(Within the menu there’s a separate volume control for the headphones. I’m assuming that’s so you can use that port for external speakers or a soundbar when you don’t want to be messing around the back.)
The remote is simple. It’s laid out with chunky buttons and a dedicated Netflix button. It takes 2 AA batteries which are included in the box
The operating system sees a welcome return for Firefox OS. I do love that Panasonic don’t attempt the arduous task of designing their own operating system in-house and fudging something together that is buggy and ends up just frustrating users. Instead they source it out to Firefox and very good job they’ve done indeed.
It’s intuitive, customisable and very easy to use.
This TV supports all the main UK-terrestrial on demand services, BBC iPlayer, ITV player, All 4 and Demand 5. It also supports 4K streaming from Netflix, Amazon & YouTube with their own apps. As for YouTube, you can also search on your mobile device, and beam your selected video to the TV with minimal setup.
The menu system, while pretty extensive does cover everything you need and is easy to navigate with the subsections to the right allowing to skip to the right area.
Within that menu section you’ll find a number of user preference settings including Viewing Mode, Adaptive Back light control, Ambient sensor, Noise reduction, you get the picture. However, one thing I should mention and without going into too much technobabble, this TV upscales extremely well. I even watched some 720 video and it was pretty crystal clear on this screen but here’s one you may need to know about.
The ‘soap opera effect’. In short, as well as upscaling the video, the TV also can increase frame rates. Watching documentaries, news and other factual programing, it’s amazing. It’s like you’re there or they’re right there in front of you.
However for Game of Thrones for instance, seeing Tywin Lannister as clear as day walking along a street I’m Velantis, somehow loses the ambience of the scene. It’s as if you’re watching behind the scenes footage or an unfinished video. Some have likened it to the video being shot on a Sony Handycam from the 90s but with amazing resolution, hence, the ‘soap opera effect’.
The setting you need to be looking for in the menu is obviously under ‘Picture’ and its the ‘Intelligent Frame Creation’.
I’d suggest leaving it on auto in general but if you notice the ‘soap opera effect’, switch it to ‘off’ and that should sort it out.
The viewing angles, contrary to what other have said, are very acceptable with very little loss off clarity or brightness from all but the most extreme of angles.
One gripe, and this isn’t just Panasonic, but the TV only comes with one TV tuner so while it has Freeview Play installed, which is truly the best way to load up impulse on demand shows or catch-up, you can’t record directly to the TV. With that in mind, you can’t pause live TV either. You can use an external hard drive for recording but we didn’t find that to but sadly without being able to pause and rewind live TV. Because that, you’ll need a set top box, a PVR for that function. Ou suggestion for the best value PVR on the market right now is this one.
So overall, it’s a great TV. It’s Vesa mount compatible and that’s what I’m planning doing with this. The stand it comes with is stylish and has 4 different settings depending on what look you prefer and how wide the furniture is that you’re putting it on but if you like the idea of it on the wall, you can do that but don’t do it on your own.
It was a 2-person job putting it together and definitely a 2-person job to get it up on the wall.
For the price, it’s fantastic and would definitely recommend it.