Sunday, September 2, 2012

Plasma TV Review - Panasonic VT25

I had been hearing nothing but good things from all sources about the new performance line from Panasonic from this year called the "VT25" model so I wanted to have a look for myself. After all, it is literally the only product both and Consumer Reports have agreed on as far as I can remember. It is the replacement for the "V10-Series" from last year that CNET has ranked in the top 2.

To cut right to the chase, this TV deserves all of the credit it is getting. Not only does it perform extremely well, but it also conquers one problem people know Plasma for. The vivid setting on this TV is literally LED bright. I had a hard time initially spotting right away walking towards the showroom like I can with the stereotypes with most sets. I had the chance to play around with the picture settings and saw that while vivid mode was battling local LCDs and LEDs for brightness, its THX movie mode was the most realistic picture mode I was seen outside of the Pioneer Elite's "Pure" mode. I previewed Pirates of The Caribbean 3 on the set in THX mode and saw how detailed everything in the blacks and whites were. Most importantly, the TV didn't have the bluish-white that the comparable LED's do. The change of an image mode makes this TV appeal to Plasma and LED fans for each of their respective reasons.

Energy use is at a low. I saw the 54" model (TC-P54VT25) and found that it only uses about 154 watts to power itself. Compare that to the Samsung UN55C8000 model LED, which is at 101 watts, and you'll see how close this set is to negligible energy costs. Being that it is plasma, there isn't anything to be said about its refresh rate. Its lighting fast!

The internet functionality of their system called "Viera Cast" is great. While not as pleasing to the eye as Samsung's Internet TV or LG's Netcast systems, Panasonic's gets the job done. Complete with the necessary movie streamer, image viewers and news links, the system has everything the modern Internet Enabled TV has.

The real show stealer is its 3D capability. When enabled and you are viewing a 3D source, the quality is phenomenal. There is just as much depth to the image as there is protrusion of things popping out. I watched the US Open live and it was one of the most impressive 3D sources I've seen. The demo disk Panasonic had on the display also had a lot of great "made-to-show-off" clips as well. I especially love how Panasonic is doing the right thing with advertising this as the best 2D set with 3D capabilities rather than a 3D set. I can only imagine how tough it must be for some salesmen when the first thing the customer says is "I don't need a 3D set!" Well of course you don't, but you might wind up considering one knowing Panasonic's VT25 model is also a better 2D set than each of their lower models.

In closing, this set is worthy of all of the praise it's receiving. The imaging is great whether in bright of controlled settings. The coloring rivals that of the Pioneer Kuro lineup. Its energy use statistics are extremely low for this type of technology. The internet streaming functions as easy to operate. The 3D system this set uses is the real 3D experience outside of the theaters. Best of all, it is not priced like what #1 ranked TVs usually are. When you are shopping for your next TV, you'd be foolish not to at least give this TV consideration.

Joe Sabatino

Home Theater Installation Lead @ Picture Perfect Installation