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The Panasonic TX-P60ZT65B’s black-level performance is either minutely better than, or as good as, the legendary Pioneer KURO plasmas. This year’s best plasma TVs are already producing black levels that completely satisfy us, making us less concerned about what the exact minimum luminance level (MLL) measurements are than in previous years.
Both products have unique strengths and weaknesses when it comes to contrast performance, either measured or perceived. Pioneer’s plasma displays can still produce a brighter peak white than Panasonic’s. However, we feel that the Viera ZT65 has a superior anti-reflective screen coating to the Pioneer Kuros. That benefit will not be of interest for dark-room viewing of course, but for daytime viewing, it’s a step up.
One other observation is a very, very minor one which relates to the “cleanness” of the blacks. (This is extreme pixel-peeping, but that’s the sort of analysis you can expect from comparing two reference-level HDTVs). The KURO’s blacks tended to show a very fine “speckled” pattern with some pixels appearing minutely darker than others. It looked somewhat like static dither. Our understanding is that this was a very minor side-effect related to the use of Pioneer’s Crystal Emissive Layer (CEL), a panel layer which made those TVs’ extremely high contrast performance possible in the mid-2000s. We’ve also seen KURO plasmas which feature a more noticeable amount of this very minor speckling around the corners of the screen, which might suggest that the CEL itself on those panels does not age in a uniform manner. It is impossible for us to predict what the future holds for Panasonic ZT, although it logically follows that a simpler design should result in less unknowns.
A combination of original phosphors and drive technologies enable high motion-image performance. Sub-field drive control with a short light emission of 1/3,000th of a second produces crisp, clear moving pictures with minimal afterimages. Great for dynamic sports scenes and breathtaking fast-action shots.
The Studio Master Panel featured in the top-of-the-line ZT60 Series offers a high-level optical performance with superb bright-field contrast and sharp, crisp images. By eliminating the conventional air layer between the panel unit and the front glass, the Studio Master Panel minimises interfacial eflections from external light, and directly, efficiently transmits the display light. This produces excellent, unprecedented image quality.
Increasing the number of sub-fields has allowed us to control the emitted light in 30,720 steps for smoother gradation. The light emission of each individual cell is precisely controlled to achieve highly nuanced gradation. From jet black to brilliant white, you get rich textures and smooth gradation.
By eliminating the air layers in the panel, we have reduced external reflections and improved the display light transmissivity. And pre-discharge is precisely controlled to enable deeper black reproduction. These achive ultimate black under any conditions.
VIERA fulfils the strict picture and sound quality criteria of the THX certification program. This means that it faithfully reproduces images precisely as they are intended by film creators. You get cinema-like images in both 2D and 3D.
This TV is in conformity with Microsoft Smooth Streaming technology - Smooth Streaming is a feature of Internet Information Services (IIS) Media Services, an integrated HTTP-based media delivery platform. The Smooth Streaming enables minimal buffering and fast start-up time, by adapting the quality of the video stream in real-time based upon the user's changing bandwidth and CPU conditions.