Joining the ET60 and E60 series of recently announced Panasonic LED-backlit Viera HDTVs, the DT60 series offers good performance, stylish looks, and lots of features, including four sets of 3D glasses, Wi-Fi, and a 120Hz refresh rate. The TC-L55DT60 ($2,199.99 list) I tested features a 55-inch IPS panel that delivers good color quality and dark blacks along with great viewing angles. Its passive 3D has good depth and makes for comfortable viewing, but some crosstalk is apparent from time to time. The TC-L55DT60 is a solid choice for a big screen HDTV, but at $2,200 it’s a bit overpriced.
Editors’ Note: This review is based on tests performed on the Panasonic TC-L55DT60, the 55-inch model of the series. Besides the screen-size difference, the 60-inch $2,799.99 (direct) TC-L60DT60 is otherwise identical in features, and while we didn’t perform lab tests on this specific model, we expect similar performance.
Design and Features
Like our current Editors’ Choice for big-screen mid-range HDTVs, the Panasonic TC-L55ET60, the TC-L55DT60 is beautifully designed. With its slender 1.4-inch cabinet, thin silver bezels, and matching stand, it will add style to any entertainment center. A thin strip of clear acrylic attached to the bottom bezel holds remote and ambient light sensors and a power LED, and the swiveling stand uses a shiny chrome V-shaped mounting mechanism to support the cabinet.
As with most Panasonic HDTVs, the DT60 only has three HDMI ports. They are positioned on the left side of the cabinet along with three USB ports, a digital audio output, and an SD card slot. The right side of the cabinet is home to Power, Channel Up/Down, Volume Up/Down, and Input buttons, and the back panel holds the remaining ports, including Ethernet and antenna jacks and a set of shared component/composite AV ports.
There’s also a small 10-watt subwoofer at the back of the cabinet that compliments the two 4-watt, down-firing speakers. Together they deliver loud, well rounded audio output and a fairly decent faux-surround sound effect.
The remote has a brushed metal finish that matches the base and bezels. It is 9 inches long and has nice, big buttons with red backlighting. In addition to the number pad, direction buttons, playback controls, and color-coded buttons, it has dedicated Netflix, E-Help, 3D, and Apps buttons. The Home button takes you to the My Home screen, which you can customize with favorite channels, apps, music, and video.
The DT60 offers wired and wireless Ethernet connectivity and a solid catalog of Web apps. Streaming apps include Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, Hulu Plus, CinemaNow, YouTube, and MLB.TV services, along with Facebook, Twitter, Skype, Panasonic’s Viera Connect Shopping service, a Web browser, and a handful of games.
The DT60 turned in an impressive black level of 0.020 cd/m2 and a peak brightness of 257.81 cd/m2, as measured with a Klein K10-A colorimeter, SpectraCal’s CalMAN 5 software, and DisplayMate test patterns. The resulting 12,762:1 contrast ratio (measured) provided good highlight and shadow detail while watching Black Swan on Blu-ray disc, which is a relatively dark movie. Overall, picture quality was sharp and bright, but the less expensive Editors’ Choice Panasonic TC-L55ET60 has a slightly brighter panel at 304.34 cd/m2 for a slightly better contrast ratio at 13,118:1.
Color accuracy was generally good. As shown in the chromaticity chart above, reds, greens, and blues were all very close to their respective CIE coordinates (the inside of each box represents the ideal coordinates as determined by the International Commission On Illumination).
Color quality was well balanced and skin tones appeared natural looking with no signs of tinting. The DT60′s IPS panel delivered excellent off-axis viewing with no color shifting and very little loss of luminance when viewed from an extreme side angle. Motion handling was flawless, thanks to the panel’s 120Hz technology. There was no obvious smearing or ghosting while watching a Yankee game and panning shots from the movie2012 appeared smooth and fluid.
The DT60 uses passive (polarized) 3D technology and comes with four sets of glasses. The 3D action had good depth and the picture remained bright and detailed, but crosstalk (image doubling) was apparent from time to time when viewed from an angle of around 60 degrees (from dead center). This is a common characteristic of passive technology and is not what I would consider a deal breaker. The glasses are lightweight and comfortable to wear.
The DT60 used 107 watts of power during testing while operating in standard mode, which is about average for a 55-inch LED backlit panel. However, when operating in ECO mode that number dropped to an efficient 60 watts, besting the LG 55LM6700 (67 watts).
If you’re looking for a big-screen HDTV that offers solid performance, stylish looks, and a healthy feature set, the Panasonic TC-L55DT60 has it all, but it is a bit pricey. This LED backlit model delivers a bright, highly detailed picture in both 2D and 3D modes, and it doesn’t require much power. A few extra video ports would be nice, though. If you can live with two extra sets of 3D glasses, our Editors’ Choice for big screen mid-range HDTVs, the Panasonic TC-L55ET60, is a much better deal, offering great performance and similar features for a lower price. If you’re really on a budget, the Vizio E601I-A3 offers a non-3D, feature-packed 60-inch screen for just $1,000.
|Video Inputs||Component, Composite, HDMI, USB|
|Diagonal Screen Size||60 inches|
|Pixel Refresh Rate Speed||120Hz|
Copyright © 2012 Ziff Davis, Inc