Panasonic TX-65DX902B review

The future of TV is bright

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Editor's Choice

The Panasonic DX902 is a bona fide landmark TV. As the first Ultra HD Premium panel to hit our test bench, it sets a new benchmark for consumer imagery. HD upscaling is excellent, and its HDR performance is often joyous.

However, it also highlights just how difficult top-flight HDR is to deliver on a non-emissive (i.e. not OLED) screen. The honeycomb backlight is problematic, and while halos aren't always visible, when they do crop up they stand out like a radioactive thumb. Of course, this foible has to be balanced against pictures which wow more than worry.

Some caveats then, but the Panasonic DX902 sets the standard against which all other high-end sets will be judged this year.

We liked

The TX-65DX902B is 4K TV on steroids. Uncannily bright, with astonishing colour fidelity, it'll convince you that HDR really is a quantum leap in image quality. It's also a great screen to live with, thanks to the Firefox Smart platform. Having HDCP 2.2 support on all four HDMI inputs is a future-proofing boon, too.

We disliked

Panasonic's Honeycomb local dimming technology may be clever, but it doesn't stop this set's full array backlight from creating horrible halos around bright objects on dark backgrounds. This is the irksome price you pay for those gorgeous peak highlights.

Final verdict

The first Ultra HD Premium-rated TV to land in the UK is a real head-turner. We love the vibrancy of its images, and with native HDR the picture performance borders on breathtaking. The full array backlight presents problems, but we reckon the visual benefits probably outweigh content-specific backlighting issues.

Having Netflix and Amazon 4K on tap is a major plus point, and more good news is that it can also look pretty great with Full HD content, particularly Blu-ray. The future of TV is looking bright.