Hands on: Panasonic 55WT60 LED TV review

Flagship LED telly from the plasma specialist

What is a hands on review?

We know Panasonic is still obsessed with plasma – and rightly so judging by its new ZT60 Series – but 2013 will see more LED-backlit TVs from the Japanese manufacturer than ever before.

At the top of the tree is the 55WT60, a 55-inch that's accompanied in the WT60 Series by the 47-inch 47WT60. This is heavyweight stuff, with every single slab of new TV tech for 2013 included, though it's first worth pondering the55WT60's luscious looks.

The effect of a metallic bezel of a few millimeters is slightly threatened by its rather shiny, silvery finish, which appears to catch the light. Along the bottom of the bezel is a transparent plastic rim, an embellishment that continues down to an unusual desktop stand.

Panasonic 55WT60

Broadly L-shaped from the side with a clear glass base rimmed with the same silvery metal as the bezel, it's an effect that isn't unpleasant, though it does most recall a gaudy coffee table from the late Nineties.

Panasonic 55WT60

Picture-wise the 55WT60 is more convincing, with Clear Panel Pro, a 400Hz mode, and some new local dimming tech. That's good news after 2012's WT50 Series' failure to really wow us with its disappointing black levels. First impressions are of an intensely bright panel with more profound black levels, while the viewing angle is more than wide enough.

Panasonic 55WT60

Connectivity includes four HDMIs, a couple of USBs and a SD Card slot, too, though it's what the 55WT60 can do with digital files that's really impressive.

Panasonic 55WT60

Shipping with a touch pad controller and offering voice activation and Swipe & Share, this is an attempt to take VieraConnect (which continues) to the next level. Voice activation lets you dictate Tweets and posts them without you having to lift a finger, while Swipe & Share uses a Panasonic app to trade files back and forth between a tablet, a TV, a USB stick in the TV, and a phone.

Panasonic 55WT60

All have to be on the same network and in our demo the phone – an iPhone – was wired-in. However, the range of one and two-fingered swipes to send and receive files will already be familiar to most.

There's even a pop-up camera – the first appearance of one on a Panasonic TV – to enable hands-free Skype, though the one we tried to push in and out did get stuck.

Panasonic 55WT60

Amusingly, while inspecting the 55WT60 we overheard a conversation in which someone asked a Panasonic staffer whether he would buy a plasma or this flagship LED TV.

"I would never buy an LED when I can buy a plasma," came the reply, adding for good measure that it's not until Ultra HD plasmas enter the fray that the new format will impress people. With so many stunning plasmas TVs on the Panasonic stand this year it's hard to argue with that, though the 55WT60 makes a powerful argument to the contrary.

What is a hands on review?

'Hands on reviews' are a journalist's first impressions of a piece of kit based on spending some time with it. It may be just a few moments, or a few hours. The important thing is we have been able to play with it ourselves and can give you some sense of what it's like to use, even if it's only an embryonic view. For more information, see TechRadar's Reviews Guarantee.


Tech Specs

Product TypeLED-LCD TV
Scan Format1080p
Digital TunerDVB-S2, DVB-T (MPEG4), DVB-C (MPEG4)
Video Signal StandardHDTV 1080p
Number of HDMI Ports3
Number of SCART Interfaces1
Product FamilyViera WT60
3D Type3D
Smart TVYes
Brand NamePanasonic
Screen Size139.7 cm (55")
Aspect Ratio16:9
Horizontal Viewing Angle178°
Vertical Viewing Angle178°
Green CompliantYes
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityREACH
Memory Card ReaderYes
Wireless LANYes
Analog TunerPAL, SECAM
Ethernet TechnologyEthernet
Weight with Stand (Approximate)20 kg
Backlight TechnologyLED
RMS Output Power18 W
Electronic Program GuideYes
DLNA CertifiedYes
Digital Audio OutputYes
Height with Stand814 mm
Width with Stand1227 mm
Depth with Stand358 mm
Number of Common Interface2
Composite VideoNo
Component VideoYes
Network (RJ-45)Yes
3D TechnologyPolarized
PC StreamingYes
Internet AccessYes
Media PlayerYes
3D Glasses RequiredYes
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital (SD), Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC)
Height717 mm
Width1227 mm
Depth32 mm
Sound SystemSurround Sound
Product SeriesWT60
Maximum Resolution1920 x 1080
FeaturesPicture and Picture (PAP), Picture in Picture, Picture and Text (PAT), Hotel Mode, Web Browser, Teletext, In-plane Switching (IPS) Technology
Product ModelTX-L55WT60
Product NameViera TX-L55WT60 LED-LCD TV
Product LineViera
Manufacturer Part NumberTX-L55WT60E
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.panasonic.co.uk
Marketing Information

Panasonic brings you VIERA, a revolutionary line-up of 3DTV, Plasma, LED & LCD TV. The complete range of Viera TVs is fully compatible with the Going Digital Switchover.

Package Contents
  • Viera TX-L55WT60 LED-LCD TV
  • Touch Pad Controller
  • 4 x 3D Glasses
Weight (Approximate)16 kg