Usability

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For the most part this section of the review is a real strength of the Panasonic TX-P50VT65. The main reason for this is Panasonic's My Home Screen interface, which delivers the most straightforward way for you - and, crucially, all your family members - to access all the myriad content sources the TV supports.

The system kicks off with three home screens already set up - one called TV, one called Lifestyle and one called Info. These prioritise different features and links for easier access, and switching between all three of them is a doddle.

But what's really cool about My Home Screen is that everyone in your household can build their own personalised home screen sporting links to only the content they specifically want to have direct links to.

Panasonic TX-P50VT65 review

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Every part of the home screen system, including the process of building your own home screen, is well explained and easy to follow, and really does revolutionise TV interfaces.

Also brilliantly simple and helpful to use is Panasonic's latest control app for Android and iOS smartphones and tablets. This brings a strong feature set together in one easy to follow app, and its simple 'swipe and share' approach to sharing multimedia and video between the TV and your smart device is inspired.

The only bum notes in the Panasonic TX-P50VT65's mostly excellent operating system are its rather drab calibration menus, and the touchpad remote control. The touchpad is too small and too circular (compared to the screen's rectangular shape) to be really effective, and its level of responsiveness doesn't feel very natural either.

Sound quality

Panasonic TX-P50VT65 review

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First, the bad news: the Panasonic TX-P50VT65 has to use cooling fans to stop itself from overheating, and these fans produce just enough noise to be audible during very quiet sequences - especially if you're sat close to the screen. However, the tone of the noise is very stable and it really isn't that loud.

Furthermore, for the vast majority of the time you won't even notice the gentle whir of the fans, on account of the Panasonic TX-P50VT65's startlingly powerful speaker system. The key trick of this system is that it uses front-firing speakers built into its screen frame in conjunction with a separate subwoofer, rather than the usual down-firing, rear-mounted speakers.

The Panasonic TX-P50VT65 is thus able to produce levels of volume, clarity, dynamic range and relatively harshness-free treble detailing that you seldom hear in the flatscreen TV world.

Value

Panasonic TX-P50VT65 review

The Panasonic TX-P50VT65's full £1,800 (around US$2,711/AU$2,810) price tag certainly doesn't make it cheap by today's standards. But then it's not really fair to compare the Panasonic TX-P50VT65 with the vast majority of rival 46-50-inch TVs for the simple reason that, well, it's better than them.

If you value picture quality enough to put your money where your mouth is, then the Panasonic TX-P50VT65 is so good it's arguably something of a bargain. And Panasonic chucks in two pairs of active shutter 3D glasses for free.