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The Panasonic TX-P60ZT65 is so uncompromising it almost feels like Panasonic getting mad - mad at the way people keep gravitating towards LCD TVs when plasma is capable of delivering astonishingly good picture quality.
Signs of Panasonic's uncompromising approach to its new flagship TV are everywhere. The set's build quality is incredibly robust. The connections are gold plated. The panel is built using new difficult-to-deliver, contrast-boosting Air Gapless technology.
The picture calibration options are almost endless, too, as you might expect from a TV endorsed by the THX group, the ISF and - in a world first - the European Broadcast Union.
Yet despite its sophistication it's still very easy to use, not least thanks to Panasonic's inspired My Home Screen.
What most matters about the Panasonic TX-P60ZT65, though, is that the brand's unwillingness to compromise its construction to hit a price point has resulted in picture quality so good that it's hard to imagine how it will be bettered until OLED or UHD/4K go mainstream.
The Panasonic TX-P60ZT65's My Home Screen interface is gloriously simple and fun to use, its sound quality is excellent, and best of all its picture quality is unprecedentedly good - so much so that it makes us wonder if it will ever be bettered using current mainstream technologies.
It would be good if Panasonic could add a few more of the mainstream video streaming services to its online platform. There are some minor motion issues unless you use the provided IFC processing, and obviously it would be great if the Panasonic TX-P60ZT65 cost much less than it does. But if it did, then it's pretty clear it wouldn't be as good. It's called getting what you pay for, people.
If you're able to take in the Panasonic TX-P60ZT65's £4,000 (around US$5,990 / AU$6,540) price tag without shaking your head in frustration, then you should be well on the way to getting one of Panasonic's groundbreaking TVs installed in your living room.
After all, the only other significant reason you could have for not bagging one is that Panasonic's online services don't include as many of the key catch-up TV services as we'd like.
But this is a puny downside, really, when considered against the fact that the Panasonic TX-P60ZT65 delivers pictures so unprecedentedly good you don't ever want to turn it off.
Active vs passive 3D
With no Full HD/2K TVs getting up near the Panasonic TX-P60ZT65's price or performance standards, the most direct rival would have to be an Ultra HD/4K-resolution model: namely Sony's identically-priced 55-inch KD-55X9005A. Based on the 65-inch Sony KD-65X9005A that we've reviewed, we predict stellar picture quality from the 55-inch model too, especially when you're watching the amazing resolution of native 4K sources. However, the Panasonic TX-P60ZT65 massively outguns the Sony glamourpuss in the contrast department.
Otherwise you're essentially looking at cheaper but less spectacular alternatives to the Panasonic TX-P60ZT65. Which in our mind would include Panasonic's own hugely impressive P55VT65 plasma, Samsung's startlingly bright but slightly dither-prone PS64F8500 or, if you'd rather have an LCD TV for greater brightness and cuter looks (though reduced contrast), Samsung's gorgeous-looking and innovatively featured UE55F8000, and finally Sony's KDL-55W905A.