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With both 2D and 3D sources, Panasonic's flagship TC-PVT20/25 series plasma TV delivers outstanding overall picture quality.
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Product Spotlight: Panasonic Viera TC-PVT25 Flat Screen Hi I’m David Katzmaier for CNET.com and this is the Panasonic TC-PVT20/25 series. This is our holiday pick. It’s the top overall TV for 2010. This Panasonic’s flagship of TV for the year, it’s also 3D television. We get to all of that in a little bit but first it’s worth taking a looking at the style and the set. Panasonic went very conservative around the edge of the TV. You’ll find the standard glossy black although it’s actually a little bit bronze colored and there’s a swivel stand here. It’s in chromo max but otherwise it’s not really more a remarkable than a lot of the other TV’s out there. Turn at this side you can see it’s definitely not an LED TV. This is a plasma. It’s about three and a half inches thick but of course still plainly thin for most people. It’s definitely a flat panel. As I mentioned one of the principal capabilities of the set is 3D. It comes with one pair of 3D glasses additional pairs around 100 to 150 bucks a piece and of course you need one for each family member but once your family is equipped with those glasses and you put in some 3D content, this TV does a pretty darn good job at displaying as the 3D’s very impressive looking. It also has fewer artifacts than a lot of your 3D TV’s on the market and of course its excellent performance with 2D also translates pretty well over its 3D. The downside, the Panasonic lacks the 2D to 3D conversion found on a lot of the other 3D TV’s on the market but really don’t think that’s that big of a deal. If you want to turn your 2D into 3D we found some issues like doing that with some processing out there so we don’t really miss it. Aside the 3D, there are other features on this TV include the internet capability offered by Viera cast. You can use that service to access Netflix videos as well as Amazon video on demand, Twitter even Skype if you buy an optional speaker phone attachment. It doesn’t have quite as many content options or quite as much customization as a lot of the other competitors but it’s still pretty good for your basic streaming services. Panasonic also threw in a good selection of picture choices although again it’s not as many options, it’s found on a LG or a Samsung with those competitors but does offer the capability to play around with things like Gamma and color temperature wheels appreciative of the THX mode on this TV which is excellent. Again you can cut as put in to your THX mode and forget it for a lot of your critical viewing for movies and such. Speaking of critical viewing we really need to think this was the best overall performing TV this year. Its real strength is black throughout the performance. Now, Panasonic in the past it has some issue, the black label actually getting a little bit lighter over the life span of the TV. We tested this one over the course of 2010 and it does actually get lighter but not to nearly so in extent as the others in again when it levels off it’s still really the best on the market in terms of achieving those nice, deep, black. So we really don’t think the black will fade as anything to worry about on this TV. THX not only do offer excellent color accuracy, you get a great skin tone as an excellent primary and secondary colors. TV also has very good video processing. It handles 1080p 24 correctly although we did see some slight artifacts in that mode so pure as might want to keep it at the 1080p 60 mode you do have that choice. As we mentioned 3D performance is another strength from this TV. Its cross talk was among the best we’ve seen which means that it doesn’t have very many ghostly outlines that are seen on some of the other competitors around 3D objects. Also that black label and color accuracy translates very nicely into 3D although it’s not quite as accurate as some of the Samsung models we saw. Connectivity on the Panasonic is very good. You got four total HDMI inputs, three on the back and one on the side, two component video inputs, some PC input, two USB ports, it even has D card slot in addition to this LAN port for the wired Ethernet connection. Overall the Panasonic VT20/25 series while pretty darn expensive it’s the best overall performer we’ve tested in 2010. Now it’s why it’s our pick as the best TV for holiday shopping this year.
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