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Panasonic VIERA TX-L55WT65B review

Tom Morgan
22 Nov 2013
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
2,300
inc VAT

Panasonic's top-end LCD doesn’t do enough to separate it from superior competition

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Specifications

55in, Freesat HD, Freeview HD, 1,920x1,080 resolution, 3D: yes, 3x HDMI

For this review we tested the 55in model in Panasonic's WT65 range, but it's also available in a 47in (TX-L47WT65B) screen size. Both models have identical specifications except for their dimensions and power usage. We're confident that image quality will be practically identical across the range.

Panasonic's picture quality has been largely excellent for some time but its physical design hasn't always scaled the same heady heights, but that isn’t the case with the TX-L55WT65B. It’s easily Panasonic's most striking TV to date, with a transparent stand and ultra-thin illuminated bezel. It's not just a pretty face though, with a comprehensive selection of smart TV content and a whole host of picture quality settings.

Panasonic VIERA TX-L55WT65B

DESIGN AND PORTS

The stand uses liberal amounts of clear Perspex and mirror finish aluminium to make the TV look as if it’s floating. It's a great effect, but only if you're able to hide the cables coming out of the back effectively. The bezel’s illumination won't be to everyone's taste, but you can disable it through the main menu.

The WT65's ultra-thin design means there's not a lot of room for speakers, but Panasonic has squeezed in a third subwoofer driver as well as two 4W speakers to give the WT65 a much-needed extra push at the low-end. It still can't compete with a set of external speakers when playing games or watching films, but the subwoofer does mean that you can enjoy broadcast TV without spending any more on audio equipment.

Around the back there are three HDMI ports, which is an underwhelming number for a flagship TV, but you do get three USB ports, a Common Interface slot, Component and SCART inputs via adaptors, digital optical audio, an SD card reader and twin tuners.

With both Freesat and Freeview HD tuners on board, you're able to record one channel while watching another if you connect a USB flash drive or external hard disk. You can also play your own files; file format support is reasonable, although it refused to play native DivX and MOV files.

ONLINE AND INTERFACE

Panasonic's My Home Screen interface appears as soon as you switch on the WT65. It puts a number of apps, shortcuts and icons on a grid that you can quickly flip through using the remote control. You can edit each home screen with your choice of shortcuts, letting you keep one for TV with now and next listings, links to recordings and catch-up services, one for on-demand movies and a third for your calendar, notepad and weather forecast.

Panasonic VIERA TX-L55WT65B

On-demand entertainment is limited, with the highlights being BBC iPlayer, Netflix and YouTube. However, you do get Facebook and Twitter for social networking, a web browser and an integrated Skype client that lets you use the WT65’s built-in camera for video chat. Sadly, the WT65’s smart TV content is nowhere near as comprehensive as either Samsung or Sony's smart TV systems.

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