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Review Panasonic TX-58DX900 UHD LED TV
#1
Time to write something about this gorgeous display, after I watched it for few days; of course, these are first impressions and, if something new will be discovered during the next weeks/months, I'll add some comments.

Note: TV was tested using mainly HD sources (BD and HDTV) and some SD ones (DVD and SDTV), all obviously SDR.

Panasonic TX-58DX900 (a.k.a. TX-58DX902B)

there are a lot of reviews about this TV, but I put a link to one of the best ones: https://www.hdtvtest.co.uk/news/tx58dx90...174282.htm - I agree with almost everything, but I want to add my own opinions here.

Design

I was not sure about it, but now that I got it, I must admit it's quite beautiful. Yes, it's not the most thin TV - and surely its stand doesn't help - but coming from old FALD sets (Samsung before, and its almost-clone Toshiba after, both 55') that were about 10cm deep, and with a (relatively) huge frame, this is very elegant, with just two small "feet" visible on the front. I decided to leave it on its stand, even if it has a 6 degrees inclination.

Small note on its stand: this is very wide, almost as the TV, so you need a wide TV stand; some think it's a problem. But, really, do you think it's a nice thing to put a, let's say, 130cm wide TV on a 50cm stand, in a T-shape? Mmmhhh, I don't think so - always put a TV over a stand wider than it, as IMHO is more pleasing to the eye than the contrary.

Its screen is highly reflective, so avoid to put it right in front of a window; even if it could be seen as a cons, this help (I think) to achieve deep blacks, of course along with VA panel and ABC (Automatic Black Control). It's a pity the power cord can't be detached, but it's just a very minor problem.

Main remote is great, heavy, with backlight (sadly not for all the keys); secondary remote is nice, but I have not used it so much - I think it could be used as an easy channel and volume +/- for the elderly (so, perfect for me in the next few years! Big Grin )

Connections

They are enough to connect any digital source; it's a pity there are no SCARTs and S-Video plugs, and that the only analog connection (component or composite) forces to let the back panel detached... the best solution would be to connect an external video processor with multiple analog ins and one HDMI out, so you get more analog sources, eventual better comb filter and/or upscaling and video processing, and the back panel in place.

Operation

Frankly, there are so many options - some available only with certain sources/modes - that I was overwhelmed; there is also a help menu, so for most of them you could find a simple explanation. Happy to have many options and don't use it, instead having few and need further ones. The only advanced option I missed a bit from the old Toshiba is the possibility to switch on or off red, green, blue subpixels, useful for calibration.

Calibration

Still had no time to calibrate it - just connected to the PC, but with only slow mobile connection, sadly... I'll get soon one of my forgotten HDD with calibration patterns, so let's skip this for the moment. I can say that some modes (mainly Professional 1 and 2) are great out of the box, so I used them for both TV and digital sources (BD and PC).

Black Level & Contrast

Used to old LED FALD models (which used the same panel) with only 96 zones, the step up to 512 zones is quite noticeable. Sure, if you watch a test clip made mainly to discover FALD zones number, you will note blooming (of course smaller than models with less zones) or the difference in brightness in the white box over the black background, but I noted it only once during closing credits, where a big logo inside a white box had noticeable brightness variations during vertical pan. Apart that, and other focused demo made to show the strenght of other technologies (like plasma or OLED), and of course during closing credits (that nobody watch, by the way), watching movies blooming almost never occours; I watched the "guilty" star field in "The Martian", but it was not as bad as described in the review - probably OLED could do better, but it has other, different problems (for the moment).

Backlight & Screen Uniformity

Setting backlight at 10 (from 0 to 100) on a dark room works well; I noted that some modes, with exact settings, have inky black (read: 0nits) while others have not - for example, Professional 1 has 0nits while 2 has not... of course, ABC *must* be switched on, or you can just buy a "simple" edge lit LED instead. Usually setting it at low avoid black crush, still getting a great black (depending on mode used).
Virtually no DSE (dirty screen effect) noted, apart on few occasions mostly on low bitrate SDTV broadcasting, so probably those were also due to the source. Many posts on various forums talk about two vertical banding on both sides of the screen, but I never noticed them. I did instead noticed in very limited occasions banding due to local dimming technology - the worst offender was AVP: Requiem, during the first minutes, on horizontal pan after the aliens in the glass tubes; I guess this could happen in so few instances that you could live with it.

Motion

I mostly watched material with any IFC (Intelligent Frame Creation) setting off, but lately I used custom, with Clear Motion switched on; still figure out how good it is (and if it's better with or without it), but I used it with Toshiba, and noted a better motion handling, so I guess this will be the same. But it's great to have various settings within IFC sub menu, to get the best possible motion control.

Viewing Angle

This could be an important decision point: even if I did not noticed a so terrible drop in contrast and/or saturation as mentioned in the review and elsewhere, it is there - due to inherent VA panel technology; so, if you watch it directly in front of it, and other family members and friends on both sides can't notice it (a lot), go for it; at the contrary, get an OLED - do NOT get an IPS panel LCD (IMHO!)

UHD HDR, 3D, gaming

not tested (yet); further impressions will be posted ASAP. I do only noted that input lag is around 38ms without ABC, which is the same of my previous sets, so I'm pretty sure it will be as good as them for gaming.

Other thoughts

Sound: old 10cm deep FALD TVs have (quite obviously) a good audio, and this is no exception - even if it's "only" 6cm deep. Do not expect an home theater quality level, but it is waaay better than any edge lit LCD or OLED TV! It's also good for listening radio - you can even switch off screen.

Overall video quality: stunning!
Colors are always well reproduced; it must be noted that it's possible to change color gamut - Rec. 709, SMPTE-C, EBU, Rec. 2020, DCI - and often, if not always, setting DCI with BD is better than using 709 (as should be); maybe due to the fact BD are usually graded using DCI gamut?

HDTV broadcasting is great, in particular live action and sport. But also very good SDTV sources are rendered in high quality - the upscaling job of this set is incredible, considering it should resize a small SDTV from "mere" 0.4mp to more than 8mp. Strangely, sometimes SDTV is better than DVD, but I guess it's due to low compressed and live action SDTV Vs high compressed DVD. I was worried to watch SD sources on a UHD set, due to huge difference in resolution, but now I'm pretty pleased with results; of course, you can't get an high definition image from a standard definition source, but it is more than watchable, and, with right high quality sources, I'm very satisfied; internal upscaler does its job very well.

Blu-ray is simply perfect. Have not the occasion to make a direct comparison with UHD-BD, but I did an half screen comparison using UHD source (not HDR) and its BD counterpart, and they were very close - I sit at less than 2mt, so maybe sitting closer could reveal more details in the UHD source... let's wait for further tests.

Skyline BD: great, SFX and live action blend perfectly, no defects detected.
Speed Racer BD: one of the most colorful movie ever made; artistic value could be debatable, but technically is an eye candy; again, I watched it carefully to spot eventual problems - blooming, banding, DSE... nothing detected. Watched half in daylight, half during the night... nothing!
Hotel Transilvanya 2 BD (2D): first vision for me; not so funny as first episode, still nice; visually perfect, except a light DSE during one horizontal pan - maybe due to mode used, THX instead professional.

European Song Contest final HDTV: well, this was great! I watched last year final on the old Toshiba but only in streaming; so, this time with higher bitrate, this was even better - and music was on par with image.

Use as PC monitor: happily, my old GTX760 support 3840x2160@60fps, sadly only 8bit, but 4:4:4. Great monitor, anything that before could be barely spotted as pixelated (like diagonal lines) now seems drawn - you get the point...

Final considerations

Coming from older FALD TV sets, and still owning a plasma TV (Full HD, albeit not one high end model), I was pretty aware of pros and cons of buying a FALD LED LCD model in 2018; I'm not crazy (am I?) to have preferred this to an OLED TV... no edge lit LED set taken in serious consideration, mostly due to their black level and screen uniformity.

First, price - bought used (but perfect, as brand new) with few operation hours at 950€, where new MSRP was almost 4000 at the very beginning, then repriced lower and lower until about 1600€ today (if ever available), I think it's a great price/quality ratio, surely better than any OLED brand new model - which is more than 2000€ for comparable quality, not taking in account basic LG models - and they are "only" 55'.

Second, image retention. I know the problem is not so bad as in the past, still it's present, and didn't want to risk a permanent burn in, as I use it as PC monitor for so many hours each day. Never had such problem during seven years using previous FALD LEDs.

Third, motion. Even if without motion setting "helps" this and OLED have 300 lines of motion resolution, when those help are engaged OLED top at 650 lines, while this one get 1080 lines. I'm quite sensible to motion handling, so this is very important.

Fourth, top brightness. Sure, OLED has perfect black, and will never have blooming problems; still, in over 99% of the times the black is inky as OLED (I think about black bars during movies, for example) without noticeable blooming; plus, top brightness is unbeatable for the moment - in particular with HDR.

So, at the end, I can live with occasional blooming and banding, while viewing angle is not a problem for me. Sure, next display will likely be not an LCD, but will be an OLED or a Crystal LED or another technology. But, for the moment, this is the best compromise for someone who uses it mainly as a PC monitor, that wants good motion, and high brightness.
Fundamental collection thread | Vimeo channel | My personal blog
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#2
Few weeks are passed since this TV entered home; meanwhile, I added a relatively cheap surround system, used it as UHD monitor with my PC, but still to connect a game console...

Well, it is simply great!

Yes black is not at the same level of an OLED, still is deeeep... blooming is rarely shown on-axis (apart the usual closing credits, but, agan, who cares?)

The upscaling is really top class - high quality FHD (and even "mere" 720p) quality is astonishing, and also good SD content is rendered very well. And consider now screen distance is also shortened! I guess non-LG OLED branded TVs could have comparable quality, but pretty sure LG ones electronic is not that great in this field.

DSE has rarely seen, almost all on low bitrate SDTV - I guess due to that... indeed, with those low quality broadcast trasmission, I note a series of problems not inherent with display technology, but that show up in any display - mainly macroblocking, posterization, detail loss etc.

Audio: albeit its quality is way better than any edge-lit and OLED display, it's not on par with a proper surround system - at least with quite big loudspeakers and a subwoofer; so, for any "important" vision, go with the latter.

Reflections: this is quite a problem during day, if you have a big window; if you have dark curtains, you could be forced to use them... as I watch it mainly during the evening/night, this is not a problem, though.
Note: even if reflected image is distorted, the display image is not, so, don't worry about it!

Image retention: zero, nada, nothing, as expected. Glad to have not chosen OLED - I know that permanent burn-in risk is low, but it's real, and I prefer the peace of mind...

Design: the more I am used to it, the more I like it!

3D and HDR: still to be tested.

All in all, I am very happy with it!
Fundamental collection thread | Vimeo channel | My personal blog
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