Panasonic DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review: Best all-round TV ever?
Best all-round TV ever? Panasonic's TH-65DX900U is both huge and hugely impressive.
- Great all-round performance
- True blacks displayed most of the time
- Best upscaling we've seen
- Great sound
- Massive unit
- Very expensive
- Occasional, minor halo issues (glowing areas on dark backgrounds)
Most TVs have a weakness of some kind. This one has got it where it counts in all key areas: contrast, upscaling, picture quality and usability. But it's huge and so is the price.
Price$ 7,149.00 (AUD)
We’ve tested most TVs on the market recently but whenever a review model goes back, we revert back to our six-year-old Panasonic plasma. The tragic thing is that it’s often better than the latest and greatest TVs because of its ability to display true blacks and its excellent upscaling. But switching back also provides a stark reminder of how the colours have faded over time and are way behind the vibrancy that we see with recent Hisense, Samsung and LG OLED TVs.
At some point Samsung managed to convince everyone that a super-thin LED LCD TV was the one to buy irrespective of major image issues revolving around upscaling and the soap opera effect. Plasma died and Panasonic became a minor player.
I’ve been sad about that for a while. But then this massive 65-inch Panny monolith arrived at my house. It’s not a plasma but it’s a rear-lit LED LCD TV which means that it’s much thicker than most side-lit LED LCD competitors and as such weighs a lot more – 34.5KG without stand and 42.5KG with stand. As such you’ll need to pay attention to the surface it sits on lest it become a human-sized fly swatter. For comparison, a 65-inch version of the fantastic Hisense Series 7 ULED TV weighs 32.8KG (the stands account for just 1KG of that). This thing is big.
It’s also very shiny. This is the glossiest TV we’ve seen for a while and it’s pretty much a mirror when it’s not on. Fortunately, this is rarely a problem thanks to the bright and vibrant display.
But how does it perform?
LCD TVs operate by having a light shining through a layer of crystal that changes colour. This used to be done with fluorescent tubes but these were replaced with LED lighting. However, in the race to be thinner, the lighting moved from behind the screen to the sides of the screen. The technology doing this has reached black-magic levels of impressiveness with the likes of Hisense and Sony managing to produce amazing levels of true-black uniformly across a screen despite shining the lights in from the sides.
Panasonic says this of its backlighting technology: “The honeycomb design divides the screen into hundreds of ‘zones’ of individually controlled light clusters. These zones are isolated from each other to remove light leakage issues that can lead to a ‘light halo’ effect around bright objects.” There's an interesting demonstration video below...
Being able to dim specific regions of a screen is a better way to adjust contrast and produce better blacks – turning the light off means no light is leaking and blacks are proper black. Sony used to do it with its top TVs but they were expensive and died away. Now you generally only see rear-lit LCD TVs when screen size hits 75-inches+ and it becomes impossible to properly illuminate the middle of the screen from the sides. That’s why the price jump for huge screen sizes can go from $50 per inch to around $300 per inch (more on that here.)
Now Panasonic has brought that technology back to the sub-$10,000 space with its “honeycomb-structure Local Dimming.” And the improvement is noticeable.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Lexar® Portable SSD
Google Daydream VR headset
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Huawei Mate 9
Acer Swift 7
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Surface Pro 4
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Dell XPS 13 laptop
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- 2 ZTE Axon 7 review: Is ZTE dumping old stock on Australia?
- 3 Oppo R9s smartphone full review
- 4 Huawei Nova Plus smartphone review
- 5 Google Pixel XL full, in-depth smartphone review: Phones just got smarter
Latest News Articles
- Sony shows off its new OLED and LCD TVs, video projector, and Bluetooth speakers
- Sony’s Bravia XBR-A1E OLED could be the first flat-screen TV with sound that doesn’t suck
- Say goodbye to Apple's third-generation Apple TV
- Japan gears up for 8K TV broadcasting
- NHK's latest 8K display is large, thin and beautiful
PCW Evaluation Team
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- Time to ditch Foxtel and the iQ3: How to replace Foxtel packages with cheaper alternatives
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTDigital Sales Account Manager - Global BrandNSW
- FTMicrosoft Dynamics AX Technical ArchitectQLD
- CC.Net Developer x 2QLD
- CCSAP ISU Device Management ConsultantNSW
- CCProject Support SpecialistVIC
- CCData Engineer (SQL/Big Data/Scala)VIC
- TPFront End DeveloperWA
- CCDesktop Engineer l WollongongNSW
- CCIT Procurement OfficerNSW
- FTDevOps/Senior Sys Admin - eCommerce - Permanent - Sydney Northern BeachesNSW
- CCUnix Systems AdministratorNSW
- CCSAP Consultant - SAP Native HANA to DesignWA
- FTSystem AdministratorNSW
- CCUI UX AnalystWA
- FTDynamics AX Functional Consultant (Sales & Marketing Modules)ACT
- TP.Net DeveloperSA
- FT.net Developer (Front and Back end)QLD
- CCSenior Project CoordinatorVIC
- FTPMO Coordinator-Permanent Opportunity-Education/Government Background EssentialNSW
- CCGun Java Developer wanted...VIC
- CCWicked Front-End DeveloperQLD
- CCTest Analysts - MainframeACT
- CCCyber Security ArchitectNSW
- FTHR Payroll ConsultantQLD
- TPLead Change Manager - ERPVIC