Panasonic TH-P54Z1A plasma television
Panasonic's TH-P54Z1A plasma panel offers wireless streaming of Full HD footage
- Thin and stylish design, perfect for wall-mounting, great picture quality even with wireless transmission, great speakers
- Expensive, bulky wireless receiver unit
Panasonic's TH-P54Z1A plasma television is the pinnacle of 2009 plasma television design. It's only an inch thick, and it has wireless Full HD 1080p streaming and a very high quality plasma panel. Apart from its wallet-bashing price tag, the Panasonic TH-P54Z1A is a great unit.
Price$ 6,999.00 (AUD)
The Panasonic TH-P54Z1A is a 54in plasma television with an inch-thick chassis, wireless Full HD video streaming and a high quality 1080p panel. It is very expensive but if you're looking for an elegant alternative to a super-thin Samsung LED screen, this should be at the top of your list.
The Panasonic Z1A series only includes the 54in TV; it's Panasonic's flagship NeoPDP panel for 2009. Despite its thin body, the Panasonic TH-P54Z1A is not light. A fully metal chassis, brushed metal fascia and heavy stand means the television weights 38kg; you'll want a friend to help move it around. With the stand removed it's a great candidate for wall mounting as it's both thin and exceedingly stylish.
Unfortunately the wireless receiver that plugs into the back of the Panasonic TH-P54Z1A is not as brilliantly designed as the TV. Sony's Bravia KDL40ZX1 has a receiver integrated into the panel, but Panasonic uses a rounded external unit. It doesn't look too outlandish but we would have preferred a sleek and metallic receiver that matched the TV better. It communicates wirelessly over the 60GHz band with the TV tuner/transmitter unit, cutting down on the amount of circuitry inside the television itself.
The majority of connections are made through the receiver, so there's no need to place your home entertainment equipment near the panel itself. Four HDMI ports, four composite A/V inputs, two S-Video and component inputs and a D-Sub (VGA) video connector let you connect a veritable armada of home entertainment technology.
The TH-P54Z1A has a dynamic contrast ratio of over 2,000,000:1 and an impressive 40,000:1 figure for static contrast. It's a Full HD 1080p screen with 6144 steps of gradation. This is fewer than the 7160 offered by the jaw-dropping Panasonic TH-65VX100W but still high enough to imbue the TH-P54Z1A with great colour gradation, even in difficult scenes. Cheaper panels might show banding in a sunset, for example, but this Panasonic panel produces smooth and consistently clean images.
We didn't experience any issues whatsoever with the wireless HD transmission from the TV tuner box to the receiver. Whether it was 1080i broadcast television, a standard 576p DVD or a high quality 1080p Blu-Ray movie, footage was clean, full of detail and didn't display any motion artefacting. Audio is also transferred to the high quality stereo speakers hanging off the side of the screen — these are surprisingly versatile for thin units, producing crisp high notes as well as detailed mid-range and a small amount of mid-bass. You can have the TV up to 10 metres away from the transmitter.
The Panasonic TH-P54Z1A handled our image tests brilliantly. We ran through the darkest scenes of Batman Begins and The Dark Knight to test the plasma panel's contrast ability — almost flawless, of course — and we were equally impressed with the sharpness, vibrant colour and detail visible in WALL-E and Ice Age.
Unfortunately, the Panasonic TH-P54Z1A doesn't perform so brilliantly in the power consumption stakes. Netting a mere two stars from Australia's energy rating body, the panel consumes 348 Watts during normal usage, with an active standby consuming a puzzlingly high 28W. If you're not going to use the panel for a while we definitely recommend the passive standby mode, which only draws a single Watt.
The Panasonic TH-P54Z1A is a very expensive television and you'll need to ask yourself whether the extra outlay is worth it when compared to Panasonic's other panels and other slim TVs on the market. In the end, this plasma panel is a competent package we'd be happy to see mounted in the centre of our home.
Stay up to date with the latest reviews. Sign up to GoodGearGuide’s Gear Daily newsletters
Follow GoodGearGuide on Twitter: @Goodgearguide
Join the PC World newsletter!
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Acer Swift 7
Huawei Mate 9
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Lexar® Portable SSD
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Google Daydream VR headset
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Surface Pro 4
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Oppo R9s Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- 2 Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth review
- 3 HTC U Ultra phone full, in-depth review
- 4 Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard review
- 5 Venom Blackbook Zero 14 laptop review
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
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
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.
- And the 2017 winner of the Formula 1 Best Pit Lane Boom Gantry is...
- Behind the scenes with Team Walkinshaw at V8 Supercars Melbourne 2017
- First look at the Formula 1 2017 pit lane in Melbourne, Australia
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTSocial Media ExecutiveNSW
- CCOracle Middleware Production SupportACT
- FTSenior Web DeveloperNSW
- CCDeployment GraduatesSA
- TPUnix- Technical Support OfficerVIC
- FTProject ManagerACT
- FTSenior Business Analysis - FinanceQLD
- CCApplication Support Specialist- Bathurst or Port MacquarieNSW
- TPProcess Business Analyst - Digital InnovationNSW
- TPWintel EngineerVIC
- CCApplication Support Specialist- Bathurst or Port MacquarieNSW
- FT.Net DeveloperACT
- CCJava/ Guidewire DeveloperQLD
- FTWeb DesignerACT
- FTBusiness Solutions AnalystNSW
- TPSenior Communications Officer | SharePointQLD
- FTService Desk ConsultantACT
- FTInfrastructure ArchitectSA
- FT.Net Solutions DeveloperSA
- CCProgram ManagerVIC
- FTFull Stack .Net Developer Developer (Front and Back end)QLD
- FTJunior Applications SupportACT
- FT.Net Developer - Mid-levelNSW
- CCPMO Analyst - Financial ServicesNSW
- FTBusiness Analyst - SalesforceVIC