​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.

​Panasonic TH-65DX900U 4K smart TV
  • ​Panasonic TH-65DX900U 4K smart TV
  • ​Panasonic TH-65DX900U 4K smart TV
  • ​Panasonic TH-65DX900U 4K smart TV
  • Expert Rating

    4.50 / 5

Pros

  • Great all-round performance
  • True blacks displayed most of the time
  • Best upscaling we've seen
  • Great sound

Cons

  • Massive unit
  • Very expensive
  • Occasional, minor halo issues (glowing areas on dark backgrounds)

Bottom Line

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.

Would you buy this?

Sound, features, remotes, apps and issues

Sound

We’ve been impressed lately with how every thin TV we’ve tested has managed to produce impressive, well-rounded sound. But this large-bodied Panasonic fits in two sets of 10W speakers which provide another jump in performance – bass frequencies are that bit more punchy and everything else is a bit crisper and more rounded.

We suspect that people paying this much for a TV will at least buy a sound bar to go with it, but there’s really no rush with this unit.

Read more: ​Fetch TV Mighty review: Better than Foxtel

Software and apps

Panasonic uses Firefox OS to power its Smart tv features. It’s fast and generally simple to use but there aren’t as many apps as we’ve seen with Android or WebOS. Few will complain as most key apps are present.

Panasonic also allows you to set up quick access to apps, inputs and features with various customisable shortcuts that will please people who regularly change content source.

The apps via Firefox OS.
The apps via Firefox OS.

Remotes

Samsung provides two remotes and they’re probably the most useful combination we’ve seen. The first is the standard, large-buttoned remote. There are a few hard-to-decipher buttons present but generally the important functions are all easy to find. There’s also a touch-pad remote which uses a thick, textured, rubber surface which offers a good amount of sensitivity and accuracy. Gestures access some functions quicker but generally, swiping around is a breeze.

The big-buttoned remote and tough, rubber, touch-pad remote combine to offer great navigation.
The big-buttoned remote and tough, rubber, touch-pad remote combine to offer great navigation.

Features and issues

Read more: ​Kogan curved 4K UHD 55-inch LED LCD TV review

The usual complement of connectors is included – four HDMI ports, optical, USB 3 etc. However, whenever we tried to access our USB 3 hard disk to playback content, the whole TV crashed and restarted (and we learned it had fans inside it – like the old days). You can’t hear the fans normally - they just whoosh when the TV starts up from cold – but history tells us that you’ll need to clean the dust out of the vents at the top periodically to avoid the fans getting clogged up and the TV overheating. We’re talking once every couple of years here. Nonetheless, we couldn’t get any USB devices to be recognized after this happened.

A full complement of connections is catered for.
A full complement of connections is catered for.

Another potential issue is compatibility with set-top boxes. A quick Google search shows that Panasonic has a history with this – we could not get sound playing from our Foxtel iQ3. As much as we want to believe this was a conscious rebellion on the part of the TV, a great deal of trouble-shooting hasn’t yet found a fix. We’re working with Panasonic to find one and will update this review should that happen. But for now there seems to be an bug present.

Next: Conclusion

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Read more on these topics: television, tv, Panasonic, Smart TV, 4K, televisions, 4k tv, UHD TV
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