With Samsung, Toshiba, Sharp dishing out new TV at every fold, Panasonic being the beloved leader is no way left out in the cold. It had acquired an undisputable global presence. The master always entices the crowd with products that are completely different from each other. None can deny the fact that each television is designed with features that compete even with its own product lines. Whilst, encompassing a large screen display with the 3D attribute as the key feature is the current trend, Panasonic has launched a mediocre screen-width model that even comprises the features that are incorporated in higher end models. Knowing the different market pulse, it is inevitable for consumers to overlook such products. Nonetheless, there is still a good crowd who would prefer to have a small build television with the latest specification. One such product is Panasonic’s TX-P46VT20B with a screen size of just 46 inches inclusive of 3D effects. Now, that we call as true craftsmanship.
Panasonic Viera TX-P46VT20B TV is subtle but yet attractively designed model, and has set ablaze the market with very prominent and promising features. It has even beaten the performance of sophisticated models. With a crystal clear high definition screen TX-P46VT20B includes the 3d gala, DVB-T / DVB-T2 inherent tuner, Viera Tools, Viera Cast, Cone Q and many more. Viera link assist in easy recording and playback option. It is possible to connect the set to a PC and run the internet. The picture quality is enthralling especially Panasonic has treated the blue and black transition quite well. Despite the screen size, the user does get a remarkable viewing experience and the 3D image phase stands good. All in all, Panasonic has packed too many goodies in a small package and the usage part meets the expectations.
Panasonic TX-P46VT20B 3D Television does not rock a sleek and sporty look when compared to other 3D TVs. On the other hand, it is sturdy and attractive and at some angles it does resemble the yesteryear 46 inch model, except for the shiny black body. Even if many users claim it as having limited aesthetic appeal, the functional part rendered by the same is the highlight selling factor. The set is accompanied with a pedestal and the rear side consists of four holes for wall hanging option, however it can be done by using the wall hanging bracket. The pedestal must be assembled in a proper fashion, prior to mounting the television on the same. Using the assembly screws the television can be mounted on the pedestal. There is no major effort required in the setup process and as the set is not so heavy, the approach is still easier. Still a good care must be taken in the assembling part because if the screws are fastened in an inappropriate manner it could strip the threads. Once the set is placed at a desirable location, it is possible to adjust the panel in either side to an angle of 10 degree. The front panel consists of remote control sensor, CATS sensor and the infrared sensor. The main power switch along with the various slots is placed on the rear side. As mentioned earlier, TX-P46VT20B would easily slip in to the design specifications adopted during the late 90’s, but the various in-built functional aspects are highly user centric.
The 3D glass is similar to that of Sharp. The Panasonic TX-P46VT20B package comes with two nose pads, support band, glass case and screw diver. The two nose pads differ in their shape and the setup. One nose pad can be seated by selecting either upper or lower protrusions. But for the other type, the nose pad must use all the three protrusions depending on the nose structure. This is a nice thought to attach with two modified nose pads; because when the glass is not seated properly a good 3D entertainment cannot be enjoyed. Straight above the nose pad region is the infrared receiver. Good care must be taken while attaching the nose pad, as any scratch in the infrared region cannot render a 3D image conversion. Further adjustments can be made using the support band. The design is moderately simple with LCD shutter and operates based on the frame sequential type. The 3D glass power switch is located at the bottom part of the eyewear and must be prompted prior to the usage. It runs on a battery and can pull to a 75 hours of maximum usage. The usage level is comparable and acceptable to the market standards. Many complicated LED functions are not employed and it just requires sliding the power switch. Yet a few limitations such as the weight of the 3D glass restrict the usage after a considerable time, because slight discomfort props up. Additionally the design part is somewhat outdated and could have been modified. Panasonic is very generous with the 3D glass and has provided a pair instead of packing with just one like that of Samsung and Sharp.
Slots and Connectivity:
TX-P46VT20B supports four HDMI connections, a digital audio output, 2 Scart connections and RGB socket for controlling through the computer. Additional Ethernet slot, SD port, USB port are also present. The slots are readily identifiable and the user manual covers a detailed description of the slots and the respective connective options. The television incorporates HDMI technology featuring an input audio signal of 2ch Linear PCM. The input video signal received ranges from 480i to 108p and signals above this would be unclear. The afore-said video signals are fine-tuned for the best viewing option. On connecting the PC, the signal is magnified or compressed; hence viewing with details and accuracy is limited. The Audio Return Channel is felt only in the HDMI 2 terminal and the ARC function transmits digital sound signals through the HDMI cable. A few USB hubs cannot be connected and Panasonic has tested a combination of USB devices like for an example USB HDD with USB Keyboard, USB HDD + Wireless LAN Adaptor and so on. In case of multiple connections, the identification process is made simpler. The number is assigned from the lower HDMI terminal number connected to the same equipment type and is normally displayed as recorder 1 and recorder 2 etc..Three AV pins are available with one located at the side of the television. The AV3 is usually used for video camera connection, set top box, game equipment and speaker amplification system. Considering the applicability part of the number of slots, it has certain limitations, take for an example; all PC’s cannot be connected. But on overall, the ports available are highly similar to the existing television models and no major breakthrough connections are available.
Remote Access Control:
The Panasonic remote access control has a sleek and solid feel. It is slim shaped and rectangular and the display buttons appear clearer. The channel and the volume adjustment are pushed downwards and that place is been occupied by the four way fine tuning button. Additionally the upper side is also occupied by the one stop operation for the Viera link, Viera Tools and Guide plus buttons respectively. One notable deviation from the conventional type is that, it organises the main menu navigation based on two steps, firstly the user must hit the main menu button placed directly below the power switch and secondly the navigation is to be done using the four directional operation control placed away from the “menu button”. The core fine tuning takes place here. Another dedicated button namely the “option” lies beneath the main menu control. The user can instantaneously change basic settings and sound rather than navigating through the main menu. It is applicable for trivial changes, but for some major ones the main menu is the only possible route. Summing up, TX-P46VT20B has approached a different route in facilitating the remote control usability, and hence positioned the critical buttons which the user might frequently encounter in a slightly different manner from the rest. Though it is time saving at times, on the hand, it can lead to hitting the incorrect button quite often and hence it is always nice to keep it simple.
In a similar way, TX-P46VT20B VIERA NeoPDP Full HD 3D Plasma TV employs two controls for moving the channels either up or down using the conventional channel button and another button namely “programme” which lies directly beneath the same. The programme button must be used with the Panasonic external devices family.
As far as the user is concerned, the remote access provides too many options for the tuning process, though it is appreciable, it can also lead the user to wrongly hit the buttons many a times. Direct access to most of the prominent features is directly placed on the remote, but surprisingly Panasonic had slid away the straight 3D button in to the main menu mode. This is somewhat disappointing. Instead of featuring dedicated button for channel information and index, the 3D option could have been made available.
User interface and Setup:
The user interface in Panasonic TX-P46VT20B Plasma Screen 3D TV is made smooth. Once the set is connected, the auto-setup takes care of the channel search and readily stores in a numbered order as notified by the specific broadcaster. Besides, any satellite channel can be tuned by selecting the satellite and checking the dish alignment. The user can also tune from all the available satellite broadcast. The signal strength detection and synchronisation is time consuming and also the signal must be locked otherwise the search cannot be done. Once this is done, using the ‘auto setup’ the channels are read easily. The video mode facilitates the most appropriate aspect ratio by applying a four step process. The only concern here is the time consumption, because when the image is darker, the transfer rate is slow. Letter box detection automatically detects the black bands appearing on the screen and the auto mode chooses the best aspect ratio and expands the picture to occupy the screen. It is good that the auto set up mode takes care of the image quality to a certain extent, but by altering the aspect ratio at some instances so as to fill the screen can cause pixel distortion, though the effect is highly unnoticeable. Editing, tuning and sorting the favourite channels are possible using the main menu option. The favourite channels are added as per the colour category, the green selection displays the favourites list, the red permits the channel editing and it is also possible to add various channels at one switch using the yellow option. This is quite different from the rest of the available channel sorting facilities. Using the skip/hide menu the user can skip channels that are unclear or not viewable. The same can be reverted back by another user.
The user can take good advantage of the electronic programme guide that gives a complete broadcast list of forthcoming programs available for the next seven days. This is a function artistically created by Panasonic. The program search can be done using the various genre options available such as news and sports, movies, lifestyle and so on. The user can seek out that the one that would be showcased in the upcoming days from all the channels. In addition to it, the Gemstar branding partner gives the rating details in the information menu and assists the user to finalise the best programme. The guide link programme notifies the user once when the broadcast times are changed for a particular event. This factor works in sync with the reliable information supplied by the broadcaster.
As mentioned earlier, Panasonic TX-P46VT20B does not come with a direct shortcut button in the remote control to access the 3D mode. Instead it is hidden inside the menu option and can also be accessed using the Viera Tools. The signal format which it supports includes Auto, side by side, top and bottom. The shortcoming noticed here is the user needs to select the format depending on the format of the image source. The 2D image can be converted in the 3D format in three depth of viewing, ranging from minimum, maximum and moderate. The reverse picture sequence alters the image depth only if it appears to be abnormal than the expected function. The edge smoother brings out smoothness especially in the contoured parts. The juddering effect can also be reduced by setting it up in the on the cinema like images mode. By fine tuning the afore-said factors the 3D effect is really good and on par with the desired standards. Since the product is THX 2D certified and not the 3D, any adjustment carried out in 3D will be applied to the 2D mode. In many rival models, the setting change occurs quite automatically when the user swaps between the 2D to the 3D mode. Whilst Panasonic the user needs to mend the settings manually, this could be taken care in the upcoming models.
The gaming part is absolute fun with TX-P46VT20B 46-inch 3D TV and the quality can be equaled to that of gaming consoles. The most vital aspect in the gaming is the fluidness produced by an even frame rate and that too with an uncompromising resolution. One of the observable drawbacks is the “Fuzzy shadows” that encompass the moving area. The effect can be reduced to a considerable amount by activating the intelligent frame creation. However Panasonic has concentrated in eliminating the cross talk effect that is pronounceable in the 3D mode.
The plasma screen is based on the Viera NeoPDP full high definition technology. Additionally the infinite black pro filter can be stated as the image revolution. The panel display aspect ratio is 16:9 can accommodate 2,073,600 pixels. Needless to say, the picture quality. Panasonic’s Colour management assures natural colour but on clear observation one can point out the mild loss in detail with respect to green and magenta. But this does not hamper the final output. Plasma display consumes more electricity in general and it is sad that Panasonic is not making concrete efforts to reduce the power consumption, when compared against its ace competitors like Samsung.
The contrast ratio is to the tune of 5,000,000:1 and gives a desirable black. The television even gives a good performance under bright conditions because it includes a new panel that has improved the cell discharge area. As a result of minimising the electric pre-discharge and lowering the graying effect, the black gradation has been dramatically enhanced. Except for the 3D mode, the contrast is exciting from any viewing area with deep colour gamut. The dark scenes too have a dramatic colour quality.
Sub field drive technology:
The sub field technology gives the HD image a resolution of 1080 lines. An in-built image analysis approach transfers the motion to data for every scene within fraction of nanoseconds. Especially the aftereffects felt in cinema mode are excellently reduced as individual frame is shown for a brief period of time. The intelligent frame creation technique adds the frame count and eliminates the juddering effect without any noticeable screen flickering.
The THX is a certification that assures the image quality that the content is designed to deliver. It will be transmitted without any revision. Panasonic to some extent has balanced the shortcoming of viewing cinema in the smaller screen. With the THX logo, any cinema that is watched through the external devices will truly recreate the same magic in the mini screen. Not only, the video but also the audio effect is also been retained as the original without any loss in the clarity. This is the most appreciable achievement considering the competition in the TV market, because the product would have to undergo strict test methods so as to check the reproduction of exact colour level. Panasonic has indeed achieved a feat in gaining the THX certification. The THX consists of three options such as the professional mode 1&2 and the THX. The picture modes can be chosen depending on the colour depth required. The magenta, green and the blue shades almost resemble to that of the big screen picture quality and retain the essence of the picture quality. The THX has a gamma mode but the effect is not so well pronounced. The THX can be activated through the vivid colour setting.
Various features are also present in the Panasonic Viera TX-P46VT20B Flat Screen Plasma 3D TV. The Viera Cast connects the television through the internet through a simple web interface. The most remarkable one is adding the Skype and twitter application in the internet, besides the regular stocks and the news details. The characters can be fed in to the net using the USB keyboard, but the characters are not properly displayed. This causes slight hindrance while accessing the internet. While considering the network connection it is possible to use the DLNA feature and can be handled without the assistance of broadband, whereas Viera Cast needs the broadband set-up. The network connection does have some effects such as the back ground score and transition effects. Viera Link feature permits the inter connectability of different devices and the user can record, playback pause live TV option etc… The Qlink connects the DVD recorder and the TV and the Viera with HDAVI control connects the TV with equipments consisting of the Viera Link function. The outstanding aspect in the inter-operability is not only with the Panasonic devices, the Viera link can be even extended to other manufacturers that are HDMI CEC compatible. The Freesat HD tuner built-in transmits free digital satellite broadcast in UK. Interactive contents are available in the freesat HD facility. The DVB-T and T2 tuner, a sophisticated digital terrestrial broadcast system is also embedded and guarantees a more effective transmission.
TX-P46VT20B Full HD Television also surprises with the media player functionality. The user can view photos and videos, music that is recorded on the USB or SD card. Using the Viera image viewer the content on the SD can be viewed effectively. It supports images recorded in the camera. The Jpeg file format and Exif standards and also MPF for 3D image is supported. The audio format supported includes MP3 and AAC. The TIFF and the BMP format cannot be displayed in the television. Another hurdle is that the image transferred from the system must be compatible with the EXIF 2.0 to 2.2. The media player is a worthy addition and the slideshow and image resolution is good while viewing in a wider screen. Besides, many additional features do pep up the watching experience. Teletext mode is featured in the TX-P46VT20B model. The highlight feature is the FASTEXT mode, wherein the user can gain more information on the desired Teletext just by pressing the appropriate button. The multi window option also provides the adjacent viewing of the image and the Teletext. Facility like timer programming enables the user to store up to 15 events that needs to be remained of for watching. Furthermore to the afore-said features, the product also includes many items that are worth exploring. All these factors put together gives a good tailor-made viewing experience.
With Panasonic Colour management system, the TV is nothing but an ultimate output of vibrancy. Peaked with intense high definition clarity, the colour gradation is neatly handled. There is a minute excess of red on the grayscale unit, around 5%. Arguable when compared with many plasma standard has too much of blue tinted measure in the picture. The THX mode produces the same colour even if the surrounding environment is too brighter. The black level pulls a good display by producing deep dense black to ink blacks. TX-P46VT20B takes full credit in delivering consistent black and very limited floating blacks which is an inherent nature of the plasma technology. The floating blacks create a very mild graying in the center part of the scene, but occasionally noticeable.
The standard mode exhibits mild flickering. The film mode for camera is not available and hence the input interlaced might get the effect of jaggies. It could be controlled if a superior quality external device is used. TX-P46VT20B Freeview HD TV renders a good scaling performance especially in combination with the grayscale tracking that result in better accuracy, colour tint and contrast.
Despite the plasma technology, it is a nice work to get a better picture quality in high definition mode. The depth of the image is accentuated by the colour management system and excellent black levels. However, at some instances the set displays noisy image particularly in fast moving object. The image sharpness is not unnecessarily tweaked and with the THX certification Panasonic is way ahead of its competitors.
Like in the standard definition, the red appears very redder and crosstalk noise does props up. There is an incoherent grayscale tracking and many 3D televisions falls prey to it. The 3D performance is good, but some inconsistencies such as the jaggedness seen in diagonal sides and detailed areas could not be avoided. Finally to conclude it is a herculean task to get a flawless 3D effect in plasma technology and that too with limited screen size. Hopefully, if Panasonic could get the THX certification for the 3D effect, it would definitely undergo severe examination and thereby we can see better results. Till then, the 3D is satisfactory.
The sound quality in TX-P46VT20B is good and has ConeQ technology. It effectively amplifies the sound from the speakers. There is music and speech mode each invariably increases the output in either the music or watching movies. The ConeQ technology checks the time and phase alignment disturbances and improves the acoustic frequency of the speaker system. The sound output is deeper and sharper. In case if the TV is wall mounted, optimum distance between the TV and the wall is recommended to be 30 cm. This distance will give a bouncier sound. SPDIF selection can be done. The audio description feature narrates the on-going events and is beneficial for visually impaired individual.
Panasonic TX-P46VT20B comes with one year warranty.
Panasonic TX-P46VT20B 3D television is based on plasma technology. Though there are various better points in plasma, such as the picture quality, and less blur, there are certain physical limitations of the same. The primary one is confining the plasma in to a short screen-width, a worthy feat in plasma technology. The 3D delight is really great. The 2D picture performance exceeds expectations as it is THX certified. Competitively priced, the product will definitely suit the user budget. Finally to conclude, besides being an incredible visual treat the audio quality is better with the help of ConeQ.
Panasonic TX-P46VT20B 3D Plasma TV – Technical Specification Table
|Model Name||Panasonic TX-P46VT20B 3D TV|
|Dimension (W x D x H)||1,138 x 763 x 335 mm|
|Digital Cinema Colour||TBC|
|Screen Width||46 inch|
|Power Supply||220-240 AC|
|Speakers||2.1Ch 3×10 Watt|
Thursday, May 12th, 2011