Panasonic TC-L65WT600 UHD TV Review
Color me so-so.
Behind the Screens
The Panasonic TC-L65WT600 (MSRP $5,999.99) started off strong, but didn't finish so smooth when it came to our gamut of tests. I measured a deep black level and solid motion—two problem areas for LCDs—but not-so-stellar color production, which ultimately really hurt this TV's score. Reds, greens, and blues just really don't "pop" like they ought to, and things tend to look a little washed out even after a lengthy calibration session.
Calibrating the TC-L65WT600 took a long time. I'm talking just under two hours, which is a lot longer than average. Starting out in Cinema mode, I adjusted the CCT (correlated color temperature) as close as possible to 6500K, corrected the 2- and 10-point white balance, evened out the gamma curve to our 2.4 ideal, and boosted the color saturation and accuracy of this display. The end result? The WT600 has more than enough calibration controls to allow an experienced calibrator to get it perfect—but the only place that actually needed serious attention was the color gamut, and there wasn't anything that could be done in that regard.
Below, you'll find the starting settings for the WT600's Cinema mode, and my final calibration to the right of them.
The WT600's color gamut was its biggest problem area, so let's tackle that first. Generally, HDTVs are expected to adhere to an international color standard called Rec. 709. UHD TVs usually hit this standard easily because they will eventually be expected to adhere to an even wider color space. Unfortunately, the WT600 isn't capable of a wider color space, and in fact struggles to adequately display the Rec. 709 gamut. This means that its reds, greens, and blues won't look as vibrant and rich as they should, while the secondary colors—cyan, magenta, and yellow—skew into the wrong hues.
The hue and luminance errors can be corrected, albeit with a length calibration. However, even with color at 97, the WT600 can't saturate the primary points to their required vivacity.
The other thing to watch out for if you're interested in this TV is its viewing angle, which is narrow. Compared to three other 65-inch UHD TVs, the WT600 has the worst horizontal viewing angle. We tested a total viewing angle of 31°, or about 16° from the center to either side of the screen. LCDs like the WT600 often struggle to produce a clean picture when viewed from off-angles, but this Panasonic's result is actually a little below average. This is especially egregious if you plan on wall mounting this TV.
Contrast ratio—and specifically black level, or minimum luminance level—are two of this TV's strongest points. We determine a display's contrast ratio by dividing its peak or default brightness by its black level. In this case, I measured a black level of 0.039 cd/m2, which is much darker than any of the other UHDs we compared the WT600 to—a Toshiba, a Samsung, and an LG. Coupled with a standard brightness of 140.60 cd/m2, you get a contrast ratio of 3605:1—not bad at all. This TV's dark black levels really add to its picture quality, it looks quite good in the dark.
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