Panasonic Viera TC-P60S60 Plasma TV Review
Peerless black levels and grade A color accuracy for less than half of what you'd pay in years past
Welcome to the Science section, the place where we put all the requisite jargon and numerical data to support our wild and crazy claims on the front page. When we tout that a television's color accuracy is spot on, or that it's too dim for even a vampire bat, the test results, charts, and data to support those claims are all here.
Calibrate the S60 in Cinema mode to repeat our results.
We calibrate each TV we test prior to testing its black level, picture level, and color accuracy. We calibrate in conjunction with Dr. Ray Soneira's DisplayMate software, using a full suite of test patterns and scripts (as well as the Konica Minolta CS-200 colorimeter) to optimize a television's performance. We do not, however, use any calibrator menus or tweak any settings not available to the general public. All of our results are repeatable at home using the TV's basic menu.
We calibrated the Panasonic Viera TC-P60S60 in Cinema mode (there are also Standard, Home Theater, Vivid, and User picture modes). We raised Panasonic's pre-set Contrast of 85 to 100, increasing the differentiation between video gain and shadow details. We also lowered Panasonic's pre-set Brightness of 0 to -12, deepening the shadow detail while still maintaining steady gradation differentiation between steps 17-234.
The S60 tested with a highly accurate rec. 709 color gamut.
Like a handful of Panasonic's 2012 plasmas, the P60S60 tested with an almost perfect color gamut. A television's color gamut is a visual representation of the 16 million colors it can produce, measured against the international ideal for HDTV color accuracy (rec. 709). The S60's peak red, green, blue, and white were almost perfectly matched to the rec. 709 ideal: Differentiations between the tested gamut and the ideal gamut were not extreme enough to be detected by the naked human eye. This is, naturally, a great result.
The S60's black level crushed the high-end competition.
The Panasonic Viera TC-P60S60 tested with a black level of 0.01 cd/m2. Black level is an important factor in creating contrast within images, rendering realistic shadow detail within shades and colors, and maintaining panel integrity for a television: The S60's black level was the most impressive we've seen in months.
The P60S60 tested with deeper blacks than Samsung's flagship plasma from 2012 (our best of year, the E8000), Panasonic's own flagship plasma (the VT50) from last year, and Sony's 2012 flagship LCD (the HX950). Needless to say, this is very impressive, especially when you consider that those televisions cost between two and four times as much as the 60-inch S60.
The S60's total, natural contrast ratio is over 9000:1, which is absolutely huge for a lower-end TV with no extra processing or dynamic settings active.
Viewing angle, color temperature, color curves, and greyscale gamma
The S60's motion results and horizontal viewing angle were both quite good, which is usually the case with plasmas. Likewise, this TV consumes a lot of power: You'll be paying about $40 a year for it if you watch it every day.
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