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Best HDTV of The Month

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December 2012

If you are looking for the best in HDTV, we suggest you do check out our top 5 best rated HDTV of the month. Their rating are based on consumer reviews at Amazon.com. …

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Panasonic VIERA TC-P65VT30

Submitted by on February 8, 2012 – 5:51 pm10 Comments | 2,878 views

Panasonic VIERA TC-P65VT30

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  • Basilt says:

    Customer Rating Review from an Audio/Videophile, 2011-09-30
    This review is from: Panasonic VIERA TC-P65VT30
    I am not sure where to start with all of this. I had last years Samsung 58inch 8000 series (top of the line plasma) and it suffered from terrible synch issues with the 3d glasses (infrared issues). This years D model Samsung 59inch 8000 plasma did a wonderful job with 3d synch (bluetooth) but has constant blacklevel fluctuation issues. This is a fairly well documented issue on the web that panel/system board replacement to firmware has not been able to correct.Onto the Panasonic TC-P65VT30…It is AMAZING!!!! I was a bit worried about going back to IR for 3d synch but it works beautifully and did not lose synch even once during Avatar. Great Job Panasonic! Blacklevels are deep and motion is smooth. No flickering blacklevels or anything like that. It is a bit more than I wanted to spend but totally worth the money.Thanks Panasonic and Amazon!!!! A+++++++++++++

  • R. P. Leon says:

    Customer Rating Simply Stunning, 2011-09-28
    This review is from: Panasonic VIERA TC-P65VT30
    I bought this TV from another online retailer, but still wanted to post the review here on amazon since I buy here frequently and I appreciate a lot the fact that people take time to review products, which has help me to make wise shops. As I was saying, before buying this TV, I did a lot of research here and on home theater forums, cnet, plasma guide, etc. And most of them agreed that this TV had the best picture of 2011 and if not it was second, just behind the Samsung PND8000, So it was clear to me, that this tv was what I wanted, but the only “little” problem was the price, because my budget was no more than $1500, so I went with a less expensive set, also from panasonic the GT30 and it arrived with the screen totally broken, then I decided to go with the LG950pz and it arrived perfectly, but the image was very poor. Yep I was disssapointed so I decided to take the last shot and make the “Big” move and spend the $2300 I paid for this TV. And let me tell you that it is worth every penny, the image its simply incredible in 2d (I have not tried 3d yet, since Im not much into it)NFL games broadcasts looks amazing in game mode,but when you really squirt the picture of this TV is with Blu-ray, So far I have seen Thor, X-men, Life documentary and I am legend in blu-ray on the preset THX mode, and boy its sweetness to my eyes all the way. This TV has many possible picture adjustments, right now Im making a research on the best calibrations for this set, and I have found that most reviewers agree that the thx preset mode is great (of course for movies only) but still can get better with a few adjustments (which is not an urgency for me now). Another important matter is that this tv has none to little image retention, since I play a lot of xbox (fifa 11), so this was crucial for me too,(please note that the image retention comparison was made with my older tv, also a panasonic 50″ g25). And besides the stunning picture of this set, it’s the sleek look of it, I understand that this issue is not that important for most people, but let me tell you that it will really make an impression in any home theater room.
    Conclusion is that if you can make the effort to buy this set YOU WILL NOT REGRET IT at any point, and if you cant, check out the ST30 model available at bestbuy, the picture quality is near this level, of course the case of the ST30 its completely ugly compared with the VT30. Hope this review helps, god bless!

  • gilpo says:

    Customer Rating Panasonic Viera TC-P65VT30 3D review, 2011-10-10
    This review is from: Panasonic VIERA TC-P65VT30
    this purchase was a text-book version of perfection…. The delivery was quick and the two delivery men helped unpack the TV to make sure it was working.. After I set up the TV and started watching it, I was very impressed with the quality of the picture,the sound,and the way everything just worked the way they should.I checked out many TV’s before selecting this TV and also Amazon. I can not say enough good things about the service from Amazon or the quality of the TV.On a scale of 1 to 10 I would rate Amazon a 10 and the TV a 10.

  • ha-evolution says:

    Customer Rating Plasma For Life – VT30 is a Winner, 2011-10-23
    This review is from: Panasonic VIERA TC-P65VT30
    This is my first plasma tv and I am pleasantly surprised. I did plenty of research before buying this tv and everything I read about this Panasonic VT30 series was correct. It has wonderful blacks and can get plenty bright in certain modes. I was somewhat concerned about the brightness issue given that my past flat panels have all been LCD. I admit I was a fan of the overblown brightness modes that LCD’s allow but it is far from the most accurate picture and affects black levels. I had previously purchased a Samsung D8000 edge lit LED LCD but sent it back to Amazon because of the uneven back-lighting. This TV shows no uniformity issues (as expected with plasma technology). Watching sports on the Panny is great and 3D looks awesome also. Black levels are amazing – there is no black crush that I can discern and I have barely adjusted any settings on the TV. The styling of the VT30 series is a definite plus. I was considering the cheaper ST series but after I seeing the huge ugly bezel I couldn’t settle for old school looks. The VT one sheet of glass look is very well executed. The panel is also slimmer than I was expecting considering this is a plasma. Also I have to note that there is no fan noise and no plasma buzzing which other plasmas brands are known for (Samsung). The Panasonic VT30 is a keeper.

  • Jigsore says:

    Customer Rating Best TV currently on the market., 2011-07-12
    This review is from: Panasonic VIERA TC-P65VT30
    I had researched for about a year or so before placing a pre-order for this set. In 2010 I purchased a 55 inch Samsung C8000 LED set, and had bad luck with two units which were unrepairable, and needed to be replaced. Finally I got one without a problem, and it looked pretty great with bright content, but in blacked out scenes, or letterbox content there was a “flashlight” and cloud effect that was just too distracting. This is in a completely dark room by the way. It was at this point that I decided I was going to buy the best TV on the market with little regard to cost, and almost everything I read led to the upcoming VT30. So I placed my order in April, and the set was delivered on May 13th. Immediately I was blown away by the picture quality of this set, but also noticed a “flicker” effect, almost like the picture was fluttering on the high contrast scenes. For about the first month of owning the set I can’t tell you how much reading and research I did to see if there was a way to fix this flicker problem, and although there is a lot of info on the web about this set, it seems like nobody was addressing the flicker issue. So I thought it must just be me, but then I found an article that talked about the greyscale of PDP technology, and that it can cause flicker which only some people see. I know that my vision is good, but could this be a problem with Plasma? Is it just me? Is it the settings of the set? Well, it couldn’t be the latter, because I had tried just about every settings combination possible, and nothing had worked. When the contrast was turned down low it did reduce the flicker effect, but never went away and made the picture too dim to really enjoy. The picture quality on this was so good that I was heartbroken to think that it would go back because of this issue, after all, for this kind of money I expect near perfect results as I don’t make this kind of purchase every day. So before returning the set I bit the bullet, and forked out the money to have a professional calibrator come out and adjust the settings in the TV’s Service Menu. This is a menu that you can access with the proper codes, and is intended only for professionals to tweak the color, greyscale, light output, etc. on the set. Turns out that the set needed the calibration badly. I have never had a professional calibration on a TV before this, and although I figured that it would be a good idea, I never realized just how much difference it could make! The picture quality was already the best I had ever seen, but after professional calibration it is absolutely mind blowingly good! The flicker is gone, the picture is bright, but subtle, and tons of detail in the shadows. Black areas of a scene are pitch black, and colors are incredibly accurate. I almost want to miss work just to stay home and watch TV now. I have Comcast HD, and although it is pretty good in my neighborhood, you just can’t beat a Blu-Ray on this thing. In fact, the calibrator that dialed in my TV has a Pioneer Kuro, and has calibrated up to an 11 Million dollar home theater, and his opinion is that there are a lot of great sets to choose from with Panasonic, Samsung, LG, etc, but he agrees that the VT30 is the best you can get right now. If you can afford it, I highly suggest that you take a good look at this TV before you make the leap. By the way, the Samsung LED that I referenced above is now in a bright room, and looks phenomenal. The Samsung D8000 is a pretty awesome set for 2011, and until the calibration I thought I was going to end up that direction, but it also has the flicker effect, and I have had bad luck with two Samsung TV’s, and two of their Blu-Ray players in the past. Not sure how reliable they are this year, but I’m pretty sure that the Panasonic was the right choice.

    Update: The fluctuating brightness issue on these sets that some people are talking about was on a small number of the initial units released. It has been addressed, and fixed. You will not have a problem with fluctuating brightness from this point forward. Also, I saw the new Elite sets from Sharp and the VT30 is still definitely the king of the mountain. Go see for yourself and I’m sure you’ll agree.

  • PeterUbers says:

    Customer Rating Final review — success., 2011-09-22
    This review is from: Panasonic VIERA TC-P65VT30
    I was reluctant to purchase this tv as are/were many secondary to the fluctuating brightness.My amazon TV is an August 2011 build. A previous amazon customer who wrote a review here mentioned his recently acquired (sept 2011) tv was a July build. amazon, on the phone, could not guarantee me any build date, I guess I got luck of the draw on August, which apparently all August and beyond tv’s have a replaced A board from the factory — there is changing information on this on the ‘net forums.I was also a bit reluctant to purchase from Amazon, as I’ve never purchased something this expensive online before, but I’ve purchased from Amazon for years and have ZERO negative to say about Amazon reliability and service — it’s always been impecable.I received this this tv only 2 days after I purchased it from Amazon, it arrived in great condition, my wife was home and she didn’t know to ask the gentlemen who delivered it to put it on the stand, but they did not offer to do this for us. They turned it on, made sure it worked, and left (they just removed the top part of the box, pulled the styrofoam wrap down a bit, and plugged it in).I got home, plugged in the wifi, updated firmware from 2.060 to 2.070 witout any problems. I must admit — for the purpose of this review — so far I have not done any major testing. I currently own a Panny TC-P65S2 (2010) and came from a Panny TC-P65S1, and have only owned panasonic plasmas. I have dealt with fluctuating black levels (and am annoyed by them) on the S2, and the VT30 was a great prospect when I heard about the great black levels, apparently stable (thus far in reports from professional testing, i.e. cnet).I’ll report back as I start playing around with this thing. I gave it 5 stars because I did not want to lower the average rating.I can already tell the black levels are much better than the S2, the one sheet of glass is very cool, it’s 1/2 or 1/3 the depth of my s2 — very thin for a 65″ plasma. The brushed aluminum trim is also a nice touch.Oh, and no buzz compared to my S2 .. my S2 can get rather loud, but this thing has no significant buzz – you can hear a little when you’re a few feet away from it. ******Final review:My EEPROM number is 84.46 .. this is an August build, Serial MJ1214XXXXX. This has the updated a board/firmware, because I see NO FBr (fluct. brightness)Performance — stellar (compared to my previous panasonic plasmas).This is clearly, without the 9G Kuro on the market, the king of plasmas. I hope all purchasing from Amazon get the August build or beyond. When I called Amazon, they could not guarantee me that, but they would guarantee that they’d return it no charge if I was not satisfied in 30 days. Nothing touches Amazon’s no tax price right now.Colors, black levels, “pop” .. all amazing. Sure, it’s not a Kuro, but it’s 90% there, and that says something. I thought my S2 black levels were terrible once I got the tv and started using it. For someone who will be doing dark room watching and CARES about black levels, fluctuating brightness, fluctuating black levels — here’s your tv.Thanks for reading.Update (all good) 11/28/11:This TV continues to impress me — rock stable black levels and on brightness fluctuation issues (see my report above). Will definitely continue to stay with panny for plasma as currently their plasma is the best on the market. Time to get an oppo blu-ray player.

  • Customer Rating Nice television even though set received is defective, 2011-09-21
    This review is from: Panasonic VIERA TC-P65VT30
    NOTE: The rating given for this TV is NOT for Amazon’s service, the delivery company’s service, or Panasonic in general. The rating is just for the TV but I will include other comments below in order to help those planning to buy the TV from Amazon.The TC-P55VT30 Television: I did some research and settled on this TV. It replaces an older Samsung Plasma which was good but had problems of its own. This new TV’s screen is about 4-5 inches larger than the Samsung, but thought that was manageable with my room size. Unfortunately, the Panasonic TV I received is defective and I am awaiting a replacement from Amazon. The defect is that part of the panel appears “turned off” — the very right side of the panel is black and has no picture. It covers around 10% of the very right side. The TV is out of stock right now but I’m hoping Amazon gets stock and can replace the set soon.From what I’ve used of the TV, it’s pretty nice. Menus are laid out well and all my equipment works fine through HDMI so far (DVR, PS3, HTPC, Receiver, etc). I played around with the settings and have been able to get a fairly decent picture. Granted, I’m no video perfectionist and no expert in making those “ideal” settings but I like tinkering and finding the best picture for my eyes (not totally satisfied yet). There are a few quirks I’m still trying to work through, one being a strange black screen that appears sometimes when the screen goes completely black — almost looks like a lot of very light colored squiggly lines across the screen for a second. I’ve noticed it before a commercial break sometimes when screen goes black (DVR) or when a movie is starting up and movie studio logos are appearing on screen (PS3/blu ray). Could be HDMI cables, might try switching them out at some point. Also could be signal issues from the source, but I never noticed it on my Samsung. Daytime viewing is not too bad – but the TV is in a fairly bright room so there is some deterioration there. I have not tested the 3D features yet. Have no desire to use it, but will eventually try it out and comment later.I will include more comments as I use the TV and its other features, especially after the replacement TV arrives.Delivery Company (Pilot): Not great. The set was due to be delivered between 12-2pm on a Tuesday. The time window went by, it never showed up so I called Pilot at 2:15. The service rep sounded very disorganized and didn’t seem to know what was going on. Turns out, the TV was never out for delivery, they simply forgot and she said it was likely due to young people working there and a new scanning system. I could do nothing but laugh. They said they’ll deliver it the next day and would call to confirm the time it would show up. Next day… no call. Decided to just wait it out and would call later if no one showed up. TV finally arrived around midday.Panasonic in general: Even though I pretty much knew the TV was defective, I did call the Panasonic customer service line just to see if there was some wacky setting that was off making the TV look the way it did. Panasonic rep was not very knowledgeable and basically said it was defective. I didn’t want to waste time with them, so I ended the call. I’ve owned other Panasonic products in the past and it’s pretty hit and miss (as far as if I like them or not). My much older TV (before the Samsung) was a Panasonic LCD Projection set which was ok but developed a lot of dead pixels over the time I had it. That was one of the reasons I did not go with Panasonic with the next set.Amazon in general: Amazon has been terrific through it all. They were helpful during the delivery fiasco. They gave me credits for my troubles and that was appreciated. When I called to set up the return, the Amazon rep was helpful. The only (minor) negative comment I have about Amazon right now is their inability to get a replacement set out due to stock issue. The TV appears to be available at many other online stores right now, but I’d rather not get a refund and order elsewhere due to Amazon’s good price and return policy.Will update this review when replacement set finally arrives and write about how the return goes and how the new set looks/works.

  • Stephen says:

    Customer Rating Panasonic TC-55VT30 WOW!!!, 2011-07-01
    This review is from: Panasonic VIERA TC-P65VT30
    I received my TV 3 weeks ago and all I can say in UNBELIEVABLE. The TV’s picture is so clear and bright. I have tried 3D bluray and it is fantastic. Avatar & under the sea were so clear and colorful, better than 3D movies in the theater by far. I have played 3D games on PS3 and I was blow away again (Mortal Kombat & stardust HD). I haven’t seen any cross talk & the glasses work great (It took me some time to get used to the 3D & glasses and your eyes will get tired). You can see clearly from any seat in the room. I showed friends a scene from under the sea where fish seem to be swimming in your living room and everyone was amazed. One point I want to make is that so many people are expecting the pop out 3D all the time but most 3D looks as though your looking into a window it has depth and this TV makes it so life like you have to see it to believe it. If your still deciding on 3D this is the TV to beat!! Don’t go with passive 3D you won’t get the same quality and make sure your getting full 1080p 3D in each eye as you do with active shutter glasses.

  • none says:

    Customer Rating Fantastic TV but it broke first day and glasses are not comfortable, 2011-05-22
    This review is from: Panasonic VIERA TC-P65VT30
    I just bought this so I only have a few hours on it. The good. Exceptional piture. Dark blacks of course. But I really bought this for the 3D. I had narrowed my choices down to the samsung pn59D8000 and the Panasonic p55VT30. The 3D on the samsung looked a little artificial to me, that is like the cardboard cut out books that you open and they have one flat image after another. The Panasonic however has a real nice graduation of 3D from front to back. I really liked the new Samsung glasses, the bluetooth connection, light weight, large lenses, and even balance. I still don’t like the feel of the Panasonic glasses but they say they are comming out with better ones mid summer. I don’t like that Panasonic is still using infared since anything in the path of the beam cuts the 3D. The feature that really wow’s me is the 2D to 3D conversion. Oh My God! the Panasonic is soooo much better than the Samsung in this respect. I’d swear the 2D movies I’ve been watching with this feature are 3D. It has minimum, medium, and maximum settings for this. I like the medium setting which gives a lot of 3D without distorting the 3D effect like the maximum setting does. My local dealer did a good job of matching internet prices and free delivery and set up. The spider stand on the D8000 was really flimsy in real life. So I like the Panasonics heavier but more solid pedestal better. I wanted to buy the VT25 from last year but was still disappointed in the amount of light loss when putting on the 3D glasses. This year the amount of light loss is much much less than last year, even tolerable. Sound is actually pretty good but I still run it through my Denon 7.1 surround system. Another thing that steered me away from the Samsung were all the reports of poor customer service on displays that went out. I wish Panasonic would slim the bezel down more, and go to a wireless glasses recharger.
    I have both the Samsung BD-C6900 Blue-ray player and the Panasonic BDT350. Love the Samsung, hate the Panasonic. The Panasonic is not as user friendly, not as pretty, takes forever to load, and makes alot of clicking/humming/buzzing noises when playing a disk. It didn’t start out that way but it’s been less than a year and already it sounds like a five year old player. The quality of picture produced by each player is basically a wash for me. I really can’t tell any difference. I’ll try to update this as I get more experience with the TV. Oh by the way – I’m not a football fan but watching it in 3D is like being on the field, incredible. And I was just told buy my sales person that there has been a price drop on the current set of 3d glasses. They are now available for $49.99

    UPDATE: 07/12/11 I’ve bought two additional 55″ ST30’s so I can put them side by side as part of an “eyefinity” setup on my computer. The ST30’s are suprisingly pretty good but I had to go through one return due to one looking grainy (a known not uncommon issue with panasonics in general and the ST30’s specifically). Now if they can only get rid of the bezel.

    UPDATE: Well first day and already its gone bad. I got the vertical black bar that covers about an eighth of the screen about 3/4 of the way on the right side. In researching similar problems it might indicate the Plasma Display Panel (PDP) was defective. It appears I have a vertical block that is bad. Retailer is getting me another one tomorrow.

    UPDATE: Ok new TV working well. On the standard picture setting its really too dark. So I increased the brightness by changing to game or cinema. I’ve been watching 2d movies with the 2d to 3d conversion with good results. I just watched my first real 3D movie “Tangled”. I have seen the 2D version of this movie about 5 times but watching it in 3D is like seeing it for the first time. WOW! I’ll never be able to watch it in 2D again. The details are amazing. You notice every blade of grass, every leaf on the trees, every strand of hair on people, all sorts of things I’ve never noticed before like birds flying in the fore and background, butterfies and pollen, textures on just about everything! The only negative I see in 3D is when somthing moves fast like a swinging arm. I don’t know if its motion blur or just me not being able to focus fast enough. The picture is brighter and clearer with better 3D than I’ve seen in the theaters. I have a 2009 Samsung 63″ plasma which I still like the 2D bright, clear, sharp picture of over this Panasonic. But for 3D I’m quite satisfied. I also use this set as my main computer monitor. It’s fun to watch online movie content with the 2D to 3D conversion active.

    UPDATE: The way I see it the ST30, GT30, and VT30 are basically good, better, best. The best way for me to describe the picture quality difference is similar to watching a 60hz refresh rate and then watching an 80hz refresh rate. The picture just seems clearer, sharper, and more stable. Now the thing that really suprised me was watching 3D on the ST30’s. It was as good as the VT30. In fact I had a really hard time trying to tell the difference. So is it worth the difference in price? Hmmmm hard question to answer. As you can see even though I have the money for three VT30’s, I opted for one VT30 plus two ST30’s and I’m happy with the results. I tried the apps and they are great but all the ones I like wanted money. I guess I’m not ready to pay for them. As far as the 55″ being big enough to watch 3D, yes, in fact for movies I have to back up a little from my usual four foot distance to a six foot distance to get the whole thing in my fileld of view. I know people out there probably think its insane to sit so close, but I really like to immerse myself in my movies and games and the hd quality of both the VT30 and ST30 allow me to do that.

    UPDATE: 07/26/11 The 63″ Samsung I was mentioning earlier that I liked so much has started to fail after 17 months. A $3600.00 then top of the line set that bragged about how long they were supposed to last. Luckily I read many of the Amazon.com reviews on the Samsung flat screens and bought a two year extended warrenty. I just don’t understand all the failures on the Samsung and Panasonic TV’s. It’s like they have no quality control going on in the factories.

    Update: 08/02/11 The $350.00 repairs on the Samsung 63″ are done and the picture is back to looking amazing. I say wow everytime I see it. I mention this for people who are trying to decide between Panasonic and Samsung. After watching the repairs I could have done it my self for a $40.00 part and 15 minutes of work. It was that easy.

  • Customer Rating Kick-ass TV set., 2011-09-30
    This review is from: Panasonic VIERA TC-P65VT30
    This tv is probably one of the best TV (55 or 65 inch) you can get at the consumer level in 2011. The Sony HX929, and maybe the PNXXD8000 Plasma are up there. I have a problem with the Samsung plasma set sacrificing black levels in order to do 1080p24 properly. 1080p/24 is what these TVs are typically used for so that alone is a deal breaker. The Sharp Elite is not even considered because it is too damn expensive. I can take the money for the Sharp Elite and buy two 65vt30! For those who are on the fence about plasma technology and thinking that LED-LCD are “the way to go.” I’d advise a high-end/midrange plasma set like the GT/VT series over any LED-LCD 240Hz unless you only plan to use the set during the day to watch Oprah and Dr. Phil. If you plan to use your display mainly as watching awesome blu-ray movies – Plasma! Plasma! Local-dimming LEDLCD sets like the Sony HX929 set are very good, but also cost $500-800+ more than an equivalent size high-end plasma set. For home theatre purposes, I’d recommend staying away from edgelit LEDLCDs like Samsungs UNXX7000 or lower model. The light bleed from those sets is horrible for watching movies (unless you only watch Avatar and Disney/Dreamworks cartoons). I guarantee that if you let the wife pick out the TV, 99% of the time she will chose the Samsung LEDLCD over everything else because the color are very “vibrant” on the showroom floor and its very sleek bezel design. Viera Connect/Cast is an average interface. The one big gripe I have is that it still uses the outdated Netflix interface and not the newer one where you can search. Streaming HD shows on Netflix is excellent as long as you have a capable router and not too far away from the source. I just don’t understand why some people have problems unless they got a cheap wifi router or the tv is just too far from the source. I streamed a few HD programs from Netflix and my guests mistakenly thought I was playing it from the Blu-ray player. The quality is very good.Remote – Nothing special, does what it needs for TV viewing and configuring. Not very good for Youtube and any kind of text entry unless you are super good at texting on the number pad. Too bad it wont instantly recognize LOL and LMFAO.Picture Quality – Amazing. The best part is that out of the box, the THX mode provides very good starting point for color accuracy and gamma. So if you want to save $400 bucks, the THX mode for 3D/2D would suffice. Most enthusiast will recommend proper calibration since this TV is made for calibration. There’s a software built-in that can only be access with proper equipments. A certified ISFccc person will be able to optimally give you a night and day mode.Sound Quality – Average. It definetly sound better than the Samsung TV sets, but nothing that will rival even a HTIB setup.EDIT: A few weeks with this TV and I have to say: BEST TV for the money. You could make the argument that the GT series is a better value, but the PQ and design of this TV is worth the upgrade. LED is still relatively new and not ready for prime time. I am so glad that I exchanged the Samsung UN55D8000 for this.

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