Your New TV – Panasonic ZT (2013 series)

Off the bat let me explain something about TV choices from a movie watching perspective. Ignore all the marketing that tries to trick you into thinking LED is the best option. They may be slimmer, lighter and often more stylish, but that counts for nothing once you stick it on the wall/on a stand and load up your latest Blu-Ray.

If any film director worth his or her salt were to be standing next to you in the shop they would tell you that Plasma is the choice worth making every time. For any of you that follow Brad Bird on Twitter you will already be aware of his strong opinion on the subject. After all, films aren’t about eye popping “dynamic” colour and frame smoothing. They are about displaying the correct colour palette with particular attention to strong blacks and an accurate representation of the image committed to film in the first place.

So just to be clear: If films are your passion get plasma.

Now we can move on. Panasonic have, for a long time now, been top of the Plasma pile. Year on year they manage to cram features and function into ever more stylish packages. I myself own the 2012 P55VT50B model, which I can attest to being the perfect all rounder.

This new 2013 model manages to further up the game. It’s slimmer, more stylish and houses a redesigned smart TV home screen that is as pleasing to the eye as it is user friendly.

Blacks have never been blacker and the continued affiliation with THX means that right out of the box you can apply THX mode and reap the results of a near perfect calibration for almost any film. It is genuinely incredible to watch a film like The Dark Knight, even on a bright day and still be able to pick out shadowy detail in the far corners of the frame. But then throw on a disc like Spielberg’s The Color Purple and you can really see what it has to offer. The colours are sumptuous but never showy. It never feels fake or over saturated. Instead the image is handled deftly to create a  level of immersion such as has rarely been found on a home system.

Of course with any television you are unlikely to be able to compete with the majesty of a full HD and fully wallet crippling projector set-up. But for those of us with a living room that seems full with just a couple of sofas and a coffee table you can’t do much better than a TV like this to create a home cinema experience that will impress family and friends no end.

There is of course a downside (isn’t there always), which comes in the form of the built in speakers. They are thin, they are a little tinny and they don’t very much enjoy being pushed that hard. I guess that’s Panasonic’s way of telling us “if you’re going to spend over £2000 on a TV you may as well invest in a decent speaker set-up too”. I have to say I agree whole heartedly. The brilliance of this TV’s picture reproduction firmly warrants a decent set of cones to blast through. So do yourself a favour, buy the TV, buy a receiver, buy at least 5 (ideally 7) good quality, high output speakers and stick on Avengers Assemble…’ll thank me later.

Oh and you may wonder why I didn’t mention the 3D functionality – it’s purely that I don’t like 3D so I don’t really feel I should comment. But for those that do enjoy it I can confirm this TV has full 3D capability with a much reduced level of ghosting than its peers.

What are you waiting for? Go blow your load……..

James is a movie obsessive with a particular love for scores and screenplays. He has written for numerous blogs, sites and cinemas and has been involved in several screenwriting projects. He can usually be found in front of a large plasma screen devouring Westerns, 80s pulp, Jimmy Stewart movies or anything by the Coens.

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