With the TX-50GX800, Panasonic has taken the 4K HDR market by the scruff of the neck and given it a vigorous shake. It ushers in Dolby Imaginative and prescient HDR, as soon as the protect of high-end premium screens, into the mainstream, and doesn’t discriminate towards rival dynamic metadata customary HDR10+ both.
This magnanimous stance makes the GX800 the most well liked 4K ticket within the extremely aggressive mid-range market proper now.
If the 50-inch mannequin reviewed right here is not fairly your type, the GX800 can be accessible in 65- (TX-65GX800), 58- (TX-58GX800) and 40-inch (TX-40GX800) display screen sizes.
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Worth and availability
The Panasonic GX800 begins at £649 for the 40-inch, going as much as £799 for the 50-inch, £889 for the 58-inch, and £1,399 for the 65-inch mannequin. Panasonic doesn’t promote its units in North America, however you’ll be capable to get the GX800 within the UK, Europe and Canada.
Design and options
At first look, the TX-50GX800 appears to be like usually minimalist. Nevertheless nearer inspection reveals it is not fairly as nameless as first thought. The LCD panel sits on prime of, fairly than inside, the encircling bezel, for a classy glass-on-frame look. Because the set is edge-lit, it’s wondrously skinny too.
It additionally adopts a handy centre stand, so you will not must spend money on additional large AV furnishings to accommodate it. Huzzah!
Trendy cosmetics do not prolong so far as the distant management although, which stays congested and intimidating. It does sport devoted Netflix and Freeview Play buttons although.
Connections are additionally restricted to 3 HDMIs, plus two USB ports, digital optical audio out, element AV and Ethernet. The tuner within the UK model of the set is Freeview Play, however there is not any satellite tv for pc possibility. Wi-fi assist contains Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
Design TL;DR: Elegant design and smart central pedestal ought to go down nicely with conservative fashionistas. Bluetooth connectivity helps headphone pairing (which is good), however you solely get three HDMI inputs (which is not).
Good TV (My Residence Display)
Panasonic continues to refine its personal sensible platform, fairly than be a part of the Android TV crowd, and it’s clearly paid off right here. Now as much as V.4, Panasonic’s My Residence Display (aka ‘Residence’) sensible TV platform is mild, breezy to make use of, and arguably probably the most approachable linked platform accessible.
The set helps each Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa sensible integration too – nothing life-changing, however you may shout at your sensible speaker to show the TV on, if the temper strikes you.
The Residence platform launches with a trio of buttons, ‘Units’, ‘Apps’ and ‘Reside TV,’ which quick monitor as anticipated. However the true enjoyable begins if you customise the consumer interface. You may add your personal quick cuts for streaming companies in addition to linked units; Should you fancy Netflix entrance and centre, simply pin it to the homepage.
The Machine button lists domestically linked sources, like set prime TV containers, Blu-ray participant or video games consoles, nevertheless it additionally recognises networked NAS units with media servers. Our Twonky and Plex media servers have been immediately listed and their content material playable. File assist is sweet too: we had no downside unspooling our MKV information by the set.
The set has a wide array of key streaming companies on board, akin to Netflix, Rakuten.television, YouTube and Amazon Prime Video, in addition to some lesser identified streaming points of interest. The Freeview Play specification mandates a full choice of catch-up TV gamers, plus UKTV Play, CBS Catchup and Horror Bites.
The inclusion of a two-way Bluetooth Audio hyperlink means that you can stream Bluetooth audio to the TV as nicely, as pair wi-fi headphones for personal listening.
Good TV TL;DR: Panasonic has resisted the temptation to overcomplicate its sensible TV platform, providing a strong but intuitive different to rivals. Freeview Play with catch-up plus all standard streaming companies, ought to fulfill the binge brigade.
Whereas the GX800 is not precisely a light-weight cannon, its crisp, lush hues make for a massively partaking image. With assist from Native Dimming expertise and the well-established advantages of Panasonic’s VA panel, the distinction can be nicely above common – whereas readability is enhanced by the model’s extremely regarded HCX picture processor.
The panel appears to be like terrific with HD/SDR sources. With a comparatively excessive Common Image degree, it makes all varieties of content material look spectacular, from fast-paced sports activities to large funds TV reveals.
That mentioned, your chosen picture preset can have a major affect on the picture.
With SDR fare, the choices comprise Dynamic, Regular, Cinema, True Cinema, Customized and Sport. The set is a successful selection for players, too: enter lag measures simply 10.2ms in a devoted Recreation mode.
For Daylight viewing, we discovered the Cinema mode simply too tonally flat for a satisfying viewing expertise. The Regular mode was our most popular possibility.
In Regular mode the backlight default is 50, with Distinction at 100 and Sharpness at 50. Choose Cinema and the backlight drops to 40, with Distinction at 90 and sharpness 30. In a darker setting, the True Cinema wins out.
We have been cautious of the GX800’s movement dealing with moving into, because it’s by no means been a powerful level for Panasonic. The TV maker’s Clever Body Creation (IFC) processing has all the time appeared considerably heavy handed, however right here there are clear indicators of enchancment.
For studio content material and sports activities, the Min setting works nicely. Movement artefacts are extra noticeable on Mid and Max, though horizontal pans change into buttery easy. With 24Hz films, we’d advise IFC to be turned off. This removes any movement artefacts and the display screen reveals solely delicate panning judder – largely an appropriate compromise.
IFC is obtainable in Min, Mid and Max settings or might be switched off solely.
HD/SDR Efficiency TL;DR: A successful selection for players, with improved movement dealing with, low enter lag, and a really crisp image.
The GX800 comes into its personal with 4K HDR. The availability of HDR10, HLG (broadcast HDR), HDR10+ and Dolby Imaginative and prescient make this a formidable proposition for disc collectors and streamers alike.
Whereas Dolby Imaginative and prescient stays a lot wanted up the value scale, it’s really an actual profit on a mid-brightness display screen like this, the place variable dynamic tone mapping permits the display screen to extra precisely mirror the intent of the creator. In contrast to static HDR, a dynamic HDR strategy permits the TV to handle excessive brightness and shadow element on a scene by scene foundation.
There are caveats to the GX800’s HDR efficiency although, as its potential to ship vivid highlights is tied to these picture presets.
We measured its HDR peak brightness at simply over 500 cd/m2 (aka nits), which is undoubtedly spectacular for a mid-range TV. Nevertheless, this HDR peak is just achievable utilizing the Dynamic preset. Should you’re watching in Regular or a Cinema mode, there’s much less excessive brightness punch accessible – we measured round 400 nits.
To be trustworthy, the true world distinction shouldn’t be that obvious when watching stay content material. The image stability is so nicely judged that pursuing peak brightness above all else appears virtually pointless.
A spin by Despicable Me 2 (4K UHD Blu-ray) provides very good color pop and finesse. The disc doesn’t showcase of the perfect of HDR, besides the availability of Dolby Imaginative and prescient might be seen to exert a giant affect over the presentation.
When Gru first emerges from the shadows (one thing he does quite a bit), you’ll consider there’s vivid daylight enjoying throughout his options. The disc appears to be like lush with out oversaturation, whereas reds are reassuringly deep.
After all, there are limitations to the GX800’s efficiency. There’s an inevitable greyness to letterbox film bars, though display screen uniformity is definitely fairly good (definitely on our 50-inch pattern).
Efficiency TL;DR: Superior picture processing makes for detailed, lush cinematic photographs. Whereas the set appears to be like nice with HD/SDR, Dolby Imaginative and prescient and HDR10+ additional optimise its HDR efficiency.
In the case of built-in sound, the TV does what it wants too, however little extra. Rated at 10 watts, it has sufficient quantity and weight for on a regular basis viewing.
Crucially, although, it’s additionally appropriate with Dolby Atmos – there’s solely a lot of a lift you may get on the set’s built-in audio system, although in case you join your TV to an exterior Dolby Atmos sound system, you will get immersive audio from sources akin to Netflix and Amazon.
Different screens to think about
The Panasonic GX800 might have pack in some severe specs for the value, however there’s no scarcity of selection within the mid-range 4K TV enviornment. Hisense can be providing Dolby Imaginative and prescient and Dolby Atmos on its 2019 U7B 4K LED LCD fashions, accessible in 50-, 55- and 65-inch display screen sizes, whereas this yr’s crop of Sony TVs counters with the KD-49XG8096.
The latter boasts the model’s excessive regarded 4K X-Actuality Professional upscaling, however lacks Dolby Imaginative and prescient HDR assist. Neither at present match this precocious Panasonic on what number of HDR codecs it helps.
Panasonic’s slick wanting TX-50GX800 ticks all of the containers with regards to HDR assist, making it a tough proposition to disregard in order for you a 4K set that received’t depart you feeling disregarded when competing requirements divide your streaming TV favourites.
The appliance of dynamic metadata makes a giant distinction on an HDR set like this. Extra exact tone mapping permits photographs to look deal extra premium than you would possibly count on. Bear in mind although, you’ll must view in Dynamic mode for the brightest specular highlights.
General, the inclusion of Dolby Atmos, plus a neat sensible portal and wonderful vary of built-in streaming companies, makes this an excellent purchase for movie followers.