October 5, 2022


Not together with one outlier, Panasonic plasmas have been uniformly wonderful in our 2012 and 2013 critiques, the most effective in the marketplace, averaging a rating of 8.1. Its LED LCD TVs have been among the many very worst in line with our critiques, averaging a rating of 5.3.

Now we have lastly reviewed the Panasonic LCD outlier. The TC-LE60 is the one non-plasma Panasonic TV in two years to crack a 6 in our critiques, and it does so handily, with a mixture of aggressive pricing and superb image high quality. It is not the equal of the corporate’s like-priced S60 plasma, however it actually trounces that TV in a really shiny room.

Sure, the E60 additionally provides trendy minimalist styling and a strong characteristic set, together with non-fake 120Hz and the total Sensible TV therapy. However this entire midrange LED LCD bundle distinguishes itself with its deep black ranges, excellent bright-room picture and lack of different main image high quality flaws. Merely put, the E60 is among the greatest LED LCD values of the yr.

Sequence data: I carried out a hands-on analysis of the 50-inch Panasonic TC-L50E60, however this evaluate additionally applies to the opposite display screen sizes within the sequence. All sizes have equivalent specs and in line with the producer ought to present very comparable image high quality.

“=”” bgcolor=”#CCCCCC”>Fashions in sequence (particulars)

Design
Are you starting to really feel like all TVs look the identical? Take it from somebody who sees greater than his justifiable share: they’re. Panasonic’s E60, with its ultrathin, glossy-black bezel and black pedestal stand, isn’t any exception.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Sarah Tew/CNET

Put extra charitably, the E60 is kind of engaging in its minimalist simplicity, and can upstage neither the contents of its image nor your room decor. In profile it is thinner than most TVs in its value vary. Seen from the entrance, solely accent is a strip of clear plastic alongside the underside edge that tends to catch no matter’s behind the TV and deform it barely. The stand would not swivel.

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The nonilluminated distant is normal Panasonic fare. I like its logical structure, clear button differentiation, and devoted keys for Netflix and eHelp, a complete onscreen handbook. Apps and House, each a part of the Sensible TV suite, get too-prominent keys, whereas Menu is tiny. Quite a lot of occasions I by accident hit House as an alternative of the Up cursor.

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The TV has two separate menu techniques — one for Sensible TV and the opposite, accessible by way of that little Menu key, for extra mundane TV settings like image and community choices. I assumed the blue Settings icon from throughout the Sensible TV system would take me to the TV’s settings, however as an alternative it took me to a configuration web page for Sensible TV itself. As soon as I discovered them, Panasonic’s 2013 settings menus have been a giant enchancment over final yr’s model, with simpler navigation and sleeker design.

“=”” bgcolor=”#CCCCCC”>Key TV options “=””>Different: Optionally available Skype digicam (TY-CC20W, $130)

Show expertise LCD LED backlight Edge-lit
Display screen end Matte Distant Customary
Sensible TV Sure Web connection Constructed-in Wi-Fi
3D expertise None 3D glasses included N/A
Refresh charge(s) 120Hz Dejudder (clean) processing Sure
DLNA-compliant Picture/Music/Video USB Picture/Music/Video

Options
Panasonic’s entry-level Sensible TV, the E60 nonetheless provides the higher-end edge-lit LED backlight, versus the cheaper “direct” model employed by the entry-level strains of many TV makers this yr. The thinner cupboard is the obvious consequence; edge provides no image high quality advantages, and the E60 lacks any type of native dimming.

One other picture-quality perk over typical entry-level fashions is a 120Hz refresh charge. Whereas many TVs in its value vary resort to refresh charge fakery, the E60 appears to legitimately be a 120Hz TV; see the Image High quality part for extra.

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In contrast to the dearer ET60 sequence, the E60 is lacking 3D compatibility. On the off likelihood you care.

The E60 lacks the extent of smartphone/pill communication synergy– equivalent to display screen mirroring and NFC — seen on some rivals, however Panasonic’s Viera Distant 2 app nonetheless permits capabilities like fundamental management and “swipe and share” to show photographs and movies, and play music, by way of the TV (the app’s distinctive superior calibration capabilities are reserved for the VT60 and ZT60 plasmas in addition to the WT60 and DT60 LCDs).

I used to be extra profitable with the app this time round — Panasonic has up to date it a number of occasions since my ST60 evaluate printed — however it was nonetheless unimpressive. The controls that duplicate what the usual distant can do have been often unresponsive, particularly cursor navigation, in order that they’re actually solely helpful in the event you misplace the principle distant. Swipe and share labored, to an extent, however delays have been fairly widespread and annoying, whether or not between slides on the photograph slideshow or ready for the app to attempt coping with lengthy lists of photographs and music. I additionally discovered the “swipe” motion extra awkward and unreliable than merely, you realize, hitting a devoted button. The movies I attempted, sourced from my Word 2‘s HD camcorder, suffered stutter and dropout in each video and audio. The app additionally crashed a pair occasions in my transient check, its built-in browser (ostensibly out there so you possibly can swipe pages to the TV too) 404’d even when my Chrome app labored advantageous, and the keyboard performance did not work in Netflix for searches.

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Sensible TV: I will get to the brand new Sensible options in a minute, however first let me describe a few dumb additions. Whenever you first energy on the set you are greeted not by no matter supply you final selected — sometimes your cable field — however as an alternative by the house web page for the Sensible TV suite. Panasonic tells us this can be a aware design determination, meant to make customers extra conscious of the existence of the Sensible options and encourage their use. I think about it an annoying intrusion.

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As well as, Panasonic remains to be the one good TV maker dumb sufficient to point out an precise banner commercial (above) while you first activate the TV. The banner’s presence, which lasts about 5 seconds and seems while you first energy up the TV in addition to while you alter quantity, is enabled by default.

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After you’ve got dedumbed it by disabling these defaults, Panasonic’s new interface is usually good — though I like LG’s and Samsung’s higher. There are a number of “pages” out there, and all present the presently taking part in enter in an inset window together with a grid of apps. You may place any app wherever you need on the grid, a welcome change from interfaces like Samsung’s that supply solely partial customization. Panasonic ups the customized ante additional by providing three totally different templates for brand spanking new pages you possibly can create, customized backgrounds (together with your personal photos), and the flexibility to call pages — for instance, every member of a very tech-savvy household might arrange his or her personal web page.

Sarah Tew/CNET

There’s additionally some unhealthy. For somebody used to swiping left or proper on a smartphone to entry totally different pages of apps, Panasonic’s technique is not intuitive; it’s important to press the House key once more to modify between pages, somewhat than merely navigating amongst them straight. And it is doubtlessly complicated that one web page is definitely the “Full-Display screen TV” web page, and that hitting Exit from one other web page would not take you there (it’s important to actively choose the window). Conversely, hitting the “Return” key from inside an app typically exits it fully, versus navigating up a degree. I used to be additionally irritated that you could’t delete or change the default Information and Way of life pages, though you possibly can rename them.

Navigation was comparatively snappy on the pages themselves, however slowed down contained in the Viera Join market and plenty of apps.

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All the apps from 2012 are nonetheless out there, and it is a very wholesome choice. Not a lot worthwhile has been added this yr, nonetheless. Hit the apps key and you will be taken to a web page with a bunch of thumbnails exhibiting preinstalled apps, equivalent to YouTube and Netflix and a product help app, in addition to a number of customized utilities like a calendar, a memo app, and an occasion timer. It will be good if they might faucet into widespread cloud apps like Google Calendar or Evernote, however no cube. It goes with out saying that typing a be aware utilizing the distant and digital keyboard is hardly well worth the effort.

Non-preinstalled apps will be accessed from the Viera Join market, the place probably the most helpful names embrace Vudu, Pandora, TuneIn, Rhapsody, a free classical music portal, and full episodes and a House Purchasing Community app. You will must create a Viera Join account to put in them, sadly. The remainder of the apps are a lot much less helpful. They embrace a smattering of youngsters’ apps, and the requisite crappy video games.

And sure, there is a Net browser, however as traditional it is horrible in contrast with a cellphone or particularly with a laptop computer browser. Navigation was sluggish and fairly irritating with the distant’s cursor keys, particularly with the shortage of autofill. Scrolling was unresponsive and in contrast to with Samsung or LG, the browser failed this flash check. It’s best to use it solely when no different recourse is on the market. If you end up wanting to make use of the browser a lot, it is most likely price having your head examined attaching a USB keyboard with an built-in contact pad or trackball.

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Image settings: Panasonic is slowly approaching the degrees of adjustability discovered on different high-end TVs. New for 2013, it has migrated a few of the superior image controls right down to fashions just like the E60. These embrace a 10-point grayscale and 10-point gamma system in addition to shade administration for the first colours. The corporate has additionally added one other image mode, “House Theater,” atop its normal 4, and a cool “copy changes” possibility that permits you to migrate your image settings from one enter or mode to others.

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Different controls embrace three ranges of dejudder, aka cleaning soap opera impact, an and unecessarily complicated Eco adjustment suite that I nonetheless kinda love.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Connectivity: Three HDMI ports, an analog video enter that may deal with both composite or element connections, and a pair of USB ports are normal for this degree of TV. The SD card slot is a pleasant — and unusual — addition, nonetheless. In case you are counting, not one of the HDMI ports is MHL-compatible, though one can deal with ARC.

Image high quality
The E60 is among the many best-performing LED LCDs we have examined this yr for the value. It delivers deep black ranges for an LED LCD with out the problems related to imprecise native dimming. Colour and video processing are additionally strong, if not spectacular, whereas shiny room efficiency and uniformity have been superb. Its worst efficiency facet is definitely its sound high quality.

It is also price noting that regardless that I did not embrace it within the comparability beneath, nor have I subjected it to a full evaluate but, I’ve examined our in-house TC-L55WT60 — Panasonic’s costliest LED LCD for 2013 — sufficient to report that it would not have higher image high quality than the E60. We plan to publish the total WT60 evaluate quickly.

Click on the picture above to see the image settings used within the evaluate and to learn extra about how this TV’s image controls labored throughout calibration.

“=”” bgcolor=”#CCCCCC”>Comparability fashions (particulars)

Black degree: The E60’s greatest power is the flexibility to point out a comparatively deep shade of black. The nighttime scenes from “Skyfall,” such because the Shanghai cityscape or Bond’s arrival on the bar in Macau, appeared extra lifelike and highly effective because of the E60’s black degree. In our lineup the one units that eclipsed on this space, other than the S60 plasma, have been the 2 Vizios — and each of these have native dimming circuits that introduce specific amount of blooming and crushing (see their critiques for particulars).

The skyline at 41:32 is a mixture of darkish sky and shadows amongst in any other case brightly illuminated towers, and the E60 dealt with it very nicely, exhibiting darker letterbox bars than every other units other than the S60 and the Vizio E sequence. The highlights additionally appeared brighter than on the M sequence with its aggressive dimming. Particulars within the shadows, just like the faces of Bond and his silhouetted goal within the high-rise stalking scene (Chapter 12), have been well-detailed with out being too shiny.

Colour accuracy: The E60’s correct measurements translated onto the display screen very nicely. Pores and skin tones, just like the face of Bond and his antagonist as they meet in Chapter 17, appeared pure and lifelike, with out the marginally ruddy tinge of the Vizio E or the greenish/yellowish solid of the Sharp and particularly the Panasonic S60.

Alternatively, subjectively talking the E60’s saturation appeared considerably much less wealthy than many of the others, notably the S60, the Samsung and the Vizio M, in brightly coloured areas just like the fruit stands within the opening chapter. It is not an enormous difficulty, nonetheless, and could be robust to note exterior a side-by-side comparability

One other weak spot was the E60’s tendency to go bluish in darkish areas, an issue shared by many LED LCDs however worse than traditional within the E60’s case. It even prolonged into considerably brighter areas, just like the background of the wall behind the villain at 1:16:02.

Video processing: The E60 delivered the efficiency I count on from a 120Hz tv. In contrast with many different so-called 120Hz TVs that roughly cheat on the refresh charge recreation, just like the Vizio E sequence and the LG LA6200, that is a refreshing change.

Panasonic’s Movement Image setting controls the smoothing Cleaning soap Opera Impact. Leaving it off is the one method to protect the right cadence of 1080p/24 movie sources, so we count on most video and movie buffs will just do that.

The opposite three settings, Weak, Mid, and Sturdy, introduce progressively extra smoothing. Weak is extra aggressive than I’ve seen in some Panasonics, so the smoothing it introduces remains to be fairly noticeable. The opposite two additionally confirmed haloing and breakup artifacts, though these points aren’t as seen as on the LG, for instance.

There’s little purpose to make use of Weak anyway as a result of not like the opposite two, it fails to enhance the E60’s movement decision numbers. Mid and Sturdy scored the 600-off strains anticipated of a 120Hz TV, whereas Off and Weak minimize these roughly in half–although between the 2, Weak fared a bit higher. As traditional I discovered it robust to discern blurring in precise program materials, even once I left the setting off. In contrast to Samsung, Panasonic provides no setting that preserves movement decision with out introducing smoothing.

Uniformity: The E60 carried out extraordinarily nicely on this space for a edge-lit LED LCD. Sure, on check patterns the perimeters and corners appeared simply oh-so-slightly brighter than the center, however on program materials the backlight irregularities have been next-to-impossible to discern.

From off-angle the E60 was about common amongst its LCD friends, washing out darkish areas worse than the Sharp or the E sequence and about as a lot because the Samsung, however outdoing the M sequence and the LG. In brighter scenes the latter two maintained shade constancy higher, nonetheless; the E60 tended to extra shortly turn into bluish/reddish from off-angle.

Vivid lighting: The E60 excels underneath the lights. Its matte display screen attenuates reflections higher than any of the opposite units other than the Sharp (the most effective by a nostril) and the Vizio E sequence, each of which even have a matte end. Vivid objects mirrored therein, like my checked shirt underneath overhead lights, appeared duller and fewer distracting.

The E60 additionally delivered on a second bright-room attribute, the flexibility to protect black ranges from washing out. Consequently the picture maintained good “pop” and distinction, outdoing laggards just like the LG and the S60 on this space whereas conserving tempo with the others other than the group-leading Samsung.

Sound high quality: For those who worth sound high quality in a TV, skip the E60. Its audio was the worst in our lineup, shedding to the also-awful LA6200 by a wheezing nostril. Listening to “Purple Proper Hand,” Nick Cave’s voice light into obscurity whereas the devices — full-sounding on the 6400 and the S60 by comparability — jogged my memory of a cellular phone fallen down a nicely: skinny, distant, and muddled collectively. The explosions, shattering glass, and panicky horns from the bridge scene in “Mission: Unattainable 3” have been equally denuded of influence on the E60, rendered lifeless and far much less thrilling than on the higher TVs.