The VT65 was brighter, more detail, deeper blacks and more distinct colours. The owner of the shop said there was not much difference between the two, and he was right in some ways but I could see the differences quite big.
The difference in performance between the GT50 and VT65 is quite pronounced in my opinion.
Ignoring any issues the two TVs may have, the VT65's picture has noticeably greater depth and detail; and an analogue quality to images I've not seen before on a digital TV.
Just goes to show how well Panasonic are doing with plasmas.
Main AV Setup: Panasonic 50VT65 TV, Pioneer Bdp-lx71, Pioneer Vsx-lx70, B&W FPM Series, B&W PV1, Optimum AV300 AV Stand, QED Silver Anniversary XT Speaker Cable & Chord Silver Plus HDMI Cables. Gadgets: iPad Air & iPhone 5S
If Panasonic could do all of the above with perfect screen uniformity and long term reliability, we'd really be getting somewhere. That said, switching to another manufacturer means tolerating different problems (e.g. floating blacks and mild horizontal banding on the F8500.)
Hardware: Panasonic TX-P50VT65B (calibrated); Cambridge Audio Azur 651BD; Yamaha RX-A810; Teac PD-H600; PS3; B&W 601 & 600LCR (series 3); Q Acoustics QAV (rear)
Furniture and Accessories: BLOK Classix 3000 Oak AV Cabinet; Atacama Nexus 6 (atabite metal filled); 3D3 A1112
What do you think you are going to do?
Dunno. See if things get any better...
If not, I'll start contempalting whether a replacement or alternative model makes the most sense.
Any more thoughts on TV or Blu-ray player?
I have just purchased a 3D HDMI cable! Just getting ready, Blu-ray player will probably be next!
The TV seems to be behaving itself (just about). By which I mean I can't see anything strange on actual content now, though I can notice a very slight cyan tint toward the very left of the screen when displaying a pure white slide, if I look very closely.
I'm not sure with the CA. I'm convinced there's some undefeatable processing going on, even with the 651 set to "Source Direct" (supposedly bypassing all processing). I've noticed a few occasional oddities with motion (as commented in the WHF review). In addition, I can't select "1080p Pure Direct" on the TV with the 651 playing BDs (yet I can when using the PS3, noisy as it is).
As above, the upscaling is variable, too. I'm wondering whether to go Denon, or stick with my 120. I still want to test the 651 further and compare performance more extensively with the Panasonic.
Marantz Marantz Marantz - there are still 7006 on the bay mate!!!
I know you wont have it but you will eventually give in to me and then thank me for being poorer but finally happy with your BD player
Meridian G61R, HD621, G55, Optimised Audio PC - J River / JPlay / Custom Full Linear Power Supply Panasonic 65VT65, Marantz UD7007, HIFi Racks Podium Reference
Monitor Audio GX100, GXC150, Apex A10, BK XLS400 (set with hard knee house curve)
JCAT USB and Sata, Graham Slee Spatia (SC) Graham Slee Lautus Digial / Analogue IC x 9
Knowing strapped, he will want to buy a player with returns option if he doesn't find it worthwhile.
My Home Cinema Pioneer KRP 500A, Yamaha RX-V1900, MA Radius R225HD LCR, R90HD rears, AW12 sub, Panasonic BD60, PS3, Boxee Box, Sky HD, Boxee Box, Logitech Harmony One, Logitech PS3 Adapter, Sonos ZP90
Bedroom Samsung UE32C6510, PS3 slim white, Apple TV, Sonos S5, Sonos ZP90, Audioengine 2, Oppo OPDV971H
Miscellaneous: Synology DS212J + 2 X WD Red 2TB drives, WD 1TB NAS, Sonos ZoneBridge, BT HH3 as modem & AirPort Extreme router
I never give in to anyone!
That's a prerequisite. Extended home audition is the only way to be sure.
Right, figured it out.
The 651's processing and the VT65's processing were interfering with each other and causing occasional artifacts with both BDs and DVDs.
I couldn't figure out why I couldn't engage 1080p Pure Direct on the VT65 when playing content through the 651. As it turns out, I needed to set the HDMI colour space to YCbCr 4:4:4. Once I'd done this I was able to engage 1080p Pure Direct on the VT65 and, like magic, the artifacts vanished and picture quality improved with both BDs and DVDs.
Technically, you should always set the colour space to 4:2:2, as less downsampling is needed; but switching to 4:4:4 had no detrimental effect on colour balance or timing. In fact, image detail and stability improved ever so slightly with BDs, while the difference was more noticeable with the 651 upscaling DVDs to 1080p. During DVD playback, with the 651 upscaling, it's still possible to select 1080p Pure Direct on the TV. I'm now very impressed with the 651's upscaling, which is better than my Panasonic 120. (The 120 was no slouch in terms of upscaling, either.)
The same is true whichever BDP you use (4:4:4 must be selected to allow for 1080p Pure Direct selection on the VT65.) This is a quirk of the TV, rather than anything to do with the BDP. I thought that might be useful for other VT65 owners to know.
Sorry if that got a bit dull and technical. The short version is that I'm now very happy with the 651. I can stick my 120 on Ebay, content that I bought the right replacement at a great price. The 651 is also quieter in operation, better built, and I have a five year warranty, so I'm covered if anything goes wrong. My only remaining gripe is the remote, which still feels a bit cheap and unintuitive for what's technically a £500 BDP.
Just goes to show, a minor setting tweak can make quite a difference. You have to live with tech and experiment to fully appreciate what it can and can't do.
Incidentally, reading this reply back, it could be interpreted quite differently from my intention. My response was tongue-in-cheek, but it could be read as defiant and confrontational. (Hopefully you didn't read it that way!)
HiFi / A/V / Bedroom
Maybe. I'd prefer a cheaper alternative, but then I always do...
Just to add, I'd only need a unversal remote to control four devices: TV; BDP; AVR; CDP.
I can't see this list of kit expanding, so a well built, straightforward remote should do it. I guess the AVR remote is the tricky one to replace. I wouldn't want to lose functionality, or spend minutes messing around to make relatively simple adjustments. Obviously I don't want the remote to look tacky, either, since ditching the cheapish 651BD remote would be the object of the exercise.
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