In addition to being Panasonic's first line of 3D plasma TVs, the VT25 Series is loaded with company's top-shelf features and performance technologies (the nearly identical VT20 Series is sold exclusively through Best Buy). The Series includes screen sizes of 65, 58, 54 and 50 inches. We have not performed a hands-on review of the TC-P54VT25, but here is an overview of the TV's features. This 54-inch, 1080p plasmarequires the use of active-shutter 3D glasses to view 3D content; one pair of glasses is included in the package (additional pairs cost $150 each). The sync transmitter that allows the glasses to sync with the TV is integrated into the TC-P54VT25's front panel. This TV doesn't support 2D-to-3D conversion, a feature that is available on other 3D-capable models.
The TC-P54VT25 also features THX certification, 600Hz Sub-Field Drive to improve motion resolution, and Panasonic's Infinite Black Panel that's designed to reduce ambient-light reflections and improve black-level performance. You can add the TC-P54VT25 to your home network via wired Ethernet or an optional WiFi adapter, and it offers access to the VIERA CAST Web platform, which includes Amazon and Netflix VOD, Skype, Pandora, YouTube and more. This model does not support DLNA streaming from a networked server. The TC-P54VT25 has a fairly straightforward aesthetic, with a glossy black frame and rounded, swiveling base. It is EnergyStar 4.0¬-certified.
The connection panel includes four HDMI inputs and two component video inputs, as well as one PC input and one RF input to access the internal ATSC and Clear-QAM tuners. The HDMI inputs accept both 1080p/60 and 1080p/24 signals, and one HDMI input is located on the side panel for easy access. Also on the side panel are dual USB ports that support a WiFi adapter, USB keyboard and/or Skype camera, as well as media playback. There's also an SD card slot through which you can view digital photos and MPEG-2/AVCHD video. The Ethernet port is located on the rear panel, as is an RS-232 port for integration into an advanced control system.
The TC-P54VT25 includes a thorough assortment of picture adjustments. You get five picture modes for 2D content and five for 3D content; the 2D options include the all-important THX picture mode, while the 3D options offer a Cinema mode instead. The basic video setup menu includes five color-temperature presets, multiple noise-reduction settings, blur reduction that enables the 600Hz Sub-Field Drive, and a C.A.T.S. feature that automatically adjusts the picture based on ambient light. The 24p Direct In mode lets you dictate whether to output 24p film content at 48Hz, 60Hz or 96Hz. This model also includes a Pro menu that offers advanced controls like white balance (high/low red and blue only), gamma (six presets), black extension, contour emphasis, panel brightness and hue/saturation controls for the three primary color points. Panasonic has included several features to prevent or counteract the effects of short-term image retention (a common plasma concern), including a pixel orbiter, a scrolling bar, and the option to use gray sidebars instead of black. The TC-P54VT25 has five aspect-ratio options, and you can configure it to display a 1080i/1080p image with no overscan.
A special 3D setup menu allows you enable or disable 3D playback and to make adjustments to the 3D effect: You can adjust the 3D input format (auto, side by side, top/bottom, native), the left/right swap and the diagonal line filter.
The audio setup menu includes bass, treble and balance controls, as well as BBE VIVA HD3D processing, a generic surround mode, and a generic volume leveler. This TV does not offer audio-leveling technology from a company like Dolby or SRS.
Competition and Comparison
Compare the Panasonic TC-P54VT25 with its competition by reading the reviews for the Samsung UN55C7000 3D LED LCD and the Sony KDL-55HX800 3D LED LCD. Learn more about 3D HDTVs by visiting our 3D HDTV section.
Read The High Points, The Low Points and Conclusion on Page 2.