The ISF backing is a result of the huge quantity of calibration tools the 50AX802 supports. This greatly enhances the depth and evenness of black levels. Plus you and other household members can set up your own personalised content home screens via Panasonics My Home Screen system; and rather brilliantly you can access all the main free UK broadcasters catchup TV services via an integrated Freetime 7-day backwards EPG.SEE ALSO: Best 4K TVs Round-upThe other more disturbing issue is that the network connections or, to be more accurate, the 4K chipset inside the 50AX802 cant handle Netflixs 4K streams, despite the TV carrying an in-built HEVC decoder. This might not seem a problem right now when 4K sources are more or less non-existent, but it could become an issue in the future unless you can use the DisplayPort for one of your potential future 4K sources.
Deeper exploration of the Panasonic TX-50AX802s connections, though, uncovers a couple of unexpected limitations. The combination of an unusually heavy panel and an incredibly weighty stand make it almost impossible to move the thing around once youve set it up without dismantling it again. Or at least it looks that way initially For starters there are four HDMIs rather than the three Panasonic generally provides on its more affordable TVs.In pretty much every other way, thankfully, the Panasonic TX-50AX802s specification sheet is bang on the money.
A new Info Bar screen is on hand to pop up and provide some basic life information when ever a sensor in the TV detects youve entered the room. This matters because it indicates that Panasonics 4K TV uses a VA style panel, not an IPS one.35/2. First, only one of the HDMIs number 4 is capable of receiving 4K.
And actually, our experience found that some of them need some quite careful attention to get the best results. It would take too long to go into everything you can tweak on the set, but highlights include fulsome colour and white balance management systems, separate Native/REC. Which means, based on past experiences, that it wont support such a wide viewing angle as IPS panels, but will likely provide a better contrast performance. Especially when rival 4K TVs from Sony and Samsung have no problem parsing Netflixs 4K streams.
Wed also suggest setting the contrast to around its 80 level, to reduce noise without making images lose their punch.When watching 4K or good quality HD, you should also make sure the TVs noise reduction systems are switched off. So much so that at this Januarys Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas it boldly declared it would make LCD TVs this year so good theyd perform at least as well as the brands plasma TVs.Panasonic TX-50AX802: Set UpAs noted in the previous section, the 50AX802 certainly isnt short of picture set up tools.
Particularly promisingly in terms of trying to rival the performance of Panasonics plasma TVs, the Studio Master Colour backlight technology is claimed to help the Panasonic TX-50AX802 reproduce colours more accurately at low saturation and brightness levels something normal LCD TVs find notoriously difficult.Its great, too, to find the Panasonic TX-50AX802 supporting twin Freesat and twin Freeview tuners something that opens up some great smart features such as being able to watch one channel on the TV and another on a portable Smart device. The only potential fly in the ointment is its inability to play Netflix 4K streams.The high-end picture quality story doesnt end there, either.
Admittedly there are only two shows available in 4K on Netflix at the time of writing: Breaking Bad and House of Cards. If its third-party endorsements youre after, the Panasonic TX-50AX802 comes sporting certification by the independent THX quality assurance group, and the endorsement of the Imaging Science Foundation. Second theres the Black Gradation Drive, which as its name suggests applies brightness compensation to low-brightness image elements to deliver enhanced colour gradations and shadow detailing during dark scenes.My Stream, meanwhile, uses an attractive scrolling list of image tiles to aggregate online and tuner content it thinks youll be interested in.
If you could judge quality by weight in the AV world, then the 50AX802 would be the best 50-inch TV ever. But with its native 4K resolution and Studio Master Colour panel technology, its certainly one of the sets well be hoping can live up to those lofty CES claims. But then this represents pretty much all the readily available high profile 4K content there is, so for the Panasonic TX-50AX802 not to handle it is a huge deal.
For starters wed recommend keeping the backlight setting on the Panasonic TX-50AX802 reasonably reined in to somewhere between its 55 and 65 setting.Thankfully its heftiness doesnt stop it from being a very attractive TV indeed.The 50-inch Panasonic TX-50AX802 is a big deal. Its edge LED lighting, for instance, is driven by a sophisticated local dimming system, while its 4K pictures benefit from Panasonics most powerful Hexa 4K video processing engine yet.
One other significant feature to mention is that the Panasonic TX-50AX802 supports the active 3D system with two pairs of 3D glasses included free.Another feature wed strongly recommend you activate is the Letterbox Dimmer, which treats the LED lighting in the areas of the picture associated with the black bars above and below 2. Along with the facility to fine tune gamma around those core presets.Connectivity is excellent.
This issue also undermines the bold claims Panasonic made last year to the effect that its TVs and 4K chipsets are more open to quality 4K sources than their rivals. Two THX presets come with the THX certification, while there are two ISF preset slots an ISF engineer could use to store night and day settings as part of a professional calibration. Also highly significant is the 50AX802s Studio Master Colour technology.This is all very promising indeed, and raises hopes that Panasonics claims to be able to get LCD pictures up there with plasma really might be more than hot marketing air.
As well as continuing to sport cutting edge 4K connectivity and features, it promises a much-improved panel design and picture technology.4:1 aspect ratio presentations separately, so you can leave the bars looking nice and uniformly dark even while the Brilliance Enhancer local dimming system goes about maximising the contrast of the rest of the image.Basically the 50AX802 offers much the same sort of picture flexibility that Panasonics plasma TVs used toWe havent yet covered the 50AX802s smart features and actually were not going to in much depth, as this will be done in an imminent separate feature. 709/SMPTE-C/EBU colour gamut settings, and various gamma presets.
This actually comprises two new innovations to boost picture quality. Yes, its 4K HDMI can handle full 12-bit colour bandwidth, 50/60Hz 4K feeds, but Netflixs streams are available now and only likely to grow in number while 4K sources via HDMI remain essentially non-existent where the UK consumer is concerned. The glossy, ultra well-built black bezel sits cutely atop a slightly forward-angled chrome-finished open rectangle that extends from the bottom edge, and the design of that heavy-duty stand enables the TV to angle back slightly to give you a TV that looks more like a king-sized photo frame than a typical room-dominating big-screen TV.The TX-50AX802 isnt quite the flagship model in Panasonics 2014 range thats not coming until the latter stages of the year.
And it works even if youre abroad. This uses new high colour space LED backlights to deliver an enhanced colour range that should combine a wider palette with more blend and skin tone finesse. To get the most immersive contrast performance, wed recommend using the Adaptive Backlight Control feature on its Mid level, as black levels look unconvincing at any lower setting, while the highest setting tends to reduce shadow detail too much. For as well as claiming a huge 2000Hz-like effect with its native refresh rate/scanning backlight/frame interpolation combo, the 50AX802 carries what Panasonic calls the Studio Master Drive.
Multimedia duties are catered for by three USBs for either recording tuner stuff to USB HDDs or playing back multimedia files of the vast majority of types from USB storage drives; an SD card slot in recognition of how many cameras, camcorders, smart devices and music players now use this type of storage; plus both LAN and integrated Wi-Fi network options for both DLNA streaming and accessing Panasonics online services. Will this end up feeling like a minor annoyance or a full-on deal breakerPanasonic TX-50AX802: Design and FeaturesPanasonic is, it seems, keen to put its plasma past well and truly behind it. The Brilliance Enhancer seemed to give the best results when set to its Minimum level, as its workings became too obvious with the higher settings even though these higher settings did deliver the most punchy images. First theres the Super Chroma Driver, which applies a 3D colour management system to the wide-colour-gamut panel drive.
0 standard. This brilliant innovation lets you stream programming from your TVs tuners or recordings on inserted USB storage devices over the Internet to any smart devices youve registered with the TV. However, we should point out the highlights here, kicking off with TV Anywhere. Theres also a DisplayPort in recognition of the fact that this digital connection supports high-quality 4K playback as well as the new HDMI 2.
That’s because its the first of Panasonics second-generation 4K LCD TVs, following 2013s 65WT600. I guess that is the end of the story.