Best TV brands
Panasonic TVs: should you buy one?
By Ben Stockton
Article 4 of 6
Panasonic TVs: everything you need to know
Panasonic is one of the longest-standing television manufacturers and has been at the forefront of TV design for many years. The Japanese firm is often associated with high-quality plasma TVs, but it officially announced an end to plasma TV production in 2015, instead focusing on LED, OLED and 4K televisions.
Best Buy TVs from Panasonic vary from affordable 24-inch sets costing under £300 to top-of-the-range 65-inch models that will set you back more than £2,000. Though Panasonic has had a tough few years in terms of our lab test results, the brand has recently launched a new range of much more impressive models.
Alongside LED televisions, Panasonic makes super-sharp OLED and 4K sets. OLED TVs are expensive but, as with other brands, the prices of 4K sets are falling. Many also now offer support for high dynamic range (HDR) content. This 4K-complementary technology should give brighter whites, darker blacks and more subtlety of colour tone in between, but the number of things to watch remains limited.
Ready to see some great TVs? Find the right model for you with our expert Panasonic TV reviews.
Panasonic smart TV
Panasonic smart TVs run Firefox OS. While once seeming quite dated, Panasonic has refreshed this operating system so it is now much more colourful and interesting.
One feature that has weathered the redesign is the ability to personalise your home page. This means you can place your most used apps in the most prominent positions, so you’re not spending forever navigating through menus to the same apps.
Along with apps, including Twitter and YouTube, the recent addition of Freeview Play has secured the availability of catch-up TV.
Freeview Play on Panasonic TVs
As of 2015, Freeview Play became available on some Panasonic TVs, with LG joining in 2016 as the second major TV manufacturer to host the service. This smart electronic programme guide (EPG) integrates catch-up services, such as BBC iPlayer and the ITV Hub, into the EPG, allowing you to scroll back to seamlessly find and watch programmes you’ve missed over the previous seven days.
Many have found that, after a few years, their smart TVs – be they from Panasonic, Samsung or others – suddenly no longer support catch-up apps. It is hoped that with Freeview handling the availability of catch-up services through the Freeview Play system, it will result in these key services remaining available on these Panasonic smart TVs for longer.
Panasonic TV model numbers explained
Panasonic’s naming conventions aren’t as straightforward as other manufacturers’ are. Using the TX-58DX700B model as an example, let’s take a closer look at how it names its TVs.
The TX is a general Panasonic TV code, possibly specific to Europe, but the important regional code is at the end of the model number – the B shows that this is a UK model. The first number denotes the screen size, so 58 inches in this instance. Next, the DX means this is a 2016 4K TV. Somewhat confusingly, however, Panasonic’s 2015 4K sets were called CX but also CR. If you’re after one a 2016 full HD or HD-ready Panasonic TV, look for a DS instead.
The 700 refers to the series that this TV belongs to. Along with the 600 series, the 700 series are the entry-level 4K TVs, with the 800 and 900 series being the high-end models. Smaller numbers – all the way down to 400 – are the codes for its cheaper sets.