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Panasonic Viera TH-65PZ800 review: Panasonic Viera TH-65PZ800

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The Good Superb picture quality for such a huge screen; aggressively priced considering what's on offer; features galore.

The Bad Hardly the prettiest way to fill 65 inches of your room; some of the video processing can be unhelpful.

The Bottom Line The 65-inch Panasonic Viera TH-65PZ800 plasma TV looks nothing short of sensational with hi-def material, making it the perfect option for anyone seeking a cinema-scale experience without the hassles associated with projectors.

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8.8 Overall

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If you want to create a convincing cinema experience at home, you need a big screen, and TVs don't get much bigger -- without getting silly, anyway -- than Panasonic's 65-inch, plasma Viera TH-65PZ800, with 'Full HD' 1080p resolution.

Let's pray this bruiser of a screen has some quality to go with its instantly adorable quantity, and price tag of around £3,800.

The 'PZ800' part of the 65PZ800's name indicates that it belongs to Panasonic's flagship TV series -- so it sports a huge list of connections, including four v1.3 HDMIs and an SD card slot, through which you can play either JPEG stills or AVCHD movies.

The 65PZ800's flagship status also means it boasts 1080p resolution, a stellar contrast ratio of 1,000,000:1, and image-processing technology aplenty.

At the top of this image-processing tree sits Panasonic's V-Real 3 Pro engine, with its emphasis on noise reduction, sharpness, motion and colour toning. Support comes from a 100Hz engine, as well as an Intelligent Frame Creation (IFC) system, which calculates new frames of image data between the 'real' ones in a source, to make motion appear more fluid.

Yet another intriguing trick up the set's sleeve is a Digital Cinema Colour engine, designed to produce a claimed 5,120 steps of gradation and 120 per cent of the conventional HD TV colour standard.

We can't say with absolute precision just how important all of these individual features are. But what we definitely can say, with total confidence, is that the 65PZ800's pictures are sensational.

For starters, they're exceptionally bright by the standards of big-screen plasmas, which traditionally struggle with luminance levels.

Also hugely impressive is how natural the set's colours look. Many other really big plasmas -- including previous 65-inch models from Panasonic -- have tended to suffer with radioactive greens, orangey reds and some pretty alien-looking skin tones. But such problems are hugely reduced by the 65PZ800, as the Digital Cinema Colour system and V-Real processing combine to paint a subtle and natural, but also engagingly vibrant, colour palette that makes everything you watch look completely believable.

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