- High dynamic range compatible
- Freeview play
- Great image quality with 4k display
- No scart connector
- Limited viewing angle
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Full Review – Panasonic TX-40DX700B
I am fortunate enough to have tested the TX-40D600B just a few weeks ago so it gives me a great benchmark for what to expect from the extra features in this 700 series panasonic. The D in the serial number denotes that this is also a 2016 model, so it contains the latest in Panasonic’s post image processing technology. To begin let’s discuss what this model buys you over cheaper alternatives. The stand out feature is the HDR panel. HDR or high dynamic range compatible means that the TV can read a 10 bit signal and provide a brighter/darker image. The end result is the use of a much larger colour palette and a higher contrast ratio to improve the picture quality. Other upgrades include a backlit LED panel instead of edge LED so local dimming can be used over adaptive backlight dimming to prove deeper blacks. Finally the artificial backlight motion rate is 1400Hz compared to 800 in the model below to improve motion blur further.
Differences aside, how does that translate to real world performance? I decided to go all out with the initial test. I had the device hooked up to my home network and used the Netflix quick launch button on the remote to test out some 4k high dynamic range content. Netflix have been rolling out 4k HDR content throughout 2016 and “Marco Polo” was my test show. I may not be a fan of the show but I’m certainly a big fan of the picture! There are plenty of scenes in the dark of night with fires blazing. You can see the difference with local dimming and higher contrast proving a very realistic picture. Blacks are very deep with no backlight showing through and the clarity of the greys meant I could see detail where there would usually just be a flat, one tone colour. The added benefit of the bright panel is the added contrast when two light objects align such as a white building in front of a cloud in the sky. The colours a vivid and the image sharp making differentiation of where one texture ends and another begins crystal clear.
It would be nice to watch everything in 4k HDR but the reality is that whilst this TV is helping future proof your home, you need it to perform for standard and high def content as well. The next test was freeview HD. I watched the BBC HD channels and also used freeview play to watch Top Gear on demand. Overall I would say it’s another big win for Panasonic. The picture is bright, sharp and full natural looking colours. For the price, this TV really does deliver on image quality. Even though the panel has a native 50Hz, the 1400Hz backlight motion rate keeps fast panning shots and sports looking smooth without any significant motion blur. Artificial frames are not perfect but the technology works well.
As for gaming there is a game mode to remove the post image processing. This will leave you with an input delay of around 39ms so the TX-40DX700B’s more than adequate for your Xbox One or PS4. The viewing angle is a bit of a letdown with colours and contrast changing the further you move from centre.
The Panasonic TX-40DX700B utilises two speakers with a combined 20W of power. They produce a reasonable sound from the thin panel but seriously lack in any sort of bass as do all LED TV’s. For your casual living room TV the speakers are more than adequate producing a clear, undistorted sound. If you want real immersion alongside your 4k image I would highly advise picking up an external sound system. Only downside is that the Panasonic does not have built in bluetooth so you will need to use the digital audio output.
Once on the network you can harness the power of the Mozilla operating system. This gives you access to a wide variety of apps as well as the app store for additional downloads. The TV comes with an electronic program guide as well as freeview play. This is the replacement for Freetime and allows you to scroll back up to 7 days and watch selected programs on demand. Finally you have all the on demand TV you could ask for including Iplayer, ITV Hub 4OD, Demand 5, Netflix and Amazon Instant Video.
The TX-40DX700B can also make use of the viera remote app. This allows you to use another device, such as smartphone or tablet, to control the TV. You can also use Panasonic’s slide and share features to playback music, pictures and video on the TV directly from your device.
Out of the box the TV is easy to setup. The legs slot into the bottom of the panel then need screwing into place. Once powered the auto setup will get you sorted with freeview channels and the home network connection. The remote is simple with medium to large buttons and an added bonus Netflix quick launch button.
The apps and smart features are very easy to navigate with the quad core processor making sure input delay from the remote is minimal and the system doesn’t have long load times. If you have used any smart TV functions before then the Mozilla OS won’t present any challenges. It’s clear circular app design makes it very easy for even the least tech savvy amongst us to navigate.
This 2016 Panasonic is loaded with extra features. You get the latest in post image processing from a quad core processor to give the best image quality possible as well as a HDR compatible panel to future proof your living room. There’s also a whole host of smart features including freeview play hosted by the Mozilla operating system. Finally you get your standard modern day TV functionality such as USB playback and HDD recording. Only feature that you don’t get is the freesat tuner however that’s usually limited to the highest end TV’s on the market.
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