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Panasonic TH-58PZ700U Plasma HDTV Print E-mail
Wednesday, 19 March 2008
ImageThe Basics:
The 700U Series is a step down from Panasonic’s top 2007 line, the 750U Series, so these TVs offer fewer features, but cost less money. Unlike the similar 750U model, this 58-inch, 1080p model lacks the Pro Setting and Studio Reference mode. It has one less HDMI input than the 750U and does not offer a split-screen viewing option.
Like many new Panasonic models, this TV sports an SD card slot through which you can display photos and view AVCHD video; it’s also compatible with the GalleryPlayer system that lets you display professional photographs and works of art. The TH-58PZ700U has two HDMI inputs that accept 1080p/60 (but not 1080p/24).

Aspect-ratio options include the ability to display 1080i/1080p images with no overscan. The anti-reflective screen helps cut down on light reflections off the plasma glass, but there are no features to help prevent or counteract short-term image retention.

The Upside:
The TH-58PZ700U’s performance is similar to that of the well-received 750U models. It can produce deep blacks and solid light output for a good overall contrast ratio, and it offers an excellent level of detail and rich colors, with little digital noise. It does not suffer from motion blur or viewing angle limitations.

The Downside:
The TV does not accept 1080p/24 signals, and its film processing is only average.  The sound quality of the tiny speakers is sub-par. The anti-reflective screen somewhat reduces light reflections, but this TV still isn’t the best choice for a very bright, sunlit room.

The 700U Series offers much of the same performance benefits as the higher-end 750U Series, at a lower price. For a flat panel of this size, the TH-58PZ700U is one of the better-performing yet well-priced options you will find.

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