Though some come close, no flat-panel HDTV -- ever -- produces deeper blacks than the Panasonic Viera TC-PZT60. Color performance is equally breathtaking, and the TV does a good job of holding on to its class-leading picture quality in even moderately bright rooms. Other sets have more features, but the essentials are here and work well. It's the most expensive plasma TV available this year, but experts say it's worth it for those who won't settle for anything but the very best. Models in the series are the 60-inch Panasonic Viera TC-P60ZT60 (Est. $3,000) and the 65-inch Panasonic Viera TC-P65ZT60 (Est. $3,800).
Kuro killer? Yes, experts say; the black levels produced by the Panasonic TC-PZT60 are at least as good as those seen on Pioneer's legendary plasma TV of days gone by, and some say they are better. The color performance of this THX-certified set is equally exemplary. Like those of most plasma TVs, viewing angles and screen uniformity are first rate, especially when compared to even high-end LED TVs. Screen uniformity and off-angle viewing are outstanding, though that can be said of most plasma TVs. The TC-PZT60 is also an excellent performer in well-lit rooms, though the competing Samsung PNF8500 is better still in such settings thanks to its incredible brightness for a plasma set.
Everything you need. Compared to Samsung's Flagship PNF8500, the Panasonic TC-PZT60 seems to be nearly devoid of features, but it's not. The Internet streaming platform, called Viera Connect, is robust and easy to use. One nice touch is that users can create custom home screens that focus on the content that they are more interested in. Multiple users can be accommodated by the set. One negative is that the interface is designed to push banner advertising by default, though you can disable that. Active shutter 3D is also on board, and two pairs of glasses are included. A built-in camera for Skype and facial recognition (so users can be automatically be signed into their accounts and access their custom home page) is included in the step-down TC-PVT60, but is an extra-cost item with this plasma TV.
Just another pretty face. Panasonic didn't spend much of its development money on breaking new ground as far as the look of this flagship model. Experts say that it looks the same as the Panasonic TC-PVT60 series, and that's not necessarily a bad thing. The cabinet is edged with silver trim, and the V-shaped support arm is a little different looking (though CNET's David Katzmaier calls it "garish"). Two remotes are included: a standard clicker and a minimalist touchpad affair with voice-recognition technology and Bluetooth, so line of sight is not an absolute must. Connectivity is adequate but not exceptional, with just three HDMI inputs. Panasonic is one of the few TV makers to mount an SD card slot on their sets (there are also three USB ports).
A premium plasma TV at a premium price. Jerry Del Colliano at HomeTheaterReview.com calls the Panasonic TC-PZT60 a set for "extremists": those who demand only the very best and are willing to pay for it. Some critics say that the TC-PZT60 is the best TV in all settings. Others say that the step-down Panasonic TC-PVT60 is every bit as good except in rooms with bright lighting, but costs a little less; available sets include the 55-inch Panasonic Viera TC-P55VT60 (Est. $2,000), 60-inch Panasonic Viera TC-P60VT60 (Est. $2,300) and 65-inch Panasonic Viera TC-P65VT60 (Est. $2,300). Other plasma TVs, such as the Panasonic TC-PST60, can deliver pictures that are only a little bit behind but sell for substantially less. Still, if only the very best picture quality will do, the Panasonic TC-PZT60 needs to be at the top of your shopping list.
"Panasonic's TC-PZT60 is now the best-performing TV we've ever tested," says CNET's David Katzmaier. He does note that some competing sets at least come close, but cost less, making the TC-PZT60 only a value to those who must have the very best.
Review: Panasonic TC-PZT60 Review: Closer than Ever to Perfect Picture Quality, David Katzmaier, May 20, 2013
2. Reviewed.com Televisions
The Panasonic Viera TC-P65ZT60 earns Editors' Choice honors here, and a largely glowing review. Picture quality is described as simply the best available.
Review: Panasonic Viera TC-P65ZT60 Plasma TV Review, Lee Neikirk, June 21, 2013
3. Sound & Vision Magazine
The Panasonic TC-P65ZT60 is a Top Pick award winner here. "Four years after the Pioneer Kuro plasma exited the market, Panasonic has finally, in its ZT60 series, created an HDTV that is essentially its equal in all key areas of image quality," Norton writes.
Review: Panasonic TC-P65ZT60 3D Plasma HDTV, Tom Norton, Sept. 4, 2013
Del Colliano writes that "Right now, even with Ultra HD arriving on the market, the Panasonic TC-P65ZT60 is the best HDTV that money can buy." Picture quality is described as a "show-stopper," even right out of the box.
Review: Panasonic TC-P65ZT60 Plasma HDTV Reviewed, Jerry Del Colliano, Aug. 19, 2013
Add Merson to the roster of veteran TV reviewers who are simply blown away by the picture quality of the Panasonic TC-P65ZT60. "The word that sums up the TC-P65ZT60 picture quality is extraordinary," he writes. "It is the best display we have tested to date."
Review: Panasonic TC-P65ZT60 HDTV - First Review, Gary Merson, May 16, 2013
The Panasonic Viera TC-P60ZT60 is among the many plasma TVs tested here. Comments are brief, and testing is not as extensively detailed as elsewhere, but sets are rated and ranked, and clear recommendations are made.
Review: Panasonic Viera TC-P60ZT60, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, Not Dated
BestBuy.com is home to the most user feedback on these sets, particularly the 65-inch TC-P65ZT60. Satisfaction is high, as evidenced by the plasma TV's 4.6-star rating, but not every owner is completely pleased; in particular, a handful complain about excessive fan noise. The vast majority do award the set a 5-star rating, however.
Review: Panasonic - Viera - 65" Class (64-3/4" Diag.) - Plasma - 1080p, Contributors to BestBuy.com, As of October 2013
Fewer owners have left reviews here than at BestBuy.com (less than 20 at the time of our last visit), but satisfaction is uniformly high. Not one review is less than a perfect 5 stars to date. Words like "spectacular," "incredible," "impressive," and "beautiful" can be found throughout.
Review: Panasonic Viera TC-P60ZT60 60-Inch 600 Hz 1080p 3D Smart Plasma TV, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of October 2013