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Panasonic S60 Plasma TV: Great Picture At A Good Price

Where to buy:

  • Amazon.com
  • Abes Of Maine

 Product Specifications:

Part Number:  TC-P42S60
Manufacturer:  Panasonic
General TV type:  Plasma
Screen size:  42 in
Features Connectivity:  Built-in Wi-Fi
TV features: ARC and HDAVI control
TV Tuner Presence of TV tuner:  Yes
HDTV Tuner presence: Yes
Digital tuner of TV: ATSC and QAM
Analog tuner:  NTSC
Video result Resolution:  1080p
Aspect ratio:  16:9
Contrast ratio:  4000000:1
Audio result Speaker(s) 2 x Main channel speaker – Built-in – 10 Watt
Analog video input signals NTSC
Surround mode Yes
Sound effects V-AUDIO Surround Sound
Total output power 20 Watt
Convenience Closed captioning: Yes
Manufacturer Warranty Support and service: 1 year
Dimensions and Weight Weight 40.8 lbs
Dimensions (WxDxH): 39.2 in x 10.1 in x 25.6 in –


The Good: the economical Panasonic TC-PS60 has got great picture quality, acquiring much deep levels of black, accurate colors and much shadow detail as well as superb off-angle characteristics; easy-to-use and basic streaming services like Amazon, YouTube and Netflix without the extraneous features of Smart TV.

The Bad:The quality of picture in rooms that are bright isn’t good like other TVs; has only two inputs HDMI; limited content for streaming; consumes power greater than the LCD TVs.

The Bottom Line:The low price of Panasonic TC-PS60 Plasma TV, good picture quality as well as bare-bones Smarts contribute towards making it the one out of best values ever seen.

It is difficult overstating the good deal represented by S60 series of Panasonic. In any dark room the levels of black, accurate color along with perfect uniformity could make it like any good flagship models which cost about two or three times more. However picture noticeably fades when it is subject to much bright lights. Therefore, if one can afford, one should definitely step up to ST60.

S60 comes with a size of 42 inches and offers a simple take over the Smart TV; also, it costs some hundreds less compared to ST60. Panasonic S60 is the best pick for those buying according to some budget, crave for superb picture and can control the room lighting.

Design Of The TV

Understated S60 wouldn’t wow the guests with the GQ panache, though it would blend better than many big TVs. The only accents it has are the silver strips along bottom and top edges. Black frame that’s around screen is thinner than of U50 from the previous year.

Non-illuminated remote’s similar to that of ST60s mostly except for some different labels of keys. The clear differentiation of buttons and logical layout, along with dedicated eHelp and Netflix keys are likeable. Hitting Menu key causes menus of Panasonic main settings to come up, a good improvement from what was there last year.

Plasma TV’s Features

It lacks fancy Smart TV widgets of ST60 series, though it offers basic services of streaming video and built-in Wi-Fi.

Improvements that are picture-related over X-60 series entry-level include resolution of 1080p and better specification of contrast ratio. Comparing with more expensive series ST60, S60 has different panel, fewer gradation steps, antireflective screen that is worse and lacks 96Hz mode.

S60 happens to be at the lowest cost 2013 Panasonic Plasma that supports optional accessory touch-pen at $79, that makes drawing on screen possible.

Comparison With Smart TV:

The content suite in S60 and is internet-connected in called “Online Movies” by Panasonic, instead of being termed as Smart TV though it is quite better than Smart TV in many ways. Only six apps are offered by S60: Vudu, YouTube, Netflix, Hulu Plus, CinemaNow and Amazon Instant Video. All of these are more or less useful source of streaming video but some can take somewhat longer when loading.

ST60 has some more of these apps, including Skype and Pandora, though many a times S60 is praised for its simplicity in less number of apps.

Settings For Picture:

Here the selection is better U models that are 2012’s equivalent. Major ones include two-point grayscale as well as color management when it comes to primary colours. Home Theater, an additional picture mode is also there along with a good option of copy adjustments which allows one to migrate the settings of pictures from a mode or input to others.

The other controls also include seven different settings for aspect ratio along with item’s standard array to help prevent and treat image retention. The ones interested in the effect of soap opera would be disappointed when they learn that it is reserved for step-up models.

Connectivity Available:

S60’s back panel is a disappointment. It only has 2 HDMI inputs, so that if any game console and a cable or satellite box is connected, no space for Apple TV or Roku etc remains.

If more gear has to be connected, a switching AV receiver that is HDMI-equipped or cheap switcher is the best possible solution. Extra complexity related to switching is a problem that could be solved by universal remote.

Slot for SD card is missing in S60 but it has a USB ports’ pair.

Quality Of Picture:

The picture quality is remarkable. The black levels tend to be very deep and color performance happens to be superb as well as the off-angle fidelity and uniformity. But a big weakness is the inability to perform well in lights. The video processing is mediocre compared to the other best TVs in market, but even then S60 continues to be a great model.

Level Of  Blackness:

An important characteristic of picture quality is depth of blackness which could be produced by a TV. Compared with ST60, S60 is the second best in this regard.

During the nighttime wandering of Peter Parker in The Amazing Spider-Man, for instance, the letterbox bars as well as darkest of the shadows looked like a shade that is inkier than ST50 or U50 and only slightly better compared to ST60. Shadow details happen to be good too. The clothing of Peter, fire escape in nighttime and graffitied wall appeared with much detail intact. Shadows of low-level appear only a little bit brighter.

Accuracy Of Color:

S60 is quite good in this aspect. Many of the measurements come with minimum error owing to the new controls to some extent. The system of colour management on S60 is not much effective like ST60 that gives measurements a bit better in Magenta, Cyan and Blue.

Bright scenes happened to be beautiful and rich due to the great black levels. Skin tones look lifelike and natural. Secondary and primary colours as oranges and bold reeds appear to be accurate mostly.

In areas that are dark, near-black and black are mostly true when compared with LED sets having bluish tinge, though slight green tint is shown by deep shadows.

Video Processing Performance:

In the category, S60 showed some flaws. Most significantly, unlike ST60 it’s not capable of reproducing correctly the accurate film cadence with 1080p/24 sources as it is set to the standard mode of 60Hz. The other mode is 48Hz, so one has to choose between flicker of 48Hz or choppy motion with 60Hz.

S60 also doesn’t have dejudder, so when one likes smooth look associated with Effect of Soap Opera, he should go for another  TV.

In terms of motion resolution, S60 worked worse even than ST60 when latter’s dejudder has to be turned off. When it is turned on, not an option with S60, gap between these two widens. The blurriness in the program material was difficult to detect normally and S60’s performance happens to be better still than the typical LED TVs with 120Hz.

S60 passes the 1080i test of film de-interlacing when manually On Settings are chosen in the pull-down menu 3:2; it didn’t perform well in the Auto position by default.

Bright Lighting And The Plasma TV:

This is Achilles’ heel of S60. When lights are turned up, image on S60 washes out significantly, appearing much worse than other TVs in lineup, with exception of Samsung E550 and U50. In darker scenes, the difference is most visible. In addition to this, reflections in screen, like your face as you sit in the front of TV shows up much strongly compared to others, including the ST models.

Compared with other LCDs, maximum output of light with S60 is quite limited. In the brightest of picture settings along with window pattern, S60 measures 58fL whereas Sharp LCDs and Vizio hit 92 and 95 respectively. The number decreases to 11 with full-screen pattern for S60 while for LCDs it stays bright.

The combination of limited output of light comparatively, bright reflections and washed-out blacks make S60 a performer below-average under brightness.

Consumption Of Power:

S60 uses more power than other LCD-based TVs of the same size and same power as that consumed by other plasmas of 50 inches, including U50 2012 model after the calibration. The Standard default mode draws somewhat more power compared to last year though it’s also more watchable and brighter. It is something good since previous Standard modes tended to be much dim.

The specification of Energy Star currently is version 5.3 still and it imposes hard cap with 108W for and TV size.

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