The Olympics, for all its controversy this time round, remains a true television spectacle. For two weeks, from the night of the opening ceremony, many of us will become experts and the names and deeds of emerging stars, hailing from Jamaica to Japan will trip off our tongues with ease as we revel in what remains, the greatest show on earth.
It felt like a good time to test a bigger, higher definition television than I’m used to, and settled on Panasonic’s 50” DX750. Fifty inches isn’t a huge TV these days but it’s big enough for a large room. The DX750 is also 4K, so I was hoping the definition would deliver on the promise of HD broadcasts.
Unpacking the DX750 revealed a sleek panel, that does look much like the current batch of smart TVs on the market. The TV is mid-range, but it has top-end styling. The panel itself is only 30 centimeters deep, so it’s reasonably easily to handle on your own. It weighs 16 kilos and the included pedestal adds just another kilo to that. The panel is VESA compatible, meaning you can purchase a separate wall mount if you wanted to mount it on the wall.
The pedestal has a useful feature that provided four different configurations, and actually changes how the set-up looks. The TV has a digital tuner as well as an older analog tuner built in and it’s inputs and outputs are comprehensive. There are 3 HDMI inputs, so you could have a cable provider box, a gaming console and AppleTV connected all at the same time. There’s also the expected component video input and headphone sockets, but illustrating it’s a smart TV there are also three USB ports on the side and a LAN connection for connecting to your broadband router.
Powering up the DX750 brought me to the new Home Screen. Panasonic previously used a proprietary interface that was adequate, but a little clunky for navigating apps and features. This TV however, has been upgraded to a customized version of Firefox OS. That’s the same Firefox that we use on personal computers, and it’s one of the best features of this television. The Home Screen displays Live TV, Apps and Devices allowing easy navigation from watching a live program on TV to switching to your internet media player. It’s also customizable, so if there’s something you watch often, you can pin that icon to the Home Screen for easy access.
One I finished the set-up, which was reasonably quick, I tried a few different picture sources and genres of movie. This TV is HDR compatible, and High Dynamic Range really does make a difference when it’s available. HDR allows a TV to display much deeper blacks and brighter whites. The DX750 performed really well and the contrast and colour was remarkably true to life, especially on a mid-range TV like this.
Sound on flat-panel TVs has never been outstanding, and I discovered that the DX750 falls into the routine on that score. It doesn’t do a brilliant job of deep bass tones but the mid and higher end sound is very good. I switched back to use my sound bar but even without one, the sound was decent.
The remote is a very standard looking Panasonic remote, and while it does the job, Panasonic provide a free app that can be downloaded for controlling the TV, which is a far better option. The standard remote has a dedicated Netflix option and I discovered that while watching something on YouTube my phone or iPad I could, with one tap throw that content straight on the TV screen, without changing inputs or channels.