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Panasonic TX-58DX802B review

 Review: June 2016  
 

Last updated October 2016

Rating: 5 stars

In a nutshell: The Panasonic TX-58DX802B is an extraordinary TV with unique designer looks. Suspended on a metal frame, this enormous TV delivers first-class picture quality, with HDR and 3D support. Audio quality is second-to-none, thanks to the included soundbar. And with Freeview Play, Netflix 4K, Amazon 4K, YouTube, and twin Freeview HD and Freesat HD tuners, you'll never be short of something to watch.

Best buy: Panasonic Viera TX-58DX802B from Hughes (£1199.00)



 

Design & looks

In a world where most TVs look much the same, the Panasonic DX800/DX802 brings the standout iconic style of 2016. The unique Freestyle Design of the DX802 has more in common with an art installation than a consumer electronics device, and it belongs to the company's Art and Interior range.

The screen of the DX802B is suspended on an A-styled metal frame, emulating an artist's easel. You'll need a very wide and deep shelf to accommodate this frame, but with a screen as big as 58 inches, the solution might simply be to place it on the floor. The screen itself is gorgeously thin, and surrounded by an ultra narrow metal bezel, which enhances the floating effect of the screen. There's some neat cabling at the back, and to finish it off, a separate soundbar is included, which slots into the space below the screen.

It's an extraordinary design, and quite unlike anything else in the shops this year. If you have the space for an A/V system this big, it really is the one to go for - so much more inspired than Panasonic's flagship DX902B model.

Picture quality

If you're worried that Panasonic has focussed all its attention on superficial design, stop worrying now! The DX802 sits immediately below the flagship DX902 in Panasonic's 2016 range, and picture quality matches our high expectations.

The DX902 showed what Panasonic is capable of - the best LED TV ever, in our opinion - and the DX802 follows close behind. The DX802 uses a slightly scaled-down 4K Studio Master HCX processor to good effect, and is THX-certified. Peak brightness levels can't quite match the Ultra Bright panel of the DX902, but aren't far behind, with the DX802's Super Bright panel. In fact, it's hard to tell the difference, just from looking.

The screen certainly has a huge dynamic range, and its edgelit pseudo-local dimming is effective, even if it can't quite reproduce the extraordinary range of the DX902's full array Local Dimming Ultra. There's no light bleed as far as we can see.

The DX802 is HDR-compatible, although it's an 8-bit panel, not 10-bit, and is an ideal choice for taking advantage of that UHD Blu-Ray player you've been promising yourself.

In terms of speed, the DX802B lies between the DX750 and DX902 models, with a 2000Hz backlight. That makes it very fast, and motion is fluid and natural on this screen.

Viewing angles are good for a VA-type screen, and certainly shouldn't pose a problem, unless viewing from an oblique angle, in which case some moderate fading is in evidence.

We'd say that overall this is one of the best screens we've viewed in 2016, and isn't far behind the high watermark set by the DX902B. It's comparable to the top-tier Samsung KS7000 and KS8000 models, and to the Sony KD-55XD9305, with its Slim Backlight Drive. In other words, if the DX902 didn't exist, we'd be rating the Panasonic DX802 as one of the best TVs you can buy, in terms of picture quality.

3D

The DX802B supports 3D viewing, which immediately gives it an edge over all of Samsung's 2016 range - at least if 3D matters to you. The 3D is of active type, and gives full 1080p resolution thanks to the 4K screen. Crosstalk and flicker are minimal.

Audio quality

The unique design concept of the DX802 means that it's able to incorporate a dedicated soundbar - something that no other current TV offers. The bar sits below the screen (or can be wall-mounted) and incorporates a 12 train prismatic speaker and quad passive radiator, with a total power of 40W. The 12 speakers consist of two tweeters, four squawkers, and six woofers. Together they span the entire frequency range.

It's as good as any TV on the market and head-and-shoulders above the vast majority of modern televisions.

Smart TV

Panasonic's Firefox Smart TV system is based around a home screen, providing a simple interface to access all the services and channels available. These include Netflix 4K, Amazon Instant Video 4K, YouTube 4K, a web browser, and other apps.

Freeview Play is included, making catch-up TV easily accessible from the main menu. The EPG gives you access to more than 60 TV channels and 12 HD channels, as well as catch-up services including BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, All 4 and Demand 5. The TV incorporates twin Freeview HD and Freesat HD tuners.

The standard remote control includes a handy Netflix button, and a second Smart controller is also supplied. Voice control is also supported via the touchpad remote.

The quadcore processor ensures that the system is quick to respond.

Connectivity

The DX800 supports a full range of connectivity. There are 4 HDMI 2.0 connections, all of which are 4K-compatible, and one of which is ARC-compatible. There are 2 USB 2.0 ports and one USB 3.0 port, a combined component/composite input, an optical audio output, a headphone jack and a CI+ interface.

Both Wi-Fi and ethernet connectivity is included, and the DX802 supports display mirroring of Android and iOS smartphones and tablets. It also supports Bluetooth devices. Panasonic's Viera remote app turns your smartphone or tablet into a TV remote controller with added functionality.

Conclusion - simply stunning

If you want the very best viewing experience from an LED TV, choose the Panasonic DX902 with all its bells and whistles. But if you want a TV that costs £1,000 less, looks ten times better, and has a picture quality that comes very close to the benchmark-setting DX902, then choose the Panasonic Viera DX802B. Both are easily 5-star products, although they have slightly different strengths.

At S21, we'd pick the DX802B. We think it's one of the outstanding TVs of 2016. And that's saying something, as 2016 is shaping up to be a very good year for TVs.


Panasonic TX-58DX802B features include:

Best buys
£1199.00
Panasonic Viera TX-58DX802B
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£1289.00
Panasonic Viera TX-58DX802B
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£1289.00
Panasonic Viera TX-58DX802B
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User questions

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Audio performance vs Bose Companion 3 or 321...and how is this vs Sony XD8599?

Asked by Kev from UK on 4th Nov 2016
From the reviews, this TV is looking a great option - been weighing it up vs. Sony 55" XD8599. Based on earlier TV & computer setups, I have a Bose Companion 3 Seies II and a Bose 321. Any thoughts on how audio performance of the soundbar with the Dx802 would compare to either of these.....? I'm guessing that even if I combine one of these with the Sony, the recommendation would still be the Panasonic give Andriod concerns mentioned in the reviews?
Any alternative TVs I should be looking at?
Cheers!!!

Does this have twin freesat tuners?

Asked by simon from uk on 30th Oct 2016
I want to connect up 2 freesat cables and then watch on one and record on the other - is this possible?

Hi how is the picture quality compared with dx750b? Does it worth the extra cash?

Asked by Richard from UK on 5th Sep 2016
Been watching this and a dx750b side by side in a store and couldn't tell the difference on a general HD channel. Is the picture quality better than dx750b and worth the extra cash? (Having a home cinema setup means the sound bar is no use to me)

Also how is the quality compared with Samsung KS7000?

Reply by S21 from UK on 5th Sep 2016
All three are very similar in terms of picture quality.

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Panasonic TX-58DX802B user reviews

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Reviewed by Jezza from UK on 21st Jan 2017
The 58" 802b's a replacement for a 42" Panasonic plasma.

Set-up... absolute doddle & controls/navigation very intuitive.

There are times I sometimes feel the picture quality's not quite up to the mark... then I watch something else, especially some of the nature programmes & it becomes breathtaking. I've concluded it's my SKY fibre broadband, as last night I got a message saying your bandwidth's pants & it couldn't play the Amazon program... apparently it adjusts the image quality depending on your internet speed...

Technology wise... oooooh, myyyyyy, gooooddnnneeess. Everything I've tried from connecting my iPad/iPhone (using the Panasonic app, Bluetooth won't connect directly), freeview, Amazon prime, the crazy amount of tweaking possible in the settings work with minimal hassle.

Wall mounting - EXERCISE GREAT CARE - with such a thin screen, the bolts must penetrate 10mm minimum, 12mm maximum so despite that unique stand, mounts perfectly on the wall with its speaker below, just remember to change to sound setting to less than 30cm wall distance. With the separate sound bar, Panasonic have raised the bar on standard TV sound.

Minor challenges - I used to be able to rename each of the HDMI channels to SKY/PlayStation etc... can't find where to do this just yet, though am sure it's buried in a menu somewhere.

Would I buy it again knowing what I now know on my budget"....... for the 58" size, picture quality at this price point, yes, definitely.
Rating:

Reviewed by Paul Iddon from England on 11th Nov 2016
I originally purchased one of the 700 series Panasonic televisions, and despite my best efforts, I found the picture quality somewhat lacking - so I paid the difference and exchanged it for the 58" DX802B.

What a great decision!

This television is worth the money in my opinion. However, this is once I had made some tweaks to the picture to get what for me is something like a true high quality result.

But lets start with the aesthetics. The stand. It's art-deco and it will be something you will love or hate. Personally, I think the stand is very clever and looks different enough to warrant it's unique design and inclusion - and had I got the right place to use it, then I would surely have done so - alas though, my stand was nowhere near big enough so I had to buy an AVF stand to hang it on - but it does look excellent now it is sitting in the corner of my living room.

Now let me mention the audio. You get a sound bar included which has, it appears, 12 speakers inside. And it packs a punch. The bass is deep and rhythmic, the treble subtle enough. It looks wonderful when placed just below the screen and having front facing speakers, you get the sound just where you want it - coming at you! The only peculiar thing is the sound bars plug - it is not standard like HDMI, and seemed a little easy to bend as you put it into the socket and remove it as you jiggle the bar into the best position - hopefully if this little plug breaks, replacements are available...

And so to the features. The Firefox OS is well known and is adequate (whilst not the most fluid, it does enough). The apps included are plentiful and varied, and Netflix and Amazon are the main players. I did find sometimes that when streaming, it took a few seconds to settle down to the maximum image output, but that is most likely the internet connection rather than the hardware. The TV has Wi-Fi for ease of use, but an Ethernet socket means directly linking to your router is the best method for connecting to the net. You can add your own choices to the Home Screen which initially shows Live TV, Apps, and Devices - you simply pin your choice using the option key to say add Netflix to this home screen (however, the remote has a dedicated button for Netflix anyway). Oh, and I will just mention the remote while I'm here - it has a brushed metal finish and is quite heavy - but it looks and feels premium quality. There is even a "light" button to illuminate the keys.

Moving on to the most important thing then, the screen and it's picture quality. Straight out of the box you have several screen settings which work pretty well, but I found some tweaking to one of the presets took the quality a step further, to another level...

I used Professional 2, and diving into the plethora of calibration sliders I tweaked the picture to give me what I have to describe as "excellent viewing pleasure". Having amended so many things to find the right output, the resulting picture quality is almost sublime. The blacks are deep and for the most part clean, and the whites are not burning bright. The range of colours seems well balanced and skin tones are very realistic (to me at least). On the 700 series television I first bought, the dark scenes especially looked blocky and a nasty bluey-brown, most noticeably when streaming 4K content from Netflix, where the night scenes were very poor indeed and it surprised me that Panasonic had a set costing over £1000 which managed to perform so badly (a faulty panel or some hardware problem maybe?) - but rest assured - moving to the 802B presented the opposite, excellent deep dark areas with little or no blocking obvious and a smooth palette of colours with little noise problems being apparent.

The 802B gave reasonably good 3D viewing too. Crosstalk was minimal for the most part, and the active 3D was bright enough not to be a problem (no glasses provided sadly though). The pop-out which viewers actively look for had plenty of depth when they happened, and the front to back depth was uniformly good throughout. It's nice to see that Panasonic are still supporting 3D when many other of the majors players have excluded this feature from the 2016 range of TV's.

The 802B upscales HD signals very well, presenting good clean and sharp viewing (I am using a Virgin Tivo HD set top box).

The 2160 streaming from Netflix is worthy of their monthly fee too; the 802B giving excellent clarity. Plus there are many freely legally available examples of native 4K that can be downloaded to see the set performing to it's maximum, and I have to say, with 4K, the television is outstanding. The HDR is near enough perfect too, without going crazy on the colours (greens often look "loud" in HDR, but the 802B did a top notch job with the colours across the range (even greens) with near perfect blacks and whites (and blood reds)) that were crisp and vibrant... (watch The Revenant!)

You can pay more and go up to the 900 series, or other brands' offerings, but for the price, what you get from the 802B is fantastic. 4K, Ultra HD, HDR, 3D, and a sound bar, plus a modernistic stand if you have the room to leave it on it...

All in all, a worthy contender to be up there as one of the best 4K televisions of the year.
Rating:


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