|Don't Know Which HDTV To Buy? Try Our HDTV Selector Tool|
Panasonic TH42PZ85B Calibration
The Panasonic TH42PZ85B plasma HDTV offers only three colour temperature presets – [Colour Balance] "Cool", "Normal" and "Warm" – and no white balance control for greyscale calibration. As expected, [Colour Balance] "Warm" came closest to the D65 standard:
|[Colour Balance] "Warm" CCT||[Colour Balance] "Warm" RGB tracking|
I'm not sure if it's simply down to variation between units, but our Panasonic TH42PZ85B review sample exhibited slightly higher/ cooler/ bluer correlated colour temperature (CCT) than the TH42PX80 I tested one month ago ("Warm" [Colour Balance] on both sets). Most people probably won't be able to tell the difference in real-life viewing, but if you have attuned eyes, tweaking the RGB cuts and gains in the service menu can bring the CCT nearer to D65.
|Panasonic TH42PZ85B CIE chart with reference to HD Rec. 709|
As can be gleaned from the CIE chart above, like most plasma televisions the green primary colour point on the Panasonic TH42PZ85B was oversaturated and tilted towards blue. Red was slightly oversaturated, but because the [Colour] control on the TH42PZ85B affects colour intensity more than saturation, trying to tone the saturation down would introduce more colour decoding errors so there was little I could do. [Tint] theoretically could be used to align the secondary colour points (yellow and magenta were slightly off; cyan more so), but unfortunately on the Panasonic TH42PZ85B this option is greyed out unless fed with an NTSC video signal which, by the way, is NOT the chief television encoding system in the UK and Europe.
Benchmark Test Results
|Overscanning on HDMI
||0% with [Picture Overscan] set to "Off"
|Blacker than black||Passed|
|Black level retention||Stable in [Cinema] mode
|Primary chromaticity||Average; oversaturated & bluish green
|Video mode deinterlacing||Good; effective jaggies reduction
|Film mode deinterlacing||Failed 3:2/ 2:2 cadence in all resolutions|
|Viewing angle||Excellent (> 150°)|
|Motion resolution||1080 with IFC off; 950 with IFC on
|Digital noise reduction
||Very good at baseline
|Sharpness||Defeatable edge enhancement|
|Image retention||Mild during the first 200 hours
|Posterization||Mild, though worse with poor source
||Yes; severity depends on individual susceptibility|
|1080p/24 capability (PS3)||Accepts 24fps; no telecine judder|
|Input lag (rel. to Samsung F96)
||30ms faster with IFC off; 15-25ms slower with IFC on|
Measured post-calibration black level on the Panasonic TH42PZ85B plasma TV was 0.05 cd/m2, i.e. on par with the TH42PX80 but a shade lighter than the 0.03 cd/m2 delivered by the Pioneer Kuro PDP-4280XD, although to be honest the difference is probably only visible through a side-by-side comparison in a totally dark room.
To my utter delight, the TH42PZ85B evinced no black level fluctuation (albeit only in [Cinema] mode)... all other Panasonic plasmas I've reviewed to date floated blacks in one form or another however subtly.
When both [Picture Overscan] and [Intelligent Frame Creation] were set to "Off", the Panasonic TH42PZ85B plasma HDTV fully resolved all 1920 vertical and 1080 horizontal single-pixel-wide lines over HDMI and component (1080i). However, engaging [Intelligent Frame Creation] altered the results somewhat: while all 1080 horizontal lines were still displayed in full, vertically the Panasonic TH42PZ85B failed to even resolve the 2-pixel-wide lines.
By analysing the overscan test pattern in DVE HD, I discovered that [Intelligent Frame Creation] was adding pulsatile micro-feathering to vertical lines, i.e. there would be miniscule (not visible from more than 1 feet away) flickering artefacts projecting from the sides of each vertical line, which might very well explain the results.
Using Chapter 31 of the "FPD Benchmark Software" as my reference test pattern, the Panasonic TH42PZ85B 1080p HDTV successfully resolved the maximum 1080 lines scrolling horizontally at a speed of 6.5 ppf (pixels per frame) as long as [Intelligent Frame Creation] was left off. Activating [Intelligent Frame Creation] caused motion resolution to drop to 950, presumably as a consequence of the micro-feathering.
Continuing my scrutiny of [Intelligent Frame Creation], it brought about a slight improvement to the already good jaggies reduction on the Panasonic TH42PZ85B... I hypothesise that the micro-feathering was actually filling up the gaps between jagged edges.
Otherwise, the various elements of video processing on the Panasonic TH42PZ85B were practically identical to those found on the TH42PX80: film mode deinterlacing was still non-existent so it's advisable to send a progressive signal to the plasma HDTV when watching movies; undesirable pruning of fine detail made it difficult to justify engaging [P-NR] especially when noise reduction was more than acceptable at baseline; and mixed edits (video titles overlaid upon film material) were processed competently without combing nor jaggies.
|Back to: TH42PZ85B Review|