Panasonic joins the 4K fray, but how much sharpness can one take?

Thanks to Panasonic I had a day trip to Sydney today (right now I’m at the airport, waiting to come home). The reason? Panasonic is launching its first 4K TV next month: around the third week of October. This is the 65 inch Viera TX-L65WT600A.

New Panasonic 65 inch 4K TVInteresting: this is (it says) the first 4K TV supporting 50p and 60p. It implements HDMI 2.0. HDMI 1.4 is limited to 24p, 25p and 30p at 4K.

Who cares? Well

, you do if you want to watch interlaced SD or HD content at 4K. If this is scaled up to 4K before being passed off down the cable, then it every second frame has to be thrown away. You lose resolution, both in scale and in time.

Panasonic had some real 4K content to demo on the two units they had on display. One lot was on a computer connected using the DisplayPort 2.0 standard (which the TV also implements), while the other was using a USB 3.0 memory stick to display 4K30p content.

Both were very hard and harsh, as is usually the case at these things. However Panasonic — unlike most others — gave me access to the TV’s remote control after the main presentation. Two changes: Picture mode from Dynamic to Standard (or was it Normal?); Sharpness from 50 to 0.

Oh. My. Goodness. How beautiful it looked! The detail. The smooth gradients. The sense of reality! Absolutely beautiful!

They’ll be showing these off in the shops

, but they’ll be in shop mode and look pretty nasty. But wait until you get one home and can adjust those settings.

No pricing yet. I’d guess around $7,500, or perhaps a bit less.

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