To maintain a standard across our review units, we calibrated the Panasonic ET5S with Datacolor's Spyder3TV Home Theater Color Calibration kit prior to our visual tests. This is to ensure we assess the HDTV based on optimal display settings, and not on visual estimation alone. Using the TV's Normal preset, we've also disabled all the necessary enhancement features. Here are the recommended calibrated picture settings - Brightness: 0, Contrast: 50, Color: 93, and Tint: -3. Backlight levels are clamped at 70 (and also the default value) throughout the process. Black and white luminance were recorded at 0.079cd/m2 and 136.236 cd/m2 respectively; indicating plump black figures since a lower value is preferred. However, preliminary results from Spyder3TV also dictate a rather weak white luminance rating, compared to say, another edge-lit model like the Samsung ES8000 with a value of 371.828cd/m2. In essence. we hope Panasonic's relatively low contrast values wouldn't result in an adverse loss of details within the darker areas when we subject the ET5S to the real-world tests.
DisplayMate is an application which generates a sequence of test patterns to determine the capabilities of imaging devices, like color, uniformity, and gray-scale accuracies for example. For our tests, we've hooked up the Viera ET5S to our display test-bed system via a HDMI connection. Similar to our calibration setup, we have also disabled all visual enhancements on the TV to reduce the variables involved. Here are some of our findings.
|Dark Screen||Black levels are wholesome with an all-black test pattern. They are compromised, however, when a white text is introduced on the background due to to the overcompensation of the TV's backlights.|
|Screen Uniformity||Better-than-average screen uniformity, given that we are dealing with an edge-lit display. Darker backgrounds, such as the deep red and blue patterns, tend to yield slightly uneven results though.|
|Dark Gray Scale||Faint greenish tinge was observed on one of the grey blocks (block 24). The panel's relatively low-contrast ratings also makes it hard to discern the darker grey patterns.|
|Color Scales||Minor "clumping" issues were noted towards the darker scales. Mild colors shifts were also observed around the corners due to the edge-lined LEDs.|
|256-Intensity Level Color Ramp||Slight compression artifacts were visible towards the darker spectrum. This isn't a significant problem since it's a common contention with most LCD panels, even for the high-end ones. Primary colors on the RGB bands were fairly accurate.|
IDT's HQV Tests (on Blu-ray) are designed to assess image quality and handling of digital displays through a variety of video signal processing tasks which includes decoding, de-interlacing, motion correction, noise reduction, and film cadence detection. We've programmed the Blu-ray player to playback in 1080i to test the TV's de-interlacing capabilities. Here are the results we noted on some of the more crucial HQV tests:-
|Digital Noise Filtering||The ET5 carries a single noise reduction feature (P-NR) with the following modes: Off, Min, Mid, Max, and Auto. Unfortunately, none of them were able to remove noise levels on the HD test clip effectively.|
|Diagonal Filter Test||Panasonic's video processor handled the moving interlaced image effectively, without signs of feathering or judder on the rotating bar.|
|Film Resolution Loss Test||Results deteriorated after Film Cadence Detection was enabled. Same applies to Motion Picture Pro. Conclusion: TV has issues decoding the original 1080p24 source from the 1080i60 video, with possible loss in resolution.|