The GT25, like some other Panasonic models, is THX certified, which provides a THX picture mode (but not with the VIERA Cast Internet apps). The THX mode adjusts various parameters to ensure the best possible picture (i.e., the picture quality that most closely approximates that of a professionally calibrated HD studio monitor). Indeed, the color analyzer confirmed that in THX mode, the Panasonic scored perfectly on the HDTV color gamut test, as well doing extremely well with gray scale linearity, color temperature and gamma. In the THX mode, the set put out about 34 foot-Lamberts of light output with a 100% white window test pattern, which is sufficient enough for daytime viewing in a not-too-brightly-lit daytime environment. I did note that the default color saturation in THX mode was, somewhat curiously, way on the rich side, and cranking it down by a fair bit removed the over-richness and restored natural-looking flesh tones.
The THX certification only extends to 2D content though, as the THX 3D certification specifications only became finalized after the Panasonic went to production (the LG Infinia 3D plasma sets that just became available are the first to be THX certified for both 2D and 3D). Still, when I viewed a variety of Blu-ray 3D clips (film and video originated) on the Panasonic with the Cinema mode selected, the picture looked just fine (again, with the color level turned down).
The GT25 has fairly comprehensive video connectivity, with three HDMI inputs and two HD-compatible component inputs, along with two SD composite video inputs. There’s an RGB PC input, but it can only handle up to 1366 x 768 resolution (which is a popular laptop RGB output resolution). There’s an RJ-45 LAN connection, as well as two USB ports on the side jack panel, which also has one each of the HDMI and SD composite video inputs. Curiously, there’s no 3.5mm PC audio input jack, and while there’s an optical digital output jack, there is no analog stereo audio output nor is there a headphone output, either of which could be used to connect the set to an external audio system, which we always recommend. An SD card reader rounds out the connectivity package.
On Screen Display
The Panasonic’s OSD is little changed from the last plasma from them we reviewed two years ago, and that’s a good thing. The graphics and text are clear and legible even from afar, and in addition to a well organized menu structure, the remote provides a Viera Tools function that let’s the user go right to a set of popular menu choices, including 3D adjustments that let the viewer turn on or off the 2D-3D conversion function without having to go deep into the Setup menu where those selections also reside.
Like the OSD, the supplied remote is very well designed, with a logical layout that includes large channel and volume buttons, and a 10-key pad that is similarly legible and easy to use. The transport function buttons at the bottom of the remote are a little larger than is typical, and the remote features backlighting (aviation red, for good contrast in the dark that won’t blast your retinas). The remote’s major failing is the lack of direct input buttons, but it’s hardly alone in that department. The remote only operates the TV and select Panasonic ancillary components though, which is another drawback.
As mentioned earlier, the THX mode is the best choice overall, but even at the THX mode’s default settings, the color saturation is way over the top. Turning it down will bring about more natural-looking flesh tones, and bright colors will still have lots of “pop”.
· Color: 35
· Hue: 0
· Sharpness: 0
· Picture Mode: THX (or Cinema mode if in VIERA Cast or 3D modes)
· Color Temp: Warm2
· HD size (pixel-to-pixel): Full; HD Size 2
· Video NR: Off
· Block NR: Off
· Mosquito NR: Off
· Color Management: Off
· C.A.T.S.: Off
· Black Level: Light
· 3:2 Pulldown: Auto
· Blur Reduction: Off
· HDMI/DVI RGB Range: Auto (selectable individually for each of the three HDMI inputs)