Hi and welcome to the review of TV from Panasonic HX800 series, model TX-58HX830E. This is Panasonic’s midrange 2020 TV from their 4K UHD range, equipped with a 60 Hz LED LCD panel, HCX picture processor and support for all popular HDR formats.
For the current price of around 1000 Euros at the time of making this review, let’s find out how good this TV really is. The HX800 is the successor to the GX800 series from 2019 and it is positioned above the HX600 and below the HX900 series.
The main advantage of HX800 over HX600 is in HCX picture processor and support for HDR10+. On the other hand, HX900 has a more advanced HCX Pro picture processor, better local dimming, better HDR performance and on some models a true 120 Hz panel.
HX800 series features a very elegant design with a central stand made of metal and always appealing construction in which the panel is positioned in front of the thin plastic bezel. This attractive design requires you to carefully take the TV out of the box, but since you can keep the screen in an upward position when placing it on the stand, the risk of any damage is minimal.
Still, you will need a screwdriver to fasten a total of 8 screws to assemble the stand and fix it on the TV. Overall, the build quality is very good. Regarding connectivity, connectors are backward and side facing and they include: 3 HDMIs in version 2.
0b 2 USBs Toslink Antenna and satellite inputs Ethernet Common interface 3.5 mm output for headphones or subwoofer and Component audio and video inputs Regarding wireless options, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are supported.
Bluetooth can act both as a transceiver and a receiver. A standard Panasonic’s 50-button infrared remote control is supplied with the HX800 series. It has a dedicated Netflix button as well as My App customizable button like in previous years.
A dedicated Picture button will be handy for those who want to quickly toggle between different picture presets. TV comes with My Home Screen 5.0 platform that this year looks more similar than ever to webOS and Tizen OS.
The platform is fast and stable and it offers a wide variety of options. It does lack local as well as some global apps such as Disney+ or Apple TV, but for Netflix/Prime Video/YouTube users it will be fine.
TV supports Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa smart speakers. I did a detailed hands-on video about it, went through menus, options and connectivity, so if you want to learn more, definitely check out the link in the description.
HX800 delivers a very good picture quality within the limitations of a 60 Hz VA panel with low peak luminance and with a very basic local dimming, but with excellent upscaling and the ability to display wide color gamut.
Picture quality out of the box is far from Hollywood standards highlighted on the packaging, so you will need to use True Cinema and Dolby Vision Dark presets for a highly accurate, I could say calibrated picture out of the box.
For a vast majority of users this will be enough to experience beautiful colors, smooth gradations and a very natural looking images that HX800 series delivers. HCX processor achieves excellent upscaling results so that HD content looks almost like 4K.
Processor correctly detects the most common cadences of interlaced signals, without moire effect or stuttering. Other exotic formats from the HQV Blu-ray benchmark disk were not displayed correctly, but in today’s world of progressive signals I don’t think anyone will complain about that.
Movie playback was smooth and you have the option to watch movies with or without soap opera effect. Demanding scenes such as those at the start of the movie Prometheus were presented quite well with not distracting judder and without artifacts when Intelligent Frame Creation was set to Minimum.
Just like GX800 series, so does HX800 use local dimming, though there is nothing local about it. Basically, TV can dim either left or right half of the screen depending on the content. When this function is enabled, TV will also activate global dimming which will dim the entire screen when the scene is very dark, such as this starfield scene from Spears and Munsil UHD Blu-ray test disc.
Stil, what I like is the fact that if you turn off Adaptive Backlight control, the TV will not activate global dimming and you will get a perfectly stable image without loss of details. This is much better than on most LCD TVs on the market where you cannot disable this unwanted function from the menus.
Though Panasonic highlights the so-called Bright panel plus, peak luminance in True Cinema HDR mode was below 350 nits, which is far from what I expected in this price category. Because of that and due to the lack of local dimming, HDR content wasn’t very impressive on this TV.
The main improvement in HDR over a much cheaper HDR TVs from South Korean brands is in the ability of this TV to display wider color gamut. So at least you can see deeper colors in HDR content. But my main complaint which I noticed as soon as I took the TV out of the packaging was its glossy screen.
The screen is so glossy that it acts almost like a mirror and requires you to adjust lighting in the room in order to see the content properly. Surely, the screen looks more interesting when it is turned off, but are you buying a TV or a mirror? For me this is the biggest flaw and since the TV cannot get really bright, this is a major disadvantage for those who like to watch content in a bright room.
Definitely consider this before buying this TV. Screen uniformity was very good but not excellent, with some brighter patches appearing across the screen. Dirty screen effect was barely visible and viewing angles are typical for a VA panel – it is best to sit directly in front of the screen or under a small angle.
Motion resolution was limited to 250 or 300 lines on the Monoscope test, but overall the result did not deteriorate a lot in darker scenes which is good. Coming to gaming, with input lag of 13 ms and auto low latency mode, the HX800 series is a good choice for gamers.
Unfortunately, there is no support for variable refresh rate options. Still, I enjoyed playing games on this TV and it is nice that you can turn off local dimming so that you maintain all details in every scene.
Sound coming from two down-firing speakers was good for the class and Dolby Atmos is supported. You can even connect a subwoofer and enjoy much much better bass response which is great if you don’t want to occupy your room with additional speakers and devices.
Still, I highly recommend investing in an A/V receiver for a much better overall experience. To conclude, HX800 series is a well-equipped TV with responsive My Home Screen platform and very good SDR picture but below expectations HDR picture.
It’s a shame that Panasonic basically requires its customers to watch this TV in a room with perfectly controlled lighting due to the very glossy screen. For the same or slightly higher price you can get TVs from competitors with better Smart TV platforms, semi-glossy screens, more options and better HDR performance.
Due to this I can only partially recommend this TV. Big thanks to Panasonic office in Croatia for sending me this TV for testing. I would also like to thank company Ronis for sending me the Marantz NR1710 A/V receiver that I used during this test.
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