Panasonic TX-58HX800 LED LCD Television Page 2

There's a lushness to the TX-58HX800's imagery which belies its £1,000 price. A re-run of The Grand Tour (Amazon Prime, 4K HDR) really gives the Panasonic an opportunity to shine. An escapade across Morocco for Clarkson and Co, graded for maximum warmth, provides a stunning showcase for the set's colour fidelity. Hues are deep and rich. LCD LED screens often have a problem depicting red, but there's no orangey tint here. Even the TV's ambient light sensor – a technology I'm not usually an advocate of – proves effective at maintaining colour depth during quite high levels of room light.

The level of detail in this UHD image is often jaw-dropping. James May's facial grimaces are depicted with disturbing precision.

As noted, Dolby Vision comes as standard. Comparing Dolby Vision Vivid, Dolby Vision Bright and Dolby Vision Dark proves an interesting exercise, not least because Dolby Vision Vivid actually looks pretty good. Yet ultimately it's the Bright setting which proves the most consistent crowd-pleaser.

Choose Your Poison
Of course, the provision of multi-HDR means you've got all bases covered. There's Dolby Vision for Netflix and Blu-ray, HDR10+ for Amazon Prime and HLG for Sky UHD. And if you're a photography whiz, there's also HLG Photo, a standard supported on a selection of Panasonic's upmarket stills cameras.

The set's HDR performance follows that of the GX800. It's not super-bright, and doesn't hit the kind of peak brightness figures typically boasted by Samsung's QLED models, or the Sony XH9505 tested in this issue, but the provision of Dolby Vision, as well as HDR10+, allows it to outperform what the bare numbers suggest (I measured peak HDR brightness approaching 450 nits, using the Dynamic image preset). Dolby's dynamic metadata technology specifically helps mid-brightness screens to prevent unnecessary tone mapping.

The TV's HDR sparkle is particularly noticeable during the opening cityscape pans of John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum (4K Blu-ray). This nearly 60-incher creates room for the specular highlights to breathe, inviting you to drink it all in.

Swapping to the Normal image mode sees a slight drop in peak brightness, but not so much as the Cinema mode.

Although I probably wouldn't shortlist the TX-58HX800 for bright-room viewing, it comes into its own when movies are watched with a level of low ambient light. At this point the HX800 almost starts to look like an OLED TV (deep blacks not withstanding). Contrast is consistently good, given assistance from local dimming technology, and there's a richness to its pictures which is beguiling. Generally it makes sense to keep the set's HDR Auto Brightness feature activated, and the HDR Brightness Enhancer set to around 7 or 8.

While obviously at its best with 4K HDR, the screen still looks slick – and sharp – with HD SDR sources, thanks to its high average picture level and naturalistic colour handling. Regular Blu-ray collections are in safe hands.


Joy For Joystick Junkies
Gamers will be particularly impressed with the set's performance. I measured input lag at just 10.2ms (1080/60) in Game mode, which is superb. If you play in Normal mode, with all the usual picture enhancements turned on, image latency falls to 140ms. Not that this should happen. While the screen keeps its HDMI playbook squarely on v2.0, there is the provision of Auto Low Latency Mode. Commonly associated with the 2.1 suite of HDMI features, this automatically triggers Game mode when a compatible device is connected.

Unlike the brand's 2020 OLED models, Filmmaker Mode isn't provided here, but motion handling is highly creditable. Panasonic's Intelligent Frame Creation (IFC) processing (as with its predecessor, the HX800 is rated at 1600Hz BMR) works best when at a Minimum level. Step up to Mid or Max and motion artefacts become more obvious. For movies, there's still an argument to turn interpolation off completely, even though that'll incur some panning judder.

In Min mode, Intelligent Frame Creation doesn't introduce punitive motion artefacts, but retains picture clarity. The opening 20-minute car chase in Michael Bay's actioner 6 Underground (Netflix) is furious and chaotic, as a variety of vehicles hightail it around famous Roman monuments and cobbled streets, but the action is never unclear or smudgy. It looks a bit soapy, but the added clarity from IFC actually makes this interminably long action sequence quite watchable.

Given how physically slight the TX-58HX800 is you wouldn't expect it to deliver heavyweight sound, but for everyday use, the 2 x 10W stereo sound system is perfectly adequate. The good news is that the TV is Dolby Atmos compatible, meaning you can shunt the immersive format from streaming services like Netflix over HDMI into a compatible soundbar or AV receiver.

Impressive Upgrade
The TX-58HX800 is an LED thinscreen that seems to think it's an OLED (obviously it was raised in captivity with OLED parents and has plasma grandparents), and that's a wonderful thing. A superb match for UHD streaming services, Blu-ray and premium pay TV, with an extensive cast of features, not least multi-HDR support, Dolby Atmos audio and well- defined smart functionality, it'll appeal to buyers looking for an upgrade that won't break the bank.

It misses out on some feature bells-and-whistles, but if blockbuster thrills are your bag, it's Hollywood-tuned and its images come highly recommended.

HCC Verdict

Panasonic TX-58HX800

Price: £1,000

We say: This mid-range LED TV combines lush colours with super detail, and multi-HDR support. If you can't stretch to an OLED it's probably the next best thing.

Overall: 5/5


4K: Yes. 3,840 x 2,160
HDR: Yes. HDR10; HDR10+; Dolby Vision; HLG; HLG Photo
Tuner: Yes. Freeview Play
Connections: 3 x HDMI inputs; 2 x USB inputs; composite/AV input; digital optical audio output; headphone output
Sound (CLAIMED: 2 x 10W
Brightness (CLAIMED): N/A
Contrast ratio (CLAIMED): N/A
Dimensions (off stand): 1,297(w) x 759(h) x 65(d)mm
Weight (off stand): 23kg

Features: Built-in Wi-Fi; USB multimedia playback; HCX processing engine; Dolby Atmos audio support; My Home Screen v5.0 smart portal; Ethernet; Wi-Fi; Bluetooth; Vivid, Bright and Dark Dolby Vision modes; Works with Alexa; Works with Google Assistant; Auto Low Latency Mode