Panasonic VT30 Plasma TV – Firmware Updates

Panasonic has just updates their VT30 plasma TV firmware. Panasonic has made available a firmware update that’s designed to address a couple of issues regarding color calibration in its highest-end plasma TV, the TC-PVT30 series.

My friend David Katzmaier has recently reviewed the VT30 for CNET and he despite calling it “the best-performing TV he have tested in 2011,” noticed something amiss when performing the standard color calibration in Custom mode:

Our Custom calibration took a while and was hampered by poor menu design with excessive nesting and a need to back completely out of the menus frequently, but afterward our software and charts told us that the VT30’s color was nearly perfect (see our Custom post-calibration chart here). Unfortunately, when we looked at actual program material, our eyes told us that colors were still inaccurate, with reddish skin tones and too much saturation throughout. We were mystified because the TV’s colors measured extremely well (Delta errors of less than 3 across the board), but compared to other well-calibrated TVs in our lineup, we saw a different story that contradicted the charts. Rather than mess with Custom further to attempt to resolve the discrepancy, we settled on THX for our evaluation. We’ve contacted Panasonic seeking clarity on this issue and will update this review if we hear back.

From the company’s engineers via e-mail:
It is necessary to update the firmware to v2.060 in order to correct the COLOR SPACE (aka COLOR GAMUT) in CUSTOM mode. This explains why the colors are inaccurate even after calibrating the unit close to perfection.

In my previous email, I mentioned the two necessary requirements to calibrate the VT30 series properly to get a very good picture (color saturation and hue) satisfying REC709 specs.

2) Update the firmware to v2.060

Here are the changes in v2.060 (related to ISF calibration and picture improvements)
1) Control ISF via ethernet (ISF auto calibration using CalMAN).
2) Corrected COLOR GAMUT (color adjustment in wide color space)

That’s all for now. We will bring the updating the review, related comparisons, and picture settings.


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