Over the past couple of years, Panasonic televisions had dabbled in silver-colour inserts on largely black panels. This time around, the Shinobi Pro series goes the whole hog, with a shimmering silver frame. The TV itself is quite thin, the bezels around the screen are minimal, and the design of the dual table-top stand looks sophisticated.

On paper, this packs in pretty much all the specifications expected in a television set that costs so much—49-inch IPS LED screen, 1,920x1,080 (Full HD) resolution, the gamut of image-tweak settings, smart TV apps (such as Netflix, YouTube and an app store) and built-in Wi-Fi. And it doesn’t fall short in terms of connectivity either, with three HDMI inputs and two USB ports.

When you switch on this set, what immediately catches your attention is the fact that the panel is quite bright—you will have to reduce the intensity of the backlight a bit for most indoor-usage scenarios. Since this is an IPS screen, the colours look rich and accurate. The Hexa Chrome Drive feature, which essentially works with the image-processing algorithms for finer colours, helps. Incidentally, Panasonic is also using this feature in its high-end 4K TVs.

Across a variety of content of different resolutions, the TH-49DS630D does well to maintain some constants in overall performance—the colour reproduction remains vibrant, the black levels are quite deep, which helps with detailing, and the crispness remains acceptable even in low-quality SD content. With the Adaptive Backlight feature turned on, illumination adjusts automatically to what is on the screen—it’s actually very useful in movies because it improves detailing.

We were a bit disappointed, however, with the noise-reduction algorithm, which isn’t always up to the mark—even when it’s set at maximum, there are times when you can see considerable distortions on the screen, such as in the channel logos or written text. There is also some light bleeding around the edges, visible against darker backgrounds (such as the Apple TV streaming media player home screen), but that doesn’t necessarily spoil the overall viewing experience.

In terms of audio quality, the Shinobi Pro does well as far as clarity of the spoken word and crispness are concerned, even at high volumes. It’s speakers can go really loud, but the bass feels weak, which becomes apparent when you are watching movies.

Panasonic scores well on many fronts with the Shinobi Pro TH-49DS630D TV, including vibrant colours and a bright and crisp picture. The noise-elimination issue, however, will still be evident with some SD sources, such as TV channels and DVDs—till a software update is rolled out.

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