With a plethora of options around, it comes down to video resolution when deciding the quality of video content. It has become the standard for judging as the days when IMAX was the only video standard that made people sit up and take notice are long gone. With technological advancements, devices got bigger and better and thus rose the need for more pixel count.
All content has to be crystal clear – be it on mobile devices or home entertainment systems. When 4K resolution was first introduced to consumers, it was a product available from premium manufacturers at a premium rate. The scenario has changed drastically now and 4K is hardly premium. Many players have emerged in the Indian home entertainment segment to provide the same products, but at a lower cost. And they’ve caught up with the competition too, adding Smart TV features to their TV line-ups.
Panasonic launched its Shinobi Ultra range of 4K TVs, and we got a chance to dive into the world of 4K from a budget perspective. Is the 4K Smart TV a good choice for those looking to bring the latest technology to their home on a lighter budget? Read on to know our verdict.
The Panasonic Shinobi Ultra 4K TV is not sleek unlike Goliaths like Samsung, LG or Sony. But the design is minimal enough to the point that the Shinobi Ultra can still feel like a regular Smart TV fill placed on the stand or mounted on the wall in your living room. We reviewed the 49-inch model (TH-49EX600D), which is 13-inches thick, but still is 43-inches wide. The 4K TV can easily be the centre of attraction in a medium-sized living room.
When talking about its video processors, the Shinobi Ultra comes with support for 4K HDR. The company markets its 1,300Hz IPS LED display along with its proprietary 4K Hexa Chroma Drive (which is just like Sony’s Bravia engine). The TV has a bottom firing, 100 W speaker, whose performance will discuss later ahead.
As mentioned before, the Shinobi Ultra is a Smart TV and runs on a custom software. The UI includes navigation between plugged-in external devices as well as apps from streaming content online. The graphics performance is smooth and you can learn to navigate across the system with ease in just a couple of minutes.
In terms of connectivity, the Shinobi Ultra comes with 3 standard HDMI, 2 USB ports along with built-in LAN and Wi-Fi modems. The company has brought minimalistic design, but without compromising on features.
The Shinobi Ultra range of TVs could definitely be the new contender can attract customers, mainly because of two contributing factors. To begin with, the colour reproduction on this Panasonic product is crisp and clear, just as is expected from a 4K TV. The frame rates do lead to ghosting (streak of frames that are visible, mostly during sports matches and faster movement of objects across during a particular scene). It is however not a hindrance to experience. We tested out several 4K footage and were suitably impressed with the results.
The second reason the Panasonic Shinobi Ultra 4K TV is a good purchase would be the UI. Navigating through the menu and watching your favourite TV show is just a click away.then using the dedicated button on the remote will take you directly to the app. Connect your USB drive to the back of the TV and you can load files directly from the ‘Devices’ menu. Perhaps a cumbersome experience on TV are long, difficult navigation menus. The Shinobi Ultra doesn’t suffer from any such issues as navigating through menus is quite a breeze.
Media playback is also simple. The speakers are located at the bottom of the TV. Firing downwards, the music echoes across the room and we must say, the music was loud and clear. Be it watching movies with your friends or listening to music while you’re in the kitchen, the sound quality won’t leave you disappointed. The company is also providing the Panasonic SC-UA7, a home audio system with the purchase of the premium 49- and 55-inch Shinobi Ultra 4K models. You can connect your speakers to the smartphone as well, with the output being nothing short of impressive. With additional features like 2 USB ports (one of which also gives you the ability to record songs), 2 AUX ports to plug-in mics for karaoke sessions. The home audio system is, according to us, it is a valuable add-on not only to the TV experience, but also to the living room.