“ Panasonic TH 37PW5EX - 37" TAU plasma panel - widescreen - 480p - EDTV monitor - silver „
... £2,200 to be exact when first bought in 2004, still working with no loss of colour. limited functionality compared to modern flatscreens but has everything i need to watch a movie from any devices. you can connect your laptop, obviously DVD players, home theatre surround system, etc. very heavy, emits lots of heat from the back of the panel, does help if you want to heat a small room, although i am unsure how energy efficient these old unit are. when attached to a laptop, difficult to make out the letters and numbers unless you zoom in to 200%. have never really used the 3D functionality, i'm not a keen fan sadly. at that time, a very competitive product, though expensive but definitely above par to other manufacturers. definitely needs professional installers for wall hanging as it is quite heavy. no regret in buying this product and time has not defeated this product ... no, not yet.
Around ten years ago boxy old-skool CRT televisions were still very much the norm in living rooms up and down the country, and the new-fangled plasma sets were viewed as rather exotic - exotic AND expensive. Panasonic's TH-37PW5EX model was the first plasma that I owned, and it cost just under £2000! Nowadays you'll see the set selling for around ten times less in eBay - but if it's features that you're after, it's probably best to look elsewhere.
Despite its age, the 37" set retains a modern appearance with a fairly thin surround, and a minimalistic, uncluttered design. The real giveaway to the product's age is the fact that its depth is thicker than the majority of its modern day brethren - although it's not massively noticeable by any means. The TV can be wall mounted via the official Panasonic bracket, or the unofficial one which can be picked up for much less on Amazon.
The positive and the negatives
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So what's good about this particular TV? - well, quite simply, the picture quality is fantastic with a smooth motion, and the black levels are lovely and deep. Colours are vivid, and though the device isn't HD ready, there's a clarity and sharpness to images (especially from DVD via the progressive scan mode). The remote control isn't the prettiest article to grace the earth, but it's simple and effective - and I suppose that's all that matters.
What's not so good about the telly? Firstly, it doesn't have its own integrated tuner, so you'll need to purchase an additional receiver box - the default version for this particular TV is the (not so imaginatively titled) 'TU-PT600', which can be bought used for around £20 on eBay. These days it's pretty much unheard of for a TV not to have a built-in tuner - but back in the day it was a necessary sacrifice for the privilege of owning a plasma! As well as the lack of a tuner, the TH-37PW5EX doesn't have any speakers, meaning that it will need to be hooked up to a home cinema system to produce sound.
Reliability-wise, the TV has been fantastic - not so much as a glitch in almost a decade, and the picture is as good as it was when first bought. Obviously a model such as the TH-37PW5EX won't be sought after these days - the lack of speakers, tuner, high definition output, and 3D playback all mean that most will look elsewhere... but i'm not basing this review on extras, i'm basing it on ease of use, performance, and picture - all of which the product excels at.
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