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This Plasma HDTV I have had for a year now and it has not let me down yet. Now I would like to analyse the TV so that the rest of you are convinced on purchasing one..
Firstly I would like to say about the design now; it looks fantastic I just love the colour and the sleek design. Now you might be wondering where the hell is the speakers? Well its right under the Panasonic label hidden away under the silver colour. I didn't notice it myself until a few weeks when dust got on it and I was able to see the grills (Speaker holes). I think this is pretty good as you don't have to worry about the speaker making the TV look bad like a lot of TV's I've seed with ugly speakers. All I can say it this saved me a lot of as my living room would not have enough space to have a 42" with speakers on the side. Now the screen of the TV is not as shiny/ reflective some of the other TV's in the market. This is very essential as during the summer time when you watch TV and lights hits the screen you are less likely to close the curtain as the light does not reflect as much on this surface, and who would want to close their curtains on a sunny day anyway. When the sun shining on the screen when I watch TV not had to get up and close the curtains like I have many times with CRT TV'S. This TV will definitely reduce reflective glare therefore your eye will not strain or need to work harder to see what's on the display.
Now compared to a Sony Bravia KDL-40V2500 42" I would go with Panasonic for the looks but that's my personal opinion. Now lest look at size below:
Panasonic is 102cm x 70.4cm x 9.5cm
Sony is 98.8cm x 10.6cm x 65.3cm
These figures show that both these models are similar in size therefore why not get Sony? You will find out by the end of the review.
At the back of the TV there is a common interface socket where you can insert a top up TV card so you can watch paid channels on freeview.
At the back there are also brackets so that your cables will not be messy, I found this very useful as I always have a lot of things connected up to the TV it's usually messy. But with this system of brackets it looked like I hardly had any cabled as they were all locked away to one side. If you have the Panasonic TV cabinet as well the bracketing system continues to that so you won't have any cables sticking out until it's on the floor.
The front of the TV is very simple, there are a few buttons and AV sockets but is hidden away by a panel; only the on button is visible.
Now underneath the TV there are 2 holes, one on either end. This is for use with a TV stand, currently there are 2 types available. One is a base so you can put it on a table and the other is a YV cabinet.
Currently this TV is provided with the base when purchased although some packages come with the stand.
The base RRP around £100 and the cabinet RRP at £400
I have the TV cabinet and it is very stylish and shiny and matched the colour of the TV so it looked like the TV was stuck on to the stand which looks quite nice. I found the cabinet pretty easy to assemble, then when it was assembled I hard to screw it to the TV. The TV was quiet heavy at around 20kg but screwing the stand to the TV was the easy part. All I had to do was put the TV on top of the stand and make sure it fitted in the holes under the TV, then I had to screw it which was easy as the holes between the TV and the stand was aligned.
Now all I can say is superb design Panasonic 10/10 for looks and design. Now lest move on to more technical side of things that is why we are buying the TV. Who hasn't heard of the saying never read a book by its cover?
Here I will be looking at the vast amount of features that Panasonic have rolled in to this TV. First of all this TV has built in freeview like a lot of TV'S now. As I have sky I tend not to use it but I am the one losing out. I am missing out because freeview channels seem to have much sharper picture and the colour is better than what my sky can deliver which was a surprise for me.
Now for the best part HD Ready is one of the most important feature most people will look out for nowadays, no one will buy a TV that is not HD Ready.
So what is HD Ready you might ask?
HD means High Definition the ability to display video of very high resolutions mainly consisting of:
1280x769 (720p) & 1920x1080 (1080i, 1080p)
Now you may think what difference does resolution make, well think of a painting you were asked to make. One consisting of 100 dots and another consisting of 500 dots, wouldn't the 500 dotted painting look much better. Resolution works the same way more pixels means more data and more data means more vibrant pictures. I have seen the effects of HD on my TV and it really is amazing you never see a pixel even if you are close to the screen. The colour and sound it much improved as HDTV's use HDMI sockets instead of scart leads which means its able to provide more bandwidth to transfer the data to the TV. HD TV's are able to produce up to 5-6 times better picture than standard TV's. But if you want to see HD you will need more than just a TV you will need it connected to something that produces the HD content.
What can produce HD Contents?
Blu-Ray player this is like a DVD player but able to play High Definition content which are provided on Blu-Ray disc's. Current retail price at around £300
HD-DVD player works the same way as a Blu-ray player but you will need to buy HD-DVD's instead.
Blu-Ray and HD-DVD are competitors which one you want to get is up to you but I personally went for Blu-Ray and they seem to be dominating the war at the moment. Current retail price at around £300
PS3 this also is capable of producing HD content and it uses a Blu-Ray drive so you will need to buy Blu-Ray discs if you go for this. This is what I used to connect the TV I'm currently reviewing to receive high definition content. Current retail price at around £300
SKY HD box broadcasts HD channels which you can watch on your TV. I wouldn't get this just yet as there are only a few channels that are available on HD but during the next 2 years more channels will be available on HD as well. With this package if you are a current Sky subscriber it will cost you an extra £10 per month and a one off fee of £200-£300 for the box depending on how long you have been with Sky.
Here I am going to be telling you about the menu and about the features it contains, when you click menu on the remote the main options come op. Now this menu is made simple and easy to use for anyone. The only options are Picture Menu, Sound Menu and Setup menu.
Now if i go the picture menu there are a list of settings such as contrast, colour sharpness, tint colour, balance colour management and P-NR. Also there is a Viewing mode which is a profile for different picture settings and you can have up to 4 of them, they are labelled as auto, normal, cinema and dynamic. These can be easily changed and if you mess up the settings all you got to do is press N on the remote control and it will reset them to default so I suggest if you don't like the wait it looks you should just play around it till you find the perfect setting for you as it varies from person to person. Took me sometime to find the correct settings for me as well, when I watched stuff on HD channel it seemed darker than SD channels.
Now for the sound menu this is also just as easy to use and the options that are provided in this are bass, treble, balance, headphone volume, volume mode, ambience HDMI input.
Finally the setup menu this consist of control with HDMI, off timer, volume correction, side panel, power save, power on preference.
These are the settings for AV channels and HD channels but there is an alternative menu for TV channel which is Analogue/ Digital TV (freeview). I will just list the extra ones which are DVB setup menu, Owner ID and shipping conditions. DVB menu can be used to tune the channels also child lock is available. Owner ID is a security feature which stored your private details so that if it gets stolen it could be returned back to you. Finally shipping conditions is a feature which restores all default settings as if it was never used.
Finally I would like to conclude that this is a VIREA series which is the latest of the Panasonic models and uses V-Real technology. Information about this can be found at http://www.panasonic.co.uk/technology/viera-explained.html
2 x HDMI
3 x SCART
1 x Component
1 x VGA (PC)
Analogue Stereo in/out
I Think that this is a great TV when went to the shop to buy it I saw this TV, Sony, LG, and Samsung. On display I looked at the picture of all 4 TV's and felt that the Samsung and LG weren't up to scratch so I narrowed them down. Now the tough choice i felt that the Sony looked slightly better than this TV (Visual Picture) but I still went for the Panasonic. I chose the Panasonic because of the look of the TV and the price, which I thought was very cheap it only cost me £800 a year ago. I like how the menu is very easy to use and how it's easy to reset as well. One of the downsides to this TV is that it's not full HD which means that it uses 720p rather than 1080 as the resolution is lower. Although 720p on its own looks crystal clear having 1080i will not make much of a difference. I've also noticed that when I watch a Blu-Ray DVD at times it looks like its slightly jerky this only happens from time to time so I wouldn't worry about it, I don't know if this is down to the TV itself or my Playstation. It could even be the fact that the TV has to down scale 1080i to 720p. This TV also does not have an Upscaler this is a hardware that's built in to the TV to make DVD's and all picture much sharper. This does not bother me as I have a PS3 it does the upscaling, but if you purchase a Blu-Ray player or a HD-DVD player most of them come built in with the same feature. One more downside to this TV is that if you connect your Laptop or PC to the TV you get no audio, as you need to connect the line in connection too but unfortunately this tv does not have that socket so you have to buy and adaptor to get sound.
After all the downsides to this TV I still recommend you get it, because i have it and its great value for money i guarantee you, you won't be disappointed.
As you can see it is a good looking PDP. But it`s not the most important thing. In last few years Panasonic dominates on world Plasma market with their products. In 2005 it is the best selling PDP TV in Japan with about 80 %!!!
This year latest models will be on the top again. 42PX60 isn`t the best one, but it can gives you a lot of memories. The resolution is 1024:768 and it`s far away from full HDTV (1920:1080) but however it will give you a perfect picture. The interpolation "works" good and even the standart PAL/NTSC signal looks fine. Using HDMI you also can use it as a monitor. This year Panasonic gives you even more colors - 29 billions, and 3072 color steps. Contrast rate is 10000:1 ( last year models was 3000:1 and 4000:1 ) and it is because they start to make plasmas with new type of glass. It is about 30% thiner than last year one.
Maybe the major disadvantage is the processor. It`s still too slow. So it will be a problem with the sport chanels. Another problem for this class is the sound - there is nothing interesting. There are 2 woofer speakers with 20 watts per channel. But it won`t gives you good and quality sound. There is one more thing that I have to say. When you try to do something in MENU please read the manual, because even the people who sell them look strange when gets in to it:)