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Panasonic is the only manufacturer to challenge the LCD hegemony of Samsung, Sony and LG with a 3D-capable plasma.
Its latest (13th) generation Neo PDP panel hails from impeccable stock: the 2D TX-P42V20 impressed us deeply, as did the step-down TX-P42G20, of which there is also now a 3D version.
There are minor differences between the GT20 and this VT20: the step-up model has an additional speaker, comes with a wireless LAN adaptor and has Infinite Black Pro contrast rather than mere Infinite Black.
It certainly isn't the case that there is anything remotely amateurish about the contrast performance of the non-Pro version, but Panasonic claims that the latter incarnation delivers more consistent black levels.
The extra speaker should boost the audio performance by a welcome 50 per cent, and while the wireless LAN adaptor might not sound much of a big deal, it makes networking significantly easier in practice. One final difference is a tweak to the P42VT20B that reduces its plasma cell decay time, seen as an important weapon against 3D crosstalk.
The P42VT20's styling lacks the panache that the LED crowd has shown of late. It's certainly not an offensive-looking beast, but there is nothing about the rather uninspiring gloss black frame that suggests this is the most technologically advanced 42in plasma ever made. Still, it's what's on the inside that counts: there are plenty of fancy-looking TVs that fail to deliver in the picture department. Funny but not really, though I think this would be a thing in the future.
Firstly I must say that I totally agree with an earlier reviewer in saying that this is an excellent TV. This has replaced another Panasonic 42in SD Plasma TV that gave us 6 years rock solid service.
The TV itself is by far the most stylish design that panasonic have attempted to date. We have bought it with a low level black media stand and complemented it with a top of the range panasonic Blu Ray home cinema. We have Sky+ HD as well as a Wii plugged into it currently and all of them look stunning.
The setup for the TV to control the Home cinema was very easy and setting the item up in general has required very little perusing of the quite thick manual. One word of warning though, do not turn on the 16:9 overscan feature on as this will zoom into the picture a little and if you put a PC into it, it will cut off the taskbar and icons etc as we found out.
I have also read in a number of articles elsewhere on the web about people moaning about the picture quality on initial switch on. But all I can say is that it was a little dark for my liking so changed it to cinema mode which brightened everything up and it is now just to my taste, there are various options and each one is totally configurable to your particular taste. The depth perception, blacks and contrast are out of this world and I have not even mentioned the 3D yet which is great when watching a 3D blu ray. However, the TV's ability to convert from 2D to 3D is nowhere near good enough for me to sit there looking like a bit of a berk wearing the included glasses permanently so I don't bother with that feature - you get 2 sets included in the box by the way at approx 100 quid a pair that is a definite bargain.
There are many other features that this TV has including the various DVB & Freesat tuners of which I only use the DVB for a backup if sky is recording 2 things at once. Unfortunately I cannot get any HD channels where I live in the south on DVB so cannot comment on its quality. The Div X feature is nice after you have registered but still limits you on the file types it will work with and don't even think about just plugging your external HDD in and it working - it won't. The wifi is good (especially as the wifi dongle is included) as you can stream videos, pics and phots from your windows 7 PC to it, but again a HTPC is your best bet if you are seriously into your media (mine the ASROCK Vision 3D will be arriving imminently and will be reviewed soon).
Viera cast is pretty pointless although the Youtube 'app' is not bad but this does not go to full screen. I am a little disappointed to hear that these tvs will not be upgraded to the new Viera connect service due out this year which will include srvices such as the BBC iPlayer. Panasonic you need to start looking after your customers.
Until the HTPC arrives I am using my new VAIO to plum films into the TV and I must say that even though my sony laptops screen is also Full HD and top quality, this TV out shines it in almost every way which is a bold claim when my laptops screen is only 16in and this TV is 42in with the same number of pixels being displayed. However this is true, and probably down to the plasma vs. LCD battle. It only falls behind the laptop when displaying a webpage such as google results purely on the size of the pixels, however it is perfectly readable on the TV when within a couple of metres.
I could go on all day about the features that this TV has but fundamentally this is a fantastic TV with a picture that LED LCD TVs could only dream of.
If you spend a good few hours in front of the TV on an evening and/or you watch sport then you will be glad you bought this TV as it is worth every penny.
This high defenition Television is so awesome its a Plasma its a 42 inch and its 3 demesion its totally a all in one...Im so happy to own this Televison I enjoy the high defenition and you know what they say,"once you go HD you wont go back"...Since the moment that I bought the tv and took it.The screen picture remains strong from any angle its in I am totally satisfied with it... I have had many comliments on this television since i bought it .I have a lot of family that comes over for on the weekends and after all the complimenting on it they all want to come and watch the football games at my house..I havnt had any problems with Television at all the controler is very easy to work with and the batterys it takes are easy to replace.The remote control feels good in the hands but its laid out in pieces wich is ok but it could of been better to have a differnt style.For it being a 42 inch televison and 3D it might be better to sit closer to it in my opinion to get the full 3D view...Other than that i say its a pretty cool tv ide totally recommend it to anyone whos in the market for a television.The TV setup is pretty easy to work with not too complicated so you wont have a hard time with that.Also The Panasonics reporting system only appears to support a single USB storage brand
This TV offers Plasma, 42-inch screen and 3D in one! And of course, all in HD!
The tv worked well straight out of the box, but it has brought out my inner geek; the interface for picture, sound and connectivity controls are quite easy to play with, and there is a factory default setting that you can use to undo any mess you make of the setup.
This set's greatest strength is its picture quality. Whilst not in the very best league, detail and resolution are still superb. No LCD screen comes close in terms of colour fidelity and the Infinite Black Pro delivers sensational contrast levels. And the picture remains strong and solid from any viewing angle.
Setting up the wireless network is startlingly simple and overall performs well as a multi-media display device. Sound quality isn't bad for everyday listening, either.
The remote control feels good in the hand and has decent sized and responsive buttons but is curiously laid out in places.
From the barrage of 3D marketing that never seems to end you'd think that a 3D set would be essential but unless you're a 3D nut I find it hard to recommend (but of course I'm an absoulte fan of 3D so a must have for me).
It's debatable whether a 42in screen is big enough for 3D, depends how far you're sitting from the TV. For me the 42 inch is perfect! This screen is however big enough for Full HD, at which it certainly excels.
After recently feeling a touch underwhelmed by Panasonic's new entry level 3D screen, this models we find ourselves on more predictably happy ground today with Panasonic's flagship 42 in 3D TV.
For a start the set actually has a vague stab at being stylish, thanks to its unusual brownish color scheme. Despite this though, the overall look remains almost painfully conservative, in keeping with almost all of Panasonic's current TVs bar, perhaps, the multi-colored D28 range.
It connects are much more cutting edge. For as well as four v1.4 HDMIs, you get jacks for both Free view HD and Free sat HD tunners, as well as plenty of multimedia support, including an Ethernet jack, a pair of USB ports, and an SD card slot.
The Panasonic's recording system only appears to support a single USB storage brand. But at least the system does work well if you happen to have a suitable Buffalo drive lying around, with seemingly loss less quality recordings of HD and standard def sources.
Panasonic has apparently finally realized that the sort of person likely to buy a flagship level of TV might well be interested in endorsements from THX and the Imaging Science Foundation. This model has both, with THX providing a really movie-friendly picture preset, and the ISF providing two professional picture setting slots that one of its engineers could use to calibration the tools the TV carries, you first need to activate an Advanced option in the TV's set up menu. And stylish of the model is good