Coming up for 4 years ago now I purchsed this television as my girlfriend and I decided we wanted to get rid of the massive 32inch CRT television we had as it just took up too much space in our flat!
We thought long and hard about which television to go for as we wanted to make sure we got the right one and would be happy with it.
Our considerations included:
1) 720p or 1080p (Otherwise known as HD Ready v Full HD)
We did a lot of research and discovered that at the viewing distance we would be using the television at, even with 20/20 vision it would not be possible for the human eye to distinguish the difference between 720p and 1080p on a 42inch television. We therefore decided to go for a 720p set as it was likely that we could a 720p set which would be better than the equivilant 1080p set for the same budget.
2) Plasma v LCD
For me this was simple, plasma everytime hands down as the black levels of LCD at the time were not even close to those of plasma screens!
We were moving up from a 32inch television which was a good size but we wanted something bigger however we didn't want it to totally dominate the room. After a good bit of testing with cardboard cutouts we decided that the 42inch size would be the best bet for our particular setup.
I am a gadget person, I love hooking things up to other things, I love having a home cinema setup and I love media streaming devices etc etc. I also love my games consoles, so whatever television we decided to go for would need to have plenty of connection options.
After a lot of reading and research we went for the panasonic plasma as by all accounts they gave the best picture quality without going for the top of the pile Pioneer Kuro range which were wowing everyone at the time but cost approximately double anything else!
In the fours years, the television has had an awful lot of use both as a television, being served up freeview and freeview HD by Humax PVRs, a cinema screen being served dvds and blu-rays and indeed streaming from my HTPC, and as a gaming screen for both my PC and my various consoles. And on every front it has been brilliant!
The picture quality is fabulous, detailed with great contrast, good deep blacks and great skin tones, everything has looked brilliant. It even does a good job of making the less than stellar encoding on some of the more marginal freeview channels look good.
On the audio front it is acceptable too, for most of our listening we just use the sound from the television and it sounds fine, ok when it comes to films and the like it is rather lacking in depth and power etc but that is why I have a surround amplifier and speakers.
If I had to highligh any flaws I think the only thing I would say that is bad is the slideshow facility when using the side SD card slot as it is painfully slow and clunky but that is pretty much it's only flaw!
I know it is an old set now but if you are looking to upgrade from an old crt television and can pick one of these up second hand then it really will give you huge performance for not much money and even today gives a much better picture than most of the bargain basement models you could pick up for the same sort of money!!!