Review Price free/subscription
Fujitsu Plasmavision P42XHA58 42in Plasma TV - Fujitsu P42XHA58
This Fujitsu may not have a tuner, but it has no shortage of inputs. You get two HDMI inputs for digital high definition sources like a Sky HD box, HD DVD or Blu-ray player or even a PS3. If you do need more HDMIs, you can always go for an HDMI switcher, with Belkin’s three port switcher available for around £80. That will give you a total of four HDMI inputs, which should be sufficient for even the most well equipped AV enthusiast. Unusually you also get two component video inputs for analogue high definition sources like the Xbox 360, or standard definition progressive sources like the Nintendo Wii. There’s also a D-SUB input for hooking up a PC, along with S-Video and (God forbid) composite video. There’s no sign of any Scart sockets though. Curiously, there are also three audio inputs, despite the lack of speakers. This is because you can connect external speakers – there are speaker terminal outputs at the rear of the screen.
This Fujitsu ticks all the HD Ready boxes and then some. As well as having the required inputs, it has a native resolution of 1,024 x 768 and will accept the required 720p and 1080i input signals. Even more impressive is that this screen will accept a 1080p signal via both HDMI and component connections. If you’re wondering about the native resolution being resolutely 4:3 rather than 16:9, don’t worry. This is common on plasma screens, where the pixels are slightly elongated to give a widescreen aspect ratio. It’s interesting to note however, that the 50in version of this screen sports a native 16:9 resolution of 1,366 x 768.
Dipping into the menus, it’s clear that this screen is aimed at the serious home cinema enthusiast, with many settings that would confuse the average consumer. That said, once you’ve set things up properly, there shouldn’t be much need to adjust anything unless your room is very bright in the daytime and very dark at night. But Fujitsu has thought about that too, since this screen has an integrated ambient light sensor, which will adjust the luminance level according to how bright the room is.
Standing out in the list of adjustment options are both signal and drive contrast, although the latter will obviously be affected by the ambient light sensor. There are also five preset picture modes – Natural, Fine, Effective, Conventional and Still. I found that the Fine setting gave the best results for movie and TV watching, with the screen producing very natural colour tones, but not at the expense of vibrancy. You can also adjust the black level to suit your taste, as well as adjusting the gradation between lights and darks.