You’re not necessarily restricted to the standard Freeview channel roster either, as the set carries a slot for adding subscription services like Top Up TV.
Now we get to the juicy new stuff, starting with something Panasonic calls HDAVI. This is essentially a fancy new networking system that allows separate bits of compatible kit to talk to each other via their HDMI sockets. Great idea though this is, however, HDAVI does have a fairly major limitation in that it only works with Panasonic kit. So you can’t, say, have the 42PX60B chatting merrily away with a Philips DVD recorder. Oh well – you can’t have everything, we guess.
Perhaps the most significant new development for the 42PX60B is Panasonic’s V-Real image processing system. This brings all manner of new image-boosting tricks to the table, kicking off with the fact that it can work with native 720p or 1080i signals rather than having to downscale them first. Then there’s Digital Remastering for making standard definition pictures look more detailed; gamma control for a richer contrast range; 11.5-bit processing to increase the amount of colour gradations; and a so-called sub-pixel controller that processes the red, green and blue colours independently for each pixel to make edges sharper.
We’re not done yet, either. For also present in the 42PX60 is a colour management system that processes the colour and luminosity elements of the picture separately to make colours look both more vibrant and more natural. Then there’s a contrast management system that automatically optimises the black level settings depending on the content of the picture. And finally – yes, this really is the last thing you need to get your head round, honest! – Panasonic has added a new Deep Black Filter system to its legendary Real Black Drive technology for boosting black level response. This filter should, reckons Panasonic, cut out ambient light reflections, and in doing so help the 42PX60 achieve a huge claimed contrast ratio of 10,000:1. Eat that, LCD…
You’d expect such an extensive collection of features to add up to one heck of a picture performance. And they do. With knobs on.