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Panasonic Viera TX-P42V10 42in Plasma TV review

John Archer




  • Recommended by TR

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Panasonic Viera TX-P42V10 42in Plasma TV
  • Panasonic Viera TX-P42V10 42in Plasma TV
  • Panasonic Viera TX-P42V10 42in Plasma TV
  • Panasonic Viera TX-P42V10 42in Plasma TV
  • Panasonic Viera TX-P42V10 42in Plasma TV
  • Panasonic Viera TX-P42V10 42in Plasma TV
  • Panasonic Viera TX-P42V10 42in Plasma TV
  • Panasonic Viera TX-P42V10 42in Plasma TV
  • Viera TX-P42V10 107 cm 42" Plasma TV (16:9 - 1920 x 1080 - 1080p - Surround, Dolby)


Our Score:


Regular readers will know that Panasonic has hardly been shy about sending us TVs to review this year. We've seen multiple sizes from nearly every part of the brand's latest plasma and LCD range. The only one that's slipped through the net is the V10 series. So we thought it was high time we put that right…

The V10 range is actually only the second model down in the latest Panasonic hierarchy, sitting below the flagship Z1 range we looked at a couple of months ago. But people rather daunted by the many thousands of pounds demanded by the Z1 models can take heart from the fact that the V10 is nowhere near as expensive. In fact, we've found the 42in P42V10 we're looking at today going for under £1100 - a price that really looks a steal when you start investigating what the set has to offer.

For starters, in keeping with all the top half of Panasonic's plasma range this year, the P42V10 sports a built-in Freesat tuner alongside the more typical Freeview and analogue tuner types. Also potentially hugely significant is the fact that it uses one of Panasonic's NeoPDP plasma panels, which are able to deliver big advances in brightness and colour vibrancy versus Panasonic's 'normal' plasma screens.

In practice, this means that the P42V10 gives you the flexibility to either watch pictures that are unusually dynamic by plasma standards, or else ramp down the brightness in return for substantial running power economies versus standard plasma models.

The P42V10 enjoys a Full HD 1,920 x 1,080 resolution, meanwhile - a key specification that's still unique to Panasonic in the 42in plasma world. And as with all NeoPDP panels, it claims a contrast ratio of millions to one.

While we're on the subject of big numbers, let's also look at the P42V10's 600Hz processing system. This number is obviously extremely high given that we're only just getting to grips with 200Hz in the LCD TV world. And actually the 600Hz figure isn't really describing a 600Hz cycle rate in the way you'd normally imagine. Rather it's describing a situation where something called Sub-field Drive Intelligent Frame Creation Pro interpolates enough extra frames of freshly calculated image data to create a 600Hz-type effect. The reason for adding these extra frames is, of course, to dramatically reduce the motion judder problem that's so associated with plasma technology - especially Panasonic plasma technology, funnily enough.

As you'd expect of a TV so near the top of Panasonic's range, we're nowhere near done with the feature finery yet. For alongside a healthy four HDMIs and a D-Sub PC port on the P42V10's connections panel are an SD card slot that can play AVCHD and DivX video as well as JPEG sources, and an Ethernet port for hooking up to either a PC or the Internet.

Well, a bit of the Internet, anyway. For as with all 'online TVs' except for those from Philips, Panasonic currently only lets you access its own ring-fenced sites, containing content specially formatted for ease of access via a TV remote rather than a mouse and keyboard.


August 12, 2009, 10:36 am

Thanks for the review John.

This review is very well timed for me as I am about to move house and install a new setup. I originally had the Samsung Series 8 UE40B800 in mind, though my AV dealer 'strongly' recommended this TV ahead of that model.

I know you have reviewed the 46" version of the Samsung so I wondered what your thoughts might be on which you'd pick. Motion clarity is a big thing for me but then sharpness and image 'pop' is something I look for also. Not sure I'll get the chance to do a side by side compare of both screens :(


August 12, 2009, 12:58 pm

Excellent Review, Just out of curiosity, how does this set compare to the Pioneer 4280XD 1st Gen Plasma? Just wondering how far things have peogressed in 2 years. Thanks


August 12, 2009, 12:59 pm

One would assume that the Freeview tuner is not capable of recieving future free to air HD transmissions which could well be braodcast within a year or so?

Is it possible to include in future TV reviews whether they can be upgraded internally rather than have to think about adding a standalone box.

Also any CAM slot - can it take cards for Freeview and Freesat even if it would be of current limited use as its inevitable (i think) that pay tv will feature in the future.

Simon J

August 12, 2009, 1:06 pm

Oh dear..I suspected that the review of this TV would not be all good.....and still no Kuro beater....will any Plasma manufacturer ever better the mighty Pioneer? It certainly looks as if LCD might get there first at this rate.

I certainly would be interested to see if the 50" version of this set is affected by the same issues as the 42" version?


August 12, 2009, 8:17 pm

Would have been useful to get screenshots of the on-screen guide, etc. I find the UI and usablity of some of the TVs to be very poor. In fact, it would be useful to give a UI and UE rating for each product you review, so manufacturers start paying attention to it.

Also, I am suprised none of the TVs so far come with built in PVR!


August 12, 2009, 11:00 pm

That is a really good idea from ash. having had experience of a lot of TV UIs they can vary a fair bit. For instance one thing that really annoys me about my panasonic (46pz81) is when u go into the EPG there is no picture or sound from the channel ur watching. whereas my older samsung (40m86) did both and my mums sony at least has sound playing.

on the other hand i have found the panasonic to be very responsive to input whereas my samsung could be pretty slow sometimes.


August 13, 2009, 12:13 pm

Could you please start putting the power consumption figures for both use and standby on the summary page. That would be very useful, especially when comparing LCD and plasma units.

Thanks chaps - good review.

Steve 12

August 13, 2009, 4:20 pm

I'm confused

The review states that the 600Hz processing system is intended to dramatically reduce the motion judder problem that's so associated with plasma technology. But it also states that a key advantage of plasma is motion clarity.


August 15, 2009, 1:11 am

I agree with Greg, it would be useful get a power/green rating also.


August 20, 2009, 5:56 pm

And when will you publish review LCD variant of this TV, TX-L37V10?

Ralph Black

September 6, 2009, 2:37 am

Is this tv as good as a late purchase CRT, or am I going to be pleasantly surprised by how it exhibits SD? Please excuse me if this is a silly question, but for me the competition this set faces is against my 5 yr old CRT and not against an LCD. I merely want to be sure that I am actually upgrading as opposed to buying something fashionable and thin!

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