Panasonic Viera TX-P42V10 42in Plasma TV - Panasonic Viera TX-P42V10

John Archer

By John Archer

Reviewed:

Awards

  • Recommended by TR
Panasonic Viera TX-P42V10 42in Plasma TV

Summary

Our Score:

9

After a good 10 minutes updating the P42V10 (yes, people, having a TV capable of jacking into the Internet means you can now get to look forward to the 'joy' of regular firmware updates), I checked out the latest state of play for Panasonic's Viera Cast system. And was reasonably happy with what I found.

The navigational interface remains attractive and straightforward, and the content level is solid, with Eurosport, YouTube, Picasa, and financial and weather reports all available. This is still short of what Samsung and Philips are offering with their online TVs, but it's a decent start for this still relatively burgeoning feature.

The last two 'big' features to report - in that they distinguish the P42V10 from models lower down the range - are Panasonic's Digital Cinema Colour processing, and THX certification.

The former feature enables the P42V10 to reproduce the colour space established by Hollywood for use in digital cinema projection theatres, rather than the normal HDTV colour specifications. And THX certification means that as well as the TV having done enough with its performance to satisfy the THX analysts, the P42V10 carries a THX preset where the image settings have been set in-line with what THX believes to be the optimal levels for movie viewing. It's interesting to note that with the THX mode engaged, the options for turning Intelligent Frame Creation and Picture Overscan on or off completely disappear from the TV's menus.

Before getting into the P42V10's performance, I should pause for a moment to talk about the set's design. For while it's no jaw-dropping work of art, its 'single sheet' glass-like finish is rather posh, and the contrast between the black bezel and glossy silver desktop mount is appealing. The only catch with the glassy finish is that it shows up greasy finger marks like you wouldn't believe. Just as well Panasonic ships a nice cleaning cloth with the TV!

As I've noted with other recent Panasonic TV reviews, plasma technology is no longer the dominant quality force over LCD that it once was. Some of the best LCD TVs out there for my money now outgun many plasma TVs in at least some picture areas. But even so, the P42V10 still does enough to warrant a best buy recommendation - especially given its relative affordability. The main reasons for this are that it scores strongly in what remain two key plasma advantage areas: motion clarity and black level.

snaxo

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 :(

Himesh

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

Moggy58

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?

Ash

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!

grouse

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.

Greg17b

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.

Ash

August 15, 2009, 1:11 am

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

patrabus

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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