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

John Archer

By John Archer



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


Our Score:


User Score:

Now for the bad news. Starting with the fact that while standard def pictures look sharp and clean, they don't seem as natural or vibrant with their colours as HD ones. There's also evidence during standard definition viewing of colour banding instead of perfectly smooth colour blends - a problem that very occasionally pops up with HD, too.

Next, even with the NeoPDP panel, and using the TV's really quite ugly Dynamic picture preset, the P42V10's pictures aren't as bright and dynamic as those of a good LCD set. And this brightness difference becomes more pronounced using one of the set's more sensible presets, such as Cinema or THX. In a darkened room I guess this might not be too much of a problem, but it does stop images having that 'pop' that so many people like to see.

Next, while HD pictures look detailed and extremely natural, they don't look quite as pin-sharp as we've seen them on one or two LCD TVs.

Finally, the IFC processing does cause some gentle artefacting from time to time, in the form of some slight shimmering around moving objects, sporadic flickering, and even a touch of shearing under extreme circumstances.

But such issues are common with pretty much every strong motion-processing system to some extent, and in the great scheme of things the P42V10's artefacts aren't severe enough to stop the system being a major benefit to pictures for 90 per cent of the time. Plus, of course, when the feature does become distracting with certain high-octane sources, well, you can just turn it off!

Turning to the P42V10's audio, it isn't as all-round excellent as its HD pictures. Chiefly because a slight shortage or range at both the bass and treble ends of the audio spectrum leaves the mid-range feeling a bit compressed. Good volumes can be achieved without distortion or cabinet 'hum' setting in, though, and the set has a decent stab at opening up to accommodate action scenes.


I guess a couple of big comparison questions need to be cleared up here. So first, is the P42V10 a Pioneer 'KURO' killer? No, it isn't. The latest KURO plasmas still outgun the P42V10 on black levels and colour response - though of course, they cost considerably more.

How does the P42V10 stack up against the best LCDs? Here it's more complicated, and a sort of 'horses for courses' situation. For while the best LCDs produce punchier, sharper, more dynamic images with less colour banding, the Panasonic scores on black level (except for more expensive LED backlit TVs) and motion clarity/response time.

Hmm. All this compare and contrast stuff is starting to sound unfairly negative. So probably the best way I can sum the P42V10 in a more upbeat context is by saying that it is actually the best 42in plasma TV you can currently buy (given that Pioneer doesn't do 42in ones anymore). Which makes it a must-audition set for anyone unsure as to which TV technology to buy, and an absolute no-brainer for LCD haters. Especially given its surprisingly aggressive price.


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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