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Panasonic Viera TX-P42V10 42in Plasma TV - Panasonic Viera TX-P42V10
Regarding motion, there's no detectable response time-related motion blur whatsoever. Footballers charge about without losing resolution, cricket balls head off to the boundary without leaving smeary trails, camera's pan across a scene without the whole picture softening up… To anyone seriously disturbed by the just-described motion problems associated with LCD, the P42V10's almost instant response time will likely seem like a revelation.
It's important to stress, too, that with the Intelligent Frame Creation system in play, the P42V10 doesn't fall prey to plasma's traditional judder issue nearly as badly as Panasonic's 100Hz or even 400Hz models. The only time judder is an issue, in fact, is with the THX preset in play, which deactivates the IFC system. Clearly THX sees judder as a natural part of cinema viewing. But while I certainly understand and empathise with this 'purist' approach, there's also no denying that the judder witnessed on the P42V10 without IFC engaged can sometimes get quite distracting.
Turning to black levels, what makes them so great on the P42V10 isn't so much their depth - though they certainly go deeper than all non-LED LCD TVs - as their naturalism. By which I mean that the deep blacks are achieved with no OTT reduction in brightness levels, a natural colour tone with no blue undercurrent, and lots and lots of lovely shadow detail helping give dark scenes a sense of depth and solidity most LCD TVs would sell their souls for. Especially as the black level depth doesn't drop off if you have to watch the TV from an angle, as happens with practically every LCD TV in town.
The P42V10 can also deliver some terrific colour response with HD sources too, combining extremely natural tones with an exceptionally wide colour range.
Furthermore, the P42V10's NeoPDP panel allows it to produce brightness levels much higher than most plasma TVs can muster. In fact, thanks to a combination of all the strengths just mentioned, the P42V10 can deliver HD movies that actually look cinematic. And you can't ask for more than that.
Not that the P42V10 only likes HD, though. For Panasonic's V-Real processing does a good job of upscaling standard definition to the P42V10's Full HD resolution, sharpening images without emphasising any inherent signal noise.