Panasonic Viera TX-P42X10 42in Plasma TV - Panasonic Viera TX-P42X10

By Riyad Emeran

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

8

Connection options are exactly what you'd expect from a TV at this price point. You get three HDMI ports, a set of component video inputs, two SCART connectors, a D-SUB PC input, S-Video and composite video. There's also an SD card slot, but before you get too excited, it's only for displaying images and won't playback any video formats. And of course there's a CI slot for adding subscription channels to the built-in Freeview tuner.

Like the TX-P37X10 that John reviewed a few weeks back, the TX-P42X10 sports a claimed dynamic contrast ratio of 2,000,000:1. Of course the native contrast ratio is quoted at a far more conservative 20,000:1, but it's worth remembering that these numbers are generally less deceiving on plasma screens as opposed to LCD. Now, I'm not going to tell you that this TV delivers groundbreaking black levels, because it doesn't. But what I will say is that even an entry-level plasma TV like this produces far deeper blacks than the majority of LCD screens on the market.

While on the subject of image quality, I have to agree with John's assessment of the 37in variant of this TV and say that it's not quite as bright as I would have liked. The lack of brightness didn't alarm me in the way it did John, but then since this is a 42in screen with near enough the same resolution as the 37in, the plasma chambers will be that bit larger, and therefore it should be brighter. That said, anyone buying a plasma TV should already be aware that it's not designed for viewing in bright sunlight. If you haven't got curtains or blinds in your living room, plasma probably isn't for you.

The trade off you're making for plasma's lack of brightness in the face of LCD is black level response, which I've already mentioned. Viewed in the correct environment, the TX-P42X10 produces good levels of detail in low light scenes, with none of the grey effect that plagues many LCD TVs. Even with the right environment though, I can't help but think that this TV doesn't provide as much visual punch as other Panasonic plasmas I've looked at. I didn't, however, notice any of the strange colour casts that John encountered with the TX-P37X10 - well, not while watching HD sources anyway.

Ryan131

March 29, 2009, 4:31 pm

I'm still surprised that Panasonic don't build Wii sensor bars into their bezels, considering their past collaborations with Nintendo.

Martin 6

March 30, 2009, 1:45 pm

While I agree that it's easy to get caught up in the Full HD hysteria and write off any HD Ready TV.


I have a PS3 so I want full 1080P goodness for my Blu-Ray Disks.


Would it be to much to ask for an addition to the refine search for TV's Bar to have a 1080p drop down box

prag fest

March 31, 2009, 3:09 am

Cant help but feel Panasonic are getting left behind a bit, it's been a long time since they produced anything with any particular lust value. On that subject, do you have any reviews of the new Samsung line up on the cards?

Paul W

March 31, 2009, 3:36 am

@prag fest - TR have just done a review of a 40" set from the new Samsung range (LE40B651). It got a pretty good score too:





http://www.trustedreviews.com/...

prag fest

March 31, 2009, 4:35 pm

@Pbryanw





Cheers mate, I caught that one. Being more specific, I have my eye on the new 750 and 7000 range, they have caught my fancy.

Toby Jugg

April 29, 2009, 9:55 pm

I have just got one of these after a 42px80b so can compare the two directly. My Girlfriend has a 37px8ba.


The x10 appears to be a small downward step for anyone who is mainly viewing SD. All the none-hdmi inputs except the pc D giving inferior overall viewing quality to the px80. A picture via the tuner (even an external cable box signal) is significantly inferior.


Although the blacks do seem deeper and very dark films like predator2 give superb quality dark scenes, the brightness appears to have suffered in direct relation. The panasonics really cannot take a lowering of the prior brightness levels (which aren't what anyone could call bright) without detriment to many common viewing scenes.





It would seem like the px80 models (if you can still get them) are still the best budget panasonic option for SD viewers.


Having said that, the x10 is still head and shoulders above anything else in their price range. (𧼤 from the local branch of a nationwide store)


For pc D input gaming, and presumably via HDMI from a PC with dvi output, the response level is great, leaving LCD's for dead.





HD input displays with a quality that leaves many 'full hd' panels to shame, although lack brightness (when you fancy it)is still noticable.





It seems strange that a plasma which is sold as none-hd should be so good at hd, and have let slip (although still very good) on the SD front.

clemenzina

May 23, 2010, 6:49 pm

I'm very grateful for your attention to SD display, Toby. The PX80 is scarce these days and when you do see it it's more expensive than the newer bottom-end Panny plasmas - now I know why!





I would like to put in a plea for Freeview SD viewers with legacy add-ons to cater for: would reviewers please not ignore us? OK, boast about how many HDMI sockets, but include SCART RGB/non-RGB, S-video, etc, and SD upscaled display quality in detail.





Thanks for listening (if you even see this!) ;)

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