Panasonic Viera TX-P46G10 46in Plasma TV - Panasonic Viera TX-P46G10

John Archer

By John Archer

Reviewed:

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Panasonic Viera TX-P46G10 46in Plasma TV

Summary

Our Score:

9

User Score:

Of course, introducing 12 extra frames for every single real frame in a 50Hz video stream isn't easy, requiring a veritable powerhouse of video processing. As a result, Panasonic is using frame rate numbers as one of the major distinguishing features between its new high, mid and low-end models. For instance, while models from the G10 and higher ranges get 600Hz, the step-down S10 models get 400Hz, while the lower-still X10 models get 100Hz.

Regular readers will probably guess that the technology delivering the 600Hz frame result on the P46G10 is Panasonic's Intelligent Frame Creation system, which can be switched on or off via an obscurely named Other Settings sub-menu. Not that the P46G10 is generally obscure to use, mind you. As I always try to point out in any Panasonic review, I actually find the brand's operating system one of the simplest around, thanks to a well laid-out remote control and clear, concise onscreen menus.

Having inevitably focussed so far largely on the completely new features the P46G10 brings to the table, it's taken me a bit longer than expected to get to yet another ace up the TV's sleeve: its built-in Freesat tuner. Building reception of Freesat's HD and standard def channels into a flat TV's bodywork has proved a commercial masterstroke so far on Panasonic's part, chiming perfectly with a clutter-hating, cash-strapped marketplace looking to avoid paying subscription fees for their TV channels. As ever, the Freesat tuner is joined in the P46G10 by a Freeview tuner, with decently presented electronic programme guides available for both.

Other notable facts about the P46G10 find it sporting an SD card slot capable of playing AVCHD movies as well as JPEG stills, a slightly underwhelming HDMI count of three, and the increasingly ubiquitous Eco mode, whereby the picture can be set to automatically adjust its brightness output in response to light levels in your viewing room.

If I'm honest, while the new X10 Panasonic plasma TVs I've seen so far have been good, they haven't been truly outstanding, leaving me feeling that the brand was holding stuff back for its higher-spec models - a feeling that's entirely borne out by the clearly superior P46G10.

For instance, as the NeoPDP blurb promises, pictures on the P46G10 look noticeably more dynamic thanks to striking improvements in both the depth of the screen's black level response and general brightness level.

The P46G10's black levels actually achieve KURO-esque levels of rich, pure darkness. During a Blu-ray run-through of Quantum of Solace, for instance, the corners of the cave where Bond ends up with Camille following their escape from a plane crash, for instance, look almost completely dark. But far more importantly, the ease (relative to LCD) with which the P46G10 achieves these black levels, together with the image's greater brightness, means that there's an outstanding amount of shadow detailing on show. In other words, you can clearly see background rocks and patches of light in the cave sequence that just aren't visible at all on most flat TV rivals.

Premfab

April 1, 2009, 5:13 am

Well done Panasonic.





But John, please don't insult the Pioneer Kuro TVs by comparing them to a Panasonic!!





Pioneer made their TV with a passion that Panasonic cannot hope to copy.





Pioneer made their best TV in 2 sizes with 2 models each (with a media box and without). That's it. The same panel used in all models - their best effort - nothing less.





Companies like Panasonic make several models - cheap ones and expensive ones. Not all of these are their best effort, are they? In fact, some have been delibrately crippled to justify their place at that price point.





Yes, I do own a Pioneer Kuro. And no, I will not be buying this Panasonic.

Ohmz

April 1, 2009, 5:36 am

@ Prem, a little harsh don't you think?

Randy

April 1, 2009, 11:55 am

@Prem





So you are admitting that you are willing to pay 3x times the price for the sake of knowing that nuts and bolts in your panel were screwed on by hand (apart from the fact that they weren't)? Man, you are the perfect marketing target.





I own 2 of Panny's excellent Viera plasmas, and i wish that their remotes were less plasticky and generally made better, but i'm not paying 2 grand to get a better remote.

ilovethemonkeyhead

April 1, 2009, 1:45 pm

@Prem





the kuro may have the best image quality at the moment, but since they're apparently pulling out that tech won't be the greatest anymore, after a time. it's like how my littl vauxhall corsa could outrun an aston martin db5. i wouldn't be suprised if panny's top of the line tv walks away with an editors choice.

Riyad

April 1, 2009, 2:34 pm

@Prem - If Pioneer were so passionate about the construction of their TVs, why did they decide to offload panel manufacture to Panasonic?





The fact is that Panasonic’s plasma manufacturing facility is amazing, and Pioneer couldn’t hope to make that kind of investment itself. I have been to the Panasonic plasma factories and I can tell you first hand that there is no one more capable of manufacturing top quality plasma panels, which is why Pioneer struck the production deal up with Panasonic in the first place.





I don’t think that John is at all misguided in comparing this panel to a Kuro, since any new development should be compared to the best in the market. It also doesn’t surprise me that Panasonic is making such huge leaps forward with its black level response, since I would be amazed if the co-op deal with Pioneer didn’t include some amount of technology sharing.





Yes I do own a second gen Pioneer Kuro. Yes I do love it. But it’s a sad fact that Pioneer will not be manufacturing TVs for much longer, and therefore other manufacturers will eventually surpass the image quality of my TV. That is, quite simply, inevitable.

JayC

April 1, 2009, 2:48 pm

"Yeah, yeah, I know: yet another bloody Panasonic TV. But actually, I'm not in the least bit apologetic"





Nor should you apolgise, I'd bet most people reading these reviews would give their right arm to be doing your job! :-) Shame you can't do an annual TR raffle to give all these away.

Ed

April 1, 2009, 3:30 pm

"Shame you can't do an annual TR raffle to give all these away."





That infers we get to keep them in the first place and I can assure you we seldom do.

M7S

April 1, 2009, 4:34 pm

Could you kindly consider modifying the features table. The text of the article suggests that there are both HD and SD Freesat Tuners (or at least one that is capable of both) and a Freeview tuner, but the features table doesnt expand Freesat beyond saying that there is one. It would be helpful for quick comparisons if this was clearer in the table and given the future plans for HD Freeview, would also help when this comes about.


Thank you very much

Aero 1

April 1, 2009, 4:51 pm

When do you expect to review the Z1, V10 or G15 series as I'm very interested in those as they hopefully come with Viera Cast technology for some internet sites vid streaming.





Thanks for another great review as well.

Hamish Campbell

April 1, 2009, 5:20 pm

@Riyad - It's kinda sad that when I read the word 'inevitable' I can't help but read it in my head as Agent Smith.





Perhaps its sad too that I don't have to explain who I mean when on this forum.





Nah, screw it, that was a great trilogy. I'm beginning to believe!!!!

Orinj

April 1, 2009, 5:40 pm

I have a 50" Panasonic Viera and Pioneer Kuro plasmas and whilst there is no doubt the Pioneer has the better picture quality I wouldn't say that the Panasonic was poor. There is always a compromise whichever you choose.





I agree that the Panasonic has the better user interface, remote and is quick to respond to button presses along with a great EPG. The Pioneer is slow to respond to button presses, has a terribly slow EPG that does not allow you to hear the TV audio while viewing and other such annoyances but it's picture is outstanding and for the pure visual experience cannot (yet) be beaten.





If you want a television with good picture and control over the programmes get the Panasonic but if you want the best picture and control over the image get the Pioneer and use an external tuner/DVD recorder/satellite unit.

Riyad

April 1, 2009, 8:49 pm

@M7S - The Freesat tuner is both HD and SD. There are only two high definition channels on Freesat after all :)

Simon J

April 2, 2009, 12:05 am

To be fair I am feeling a little relieved that Panasonic have started to release panels getting close to the Pioneer quality. I eagerly await TR's review of the V10 to see if Panasonic has at last caught the mighty Kuro. After all if they mess this up what will people seeking the Kuro panel when they are no longer on the market.....and as they stop manufacturing them on April 11th....there won't be many left any time soon.





If Panasonic can deliver a V10/Z1 panel that equals or heaven forbid out performs the Kuro....straight out of the box and with little / no menu fiddling then I don't care what they do with the rest of their range.

Bazf8d

April 2, 2009, 12:36 am

Hi Riyad,





When you say blacks approaching that of the Kuro's, I take it you mean the G8 Kuro's and not the G9 ones? Did you by any chance get a calibrated figure for the blacks in say cd/m2 or fL? I would be extremely surprised if they even came close to a G9 Kuro tbh! How does the shadow detail and off air SD performance also compare to a 5090 or KRP Kuro? What were your impressions of Veiracast - apart from just a few select websites, is there an option for selecting from a choice of widgets?





Thanks!

JayC

April 2, 2009, 2:07 am

@Ed "That infers we get to keep them in the first place and I can assure you we seldom do."





Which is why I used phrase "shame you can't" as I figured there was very little chance of you keeping the review units. Still, keeping them or not the opportunity to play around with the latest gadgets leaves me green with envy although the work that goes into the reviews does not :-)

Riyad

April 2, 2009, 3:37 am

@Baz - I didn't review this TV, John did, so I can't really answer your points. I know that I've yet to see a screen that compares to my G9 Kuro when it comes to black level response, but as I mentioned above, I don't expect that to be the case forever.

Peter 15

April 2, 2009, 12:53 pm

I hope the quality of this 46 incher extends to the 50 as I have just pre-ordered one.

Premfab

April 3, 2009, 12:48 am

Oops - what did I start....???





What I'm saying is that whilst the Panasonic is a good TV, it does not beat the Kuro. There's more to picture quality that the blackness. There's motion, SD material, etc.





The Kuro is Pioneer's best effort. They didn't make a low spec model and then say after a few weeks, here's one a little bit better, etc. There's only one quality and 2 sizes.





You will note that I do not have the same passion for their disc spinners or other AV kit.





There's no one here who would buy the Panasonic over a Pioneer, if money was not the issue. That's a big IF I know but I'm just trying to say that the Pioneer Kuro is something very special.





Sorry if I offended anyone - not my intention. And no, I'm not the perfect marketing target - I just like the best (when I can afford it!).

Williamn

April 4, 2009, 6:43 am

Sorry to be off topic - but it is about TV's





What does everyone think is the best freeview TV for not more than 𧹈 ? All round package more important than just sheer size....

Thermaltaker

April 7, 2009, 3:31 am

Hello Everyone at TR. I'm from the Netherlands and reading the reviews here with very much interest and enjoyment! I'm also looking at the 2009 Panasonic models. The thing, on paper at least, that I like most about it is the reduced power consumption, which John briefly mentioned. I was eager to read on, but soon disappointed not to see any hard figures to evidence these claims. Maybe it would be a good idea to elaborate a bit more on this topic, in these times where energy saving is drawing more and more attention.


Can't wait to see the V10 review, by the way. Keep up the good work guys!

Peter 15

April 27, 2009, 12:57 pm

WOW - got my 50" panasonic, it is awesome.

Garry

May 4, 2009, 4:05 am

I have a problem choosing between sony 46w5500 and the panny 46g10, read both reviews now confused even more. any advice would be appreciated

dsangh

May 5, 2009, 3:50 pm

Would you please let us have your views on the sound quality and output, as I understand that the speakers are placed at the bottom of the set facing downwards?

LarsF

May 17, 2009, 1:13 pm

Hey John/Riyad. I have a bit of a dilema. I'm stuck between the choice of buying the Samsung PS50A756 and the Panasonic Viera TX-P46G10.


I can get the Samsung a little bit cheaper and of course its 4" larger. (Mind you the couch is at 4 - 5m distance from where one of these baby's will hang on my wall)


My question is, Is the panasonic picture quility : black level/0.02s refresh frame rate/600Hz Sub-Field Drive/ Neo PdP/ etc...etc... worth going a tad more expensive but 4" smaller in tv size.... (even though I love the design of the Samsung, I would aways prefer quality of picture than quality of design)


Aaahhh the tyranny of choice... Could you put me out of my misery!! Oh yeah....great work on the reviews, best site out there!!



Hest

June 5, 2009, 11:33 am

Some G10's in Denmark has been measured to output 24hz bluray with 60hz on the screen, which then produces jidder because of pulldown.


Anyone noticed anything about this?

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