Home » TVs & Audio » TV » Panasonic TX-P42GT60

Panasonic TX-P42GT60 review

John Archer



  • Editors choice
Panasonic P42GT60


Our Score



  • Groundbreaking 2D and 3D picture quality
  • Brilliantly thought through and straightforward interface
  • Good multimedia support


  • Touch Pen feature is silly
  • Missing LoveFilm and some TV catch-up services
  • Design is just so-so

Review Price £1,149.00

Key Features: 42in plasma TV; Active 3D playback (2 pairs of glasses included); Viera Connect online features; THX and ISF certified; multimedia playback via USB

Manufacturer: Panasonic


Despite kicking off its 2013 telly season with a series of LCD models and repeatedly suggesting that its plasma future is looking bleak, Panasonic still hasn’t totally given up on plasma technology. In fact, on the evidence of the Panasonic P42GT60 under the microscope today, the brand seems to have gone into plasma overdrive - keen, perhaps, to squeeze the very last drop of quality out of the format before its death knell sounds.

Panasonic P42GT60 - Design & Touch Pen Madness

Having just set the Panasonic P42GT60 up for a glowing review, though, we’ve got a big moan to get off our chests. The thing is, for no good reason we can come up with, Panasonic is shipping an Electronic Touch Pen with its GT60 models. This pen is very easy on the eye, pairs simply with the TV, and works perfectly well. Pity, then, that to us writing directly on your TV screen is one of the most pointless, potty and quite possibly unsafe ideas ever to emerge from the AV world.

Panasonic P42GT60

Seriously, why would you want to stand up, walk over to your TV and start doodling on it? Or why on earth in this age of tablet computers and smart phones would anyone want to use a pen on a TV screen to play a game? Remarkably you can actually pair two pens with the Panasonic P42GT60 if you like. But all that would be doing is making the feature twice as pointless.

The only other thing that's a genuine let down is the Panasonic P42GT60’s design, which is best described as fair. The frame around the screen is passably trim by plasma standards at around an inch wide, and a bit of panache is injected into proceedings by a shiny metallic outer trim. The ‘hairline finish’ metal stand is classy as well. It’s impossible to deny, though, that Panasonic’s LCD TVs this year look far more glamorous, with their super-slim bezels and ‘glass and metal’ finishes.

Panasonic P42GT60 - Connections

So that's the bad-ish bits out-of-the-way...

The Panasonic's P42GT60‘s connectivity is mostly strong, with highlights of three USBs (for recording from the digital tuners as well as playing back multimedia), an SD port, built-in Wi-Fi and a LAN port. It is a bit disappointing, though, to find a TV as ‘serious’ as the Panasonic P42GT60 only sporting three HDMIs when most of its rivals deliver at least four. All the AV connections can be accessed from the side, to aid wall mounting. Though, oddly, Panasonic has left the kettle-type power lead stick straight out of the TV’s rear, another design faux-pas.

Panasonic P42GT60

Panasonic P42GT60 - Panel Spec

The panel at the GT60’s heart is one of Panasonic’s brand new NeoPlasma Black 3000 affairs, and as such is the same panel, excitingly, that also forms the heart of Panasonic’s step up VT65 and flagship ZT65 models.

The key points about this panel are that it delivers even better black level response, enhanced brightness, even faster cell lighting/decay speeds and even greater energy efficiencies than any previous Panasonic plasmas.

The GT60s differ from the VT and ZT models, though, when it comes to their contrast filters. For the P42GT60 ‘only’ gets the Infinite Black Pro filter while the VT65 and ZT65 get the Infinite Black Ultra system and Ultimate Black filters respectively. This might not sound much of a difference on paper, but actually these light filters in plasma TVs can be critical to their potential performance.

The P42GT60 enjoys a 3,000Hz sub-field drive system for improved motion and colour saturations, plus a claimed 24,576 shades of gradation. This is less than the 30,000 shades you get with the VT65 and ZT65s, but it’s still a substantial number that will hopefully result in few traces of plasma’s once-common colour striping (posterisation) phenomenon.

Panasonic P42GT60

Other picture features supported by the TV include: 1080 Pure Direct playback for ‘purer’ handling of Blu-rays; Colour Remaster circuitry, which applies an extended colour gamut to images to boost their vibrancy and colour range; standard and MPEG noise reduction tools; Resolution Remaster circuitry that purports to boost the sense of resolution and make the image clearer; a Brilliance Enhancer that adjusts contrast on a local basis to boost an image’s perceived dynamism; and Panasonic’s Intelligent Frame Creation system for interpolating extra frames of image data to remove motion judder.

Ironically many of these tools won’t interest the sort of picture enthusiast most likely to be thinking of buying a Panasonic P42GT60, but that’s not to say that they’re not worth at least dabbling with. For instance, the Intelligent Frame Creation system can prove helpful with TV footage (though it’s less useful with Blu-ray movies), the Colour Remaster option can be helpful in bright room environments, and the Resolution Remaster delivers an image ‘finish’ akin to the ultra-crisp if somewhat noisy look of Samsung and LG’s LCD TVs if you like that sort of thing.

Likely more interesting to AV enthusiasts are the P42GT60’s endorsements by both the THX and Imaging Science Foundation (ISF) organisations – endorsements earned by both the quality and accuracy of the images the P42GT60 can deliver and the amount of colour, white balance and gamma management tools the set carries. There’s also a Panel Luminance setting which proved surprisingly useful in getting that nth degree of performance out of the panel, especially when it came to shadow detailing and black level response.

Next page


April 17, 2013, 8:43 am

And sad to think they may end up ceasing production of plasmas! Got this on my "want" list


April 17, 2013, 9:05 am

I think the pen is not all that silly. Apart from being a nice surface to be creative, using a pen for say a touch interface will save getting finger marks all on the screen. I'm a football coach, I could see this also handy for pausing a recorded football match and drawing on the screen to do some explaining etc. There are of course lots of other uses I'm sure people could think of. I personally think your rant went slightly over the top, especially when it's an option.

Chris Beach

April 18, 2013, 11:36 am

I'm really not sure that only having 3 hdmi can be considered a bad thing for a high-end panel...surely if you're paying this much, you've got/getting a proper amp/receiver to go with it.
2 at the back (both fully specced with audio return), then one on the edge for smartphone/camcorder connections (though the amp should have that) seems more than plenty.

Amps on the other hand need to have >4, ideally 6+ HDMI's!

Anti Fake

April 18, 2013, 4:21 pm

Great review , GT60 is really performer plasma tv.


April 20, 2013, 1:24 pm

My family and I are just about in love with our new
Panasonic! We got it hooked up at home,
and it the picture was just amazing! When I got the DISH Hopper I knew it was time to start looking for another TV, as
the Hopper gives me HD to four different sets, and I only had three at the
time. A coworker of mine at from my job
at DISH suggested looking into Panasonic, and I couldn’t imagine making a
better choice for my new TV! The best part is now; no one has to worry about
their favorite show being skipped because of a DVR timer conflict.


April 22, 2013, 10:17 am

Does this TV have any fans inside it?


April 22, 2013, 4:14 pm

It's already official. Panasonic is shutting their plasma divisions down by 2014. I don't know if they cease the production but no new models will be developed. These are the last ones.


April 26, 2013, 11:35 am

Absolute nonsense!
Panasonic are NOT shutting down Plasma production by 2014, or any other set date for that matter!
Production and development of Plasma goes on alongside LED/LCD and OLED until OLED is a true production reality, by which time Plasma AND LED/LCD are all dead technologies and will all be superceded by OLED.
That is the official line by Panasonic's head man at the launch of the 2013 ranges.


August 7, 2013, 1:02 pm

I've just got this TV (in the 50" guise) and it's fantastic. Regarding the pen thing my wife was very excited to use this when we have people over. Drunken Pictionary on a massive TV can be either brilliantly entertaining or absolutely terrifying depending on who is playing..


August 7, 2013, 1:09 pm

Makes sense Chris. Also, the note about the centralised kettle lead seems bizzare to me as it is perfectly positioned for a wall mount (my builder built a socket just below the bracket for plugging in the TV. No need for a conduit and no mess, just a little cable tie and badabing).

Bugi Vri

August 20, 2013, 12:46 pm

It is absolutely NOT total nonsense.
Panasonic will indeed not stop producing and fine-tuning their existing plasma technology. It has however indeed communicated to the world that they will cease active R&D into really further developing plasma technology, as it is too costly compared to what the plasma division is bringing them revenue-wise. With the OLED TV's slowly emerging in the past and coming years, it seems just to cut down on R&D spending on plasma, and instead look towards developing its successor - OLED.

Then again, what more is there to wish for. This TV is as good as it gets. I want this device. Badly. Such a shame I will have to wait (a) till I've got the money to spend, and (b) till I have time to travel to the Netherlands, where the GT60 is on sale for € 1049, whereas here in Germany one can only get the GTW60 for 200 euros more - without any difference really that would justify this hefty price-increase.


October 14, 2013, 9:22 pm

I bought one (42") and it's going back after 2 days. There's unacceptable buzzing noise from the TV (linked to how hard the power supply is working, i.e. louder when there is more bright white on the screen), horrible judder on panning shots and odd yellow flashes where high contrast areas change quickly (dynamic false contouring or DFC, I have learned it's called). All of this is on Freeview, HD and SD.

Strangely, none of the (many) reviews I read mention these problems, but owner's forums do. Make sure you test view one or buy from a reputable retailer with a good returns policy. I'm back to square one and going LED.

Credit where it's due, on a non-panning shot of wildlife in slow motion on BBC1 HD, the picture was absolutely stunning. But the other issues are so bad they're headache inducing. Buyer beware!

Tutan Khamon

November 15, 2013, 9:28 pm

esti prost?


November 18, 2013, 4:55 pm

I bought this TV (42") 3 weeks ago having held out until now with my trusted JVC 28"CRT. I never had any problems with motion on that (indeed no TV maker ever said their motion was better than the others until flat panels came along!) So, I was with great trepidation that I gave in as I had hoped that OLED would be the norm by now.
I have no regrets at all and so glad I waited. This TV is sublime in the way it handles motion, detail, colour, well everything really. It's taken a week or two to get used to the jump in screen size but otherwise a quantum leap in TV viewing. And believe me, I a very critical of almost all other flat screen TVs. I am now slightly paranoid about screen burn however!
All I will say is that if you are thinking of this Panasonic TV don't hesitate, get it while you still can.


February 23, 2014, 12:51 pm

Interesting about the yellow flashes. I still see yellow and blue flashes on my old Kuro set but no one else can see them - it happens in high contrast areas where black is next to white etc. Could it be that this is a side effect of getting super high contrast on plasma? I never see it on LCDs. Do you have a link to these discussions? Was considering this set!

marc antoine

June 6, 2014, 4:46 pm

i have this tv,how to stop the judder effect?
and what are you calling "reversal film effect"?

comments powered by Disqus