Home / TVs & Audio / TV / Panasonic Viera TX-P46G20 / Performance and Verdict

Panasonic Viera TX-P46G20 - Performance and Verdict

John Archer

By John Archer

Reviewed:

Awards

  • Recommended by TR
Panasonic Viera TX-P46G20

Summary

Our Score:

9

User Score:

There’s yet more excellent black level news too, in that unlike the vast majority of LCD/LED TVs, the P46G20 does not see its dark bits turning grey if you’re forced to watch its screen from a wide angle. You have to be almost at right angles to the P46G20 before any severe contrast - or colour - degradation sets in.

We’ve occasionally had cause to moan about some slight colour tone issues with previous Panasonic plasma generations. But the NeoPDP revamp seems to have largely put these issues to bed, with the vast majority of tones looking both rich and natural. There’s still very occasionally a minor green bias during dark scenes, but reds now look consistently red rather than orange, and greens are generally far better balanced. This is especially true with HD, but there’s also much less of a colour tone drop-off when moving to standard def than we’re prone to seeing with non-NeoPDP plasma TVs.

The P46G20’s impressively expressive approach to colour combines with the purity of Panasonic’s V-Real 5 video processor and the screen’s Full HD resolution to produce a superb sense of definition and clarity when showing HD material. A fact reinforced by the fact that plasma technology doesn’t suffer with the sort of motion blur/resolution loss that LCD technology does.

Really the only picture quality complaints we can muster - especially considering the P46G20’s extremely aggressive £1029 price - are that there’s a little dotting noise from time to time over skin tones during camera pans, and occasionally minor evidence of colour banding within subtle colour blends. Otherwise it’s all very good.

The P46G20’s sound isn’t as stellar as its pictures, but it’s perfectly acceptable, delivering enough power, dynamic range and clarity to produce a soundstage able to do the scale of the 46in pictures justice. A more open sound and deeper bass would improve things, but that’s the very least that can be said, too, of the vast majority of other flat TVs on the market.

Verdict

The P46G20 continues what is becoming a long stream of successes for Panasonic’s latest plasma range. In fact, with its combination of a reasonably practical size, typically excellent picture quality and seriously aggressive pricing, we have a suspicion this could prove to be the most popular model yet.

Michael McG

August 17, 2010, 1:11 pm

Hi John,





Did you see any instances of flucuating black level on the tv? on my Panasonic V20, when watching 2:35:1 material in a dark environment - the brightness level clearly flucuates up and down a couple of notches quite frequently. For example I watched Fight club on blu-ray last night, and i could see the picture brightness rise and then settle back down several times during the film. Its the same effect as using the brightness control and notching it up a couple of clicks, then notching it back down.. only it happens very quickly and is very noticable - expecially on material with black bars and in darker viewing conditions. I am using the THX setting on the tv, with CATS disabled





Cheers,


Mick

MarioM

August 17, 2010, 1:31 pm

Come on Panasonic, get on with it and get those 46VT20s and 42VT20s in the shops now! Or I'm getting a Sony. The Sony's online connectivity and slimness vs the Panasonic's better pic and sound. Hmmm...

Joey

August 17, 2010, 5:04 pm

@MarioM


As a TV is bought to watch stuff on only a fool would buy one with inferior picture quality for the sake of some online connectivity and slimness. I don't really get the whole slimness thing, when you're actually watching it you can't tell how slim the tv is.

Chris

August 17, 2010, 5:31 pm

Does anyone have an opinion on whether these new Panasonic plasmas have caught up with Pioneers of old yet?





@Joey: While I agree with the sentiment (picture quality above all else), if you're the kind of person who would use the Sony's iPlayer features every single day, you'd be pretty miffed if you had to make do without it. You may even forgo a bit of picture quality for the sake of that convenience...





I'm just saying, having different priorities to ours doesn't make someone a 'fool'.





But yes, I don't get the slimness thing either, particularly when the difference is only an inch or two.

Michael McG

August 17, 2010, 6:33 pm

@ chris - apparently the black level isnt quite as good as Kuro yet.. and the pansonic range has a couple of very annoying issues for me at least 1) my v20 has a high pitch buzz, and 2) flucuating black levels.. google 'panasonic floating blacks' lots of issues reported in Uk/US but panasonic dont seem to acknowledge it as a fault

Chris

August 17, 2010, 7:04 pm

@Michael McG: The V20 is the model I was looking at, thanks for your input. Between the issues you mention and the possibility that these sets might suffer from a loss of brightness after a couple years use, I think I'll wait and see what happens.

RazorA

August 17, 2010, 8:44 pm

I'm surprised the Panasonic plasma range hasn't matched the Kuros yet for black levels. Didn't Panasonic buy the technology from Pioneer when they decided to stop making TVs?

Dibblodocus

August 17, 2010, 8:52 pm

@Michael McG: I noticed an annoying buzz with my G20 - turned out to be interference with my subwoofer (ground switch in wrong position) - once diagnosed and rectified the TV is spot on. Are you certain the buzz comes from the TV? Worth checking your other connections / units.

Michael McG

August 18, 2010, 12:35 pm

@Dibblodocus: interesting.. i wll try the tv with everything else switched off tonight.. the buzz is from the tv alright - and its intensity changes based on screen content.. i played around again with it last night, and when i plugged out the aerial.. screen goes blank.. no buzz.. plug back in aerial.. buzz.. same with any source.. i dont think its aerial interference either.. but thanks for the suggestion i will try again tonight!

Mike Bramley

August 18, 2010, 3:42 pm

I have this set. My only criticisms are colour banding, which is noticeable on HD as well as SD broadcasts, and a greenish cast on facial shadows, also the rear connections will make it difficult to wall mount.


Otherwise it is amazingly good. I have my computer connected via HDMI, and gaming is simply stunning, and totally immersive.


I don't think your review mentioned the fact that the TV is SDXC compatible, which will be great for playing HD content in future.


Note that the TV gives off quite a bit of heat, so might use quite a bit of juice!

Stuart

August 20, 2010, 7:56 pm

>>provided that drive happens to be one of Buffalo’s JustStore Desktop EU2 models! >>





As I keep pointing out in the earlier reviews (such as that for my 42in version) you can use any external hard drive to the best of my knowledge - in my case a Seagate Expansion 1T model.

Michael McG

August 24, 2010, 7:41 pm

Hi John - any chance you could respond to this?





Hi John,





Did you see any instances of flucuating black level on the tv? on my Panasonic V20, when watching 2:35:1 material in a dark environment - the brightness level clearly flucuates up and down a couple of notches quite frequently. For example I watched Fight club on blu-ray last night, and i could see the picture brightness rise and then settle back down several times during the film. Its the same effect as using the brightness control and notching it up a couple of clicks, then notching it back down.. only it happens very quickly and is very noticable - expecially on material with black bars and in darker viewing conditions. I am using the THX setting on the tv, with CATS disabled





Cheers,


Mick





p.s. the effect is unmissable on 'The Matrix' blu-ray. If you watch the opening scene with Trinity in the room where the cops burst in.. if you watch this in a darkened environment.. My problem is i cant determine if this is a case of a few set exhibiting this behaviour or all? I checked two v20s at the shop i bought mine from and they all exhibited it.. i would hope any reviewer would bring this to the attention of Panasonic if they could see it happening?

comments powered by Disqus