Then there’s a digital optimiser for spotting and removing the sort of noise common to digital video signals; Motion Pattern Noise reduction for reducing the false contour noise that can effect motion on plasma panels; Panasonic’s near-legendary Real Black Drive system and Deep Black Filter for enhancing black level response; 12-bit processing power to reproduce a claimed 3,072 steps of image gradation for cleaner, more expressive dark areas and rich colours; and Advanced 3D Colour Management that allows full control of multiple colours at the same time without affecting neighbouring hues.
Other specs of the 42PX700 you’ll probably want to know about are its native resolution of 1,024 x 768 (made widescreen by elongating each pixel horizontally) and a very solid looking contrast ratio of 10,000:1. Plus the HDMIs are compatible with Panasonic’s Viera Link technology, allowing control via the TV’s remote of any compatible Panasonic-branded source equipment. The HDMIs are not, however, v1.3 affairs, and nor do they provide full support for 1080p/24fps sources which are shown, strangely, with no accompanying audio.
Since it’s such a key element of the 42PX700, let’s start our testing phase by putting its audio through its paces.
During the Berlin Warehouse assault sequence in the Blu-ray of ”Mission: Impossible III”, the benefit of the ‘Smart Sound’ system is immediately apparent in a number of ways. For starters, as Tom Cruise detonates his ‘distraction’ charges, there’s way more bass extension to the explosions than you get with the PX70 models, the soundstage opens up in volume much more generously, and the bullet-filled soundstage that follows is dispersed much more widely around the room. In addition, the mid-range containing most of the vocal elements of the film’s soundtrack is richer and clearer, and there’s even a little more clarity in the treble register, too.
The 42PX700’s audio advantage is slightly less obvious during quieter scenes, or during ‘normal’ daytime TV shows. But if you’re a movie fan not intending/wanting to get some sort of external sound system, the 42PX700 is certainly way more satisfying sonically than the 42PX70.