Other great news finds the 42PZ800 almost entirely free of a couple of traditional Panasonic plasma shortcomings. And so dark scenes appear almost entirely free of any green undertones, and objects generally cross its screen without severe issues with judder or dotting noise.
The judder actually disappears entirely if you call in the 42PZ800’s IFC processing. But I’d urge you to only use IFC with caution, for it can generate some distracting flickering and shimmering side effects if used with really fast action, like a sporting event or high-octane film scene.
Another minor issue to be aware of is that to my eyes, while the 42PZ800 is marginally superior to Panasonic’s 42PX80 HD Ready entry-level 42in plasma screen when showing HD, the cheaper model arguably looks a little more natural, or at least less noisy, with standard definition.
It wouldn’t pay to get too hung up on this, as the 42PZ800’s standard def efforts still look better than those of the vast majority of other Full HD flat TVs we can think of. But if HD is and will likely continue to be a very small part of your life, then yes, you might be as well to save a few bob and go for the 42PX80 instead.
Trying to drag my attention away from the 42PZ800’s mostly terrific pictures for a minute or two to concentrate on its audio turns out to be a far more satisfying experience than I’m used to with flat TVs. The explosive dynamics of a ”Call Of Duty 5” set piece blast forth with exceptional power; the exceptional subtleties of ”Seven’s” desolate cityscape are deftly handled; vocals always sound clear and credible; the soundstage spreads over a decently wide area; and there’s even a solid amount of that rarest of flat TV audio commodities, bass.
The 42PZ800 is a terrific performer only slightly tarnished by the fact that Panasonic’s also excellent PZ85 and even PX80 models are available for less money. However, for the stated price, we should remember that a sumptuous cabinet is included, making it a rather tempting bit of kit overall.