Just Google the TV and you will find lots of reviews that seem to be quite good. Especially What Hi Fi? Sound and vision magazine. So yes, this is as good as it probably gets for this kind of price except if you can still find last years model for a better price as the improvements seem to be only minor. And yes this is only HD Ready but will be very good if you are mainly into SD viewing and there will be minor loss in details of HD Images compared to Full HD. Also the further away you sit the less difference you will notice.
42" Viera HD Plasma TV with 100Hz Double Scan, Superb Image Quality and Advanced Networking Capabilities
100Hz Double Scan
2,000,000:1 Dynamic Contrast (Native 20,000:1)
Smart Networking with VIERA Link
VIERA Image Viewer (JPEG)
A PDP driven at 50 Hz causes an annoying flicker due to a shortage in the number of pictures displayed per second. Therefore, each picture is displayed twice as if the PDP is driven at 100Hz Double Scan, i.e., the number of pictures displayed is increased to reduce the flicker.
Next-generation black reproduction has been achieved by improving the panel production process, incorporating the new Real Black Drive system (a pre-discharge control system), and raising the base illumination. Even in movie scenes where it is difficult to achieve a fine balance of light and dark, VIERA renders images just as the director intended.
VIERA Link allows interconnected operation of various AV devices using only the VIERA remote control, by simply connecting the devices to each other by an HDMI cable. VIERA Link performance has been further enhanced with LUMIX digital camera connection. By connecting a new LUMIX camera that has an HDMI output terminal to VIERA, you can use the VIERA remote to control the playback of images stored on the camera.
It's easy to view photo images with the SD Memory Card slot. Watch and show your photos right after you take them. Simply insert an SD Memory Card into VIERA to display photos on the large screen. You can also choose from among 3 types of background music and 4 display effects.
V-Audio Surround gives depth-sound-image effect by early-reflection data based on actual room measurement, that is generated from digital signal processor.
I thought I would post this as it is the cheapest you will get it anywhere at the moment. I know the Richer Sounds online price is £619.95. I was initially looking at purchasing this but whent for the LG PQ6000 in the end because of more features and being £50 pounds cheaper for what looks like being a pretty good telly at the moment as well. Also according to What Video and Hi Def TV magazine there are not that many plasma panel factories around and often the sets from different manufacturers share the same glass.
This price is from the What Hi Fi Sound and Vision magazine, page 119(£599.95). I added the price of the magazine which is £4.30.
The T&C's state: Some of these offers are exclusive to WHF? S&V Magazine readers. Please quote this add when calling. While stocks last. Available from 2nd April - 10th May 2009. All featured products one per customer. Some offers may be for instore callers only.
I phoned Southampton RS on Wednesday who was getting stock in that day and said they would get back to me. Hasn't yet so I presume they are not keen on knocking another £20 of the price. You will probably have to go instore with the magazine to get this. I guess for 10% more you could have 5 years warranty as well.
I did contact both JL in Southampton and Southend for price match but both came back with price of £649 instore and £675 delivered (Aparently they only price match instore price of competitors, but then this will be honoured instore at RS if you take add with you. I guess with 5 year guarentee JL price is best as RS will work out £665 because of 10% and magazine price). Also no mention of stand included. You might have better luck for price match if you take the magazine with you instore to JL and say that you will buy there and then if they will price match.
In the end I would have bought telly if price match came back with JL for £599.95 but felt that seeing as I get 1 year guarentee with LG and then an extra year free from my credit card company I will save myself £100 as think if telly has not died by then will probably be OK.
PS. I see at Dixons this is £614 at moment with £35 of voucher code and delivery is free.