PANASONIC TX-P42X20B Plasma TV, £473 incl del + 3.5% Quidco Which? Best Buy & 65% test score @ Laskys
PANASONIC TX-P42X20B Plasma TV, £473 incl del + 3.5% Quidco Which? Best Buy & 65% test score @ Laskys

PANASONIC TX-P42X20B Plasma TV, £473 incl del + 3.5% Quidco Which? Best Buy & 65% test score @ Laskys

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Not FULL HD but this tv is a new model for 2010.

An absolute bargain, £456.44 after Quidco or £405.29 for the 37".

HD Plasma TV with 100Hz Double Scan, 2 mil:1 Contrast and VIERA Image Viewer

A plasma display that is driven at 50 Hz causes an annoying flicker due to a shortage in the number of pictures displayed per second. 100Hz Double Scan displays each picture twice. By changing the 50-Hz image signals to 100 Hz it reduces flicker, and produces images that are more natural and gentler on the eyes.

VIERA incorporates an improved panel production process and the new Real Black Drive system. A pre-discharge control system, the Real Black Drive system achieves next-generation black reproduction. When you're watching movies, VIERA renders images just the way the director intended, even in scenes where it's difficult to achieve a proper balance of light and dark.

It's easy to view HD images with the SD card slot. Watch and show your photos and motion images right after you take them. Simply insert an SD Memory Card into VIERA to display photos and videos on the large screen. An easy-to-see, easy-to-use thumbnail display has also been added. You can select special background music, slideshow frames and transition effects from the setup menu.

In Game Mode, quicker image response increases the enjoyment of video games when a game console is connected to the TV. What's more, VIERA produces the dark images in video games more clearly. This mode works with the anti-image retention (wobbling) function, too.

VIERA Link allows the interlinked 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.

Which? review below:

This 42-inch HD-ready plasma TV continues Panasonic's record of producing entry-level TVs with picture quality as good as, if not better than, its higher-priced ranges. If you're on a budget, forget the bells and whistles of the G20 series and opt for this affordable X20. Though sound quality isn't up to much and it hasn't got all the latest features, for good solid plasma TV picture quality it's hard to beat.

The standard-definition picture got the thumbs up in our side-by-side comparative test, despite a few minor quibbles. Depth, sharpness and rich colours all stand out despite the slightly reflective screen. Freeview is nicely detailed, but the sharpness comes at the expense of some grainy background picture noise.

Unlike with many rival brands, the picture on this TV doesn't fade at an angle - in our tests it remained solid wherever we sat. However, the high-definition picture didn't quite live up to our expectations. It looks fairly average thanks to some loss of detail in darker sequences, a slight flicker on bright areas and overall soft texture. For the best HD results on a screen this size, look for a higher-resolution 1080p panel.

Sound quality failed to make a positive impression in our tests. The high frequencies sound harsh and artificial, the bass is muddy and uncontrolled, and we picked out an irritating background buzz. This is definitely one to connect to a surround-sound system or stereo (the X20 has the right sockets for both) if you're after a decent audio performance.

If you're after all the latest TV mod-cons (Ethernet port, USB, VGA, DLNA media streaming) then it's best to look elsewhere, but for the price this TV has all the basics you'd expect to find.

It has two Scart sockets for connecting standard-definition kit, both of which support the high-quality RGB signal (on many rival TVs, RGB is supported only on one Scart). Our tests uncovered a glitch - wide-screen switching didn't work when subtitles were selected on either Freeview or Freesat - but it's a relatively minor one.

It also has three HDMI inputs (for HD equipment).'Viera link' allows you to use one remote to control compatible equipment (such as a Blu-ray player) connected via the HDMI sockets. It has a versatile headphone socket (you can independently control the volume of the speakers and headphones) and an SD card slot - insert your camera's memory card to view photos on TV, listen to music or watch video footage.

Panasonic says it has been working hard on making its plasma TVs more energy efficient - and our tests back that up. The X20 uses around 162 watts when switched on, well below the average for a plasma TV of this size, though still around 60 watts more than an equivalent-sized LCD TV. Nevertheless, power-save mode can get this down to 138 watts. Watch with the ambient light sensor switched on in low light and this drops to just 83 watts. Screen blanking reduces it to 35 watts if you fancy tuning in to digital radio on the TV and auto standby switches the TV into standby if it's left idle for a given period of time.

Another strong point is usability. The X20 is very easy to use, thanks to a helpful instruction manual, a well-labelled and sensibly designed remote control and clear on-screen menus and EPG. Our only niggles are the size and location of the buttons on the TV itself - they're too small and hidden away around the side. We'd also like to see more prominence given to the menu button on the remote.

Pros: Easy to use, versatile SD card function, picture is a cut above average, fairly impressive energy use for a 42-inch plasma TV

Cons: Some minor picture quality quibbles, sound quality is below par, no Freeview HD tuner, lacklustre design

I've also ordered the 37" which is just £405.29 after Quidco.



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