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Panasonic TX-P42ST60 review

There's life in the old plasma TV yet

Our Verdict

Don't be put off by the lack of glamour exhibited by the P42ST60's exterior: inside beats a home cinema heart of gold.

For

  • Brilliantly cinematic picture quality
  • Good value
  • Friendly smart TV interface
  • Wide viewing angle

Against

  • Lacks video streaming services
  • Design is rather lacklustre
  • Only 3 HDMIs
  • Doesn't like bright environments

So plasma TVs are no more – at least so far as their biggest supporter, Panasonic, is concerned.

To be fair, LG has said it will keep making plasma TVs as long as there are people who want to buy them, and Samsung has not yet declared that it's following Panasonic out of the plasma market.

But for many AV fans, Panasonic simply WAS plasma TV, so the brand's decision to focus on LCD for the immediate future really is the death knell of the movie fan's flat TV technology of choice (at least until OLED becomes mainstream).

The good news is that the brand's plasma TVs are still available at the time of writing. So if you want one, now's the time to buy.

And as plasma TVs go this year, few seem more all-round 'buyable' than Panasonic's 42-inch P42ST60.

Ratings in depth
Panasonic TX P42ST60 review
Panasonic TX P42ST60
Panasonic TX P42ST60 review
Panasonic TX P42ST60
Panasonic TX P42ST60 review

For starters, the P42ST60 is pretty affordable for a mid-range plasma TV, setting you back less than £750. It's also well-featured, boasting one of Panasonic's 3D-capable NeoPlasma 2500 panel designs;

Panasonic's latest smart TV system, complete with both online access and DLNA file streaming; and the brand's excellent My Home Screen interface.

Plus, of course, you'll hopefully get the outstanding contrast and motion picture traits that are plasma TV's trademark.

Alongside the P42ST60 in Panasonic's current plasma range are 50-inch and 55-inch models, the P50ST60 and P55ST60 respectively.

Go large

Panasonic TX P42ST60
It may be last year's TV, but it's well worth owning

Or, if you really want to celebrate plasma's passing in style, you could step up to the GT60 series (42-inch P42GT60 and 50-inch P50GT60) with its slightly superior (in terms of contrast and colour handling) panel design, or even the gorgeous VT65 range, as represented by the P50VT65, P55VT65 and P65VT65.

Plus there's always Panasonic's ultimate 'blaze of glory', the 60-inch P60ZT65, which produces simply the best plasma TV pictures ever seen – so long as you've got £3,200 to spend.

So far as rivals are concerned, both LG and Samsung have alternative plasmas in their TV ranges, with Samsung's PS6500 series being the closest in spec to the ST60 models. But our hope is that the P42ST60 on our test benches today will prove the one to beat.

Tech Specs

Product TypePlasma TV
Scan Format1080p
TouchscreenYes
Digital TunerDVB-C (MPEG4), DVB-T (MPEG4)
Analog TunerPAL, SECAM
Video Signal StandardHDTV 1080p
Number of HDMI Ports3
Number of SCART Interfaces1
Product FamilyViera ST60
3D Type3D
EU Energy LabelC
Brand NamePanasonic
Screen Size106.7 cm (42")
Aspect Ratio16:9
Memory Card ReaderYes
EthernetYes
Wireless LANYes
Ethernet TechnologyEthernet
USBYes
HDMIYes
Weight with Stand (Approximate)20 kg
Operating Power Consumption290 W
RMS Output Power20 W
Electronic Program GuideYes
DLNA CertifiedYes
HeadphoneYes
Digital Audio OutputYes
Height with Stand650 mm
Width with Stand994 mm
Depth with Stand256 mm
Number of Common Interface1
CI+Yes
Composite VideoYes
Component VideoYes
SCARTYes
Teletext Memory1000
Network (RJ-45)Yes
3D TechnologyShutter
3D ConversionYes
Energy Consumption per Year184 kWh
3D Glasses RequiredYes
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital (SD), Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC)
Height596 mm
Width994 mm
Depth49 mm
Sound SystemSurround Sound
Product SeriesST60
Maximum Resolution1920 x 1080
FeaturesWeb Browser, Media Player, PC Streaming, Picture and Text (PAT), Hotel Mode, Teletext
ManufacturerPanasonic
Product ModelTX-P42ST60
Product NameViera TX-P42ST60 Plasma TV
Product LineViera
Manufacturer Part NumberTX-P42ST60E
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.panasonic.co.uk
Package Contents
  • Viera TX-P42ST60 Plasma TV
  • Touch Pen
  • 1 x 3D Glasses
SpeakersYes
Weight (Approximate)17 kg