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Panasonic TX-P42VT20B review

Panasonic's most advanced 42-inch screen yet brings full HD 3D to the plasma party

Our Verdict

For

  • Excellent overall picture quality
  • Bursting with cutting-edge features
  • Wireless networking made easy
  • Generally easy to use

Against

  • Expensive
  • Engaging 3D is a faff
  • Outmoded design
  • Annoying EPG
  • IFC side-effects

Panasonic tx-p42vt20 5
Panasonic has taken its acclaimed P42V20 and given 3D fans plenty to think about. With a features checklist that includes Infinite Black Pro, Viera Cast internet video, Freeview and Freesat HD tuners, wireless DLNA networking, THX certfication, Intelligent Frame Creation, USB recording to hard disk and a glorious Full HD plasma panel there's very little that the P42VT20 can't do.

We liked:

This set's greatest strength is its picture quality. Whilst not in the very best league, detail and resolution are still superb. No LCD screen comes close in terms of colour fidelity and the Infinite Black Pro delivers sensational contrast levels. And the picture remains strong and solid from any viewing angle.

Setting up the wireless network is startlingly simple and overall the P42VT20 performs well as a multi-media display device. Sound quality isn't bad for everyday listening, either.

We disliked:

There are a couple of picture problems. For all its ability to reduce judder, IFC has unwanted side-effects that can make movies shot on film look like camcorder video. Pictures are also prone to loss of detail in darker scenes.

As a 3D set, the P42VT20 does a pretty good job but it's a faff to switch to 3D and back to 2D, and the specs aren't the best designed ones on the market.

Finally, the design of the set and the EPGs are not worthy of one of the most technologically advanced TVs you can buy.

Verdict:

From the barrage of 3D marketing that never seems to end you'd think that a 3D set would be essential but unless you're a 3D nut we'd find it hard to recommend the P42VT20. For a lot less money you can buy the 2D-only P42V20 and enjoy all of this set's core strengths.

It's debatable whether a 42in screen is big enough for 3D, which makes most things seem smaller. This screen is however big enough for Full HD, at which it certainly excels.

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Tech Specs

Product TypePlasma TV
Scan Format1080p
Standard Refresh Rate50 Hz
Digital TunerDVB-S2, DVB-T (MPEG4)
Analog TunerPAL
Video Signal StandardHDTV 1080p
Number of HDMI Ports4
Number of SCART Interfaces2
Product FamilyViera
3D Type3D
Brand NamePanasonic
Screen Size106.7 cm (42")
Aspect Ratio16:9
EthernetYes
Ethernet TechnologyEthernet
USBYes
HDMIYes
Weight with Stand (Approximate)24 kg
Operating Power Consumption350 W
Standby Power Consumption400 mW
Dynamic Contrast Ratio5,000,000:1
RMS Output Power30 W
Electronic Program GuideYes
DLNA CertifiedYes
VGAYes
HeadphoneYes
Digital Audio OutputYes
Height with Stand695 mm
Width with Stand1035 mm
Depth with Stand308 mm
Number of Common Interface1
CI+Yes
Composite VideoYes
Component VideoYes
SCARTYes
Teletext Memory1500
3D ConversionYes
USB RecordingYes
Motion Interpolation TechnologyIntelligent Frame Creation Pro
Enhanced Refresh Rate600 Hz
Height656 mm
Width1035 mm
Depth85 mm
Sound SystemDolby Digital Plus, Virtual Surround Sound
Maximum Resolution1920 x 1080
Colour Depth68.7 Billion Colors (12-bit)
FeaturesMedia Player, PC Streaming, Picture and Picture (PAP), Picture and Text (PAT), Child Lock, Sleep Timer, Web Content Access, Teletext
ManufacturerPanasonic
Product ModelTX-P42VT20B
Product NameViera TX-P42VT20B Plasma TV
Product LineViera
Manufacturer Part NumberTXP42VT20B
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.panasonic.co.uk
Marketing Information

FULL HD 3D makes you feel as if you'd stepped out of your living room and into the world on the screen. The viewing experience has never been so lifelike and compelling. The technology in which the left-eye and right-eye 3D images are sent to the viewer is the key to 3D image quality. For this, FULL HD 3D uses something called the Frame Sequential technology. A separate high quality image is sent to each eye. This addresses the image quality problems and blurring that were common to previous 3D systems, and creates sharp, crisp 3D images.

Package Contents
  • Viera TX-P42VT20B Plasma TV
  • 2 x Pairs of 3D Eyewear
SpeakersYes
Weight (Approximate)21 kg