Since last year I have truly discarded CRT's which despite their qualities truly lack in comparison to plasma tv's in the "wow factor". This becomes evident the moment you witness one of the better ones for yourself, and led to me purchasing a Panasonic of my own which was the Panasonic 37 PX80. However not to be outdone, a friend of mine recently purchased this television and I eagerly visited to see for myself this latest offering from Panasonic.
Now as is standard with both LCD and Plasma we either of the choice of full HD or HD Ready. The former allows you to enjoy the resolution in sharper detail at 1920*1080p.
This is something of a gimmick for the upscaling of typical television channels but really comes into it's own with hi definition signals which of course blu ray allows for. The latter can also be very impressive, but essentially means the screen has to be stretched/upscaled to accept a hi definition signal which as a consequence means it loses out in terms of the sharpness of the picture.
This is a 1080p/24fps television which means it is full HD and accepts a 24 frames per second signal. In simple terms, this means it will play a blu ray whose native frame rate is 24 frames that without it leading to any juddering which can be noticeable on some of the cheaper television sets.
Visually the television is sturdily built with good ergonomics and whilst it is not as eye catching as some, it is nonetheless a commendable design. The selectable menu options from Panasonic are its typical no frills. This allows for a quick easy setup and allows for adjusting aspects of the picture without leaving you bogged down in detail.
To justify the more premium price tag of this television not only requires an outstanding picture quality but also in this competitive market sector it needs additional features. Panasonic offer this in the form of a Freesat tuner which unlike Freeview gives the viewer a greater number of free television channels to choose from. Providing of course you have a Freesat dish installed on your house. If you don't already have this installed, then you shouldn't fear because the analogue tuner offers a smooth natural coloured picture.
However where this television will really shine is when playing either DVD's or Blu Ray discs. Firstly when watching DVD's the black levels offered by this television are very deep which only adds to the atmosphere of a film. The detail levels are very good and the contrast as you might expect from the marketed "infinite" tag are excellent. The colours are very natural looking and really integrate themselves well into the picture. The result of these qualities is a very life like picture which ensures you become deeply immersed and enthralled in the viewing.
As impressive as this has been so far, as has been mentioned previously, blu ray is the format which will display any television in all it's glory and this set does not disappoint. The command of colours, contrasts and detail is enhanced even more and is so life like at times, you could almost reach out at touch it.
The only downside to this television is the sound quality, which while it can't be described as poor, can certainly be labeled as average. It lacks depth and spaciousness and hence fails to produce a convincing stereo image. However my recommendation for this failing is that if you are serious about getting an excellent television, you should also strongly consider external speakers; either active speakers, or amp and speakers.
This is an excellent television and continues Panasonic's reputation of producing the best plasma's on the market (now that Pioneer Kuros have met their demise). If you have the funds to do so, I would definitely recommend purchasing this as it is sure to give you many years of viewing pleasure.
Here is a short summary of the key features of this product.
Size of television 42 inches
Integrated Digital tuner
Resolution 1920 *1080p Full HD
Supports 24 fps
Allows for the connection of 3 HDMI connections
Weighs 25 kg
Allows for 2 Scart Connections
Allows for a connection from the PC