Panasonic Viera TH-P42V20A plasma television
Panasonic's top non-3D plasma TV is very affordable and has great picture quality
- Comparatively low price, excellent picture quality, useful Internet features
- Thick chassis and bezel, non-reflective coating dulls colours slightly
Panasonic's TH-P42V20A is a medium-size plasma television with excellent picture quality. If you don't need or want the ability to view 3D content, this television is a great way to watch TV and Blu-ray discs without spending too much.
Price$ 1,699.00 (AUD)
The Panasonic Viera TH-P42V20A is a 42in plasma television with great picture quality. It offers the same Internet features as the more expensive Panasonic TH-P50VT20A, but lacks 3D support and costs a lot less.
Panasonic Viera TH-P42V20A: Design and connectivity
The Panasonic TH-P42V20A has the same basic chassis design as the company's 2009 plasma televisions. It reminds us of the TH-P50G15A and TH-P58V10A — and that's not a bad thing. The TH-P42V20A's bezel is finished in silver and looks quite attractive, but we do wish that the television chassis and bezel were slimmer. The panel of the Panasonic TH-P42V20A features a satin anti-reflective coating. This is useful if you're going to be using the television in an environment where ambient light is a problem.
You'll find all the digital and analog A/V ports you could need on the rear and side of the Panasonic TH-P42V20A. Four HDMI ports will allow multiple Full HD digital video devices like Blu-ray players and high-definition camcorders to be connected simultaneously, and older devices can use one of the several composite or component video connectors. VGA is also offered for connecting PCs or netbooks to the television.
Panasonic Viera TH-P42V20A: Picture quality
Like almost all of Panasonic's recent plasma televisions, we found that the TH-P42V20A delivered impressive results at its default settings. A small amount of tweaking to suit our room — a small room with fluorescent lighting and a 2m viewing distance — made the picture even better. We lowered the sharpness and brightness slightly. These two changes gave the picture a smoother and more realistic look while also allowing more detail to be retained in bright areas of the screen. If you don't want to tweak your television's picture settings, we found the Cinema preset to offer the best picture quality. The Panasonic TH-P42V20A has no THX presets, unlike the pricier Panasonic TH-P50VT20A.
When we ran through the opening sequence of The Dark Knight, with bright spots of white light against a black background, the Panasonic TH-P42V20A performed excellently. We didn't notice any bloom or loss of detail in darker parts of the screen — the Panasonic TH-P42V20A's 50,000,000:1 contrast ratio means it can handle extremely high contrast scenes capably.
Colours are good, with no obvious bias to red, green or blue tones. The anti-reflective coat does reduce the Panasonic TH-P42V20A's vibrancy slightly, but this can be mostly rectified by boosting colour saturation levels.
Panasonic Viera TH-P42V20A: Internet features and USB playback
The Panasonic TH-P42V20A has the same Viera Cast features as the flagship VT20 series, with built-in access to Twitter and YouTube as well as weather and stock services. Skype video calling can be enabled if an optional $199 webcam is purchased. Later in the year content from the Yahoo!7 Plus7 television library will be available for viewing on demand.
Like most televisions released this year the Panasonic TH-P42V20A supports media playback via its USB ports. A diverse range of formats are supported: MP3 and AAC audio, AVC-HD and DivX HD video and JPEG picture files.
The Panasonic TH-P42V20A offers consistently excellent picture quality. Unlike the more expensive TH-P50VT20A, it can't display 3D movies and doesn't have THX certification. However, if you don't care about these features there's no good reason for you not to pick up this TV.
Become a fan of GoodGearGuide on Facebook
Follow GoodGearGuide on Twitter: @GoodGearGuide
Stay up to date with the latest reviews. Sign up to GoodGearGuide’s Gear Daily newsletters
Join the PC World newsletter!
Gadgets & Things
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 2 Huawei Nova Plus smartphone review
- 3 Apple iPhone 7 Plus review: including Portrait Mode
- 4 Google Daydream View VR full, in-depth review
- 5 Google Pixel XL full, in-depth smartphone review: Phones just got smarter
Latest News Articles
- Sony’s Bravia XBR-A1E OLED could be the first flat-screen TV with sound that doesn’t suck
- Say goodbye to Apple's third-generation Apple TV
- Japan gears up for 8K TV broadcasting
- NHK's latest 8K display is large, thin and beautiful
- Japan starts 8K TV broadcasts in time for Rio Olympics
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- Time to ditch Foxtel and the iQ3: How to replace Foxtel packages with cheaper alternatives
- The top 10 best and worst tech gadgets and products of 2016
- TV of the year award 2016
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTBrand Marketing Manager - Premium Entertainment BrandNSW
- FTLife/400 Developers / Programmers - Permanent - North Ryde areaNSW
- CCSAP HR/ Payroll ConsultantQLD
- FTProject Delivery Manager | PortfolioQLD
- TPBusiness/Data AnalystQLD
- TPSenior Test Analyst - DETEQLD
- FTTechnical Consultant/Systems AnalystQLD
- FTLevel 2 Service DeskNSW
- FTBusiness Development Manager - Queensland TerritoryQLD
- FTChange ManagerACT
- CCSenior Technical Specialist - AIXVIC
- CCWeb Architect - Ruby, Python, Java, Open sourceNSW
- CCSystems EngineerQLD
- TPSoftware EngineerWA
- FTSalesforce Technical Business Analyst (Brisbane based)NSW
- CCMicrosoft Systems EngineerVIC
- CCSenior Full-stack .Net DeveloperNSW
- FTLevel 2 Service DeskNSW
- FTEnterprise Account ManagerACT
- FTJava DeveloperNSW
- FTAutomation Test Analyst - APS 6 non-ongoingACT
- TPSenior PMO AnalystNSW
- FTIdentity Access + Security ConsultantSA
- CCProject Manager - EDRMS ProjectQLD
- TPBusiness Objects DeveloperNSW