The TV was made in Japan with an attractive design, quality appearance and a nice remote. Without question it is a nice TV, but I am just not convinced it is a nice value.
One of my fears about LCD was laid to rest: the TV appeared bright and clear in various light. Its image easily equals that of a traditional tube TV. However, it took more adjustment of the picture settings (i.e. contrast, brightness, etc.) than with a regular TV.
Panasonic included many nice features, including closed-captioning appearing when the TV is muted, customized channel labeling, and a comprehensive selection of connectors on the back and side.
The oval-shaped stand has a footprint that is bigger than some other types of stands, but the TV is remarkably light and compact. The speakers are placed at the bottom of the screen rather than the sides, which is a nice design if you are trying to take up as little shelf, table or counter space as possible.
I plugged into a progressive-scan DVD player both this LCD TV (via component video cable) and a $150 Sylvania flat tube TV (via S-video cable) and watched them side by side. The blacks looked better on the Panasonic LCD and the picture was sharper. However, the sharpness sometimes seemed pixely and I questioned whether the improvement from standard definition (480i) to enhanced definition (480p) is worth an investment of many hundreds of dollars when widespread use of high definition and TV's with more features, such as wireless connections to computers or streaming sound and video directly from a DSL modem are just around the corner. (Search out information about Streamium from Philips for example.)
After comparing the two TV's side by side, I concluded the Panasonic LCD picture was about 25% better than the low end Sylvania but cost more than 500% more. Therefore, I recommend it to people who are willing to pay a hefty premium for a nice standard TV because they must have a flat screen. If, however, you have the space, then I suggest sticking with a nice tube TV for a few more years (or at least months). I decided to return the LCD TV and remain in the 20th century a little while longer.
This desirable TV, unfortunately, is not nice enough to justify a price this high.
We wanted to put a wall mounted television in our kitchen. That drove a requirement for a LCD. Being that it was unlikely we would watch DVD or premium cable channels there a standard 4:3 format was acceptable and for aesthetic reasons was even deisrable. After checking out the television reviews from a recognized consumer organization we arrived at the Panasonic.
Having used LCD monitors for ages we had reasonable expectations of the picture quality and it has certainly met or exceeded them. Panasonic touts the viewing angle and our experience supports their claims. Sound quality is very good and the remote/controls are intuitive. It is smart looking with modern and clean lines. The 20" screen size is awesome and such a generous viewing area would be impossible with a traditional (soon to be extinct) CRT based TV. We are exceptionally pleased.
We paired it up with a Sanus VM2 VisionMount flat-panel TV wallmount with extension and 2-way articulation. The installation on that mount went without a hitch although the weight of the unit seems to challenge the tilt control.
Just got this last week here from Amazon. Price was an astounding amount lower than the MSRP for a brand new unit shipped from Amazon distributing. I compared this to various Sharp Aquos 20" models and chose this because in side by side comparison I could not see any difference and the Panasonic has a REAL stand vs. a cheap easel from Sharp in the box. This set has a myriad of adjustments as you would expect and also has enough inputs to work with any setup including component inputs. Sound quality is surprisingly good from the built in speakers and the unit itself is compact to fit in a cabinet or mount unobtrusively. I would prefer a widescreen, but for this application I needed a 4:3 set and found nothing better--In price or surprisingly in picture quality.
After struggling with adjustments on a more expensive LCD TV we tried a TC-20LA2. Pretty amazing. I was unable to get a satisfactory picture on a Panasonic TC-22LH30 using analog cable as a source, and this TV solved the problem. (We also have a 32" Sony XBR HDTV that looks awesome on the same cable outlet so cable quality isn't the issue.) The TC-20LA2 doesn't have as extensive adjustments or features of the $1600 TV, but it outshines the 22" in standard TV picture quality. Remember this is based on standard TV with analog cable hookup and 480P DVD player. It has higher contrast ratios and brightness than the 22", but if you turn everything down like I did.....? The 4x3 aspect ratio matches standard cable and doesn't have the annoying bars on the sides or a distorted picture when you try to fill a 16x9 display with a 4x3 picture. We didn't need HD capabilty or DVI inputs on this bedroom TV. 480p EDTV works really well with our progressive scan DVD player (component input) and cable. Maybe being able to display 480i & 480p sources on a 480 vertical pixel display is a better match than converting it to 720 pixels on the widescreen. After turning the display down, I was able to get a really natural looking picture. These TVs seem to be set for bright showrooms, not bedrooms. Try setting everything at zero and turning off the AI setting on the picture menu. I turned the color down to -8 and flesh tones look pretty natural. DVDs look fine and sound quality is quite good given the size of the speakers. This isn't the cheapest LCD, but it is made in Japan and worth every penny if watching regular TV (which some us still do) is why you're buying it.