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171 of 172 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A truly exceptional plasma television
I've owned this for 3 days now, and wanted to wait until I fully tested it to write a review. After seeing how it performs with videogames, blu-ray movies and basic cable, I feel I know the television enough to offer my thoughts.

Picture quality: Incredible. Blacks are as deep as the bezel surrounding the TV. Colors are bold - everything you'd expect from a...
Published on March 13, 2010 by Joshua Pearl

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars DONT PURCHASE PANASONICS UNTIL YOU READ
Purchased this Panasonic from a Sears and we were very happy with set for apprx. 15 months. Turned the set off for a few hours returned and the set would not turn on. All you get are 10 Blinking lights-NO PICTURE. I unpluged all incoming electrical and it worked again for four more months, now it wont come on just blinks back at ya. All warranty is expired and it cost to...
Published 16 months ago by Jane


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171 of 172 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A truly exceptional plasma television, March 13, 2010
By 
Joshua Pearl (Port St. Lucie, FL) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Panasonic TC-P42S2 42-Inch 1080p Plasma HDTV (2010 Model) (Electronics)
I've owned this for 3 days now, and wanted to wait until I fully tested it to write a review. After seeing how it performs with videogames, blu-ray movies and basic cable, I feel I know the television enough to offer my thoughts.

Picture quality: Incredible. Blacks are as deep as the bezel surrounding the TV. Colors are bold - everything you'd expect from a top of the line plasma. I own a 62" DLP, a 26" LCD, a 50" panasonic 720p plasma and this plasma, and the plasmas are the only sets that really "pop." This model is head and shoulders above even the 50" 3-year-old model I own.

Video game play: There's a game mode, which bumps up the brightness and sharpness. It's great for PS3 games. I've played Demon's Souls and Wolfenstein on it so far, and both look amazing. The system touts "1080 lines of moving picture resolution" to help with motion blur. Honestly, I never felt plasmas had an issue with motion blur to begin with, so I'm not sure how much of a difference this feature is making, but from what I understand in doing research it helps to have it.

Cable: HD looks good - even the reds aren't blown out. Basic cable is standard definition - a thing on it's way out anyway, lol.

Aesthetics/connections: The TV is very sharp looking, and the anti-glare feature on the S model (as opposed to the U model) actually makes a difference. I rolled my eyes when I read the feature, but I'm watching it in the daytime in a well-lit room and the glare is really minimal. The only minor dissapointment is no VGA connection, but I'll figure out a way around that. Was going to use VGA to hook up my 360 (since I'm using computer speakers for audio at the moment), but will go the component route now. By the way, a TON of controls and an HDMI input are on the side of the tv, making it very easy to get to.

Burn-in/image retention/ghosting: Haven't experienced any signs of even ghosting yet. Had my game on pause for a few minutes a couple times to test it.

Audio: Haven't tested the TV's speakers, just using an external set of logitech speakers with subwoofer at the moment.

Overall: For the price, I highly recommend the set. Like I said, I own 4 televisions of 3 different technologies and this one shows off the best picture. I have a collection of almost 800 blu-rays, and stay up to date on all the high-def news, etc... I do extensive research before purchasing a product, and actually went into this thinking I was going to give in and get an LED. I don't want to get into an LED vs. Plasma thing here, but the LED's are simply LCD with different lighting, and it brings all the inherent LCD problems with it. They make catch your eye in the store, but once you get home and get into your environment, it's a different story. That said, this plasma in game mode gets the picture as close to LED as I've seen but with much better blacks.

Update 5/2/10: Just thought I'd add to this that I've had a videogame on pause for more than an hour a few times, and while I wouldn't make a habit out of it, there hasn't even been a hint of ghosting and certainly no issue with burn-in. Even so, the TV seems to have an auto shut-off function after 5 minutes or so of complete inactivity. There will be a message prompting you that it will shut off in 3 minutes and it counts down from there.
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89 of 90 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb - Settled on this after a lot of research - DOES work with Mac and PC, April 27, 2010
By 
P. Cook (East Coast, USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Panasonic TC-P42S2 42-Inch 1080p Plasma HDTV (2010 Model) (Electronics)
This TV really is something else.

I did research for months before finally settling on this. I was strongly considering the Panasonic G20 and G25 TV's, the 2010 steps up from the S2 series (which is a 2010 model as well, to be clear), but ultimately picked the S2, here's why:

First, only the G25 and S2 series have a 42" model (rumors of a 42" of the G20, but as of this review they were not available). Anything larger than 42" wouldn't fit properly in my space, so that knocked out the otherwise attractive G20 for me.

Let's talk about what features it doesn't have compared to the bigger brothers: First, it lacks the Panasonic 'Looks superb. The G25 series has the Panasonic "Infinite Black Panel" - the S2 does not, but I swear after watching the G25 in store and then watching a properly calibrated S2 at home, the average consumer cannot tell a difference. The blacks on this TV are very black, and merge well. The contrast ration on this is 2mil:1 vs the G25 5mil:1 if you want to know the numbers.

The other major features that this doesn't have over the G25 are the Viera Cast (youtube, netflix, twitter, etc) online features (there is no internet connection of any sort on the S2), and it also lacks the THX mode that the G20 and G25 have. Let me tell you why I'm not missing these, even as a filmmaker who might otherwise seriously consider the THX mode.

First, while the Viera Cast features sound nice and are convenient, they're essentially negating what my PlayStation 3 can already do in terms of online access. All I mean to say here is, if you're willing to use an external device (console, computer) to access these features a different way, then you can pay less and get this model. If you don't have a console or want the convenience of having these built in without another device, then set your gaze on the G25 (or a blu-ray player with the same features that the TV's have). Also, the THX mode does sound nice, but if properly calibrated, this TV looks masterful on it's own and is a true bargain for the price.

In the three days I've had it, I've tried PS3 games, Blu-Ray movies, Standard DVD movies, and streamed Netflix (one of the films they stream in HD, and let me tell you, it looked like Blu-Ray) and all three have looked truly superb. No shuttered motion (thanks to the 600Hz), great color reproduction and, folks, the brightness is fine. It really is. While this TV ***WILL*** have some glare if you have it in a room with TV's in the background, when the TV is on, any minor glare/reflection from lamps (etc) in the room will immediately be overcome by the image.

The sound is not masterful, but in no way is it bad. It's on the high end of "normal" from a TV, if you will. Absolutely worth listening to until you can get a sound system later, if you need or want to wait. I "want" a sound system, but it's not a priority, for what it's worth.

This TV does NOT have USB ports, but again, if you have a console you shouldn't miss it. A PS3 or XBox will substitute almost any need for a USB port. The Wii looks/works fine (I have one) but overall extended use should come from one of the HD systems if you have this TV (purely because the Wii lacks HD output, is all. Not knocking it!).

Some of the Picture modes are a little weak ("standard," for example), but with some adjustments or a true calibration you'll be fine. Nothing to shy away from at all.

Finally, ***BURN IN WORRIERS NEED NOT WORRY***. All the 2010 Panasonic plasmas have a pixel shifting technology that helps reduce burn in. They also have a "white wash" feature that erases burn in, and although I have yet to have need for it (burn in is worse typically in the first 100 hours of a plasma) - some other reviews I've read seem to think this feature will operate well as intended, IF you even need it.

My last thought is this: If you don't want to pay more for features you already have via another device, this TV is your best bet for 2010 model plasmas. For the cost of the 42" G25, I bought this TV, a Logitech Harmony One remote, an HDMI cable, a 4 year protection plan on the TV, and the Logitech device that makes the PS3 work with the Harmony One remote. All for under $1,200. That's outstanding, in my opinion.
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56 of 57 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars For the most part, a pretty good TV, April 29, 2010
By 
Carl M. Coleman Jr. (Houston, Texas United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Panasonic TC-P42S2 42-Inch 1080p Plasma HDTV (2010 Model) (Electronics)
I got this TV because it looked like the perfect fit for a price / performance ratio. Overall I'm pleased with my purchase, although there are a few things that Panasonic can improve on. I have seen and had lots of experience with the 2009 S1 model, as well as the 2009 G10. The 2010 S2 is better than the S1 but doesn't quite have the picture quality to match the G10. Its close though. So if you can find a G10 at the same price you may want to go with the G10. The reason I didn't go with the G10 is because Panasonic has had problems with some of their TV's losing a significant amount of their black levels in previous year's models. They said that they have addressed these issues in the 2010 model lineup. So to get a few more years out of my plasma, and sacrifice a slight loss in picture quality I decided to go for the S2.

Picture Quality

As far as black levels go, I have no quarrels with this TV. It has excellent black levels, and honestly I think this feature is a little over hyped in the industry. I do appreciate black levels but when TV's are this black, I much prefer color accuracy, which is where this TV has a few problems. Most colors look great and the red's specifically pop very well. Skin tones are also very accurate for the most part. But the greens don't look as good as other high end models and you can tell in a side by side comparison. Some of the HD sources I used to distinguish the picture quality of the TV are: Planet Earth, The Dark Knight (which is the best HD source that I've ever seen).Food Network (to accurately judge color), about a dozen video games, and a few other Blu-Ray movies. The fluid motion of action scenes is very good, and I couldn't really see any flaws as far as motion quality goes. The detail of the content that I viewed is pretty good, but you may notice a few flaws if you sit really close. Another complaint that I have about the picture quality is that sometimes the video processor doesn't handle older HD sources and doesn't do SD sources very well at all. SD sources, at times, look downright terrible, and the TV doesn't seem to clean up HD sources that were made four or five years ago as well as higher end models. This TV also seems to handle video games very well. There were only a few occurrences where I saw a difference in picture quality and they were minute. Overall, very good picture quality.

Sound

No one is going to mistake this for a good home theater setup, but to sound is pretty good for a TV. If you're serious about your audio, then you'll definitely want to get a home theater system to compliment this TV.

Features / Menus

It would have been nice to have an Ethernet port to get firmware updates, and have a few internet applications, but these apps are usually slow and I much prefer to use a set top box or gaming console. The Ethernet port is the feature that is any concern for me. As far as the menu goes, Panasonic has almost gotten it right. You'll have to go into the settings, and change a few things because the default settings are a little strange. They're also missing a few things like gamma, and an option to just turn up the brightness of the panel (not the picture). Mostly everyone will turn it on Vivid which may be a little to bright for some, but the alternative, Standard, is much to dim. It would have been nice to fine tune everything the way you like. The menus do a descent job of explaining what each setting does, which is a welcomed addition. They have also disabled some of the settings which is also a little strange. The remote is nothing special. They could have moved around a few buttons to make it easier to navigate but, I`ve seen much worse. The Viera Link feature (for me) is completely useless, and I can't imagine anyone using it very much. There is also a slot where you can put an SD card and show off photos. This is useful, but it is very slow going from image to image. It's also worth mentioning that this TV does have the ability to heat up a room.

Overall

This TV does what I want it to do. It has solid picture quality, and enough features to keep me satisfied. The fact is that technology changes so fast that it doesn't make sense to spend top dollar on hardware when that hardware will be trailing edge in a year or two. So, while I would love a higher end model, I am very satisfied with my purchase. With proper calibration it's hard to see the difference between this TV and higher end models unless you sit really close, so I do recommend this TV.
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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It all started 'cause I wanted a new monitor for my Mac..., August 5, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Panasonic TC-P42S2 42-Inch 1080p Plasma HDTV (2010 Model) (Electronics)
I've had a 15" MacBook Pro for the last year and a half, and am smitten with its perfect, though diminutive, image. But when I saw that Fry's was selling a 24" ViewSonic LCD for $169, I jumped at it. Drove to the store that same day, bought the monitor, brought it home, set it up, and bathed myself in HD goodness. Games, movies, Internet--everything looked great.

That night, however, watching an episode of Lost, I realized that there was a brightness on the bottom and the top of the screen. No matter how dark the scene was, it always had this gleam to it. By the end of the program, I was positive that there was no way I could live with the defect, and resolved to bring the item back to the store.

I turned in the ViewSonic the next morning and immediately bought a Samsung, a top brand for HD. It wasn't on sale, but I was determined to get a perfect monitor, even if I had to pay twice as much. I brought it home, hooked it up--same damn problem. Even a perfectly black image was marred by this infernal glow. Maybe it's just something I have to live with, I reasoned, suddenly realizing that I just spent an extra $75 on a product that was no better than the one I had before in any redeemable way. I took it back that afternoon, and just my luck--truly mind-boggling, really--the same exact Fry's employee was there to take my return, giving me the stink eye ("Weren't you just here?").

After a little bit of research, I found out that the condition plaguing me was called "backlight bleeding," and it was endemic to practically all reasonably priced LCD monitors. Apparently, what I found intolerable was a standard in the industry. How much did I have to pay to get the 24" quality that I wanted?! Well, Apple was offering their LED Cinema Display for a mere $900. Apple, a company I've loved my entire life, was out of its cotton-pickin' mind!

I figured if I was going to spend anywhere near that for a monitor, I might as well go all the way and upgrade to a fullblown HDTV. I had waited long enough (my 27" Phillips CRT TV was hardly getting any use any more), it was time to hunker down, dive into the Interwebs and unearth a technological gem.

Plasma, in spite of the recent strides with LCDs, still seemed the way to go. Flawless viewing angles, zero motion blur, and--most importantly--black levels blacker than the blackest black that ever blacked. I have witnessed glorious spectacle from expensive LCDs, but I couldn't risk a third disappointment. Once I knew this, the rest became obvious. Plasma screens generally started at 42", which is perfect for my room--any larger would be bulky and obnoxious. I needed 1080p, because I had intended to use it primarily in conjunction with my laptop computer and I didn't want to chance the text being all fuzzy.

Panasonic is a well-respected brand, especially amongst HDTVs--appearing repeatedly in top 10 articles, including several from CNET and Consumer Reports. But I almost didn't go with this particular model because some yahoo, who may or may not be trolling for Samsung, made the rounds on all the vendors' websites claiming that it doesn't work with Macs or PCs.

I did read plenty of reviews declaring the opposite, but I couldn't find out for sure. I even brought my laptop to the store in hopes that an employee would let me hook up to the floor model, but was denied outright (I'm lookin' at you Fry's). Amazon offered a TC-P42S2 that was about $63 less than Best Buy's "sale price." I leaped at the offer, eagerly tracked the package, literally chased the UPS guy down, brought it home, opened the box... busted screen--completely shattered.

Props to Audio and Video Center, the actual seller of said package. The day after I told them about my problem, they sent me a brand new set by company truck, straight to my front door, taking back the broken one no questions asked. They even screwed the TV to the stand. Great peeps.

Naturally, the first thing I wanted to do was confirm whether or not I could hook up my Mac to my new toy. Let me declare in absolutely no uncertain terms: It works. Perfectly, and boo on anyone who says different. To pull this off, I used a Mini DisplayPort to DVI Adapter, a comfortably long DVI cable, and a DVI to HDMI adapter. No calls to Panasonic, no programs, no fancy electronic gadgets. After all I've been through--all my tribulations, false starts and letdowns--it is an unparalleled joy to blow up giant pictures, to surf the Internet, to watch YouTube videos in all of their HD glory on such a colossal, crystal clear display.

Burn in is a threat with plasma TVs--especially new ones--because the fresh phosphors burn more intensely those first 200 hours. For the first one and a half weeks, I kept the contrast below 50, and left the screen on at night, my computer cycling through an ever-growing collection of 1920 x 1080 wallpapers every five minutes. Even now, I'm careful never to leave a single image on the screen, be it an icon or a pair of widescreen bars, for more than an hour at a time. Crisis averted.

My greatest gripe with the TC-P42S2 is the unforgiving variety of inputs. Obviously a single DVI input would have been welcome. But the lack of an S-video port or even a little something for analog audio is borderline negligent. Some of us are still happy with our $150 bookshelf speakers.

Speaking of audio, I've read a lot of reviews of people dissatisfied with the sound quality of the set. It's really not bad at all, completely passable. What television out there sounds as good as an actual stereo system? It's a non-issue; save up some bucks and upgrade.

The picture is gorgeous, absolutely gorgeous, and I defy anyone to quote me a price on a cheaper high-quality plasma that has full 1080p definition. The cinema mode (properly tweaked), is perfect for movies, and the game mode is perfect for video games. I obsessed over the purchase, sweated the details--loved and lost--but am completely satisfied with my initiation into High Definition Electronics, and am excited by the prospect of many years with this wonderful television.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars P42S2 thoughts + calibration, November 23, 2010
This review is from: Panasonic TC-P42S2 42-Inch 1080p Plasma HDTV (2010 Model) (Electronics)
Picked this set up for a great price at another retailer and am blown away by the picture quality once it's calibrated properly. There aren't too many negatives to point out. The blacks are deep (though surprisingly they don't seem to be that much better than my Sony LCD 32EX400 tv). The picture quality thanks to it's great color reproductions is great. I really wanted to go for a plasma since they have such great motion fluidness, and wanted the deeper blacks associated with plasma's. Plasma's in general are currently the viewing angle kings, and this one is no exception. You can sit at nearly an 80-90 degree angle both vertically and horizontally and not notice any image degradation which is common with LCD/LED's.

The only negatives are pretty minor.

1. I wish it had a swivel base like some of the other Panasonic models. But to cut costs they usually skimp out on this feature.

2. Some user's notice that it has symptom/feature called "floating blacks" which basically causes the intensity of the black level on very dark scenes to fluctuate to brighten up the picture and give more contrast to certain areas in the picture. I haven't yet noticed this, and hopefully I don't. Some users are more prone to noticing it than others, and some sets seem to do it more than others.

3. Both the 2009 and 2010 Panasonic's have a "rising black level" which occurs after a certain amount of hours (1000-2000+ hours). Basically this causes the black levels to rise a bit. Other plasma manufactures (Samsung, LG, etc) don't work like this. They have a constant black level throughout the life of the product.

I decided to go for the Panasonic plasma since in the size range I wanted (40-46") there simply was no other option at 1080p with great image quality. So I bit the bullet and decided to give this TV a shot and so far I'm happy with the purchase. Overall, I think this is an excellent TV. Sure it has some negatives, but it's positives are also great and no TV is going to be perfect.

I'm using these settings on my TC-P42S2 (these should work for the entire TC-PxxS2 line of TV's). They are based off the widely use reference settings from a calibrator D-Nice from the AVS forums:

Picture Settings
o Picture Mode : Cinema
o Contrast : 71
o Brightness : 60
o Color : 47
o Tint : +9
o Sharpness : 0
o Color Temp : Warm
o x.v. Color : Off
o C.A.T.S. : Off
o Video NR : Off
o Blur Reduction : Off (with On you get full 1080 lines of motion resolution but with some frame insertion/interpolation)

* Aspect Adjustments
o Screen format : FULL
o HD size : Size 2

* Advanced picture
o MPEG NR : Off
o Black level : Light
o 3:2 pulldown : Auto (reference is On, this is only adjustable when the source is a 480i or 1080i signal)

Service Menu Offsets
WB-ADJ MENU
R-DRV: +5
G-DRV: -11
B-DRV: -11
R-CUT: -2
G-CUT: 0
B-CUT: +4

Note: These offsets must be entered for both Color matrixes. You access the different matrixes by using a 1080i/p signal for the HD matrix and 480i/p signal for the SD matrix. The WB Method Select option should be set to 00 instead of 03.

The thread can be found on the AVS forums if you want to do the service menu offsets and want to learn more about the set.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful display, great price, mediocre sound, June 24, 2010
This review is from: Panasonic TC-P42S2 42-Inch 1080p Plasma HDTV (2010 Model) (Electronics)
I received this TV from Amazon 2 days ago and so far I love it. I shopped around extensively, and it was by far the best value for a large plasma screen from a "name brand" manufacturer. The display is gorgeous. It creates a lush picture with dark blacks and vivid colors. I bought this to replace a 3-year-old 26" Panasonic LCD screen, and I am blown away by the improvement in picture quality. Now, I have to reprogram my DVR to ONLY record HD shows because they look so great; I never noticed that much of a difference between HD and standard-def with the old TV (which was probably only 720p while this new one is 1080p), but I can see a huge improvement with HD now! Overall, very impressive picture quality.

It has 3 HDMI inputs, so I could plug in my cable box, DVD player and Netflix Roku player with no problem. (How great to be able to ditch all those component wires!) Set-up was a breeze and the on-screen controls are intuitive. The remote control is very nice.

My only complaint with the TV is its poor sound quality. I suppose there must be a tradeoff for a $700 42" plasma, and if so, sound is most definitely that tradeoff. The speakers are tinny and echo-y. (By comparison, the speakers on the Panasonic LCD TV I replaced this with are much, much better... of course, I paid the same amount of money for that 26" TV 3 years ago, so I'll willingly take the larger, better screen any day.) I played around with the audio adjustments extensively, but could not find a sound setting that I considered acceptable. I am still giving this TV a 4-star rating because I assume most people purchasing this TV will also have a home theater system. Last night I purchased a Polk Surroundbar 2.1 speaker system, and I am happy with the sound now, but that was an additional $350. Before buying the Surroundbar, I was hoping to plug the TV into my Bose Sounddock, but the TV's ONLY audio output is optical audio, so you cannot make this TV work with inexpensive computer speakers or any speaker system that is not specially designed for home theater with optical audio capability.

As long as you're aware of the sound situation, then I highly recommend this gorgeous and well-priced TV.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I think I finally found it, June 18, 2010
This review is from: Panasonic TC-P42S2 42-Inch 1080p Plasma HDTV (2010 Model) (Electronics)
It is nothing short of a headache shopping for a new TV. I find one I like and then a list of drawbacks sways me to another which has its own set of problems. I was beginning to think a I would be dissatisfied with any TV I got (especially in the price range I wanted). So after months of research I decided to go with the Sony EX 400 series 40" LCD. It was nice. Not fantastic, just nice. It had some slight motion blur that I convinced myself I would just have to deal with, but then I saw a my friend's plasma. Now I had considered plasma, but decided to stick with LCD because of reported burn-in problems, buzzing, and energy consumption. I live in Colorado Springs (over a mile high), and so I did not want to chance buying a plasma. However, after a brief demo at my friend's house, I was sold. After having the TV for a while I am happy to report no burn-in, buzzing, or other altitude related problems. It does slurp some energy, but that is a side-effect of plasma. Plasmas have a definite bonus for me though: no blur. Since the refresh rate is so fast it is almost like watching a CRT. The black levels are superb (almost dark enough to suck the light out of my bedroom), and the colors are accurate. The definition is astounding. I cannot comment on the sound, since I use a receiver and speakers. This TV does put out some heat, but is by no means going to heat the room. I used some configuration settings I found on the internet which meant putting most everything on 50 percent (except, of course, for sharpness). All in all, I am very happy with this TV and would easily recommend it to anyone.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Panasonic Plasma 2010 S2 series - Nice job!, August 5, 2010
This review is from: Panasonic TC-P42S2 42-Inch 1080p Plasma HDTV (2010 Model) (Electronics)
As usual, I've waited one month to review my product. My humble findings:

Pros:
- Purchased it for the 2010 World Cup. Outstanding image in sports, thanks to the typical plasma refresh rate, but also to Panasonic quality, no shocker there.
- Nice sound for a TV with no home theater. Used to have a Samsung 32", this one is far superior. I do have the home theater, but it's not a new model, so no optical input. More on this in the cons list.
- Ease of installation and operation. Took me 10 mins. to set the thing up with the tabletop. The store added a wallmount, free of charge, but took 2 weeks to come. It's now on the wall and looks amazing.
- Antiglare filter works in my living room. That is subject to your own setup so I won't dwell on this. Works well for me, that's it.
- IT WORKS WITH PC AND LAPTOPS VIA HDMI. Any reviews stating otherwise are NOT TRUE.
- 1080P for PS3 and Blu-Ray... Amazing!!!
- 720P for Xbox360 and DirecTV HD, excellent and affordable quality.
- SD channels look ok, but with this screen size I didn't expect any wonders; still is easy on your eyes.
- No hints of burn-in so far, even thou the games I play are mostly racers that keep the HUD on the same place all the time during races. Had a LG Plasma 2 years ago and the burn-in made me discard it (to my kid brother, where I can still see the damages)

Cons:
- Images are more vivid on the Samsung LCD I used to own, but not enough to regret the purchase. I am using the Vivid setting on the thing, which fixes the problem somewhat. Others will love less glare from the screen so this is just for me.
- The only audio output is optical, so my home theatre is not in use. I am not buying a new system, since my old one is powerful and works well, but I have not been able to circumvent the conections to make it work, so one star goes out the window. Is it too expensive to keep the 2 audio RCA's outputs of yore?
- Not as thin as the latest models from LG, but then again, I believe Panasonic is a better make, so I hope Pan makes them thinner next year.

The most important thing in my mind when making the purchase was the price/quality ratio, and after extensive research, I think nothing beats the deal with this product. There is, of course, room for improvement, but overall, I am VERY satisfied with my purchase, and would recommend it to anyone!

UPDATE: I gave in and bought a new home theater, since the TV speakers are just adequate. I now have my entertainment center all set up, and couldn't be happier with it:
- Panasonic TC-P42S2 1080p Plasma TV set
- Panasonic SC-PT570 1000w HTiB
- DirecTV HD DVR
- PS3 80gb
- Xbox 360 w/Beatles Rock Band
I don't think I need anything else, but I'll gladly check out any ideas... bar 3D, I'm not ready for it yet ($$$)
5 STARS FOR THE TV!!!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great picture, great price, smooth delivery, August 6, 2010
By 
King Me (Pittsburgh, PA USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Panasonic TC-P42S2 42-Inch 1080p Plasma HDTV (2010 Model) (Electronics)
I've owned this plasma tv for about a week now and have to admit that I have nothing but good things to say about it. The picture is everything I could ask for in a 1080p tv, the price (under $700) was excellent, the features are well thought out and the remote is comfortable and very well laid out. If I were to be brutally critical I would say that the tv itself has a rather basic look - some other brands are a bit more stylish - but since that is the least important thing on my list, I hardly notice it at all (and it actually does look great and matches well with my tv stand). I was actually very impressed with the sound from the tv. Of course, it can't compete with my 5.1 surround system, but for simple tv speakers they did their job perfectly well and sounded much better than I expected. One minor complication is that the tv has only one audio output, that being an optical digital out. I connected it to my receiver and not surprisingly the broadcast 6-channel sound blows away the TVs speakers. I also happened to notice a small notation at the bottom of page 29 in the manual that says if you run sound from an external piece of equipment through the tv using the HDMI connection, the tv will output it as 2 channel. I tested it with an upconverting dvd player and also with my PS3. The sound from the dvd player came through as 6-channel and sounded the same as it did from the original coaxial cable connection, but the PS3 seemed to be too much sound for the TV to process and it came out as 2-channel with some ProLogic processing. I imagine that the lossless sound ouput from blu-ray can't be run directly through the TV. Sort of unfortunate if true, but still not at all a dealbreaker to get such a great 1080p picture at such a great price. You just have to run the sound from external equipment directly to your receiver. Finally, I like the anti-glare feature. It lightly blurs any light shining on the screen and does not interfere in any way with the quality of picture being displayed. Very cool.

Anyway, I placed my order for the tv on a Saturday. On Monday I received an email from Pilot Freight informing me that it was being shipped and giving me a web address where I could easily track the progress. On Thursday I received a phone message from the delivery man asking when I would like the tv to be delivered. I called back quickly and was told I could have the tv between 3pm and 5pm that day(!) The delivery man arrive at 3pm, was pleasant and carried the tv one flight up to my media room. It was all an extremely easy and low stress purchase and delivery. Everyone did exactly what they said they would do and I could hardly believe that after placing my order on Saturday morning, I had the tv up and running my blu-rays on Thursday evening! Outstanding.

I should mention that I set up the tv entirely by myself but would rather have had someone there helping me with a few things, just to be on the safe side. What I did first was to open the top of the box, remove and look over the directions and put the stand together. Then I carefully laid the box on its back and opened the box bottom. I stood the tv back up, making sure that the flaps on the box bottom were open and would not interfere when I lifted the box off of the tv. The tv had rather large styrofoam coverings on all four corners to protect it, so I carefully tilted it onto its side. That allowed me to attach the stand and then gently lower the tv so that it was now sitting on its stand. I put in and tightened the last bolts to hold the stand firmly in place, made sure I wasn't wearing anything that could scratch the screen, and lifted the tv onto my entertainment unit. As this 42-inch plasma weighed just 55 lbs, it wasn't too difficult to lift myself, though again I would rather have another person there to help, simply to protect my new gadget.

So that was it. The Panasonic is an excellent tv at a great price and the delivery and set up was smooth and easy. One final thing I should mention: Right after I made my purchase I read that some people experienced something they call the "blinking lights of death" or something, which causes the Panasonic to be unable to start up. I have not had that happen in my limited time with the tv but that information did throw a bit of a scare into me. I'll update my review if I encounter any problems, but at this point I'd give the tv and experience a 10 out of 10 and would certainly recommend it to anyone looking for an excellent hi-def experience.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic TV, especially for the price, October 15, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Panasonic TC-P42S2 42-Inch 1080p Plasma HDTV (2010 Model) (Electronics)
This is my first plasma. In the past I'd helped my parents purchase several high-end LCD TVs (as well as doing installation and basic calibration for many friends and family), and I was finally in a position to purchase one for myself. I had a fairly limited budget and ended up going with an entry level Sharp 1080p LCD. After setting up and calibrating it, however, I wasn't thrilled with the picture quality and decided to replace it.

I hadn't considered plasmas until that point because of all the drawbacks they had when they first became popular (which I assumed still held true). After reading more about the state of current plasma TVs, and reading the glowing reviews for this model in particular, my interest was piqued. When I saw the price on Amazon I was sold.

Here are my thoughts after living with it for a couple weeks:

Pros:
-Extremely vivid colors with smooth gradients
-Much deeper blacks than any LCD (including the $2000+ models I've worked with)
-Fantastic shadow detail - eg. you can clearly see every wrinkle on a black T-shirt
-Overall picture quality is just stunning, whether it's playing the new Castlevania game on xbox, watching the black and white samurai classic Yojimbo on DVD, or Up on Bluray via my Laptops HDMI.
-Very little glare from sunlight and interior lighting
-Textured bezel with blue accent looks great in person
-when making picture adjustments the menu hides so you can see the entire image, which is great when calibrating

Neutral:
-decent variety of color and video calibration settings
-adequate remote
-3 HDMI inputs - adequate but more would be better

Cons:
-I occasionally notice slight video noise (sparkling) on certain patterns when watching netflix via my xbox (probably due to the compressed 720p stream). The noise reduction setting mostly eliminated the phenomenon, making it barely noticeable to me, and unnoticeable to the other people watching with me. I have not witnessed this effect from any other source, including DVDs and games on the xbox.

I couldn't be happier with my purchase. You'd be hard pressed to find an LCD TV at any price that could match the picture of the S2.
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Panasonic TC-P42S2 42-Inch 1080p Plasma HDTV (2010 Model)
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