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  • Panasonic Viera TH-42PZ85U 42-Inch 1080p Plasma HDTV (2008 Model)
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Panasonic Viera TH-42PZ85U 42-Inch 1080p Plasma HDTV (2008 Model)

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  • 1920 x 1080 Resolution
  • 1000000:1 Dynamic Contrast Ratio for the Brightest whites and darkest blacks
  • 4096 Shades of Gradation for spectacular Color Reproduction
  • Viera LinK™ HDAVI Control lets you operate all of your home theater components by pressing a single button on your TV's remote control
  • GalleryPlayer® allows you to enjoy the world's finest high definition art and photography on your Panasonic HD plasma TV
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Product Information

Technical Details
Brand NamePanasonic
Item Weight70.5 pounds
Product Dimensions41.9 x 28.3 x 12.9 inches
Item model numberTH-42PZ85U
Batteries:2 AAA batteries required. (included)
Color NameBlack
Special FeaturesNoise Reducing, Child Lock, Teletext Enabled, Sleep Timer
Additional Information
Best Sellers Rank #98,415 in Electronics (See top 100)
Shipping Weight116.2 pounds
ShippingThis item can only be shipped to the 48 contiguous states. We regret it cannot be shipped to APO/FPO, Hawaii, Alaska, or Puerto Rico.
Date First AvailableApril 18, 2005
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Technical Details

  • Noise Reducing
  • Child Lock
  • Teletext Enabled
  • Sleep Timer

Read about our customers' top-rated TVs on our reviews pages: TV Reviews, 4K TV Reviews, LED TV Reviews, Plasma TV Reviews, and Smart TV Reviews. Shop our popular TV brands: LG, Samsung, Sharp, Sony, and VIZIO.

Product Description Product Description--March 10, 2008 With its 2008 Panasonic Viera Plasmas, Panasonic brings anastonishing 1,000,000:1 contrast ration to the table. advanced pixel resolution and image-processing technology with the plasma TV's natural ability to beautifully reproduce fast moving images, so every detail is rendered with amazing clarity, and all the action is delivered with a high degree of fluidity.

What's New This Year?

  • Super Contrast--native contrast ratios on the PZ85, PZ800 and PX 850 series are 30,000:1, double last year's 15,000:1.
  • Dynamic contrast ratios are up to 1,000,000:1.
  • new anti-reflective filter; lead-free "Tough Under Force" panel is resistant to impacts and scratches
  • Built-in SD card slot with Photo Viewer/Gallery Player software
  • x.v. Color and Deep Color (HDMI 1.3 features)
  • Game Mode auto-adjusts image quality suitable to games and includes anti-image retention
  • Viera Link is now compatible with Onkyo and Yamaha home theater systems
  • At least 3 HDMI inputs on all models (4 on PZ800 and PZ850 series)
  • THX Certification on PZ800 and PZ850 series

Which Viera is Right For You?

Click here to see a comparison of step up features on each Viera series.

Amazing color reproduction

The incredible black reproduction of a Panasonic High-Definition Plasma TV results in impressive contrast and beautiful, natural colors. So you'll get warm, accurate skin tones, gorgeous greens, breathtaking blues and vivid reds. For color that's as rich and bold as life itself, look to a Panasonic Plasma TV.

Consistent brightness from any angle

A Panasonic Plasma combines anti-glare and anti-reflection technology with the natural light-emitting properties of plasma, to give you a super-wide viewing range with a crisp, beautiful image from almost any angle.

Smooth, graceful motion

When you're watching sports or movies with fast-motion graphics, you want a TV that can keep up with the action. With over 900 lines of moving picture, self-illuminating plasma displays eliminate afterimages in fast-action scenes. So whether you're watching a sporting event or an action-packed movie, you'll always get the most impressive viewing experience possible.

1,000,000:1 Contrast

The Panasonic's Real Black system (a pre-discharge suppression system) and improved panel production processes combine to reproduce outstanding blacks with superb contrast. Each image is richly expressive, from bright scense, like scorching desert landscapes, to dark cave scenes. Compare the image produced by conventional HDTV on the left to the Real Black image produced on the right

More Colors

Viera HDTVs support the xvYCC color profile (Extended YCC Colorimetry for Video Applications), or "x.v. color" for short. Standard RGB color space allows the display of a portion of the colors that are viewable to the human eye. The next generation "xvYCC" color space actually offers  an available range of colors that exceeds what human eyes can recognize.
  • Next-generation "xvYCC" color space supports 1.8 times as many colors as existing HDTV signals
  • Lets HDTVs display colors more accurately
  • Enables displays with more natural and vivid colors

Deep Color

deep color eliminates visible color banding Where x.v. color expands the available range of colors your HDTV can display, Deep Color increases the number of colors your HDTV can display within that range, for smoother transitions from color to color.
  • Lets HDTVs and other displays go from millions of colors to billions of colors
  • Eliminates on-screen color banding, for smooth tonal transitions and subtle gradations between colors
  • Enables increased contrast ratio
  • Can represent many times more shades of gray between black and white.


Viera flat panel HDTVs interact with an array of high-definition devices and services, making it easy for consumers to access and enjoy content as never before. As of 2008, Viera Link is compatible with Onkyo and Yamaha home theater systems.
Videos and stills recorded on SD cards can easily be viewed via the SD slots on Panasonic Blu-Ray Disc players and Viera HDTVs. Viera Link means easy connectivity via HDMI cables. Finally, consumers can easily operate their Blu-Ray Disc players, DVD recorders and home theater systems with a single remote control device.
SD Cards Viera Link

4 HDMI inputs to connect all of your devices directly to your television. Equipped with an RGB input terminal, VIERA can connect with your PC and serve as a large-screen monitor.
Easy connectivity with HDMI ports pc input

Long Life

long life Panasonic plasma panels are rated to last 100,000 hours, which is about 30 years of regular or 11 years of non-stop usage before the brightness of the display is halved.

Get Full HD with Blu-Ray Disc Players

Blu-Ray disc player A Panasonic 1080p plasma television is able to render 1920x1080 pixels, but standard DVDs have a resolution of just 720x480. Blu-ray discs output true 1080p High-Definition resolution and have a storage capacity ten times greater than standard DVDs, so no pixel gos to waste.

Which is the Right Viera for You?

Screen Size
Full HD
1920 x 1080 pixels
PC Input
One Sheet
of Glass
Cinema Color
Standard Features
42 inches




  • 480 Hz Sub-field Drive Technology
  • Anti-Reflective Filter
  • Viera Link HDAVI Control
  • Built-in SD Card Slot w/Photo Viewer
  • Deep Color Technology
  • x.v. Color
  • 3D Color Mangement
  • Sub-Pixel Controller
  • Motion Pattern Noise Reduction
  • Anti-Image Retention Mode
  • Game Mode
  • Scratch and Impact Rsistant Panel
  • 100,000 Hours to Panel Half-Brightness (>30 years @ 8 hours/day)
  • Lead-free Panel
50 inches




42 inches check 20,000:1



46 inches check 20,000:1



50 inches check 20,000:1



42 inches check 30,000:1 check



46 inches check 30,000:1



50 inches check 30,000:1 check



42 inches check 30,000:1 check check check 4
check check 4,096

TH-46PZ800U 46 inches check 30,000:1 check check check 4
check check 4,096

TH-50PZ800U 50 inches check 30,000:1 check check check 4
check check 4,096

TH-58PZ800U 58 inches check 30,000:1 check check check 4
check check 4,096

TH-46PZ850U 46 inches check 30,000:1 check check check 4
check check 5,120 check check check check check
TH-50PZ850U 50 inches check 30,000:1 check check check 4
check check 5,120 check check check check check
TH-58PZ850U 58 inches check 30,000:1 check check check 4
check check 5,120 check check check check check
TH-65PZ850U 65 inches check 30,000:1 check check check 4
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Product Description

42" HD Plasma with bottom speakers and SD slot. 1080P

Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

The picture on this TV cannot be beat for the price, however a picture isn't very good if the TV cannot be powered on. See the link below for to get an idea of the… Read more ›
The Amazon price was unbeatable anywhere I checked. The TV itself is exceptional, easy to set-up and use, and the picture in HD is absolutely incredible. Read more ›
I bought this plasma tv for my brother and he has been extremely pleased with it. The clarity of the picture is excellent and the colors are very vibrant. The hook-up of… Read more ›
The delivery guys set up the set and were out of here in about 10 minutes. The picture quality is great, and I am astounded at how much more I enjoy even older movies. My… Read more ›
10 minutes later, it was upright, plugged in, and showing us that we had made the right choice. The picture is gorgeous! With DirecTV as the source, on any of the HD… Read more ›
let me say, this TV is great. picture, etc are all fantastic. I will never buy anything from amazon again that requires shipping via freight. Read more ›
The cables make a HUGE difference. The HD images appear three diminsional and the colors are AMAZING. We also purchased a Panasonic Viera LCD flat screen and, although it's… Read more ›
I recommend that you read the intructions several times, don't rush, and your…The picture is awesome, the colors are brilliant, and the HD programming is clear and vibrant. Read more ›
The color is faithful to the photo as I processed it. Colors are also well-saturated. Resolution and contrast are superb. Read more ›
This is my 3rd HDTV, and this unit has the best picture I have seen. The black levels are amazing. As for delivery, the delivery people canceled the first day and were 3… Read more ›
We…Colors are great, including blacks, and the features are fine for accomdating several different sources including a pc, two video game consols, and a blu ray player. Read more ›
Solid Panasonic technology! Picture quality is awesome and blacks are REALLY BLACK! Read more ›
I bought this TV less than 2 years ago. After about 3 months of use there was a line and one half of the screen was distorted. Service call required. Read more ›
When the item was delivered the screen was broken. I was able to purchase a similar TV elswhere brand new for less money Read more ›
The PGA Masters tournament was simply breathtaking. Edge detail is incredible - none of the jaggies or noisy lines I see on my sister's cheapo Vizio LCD. I don't know what… Read more ›
A…Bought TV DEC 2008 Great TV when it worked paid about $850, got the plasma for sports with the fast refresh rate; it wasn't used much since I'd be at work during the week. Read more ›
The brightness of lcd next to plasma, the smooth(though artificial-looking) movement of 120hz processing, the clarity of Blu-ray movies, the ghosting effect on lcd screens,… Read more ›
The ease of set up blew me away and the built in SD card reader has made this set a…My Nikon D80 photos are displayed so beautifully with unbelievable color and clarity! Read more ›
It is working very well, we are pleased with it. The price was reasonable. A good use for our refund. Read more ›
However, I purchased the item over the phone…Their phone price was lower than the AMZN price and the extended warranty was on special, which I would not have know about. Read more ›
This is not the case with their plasma T.V.'s. Have you wondered why they are so much lower in price and there seem to be an abundance of supply this Christmas? We bought… Read more ›
I wanted the best value for my money, and that is what I got. An amazing 42" Plasma, with great colors and deep blacks. Read more ›
The picture is terriffic as others have said the sound system could be better, but not a reason to…As of now i believe I have received a great product at a great price!!!! Read more ›
Underworld was incredible, using stanard DVD's with inexpensive upconvert player. no…TV was double box. great price but price has dropped even a little more since purchase. Read more ›
However, the assembly required was very minor and the setup was a breeze. The quality of the picture and sound has been outstanding. I have always been pleased with… Read more ›
The NBA playoffs looked teriffic and the sound wasn't bad either. I was excited to see that you could adjust the bass on the TV, but after doing so realized there isn't a… Read more ›
However, I read that the sound quality was not that good. Now that I own one, I must say that the set has very good sound quality for general purpose use. If anybody is… Read more ›
This TV has great resolution, true color, and good sound. I researched a lot of TV's before deciding on this particular model. Read more ›
I ordered from 6th Ave and had the TV in my house in 1 day! I am impressed with the sound quality without any external speakers hooked up yet either. Just turn up the bass… Read more ›
This plasma has better sound than any CRT I've ever had and the only panel TV with better sound without using a surround sound system cost $3000 more but it's hard to… Read more ›
In my case, the biggest…Once these "technical" options were decided, choosing between the available brands and models that satisfied these options was relatively easy. Read more ›
In the evening we use a picture mode called "cinema", which is soft…When "cinema" mode is not bright enough for our inside lights, we change it to a mode called "standard". Read more ›
Panasonic does it again! This model 85U is awesome. I'm very happy with this Flatscreen. Read more ›
A WORD OF CAUTION...if you're going to play games, do not be pulled into a false sense of security with the "Game…You'll see by default, the Brightness setting is at 100. Read more ›
At first, it looked a little darker and…But after I got used to it, I liked this setting a lot -- more so than the "cinema" and other pre-programmed picture settings. I… Read more ›
It's difficult to compare models when companies use different words and descriptions for their features and specs and every time you think you have found the right model,… Read more ›
I know it is not true HD. ' Set up was supper easy. I am an IT administrator so I am used setting up tech gadgets. Read more ›
Amazon was sold out of this set so I ordered from Butterfly Photo (through Amazon) and got the…Set up was easy, I did it myself using the supplied stand in under 2 hours. Read more ›
No sales tax and free shipping and set up. Set up was perfect and delivery men very competent and polite. The TV is performing up to my expections and better. Read more ›
I absolutely love this tv. The picture is perfect and it was so easy to set up. I only wish it could play videos from the memory card, other than that I would recommend it… Read more ›
Wasn't a big fan of plasmas until this TV came along. Easy to set up out of the box, fantastic color, looks great in a well lighted room. Some initial difficulty in the set… Read more ›
I've had it for three weeks with absolutely no issues; the picture is perfect, the TV is easy to setup and operate, and it has all of the standard features of any high-end… Read more ›
None of those problems with this TV! The size is perfect for our small living room (we view it from about 10 feet away). I just can't say enough about it! Read more ›
I'm not a TV geek, but after researching as much as I could on line, and stopping in a…The color is excellent, the blacks are defining, the size is perfect for the space. Read more ›
The quality is good from almost every angle. For our house the size is perfect. The 1080P is a must! Read more ›
The sound quality is good, the size is great, and the picture is amazing, especially with bluray or hdtv. the SD picture could be better but that's a common problem with… Read more ›
Very nice picture, nice size, just what I was looking for on a plasma. I had just gotten the screen several hours ago and was playing around with my PC, dvd etc. Read more ›
i've had this tv for several years now (five years already?), but it's still going strong. quality-wise, i don't find anything lacking. but size-wise, i do feel like you… Read more ›
Pros: Good image, good sound. Cons: Controls on the TV are on the side and difficult to use if the TV is mounted since the labels are difficult to read. If you see a movie… Read more ›
When power returns it goes to the other features, not the slideshow. Great for home use. Read more ›
I have also connected, by HDMI, a new Playstation 3…Panasonic recognized them immediately and the menus on this tv are one push button drop down and simple to navigate. L… Read more ›
Features are nice, remote is easier to use and program, hooks up in less than 5min with base included. Read more ›
The cinema setting might be useful under bright lighting conditions. Vivid is too bright to be useful. Awesome colors and black levels made this TV a great buy for me. Read more ›
The on-screen set-up menus are intuitive and easy to use -- didn't have to open the manual once. Read more ›
The colors are very accurate. Menu is easy navigate. Plenty of connection for all sorts of A/V equipment. Read more ›
The OS menu's are pretty easy to nav., you may want to set a custom picture mode (which i did)…The remote is quite nice i think, with farely large buttons and nice layout. Read more ›
The on-screen set-up menus are intuitive and easy to use -- didn't have to open the manual once. Read more ›
The picture quality is amazing. It has a very user friendly menu. I connected my Wii, my DVR box and PS3 (via HDMI), and SD cards to the Viera. Read more ›
No disapointments found. Great Picture, Great Remote, Good Sound. Picture is stunning in 1080i and likely will be mind boggling in 1080p Blu-Ray. Read more ›
Features are nice, remote is easier to use and program, hooks up in less than 5min with base included. Read more ›
-Standard definition media (basic cable) will stretch to fit the screen if not filmed in wide screen format, and…-The TV is very stable on the stand, and is balanced well. Read more ›
Standard definition comes in…I was wanting to get a LCD but at the last minute went with the plasma, Lcd is just not quit there yet has issues with the the standard def. Read more ›
Bravo, what a service! The TV is simple and clean look and provide beautiful HD image BUT it is not so great with the standard 480 definition. So, only for HD viewing or HD… Read more ›
That said, I'll comment a bit…First, the scaler (the hardware that handles different source material like standard definition broadcast, etc.) in this thing is top notch. Read more ›
If you don't have $ to burn, which is probably most of us, consider a Panasonic plasma. The black levels are very good on this set and HD source material is fantastic. There… Read more ›
Sound is also great. Moved it twice to different apts. solid build. Great if you want to buy used. Read more ›
I have one minor complaint so far and that is that dust seems to gather very quickly on the glossy, black bezel. Read more ›
The picture is very beautiful on HD material - rich colors, but not too rich, it just looks very, very real. On non-HD material this set does a better job than any other… Read more ›

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

236 of 237 people found the following review helpful By FJ Abraham on July 18, 2008
Verified Purchase
UPDATE. A couple links dedicated to this set:
Owners forum: [...]
Break-in FAQ: [...]

Just a short review as there are so many already.

I spent approximately 3 years researching displays. No it didn't take me that long to figure things out, I was basically waiting for the technology to meet my expectations at a given price point.

After exhaustive research I narrowed things down to Plasma and then further down to either this set or the Samsung A550. The reason I picked the Panny over the Samsung, to be succinct:

- better black levels
- reliability (reportedly a bit more stable than the Samsung's, though they have gotten better)
- anti-reflective coating (the Panasonic has the Samsung thoroughly beat)
- IR (image retention) resistance, Panasonic is supposedly on the cutting edge for this

That said, I'll comment a bit on the Panasonic image specifically; it is stunning. First, the scaler (the hardware that handles different source material like standard definition broadcast, etc.) in this thing is top notch. I am truly impressed with what it has done with standard cable (and of course HD cable looks great). I was under the impression that few if any modern displays could handle SD well, frankly because I hadn't seen evidence of it. I was wrong, there have been a few times that I had to look hard to tell I was watching Standard Def (CNN puts out an especially clean broadcast in my area). Secondly, HD content; doubly stunning! I'm running both HD Cable and a PS3 Blu-ray. I figured I'd be buying many of my movies again in Blu-ray....wrong. Certainly true HD content has the edge but the upscaler combined with this set is jaw dropping, Pixar DVDs are quite amazing.
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87 of 88 people found the following review helpful By Rian on March 29, 2008
I recently decided that it's time to upgrade to an HDTV, and I did a lot of research before settling on this model. I'm not an A/V expert, but I am an enthusiast, and I can tell you that this TV is simply amazing. I highly recommend it. I can't get very technical, but here are just a few thoughts on why I rate this TV so highly:

In the end, the quality of the picture is what it's about. I run Panasonic HDMI cables from a Comcast HD DVR through my Denon 850 receiver (1080 passthrough). The clarity, color and vibrancy of HD channels are breathtaking. These new Panasonic models increased the contrast ratio considerably, and I do think it makes a big difference. Even SD programming looks good on the set.

I also have an SD DVD player hooked up with component cables, and even though it's not an upconverting player the picture is still amazing.

Daytime viewing is good, although it does look better at night with less light. The new anti-reflective screen on this model does a great job, but this is still a problem I don't think any Plasma TV has solved completely yet. If I leave our living room light on it does reflect on the screen (but it looks better in the dark anyway...).

I'm still in the first 100 hours so I'm in the breaking in stage, but I haven't seen any signs of image retention. It sounds like the new models made big strides in this area as well.

The on-screen set-up menus are intuitive and easy to use -- didn't have to open the manual once.

My final comment is about's part in this. I order it directly from Amazon (make sure you check who the seller is), and the experience was flawless. They use a distribution company for delivery, and they call you with a 4-hour time window before they deliver the TV.
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52 of 54 people found the following review helpful By P. Harris on April 19, 2008
We purchased the 42" 2008 Panasonic plasma 1080p model TH-42PZ85U about 5 weeks ago, after about 2 weeks of almost non-stop comparing of different sets at various stores. We've watched it during bright glary daytime conditions and dark room evening hours. We've watched HD channels and SD (standard-def) channels, and HD-DVD movies. We're familiar with the amazing picture quality of High-Def because we've had a Fujitsu plasma for the last 5 years, which was excellent. The Fujitsu developed an un-repairable problem with it's power supply circuit panel.

To summarize, the picture quality of the Panasonic TH-42PZ85U plasma is absolutely outstanding! It is stunning! It's mesmerizing. It's like nothing I've ever seen before. It was great in the store, but even much better under home conditions, without bright store spotlights, with good cable HD service, and without having to share a TV signal with 83 other sets.

In doing the visual research at various stores, I was attracted to LCD sets because of their incredible brightness and bright colors. Under the bright store lights, the poor plasmas looked like dim, lost souls next to the super-nova LCD's. However it soon became evident to me that LCD's had more of an artificial look to the images, especially the human face. Faces on LCD sets looked more plastic and flat, without real-world color gradients. They looked more like a poster. Faces on plasmas looked real, with real texture and color gradations, with a 3 dimensional quality. Other scenes on LCD's also looked more 2 dimensional. On plasmas, the same scene had depth and a 3-D quality. I had read about this, but didn't understand what it meant until I saw it with my own eyes.
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