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

3.6 out of 5 stars 133 customer reviews
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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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  • Free 60-Day Tech Support: This item is eligible for FREE Tech Support for 60 days from the date of delivery. Over the phone, our trained technicians can help you set up, configure, connect, and troubleshoot so you can start enjoying your new purchase. Owners of qualifying products can reach Tech Support by selecting your product on the Contact Us page. Learn more

Technical Details

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

Product Description

Product Description

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



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42 inches check 30,000:1 check



46 inches check 30,000:1



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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
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TH-50PZ800U 50 inches check 30,000:1 check check check 4
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TH-58PZ800U 58 inches check 30,000:1 check check check 4
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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
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TH-58PZ850U 58 inches check 30,000:1 check check check 4
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TH-65PZ850U 65 inches check 30,000:1 check check check 4
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Product Information

Technical Details

Brand Name Panasonic
Item Weight 70.5 pounds
Product Dimensions 41.9 x 28.3 x 12.9 inches
Item model number TH-42PZ85U
Batteries 2 AAA batteries required. (included)
Color Name Black
Special Features Noise Reducing, Child Lock, Teletext Enabled, Sleep Timer

Additional Information

Customer Reviews
3.6 out of 5 stars 133 customer reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
Best Sellers Rank #192,108 in Home Theater (See top 100)
#180 in Electronics > Televisions & Video > Televisions > Plasma TVs
Shipping Weight 84.6 pounds
Domestic Shipping This item can only be shipped to the 48 contiguous states. We regret it cannot be shipped to APO/FPO, Hawaii, Alaska, or Puerto Rico.
International Shipping This item is not eligible for international shipping. Learn More
Date First Available April 18, 2005

Warranty & Support

Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here

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.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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7 Comments 236 of 237 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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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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Comment 87 of 88 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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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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Comment 52 of 54 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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