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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on July 7, 2010
Verified Purchase
This is my first HDTV purchase and I'm very happy with it. A friend suggested I go with Panasonic as I'd get the most bang for my buck, and she was right.

The stand was easy enough to assemble and the set looks and feels well-constructed and appropriate for any room decor. The menus are user-friendly and initial setup was a breeze; an explanation is shown for every available option, so people who aren't familiar with funny acronyms don't need to look through the user manual.

The video quality is outstanding. I tested it first with my PS3 (my main reason for buying a tv) and the colors really pop out at you. I was worried that the plasma would be too dark, but it handles both bright and dark colors exceptionally well. Nothing looks washed out or too black. The only complaint is that the screen brightness can be overpowering with the Game and Vivid settings (I'm more a fan of the latter, but it depends on the game), but the brightness can be adjusted and the adaptive lighting seems to work well enough. I would have liked an overall gamma setting, but you can tweak the video to be nearly perfect with the tv options and the video source's settings. Also, the anti-glare works well enough that I can keep one set of curtains open while viewing and the picture doesn't suffer.

Next, I connected my laptop through its HDMI output (most customers probably don't have this but I'll mention it anyway). 1680x1050 resolution seems to work the best as 1920 left the desktop looking too small and making it easier to notice the pixels, and anything smaller doesn't fit just perfectly. I think these are issues with my laptop giving the tv strange resolutions that it's not used to, but these aren't enough to detract from the quality of the tv. I tested a few games at 1280x960 and they looked better than they do on my laptop's screen (anything less than 1680 on my computer is fuzzy). As mentioned before, small portions were cut off of the left and right sides but it was only enough to notice while on menus. I'll definitely be using this tv as a monitor for schoolwork. Movie quality is great with compressed video files, so I'm sure the blu ray will be amazing.

The speakers are sub-par, but they're not terrible. I was still able to enjoy the games without the extra oomph of a solid set with a woofer, but my next priority will be audio.

I'm satisfied with the connections in the back of the tv. I'm only using it for HDMI and occasionally the RCA at the moment, but the optical audio out is convenient if go that route for speakers (I'm not sure if this is standard now but I like it).

Overall, I'm very happy with the tv and would buy it again. The price you pay is well worth the quality you get out of it. Aside from a few minor issues and poor speakers, it's a great HDTV.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on November 3, 2010
Very good choice for home use if you are hooking up a Blu-ray player with an HDMI cable, and using external speakers. The built-in speakers are not so great, though decent for TV shows. For DVDs or Blu-ray, I run the audio out digitally through an optical cable to an external home theater system.
I coupled this with Panasonic's wireless ready Blu-ray player (DMP-BD85) and they work nicely together, even the 2 remote controls cooperate when linked. I watch a few digital broadcast channels with a simple $10 indoor antenna. Nice. I watch videos wirelessly through Netflix and Amazon on Demand. If you have a fast wireless connection, these stream in HD no problem. This plasma picture was gorgeous for the "Avatar" Blu-ray disc. But you need to adjust it to your room lighting and taste. Its "Standard" setting was too dim, and the "Vivid" setting too bright. I started with the "Cinema" setting and tweaked it ever so slightly from there. Easy enough. Check out the other "advanced" menu options for "Deep Color" and blacker than black contrast, etc. The result is better than anything you can see on demo in the store.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on June 13, 2010
Not a bad picture, but be prepared to tweak it until you're happy. The other reviewer is correct about the brightness. I saw this in the shop, and they had it pegged to almost max. Understandable with the flo lights they have in the store. Reviewer number two is missing the point on his purchase. You don't buy an HD based on it's audio quality, and you don't buy it for S-Video. This is like saying your surround receiver doesn't have good audio in mono.

is this a top notch set. Nope, but considering what I paid compared to what I could have paid a year ago, I'm quite happy with this as my first HD set.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on June 13, 2010
The other reviewer probably needed a professional setup as many of the HD sets need it to counter the overly bright factory settings that are more for a showy picture to sell it in a showroom, but will shorten it's life span. Compared to many other sets, this one looks great, especially for the money. Per CR, reliability for Panasonic hd tvs is excellent too.
Sound from the tv speakers is good enough for most shows I watch, but of course it sounds better with my home theater speaker setup.
The color looks great on mine with minimal adjustment and the overall picture is excellent with an HDMI signal and through my component dvd.
Contrast and Brightness levels seem to be good in our den.
It's missing USB and VGA ports though which I knew prior to sale since I had done my homework online.
Overall a great tv at a great price.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on December 3, 2010
Verified Purchase
I bought this TV from Amazon on a Friday and had it delivered the following Wednesday by Ceva. I watched the tracking progress and called Ceva myself when i saw they got it and scheduled the delivery instead of waiting for them to call me. This was probably a good idea...(see below) The delivery guy offered to unpack and set up the TV, but I told him not to worry cause i was moving in a month and I'd just wait. That didn't last for long, as an hour later I wanted to watch it. :) I'm very glad I did because my return window would have passed.

So, out of the box set up was easy. I was able to do it myself, but would have been a bit easier if i had somebody there to help me lift the TV onto the stand. Setup was a breeze and off we went. The default setting was way too dark. I switched to cinema and then vivid and adjusted slightly and got a pretty good picture. It was a little bit fuzzy, but I think that was more due to my incoming signal than the TV itself. An hour later, the hockey game started (Go CAPS!!) and about 45 minutes later the TV just clicked off and started flashing the power LED 7 times. I unplugged and tried to turn it on. It clicks on and then quickly clicks off and flashes 7 times. I was sad. :(

I called Panasonic and they said it would need repairs and that since it was a 42" i was not eligible for in-home service and would have to take it myself to an authorized panasonic repair shop. I called the repair shop and they said I could bring it at any time, but that they'd probably have to order a part and it would take a few weeks. I decided that I did not like this, nor did I want a refurbished TV 1 hour after I purchased it new.

I called Amazon the next day and explained I got a defective TV and that i had called Panasonic but didn't want to bring it for repairs. Within minutes they set me up with a replacement order and said they would swap the old one when the new one was delivered. This was awesome. Except for then the TV was out of stock and it would be after Dec. 25 till I got it, so I canceled the order and requested a refund. Kelly at Amazon was really nice and sent the information to Ceva and said they would call to schedule pick up and when they picked it up, she would expedite a refund. They didn't call for a week, so I had to call them to schedule and they were there the next day to pick up. Kelly then sent me an email that night saying the refund had been completed!

Ultimately, I ended up ordering the Panasonic TC-P42G25 instead of this model for a couple reasons. I wanted the THX mode, the 1080 lines (instead of the 900 this one has), the VieraCast and there was a promotion that came with a free Speakerbar/Subwoofer (300 dollar value). I am still waiting for that to be delivered. Hopefully it won't be a dud like my last one.

Anyways, to make a long story short, I gave this TV a 3 star rating because it broke. Had it not broke, the picture was very nice, and I would have been satisfied and would have given it 4 stars. Amazon's customer service saved it from being a 1 Star! Nice picture for the price, but ultimately I decided I wanted more features than this model had. Amazon customer support was great and I'd order an expensive product like this from them again without question.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Verified Purchase
I'm very happy with this purchase. The picture is incredible whether in HD or non-HD programming. The sound quality is not impressive at all but the overall deal is excellent.

Pros
*1920x1080 resolution. More expensive and larger TVs do not improve on that.
*Operates very well in both HD and SD modes.
*Stand is operational. Packaging was very impressive. Arrived two days after I ordered it.
*Great candidate for mounting. Overall depth is 12"; weight is 55 lbs (note that shipping weight is 100 lbs).
*Panasonic plasma TVs have a stellar record for reliability and not breaking down.
*Subfield drive (Hz) is 600. That means each of the 8 subfields is refreshed at 75 Hz, which is really fast.
*Viewing angle is beyond expectation. You get a quality experience watching this TV from the side (off axis).

Cons
*Sound quality not special. The built-in speakers are down-firing, nothing special.
*Where's the warranty? No in-home warranty!! I guess that's reflected in the price.
*Lacks USB port or VGA port. No headphone jack either.
*Uses power even when it's off.
*Not Internet enabled.
*Not 3D-capable (there's not enough content in 3D yet to make this an issue for me though).
*The base does not swivel.

Neutral
*The remote seems great but I didn't use it. I'm stuck using the remote from the cable TV provider unless/until I get a universal remote.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on August 27, 2010
Verified Purchase
It took me about 3 days to get this set hooked up to my surround sound system. It was so simple compared to my last set, that I ended up with a handful of cables left over. The person who said it takes tweaking was right. I also think the 2nd review person expected too much too soon.
I personally use the "Cinema" mode (one out of many) to get a great picture. The unit actually does all the work for you without a lot of complicated wiring through the input and menu selections. I highly recommend this set for it's excellent picture and wide versatility. Also, you just can't beat Panasonic for quality at a great price.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 7, 2011
Verified Purchase
I purchased this plasma off Amazon after seeing it in stores here in NYC for a higher price. I've owned several Panasonic products over the years and even my clock radio from the 80s is still reliable, so I appreciate the brand (and I wanted a Japanese TV without the price premium). The build quality, stand, and remote are all sturdy and above-average construction. The picture quality is excellent, especially watching blu-ray; Inception looked better than it did in the theater. PS3 and PC games look great and the response is much faster than even the most expensive LCD. The tuner quickly picked up many more HD channels than my previous, and I love the favorites list feature to quickly access the channels I watch 99% of the time.

I have three caveats about this TV which may or may not discourage other shoppers:

1) The audio connectivity is lousy: No analog audio out, or even a headphone jack. Speakers never go old so if you have anything more than a few years old without digital in, you're out of luck with this TV. The digital-analog converter is quite pricey, usually over $50. I managed to find it on monoprice.com for around $25.

2) Main complaint: I use my TV as an external display for my laptop about half the time. Due to the plasma technology's almost instant refresh, the 60Hz refresh rate flickers and is very painful to look at when looking at a window with white background. Watching movies or TV it's noticeable but not bothersome much like a digital movie theater. It's disqualifying for any static display application, however. 60Hz LCDs aren't as noticeable due to the decay time of the technology between frames.

3) Also with the PC connection issue: although a 1080p television, this TV does not actually have 1920x1080 addressable pixels. The native resolution of my laptop overflowed on the sides and I had to use the video driver setting to squeeze in the resolution to 1836x1040. This is on the techie side but a nuisance to me; while Windows can be adjusted to custom resolutions like this, many PC games will only run at standard resolutions resulting in part of the picture being off the screen.

This TV is an excellent value: Getting a Japanese brand name and manufacture for what many low-end TVs are going for. For gaming, TV, and DVDs/Blu-Rays, the picture is outstanding for the price and better than LCD. Don't plan on plugging a computer into it or plugging it into speakers with anything other than optical digial-in.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 4, 2010
Verified Purchase
I mainly use the TV as the monitor for my computer (via the HDMI port). The image quality is super. When I open my Nikon D90 pictures (4288*2848) on my TV, I can see all the tiny details that are not seen on my laptop 15" LCD screen. Also I like the feature that the TV can automatically adjust the brightness level based on the background. Smart. Combined with its price it is unsurpassable in its category.
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on February 14, 2014
Verified Purchase
I've had the TV for years now and I'm still as amazed at the clarity of the HDTV when switching from regular broadcasts as ever. This year I added surround sound and watching bluray and sports has taken on a whole new definition I can count the stubble on the players faces on the football field from hundreds of yards away, and the crowd noise added to give a live experience just makes it hard to go back. Even though the HDMI ARC specification is not implemented uniformly across manufacturers my Panasonic Viesta works just fine with my Samsung surround sound making installation take more time to un-package than to install and it all works just great together. Like it so much I bought a second one for my family room.
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