196 of 200 people found the following review helpful
on April 23, 2011
I wanted to purchase an tv that didn't break the bank, but met my criteria of
40-42", multiple HDMI input, PC input, 1080p, 120hz and this fit the bill. I stayed away from plasma because to me the LCD picture quality is much crisper and I stayed away from LED because for the same sized LCD I can get a bigger screen.
Note: The room that this tv resides in is 11' by 15' and it sits 8' away from the couch. The size is just right for the room.
Setup was very easy and I was up and running within minutes of taking the tv out of the box. I had to install the included stand and then set a couple of options and the date once the unit was powered on. The stand base is made out of plastic but is connected to the tv with a metal bracket. That said, when we first set the tv on the console it wobbled and I was concerned at first, but after a few days, I already forgot that it initially wobbled, so this was a non-issue. The unit itself is beautiful with a black plastic frame with a glossy finish. It should be noted that the tv monitor itself sits very low with the stand, once installed, there is a 1.5" clearance from whatever the tv is sitting on and the bottom of the monitor itself, there is no way to adjust the height.
The remote control is standard, nothing fancy. I like the over-sized volume and channel buttons, very easy to find without looking at the remote.
Please keep in mind my room size above. The sound from the speakers are very good. Volume ranges from 0 to 100. When I want to immerse myself in a movie, I set the volume at 45, otherwise I set the volume between 25 and 30. Just don't expect surround sound from them and you won't be disappointed.
There are 5 presets in the Picture Menu: Standard, Cinema, Game, Custom and Vivid. I wasn't a fan with the Standard, Game and Cinema presets. After playing around with the settings, I settled on a Custom preset I liked.
I have my PS3 connected via HDMI and watching 1080p movies on this tv is stunning. I watched Pixar's UP on blu-ray and the quality is surreal, it's so life-like that it almost looks 3D, I noticed myself paying attention to little details in the movie that I never saw before. Even watching non-1080p video is great, 120hz just makes everything smooth. I also have my Roku connected via HDMI and streaming HD content is great, the only downside with HD is that when you watch non-HD content, it's quite noticeable, but very much watchable on this tv.
There is a Game preset and the tv states that this is optimized for gaming, however, I found that I preferred playing games on my Custom preset. I played FF XIII and Uncharted 2 and the quality is great. My guess is that the "optimized for gaming" is mainly for games FPS games, where every millisecond counts... but that's just my guess.
Turning Off 120hz
A frequent complaint I've been reading regarding 120hz units is that it looks like a soap opera. I can confirm this initial impression, but you do get accustomed to it and I actually like it now. There is an Advanced picture option Motion Picture Pro 4 that can be set to Off, Weak or Strong. I like it, so I leave it on Strong.
The remote control has a dedicated Viera Tools button and when pressed, it shows you 5 options: Viera Link, Slideshow, Viera Image Viewer, Game Mode and Eco. Here's my thoughts on those options...
1. Viera Link: since I didn't own any compatible products, I don't have any feedback on this tool. I guess to me it's useless.
2. Slideshow: the unit has an SD card slot, so you can load pictuers and run a slideshow. You can set the soundtrack of the slideshow to one of 5 music tracks built-in to the tv. Other slideshow options you can set are transition effect (11 types, including collage), photo effect (sepia and gray scale) and display interval. Display interval is the speed of the slideshow, it can be set to Fast, Normal, Slow, Very slow and Short. Setting this option to Short would transition the 9 MP photos I have on my SD card every 8 to 9 seconds, which seems like good performance for a tv.
3. Viera Image Viewer: this previews the photos in the SD card, which is pretty fast. You can sort by month, folder or date and then run the slide show based on the sort. Neat.
4. Game Mode: You can either choose Game or Standard. Selecting Game just sets the preset to Game. Unless it does something more then I'm not aware of it, then it seems useless.
5. Eco: You can set options for "No signal for 10 minutes" and "No activity for 3 hours". Basically, you can set whether it stays on or turns off for those options.
Of the 5 tools above, it is the Slideshow that I found most useful and would likely use frequently. It was just so easy to load pictures on the SD card, press the SD Card button on the remote and run the slideshow with the soundtrack. It can also detect landscape versus portrait, so the pictures are shown with the correct orientation. My wife and I watched our wedding photos through this tool, we easily got lost in great memories... :-)
This is not Plug and Play (PnP). When I attached the VGA cable from my netbook, the screen size defaulted to 1024x768. After searching through the menu options, I was able to find the PC adjustments section that allowed me to change the resolution to one of the following: 1024x768, 1280x768 and 1366x768. I tried it on 1366x768, but I was getting some noise at the bottom of the screen, setting it on 1280x768 input resolution worked fine, though I had to adjust the horizontal and vertical position to see the entire screen.
This was a nice unexpected feature. I can set 5 different times when the TV either turns on or off. I will use this feature when I am out of town and want to make it seem like someone is home.
I already mentioned that I do not use the Viera Link tool, as I do not have compatible devices. Other features I will not use are the Closed caption and Password setting. The password feature would be useful for parents. If set, access to channels/shows can be disabled based on content. So if a particular channel has a program that is TV-14 that has Sexual or Violence content, it can be blocked. Access to input selection can be password protected as well. Pretty neat.
I am very happy with this purchase. The picture quality is great, especially 1080p content. The sound from the built-in speakers is very good. The slideshow tool that allows the tv to show pictures loaded in the built-in SD card slot was a welcome feature and performance was surprisingly good.
Note: For those concerned with heat, it gives off fairly little heat for the size of the unit. When LCD's first came out, I purchased a 26" unit and that sucker was able to heat up my entire bedroom.
75 of 75 people found the following review helpful
on May 5, 2011
Had it for about a week now. Excellent TV.....exceeded my expectations! The HD feeds from the networks are blowin' my mind! Beautiful color and black levels. I'm a newbie there so keep that in mind but it looks great and can really mesmerize me. Before this, I bought a 1080p vizio 22" LED for my bedroom.....thought that was great and that the larger screen would not hold up in comparison....but it's so much better!!! And great fast service by Amazon!
Pros: Beautiful colors
Motion Pro works well
Even light across screen
Just the right size for up to 10ft. Viewing
Great viewing angle
And of course, Blu Ray looks beautiful
Cons: Optical audio out only.
Motion Pro 4 : I think it works well. You can set it to strong, weak or off. On the strong setting, yes, some moments in film look like video....it's not that it's not pleasing, it's more like it's distracting at first because I keep noticing it. I turned it to strong for the Amazing Race the other nite and it worked well with all the action and camera cuts. For general viewing, I've settled in on the weak setting which is perfect for me.
Power Consumption: I've found by using a watt meter that the backlight is the main variable in using more or less power. Power consumption can easily be tuned down to as little as 50 or 60 watts....and a setting that uses the advertised 80 watts looks relatively good.....however, my favorite setting with the deepest blacks has the backlight pumped up and uses about 135 watts. I can compromise at 80 or 100 watt setting and pump it up when watching a movie or fav show.
A.I. picture: Enriches black areas without affecting brightness of overall picture.....I think it works well and I leave it on.....does not seem to affect power consumption
C.A.T.S. adjusts for ambient light....doesn't do much during the day but at night, it significantly reduces brightness and I don't like it so I leave it off.....does save some energy.
ECO mode: In Viera tools....standard looks better....saving is less bright but saves energy.
There's other settings to play with.
My custom settings for average viewing that uses about 100 watts:
Back Light 50
Motion Pro 4 set to weak
60 of 63 people found the following review helpful
on April 16, 2011
Having both sold and owned a multitude of electronic devices that included Sony, Panasonic and others too numerous to mention and I freely admit to being a Sony lover until this purchase. This set replaces a Sony rear projecting Sony flat screen that required a blub replacement, the cost of which was over 30 percent of what the new set cost me. After comparing the picture quality and features offered by various brands including LG, Sharp and Sony among them, I found Panasonic equaled or exceeded what the competition offered and till now I have no reason to regret my dissension to buy it.
That being said, I am very pleased with Amazon as a seller. Having been a retailer who considered service of prime importance, I hate Box Stores approach to merchandizing that relies on the Hard Sell by their employees and considers the obligation ceases once the item moves out the doorway and becomes the buyers responsibility should a problem surface. Not only did Amazon have my purchase delivered free to my living room in perfect condition, but also guaranteed a replacement should it be defective without the hassles one can expect when dealing with WalMart, Best Buy and others like them.
Would I recommend both the product and the seller? Yes!
26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on July 6, 2011
My dad is legally blind but he loves to watch sports and Gunsmoke on TV. It had gotten to the point where he couldn't see well enough to make out the screen of his standard definition TV. So we decided to get him a HD TV and began shopping. The whole family got involved, going to different stores to check out good deals. It took several days of looking around but without any doubt, this TV was the best picture for the price.
It was very easy to set-up - the only problem being the new remote that came with the new HD cable box. He's 84 and can barely see, so leaning a new remote was challenging. But he says he can see everything very well.
One of the things we noticed was that the TV has much better viewing from angles. I had read this at Panasonic's website and it is true. We have a HD and it loses picture quality when we view it from the side; we have to turn it to face us if we are both sitting to the side. This is not an issue with my Dad's TV - you can see very well when sitting to the side.
We are all very happy since he can now resume falling asleep in front of the TV while the game is on.
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on August 24, 2011
I wanted a well made 42" LCD television with the best picture I could get for the money, based on research and owner reviews.
I referenced numerous consumer sites. I had expected Sony and Samsung to come out on top, and although my personal experience with Samsung (screen halos, popping speakers, poor viewing angles, finnicky connections) has been less than ideal, many other Samsung owners seem happy. Nevertheless, where the research led, I would follow. I found Panasonic LCD TV's have the lowest incidence of serious problems. Most owners/reviewers raved about the immacculate image quality as well. So, the nod went to Panasonic.
I ordered this TV Next Day from Amazon on a Thursday evening and it was delivered the following afternoon just in time for the first preseason NFL game for my team.
This TV appears to be made from quality components with good construction. Set-up was quick and easy, install a few small screws and your ready to fire it up. On screen menus are simple with a logical layout and most settings can be changed quickly.
Picture quality is fantastic overall, much better than the 42" Samsung it replaced. The screen is very evenly backlit with deep blacks, bright whites. Color saturation is excellent without being oversaturated. 720p is stunning and 1080i is truly breathtaking. I haven't tried BlueRay yet, but can only imagine a non-compressed 1080p signal.
The 178 degree viewable range equates to a great viewing experience anywhere in our living room, with virtually no wash-out until the most exreme angles. The 120 Hz Motion Picture Pro 4 works well on sports and other fast moving images, with almost no perceptible blur. I do tend to leave it off or on the "weak" setting for most other programming. This is because it tends to make some things, like movies, look a little unnatural and kind of like a home video or soap opera effect. Some may like it, so it's more of a personal preference. SD images are much better than most of the competition I've seen as well. Overall, this set has a stellar picture and is unlikely to disappoint even the most discriminating buyer. The best picture I have ever seen on any TV.
Sound is much better than most of the competition with plenty of volume. The sound is clear and balanced, not muffled or hollow. The surround sound is a nice enhancement. If using the internal speakers alone, it should be ok for most applications, just don't expect awe inspiring sound. Mine is hooked up to a Pioneer home theater system via optical cable with good results.
This is a sleek looking set, albeit thicker than some of it's competition. I don't mind considering the phenomenal picture quality and above average sound. So, if absolute slimness is a priority, you might want to keep looking or go to edge lit tv's instead.
Connectivity options are a bit limited, but should be ok if most of your components are newer. No RCA, S-Video, or USB ports are built in. There are 3 hdmi ports, 1 component hook-up, an SD card slot, 1 optical audio jack, 1 antenna/coax input, and 1 VGA port. I currently have an HP laptop connected to the VGA input and is fuctioning perfectly. I actually don't mind the somewhat limited inputs, as it will likely encourage me to upgrade to some of the newer technology.
We originally looked at 'net capable televisions but opted instead to stick with our existing ROKU XD through hdmi, and I'm happy with the decision. This set-up has been problem free, gives us far more options than most sets with built-in capability and it saves some cash to boot.
The remote is responsive, works well.
Using the SD card photo viewer is easy with no fuss. I do wish it had the ability to play videos and music though. I simply hook my smartphone up through hdmi for this. Works for me.
The only negative aspect of this experience has been the shipping/delivery. The cardboard box had noticeable crushing on the top and bottom, it wasn't severe, but you could tell it was there. The delivery driver had dropped it off and set it on our patio. When we picked it up to carry it into our living room, the remote/documentation packet fell out through the bottom of the box onto the concrete. The entire bottom seam on the box had been slit. I'm just glad the entire TV didn't fall through. When we opened the box, the protective blocks of foam packaging were split and in multiple pieces from being crushed.
Thankfully, everything was there and the TV works as it should, so far. The way this item was handled, as an obvious high value package, is unreal. I was not happy about this. I am basing this review rating solely on the product and not the delivery, however, as it's not fair to the manufacturer.
This product has exceeded my expectations and I have had zero problems. Everything just works as it should. If anything changes, I will update.
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on May 16, 2011
I'm not really into 3D (yet) so I was basically looking for a TV that has 1080p and 120hz. I used to own a Panasonic TC-P42X1 and was very impressed by it. It didn't bother me that it is a plasma and only has 720p. Picture quality was awesome and absolutely had no complaints.
TC-L4U30 did just that but better.
There's very little configuration to get this unit going out of the box. Picture is crisp and the colors are full and rich. The sound was surprisingly good, far better than my previous unit. I thought the surround sound option was on but I looked in the settings and it isn't. I'm loving my purchase so far. I was looking at the other 42" LG but decided to take this instead.
I think I made the right choice.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on May 16, 2011
Last television I purchased was in 1997. This is my first flat screen, high definition television. Until a few weeks ago I was not that versed in discussing state of the art televisions (I still am not).
This television is everything it advertises. I have not used the online features but it does link up to my Panasonic blu-ray sound system. I had to spend three minutes setting it up but I imagine that would be the case with any tv.
I bought a Cheetah mount and mounted the television easily (after three days its still on the wall). I bought Amazon brand HDMI cord. I find the picture quality excellent. I imagine the picture can be manipulated to please 97% of the population.
The unit is a bit thicker than some of the units out there but once its on the wall, it doesn't bother me. The power cord could be a bit longer. My brother was glad it had an hdmi and card slot on the left side.
When I read reviews, I look for the "gotch-ya" that is not mentioned in the description. Things like only works with European outlets or requires monthly subscription. I did not encounter any surprises with this television.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on September 20, 2011
I probably don't demand as much from my TV as some people. I use it for watching TV shows (a lot of sports) in HD, and for my PS3. I haven't yet tested it to see how it looks with the Blu-Ray player on my PS3, but games certainly look great. As for hi-def sports, it looks a heck of a lot better than my LG 42" that I bought last year (for a lot more money than I spent on this). The default picture settings are a bit muted, but you can easily customize the picture to have the amount of color richness and warmth that suits your preferences.
For the money, I can't imagine getting a better TV. In fact, after doing a fair amount of research, I couldn't find a TV that was close to as good as this one for anywhere near this price.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on June 24, 2011
I spent many months figuring out what TV would suit my interests best, incluing things like price, size, multimedia/input options, picture quality, and reliability. A few weeks ago I settled on Panasonic for the latter three, with size and price being congruous because most TVs are relatively the same price at the same size by any manufacturer.
I received my shipment via Next-Day air after ordering it on a Wednesday night- the TV (and HDMI cable I ordered) were both processed and shipped that night and arrived at my door 11am that Friday. The packaging was very sturdy and the TV / cable neither had any defects, scratches, or signs of mishandling. Thank you UPS and Amazon warehouses.
The setup for this TV was simple and smooth- Comes with a flat, sleek base that you attach a bracket to and then slide the TV onto via grooves in the mid-bottom of the device. Screws are then placed through the TV-into the bracket to secure it. I have no worries about the possibility of it being accidentally being bumped and knocking over.
The setup of the HDMI input labeling and screen settings was very simple and fast and the TV did not go around the bush trying to teach you everything there was to know about the interface and menu selections -- it knows there is a manual (very clearly written and illustrated) and it does not assume you are remedial. That was a plus in my book.
I hooked up my Xbox 360 via HDMI cable purchased from Amazon (the one they sell had a lot of complaints about the cable being too stiff but I have experienced no such thing just for you information) and then turned on my console-- The precision and clarity of the picture of the menu alone was very admirable and I was able to appreciate the Xbox logo for the first time. To test the picture I decided to play a couple of games: Mind you, I will not tell you what settings I use because everyone likes their picture to look different, but the ones I used I thoroughly loved.
While playing Fallout 3, the textures and colors were very precise and true despite the game lacking in graphical detail in general. (most of Fallout 3's graphics seem washed-out or faded, relying heavily on pale tones to produce a post-apocalyptic feeling. For those that are not familiar with the game.)
While playing Call of Duty, after I got a feel for the wider and larger screen, I was able to pick out people and details in the distance that I could only make out with my best guess before... Example: On Launch when you spawn as a Defender in Search & Destroy, I ran to the left side by Bomb B and peered out over the barricades in the middle of the tracks looking at the large container in the enemy spawn-- I could see very clearly the head of the player that peered out from around the crate and earned myself a quick and easy kill. This was not the case in previous TV experiences, so I was thrilled.
I turned on Netflix and watched some Lord of the Rings streaming with HD quality and was pleasantly surprised by the clarity of the picture. The Motion Pro 4 technology is decent and does add to the fast-paced scenes and makes the video experience much more enjoyable. Colors were true and the details of faces were easily discernible at my 6-7 ft viewing distance. I also watched a little bit of Futurama (Suwoop) and some Grey's Anatomy with my girlfriend and both were incredible.
The sound quality on the TV is astounding as well. The biggest problem I came across with Flat-panel HDTVs of any brand was the sound quality sounding muffled or tiny, but this Panny produces some very clear, crisp sound ranges even at lower volumes. I am able to have the volume at/or around 28 and hear everything perfectly. I also live in an apartment that has single pane windows and noisy neighbors. 5 Star. Be sure to activate the Surround Sound feature because that does not come activated initially.
So far I am extremely pleased with this TV and am no longer stressing about whether or not I made the right decision. All there is to do now is to purchase a nice 3-4 year warranty (unlikely to get Panasonic's warranty) and go on enjoying my gaming/movie watching experience. :)
If you have any questions I will be happy to update my review if I am able to answer them. Especially in reference to games. The Xbox 360 is my only entertainment device currently so be aware that quality of picture is significantly less than that of a PS3 or Bluray -- I know this, and hope to get one or the other just for this TV!
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on October 30, 2011
I'm a happy owner of this TV for about a week now, I really love everything about it.
Set up:- Took me about 15M to set up the TV, no joke lol. All you need is a regular small screwdriver and your good to go. About 4 screws and your good to go. 2 of the screws need to go in a holl. ALl you have to do is let the magnet on the tip of the screwdriver to handle this. Its very easy, about 15M your good to go. The TV is very light, well thats if you work out lol. I took the TV to my room with one hand.
Picture:. 1080P, 120HZ, connected with a HDMI to my Xbox 360 Slim is as good as it gets. My first impression of the picture was priceless. I realized that first impression means everything, if you like the TV rite away, you will love it. Very Bright colors but not to bright, just about right. Colors look very beautiful and its really easy to see every single detail. Playing NBA 2k on this TV seems like a real basketball game. MY mom walked in my room and thought NBA was back, thats how real the picture is. Love watching Netflix on it, I started playing Halo again for the first time in about 3 months. There are 5 different picture mode, Game, Custom, Vivid, Standard, and Cinema. I keep my TV on game mode. Picture looks better even on Movies.
Sounds: I am very impressed with the sound of this TV. I used to have separate attached speakers to my old tv, but this Panasonic comes with really good sound. For gamers out there, I strongly recommend putting the Bass of the sound to 7. The default bass is set to 0. Just go to Audio and you will see options that will help you put the Bass up. The reason i put the Bass up is because when playing action games or watching action movies, It makes the gun shots sound much better and deeper. When i throw a grenade on Halo, It blows up like BAMMM!!! Everything else is already set up good for you. Just put the Bass UP.
LCD vs Plasma. I have a 50' Plasma in the living-room, Been a owner of 20" LCD in my room. I decided to upgrade from the 20" LCD to 42". When playing Video Games on the 50" Plasma, I think its to dark. Plasma TV's make the black level really realistic, which could be good for some people, but I was never happy playing video games on the Plasma. Even though I had a 50" Plasma, I still played most of my video games on the 22" LCD. I find it much more comfortable playing video games and even watching movies on the LCD. The dark level is not to dark, and not to light, just about right. My first impression of the plasma TV was that it was too dark, even when putting the brightness up and the contrast up, and any other lightening setting up, Plasma TV's seem to dark for my Taste. That's why I picked LCD over Plasma for my room.
Size: 42" is just the perfect size for me. I sit about 6 feet away from the TV. Its not to big for video games, and not to small eater, once again just about right. I mention a lot about video games because I am a big time Gamer. Was on a 80G winning streak on NBA 2k11 (ranked), as you can see I don't play around lol. Anyways about the size. I was scared to upgrade from 20", because I thought 42" might be to big for video games, I was wrong, I'm still balling people up big time on 2k. I also watch a lot of Netflix during the night, and once again, Size is just perfect. I have the tv in my room, rite in-front of my Bed.
HDMI. This TV has 3 HDMI spots. I got my Xbox Connected and my laptop so far. My desktop is 42", how coo is that? lol. For Netflix lovers, you don't need to get Roku player to connect Neflix to your TV. connected computer to the TV with the HDMI cable will save you about $80, and it works perfect. I also purchased HDMI from Amazon for about $2, and just love it. When connecting your computer to the TV make shore to change the screen format to Zoom. The format button is next to mute. This will fit the screen perfect for computer use. When I first plugged in my laptop, the screen was to small, just zoom in with the format, its made just for this. Also when I first connected my laptop to the TV, there was no sound, all you have to do is rite click on the sound bar on the bottom corner of your computer. Once you rite click on the volume bar, click playback devices. Then set your sound to the High Deff default. Once you see it its really easy to see what I'm saying. If you still have problems with your sound, just Google it, LOL that's what I did.
Value & Cost. I purchased this TV for $594 with a 24 month financing with no interests . Basically I have 2 years to pay off the TV, with no interests. I used my Amazon store card to get this plan. This TV is really worth every dime if you can afford it. Its worth the money, specially if your a big time gamer. Trust me, you will be satisfied. I thought about the value many times and did a lot of research, and found this TV to be the most reasonable.
Overall I really love this TV and I would definitely recommend, specially for my gamers out there.
Note: I"m to lazy to proofread this review, will fix my bad grammar and spelling later on. Just wanted to let my opinion out for you Byers out there. I apologize for my bad writing skills, I'm a foreign speaker :). Feel free to ask me any other questions I didn't cover, I will love to Ans it Asap.
Thank You - David