Customer Review

68 of 69 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW!, November 11, 2010
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This review is from: Panasonic VIERA TC-P42GT25 42-inch 1080p 3D Plasma HDTV, Black (Electronics)
There is just so much to love about this TV.

My last TV was a 32 inch Magnavox LCD. Picture was exceptionally bright, but HD channels looked great connected via component cable. For some reason, HDMI would not work with my cable box and that TV. While picture was bright, darker colors left much to be desired.

I ordered this TV and got it in 2 days. I must say, I was pleasantly suprised by the freight carrier, Pilot. They actually arrived earlier than my stated time, ehich worked out well because I was home. The box had not a mark on it. When I get packages from UPS or FedEx, it looks like they've played soccer with the packages. The box was in excellent condition. The delivery guy carried it by himeself on his shoulder up to my apartment.

It took maybe about 1/2 hour to unpackage and set up, and connect my cables. Though it's suggested to do this with a helper, I was able to put together and lift myself. It was a bit on the heavy side, but it was not too difficult to do alone.

I was thrilled when I turned on the set. The picture is crystal clear, and dark colors look excellent on this screen. HD looks awesome.

Since I bought the package, I got the 2 pair of glasses, the 2 BluRay 3D discs and the 3D blu ray player. 3D on this set looks positively breathtaking. I have a number of 3D blu ray titles, and have been watching them on this screen. My cable company aslo has about 18 3D movies on demand, most free, in over-under format. They play fine on this TV through both component and HDMI.

There are lot of settings, and advanced settings. If video setup is not familiar to you, I suggest you do as I did and sit down in front of the TV with the book and read through and adjust your settings as you see fit - it will be worth it.

Another great thing about this TV is the amount of inputs. There are 3 HDMI A/V inputs, 2 Component inputs with l/r audio inputs, 2 regular video inputs with l/r audio inputs, 2 USB ports and an SD/SDHC/SDHX slot. Including the coax antenna input, there are a total of 9 inputs on this set PLUS the 2 USB and SD slot - that's pretty impressive.

All of the input terminals can be labeled, using preset device names. They can even be disabled using the NOT USED label. Doing this will skip those choices from the input selector menu.

Picture quality? The color range really makes a difference in this set. Theres a black setting which can be set to ligher or darker. Setting it to darker makes a world of difference in HD content. You truly see black and black gradients clearly on this set. There is excellent color spectrum, without the banding I was used to with my LCD panel. The great thing about changing the color settings is that the settings are retained individually for each input. The THX setting for 2D mode, and Cinema setting for 3D mode really enhances the color and clarity of the displayed content.

I really wanted this set for the 3D capabilities. I have tons of my own 3D content (photos and videos) which I was viewing on my 3D computer monitor. Everything is just so much bigger viewing it on this set. I was quite startled at the size difference of the 42 inch (OK, 41.6 inch) screen compared to my old 32 inch screen.

Since my main purpose was 3D with this set, I'll mention it again, full HD 3D is truly amazing viewed with this setup. People have complained about the glasses being uncomfortable, but I have no cpmplaints with the glasses. The Full HD 3D exhibits almost no ghosting, and the little bit of ghosting I have seen is not at all distracting to me. By comparison, the 3D content offered by the cable company does exhibit a bit more ghosting which at times does subtract from the enjoyment.

My only complaint about this set is the sound from the built in speakers. It's true that built in sound is never really good, even on the most expensive of sets, which is a shame. In this day and age, they could do better with sound delivery. There are bass and treble setting, and a bass boost function, but the bass boost really just distorts the lower frequencies. At higher volumes, bass is practically non-existant. There is a digital audio output to connect to a home theater receiver, but I no longer have one.

The Vieracast features might be nice, but I don't plan on using them, at least not yet. But it's nice to know they are there. There are also the Viera tools, that allow quick 3D settings, photo viewing, video viewing and other tools which I haven't really played with yet. Both the Vieracast and Viera tools can be accessed by dedicated buttons on the remote.

Internet setup was a breeze. I do have a gripe however, about having to pay an extra $70.00 for the wireless LAN adapter. For the price of this set, it should include wireless access out of the box.

If you are considering this set for purchase, download the manual from the Panasonic website and read through it. I did, and that swayed my decison.

I don't know what else to say. This is an excellent set with stunning picture quality, excellent 3D capabilities, lots of inputs, and extra features for those that want them. If you are even thinking about purchasing this set (or the 50 inch version), you must get the complete package with the glassess / movies / 3d Blu ray player. You're not paying for them anyway. When you first check out, you are being charged for the glasses kit and the blu ray player, but completing the purchase will deduct a small amount from the glasses kit and blu ray player, and the balance of each will be deducted from the price of the TV. In the end, your total payment will equal the price of the TV (not including tax, of course). GO FOR IT!
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Tracked by 6 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 31 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 28, 2010 8:44:15 PM PST
What range can you sit at for good 3-D content? I have read that screens smaller than 50 inches are not good for 3-D unless you are very close... Wondering what your experience is...

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 29, 2010 7:32:23 PM PST

The TV is in my bedroom, which is on the small side. I sit, about 10 feet from the TV. Since there is really no way I could get any further from the TV in my bedroom, I don't know at what point the 3D effect would start to diminish.

At the distance which I sit, the 3D effect is very good.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 3, 2010 1:32:11 PM PST
Wayne says:
That was a good question. I'll have to find the manual on line (hopefully) before I decide to buy one. I may buy one anyway, but I'd be watching from 20 feet away with the TV mounted pretty high up above a fireplace. I happen to have a big bedroom, and it's a wrap around fireplace with the other side above the bathtub, so the fireplace does not start out at floor level.

Right now, I don't really need a 3D TV. But if I replace my 42 inch Magnavox with something that gives a better 2D picture, this might be worth the difference. Or in the extreme case that I don't want 3D for now and don't need the glasses or a player, I could sell the extras and end up with a net expense of something in the $800-900 range in the end. So it would still be worth it. But who am I kidding thinking I will end up selling the extras? But it could be a consideration if the viewing angle and distance are all wrong.

Posted on Dec 6, 2010 9:48:23 PM PST
The Z Man says:
Do you get any buzzing noise with your plasma set? I hear the Plasma's buzz quite a bit.

Posted on Dec 14, 2010 12:22:10 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 7, 2011 12:36:45 PM PST
Where do you change the blacks on the tv. I just got the 50" and my son says it in no way compares to his inlaws samsung led. Hoping he's wrong but I am still trying to set it up. Any advice would be appreciated.

Update: my son and I both have changed our mind about this tv. After getting all the needed cables ( hdmi) and hooked up my Bose speaker system and with cj's help on some fine tuning, this television has made me extremely happy! Blu-Ray and 3d is awesome. Now him and my future daughter inlay give this one the thumbs up over the samsung led!

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 14, 2010 4:39:41 PM PST
The Z Man says:
Use the THX setting, that should give you your best contrast and look the set is capable of.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 15, 2010 3:30:04 AM PST
I don't hear any buzzing

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 15, 2010 10:20:46 AM PST
Thanks z it wall mounted last night. If any one feels like giving a start to finish on the best hookup for this I would really appreciate it. I have the bluray player, my hdmi cable box from cox, the Sony receiver and Bose 5.1 theater speaker system. I,

Not sure where I should be putting hdmi cables. Any and all help is appreciated. Thanks

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 17, 2010 7:46:24 AM PST
I'd recommend putting the HDMI cables in the back. That leaves the side HDMI cable open for easy attachment in the future for camcorders, etc.

Also surprised to hear about your black level performance. CNET states that the Panasonic picture in the THX mode offers the best out of the box settings on the market. If you want to tweak further, here are the calibrated settings they used. YMMV:

Picture mode: THX
[all settings default except the following]
Contrast: +67
Brightness: +59
Color: +50
Sharpness: 0
Video NR: Off
Blur reduction: On

--Advanced picture submenu
3:2 pulldown: On

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 5, 2011 9:19:26 AM PST
Hi....I just ordered this after reading your post as well as the other positive reviews. I'm upgrading from an old Pioneer projection tv. I ordered Directv HD and I ordered the Blue Ray DVD player. I intend to hook up my laptop so we can skype with the kids on the big screen. I'm not a techie and this talk about cables and connections is making me dizzy. What do I need to buy to make it all work together? I really appreciate any advice you can give me. Thanks.
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