Customer Reviews: Panasonic VIERA S1 Series TC-P42S1 42-Inch 1080p Plasma HDTV
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on February 5, 2010
did a lot of research before purchasing, has the newer generation plasma panel, is an energy star unit, highly rated by consumer reports, easy to set up, the HD picture is amazing, sound quality is good with some adjustments. got a great buy on amazon. i am very satisfied with this purchase.
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on November 6, 2009
Great tv. excellent picture, good color, does fine in a well lit room or a dark one. Great black levels. Anti-glare feature works great. Sound quality is good.
Enjoyed watching the game on a Sunday afternoon.
42 inch is a good size for a living room.
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on November 5, 2009
I use this TV with an antenna, and it pulls down digital HD1080 content, even in my usually interference-prone building. I also use it with a Wii, PS2 and media PC. The many inputs is a major plus, as well as the ability to mix and match sound inputs with video inputs. This TV also has a ton of extra features for those that will want to use them, but is easy enough to use w/o them getting in the way. Both the included stand and the TV itself appear and feel very sturdy and of good construction by my measure. The remote control also works with my VCR/DVD player, which is a nice plus. Finally, the up-sampling algorithm and plasma-screen effect work very well for displaying content at lower resolutions (like PS2 and Wii games) in full-screen (this is in contrast to many other TVs, especially LCD ones).

When Viewing a 4:3 channel or input, the TV displays the channel with gray bars covering the unused sides of the screen. I would much prefer black bars, especially given the plasma screen's true blacks, and there does not appear to be a method for changing their color. Using a MacBook or a Windows PC, there is always an edge all the way around the picture (this may be a problem with the MacBook and PC though).

Lack of a DVI input means you will need a DVI->HDMI converter to use this with most computer video cards.
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on January 28, 2010
The Panasonic TC-P42S1 offers a decent picture and sound in a attractive package. The big pluses for me are a side connection for game inputs and convenient picture presets. I have not noticed any any picture or sound flaws other than the big one mentioned below.

The biggest issue it that this TV comes with a default aspect ration of 16:9. Although it offers a 4:3 aspect ratio option, the owner's manual warns of potential burn-in if that option is used for a significant amount of time. That means watching distorted, horizontally-stretched pictures. The P42S1 does offer a "justified" setting that minimizes the deleterious effects, but an LCD where burn-in is not an issue would have a big advantage here. Unfortunately, I needed a wide viewing angle and so went with the plasma technology.

The TC-P42S1 also offers only a single front control, a simple on/off switch. That means if you want to change the volume or the input source, (or even the channel if you're watching on-air,) you have to have the remote. That's not always readily available in a house with young kids.

Overall, I recommend this unit (4 stars) compared to what else is out there.
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on September 11, 2009
I've had this TV for about 3 months getting it from Amazon. Had the service where the truck and technician arrive and he sets up the Tv and shows you how to run it. This guy even volunteered to put it where I wanted it. But I had to wait for my absent wife's ultimate approval as to placement. Good service. Well, the TV is impressive. The clarity is simply outstanding, even without the upgraded digital service offered by my cable supplier. You will not be disappointed with this set even with normal cable. I told my wife to get the 46, but she wanted the 42. The colors and clarity are so good, the 46 would have even been better and seeing my neighbor's 46 model. Anyhow, 42, 46, seriously consider this plasma set over an LCD. Much better, much clearer. We looked at a lot of operating sets (LCD vs plasma) before buying. Plasma sharper and colors better. Only thing is the set would be nicer if it had a swivel base.
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on July 19, 2009
I love this! The picture is very clear, and the controls/menu functions are easy to navigate. They also delivered very quickly. Very satisfied.
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on February 5, 2010
The TV came highly regarded from Consumer reports and it has lived up to their review. The picture quality is very good from all seats in my Den. Setting up the TV was easy and I recommend a good quality HDMI cable if you want the "best" to come out of your TV viewing experience. Buying from Amazon was easy, the pricing very competitive, and the delivey was right on time. No complaints - would use Amazon again.
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on June 23, 2011
After seeing so many positive reviews from consumer groups and seeing its fantastic picture quality, purchasing this TV was an easy choice. But what a mistake. Only one month out of warranty, it started experiencing problems. The picture would go dead, followed the power light blinking 7 times repeatedly. This issue could be resolved but unplugged the HDMI cables and the TVs power. It was a huge inconvenience, but it worked (usually after several tries). Then, 6 months out of warranty, it refuses to turn on and only provides a series of 10 blinking power lights. A very expensive repair. Later, quickly google-ing these issues, I've discovered they're quite commonplace. An utterly unreliable lemon. Making matters worse, Panasonic's customer service line was miserable.
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on August 17, 2011
First off - this is a great television. Really.
Unfortunately, the power supply issue is a real problem.
Ours lasted 18 months, and we got the blinking red light of death.
It now doesn't work, we have to lug it into a repair shop where it will sit for a few weeks before getting an astronomical bill to repair a problem THAT PANASONIC KNOWS EXISTS - ie the powerboard.
So we are out 700+ dollars for a television that lasted 18 months and doesn't work.
I will NOT buy Panasonic products ever again. This is the first television I have ver owned that has a problem and I paid 3 times the money over my last TV purchase.

Long story short- If you want your heart broken, buy this tv. If not, buy another brand that doesn't have a known problem with it.
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on April 7, 2010
I have had this 42" Panasonic Viera Plasma TV for nearly four month's now; I upgraded from a 21" Panasonic CRT. This is a really great TV at a reasonable price. I chose plasma because they got great reviews and seem to have less issues with backlighting and were a bit cheaper than current generation LED/LCD's. I opted for the S version over the X version because I don't have broadband. We get 20 odd channels over the air with an antenna, PBS which has a lot of HD programming comes in beautifully. We joined Netflix about the same time and have really been enjoying the home theatre experience. My TV room is narrow less than 12' so I made cardboard cutouts while deciding between the 42" and the 46", in hind sight I could have gone with the 46". I was worried a 46" from 7 feet away would be too big or grainy, the fact is you could be 12" away with HD before it starts to pixilate, and the picture is so good, bigger is better once you experience the feel of home theatre. I added the Blu-ray DVD player, have yet to try a Blu-ray disc, but we're ready for them. I already had an Onkyo 7.1 surround sound receiver, added a motley collection of speakers, a pair of old KLH's, some home built rear and recently added a BIC 12" sub woofer, now we can get all the sound effects and deep base we can handle. I used the HDMI connections for the Onkyo, Blu-ray and TV; these are a must to get the HD experience. Needed the composite hook up for a somewhat antiquated VCR, and a digital optical input for the best sound from the Home Theatre Amp. The message here is DON'T FORGET TO ORDER CABLES ALONG WITH THE TV. The sound out of the TV itself is OK, not horrible but far from a surround sound experience. I have never adjusted any of the picture settings, colors are rich and accurate, occasionally a bit dark but this can be adjusted by opting for the theatre experience which enhances the picture abit. Controls and adjustments both on the TV and the Onkyo require studying the manuals and carefully selecting from multi-layer menus. Not always clear what you want or how to get it, since we don't do this everyday, adjustments require revisiting the manual. Once you are happy with what you have great, still need 3 remotes, haven't been successful using any one as a universal though all claim it's possible. Overall a huge upgrade from the old TV, enjoying it!
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