Panasonic Viera TX-P42G20 review

The Panasonic TX-P42G20 is the brand's second-gen NeoPDP screen

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Panasonic TX-P42GT20

For

  • Lush
  • cinematic high-def
  • Freesat and Freeview HD tuners
  • Viera Cast IPTV portal

Against

  • Dull
  • conservative design
  • Not 3D capable
  • Rubbish looking Freeview EPG

The Panasonic TX-P42G20 may look a little dull, but this set is a plasma TV to be proud of thanks to its terrific HD performance

The Panasonic TX-P42G20 is the brand's second generation NeoPDP screen, the TX-P42G20 offers near flagship visuals at a budget price. Also available as the 46-inch TX-P46G20 and 50-inch TX-P50G20, only the lack of the Panasonic’s Infinite Black Pro technology separates it from the headline VT20 models (the Panasonic TX-P50VT and TX-P65VT2), which are among the best TVs around.

Panasonic Viera TX-P42G20: Features

The Panasonic Viera TX-P42G20 comes with both Freeview HD and Freesat tuners, for maximum viewability. The latter is well worth having if you have a spare Sky dish feed, as the generic Freesat EPG is better than Panasonic’s own terrestrial offering.

The TV is not 3D capable, but it does offer the Viera Cast IPTV portal, home to the usual suspects, plus Picasa, Skype, Bloomberg and Eurosport news. Media playback capabilities are limited, but it can record to an external USB hard drive.

Panasonic Viera TX-P42G20: Design

This screen doesn’t thrill from a design point of view. Its uniform greyness may well be off-putting to those looking for a more bling-tinged telly, but this conservatism masks a fabulous performer.

Panasonic Viera TX-P42G20: Specs

Connectivity is fine. The TV has four HDMIs, component, phono AV, Scart, Ethernet and a pair of USBs. There’s also an SD card slot for JPEG and AVCHD camcorder playback. If you need Wi-Fi, Panasonic will sell you a dongle. The panel itself is Full HD 1920 x 1080 resolution.

Panasonic Viera TX-P42G20: Performance

Panasonic screens have always delivered a good, nuanced blacks, but here colours really please too. Image sharpness is high with both HD and SD sources; HD TV channels have solidity and depth, but it’s with Blu-ray that this TV really shines.

Without the need to rely on fast framerate technology, the screen offers a wonderfully cinematic picture, full of lush detail. Motion resolution is excellent.

Tweakers will be pleased to note that picture calibration controls are generous, but there’s no urgent need to fiddle. Images are excellent straight from the box. The panel is also THX certified, the upshot of which is a single THX preset that can optimize the screen for movie playback.

The set’s audio performance is best described as functional, but which these days can be considered a win.

Panasonic Viera TX-P42G20: Verdict

This Panasonic TX-P42G20 may not win any beauty pageants but it’s pretty where it counts – on the screen. With an excellent HD performance, and that terrific THX preset, we rate it particularly suitable for movie lovers. Even better, it’s currently going for a song. Well worth hunting down.

Panasonic Viera TX-P42G20 availability: Available now

Panasonic Viera TX-P42G20 price: £750