This THX certified 42 inch plasma TV has impressed buyers and critics through its exceptional black levels and overall picture quality, ever since its release, being overcome only by the newest series from Panasonic V10, and, of course, the long acclaimed – but now discontinued – Pioneer Kuro. In its size category, (as V10 doesn’t come in 42 inch), it is the best, and this Panasonic plasma TV rises over the S1 series, through its THX certification and the pack of features it comes equipped with, like Viera Cast and the ability to access Amazon Video on Demand service.
This is a brief review of Panasonic TC-P42G10 and does not go into full detail, covering only the most important things. If you would like to read a more in-depth review, look at Panasonic TC-P50G10 review which is the 50 inch version from the same series. As both models are part of Panasonic G10 series, the only difference being their size, the same things apply to both models.
At a Glance
- Uses the new NeoPDP panel
- Resolution: 1080p (standard) / 1920×1080
- Contrast ratio: 40,000:1 (native) / 2,000,000:1 (dynamic)
- Shades of gradation: 6144
- THX certified
- New AR Filter
- 24p cinema mode (not working well, though)
- VIERA Cast™
- VIERA Link™
- VIERA Image Viewer™ with AVCHD playback
- 600 Hz sub-field drive
- 3 HDMI inputs
Pros & Cons
- Superb black levels and shadow detail, much like V10 series
- Very good colors in THX mode
- Nice to have features as Viera Cast and Internet connectivity
- Great color gamut
- Color accuracy in non-THX mode requires tweaking
- Relatively expensive
- 1080p/24 mode produces flicker and is unpleasant to watch
Panasonic aimed at making picture quality in its 2009 plasma models the best ever seen. In this process, they succeeded in acquiring amazing black levels, and by adding the THX certification, to guarantee great out of the box colors. The colors are better in Panasonic TC-P42G10 than in its little brother, S1, and adding the 24p cinema mode (which however doesn’t work well), this plasma model wishes to draw attention from videophiles. There are still some issues with video processing, when using the 48Hz mode for watching 1080p/24 frames video content, but overall, there is little to complain, especially since you can find some great deal prices. To cut the story short, if you are looking for a smaller size plasma TV, then this is one choice that you won’t regret.
Buyers’ opinions and specialists’ tests altogether show the same thing: Panasonic TC-P42G10 displays incredible black levels and shadow detail. The contrast ratio, combined with this trait, delivers an amazing cinematic experience, and not even the most pretentious buyers have trouble finding anything to complain about. Panasonic’s Real Black Drive System, along with the new NeoPDP panel that Panasonic TC-P42G10 comes equipped with, helps a lot in achieving the deepest blacks, as the level of illumination on the screen is well reduced in areas where the pixels are shut off.
Performing better than the S1 series in terms of color accuracy, Panasonic TC-P42G10 can boast about its THX certification, because it can help in delivering better looking colors, without having to tweak with the settings or to pay for a professional calibration service. Yet, there is some criticism directed at the G10 series, that has yet to achieve perfect color accuracy, not even the THX mode being able to solve some small issues.
Panasonic TC-P42G10 can display with great results 1080p and 1080i content. When it comes to delivering good quality pictures from 1080p/24 frames video sources, such as Blu-ray discs, even if the G10 series has the possibility to use a 48Hz mode (a multiple of 24), it is recommended to let the plasma TV handle the source using the 60Hz mode, as the first causes flicker to appear, rendering the content unwatchable.
When it has to deal with upscale conversion, Panasonic TC-P42G10 does not encounter too much trouble, as its noise reduction capabilities are quite solid. Still, some details reproduced from DVD’s do not look as sharp as on other HDTV’s and the problem of jaggies is still obnoxious enough to not be looked over so easily.
If you are searching for a smaller size plasma TV, then you got yourself a winner. Panasonic TC-P42G10 performs very well, and the image it displays is of superior quality. The little flaws the series carries do not count too much, as they do not actually hinder a great watching experience. From all Panasonic plasma TV models launched this year, this is the best 42 inch HDTV and one of the best overall.
Because in our experience most of the time it has the best prices on HDTV, our recommended store is Amazon.com. Do look around for the best price, but make sure you don’t skip Amazon.com or you might miss a good deal.