- Sexy design, Easy to install, Easy to use.
- Excessive dot pitch, Noise on dark colours, Pixel fluctuations.
The Sanyo PDP-42XS1 is not the best plasma on the market and considering the fact that it is standard definition and has image flaws, it is not our first choice.
Price$ 2,999.00 (AUD)
As the centre piece of your lounge room a television should exude style while also displaying the highest quality image. Sanyo certainly nailed the style side of things with the PDP-42XS1 but the image quality still needs a little work.
This plasma display is a thing of beauty. The bezel is finished in piano black and the stand and casing elements are attractive brushed aluminium. The controls are on the side of the unit and fairly flush with the case making them both attractive and functional without getting in the way or disrupting the aesthetic. Anyone would be proud to own a TV that looks this good especially when you consider how much your friends will drool over it.
Unfortunately, in our tests, the Sanyo didn't stand up as well as it should have and there were some visual problems that lowered our respect for the unit. There were noise problems and pixel fluctuations but the most frustrating issue was the enormous dot pitch (the space between each pixel) which produced a noticeable fly screen effect, even at a comfortable viewing distance.
The unit has a fair few ports catering for a variety of devices with support for HDMI, Component, Composite Video, and PC connection via 15pin D-Sub. We would have liked an extra component slot since not everyone has jumped on the HDMI bandwagon just yet but considering the price of this unit, we found the features more than reasonable.
Setting up the 42XS1 was hassle free and the built-in tuner found all of the stations without a problem. The quality of the reception was rather poor though since the tuner is only analog. These days, all TVs should come with a standard definition tuner at the very least. Anything under this is unusable and downright ugly to watch. However, this TV doesn't look too bad when compared with other TVs. The reason for this is that the unit is not a high definition television set. It only has a native resolution of 852 x 480 meaning that in order to do high definition it needs to scale the image. This always ends up looking inferior to true HD televisions but does tend to make standard definition devices like DVD players look good.
We tested the component and HDMI connections via both formal and informal testing methods. Our informal tests use the lobby scene from "The Matrix" and the T-Rex attack from "Jurassic Park". For the most part, the image looked fairly good when watching these films but only from a viewing distance of about 3 metres. Closer inspection showed a few obvious problems which looked like scaling issues among other things. The Sanyo also had problems reproducing accurate colours and a scene saturated in green, like that in the Matrix was rife with discolourations in the magenta spectrum. Block colours tended to have some digital artifacts and particles lacked definition. This is mostly due to the poor dot pitch also a less than impressive image processor. We also found that darker colours in the image were prone to some noise which, while not too severe, did contribute to the substandard of image quality.
This noise was made more obvious in our formal tests using Digital Video Essentials and in our PC tests using DisplayMate Video Edition. In DVE we observed noise on dark and dim colours in our colour block tests and some noise on mid-to-dark greys in the greyscale test patterns.
When connecting to the PC via 15 pin D-Sub we noticed the same noise problems although to a lesser extent. We found that the noise and discolourations were most noticeable on component and less of a problem in HDMI and D-Sub although still a problem nonetheless. We also found that across all connections there were various degrees of pixel fluctuations. This looked like a wave of moving pixels moving diagonally across the image. Again, this was a large problem in component but still present in the other input options.
If this were a high definition television we would recommend it based solely on its low price. However, since it is standard definition only, the price is slightly elevated and can only be justified with incredible picture quality. Since the Sanyo PDP-42XS1 is not the most brilliant television on the market, the price is a little too high. This is by no means a horrible television set however, it wouldn't be our first choice when looking for a plasma either.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Sony Xperia Z5 Premium review: Is the world ready for a 4K phone?
- 2 Mazda MX-5 (2016) review: Absolute driving purity
- 3 Sony 75-inch UHD TV (X9400C) review: Sony and Android are a winning duo
- 4 LG 55EG960T OLED UHD TV
- 5 Panasonic Viera UHD TV review: good hardware, fragmented software
Best Deals on Good Gear Guide
Latest News Articles
- LG releases first flat screen OLED TV in Australia
- Samsung's 4K Blu-ray player debuts locally in May
- CES 2016: Top 10 trends
- Smart TVs at risk from cyber crooks, report finds
- Netflix inches towards global dominance
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- FTDigital Marketing Specialist | Media BuyerNSW
- FTSenior Performance Test AnalystNSW
- CCEnterprise Systems Infrastructure SpecialistNSW
- CCProgram Master SchedulerNSW
- CCSenior Business AnalystACT
- FTDatabase AdministratorVIC
- CCSenior Agile Business AnalystVIC
- CCImmediate iOS Developer RequiredNSW
- FTChange & Communications OfficerQLD
- FTSoftware Developer - Ruby on RailsNSW
- CCInformation ArchitectQLD
- CCTechnical Tester - AutomationVIC
- CCSenior Business Analyst - IT SecurityNSW
- FTAxway API DeveloperNSW
- FTSOE EngineerQLD
- CCContract System Analyst (SQL/.net) 160205/SA/561Asia
- CCContract System Analyst (CISCO/SSLVPN/Firewall) 160211/SA/551Asia
- FTInfrastructure Project Manager - NV1 clearance mandatoryNSW
- CCObjective ECMS Technical ConsultantSA
- CCProject SchedulerVIC
- FTAnalyst: Business Intelligence & AnalyticsVIC
- FTManager, Portfolio GovernanceNSW
- FT.NET DeveloperVIC
- CCJira Administrator - Western SydneyNSW
- CCJava Developer - IOSNSW