Panasonic Viera TH-42PV500
- Superb image quality, HDMI input, high definition
- Could do with more in-depth image controls for the tweakers out there
One of the best plasma units we have seen - and good value too
Price$ 4,999.00 (AUD)
LCD televisions have been hogging the limelight recently and it's easy to forget that for all their glory they're only now catching up to the level of image quality that plasma TVs have enjoyed for a while. In that time, plasma manufacturers haven't exactly been sitting on their collective hands either and Panasonic has just released its shiny new eighth-generation Viera plasma displays to market.
The exact model we're looking at is the 42-inch, high-definition TH-42PV500, of which there's also a 50-inch version and another, cheaper standard-definition version. Interestingly, due to physical limitations inherent in the plasma panel manufacturing process the resolution of the eighth-generation panel used in the 42PV500 remains unchanged from its predecessor at 1,024 x 768. This is something that might seem at first unusual - in a world where we're used to specifications that make exponential leaps and bounds with the passing of each generation - but ultimately is no big deal as the pixel count is high enough already to display a true 720p high-def signal.
Where the real technological progression comes in, is the video processing behind it all and the actual composition and electrical interaction of the gases that a plasma panel is made of. In terms of video processing, Panasonic has introduced an updated colour management system (the imaginatively named Viera Colour Management System), the aim of which is to smooth the onscreen image and eliminate those horrible colour banding problems some flat-panel TVs are prone to. The new engine is capable of producing roughly twice the number of graduations in colour shading as previous models and although there are still rare occasions when colour banding is noticeable, it is better than ever now. In fact, overall colour accuracy is so good we even got over the fact there was no way to tweak red, green and blue channels individually. There's really no need since the Panasonic engineers seem to have got it spot on and the single, all-encompassing colour slider is all you need for setting the overall colour saturation to your personal taste.
Black levels and contrast are superb thanks to two things - a new black filter has been applied to the glass to optimise light output, and a new, more energy-efficient mix of gas has been used that illuminates at a lower electrical charge. According to Panasonic, this raises maximum brightness by 10% and results in a wonderfully bright and vibrant onscreen image.
All our test discs looked as good as we've ever seen them - The Two Towers Extended Edition waivers between light and dark scenes every few minutes and is a great way of seeing how a display handles highly contrasting scenes and shadow detail. The Incredibles, on the other hand, has a colour palette at the opposite end of the scale with plenty of saturated reds and pin-sharp detail. Again, the 42PV500 did a sterling job reproducing the information packed away on this disc.
Of course image quality is only part (admittedly the biggest part) of the allure of a new TV; how easy it is to set up and use goes a long way towards making the perfect telly. To this end the menu system, the way you tune the channels and the way you access various settings is as simple as ever.
Onboard speakers lack punch and bass but are otherwise perfect for everyday TV viewing, while input options are in abundance with both HDMI and component sockets on hand for the ultimate in image quality. We feel this is easily one the best value and best quality large-screen televisions to date.
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Panasonic Ultra HD OLED TV Review
- 2 D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD DSH-C310 review
- 3 Oppo A77 smartphone: Full in-depth review
- 4 Huawei GR5 phone: Full, in-depth review
- 5 Ring Video Doorbell review
Latest News Articles
- Everything Samsung Just Announced At IFA 2017
- First Look: LG's Signature Range
- Samsung's squashing of malicious Tizen smart TV bugs is turning messy
- Report says Samsung's Tizen OS on smart TVs is a virtual playground for hackers
- Hisense displays successors to amazing Series 7 ULED - Series 8 and 9
PCW Evaluation Team
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic
I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.
It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.
The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.
- Moto E4:
- LG G6 Plus: Full, in-depth review
- First Look: The Evil Within 2
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTSocial Media Executive / Specialist (Facebook) - Online PokerNSW
- FTSenior Business AnalystACT
- FTSQL DeveloperOther
- FT.Net Developer - Multiple positions availableSA
- FTNetwork SpecialistQLD
- FT.Net DeveloperACT
- FTDigital Program Manager - Web & eCommerceOther
- FTSenior C++ EngineerACT
- FTTechnical Business AnalystNSW
- FTC++ Analyst ProgrammerOther
- FTFront End Developer (Urgent)Other
- FTSenior Software DeveloperSA
- FTEnterprise Software/Product Sales ManagerVIC
- FTSenior Business Analyst – Office 365 ProjectOther
- FTOracle Fusion Middleware ArchitectACT
- FTSoftware Engineer - Leading TelcoOther
- FTINCIDENT MANAGEROther
- CCMultiple Xamarin DevelopersVIC
- FTSenior Change AnalystVIC
- FTProduct Manager (IT Clinical Systems) - Permanent - Syd, Melb or BrisbNSW
- FTSenior PHP DeveloperQLD
- TPProgram Coordinator. Product Management BackgroundNSW
- FTNetwork EngineerOther
- FTFront End Developer with UX designOther
- FTClient Delivery DirectorACT