televisions

Panasonic TC-P42U2 Plasma HDTV Review

42 in.

In its favor, the Panasonic TC-P42U2 is pretty inexpensive for a plasma.

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Vs Samsung LN40C630

Samsung LN40C630 Summary
{{article.attachments['Panasonic-TC-P42U2-vanity.jpg']}} • Samsung LN40C630 is better in most regards • Samsung's black level nearly as dark as the Panasonic plasma
{{article.attachments['tvi-prev.jpg']}} Vs Sony KDL-40NX700 Page 14 of 18 Vs Toshiba 42ZV650U {{article.attachments['tvi-next.jpg']}}

Value Comparison Summary


The Samsung LN40C630 costs nearly the same as the Panasonic TC-P42U2. On the whole, it's probably a better performer. The contrast ratio is better, the black levels are nearly as good, and the color performance is smoother and more accurate. In the Panasonic's favor, the viewing angle is better. That's about all we have to recommend it. 

  Comparison Specifications
  {{article.attachments['Panasonic-TC-P42U2-comp.jpg']}} {{article.attachments['Samsung-LN40C630-comp.jpg']}}
  Panasonic TC-P42U2 Samsung LN40C630
Size 42 inches 40 inches
Price $799 $809
Type Plasma LCD
Format 1080p 1080p

Blacks & Whites


The Samsung LN40C630 has a much wider contrast ratio than the Panasonic TC-P42U2, thanks to much brighter whites and a black level that, astonishingly, is almost as dark as the Panasonic's, despite being an LCD display. 

Blacks & Whites Comparison Chart
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Color Accuracy


The color performance of the Samsung was, on the whole, much better than the Panasonic TC-P42U2. That's because the Panasonic did fairly poorly on the RGB color curve test. The Samsung, on the other hand, scored rather well in that test, meaning you can expect smoother color transitions.

The Panasonic TC-P42U2 did manage to better maintain a consistent color temperature, but that counts for less. 

Color Temperature Comparison
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Panasonic TC-P42U2 Score: 8.74
{{article.attachments['Samsung-LN40C630-colortemperature.jpg']}}
Samsung LN40C630 Score: 7.84

 

RGB Comparison

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Panasonic TC-P42U2 Score: 6.58

{{article.attachments['Samsung-LN40C630-redstrip.jpg']}}

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Samsung LN40C630 Score: 7.83

 

Motion


The Panasonic TC-P42U2 was better smoothing out objects in motion, but produced a lot more artifacting in the process. Overall, we prefer the performance of the Samsung LN40C630 in this area.

  Motion Scores
  Panasonic TC-P42U2 Samsung LN40C630
Motion Smoothness 8.0 7.25
Motion Artifacting 5.25 8.5

Viewing Effects


The Samsung LN40C630 had a good viewing angle, for an LCD display, measuring a total of about 66 degrees. However, no LCD is a match for a decent plasma screen. ThePanasonic TC-P42U2 bested it with a total viewing angle of 144 degrees. 

Viewing Angle Comparison
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Panasonic TC-P42U2 Score: 10.24 Samsung LN40C630 Score: 6.43

Connectivity


The Samsung LN40B630 has more HD video ports: an additional HDMI and an additional component. It also has the VGA input and analog audio output that are inexplicably missing from the Panasonic TC-P42U2. The Samsung also includes two USB ports and can connect to a thumb drive or hard drive to play photos, videos, and music. The Panasonic is limited to photo playback only. 

  Connectivity Comparison
Panasonic TC-P42U2 Sony KDL-40NX700 Samsung LN40C630 Toshiba 42ZV650U
HDMI 3 4 4 4
Component 2 1 3 2
Composite 2 1 1.5 (One shared component/composite) 2
S-Video 0 0 0 1
VGA 0 1 1 1
Analog Audio In 4 2 3 4
Digital Audio Out 1 1 1 1
Analog Audio Out 0 1 1 1
Ethernet 0 1 1 0
WiFi 0 Yes 1 0
USB 0 1 2 1
Memory Card 1 (SD/SDHC) 0 0 1 (SD/SDHC)
  DLNA No Yes No No
Other N/A N/A N/A IR Inputs

 

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Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

Sections

  1. Introduction
  2. Tour & Design
  3. Blacks & Whites
  4. Color Accuracy
  5. Motion
  6. Viewing Effects
  7. Calibration
  8. Remote Control
  9. Connectivity
  10. Audio & Menus
  11. Multimedia & Internet
  12. Power Consumption
  13. Vs Sony KDL 40NX700
  14. Vs Samsung LN40C630
  15. Vs Toshiba 42ZV650U
  16. Conclusion
  17. Series Comparison
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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