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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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Motion

Motion Summary
Editorial Note: This is a review of the Panasonic TC-P42U2. Test results are for this model, but should indicate the general performance of other sizes in the TC-PxxU2 series. The TC-PxxU2 series includes the following models: TC-P42U2 and TC-P50U2.  Read here for more details on series differences.
{{article.attachments['Panasonic-TC-P42U2-vanity.jpg']}} • Smooth motion, but lots of artifacting • Artifacting appeared as mosquito noise, masking fine detail • This TV is terrible at resolution scaling • Testing done using DisplayMate Software
{{article.attachments['tvi-prev.jpg']}} Color Accuracy Page 5 of 18 Viewing Effects {{article.attachments['tvi-next.jpg']}}

Motion Smoothness*(8.0)*


The motion performance on the Panasonic TC-P42U2 was, on the whole, decent. Objects in motion seemed to lose a noticeable amount of fine detail, but there was very little in the way of jitters, strobing, or trailing.  (More on how we test Motion.)

 

Motion Artifacting*(5.25)*


When an object is in motion, we noticed a break-up of the fine detail, taking on the appearance of mosquito-like noise. There was also an increase is Moire patterns in areas of high-frequency detail. From a distance, viewers might not find this too offensive, but it's certainly noticeable.

On the plus side, we saw no instances of false color trailing or strobing.

 

3:2 Pulldown & 24fps*(8.0)*


The Panasonic TC-P42U2 has no problems with native 24fps signals, such as Blu-Ray discs. In the menu system of the Panasonic, you'll find a feature called '3:2 pulldown', which is defaulted to the 'auto' position. Strangely, the feature is described as affecting only component AV connections, yet we found it's activation absolutely necessary for proper 3:2 playback through an HDMI connection. If set to 'off' there was a great deal of strobing in high-frequency patterns, as well as juddery horizontal motion. If set in the 'on' or 'auto' position, there were no such problems. (More on how we test 3:2 Pulldown and 24fps.)

 

Resolution Scaling*(4.93)*


The Panasonic TC-P42U2 has a 1080p resolution, but most of the content you'll encounter is of a lower resolution. It's up to the TV's processor to properly rescale the image to fit on the screen. Unfortunately, the Panasonic TC-P42U2 is not even that good at fine details at its native 1080p. It's quite terrible with non-native resolutions. ( More on how we test Resolution Scaling.)

480p

When we looked at video in the 480p resolution, the TV lost 1% of the horizontal and 2% of the vertical edges due to overscan. However, there were few other noticeable problems.

720p

With 720p resolution, the Panasonic TC-P42U2 lost 2% of each side and 2% of the top and bottom to overscan. It also created huge errors with high frequency patterns, displaying heavy Moire patterns. 

1080i

The 1080i resolution created the biggest problems for the Panasonic TC-P42U2. There was no overscan loss, but high frequency patterns created strange, terribly distracting patterns, including strobing and flickering, green or bluish blocks of color, and other problems. 

 

Other Models in the TC-PxxU2 Series
This is a review of the Panasonic TC-P42U2. The other sizes of HDTVs in this series should be similar in terms of performance and usability. For details about any differences, click on the image to jump to the Series Comparison page.
{{article.attachments['Panasonic-TC-P42U2-120.jpg']}} {{article.attachments['Panasonic-TC-P50U2-120.jpg']}}
Panasonic TC-P42U2 42 inches Panasonic TC-P50U2 50 inches
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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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