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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Viewing Effects

Viewing Effects 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']}} • Excellent viewing angle, like most plasma displays • Highly reflective screen • Few special processing features • Testing done using DisplayMate Software
{{article.attachments['tvi-prev.jpg']}} Motion Page 6 of 18 Calibration {{article.attachments['tvi-next.jpg']}}

 

Formats*(10.5)*


The Panasonic TC-P42U2 has a native 1080p display (1902 x 1080), but can display all NTSC formats. 

 

Viewing Angle*(10.24)*


The Panasonic TC-P42U2, as a plasma display, has a great viewing angle. In our lab tests, we found it to have a viewing angle of 77 degrees from center on either side (154 degrees in total). The next closest, in this comparison pool, was the Samsung LN40C630, which managed only 33 degrees from center (66 degreed in total). (More on how we test Viewing Angle.)

Viewing Angle
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Compare the Panasonic TC-P42U2 to other HDTVs
{{article.attachments['Sony-KDL-40NX700-vanity.jpg']}} {{article.attachments['Samsung-LN40C630-vanity.jpg']}} {{article.attachments['Toshiba-42ZV650U-vanity.jpg']}}
Sony KDL-40NX700 40 inches Samsung LN40C630 40 inches Toshiba 42ZV650U 42 inches

 

Reflectance*(6.0)*


The Panasonic TC-P42U2, like most plasma displays, has a highly reflective screen. LCD displays are not cursed with this particular problem, but plasma TVs require a glass piece in the front, which invariably doubles as a mirror in your living room. If there's a light pointed at the screen, it's perfectly reflected. If the light is pointed on you and the screen is grey or black, you'd be able to comb your hair by its reflection. (More on how we test Reflectance.)

 

Video Processing*(3.0)*


The Panasonic TC-P42U2 has just a few video processing features, which are described below. This is a cheaper TV, so Panasonic has omitted the motion smoothing features and others found on its high-end units. 

Setting Claimed Function Our Impression
C.A.T.S. Adjusts the brightness and gradation according to the room's ambient lighting condition. In a dark room, the TV will lower the brightness even further. Not recommended, as the screen is already not very bright.
Video NR Reduces video noise. Little visible improvement 
MPEG NR Reduces video noise resulting from video compression at the source. Minor improvement
Black Level Select 'Dark' when details are washed out in dark areas of picture. That description (to the left) makes no sense. This feature crushes blacks, but it has no ability to retrieve information from shadows.

 

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
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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