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Panasonic TX-P42X60B review

 Review: May 2013  
 

Rating: 3 stars

In a nutshell: The Panasonic Viera TX-P42X60B gives you 42 inches of plasma excellence at a knockdown price! There are compromises though - no 3D, no Smart TV and just 720p resolution.



 

Review

Panasonic's high end plasma televisions enjoy a strong and well-deserved reputation for outstanding picture quality, but they're very expensive. So what could be better than a 42 inch Panasonic plasma selling for less than £400? Just so long as Panasonic hasn't cut too many corners in reaching this budget price point ...

Design & looks

Panasonic has never been a match for Samsung, LG or Sony when it comes to design. The X60 is a typical rectangle with a wide black plastic bezel surround and a plain stand. It looks like a budget TV, yet at the same time there's nothing wrong with the build quality. It's fairly slim for a plasma screen too, measuring just 63mm deep, which is less than many of the LED televisions on offer in this entry-level price range. In short, there's nothing to particularly like or dislike about the way it looks, and if you're more concerned with how a TV works when it's switched on, then you can safely move on to the next section.

Picture quality

This is what a plasma screen is all about. Despite the advances in LED technology in recent years, especially at the top end of the market, plasma still delivers the best, and this difference is perhaps particularly noticeable when you compare a plasma TV with a cheap LED screen.

But. One of the compromises of the X60 is that it's not a Full HD screen. Instead it's a 720p resolution display. That's very rare these days, and it means that the TV won't display full 1080p input from Blu-Ray or other sources. When watching Freeview or DVD there's no difference (Freeview HD is 720p), but if you want the very highest resolution, then you'll need to look elsewhere. That's a shame, because in every other respect, picture quality is outstanding for the price.

Plasma is renowned for being able to produce high contrast and dynamic range with very deep blacks, and the X60 does a very good job of this. It's not as accomplished as the high-end plasmas, and there's a certain amount of reflectivity from the screen, but it certainly beats any LCD/LED TV at this sort of price. The viewing angle is ultrawide too, so you get absolute colour fidelity even if you're sitting several feet to the left or right.

The panel is rated at 600Hz, which again enables it to greatly outperform LED TVs, with absolutely no sign of motion blur. One black mark against the TV is that there's no Game Mode, so Xbox and PS3 gamers may notice a little lag.

At this price, compromises on picture quality are inevitable, and there's no perfect TV. The 720p resolution sounds like a big deal, but in practice it's not really noticeable. The other qualities of the plasma screen shine through, whether you're watching Freeview, streamed or DVD, and we have no trouble recommending this TV for its core function of viewing programmes and films.

3D

3D is another area that has been dropped to save pennies, but we suspect that most people won't miss this feature.

Audio quality

Audio quality is typical for a modern TV. Twin stereo speakers provide reasonable output in the mid-range, but a lack of bass is noticeable in action movies. The V-Audio surround sound can simulate a virtual 3D effect, but with mixed results. We'd say that the TV is an average performer when it comes to audio, and that if you want to enjoy movies at their best, you might want to consider buying a dedicated soundbar or home cinema speakers.

Smart TV

Smart TV has also been axed to make this TV fit the budget. However, the built-in media player does allow you to view videos, music and photos stored on a connected USB device.

Connectivity

All the essential connectivity options are here, but without any bells and whistles. You get 2 HDMI connections and a USB, which you can use to connect devices like a memory stick or camera. An ethernet (LAN) port means that you can wire the TV into your home network, although there's no Wi-Fi option. You'll also find a mix of connections for connecting older audiovisual equipment - SCART, component, composite and digital audio. You can also plug in a headphone.

Conclusion

There's no doubt that you get a lot of TV for your money here. This is very much at the bargain basement end of the market, and to find a 42 inch plasma here is good news for anyone who appreciates picture quality. With a very fast response rate, high contrast, and none of the problems associated with budget LED TVs, the P42X60B makes for great viewing. The 720p resolution is clearly a stumbling block that will put some people off, but at typical viewing distances and with the kind of television that most people watch daily (broadcast or streamed), it's not going to be an issue. We'll stick our neck out and advise you not to worry, unless you intend to watch Blu-Rays all day.

Smart TV and 3D are missing, so don't pick this model if those features matter to you, but if you're prepared to sacrifice these for the sake of having an excellent 42 inch plasma screen at an unbeatable price, the Viera P42X60B is a great buy.


Panasonic TX-P42X60B features include:

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We have lost some channels what can we do?

Asked by dee from uk on 25th Feb 2017

Can i use amazon fire tv on this tv?

Asked by Rosemarie from Great Britain on 22nd Nov 2016

Can I get freeview on this tv?

Asked by Paul Neal from United Kingdom on 27th Jun 2016



Panasonic TX-P42X60B user reviews

Love this product? Hate it? Please share your experiences to help other people choose the product that's best for them. Please do not review this product if you have not used it, and please ask questions in our User Questions section above. Please do not use swear words or offensive language, and please, no advertising!

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Average rating from 3 reviews:

Reviewed by David S from UK on 13th Jul 2014
You can view additional channels using the Ethernet connection
Rating:

Reply by Dave from Wales on 7th Jan 2015
Really? We'd all be very grateful if you explained how.

Reviewed by Les from UK on 6th Jun 2014
Fantastic picture quality with this set. After viewing this against much more expensive 1920 x 1080 LCD sets there was no comparison. The PLASMA screen was simply more realistic.
ALL the Freeview channels looked good, not just the relatively few HD ones.
If you are in the market for a new TV it's worth taking a look at this especially if you mainly watch the Freeview channels. Ask if you can view the Freeview channels in SD and HD on an LCD set to compare.
Rating:

Reviewed by Dave from UK on 11th Apr 2014
Slightly misleading point in your review:
"An ethernet (LAN) port means that you can wire the TV into your home network, although there's no Wi-Fi option."
This suggests that the X60 is an internet TV. It isn't. You can't browse the internet or watch films via Netflickers or LoveFlim. It's there purely for software updates, which you can do without the internet anyway (over Freeview connection), so is somewhat superfluous to many.

I'll update this review when I've had a chance to fully get to grips with the X60. So far it looks excellent.
Rating:


 

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