A heck of a lot goes into a plasma TV picture. The gas that gets charged to give each cell its illumination, the electrodes that provide that charge, the phosphor array that gives the resulting light colour, the surrounding walls that stop the gas escaping...

All this and more has to go into each plasma cell, making it way harder than it is with LCD technology to make pixels small enough to deliver a Full HD resolution of 1920 x 1080 insidea 'mainstream-sized' screen.

But while it's challenging to make a sensibly-sized Full HD plasma TV, it's not impossible. As is amply proven by Panasonic's TH-42PZ70: a Full HD plasma set with a screen size of just 42in.

Thankfully, the technological demands of fitting over two million pixels into a 42in plasma screen haven't led to too many compromises in other areas. This is an exceptionally gifted flatscreen - anyone in the market for a 42in TV should give it some consideration.

Highs

Panasonic's Real Black Drive delivers impressive black levels. Colours are rich, vibrant and natural in tone.

Full HD, even at this size, noticeably improves detail.

Smooth motion and little blur with SD images.

Unlike many in Panasonic's range, it comes supplied with a pedestal stand.

Lows

HDMI connectivity is limited to two; this could pose a problem to HD fans.

Deep reds occasionally head into orange territory