The Panasonic TX-P42G10 uses plasma panel rather than the more common LCD technology. But that's not it's only unique selling point, for it is also our only contender with a built-in Freesat HD tuner.

It's also nice to see that the plasma screen is one of Panasonic's NeoPDP models, with their much-enhanced brightness and pared down running costs.

More good news finds the panel sporting a full HD resolution, which is a big deal in the plasma world, where precious few 42in screens manage better than HD Ready resolutions. To our knowledge, Panasonic remains the only maker of full HD 42in plasmas.

Continuing the numbers game, meanwhile, is the P42G10's blistering 2million:1 claimed contrast ratio, which leaves the figures of even the best of our LCD rivals looking feeble. And still we haven't got anywhere near the end of the P42G10's attractions.

For it's also got an SD card slot for playing JPEG photos and AVCHD movie files, an Ethernet port readying the TV for the imminent launch of the BBC's eagerly anticipated Freesat iPlayer service, 600Hz processing for removing judder and flicker from pictures, plus the brand's own V-real 4 processing.

There's also proprietary Intelligent Frame Creation (IFC) processing, which inserts subframes of image data to enhance motion processing, although this is actually part of the 600Hz system.

Performance

The latter really does a very good job of reducing the judder that's long been one of the few failings we've found with Panasonic plasmas, and it makes images seem generally more stable and colourful along the way.

Colours warrant more coverage, since their vibrancy and expansive tonal range, especially with HD, offers more proof of the worth of Panasonic's NeoPDP technology. As you'd expect with plasma technology, the P42G10 also performs mightily well when it comes to black levels, which look deeper, more natural and more detailed than those of any of our LCD rivals.

Wrapping up a really terrific picture effort with HD is some outstanding sharpness, as the set really rams home that important full HD pixel count.

The P42G10's flaws are relatively minor, consisting of a little residual judder during fast camera pans, some rare and quite low-level processing artefacts when engaging the IFC system, a few rogue colour tones (especially when watching SD sources) and a slightly soft look to standard-definition pictures.

With some decently robust audio the only barrier to total irresistibility is this screen's rather steep price.

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