Panasonic TX-P42GT20B review

Panasonic takes 3D plasma to a smaller level, and throws in its first 2D to 3D upscaling

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  • Nearly crosstalk-free 3D pictures
  • Good black level response
  • Decent 2D to 3D conversion
  • Good price for a 3D TV


  • Contrast not as good as the VT20 series
  • One or two colour tone issues
  • 3D images lack punch

The jury may still be out on just how badly the public actually wants 3D, but the arrival of a third TV dimension is undoubtedly great news for plasma.

Just when it looked like LCD was about to bury its old rival once and for all, gas proved it could show 3D pictures with much less ghosting noise, or crosstalk, than liquid crystal and the world was suddenly interested in plasma again.

The only catch in this resurgence has been size. Panasonic focused initially on screens of 50-inch and 65-inch for its 3D efforts, which was great for people with big bank accounts and bigger rooms, but of little mainstream significance.

Cue the P42VT20B examined elsewhere on this site and the more value-led P42GT20 reviewed here. As their names suggest, both sets boast a much more manageable 42-inch screen. But the 'G' in the P42GT20 name and its £300 lower price tag also suggests that some compromises have been made.

Significantly, the GT20 lacks the rather excellent new black level filter sported by the flagship VT20 series. It also lacks a subwoofer in its speaker configuration versus the VT20's and doesn't ship with a provided Wi-Fi USB adaptor like the VT20 series does. You can add the latter item, but you have to pay extra for it.

One bit of good news, though, is that the P42GT20 is – for now, at least – shipping with two pairs of 3D glasses.

Panasonic tx p42gt20

Just in case you're happy with 2D, remember that Panasonic also has a range of conventional plasma models. The flagship non-3D models are the V20 series, as represented by the P50V20B and P42V20B. Down from there you get the P50G20B, P46G20 and P42G20, which lack the high contrast filter of the V20 series, have diminished audio power, and don't carry any supplied Wi-Fi capabilities.

From the G20 series you move down to the S20 range, which uses last year's NeoPDP screen technology rather than the much more advanced system used in the G20 upwards, and finally there's the entry-level X20 range, which don't have full HD panels and don't use NeoPDP technology.

Tech Specs

Product TypePlasma TV
Scan Format1080p
Standard Refresh Rate50 Hz
Digital TunerDVB-S2, DVB-T (MPEG4)
Analog TunerPAL
Video Signal StandardHDTV 1080p
Number of HDMI Ports4
Number of SCART Interfaces2
Product FamilyViera
3D Type3D
Brand NamePanasonic
Screen Size106.7 cm (42")
Aspect Ratio16:9
Ethernet TechnologyEthernet
Weight with Stand (Approximate)23.50 kg
Dynamic Contrast Ratio5,000,000:1
RMS Output Power20 W
Electronic Program GuideYes
DLNA CertifiedYes
Digital Audio OutputYes
Height with Stand693 mm
Width with Stand1029 mm
Depth with Stand308 mm
Number of Common Interface1
Composite VideoYes
Component VideoYes
Teletext Memory1000
3D TechnologyShutter
3D ConversionYes
USB RecordingYes
3D Glasses RequiredYes
Height654 mm
Width1029 mm
Depth82 mm
Sound SystemDolby Digital Plus, Virtual Surround Sound
Maximum Resolution1920 x 1080
FeaturesMedia Player, PC Streaming, Picture and Text (PAT), Child Lock, Sleep Timer, Web Content Access, Teletext
Product ModelTX-P42GT20B
Product NameViera TX-P42GT20B Plasma TV
Product LineViera
Manufacturer Part NumberTXP42GT20B
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

FULL HD 3D makes you feel as if you'd stepped out of your living room and into the world on the screen. The viewing experience has never been so lifelike and compelling.The technology in which the left-eye and right-eye 3D images are sent to the viewer is the key to 3D image quality. For this, FULL HD 3D uses something called the Frame Sequential technology. A separate high quality image is sent to each eye. This addresses the image quality problems and blurring which is common to previous 3D systems, and creates sharp, crisp 3D images.

Weight (Approximate)20.50 kg