Panasonic TX-P42S30B review

If you can live with its limitations, this plasma is still a decent budget TV

TODO alt text

Panasonic tx p42s30b

Sound quality

The P42S30 doesn't sound quite as rich and rounded as we'd hoped given that it's not exactly the slimmest TV in town. The soundstage becomes a little brittle when there's a loud action scene going on, thanks for the most part to a rather 'poppy' sounding bass line and a lack of real treble extension.
With normal TV fare, though, the set sounds just fine.


At the £800 level quoted on Panasonic's website, the P42S30 only rates as average value. But once you're talking about the £500 or so mark available elsewhere on the Internet, it actually becomes outstanding value if its particular picture traits suit your circumstances and viewing habits.

Ease of use

While the remote control shipped with the P42S30 doesn't benefit from the rather attractive restyling found on Panasonic's high-end TVs this year, it's still mostly a perfectly functional device. Most key buttons fall easily to hand, and it supports control of DVDs and - shudder - VCRs too.

The only significant issues with it are that the main menu button is relegated to a small button tucked unhelpfully in the top left corner right under the 'standby' button, while the button to access Viera Connect is actually labelled Viera Cast - the name given to last year's Panasonic online service.

The onscreen menus on the P42S30 are hardly cutting edge in terms of their presentation - although Panasonic has at least introduced some basic graphics to accompany the white text this year.

While they might not look very enticing, though, the P42S30's onscreen menus are pretty easy to find your way round for the most part, and are enhanced considerably by the presence of a new 'interactive onscreen instructions' system that tells you briefly but effectively what each function does when you highlight it in the TV's menus.

Tech Specs

Product TypePlasma TV
Scan Format1080p
Standard Refresh Rate50 Hz
Digital TunerDVB-T (MPEG4)
Analog TunerPAL
Video Signal StandardHDTV 1080p
Number of HDMI Ports3
Number of SCART Interfaces1
Product FamilyViera S30
Brand NamePanasonic
Screen Size106.7 cm (42")
Aspect Ratio16:9
Green CompliantYes
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityREACH
Memory Card ReaderYes
Ethernet TechnologyEthernet
Weight with Stand (Approximate)23 kg
Operating Power Consumption255 W
Standby Power Consumption300 mW
RMS Output Power20 W
Electronic Program GuideYes
Digital Audio OutputYes
Height with Stand671 mm
Width with Stand1023 mm
Depth with Stand288 mm
Composite VideoYes
Component VideoYes
Teletext Memory1000
Motion Interpolation TechnologyIntelligent Frame Creation Pro
Enhanced Refresh Rate600 Hz
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital (SD)
Height637 mm
Width1023 mm
Depth93 mm
Sound SystemVirtual Surround Sound, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Pulse, DTS
Product SeriesS30
Maximum Resolution1920 x 1080
Colour Depth68.7 Billion Colors (12-bit)
FeaturesPicture and Text (PAT), Child Lock, Media Player, PC Streaming, Web Content Access, Teletext
Product ModelTX-P42S30B
Product NameViera TX-P42S30B Plasma TV
Product LineViera
Manufacturer Part NumberTXP42S30B
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

The 600Hz Sub-field Drive in VIERA plasma TVs teams up with Intelligent Frame Creation Pro technology to deliver smooth, fluid, on-screen motion. By using an intelligent algorithm within the picture processing based on motion detection, the best combination of frames is created to deliver ultra crisp sports, film and game action.

VIERA incorporates an improved panel production process and the new Real Black Drive system. A pre-discharge control system, the Real Black Drive system achieves next-generation black reproduction. When you're watching movies, VIERA renders images just the way the director intended, even in scenes where it's difficult to achieve a proper balance of light and dark.

Limited Warranty1 Year
Weight (Approximate)20 kg