Panasonic TX-P42ST30B review

An ugly, yet affordable 3D plasma capable of delivering very impressive pictures

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Panasonic tx p42st30b

Once you get past the TX-P42ST30B's unappealing cosmetics you find there's a fair amount going on that meets most of today's TV buyer's needs, including Smart TV in the guise of the revamped Viera Connect service, wireless (via an optional USB adaptor) or hard-wired networking (not DLNA), 3D capability and a comprehensive set of connections.

The sockets include an interface for a pay-TV module, an SD card slot for ultra-quick viewing of camera snaps and videos, two HDD/flash memory-compatible USB sockets and four HDMI sockets, one of which is side-facing for quick access and wall-mounting, while the rest face backwards. This is good news for stand-mounting as it avoids unsightly cables projecting out of the side, but wall-mounters may find the single side-facing HDMI annoying.

Analogue connections include composite video and a headphone socket, while a digital optical connection can send sound from the broadcast tuner to a separate amp.

Another connection of a sort is Viera Connect, a straightforward Smart TV proposition with several popular portals built-in including Picasa, YouTube, Acetrax, Twitter, Skype and the iPlayer, which finally joins the Viera party.

The new cloud-based app marketplace gives the service room to grow and - assuming your broadband connection is up to the task - has the potential to deliver all your visual entertainment and social networking needs direct to this screen without involving a separate computer.

There's nothing terribly revolutionary about the panel's picture processing except a fast switching phosphor that Panasonic claims reduces crosstalk, which could have a significant effect on 3D enjoyment and improve 2D images.

The range of picture tweaks is more or less sensibly restricted to a number of basics with 3D options and the much-debated '600Hz' sub-field drive IFC (Intelligent Field Creation) of the most interest. C.A.T.S (Contrast Automatic Tracking System) and P-NR (picture noise reduction) respectively optimise the picture according to the ambient light and set the noise reduction to one of several presets.

Tech Specs

Product TypePlasma TV
Scan Format1080p
Standard Refresh Rate50 Hz
Digital TunerDVB-T (MPEG4)
Analog TunerPAL
Video Signal StandardHDTV 1080p
Number of HDMI Ports4
Number of SCART Interfaces1
Product FamilyViera ST30
3D Type3D
Brand NamePanasonic
Screen Size106.7 cm (42")
Aspect Ratio16:9
Green CompliantYes
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityREACH
Ethernet TechnologyEthernet
Weight with Stand (Approximate)23 kg
Operating Power Consumption295 W
Standby Power Consumption300 mW
RMS Output Power20 W
Electronic Program GuideYes
Digital Audio OutputYes
Height with Stand675 mm
Width with Stand1020 mm
Depth with Stand320 mm
Composite VideoYes
Component VideoYes
Teletext Memory1000
3D ConversionYes
Motion Interpolation TechnologyIntelligent Frame Creation Pro
Enhanced Refresh Rate600 Hz
Height640 mm
Width1020 mm
Depth69 mm
Sound SystemDolby Digital Plus, Dolby Pulse, DTS, Virtual Surround Sound
Product SeriesST30
Maximum Resolution1920 x 1080
Colour Depth68.7 Billion Colors (12-bit)
FeaturesChild Lock, Picture and Text (PAT), Media Player, PC Streaming, Web Content Access, Teletext
Product ModelTX-P42ST30B
Product NameViera TX-P42ST30B Plasma TV
Product LineViera
Manufacturer Part NumberTXP42ST30B
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

The viewing experience has never been so lifelike and compelling as it is with Panasonic's 3D Technology. The fast switching phosphors used in the Neo Plasma panels and an original light-emitting process minimise crosstalk (double images) to deliver clear 3D images and ensure comfortable viewing. This technology also helps to improve 2D picture quality.

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.

Limited Warranty5 Year
Weight (Approximate)19.50 kg