Panasonic TX-P42VT20B review

Panasonic's most advanced 42-inch screen yet brings full HD 3D to the plasma party

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  • Excellent overall picture quality
  • Bursting with cutting-edge features
  • Wireless networking made easy
  • Generally easy to use


  • Expensive
  • Engaging 3D is a faff
  • Outmoded design
  • Annoying EPG
  • IFC side-effects

Panasonic is the only manufacturer to challenge the LCD hegemony of Samsung, Sony and LG with a 3D-capable plasma.

Its latest (13th) generation Neo PDP panel hails from impeccable stock: the 2D TX-P42V20 impressed us deeply, as did the step-down TX-P42G20, of which there is also now a 3D version.

There are minor differences between the GT20 and this VT20: the step-up model has an additional speaker, comes with a wireless LAN adaptor and has Infinite Black Pro contrast rather than mere Infinite Black.

It certainly isn't the case that there is anything remotely amateurish about the contrast performance of the non-Pro version, but Panasonic claims that the latter incarnation delivers more consistent black levels.

The extra speaker should boost the audio performance by a welcome 50 per cent, and while the wireless LAN adaptor might not sound much of a big deal, it makes networking significantly easier in practice. One final difference is a tweak to the P42VT20B that reduces its plasma cell decay time, seen as an important weapon against 3D crosstalk.

The P42VT20's styling lacks the panache that the LED crowd has shown of late. It's certainly not an offensive-looking beast, but there is nothing about the rather uninspiring gloss black frame that suggests this is the most technologically advanced 42in plasma ever made. Still, it's what's on the inside that counts: there are plenty of fancy-looking TVs that fail to deliver in the picture department.

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)24 kg
Operating Power Consumption350 W
Standby Power Consumption400 mW
Dynamic Contrast Ratio5,000,000:1
RMS Output Power30 W
Electronic Program GuideYes
DLNA CertifiedYes
Digital Audio OutputYes
Height with Stand695 mm
Width with Stand1035 mm
Depth with Stand308 mm
Number of Common Interface1
Composite VideoYes
Component VideoYes
Teletext Memory1500
3D ConversionYes
USB RecordingYes
Motion Interpolation TechnologyIntelligent Frame Creation Pro
Enhanced Refresh Rate600 Hz
Height656 mm
Width1035 mm
Depth85 mm
Sound SystemDolby Digital Plus, Virtual Surround Sound
Maximum Resolution1920 x 1080
Colour Depth68.7 Billion Colors (12-bit)
FeaturesMedia Player, PC Streaming, Picture and Picture (PAP), Picture and Text (PAT), Child Lock, Sleep Timer, Web Content Access, Teletext
Product ModelTX-P42VT20B
Product NameViera TX-P42VT20B Plasma TV
Product LineViera
Manufacturer Part NumberTXP42VT20B
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 that were common to previous 3D systems, and creates sharp, crisp 3D images.

Package Contents
  • Viera TX-P42VT20B Plasma TV
  • 2 x Pairs of 3D Eyewear
Weight (Approximate)21 kg