Panasonic TX-P42X50B review

By making the mediocre look marvelous, this great value HD-ready TV makes a compelling argument for plasma

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Having adapted to the idea of an HD-ready resolution (1024x768 pixels, to be exact) on the TX-P42X50B, what we're immediately concerned with is restrictive ins and outs; so often the Achilles heel of affordable TVs.

And in practice, this is perhaps where the TX-P42X50B does stumble; we counted just two HDMI inputs (one with an Audio Return Channel), both on the rear panel, which will make it tricky to hook up more than, say, a PVR and a games console.

Panasonic TX P42X50B review

Elsewhere we spotted just a single USB (2.0) slot on the side-panel, which sits alongside an SDCX Card slot, a headphones jack and a Common Interface slot.

Panasonic TX P42X50B review

Alongside those are component video inputs and some accompanying phonos, a Scart, a digital audio output, and an Ethernet LAN port (despite the lack of any web-based functionality; it's here as a hangover from the original Freeview HD spec, and serves zero purposes). If only if could have been sacrificed for a third HDMI.

No home networking, then, but at least the USB and SDXC Card slots can get involved with the playback of digital files.

The TX-P42X50B possesses a G15 Progressive HD Plasma Display Panel fitted with a 600 Hz Sub-Field Drive, which ought to mean motion is handled smoothly, though it's the quoted figure of 3,500,000:1 native contrast ratio that most surprised us.

The TX-P42X50B also includes a Game mode, which ups the image response and boosts the contrast.

Panasonic TX P42X50B review

The final feature of any note on what is a rather basic spec is Eco Navigation, an option in the on-screen menus that allows a one-touch energy-saving set-up; cue a dimming of the panel's brightness using an ambient light sensor. Ditto C.A.T.S (Contrast Automatic Tracking System), which does mean a considerable drop in brightness – it works OK in a blackout, but it's best avoided in normal daylight.

Tech Specs

Product TypePlasma TV
Scan Format720p
Standard Refresh Rate50 Hz
Digital TunerDVB-T (MPEG4)
Analog TunerPAL
Video Signal StandardHDTV
Number of HDMI Ports2
Number of SCART Interfaces1
Product FamilyViera X50
EU Energy LabelB
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)17.50 kg
Operating Power Consumption150 W
Standby Power Consumption400 mW
RMS Output Power20 W
Electronic Program GuideYes
Digital Audio OutputYes
Height with Stand657 mm
Width with Stand1007 mm
Depth with Stand231 mm
Composite VideoYes
Component VideoYes
Teletext Memory1000
Network (RJ-45)Yes
Number of USB Ports1
Energy Consumption per Year139 kWh
Enhanced Refresh Rate600 Hz
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital (SD), Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC)
Height615 mm
Width1007 mm
Depth81 mm
Sound SystemDolby Digital Plus, Virtual Surround Sound, DTS
Product SeriesX50
Maximum Resolution1024 x 768
FeaturesMedia Player, Picture and Text (PAT), Teletext, PC Streaming, Web Content Access
Product ModelTX-P42X50B
Product NameTX-P42X50B 42" Viera Plasma TV
Product LineViera
Manufacturer Part NumberTX-P42X50B
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

42" VIERA Plasma TV - An HD Round Performer with a Large Screen
600Hz technology lets you view superb motion images. For even greater clarity with motion images, Panasonic uses its own unique image-analysis technology. This technology converts the motion in each scene into data. And each frame is practically displayed for a shorter length of time than in previous systems, to reduce aftereffects. When using Cinema mode.

Limited Warranty1 Year
Weight (Approximate)16 kg