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The P42GT20 starts out with more of a whimper than a bang, thanks to a characteristically dull design. But tucked within that uninspiring chassis are plenty of tricks to keep a cinephile happy.
The set's connections are plentiful in both AV and multimedia terms, and include DLNA and online support. The set is also fully endorsed by both THX and the ISF, on account both of its potential image quality and the reasonably extensive suite of picture adjustments it carries.
Where the P42GT20 really deserves to attract buying attention, though, is with its 3D performance. It does a much better job of suppressing dreaded crosstalk noise than most LCD TVs, thereby becoming, almost by default, one of the most outstanding 3D TVs available.
One or two issues with 2D viewing suggest that you should consider spending more on Panasonic's superior P42VT20 if you can afford it, but this is undoubtedly another superb plasma that underlines the technology's current 3D advantage.
The ability of Panasonic's 3D plasma sets to keep a firm lid on crosstalk noise continues to shine through with the P42GT20. The set also has plenty of black level talents and looks great with hi-def 2D material. The level of connectivity and multimedia support is also good, as is its carriage of both Freeview HD and Freesat HD and it's got a decent suite of calibration aids.
Standard-definition pictures suffer a few colour tone issues and some dot noise during camera pans and 3D pictures don't look as bright and colourful as they can on LCD TVs. The types of USB HDDs supported for video recording are very limited and there's room for improvement with the set's 3D and EPG interfaces. Finally, the price will start to look a bit high if Panasonic withdraws its promotion of bundling two pairs of glasses free with the P42GT20.
There's no doubt that the P42GT20 marks a definite step down in quality from the sensational P42VT20. So much so where standard definition is concerned, at least, that the extra £300 for the higher-spec model is we'll worth finding if standard def material still takes up plenty of your viewing time.
If £1,500 is definitely the top end of what you can afford, however, then there's also no doubt that the P42GT20 produces the finest 3D performance yet seen at that price level, as well as a very good hi-def 2D performance.
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John has been writing about home entertainment technology for more than two decades - an especially impressive feat considering he still claims to only be 35 years old (yeah, right). In that time he’s reviewed hundreds if not thousands of TVs, projectors and speakers, and spent frankly far too long sitting by himself in a dark room.
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