Panasonic TX-P42S20B review

Freeview HD-packing plasma TV that hits the sweet spot

Panasonic TX-P42520
This is Panasonic's first Freeview HD set, but make sure you can receive a signal before buying

TechRadar Verdict


  • +

    Excellent black level response

  • +

    Clean motion handling


  • -

    Picture slightly muted

  • -

    One or two colour tone issues

  • -

    No D-Sub PC port

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The TX-P42S20 is one of Panasonic's first Freeview HD plasma TVs to launch in the UK this year.

Panasonic's 2009 plasma TV range felt like a classic case of two halves, to be honest. In the good half, we found screens using Panasonic's NeoPDP technology to mostly excellent effect, boosting brightness, colour response and energy efficiency.

In the rather average half were screens that essentially just offered tweaked versions of Panasonic's older plasma screen technology.

The S10 series belonged in the latter, average half. It wasn't actually Panasonic's entry-level series; that 'honour' belonged to the X10 series. But the S10 series just didn't feel cheap enough to really be considered a budget option, and nor did its performance blow us away.

The S10 TVs were just OK - which always has to count as something of a disappointment when you're talking about a Panasonic plasma TV.

Panasonic tx-p42s20

So it is that we found ourselves initially struggling to muster any great enthusiasm at the arrival of 2010's S10 update, as represented by the 42in TX-P42S20. But then we noticed a couple of rather startling things.

First, the P42S20's screen has been upgraded from its predecessor to feature NeoPDP technology. And second, the P42S20 also happens to be Panasonic's first ever TV with a Freeview HD tuner built in.
Er, right. Consider our interest well and truly piqued, then!

John Archer
AV Technology Contributor

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.