Panasonic TX-P42VT30B review

Sophisticated 3D plasma TV with superb performance and extensive multimedia capability

Panasonic TX-P42VT30B
This TV is proof Plasma TVs are still very much alive and kicking

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Panasonic tx-p42vt30b

This 42-inch TV introduces an extra bit of technology that is strangely absent on its larger stablemates. Fishbone ITO uses indium-tin-oxide in the plasma panel's electrode structure, enabling each pixel to be driven much more efficiently than was previously possible. This is designed to achieve maximum brightness from less power, which is something of a Holy Grail in plasma development.

The aforementioned extra contrast filter, meanwhile, works to reduce ambient light reflections affecting the onscreen contrast while also adding a slightly darker tone to the light emitted from the TV.

Connectivity is seriously extensive. LNB and RF ports serve Freesat HD and Freeview HD tuners and reams of multimedia-oriented jacks include three USB inputs, a D-Sub PC socket, an SD card slot and a LAN port (despite LAN being rendered somewhat irrelevant by the provision of Wi-Fi via USB).
The SD card slot and USBs not only play most sorts of video, photo and music multimedia files, they can also both be used for recording in lossless quality from the HD tuners.

Video duties, meanwhile, are catered for by four HDMIs (all built to the v1.4 spec for 3D compatibility), the inevitable component video port and a composite video input for anyone daft enough to want one.
The TV's fascia is sleek and exceptionally well built, with a heavy-duty glass top-sheet giving it an elegant single-layer finish.

The TX-P42VT30B is endorsed by both THX (for both 3D and 2D), and the Imaging Science Foundation and its extensive calibration tools include colour management, gamma controls, and white balance adjustments. The presentation of these professional-grade tweaks leaves some room for improvement, but the flexibility they afford is excellent.

The TX-P42VT30B is equipped with both DLNA PC compatibility and Panasonic's cloud-based Viera Connect online service carries more content than the previous Viera Cast platform, with some games and a health and fitness suite about to be added to an already impressive roster that includes Skype, the BBC iPlayer, Eurosport video news and YouTube, as well as the AceTrax service for renting or buying streamable films.

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.