Panasonic TH-42PZ70 review

5 stars
£1,400
Panasonic’s latest is the first Full HD 42in plasma we’ve tested. Its mission? To offer the perfect blend of LCD sharpness and plasma black depth

On paper, Panasonic’s new TH-42PZ70 looks a sure-fire hit: it’s a 42in flat panel TV, offers ‘Full HD’ 1920x1080 resolution, has an SD card input and, in most regards, plenty of video inputs. In short, it’s the stuff of gadget-lovers’ dreams.

So you should all rush out and buy one, yes? Maybe. First, there’s the thorny issue of pricing: at £1400, this isn’t cheap by modern 42in TV standards. It’s easy to find a set this size that looks every bit as smart without the ‘Full HD’ and costs less – Panasonic’s own £1000 TH-42PX70, for example.

Resolution isn’t everything, but it helps

That said, while the TH-42PX70 pushes its rival very, very close on most aspects of performance – the two sets are very similar for contrast performance, black depth, colour accuracy and motion stability – the premium ‘PZ70 is the model to buy if your viewing diet revolves exclusively around hi-def content.

It’s a little sharper, a little more defined, and its ability to display 1080p and 24fps content on a dot-by-dot basis is a boon for purists, even if access to this option is rather unhelpfully buried in the set-up menus. With day-to-day TV and DVD viewing, the gap is a lot closer, largely because both sets perform so well.

Weaknesses? Sonically, it’s decent without being especially muscular, and the twin-HDMI socket fit seems mean in a class where three is increasingly becoming the norm. As with the ‘42PX70, Panasonic offers a pricier ‘700 series version of this set, dubbed TH-42PZ700, which has three HDMIs and better sound. Good to know.

says

Panasonic TH-42PZ70

Aims to take it to the ‘Full HD’ LCD brigade – and succeeds. A triumph, and proof that plasma is far from dead
Panasonic TH-42PZ70 review
5 stars
£1,400
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