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87 of 88 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I finally made a choice of a replacement TV
After much agonizing I eventually opted for the Panasonic TH-42PZ85B. I had almost bought a Sony in their 3500 range but backed away when I saw the Freeview quality. My choice was driven by the fact that I use mainly Freeview at present and I must say the results from the Panasonic are better than I hoped for.
The set is well packed but will require two people to fix...
Published on 13 May 2008 by D. Marsh

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43 of 45 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great picture, poor sound
I purchased the TH42PZ85B about a week ago, this review is based on my initial impressions.

First of all I am very impressed with the picture quality, both standard and high definition look good. The range of colour is also excellent. The set has built-in freeview, this is the first time I have watched freeview and I am also very impressed with the picture...
Published on 22 July 2008 by Robert Atkinson


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87 of 88 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I finally made a choice of a replacement TV, 13 May 2008
By 
D. Marsh (Epson, Surrey) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Panasonic TH-42PZ85B - 42" Widescreen 1080p Full HD Plasma TV - With Freeview, Viera Link & SD Card slot (Electronics)
After much agonizing I eventually opted for the Panasonic TH-42PZ85B. I had almost bought a Sony in their 3500 range but backed away when I saw the Freeview quality. My choice was driven by the fact that I use mainly Freeview at present and I must say the results from the Panasonic are better than I hoped for.
The set is well packed but will require two people to fix to separate stand. Be aware that the only cable supplied is the power cable. Remote control is well laid out with large buttons. The electronic guide is easy to navigate and has some welcome features such as allowing to focus on the days program list for a single channel.
I have connected via HDMI cable to a DVD player that can upscale and DVD replay is stunning. Watching sport is a joy because of the clarity even at high motion. I use the set on the normal setting with a slight tweek to brightness. Not even a hint of burn to date.
Only negative is the standby power consumption. So worth switching off when not in use.
I am looking forward to getting FreeSat and getting the very best from the set.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ever so pleased with this TV, 8 Sep 2008
By 
This review is from: Panasonic TH-42PZ85B - 42" Widescreen 1080p Full HD Plasma TV - With Freeview, Viera Link & SD Card slot (Electronics)
Going on the back of lots of good magazine reviews, I went ahead with this TV. Bought from John Lewis in the end; although it's a little cheaper here they give a free 5 year warranty. Pricing changes all the time though so do check. And once you buy a new TV, stop checking. It's depressing how much cheaper they are the following month!

Here's why I chose this make & model:

- Panasonic consistently gets good reviews for plasma screens, and this one scores very highly.
- This screen is very bright, fine for my dual-aspect lounge.
- It is full high definition - 1080p 24p etc.
- It has lots of inputs. I have a Freeview recorder, two games consoles, and DVD player. There are still some spare.

Here's what I discovered after plugging it in:

- The picture is awesome - even with normal definition broadcasts. Motion is smooth and colours rich. It's not grainy even up close either. Try that with an LCD.
- The on board digital tuner is spot on.
- The remote control is well laid out and has nice big buttons.
- The sound is... well, it's ok. See below.
- High definition gaming is awesome!
- Smart metal and glass TV stands are very cheap at eBuyer.

Sound. Here's where my old 36" CRT TV scored highly. It had a big enough case (over a metre deep!) to hide large speakers and a subwoofer within. Physics dictates that plasma and LCD screens simply can't. I knew this but even so the sound is not great. So I have bought an Onkyo A/V amplifier Onkyo TX-SR606 AV Receiver (Black) and hooked it up with decent speakers. I think this, or getting a home cinema system is a must.

However overall I really cannot recommend this TV highly enough. So impressed. It's a solid five star product.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great TV, Great picture, 15 Sep 2008
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Panasonic TH-42PZ85B - 42" Widescreen 1080p Full HD Plasma TV - With Freeview, Viera Link & SD Card slot (Electronics)
Finally decided to go plasma over LCD for the 42 incher, just think the texture of the picture is better, colours are fantastic, sound is totally fine in my 15'x15' room. If sound is an issue you can add an amp and speakers or buy the 800 model, my thoughts are that it is totally fine, sometimes I feel sound set ups take over the picture... you have a 42" screen and wembley arena sound, it's just wrong, the sound is too big for the picture !! I read about the lip sync issues and believe it is the broadcast, I have not experienced it yet but have on my Toshiba (new) in another room, only on the odd occasion and only sky, I dont think it is the TV's doing at all, 99.999% of the time everything is great, so highly recommended. Picture is brilliant.
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43 of 45 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great picture, poor sound, 22 July 2008
This review is from: Panasonic TH-42PZ85B - 42" Widescreen 1080p Full HD Plasma TV - With Freeview, Viera Link & SD Card slot (Electronics)
I purchased the TH42PZ85B about a week ago, this review is based on my initial impressions.

First of all I am very impressed with the picture quality, both standard and high definition look good. The range of colour is also excellent. The set has built-in freeview, this is the first time I have watched freeview and I am also very impressed with the picture quality.

The remote control is well designed and the menu systems are fairly well laid out. The built-in freeview receiver means that you can look at the programme guide with the touch of a button. One issue that I have with the TV guide is that there is a large advert in the TV guide on the left of the screen. I am not sure whether this is related to panasonic sets only or if that is a characteristic of all freeview sets.

The reason that I have given this set only 3 out of 5 is the sound performance. When connected to a Sky High Definition box, I can watch both HD and SD channels. As mentioned the picture on HD channels is excellent, however, there are serious lip sync issues which are very irritating. Note this is only an issue on the HD channels. A search of the internet of lip sync issues for panasonic sets confirms this is an ongoing issue, so buyer beware!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Plasma TV beats LCD hands down, 25 Oct 2008
By 
Mr. C. M. Sear (Bournemouth England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Panasonic TH-42PZ85B - 42" Widescreen 1080p Full HD Plasma TV - With Freeview, Viera Link & SD Card slot (Electronics)
Bought this 13.10.08. After looking casually for a future replacement for my Sony 36" glass crt tv, wasn't expecting to have to change so much earlier than anticipated. The Sony was only 5yrs old, and suddenly decided to go wrong. After calling endless repairers, finally got onto Sony. They have a selected Authorized repair network. 2in my area serving half a million people. Phoned them both. At least they both quoted me the same call out, 82.00, cos it would take 2 guys to take it to workshop. This was not refundable even if you have the work done. After describing the problem, neither seemed certain they could fix it anyway. I paid over 2000 for this set. So abandoned idea of repair and put money towards new one.
Did the usual trailing round, and decided on 40/42". Once you get to 40" plus with LCD you lose the definition and contrast. Researched everywhere I could think of (incl Amazon), and although one reviewer had issues with sound on this Pan I found it more than satisfactory. The picture outstripped all of the other sets I compared in the flesh, LCD or Plasma. This is an amazing set. Far better than I thought I could get for the cash I had. It's fantastic. Even got Panasonics own extra warranty for 5yrs included in the price. (1months promo only). Chuffed or what.
Can't recommend this highly enough, particularly if you are of the older generation. The extra size super clear sound and picture quality, will suit you perfectly. Only one thing left to say, well done Panasonic, this is a winner. Oh, and Sony stick it!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars panasonic 42pz85b, 5 May 2008
By 
This review is from: Panasonic TH-42PZ85B - 42" Widescreen 1080p Full HD Plasma TV - With Freeview, Viera Link & SD Card slot (Electronics)
This is my first flat panel tv and I opted for the Panasonic 42pz85b.
It arrived very well packed I was most impressed wuth the simplicity yet very clever with package design.
The tv seemed, at first to be very big compared to my previous television. I have got used to the size now.
The set up was very easy and straight forward but had to supply my own HDMI lead plus audio leads, as I put sound through a seperate av amp. the only lead that is supplied is the power lead, so make sure you have everything else that you may require.
I can only say that the picture quality on freeview is absolutely stunning, the best I have seen.
I do not have HD tv channels but I would not be bothered with it as the quality of the freeview picture is that good. There is extremly good colour depth and everything being displayed is true to life.
I played Jeff Waynes War of The Worlds Live dvd And it blew my socks off with the quality of the picture.
The sound from the Panasonic is acceptable but as previously stated I run the sound through my av amp and theatre sound system.
The build to me seems very good indeed. The stand was very easy to assemble and swivels.
The remote was very easy to use and the buttons are a reasonable size.
I can only say that if you are looking to buy a 42inch television then the Panasonic 42pz85b will surely be at the top of your list.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great buy..., 13 Sep 2008
By 
P. Elliott - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Panasonic TH-42PZ85B - 42" Widescreen 1080p Full HD Plasma TV - With Freeview, Viera Link & SD Card slot (Electronics)
Great TV at a good price. Delivered on time and to the room of my choice. Well packaged. Takes two to lift it out and set it on the base. Set up is a breeze. Remote control is well layed out. Picture quality for TV and DVD is superb. Sound quality could be better - seems to lack some depth or richness in audio, hence 4 stars.

Overall, very pleased with my purchase.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding for Blu-Ray, DVD and PS3 gaming, okay for Freeview!, 23 Jan 2009
By 
This review is from: Panasonic TH-42PZ85B - 42" Widescreen 1080p Full HD Plasma TV - With Freeview, Viera Link & SD Card slot (Electronics)
After owning a Toshiba 37xv3030 LCD for over a year, I became decreasingly disatisfied with the Tosh's HD performance. Despite being a Full HD LCD, the contrast ratio was a very low 3500:1, and this basically showed on films that were shot in low lighting conditions.

So, it was at this point, that I decided to upgrade. A Panasonic plasma was the only way to go with my budget, and I'm thoroughly pleased with the results.
Having seen the 42PZ85 on sale at Comet (sorry Amazon!) for 799 I got this badboy after months of deciding.

Firstly, Blu-ray movies look truly stunning on this TV. The difference between this and my barely one year old Tosh are immediate.

Post calibration using THX Optimizer and Digital Video Essentials and having watched The Dark Knight, Apocalypto, Hellboy 2, Dark City, Blade Runner: Final Cut, and The Thing amongst others in my Blu-ray collection several times already on this TV, the Panasonic delivers a near flawless image!

Dark scenes that were a murky squint inducing mess on my old Tosh, are presented on the Panny with superb detail and brilliant contrast, while colours are spot on and realistic without ever being overly garish or saturated as many LCDs have a tendency to do.

Motion is also rock solid, played via PS3 with 24fps activated, and the added bonus in being finally able to see even more shades of colour via ths PS3's HDMI 1.3 output. My Tosh only had HDMI Version 1.1!

The Warriors: Director's Cut, and The Dark Knight on Blu-ray look particularly impressive. The pristine remastered transfer for the Warriors shines here, and the dark scenes of er, the Dark Knight, are no longer dark at all. The thrilling set piece with the Batpod and the Joker are rendered with such breathtaking conviction and clarity, it's actually arguable that watching this was an even more enjoyable experience than when I saw the film on the IMAX a year ago. And yes, the Panny IS that good!

PS3 gaming is also a refreshingly involving experince. Since this is a plasma, there is very little if no input lag compared to even the very best LCD's out there, with it noticebly quicker than my Tosh. COD : WAW and COD 4 are now lag free murderous rampages, and because of the 30:000:1 contrast ratio and zero backlight, dark levels like Makin on WAW, reveal even more details in the picture that my LCD never picked up. Brilliant!

Where the Panny falls slightly short of my Tosh however is the tv's in built upscaler for Freeview. PQ is decidedly soft, and you may have to bump the sharpness a couple of notches. If you already have Freesat or Sky HD this isn't really a problem, since you're viewing material that is 1080i anyway, but upscaling picture quality plugged directly to the aerial could be better. I may decide to purchase a separate freeview tuner preferbly with a harddrive and HDMI out to 1080p to solve this problem.

Other than that, this TV ticks all the important boxes with Blu-ray movies, DVD (particularly good remastered films) and PS 3 gaming. I have yet to play my XBox 360 on it, but I have no doubts that will be brilliant too. Forget LCD until they fully sort out the technology, plasma is still superior for overall picture quality! BUY AND ENJOY!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sublime Picture Quality!!!, 12 Jan 2009
This review is from: Panasonic TH-42PZ85B - 42" Widescreen 1080p Full HD Plasma TV - With Freeview, Viera Link & SD Card slot (Electronics)
I bought this 42" PZ85 (over the PZ80/81) set last week with the recent Panasonic BD35 blu-ray player and a QED SR Reference HDMI cable - WOW...totally impressed. The picture quality is razor sharp, the black levels are on par with my brothers 50" HD Pioneer plasma (very deep indeed), and the colour range is simply superb. LCD Vs Plasma? You just can't beat a decent plasma for overall picture performance...that simple. I like how the blu-ray player upscales standard DVD discs, improving the picture sharpness and depth of colours (almost like watching a blu-ray from distance). Having looked at the Sony PS3 BD player in atleast two store demos, the picture looked quite grainy, and it seemed to over cook the colours, especially in the reds. I am looking forward to trying some recent blu-ray movies soon. All in all, this is a a great screen and definately the more affordable high-end solution to a Pioneer Kuro, as both units at HD 1080p perform with splitting hair differences to be honest. A side by side demo should say it all. Also, a high grade HDMI cable makes all the difference in PQ terms, not always the panel. Once you get past a certain level of spec, it's down to the overall chain.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The one to watch!, 9 Jan 2009
This review is from: Panasonic TH-42PZ85B - 42" Widescreen 1080p Full HD Plasma TV - With Freeview, Viera Link & SD Card slot (Electronics)
I purchased this TV last year and it is absolutey amazing. The screen images are clear cut with out any distortion. It handles fast moving films and sport without ghosting or staggering images. The quality of the freeview is also excellent which considering i could barely get terrestrial images on my old telly it provides a third option when recording two sky plus channels. Installation was simple as the TV does everything for you, barr the security inputting and regularly alerts you to extra satallite channels found which it will automatically update at the touch of a button in seconds. I am so pleased i chose the panasonic TH42PZ85B and any myths i heard about plasma have been dispelled. The only advice I would give is shop around as there is a huge margin in what you can pay for this TV, but what ever you spend it is worth every penny.
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