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64 of 67 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great!
Bought this Panasonic TX-P42ST50B (the 42" version) as a replacement for my six year old Panasonic 32" LCD which I've now moved to a new location. Always tend to stick to brands that I am familiar with, and as a bit of a Panasonic fan, had been waiting for their 2012 models and delighted with the new, much smaller "Samsung-esque" thin edges and crystal frame...
Published on 19 May 2012 by N Potter

versus
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars UPDATED: Image Burn has developed leading to it being returned
UPDATE: Unfortunately, after about 10 months, despite the features to prevent it being turned on, the set developed a severe image burn problem with various channel logos becoming persistent and easily visible on lighter backgrounds. Cannot fault Amazon though, immediately agreed to collect it and provide a full refund - I have since replaced it with the TX-L47ET60B LED...
Published 22 months ago by J Chapman


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64 of 67 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great!, 19 May 2012
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Bought this Panasonic TX-P42ST50B (the 42" version) as a replacement for my six year old Panasonic 32" LCD which I've now moved to a new location. Always tend to stick to brands that I am familiar with, and as a bit of a Panasonic fan, had been waiting for their 2012 models and delighted with the new, much smaller "Samsung-esque" thin edges and crystal frame.

This is my first Plasma TV and have to say I am very happy. I spent a while researching and reading reviews and opinions online before I committed to this one. Winning several "Best Buy" or "Recommendation" awards from Tech Sites swayed me somewhat! (I was also considering the TX-L42DT50B LED, but the fact that was almost £500 more expensive than this one, I made the jump to Plasma).

Ordered on Wednesday afternoon at 3pm and Amazon delivered the following morning at 8am via City Link, so whilst I've only had it a few days, I am still finding my feet and still twiddling with settings and so on (and expect I'll continue to tweak it for a little while yet).

First impressions; Screen uniformity is very good, I have not noticed any splodges, smudging, blobs, banding or anything unusual. Watching Freeview HD is very good indeed providing a much better picture than their SD counterparts. That said, SD upconversion is far far better than on my previous LCD and more than acceptable. Obviously will never be as good as a dedicated HD source, but it's still good! Nice to see that Panasonic have listened to gripes regarding their intrusive use of Advertising on the Freeview TV Guide, and they have now been sent to the bin and no longer plague the set! (Hooray!) so can see more of the actual guide on screen. Still no Thumbnail of the channel you are on in the corner though, which would have been nice, but still, maybe next year, or maybe with a software update that will eventually arrive.

Sound. Has a couple of different sound modes built in, so whilst true cinema addicts and audiophiles will want to plug in a dedicated AV or Home Cinema Receiver with speakers, it's still adequate and does a decent job of providing good levels of audio, which will be perfectly fine for a lot of people. I've got it connected to an Onkyo HTS-4505 Home Cinema via Viera Link.

Viera Connect/Cast. Nice to see a built in WiFi (and a wired LAN as well if you prefer), so no need to buy separate cumbersome dongles or bridges, works straight out the box and simple to set up. BBCi Player, in HD mode is absolutely gorgeous. Never seen BBCi Player look so good! (I used to connect my laptop to the old LCD via a HDMI lead as a "2nd Screen" and watch it on the screen that way, but this blows it out the water, looks great). Be good to see ITV Player, 4/5 On Demand or even Sky Go appear at some point. As I subscribe to LoveFilm, disappointed that Panasonic still haven't (yet) provided access to LoveFilm via their service, instead partnering with NetFlix and AceTrax. Again, maybe this will arrive in the future, I hope so anyway! I guess most of the apps on there won't be used by most people, but things like BBC iPlayer, BBC News, Facebook and Twitter will be the apps most will get some time from.

If you have an IOS (Apple iPad/iPod Touch/iPhone) or Android device, you can download the Panasonic Viera Remote App from the relevant store to act as a remote control - particularly handy for the Keyboard as using the normal TV Remote is clunky and a time consuming pain in the derrière! Makes it much easier!

Hooking up my Sky+HD receiver, brings the TV to life. Watching parts of Transformers Dark Side of the Moon, Super 8 and Alice in Wonderland just look absolutely gorgeous, crisp, colourful and the black levels are spot on, no light greys or trails on fast panning or action, smooth, perfect frankly!

3D - Only got a set of 3D glasses this morning, so haven't really tested out that aspect of things, but Soccer AM on Sky3D looked pretty good! And Panasonic have a Showcase of 3D videos in their Viera Connect service and took the guided tour of the British Museum in London not long ago and that was very good! Sure there's some tweaks I can make to settings to make it even better, but my first impression of 3D is good. Haven't got any 3D Blu-Rays (as don't have a 3D player yet) so can't test any of that out.

Blu-Ray Movies. Had a bit of a play around with that and played the new version of "The Thing" in both normal mode and turning on the 24p Output option (which seemed to be much smoother and crisper). I don't really understand what the difference is with 24p output and normal 60hz, so will have to do a bit more research on that before I can decide what's best! But Blu-Rays either way look better than they have ever done.

External USB .. Downloaded some MKV content and popped that onto a USB stick and into the slot on the side of the set. Recognised I'd plugged it in and played it with no problem at all and looks far better on the big screen than it does on my 17" laptop!

Overall, I am delighted with it at the moment and would recommend it to anyone thinking about buying it!
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43 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Quality TV!, 1 July 2012
By 
M. J. Stackhouse (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I've had the Panasonic TX-32LXD70 for years now, and have never had a problem with it, and so when it came to choosing a new TV, Panasonic was definitely at the top of the list. I spent weeks going through reviews and specs, but finally I found this little gem, the new for 2012 TX-P42ST50B.

I wanted a TV that would have accurate colour reproduction, no motion blur, and no input lag when playing games. All the other TV's at this price point fail slightly on one of those key points. The Samsung LEDs for instance, while gorgeously thin with an almost non-existent bezel, have higher motion blur than I would have tolerated when playing games. Other TV's always seemed to have problems with colour accuracy, over-saturating colours, or washed out black levels. This panel has none of these issues.

Out of the box, there's very little tweaking you need to do to get an excellent picture. Here are my quick recommendations:

- Switch the Viewing Mode to "True Cinema", this mode doesn't fiddle with the colours too much, so things look more natural
- Switch "CATS" off - this setting dynamically turns the brightness up and down depending on the ambient light, but can get irritating quite quickly!
- Switch "Vivid Colour" and "P-NR" off. While these help make things like cartoons look bright and vibrant in shops, they actually remove a little detail from the image.

And under the advanced settings menu, switch "Intelligent Frame Creation" off. While this is supposed to make motion in video seem smoother by dynamically inserting extra frames, I actually found it seemed to make fast motion 'judder' on occasion, so I've switched it off. The panel is more than good enough to keep up with the fastest motion without this on anyway, it's a plasma people!

If you connect a PC to this TV, you will also definitely want to switch "16:9 Overscan" off. 16:9 videos don't always fit TV panels 100% perfectly, so this option enlarges the image slightly, so there aren't a few black pixels down the sides (on the rare occurrences that this this happens). The downside is that when you connect a PC with this option on, the desktop looks zoomed-in slightly, with an inch or so missing around the screen. Leaving this off makes the desktop fit perfectly, and normal videos should be ever so slightly sharper as they're not being enlarged.

There are plenty of other settings you can adjust to get the colours just how you want them, but with the above altered, I didn't find the need to alter much else.

Anyway, back to the TV. One pleasant surprise was an option to plug in an external USB hard disk, which can then be used to pause/rewind live TV, as well as recording normally (the HD freeview TV channels record perfectly onto an old laptop hard disk plugged in around the back - very handy!).

The built-in speakers are pretty decent for a TV this thickness, and better than our old TV's, but we only used them for around 30 minutes before hooking up the optical out to the Onkyo amp underneath (the SPDIF output from the TV is slightly quieter than every other digital input we've got going into the amp, which is very odd considering I always thought these things should be the same 'level', but having to turn up the volume a little more when watching TV is a minor quibble).

The TV itself looks very stylish, with a thin dark 'gunmetal' grey surround. Size wise the unit itself doesn't seem much bigger than our old 32-inch TV, so it doesn't dominate the room (but the picture is obviously much larger!).

The panel is covered with glass, but don't let that worry you if you're coming from a matt panel, Panasonic have apparently covered it it with some magic to help reduce reflections (and ambient light making it look dull like with older plasmas), and it seems to work well.

I haven't tried the 3D features yet, but it's worth noting that you don't necessarily need the expensive Panasonic branded glasses - these Samsung ones apparently work exactly the same, and are cheaper/more comfortable:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B007ITXYM2/

So to sum up, a TV with excellent picture quality, stylish design, and good build quality - highly recommended!
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49 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One word....Awesome!, 3 Jun 2012
By 
Papillon - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
I'd been waiting to upgrade my 4:3 tellie for years. I knew I wanted plasma, it's not plagued by any of the motion artefacts typical of LCD panels and since image retention is a thing of the past the only consideration was size. After reading many, many reviews I decided this was the one for me. I was a little worried by the amount of direct light entering the room, as LCD panels are better equipped to deal with high levels of ambient light without washing out. The screen on this plasma has an anti-reflective coating which as one reviewer put it "works wonders" so I finally made the plunge.

As soon as it was out the box it was obvious the anti-reflective coating was a good as the reviewer had suggested. With strong direct sunlight hitting the screen I didn't notice any loss of colour saturation or vibrancy. There are four viewing modes, dynamic is very bright and saturated, normal is great for viewing during daylight if you have a preference for more natural tones and colour, true cinema is more muted so perfect at night in a room with the lighting dimmed or if you like it brighter then the cinema mode is also well suited for evening viewing, but too bright and saturated for my taste.

I knew this plasma was thinner, lighter (and more energy efficient) than last years model but didn't appreciate just how easily it would fit into the corner of a smallish room. I wondered whether the size of the screen would be overwhelming after staring at a 27 inch for the last decade and was amazed how quickly we all adjusted to the size! In this case bigger is very much better. You put a jumbo TV screen in the lounge and actually get more space and less visual clutter-what's not to like? And it's easy to move around and light enough to pick up, my partner set it up on his own.

It's very stylish, especially plonked on top of a black piano glass Alphason oval shaped corner unit Alphason AR980/3BLK Plasma/LCD Stand and has dragged the lounge decor into the 21st century. The thin bezel and sleek stand are very unobtrusive when viewing the screen unlike the chunky silver box housing our old set. It's a much more immersive viewing experience.

If you don't want to mount the unit on the wall then I can recommend the excellent range of Alphason products available on Amazon Marketplace. There's always a selection of discontinued products discounted by as much as 70%. The quality of the unit I received was impressive, it looks great, was easily assembled and you're supporting a British company. Please refer to my review for further info.

Screen uniformity is very good and the default settings are terrific straight out of the box. We haven't fiddled with it much at all apart from flicking through the various viewing modes. We're really happy with the sound quality, which we had assumed would be better in the cathode ray. It's better on this set, good enough for us to dispense with the idea of upgrading to a separate audio system.

Colours are rich, natural and well saturated. You can alter the vibrancy but I like it on default. Perhaps in a bigger room it would be more relevant but seated about 7-8 foot from the screen it's bright and colourful enough for us. Viewing angle is said to be irrelevant in a plasma, another reason I opted out of an LCD panel and I can confirm there are no problems when viewing from an extreme angle.

The built in freeview is excellent. It worked straight out of the box plugged into the decades old loft aerial. I'd assumed it wouldn't work as we'd already tried an external freeview box with the old set unsuccessfully. We have a freesat Humax box, freesat gives us much better coverage in our area and we love the built in hard drive, no issues with this either. Having never had an HDTV before we were immediate converts, this set may do an excellent job of upscaling SD broadcasts but it can't compare with the crispness and clarity of an HD broadcast. We've spent years lusting over the big screens in places like Curry's, John Lewis and Sony and this picture is very good, as good as anything I've seen elsewhere. You could upgrade to one of the higher end Panasonic plasmas (the GT and VT models) but as one review website pointed out, this entry level set is so good Panasonic may have done a great job of fending off the competition but created a rival for their own high end VT model in the ST. Unless you're very fussy I can't imagine a rationale for the added expense of a VT model.

The set doesn't come with an HDMI cable, we bought the PureAV silver series cables from Amazon Marketplace Belkin HDMI To HDMI Cable - 4 Feet (see my review) and are very happy with the results for a £12 investment! These discontinued cables, now heavily discounted are very good quality at £6 each.

The set is WiFi enabled allowing you to connect to BBC iPlayer-you will be stunned at just how smooth and seamless the playback is. I was only using the SD mode due to limitations on my broadband account and it was very good. Disappointingly no service with Lovefilm as yet but for that I'd have to upgrade my broadband subscription!

We haven't ordered 3D glasses, they don't come with this set and at the moment we're happily absorbed with our HD broadcasts. It's great to have the option, which I'm sure we will explore at a later date.

We've watched DVD's through the blu-ray, they look great but it's a bit like watching SD when you compare it to blu-ray discs. We used to look forward to DVD's on the old telly as a step up from SD but blu-ray makes the most of this TV's capabilities. If you're thinking of buying this set then you really want a blu-ray player to go with it. I'd recommend pairing the set with a Panasonic blu-ray Panasonic DMP-BDT220EB Smart Network 3D Blu-ray Player - Black (New for 2012) for ease as it allows you to use the TV remote to play and pause and the blu-ray remote has useful and limited functionality for the TV (volume, AV input selector and power on and off).

The five year guarantee you may have seen advertised is not available via Amazon. It's an in store offer, which only applies to independent retailers who for the most part charge much more for the set. For a list of retailers you can visit the Panasonic website.

For an excellent review of this television I recommend the HDTVreview website, it will provide you with all the technical details you could possibly require to make an informed decision about your purchase. We couldn't be happier with our set!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally...!, 27 Sep 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I have read more tv reviews & forums than most people wouldn't dream of. I've been after a new tv for a number of years and I've never pulled the trigger due to hoping next year would fix the banding, motion, 24p playback and green splurges. This year after reading raving reviews of this tv which hit very dark black levels, good 3D performance albeit still not perfect, and also the affordability of it makes this tv a perfect buy for visual enthusiasts who just don't have the coin to buy a flagship model.

I have watched a number of blu rays and all of them looked razor sharp! Trying the Xbox on it for the first time I now refuse to play dead space on it as its so clear & dark I actually everything in the game now the way it should be.

You won't fall wrong with this tv; my advice buy it, then after 100hours get it professionally calibrated, it will make sure your getting the full out of this set.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best picture you can get for the money, 9 July 2012
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This TV has the advantage of having a very good picture with just the out of the box settings alone - you will not have to spend hours fiddling trying to get it right. I have tried other brands such as Samsung and their sets have presets which, in my opinion, are nowhere near as useful and accurate as this screen's.

Black levels are extremely good and gives the picture a realistic and natural look that LED screens just can't match. Yes they look brighter and more vibrant on first look but in a home environment you realise that, if you want quality and decent motion handling, plasma is the way to go. This TV makes even SD pictures look good but play a bluray on it and it's stunning.

The ONLY thing I don't like about it is that I'll have to watch all my blurays and DVDs again because this TV makes them look so much better....and that will take ages!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Super TV!, 29 Jun 2012
By 
N Martin - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I had previously purchased a Panasonic Viera TX-P42GT30B for my parents last year and was very impressed with that model.

This years offering is in my opinion better, and although this is not the GT model it has many more features than one would expect. Note the price difference of the ST and GT models at the time of writing is approx £350-400.

The picture is amazing right from the default 'Normal' viewing mode. Blacks as black as any black hole, and superb colour reproduction. Brightness is immense but not over powering and the CATS system adjusts the picture luminosity in relation to the external lighting level.

On the menu side there are more options to tweak viewing preferences than last years GT model with the only dissapointment being the lack of 'THX' mode.

For game playing the response and refresh is extremely fast, and I have not noticed any lag with either PS3 or Xbox 360.

The sound from the built-in speakers is surprisingly good considering how thin the set is, and more than adequately fills an average UK family living room. As always though, if you prefer deep midtones and bass you would need a seperate amp and speakers.

The onboard WiFi works very well, and I was able to connect to my local network very easily. I have not yet tried the apps available, streaming video from a media server works well though as does playing video from USB.

This is a super TV and I am very happy with my purchase.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great picture, no advanced features, 6 Mar 2013
By 
Moore Paul Patrick "ppmoore" (Antwerpen Belgium) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I bought this as a replacement for my ageing CRT. It is my first flat-screen HD TV. I spent weeks walking around the shops testing the various brands and technologies. After a while the difference between the LCD and Plasma technologies became easy to spot: in general LCD screens are brighter with a blueish tint, while Plasma screen have more natural tones and deeper blacks.

I'm very happy with my purchase, simply because of the picture quality. I knew in advance that Panasonic's "Smart TV" apps lag behind Samsung's, but this wasn't a deal-breaker for me.

Two things to be aware of:

- Panasonic still don't appear to have realised that consumer audio-visual products are computers, controlled by software that needs regular updates. As far as I know, Panasonic have not released any updates for this TV, certainly not since I bought mine in December 2012.

- Panasonic's DLNA support is basic. DLNA is a software protocol that allows modern TVs to display media stored on remote computers or hard disks. DLNA is supported to the extent that movies and music can be played, but its DLNA implementation ignores subtitles files in the popular SRT format, when they are available in the same directory as the movie being played. Both Samsung and LG, but not Panasonic, support the Plex Media DLNA server, that also supports subtitles.

I was aware of Panasonic's shortcomings regarding software updates when I bought the TV, and is the reason I no longer buy Panasonic products. However, I made an exception in this case, simply because of the superb picture.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing television, 11 July 2012
By 
Mr. AP ROWLEY (Manchester) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Cannot add much more than has already been said about this TV.
The best picture you can get for this price, so easy to use, rock solid performance, if anything the more its used the better it is becoming picture wise.
Wireless a doddle, super BBC HD Iplayer, Plays all my USB films

Blue Ray amazing picture, agree about watching all those films again.

Recommended

Just wish Panasonic would make their 24inch sets with the same wireless LAN and have the same menu structure
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Takes television to the next level!, 27 Jun 2012
By 
Radio 4eva (Leicestershire, UK) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a highly impresive television. I'll say from the outset that it has replaced an 11 year old flat screen CRT TV so there was always going to be a major improvement, but the TX-P42ST50B has considerably exceeded my expectations.

With a HD signal (via Sky) the picture is clear and vibrant. Blacks are inky and deep providing depth and contrast. Detail is immaculate with motion captured smoothly. SD signals look better than you would expect - quite watchable.

With BlueRays the image quality improves further and provides for particularly excellent 3D images.

The internet connectivity works well through the built in wifi and even with a fairly modest broadband connection provides HD content through the BBC iplayer and surpisingly good quality through youtube.

As you would expect with such a thin TV, sound quality is good, but does not pack a huge punch in the lower frequencies. Home cinema buffs would want to use a home cinema system with this.

The TV looks impressive and the rolled silver edges (which you cannot see very well in the images used on amazon) look classy and reduce the visual impact of the TV - much less intrusive than earlier generations of plasma and LCD TVs.

Very Highly Recommended!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic TV, 18 Sep 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
For the GT model (See below): Feature packed, smooth and fast at accessing online content. Easy to set up and connect with various devices and to the internet. The picture quality is incredible although did require fine tuning through the display settings to get it just right but is worth the effort for crisp clean images and breath taking HD. A truly amazing TV.

The company supplying the ST model phoned to explain their last one had received water damage whilst in the warehouse so they offered an upgrade to the GT model at no extra cost or a full refund. I of course opted for the GT model. Their customer service was excellent throughout and the TV was delivered two days after ordering as planned after paying for express delivery. Compliments to them for being honest about the faulty TV and phoning ahead to offer a solution. Highly recommended.
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