The picture quality is fine on HD channels. SD channels do not look very good - I realise this is the broadcast signal, but I thought the viewing experience on SD channels worse than the 32" plasma this screen was intended to replace.
I could not accept the lag on audio output when viewing HD channels. I have read many posts about issues with ITV, but I experienced problems with the audio being late watching BBC1 HD - channel 50. Panasonic national help line were no use, denied this is a known issue, and referred me to the local Panasonic repair centre. The local centre explained I would be liable for a callout fee if there was not a 'fault' identified. So, I borrowed a 2nd TV and freeview HD box and set things up side by side using an aerial splitter: the images on both screens looked in sync, but the audio out of the Viera (internal speakers or via the digital output) lagged that from the other freeview box significantly. Muting the Viera - so audio from the other TV - lip sync no issue watching either screen: muting the other box with audio from the Viera - lip sync gone: having audio from the Viera and the other TV - hear a clear echo due to lagged audio from Viera.
I visited a Panasonic shop selling this model: the lip sync was awful there too. The salesman tried to explain this was due to using a home cinema audio system (as if that makes it OK) and instead let me listen to the audio from the TV's speakers. To my eye/ear the same issue persisted.
I am disgusted with Panasonic since I don't believe this is a one-off.
So I am returning this set. I will try an alternative (plasma as it happens) model - forced to stick with Panasonic since no other maker appears to be making budget screens with freeview HD tuners at 42". If that has similar issues it too will go back, and I will purchase a separate HD Freeview box (same as the one I borrowed that worked) and a screen that claims to be 'HD ready' but which does not include a freeview HD tuner.
Full marks to Amazon for their returns policy: I hope they can pass the cost back to Panasonic!