Panasonic VIERA G10 Series TC-P42G10 42-Inch 1080p Plasma HDTV

  • 42-inch plasma flatscreen HDTV with full 1080p HD resolution
  • Enjoy online content like Amazon Video On Demand, YouTube videos, Picasa Web Albums, stock information, weather
  • Share your digital photos and AVCHD camcorder videos on the big screen using VIERA Image Viewer
  • Three HDMI inputs and a wealth of additional connectivity options
  • THX-certified for faithful movie image reproduction
Product Description
42″ Plasma, 1080p, THX, Viera Cast, H.264, IP Camera Ready, PC Input, NEO PDP Panel which is brighter, Full-time 1080p TV lines of moving picture resolution, 3 HDMI, Native contrast ratio 40,000:1, Dynamic contrast infinite black 2,000,000:1, Game Mode, Anti Reflective Filter, 600 Hz Subfield Drive… More >>


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5 Responses to “Panasonic VIERA G10 Series TC-P42G10 42-Inch 1080p Plasma HDTV”

  1. Feng Zhou says:

    This is based on my experience with the TC-P50G10, which is identical to P42 but with a larger screen. I bought it three weeks ago, and am very happy with it. I did a lot of research and tried out a number of TVs before settling down on this one, so I thought I would share some of the information and my experience with the TV, and hopefully make your decision in choosing the TV a bit easier.

    First thing first. According to my research, the Panasonic G10 probably has the best picture quality among all TVs in mass production as of the time of this review (May, 2009). Most importantly it has pitch dark black level, scorching brightness, high color accuracy, and good motion processing.

    I chose the Panasonic plasma over Sony and Samsung LCD for a few reasons. (1) Compared to 120Hz LCDs, Panasonic is significantly cheaper than Sony and Samsung. (2) I think the G10 is better in handling motion than the 120HZ LCDs. (3) The colors on the plasma are more appealing to me than those on the LCDs. (4) It has superior viewing angle. It looks perfect from any angle you will actually watch the TV without washing out the color, prserving the quality of the color.

    The third point on color appeal is subjective and calls for description of subjective experience. There are lots of technical comparison of the colors on different displays on the internet, but my perceptual experience is that the colors on the panasonic plasma is very vibrant, punchy, tantalizing, and mesmerizing. The colors look like things in real life, but they are more intense than real life. A friend said “it’s prettier than real, but not distorted. It is just like an enhanced colorful world.” If you prefer high fedelity to real life colors, you can use the THX mode to tune it down to be very faithful to studio color measures. LCD in comparison is also very vibrant, but it doesn’t look as realistic. It’s more like computer graphics and less like colors of living things. Technically, this may have to do with the deeper black level on the plasma than the LCD.

    Before the G10, I had the Panasonic Viera TH-46PZ80U 46-Inch 1080p Plasma HDTV. Both TVs have very appealing colors, but I returned the PZ80U and got the G10 because the G10 has a number of important improvements over the PZ80U: it has a brighter plasma display, has a VGA PC input, lower energy consumption, and more accurate color. Also, its frame is more compact, so I can fit a 50″ G10 into the space that would only hold a 46″ PZ80U. In fact, the G10 is brighter and more contrasty than last year’s top model Panasonic TH-50PZ850U 50-inch Viera 1080p Plasma HDTV.

    What else do I like about the TV? It is very bright for a Plasam TV. According to tech specs and online reviews, it is the bightest plasma ever made. In Custom Mode, it is more than bright enough to watch in my room with direct sun light (sun light in the room not on the TV). In Vivid Mode, “you should prepare to put on your ski googles”. In fact, it’s too bright and overly constrasty and saturated for regular viewing. However, it is quite useful in displaying low resolution and low quality online video such as YouTube or Netflix Instant Watch. The extra boost in brightness, contrast, and saturation make the low quality online video look much more appealing and lively.

    VieraCast is kinda cool. Not a deal maker but certainly not a drawback. I used third party firmware DD-WRT to set up a Linksys WRT54G2 Wireless-G Broadband Router as a wireless bridge. So the TV can get online without running a cable to my main router.

    I find this TV fits my needs perfectly. But no TV is perfect, at least not for the technically savvy.

    So here are the cons:

    (1) The sound is mediocre. It is fine to watch a TV show, but lackluster to watch a good movie or music show.

    (1.2) True Cinema 24-frame mode flickering is perceptually disturbing because the refresh rate is set to 48 Hz in the mode. It is a pitty because motion does look much more life like and less video like in True-Cinema mode. Wish the TV could run at 72 Hz.

    (2) My PC only has VGA out but no DVI out. (This point does not matter for those with DVI out on their computers. A DVI to VGA cable will work fine) The VGA input on this TV does not support 1080 HD. It only supports up to 1280×768. Panny should not cut corner here. Although this problem doesn’t really matter for video contents because most computer video resolution is less than 1280×768. And the pixel interpolation effect on the Plasma is more like a CRT and less like an LCD. So the set is reasonably good at displaying contents with resolution lower than its native res.

    (3) VieraCast needs improvement. The content is still limited. The search function of Youtube on VieraCast is not as easy to use as on a computer. The Amazon video on demand price is way too high (but this is not really Panny’s problem). I would kill for a firmware upgrade that enables Netflix streaming.

    (4) The remote is not as well laid out as the one on PZ80. The 3 big buttons above the directional keys are occupied by the rarely used VieraLink, VieraCast and VieraTool. The commonly used Menu key is moved to a small key. Totally wrong choice of ergonomics.

    (5) VGA PC input is paired with RCA audio input. I wish it is a 3.5mm (1/8 “) mini jack instead, which will allow a single cable cable integrating VGA video and mini jack audio. Now I have to use two cables.

    (6) The stand does not swivel.

    Regardless of the above drawbacks, overall I find this TV to have the best picture quality and price combination. The pros by far outweigh the cons. The picture quality of this TV is truly amazing, as such some calls it “The New King of Plasma.” Anyone seriously considering an HDTV should take a look at this one, now that the Pioneer Kuro exited the market.

    I highly recommend it.
    Rating: 5 / 5

  2. A. Lea says:

    I have just received my new 42 inch G10 in the mail, and I must say, I am very pleased. I researched the living crap out of this set, so my expectations were pretty high. Upon opening the box my first impression was that the overall look of the TV is amazing. Just a solid design, without a whole lot of extraneous stuff. After removing all the stickers it really looks nice in my living room. Also pleased to notice the only light on this TV is a very small dim red light when it is on (I can’t stand bright lights on my electronics).

    Once I turned it on and started messing around with the settings, I was pleased at how smooth, and natural all the menus are. Very easy to understand, but there is plenty of advanced control for the more hightech custy. Personally I like to tweak my settings, and the Panasonic remembers each input and preset, so its pretty painless. I found THX to have the most accurate colors, although I did tweak the settings a bit for a little more light. Custom allows you to get a very decent preset for TV viewing or daytime viewing in my case. Some say you can actually achieve a better picture through custom than through THX, but in my opinion THX was very good looking when watching a DVD.

    Most noteworthy are the blacks. Simply stunning. I haven’t seen anything quite like it. I usually say Film is the best viewing experience, and I still do, but these Plasmas really put off that soft color that is very easy on the eyes (unlike LCDs). So far I haven’t seen any noise, or jaggies which is good. While gaming I noticed a slight (very slight) yellowish trail when following a white dot across a black screen. This is pretty minimal, but its there. However scrolling text showing no trailing.

    24P doesn’t work as well as it could, which is to me the biggest draw back. There is flicker, causing it to be pretty much unwatchable unless you pump up the refresh rate.

    This is a stunning television, that I hope will last for many years to come. Anyone considering it, should feel comfortable knowing that it really lives up to the hype. Check out the Cnet review for yourself. They have all the geeky details. But from a common customer (although I work in the video field), I can honestly say this TV is top of the line. Probably one of the best Plasmas out there.

    *Update – It seems my set died today! It turned off, and the power light started to blink 5 times. I contacted Panasonic Concierge, and they are sending a technician out to my house. Luckily I was within a week of my warranty expiring! Very lucky! Be advised, it seems about 2-3% of Panasonic Plasma TVs may have this same problem (google: panasonic plasma blinking light of death). I will update once I get it fixed. Panasonic responded very well so far, and it seems I will not be paying anything out of pocket for the repairs. I will say Panasonic has a good track record with these sort of things, and its not uncommon for electronics to malfunction. The most important thing is how well they respond. So far so good. I recommend getting an extended warranty from Mack.
    Rating: 5 / 5

  3. TeamReveal says:

    Over the past month people have been discovering that their 2008 and 2009 Panasonic televisions are no longer performing how they were meant to perform. One of the major reasons why the Panasonic plasmas are (actually now “were”) considered so fantastic is because they had excellent black levels, meaning the blacks look really black.

    Well that’s no longer the case because after a few hundred hours the black levels double and triple to a point where even a mid-range LCD beats it. Panasonic issued a statement that they knew the issue existed and that they were investigating it. Well today they issued a statement that the issue has been reviewed and that there will be NO FIX.

    Now to be fair, black levels do rise slightly over time, but they do not double and triple. In fact the Panasonic Plasmas from 2007 do not have this problem. To further prove this, a 2007 Panasonic Plasma after a couple thousand hours of use has BETTER blacks than a 2009 Panasonic Plasma after a couple thousand hours of use.

    When Panasonic was asked about this, they said they were constantly “updating” their products. That’s good, but basically they are doing a bait and switch on you. They brought down the black levels so they could sell you the television and hope that you don’t realize that their newer sets will look worse than their older sets after less than a year of use.

    The 2009 Panasonic sets look fantastic till this happens, but once it happens they look worse than 2007 models.

    As a side note, the THX on these sets came broken for over half a year. The newer sets have the firmware that corrects the color decoding issues, but if your set doesn’t have firmware 1.28A then you have to call Panasonic to have them send someone to your house to update the firmware. Panasonic won’t deny you the repair but they sure will try and keep it a secret because they have to pay for the technician to come to your home.

    At this point, you’re going to see a lot of review cites like [...] mention this issue because it is a serious quality issue. Currently [...] is conducting its own study with the sets it has in house. It’ll be about two months before they get done because they have to let the television set run for several hundred hours in order to take measurements.

    Please note that this isn’t an issue you’ll see when you buy the television, it’ll be something that comes up later in its life, possibly after the 1 year warranty is up.
    Rating: 1 / 5

  4. I’ve been researching HDTVs for the past couple of years, and I finally took the plunge when I found a great deal on a 42″ Westinghouse LCD back in May. I thought it was a great set… for about 2 weeks. The color would shift noticeably when you moved more than 30 degrees off center. Then the digital tuner started to go.

    Since then I’ve been through 3 more LCDs and one Plasma before I decided that the Panasonic G10 was the way to go. My problem with the LCDs is I am just not happy with the off-angle shift in the black level. When you’re sitting head on, LCDs can look great, but as soon as you move off center, you can see the black is not consistent across the screen. This is especially apparent when you are watching a movie with the black bars across the top and bottom. Plasmas are not subject to this issue and plasmas have deeper blacks. This makes a HUGE difference (to me) when watching movies.

    The other plasma I had was the Panasonic 42px14 ([...]). I returned it, however, as it had a few issues that kept it from being great (overscan, slow channel editing, etc), and I wanted a 1080p set.

    The G10 was a great fit, because I needed a 42″ or 46″ set and the 1080p as well as the great review on CNET. I bought the G10 through the Amazon Warehouse Deals, and got a screaming good deal (saved about $200) and got a better deal than the S1 (the set just below the G10). The only downside I can see to taking this route is that since I purchased the set, the prices have risen significantly (almost by $200) through the same Amazon Warehouse Deals. I guess you just need to be patient and wait for them to drop again. I don’t feel like the prices should fluctuate that wildly. It just feels too opportunistic. Yeah, yeah, I’m well aware of supply and demand, but at some point it just becomes an excuse to abuse trust.

    But that has nothing to do with the quality of this set. And back to that point, I am extremely satisfied with this tv set. The image really looks sharp and even standard definition is watchable. People complain about the speakers on all flat panel tvs, but I’ve found these ones to work great for casual viewing. Just nudge up the bass to about +5.

    My recommended settings are going to be in more of a range, since this completely depends on your viewing environment. But here’s what I think looks great.

    Use Custom setting

    Drop the Contrast to somewhere between 55 and 65.

    Raise Brightness up to between 56 and 64. Really, just raise it until you notice the black level start to lighten up, then drop it back a notch or two.

    Drop the Color back to about 40-46.

    Reduce Tint to about -5.

    I just left Sharpness as is (75, since I don’t see any bothersome artifacts on the screen).

    Everything else I pretty much left at default.

    Ok, what else do you need to know?

    Burn-in / Image retention? Not an issue with these sets. Temporary Image Retention can happen, but it’s easy to remove, and if you keep the contrast where I mentioned (lower than 75 at least), it shouldn’t really ever be an issue. I’ve never seen it in the 2+ weeks I’ve had this set.

    Plasma Gases Leaking? Come on, you aren’t really going to buy into that myth are you? Nothing but urban legend junk, guaranteed… even if you do claim you have a friend who had to get his plasma set recharged (psst… you’re friend got taken).

    High Energy Usage? If you tame the contrast to around where I’ve mentioned above, you’ll see energy usage that is very similar, if only a tiny bit higher than the same size LCDs. Seriously, we’re only talking a difference of maybe a couple bucks a month (at most) in energy costs.

    So… if you’re still on the fence, then get off it! Prolonged fence sitting is going to hurt your posterior and make it hard to walk straight.
    Rating: 5 / 5

  5. L. Stanford says:

    This TV is simply wonderful. I can’t imagine a better TV for the price. I replaced a CRT HDTV with this, and this TV beats it in every single way. Simply can’t compare this to LCD’s in the same price range. To get similar quality on an LCD you’re going to spend almost twice as much.

    I watch cable TV, DVD, Blu-Ray, and play PS3 games. All look amazing.

    The only very small complaint I have is that the TV can be a little dim if I watch it during the brightest part of the day. My condo is very bright (skylights) so it’s probably more the fault of my place rather than the TV.
    Rating: 5 / 5

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