"Almost Perfect..."on by Jerry A
Pros Amazing picture quality and both utilitarian & stylish
Cons Cannot adjust aspect in hd mode
Summary I waited to get all of the "kinks" out of my setup before writing a review. One of the things that prevented me from giving this tv a 10 was that one of the two inputs was defective. It would not pick up the signal from the red component cable (Pr), so the picture was a white out. This TV comes with 2 slots for input boards, and you can change them for different input types. It comes with a component board and another one with s-video & audio. To be sure it wasn't the board, I switched the component video baurd into the other slot, and everything worked just fine. Being that I have an AV receiver with component video switching, upconversion, etc., I only needed one input working, but after paying $2G's for a new TV, i wanteed to get everything working right. The vendor (buy.com) does not provide service, so I went to Panasonic. It was pretty frustrating to find the right person, but once I did, he took execellent care of the problem. As an "industrial" model, I had to bring the TV to Panasonic which is not close to me. They fixed it and had shipped to me in within a week, and communicated with me via phone & email all the way through. He also advised me to get an rf isolator (by jensen, approx $50) for my cable line to get rid of the faint white line I told him about - and that worked. Great service from Panasonic.
That out of the way, If you have an av receiver with compnent video switching/surround sound and an HD cable box (hd dvr works well too - have SA Expl 8300HD from Cablevision), this is an ideal TV. It is utilitarian in nature which keeps the unit svelt and attractive...looks pretty damn cool mounted above my mantle. It does not come with any of the extras that would likely just add extra bulk to the unit and never be used if you have a similar system (tuner, speakers, etc.) - however, Panasonic does make speakers for this tv that you can buy separately.
Also, the interchangable input slots will allow for compatibility with other protocals such as DVI or HDMI digital connections...the cards are available from Panasonoc for just over $100...this may become essential since the folks leading the HDDVD & Bluray efforts are looking to "plug the analog hole".
Panasonic rates the potential for burnin the same as that on a CRT, and I hope that is true.
I don't typically like to mess with the native aspect ratios (not into the "stretchy" look), but they say it is good to avoid black bars in the first 100hrs of a plasma's life, and hd aspect cannot be adjusted on this tv (sd aspect can be adjusted however).
The best thing about this tv is the picture. Unbelievable when watching anything in HD - decent amount of hd prgramming from cablevision. It also looks great with a prog scan dvd player. If you are considering an hd plasma and don't need a tuner or sound (that is if you have a component video swithcing surround sound receiver and an hd tuner/cablebox/dvr) definately go for this one.
Pros Beautiful picture, sleek design, great features
Cons So far... none!
Summary On the rec of the cnet crew, I bought this monitor and, following installation of digital cable, I am VERY pleased with my purchase. As stated in the review, this TV is basically a no frills monitor that can be tailored to your needs. Since this Panny is not equipped with a tuner, you'll need one to watch any cable or satelite programming. However, any of the newer digital cable boxes (not sure about satelite) come with composite, component, optical, and HDMI outs... In other words, your box acts as a tuner and you can simply plug it into the TV. I decided to buy a mid-range receiver in the process and use that as my go-between.
Since I'm a plasma 'newbie' I was of course frightened by the dreaded and much talked about 'burn-in' or 'ghosting' of images that can occur with plasma screens. From what I've read, Panasonic is apparently one of the leaders in helping to limit ghosting and burn-in... they also have several features on this TV to help reduce the risk -- a 'wobble' feature that continually moves your image at the pixel level, auto-darkening of the screen if it detects a static image for a certain length of time, as well as a couple of nifty screensavers.
The picture quality (as stated by the cnet crew) is truly amazing... beautiful, deep darks and vibrant colors... plasma is definitely a marvel of technology and Panasonic seems to get it right.
All in all... I'm loving this TV! The price is right for this great piece of equipment. Of course, I've only had it for about a week...but, so far - It's fantastic.Updated
...and this TV is wonderful. No complaints. We're so used to the wide format and the picture clarity... I can't imagine using anything else at this point. If you want to experience all the good that is plasma-TV... without breaking the bank -- this is the TV to buy.
Pros Outstanding Image
Cons Connectivity Options, Zero Extras
Summary After a long search, this monitor proved to be the perfect fit for my needs. I needed a high quality monitor no greater than 36" wide for displaying HD cable content and video from my home theater PC. Initially I went with the Dell W3706MC because of its native PC resolution and large number of component inputs, however that option provided too many comprimises on the picture quality (see my review of the Dell for more details). After performing more research, I finally went with the Panasonic and couldn't be happier.
The picture quality is outstanding, and although the image is already excellent out of the box, there are loads of options for tweaking the picture (including gamma, however some of the options are only accessible through the service menu which is difficult to navigate to). Colors are vibrant, whites are very bright, and blacks are almost (but not quite) inky. Off axis viewing is excellent and on par with CRT displays. Screen door effect becomes barely noticable at 5 feet. No visible ghosting or blurring of fast moving images.
Downside is this is really just a monitor and not a television. Optional speakers are available, but 90% of buyers spending this money on a television will be using a surround sound system anyhow. You are required to purchase a stand separately (I was able to get a good deal on one through E-bay), as well as an additional card to receive HDMI or DVI inputs. You are limited in your inputs, so a good receiver with plenty of inputs is almost a must.
"Not a user but I need guidance about integrating this plasma tv with my Media Center PC"on by alexander0805
Pros plain looking but i happen to like it like that.
Cons connectivity, no rotating and tilting stand, aesthetically it may look too plain to some people
Summary Ever since my brother bought a plasam tv and saw how beautiful the HD images were on the screen, I had fallen deep in love with it. I am no expert at all with HDTV and I hope somebody here can give me some feedback. From what I have read, essentials for HD images are just an HDTV and a tuner (what I know as a set-top box for sattelite???)and digital cables (hdmi and eeep?)let me know if I'm missing anything else. Now, I would like to integrate this tv to my media center pc. I was told by a best buy rep that mc cannot produce HD images. I would have to buy a video card in order to do this. Is this true?
Pros price and review seem great
Cons high end videophiles disagree
Summary So I was at a high end video/audio installer and was inquiring about how much it might be to get a plasma installed with surround sound, etc...I mentioned that I was going to buy the Panasonic (42") Professional Panel....the guy was serioushly put off by this. While he said he could get them for me..no problem...he was not a fan. He asked if I had read the reviews on CNET and this was where I got my info. I said yes and he went on to tell me why the consumer models are highly superior in video processing and that while the Pro plasmas have great "specs" (brightness, contrast, lumens, pixels), they couldn't hold a candle to the consumer versions (and even more so against the Pioneer Elite plasmas) when it came to video processing and refresh rates....now I am thoughoughly confused.....