"Smartest purchase I've made"4.5 starson by J_Flo41
Pros: Vivid colors, Anti-reflective coating, Digital photo viewer, easy menus
Cons: Tough to find in any store
Summary: In November '06, I made an impulse purchase - a 50" LG plasma television, surround sound, and even a fancy stand (I must admit Circuit City played me pretty well). After nearly a month of severe image quality issues, I returned the set and decided to hold out for the new Spring '07 models.
I am here to report that it was worth the wait. I did a little more research this time around, and in May 2007 I bought the Panasonic TH-42PX77U. While it's not quite as large as some of them out there, I really believe that this - not Vizio - is the best bang for the buck on planet earth.
Almost 100% of the retailers don't sell this model in their stores, or at all. They sell the "step-down" 75-U series version w/o anti-glare coating. When I asked why, the ignorant reps (and even a few Panasonic guys!) told me that the anti-reflective coating wouldn't really matter. Well, I firmly believe it does. I can plainly tell where some of my room's glares would be annoying, but they are virtually squashed by this screen's design. Bravo, Panasonic. I can now watch TV with the curtains wide open on a sunny day, and that's the truth. I never anticipated that it would matter, but it does. Well worth the extra $80 or whatever it was to order the better model.
On top of that, the colors are vivid and the blacks are noticeably deeper than my previous LG set. I really wanted a TV that could play standard-def stations well, and this TV really surpassed my expectations. We have also used a PS3 and an up-converting DVD player, and the picture is quite crisp. There are a few contouring hiccups (seems like older programming like an 80's movie on standard-def cable), but honestly I'm nit-picking.
I am told the 50" is even better, so I guess you can't go wrong either way. Consider this my ringing endorsement to join Team Panasonic...hope this review was useful.