Pros First off the 480 Hz processor quadruples the competing power of the Sony XBR4 and Samsung 4071 LCDs and is 8x faster than the competing Pioneer plasma processors. The anti-glare technology diverts m
Cons The biggest downfall by far is the 720p resolution; this becomes clear when compared to the competing 50” Pioneer KURO series (which retails for well over $3,000) or the 40” Sony XBR4 (retailing at sl
Summary Let me start by saying I have worked for a major electronics retailer as a home theater specialist since late 2006 and have heard my fair share of promises from plasma venders trying to compete with the latest LCD technology, so when a Panasonic representative came to our store this evening talking about the 480 Hz processor in their new PX80U and PX85U televisions I was skeptical; however, the more he explained the technology the more it made since.
Regular televisions address an image 60 times per second. 120 Hz TVs, like the Sony XBR 4 and Samsung 4071, merge frame 1 and 2 together and just stick it in at 1½ in order to create its 120 FPS and stop the motion blur that plagues LCD’s. Panasonic takes a different approach, since motion blur isn’t the main concern (cleaning up the picture is) the new Panasonic lines use their faster processor to thoroughly scrutinize the image displayed on the screen 480 times per second. It does not merge frames like the LCD’s do so the image maintains its “film like” quality.
Two of the biggest complaints we get with 120 Hz TVs are, when you hook them up to a Blue Ray player, people seem to be stuck in front of the background and special effects seem fake or forced. Since the Panasonic doesn’t attempt to change the native 24 fps the film is displayed in, the film maintains its “movie” quality and special effects keep their wow factor intact.
Panasonic’s new glare-deflecting screens also work beautifully. When set side by side with a Pioneer 4270 there was a distinct difference between all the light reflected by the pioneer and the relatively glare free Panasonic PX80U. Another difference noticeable right away was how bright and colorful the Panasonic was when compared to both the Pioneer and the Sony XBR 2 it was sitting between. With its 15,000:1 native contrast ratio (1,000,000:1 dynamic) Panasonic has succeeded in making one of the most brilliant Plasma displays I have ever seen in this price range.
Panasonic has given me very little to say bad about the PX80U, the picture can appear slightly grainy on regular HD programming, and only being 720p is kind of a let down but if you want a 1080p the PX85U is to be released sometime in the near future with all the bells and whistles of the PX80U but with full 1080P
I would highly recommend this TV to anyone looking for a great Plasma, whether they are on a budget or not; if you’re really want the 1080P wait for the PX85U but if the 720P doesn’t bother you the $1199.99 price is something you just can’t turn down.
"Tremendous Value"on by tosasteve
Pros Very easy set up, very good picture, the right size for most rooms, just looks really good and doesn't cost very much.
Cons It isn't 1080p, but so what?
Summary You don't need 1080p at this size. Let me say that again. You don't need 1080p at this size. Unless you squint or wear special glasses you won't notice the difference so why pay for the difference? That's what this TV is all about, getting a really good picture for a really good price by not wasting money on resolution or other features you don't need.
Set up was very simple. Everything connects to the TV and the TV sends an audio out to the surround sound receiver (get one if you don't have one). Much simpler than setting up surround sound with an older TV that lacks connectivity. It took just a few minutes, lliterally. Took me longer to stand there and convince myself I was done than to connect everything. Just seemed impossible.
If there's more bag for the buck in a flat screen, I couldn't find it. If you feel the need to brag to your buddies about your 1080p screen then spend the money, or better yet, get different friends.
"Superb Value"on by rastafria
Pros This level of quality for this price is hard to beat.
Cons There are better TV's out there*
Summary *With exorbitant prices for minimal returns.
After researching various publications and material (1) and through personal observation (2), I was convinced that this set would provide the maximum quality for a reasonable price. There are certainly better quality Plasmas out there (Pioneer), but these come with price premiums that do not justify what I found to be relatively minimal differences in quality. Perhaps I am not as discerning or observant as others, but as a long time PC gamer, I would like to think I have a reasonable eye for good image quality. If you are in the market for a 42" television, and would be comfortable around the $1000 range, you will be hard pressed to find a set with the same value provided by the TH-42PX80U.
As an aside, I was very happy with ordering through Amazon. I got the set for 984, no tax, free white glove delivery. The set came 6 days later; two delivery guys brought it inside, unboxed it, helped attach the stand, and made sure the TV was working before I signed for it.
Note: I believe this TV should be rated a 9 (perhaps slightly higher), but have submitted a 10 due to irrational logic of previous voters (A damaged TV could be one of the few Panasonic sent out, due to damage during delivery, or any number of other potentially damaging activities. Voting down a product based on one bad experience demonstrates an absurd sense of logic and statistical knowledge.
1 - AVS Forum, CNet, ARS Technica, Consumer Reports
2 - Via Circuit City, Best Buy, etc.
"excellent tv"on by edwinagustin
Pros uniform picture quality throughout the screen, wide viewing angle, bright picture even in a well lit room, price!
Cons none so far
Summary from a guy who likes tvs (have lcd micro display, 2 lcd flat panels, an older crt and this being the second plasma) - i'd say panasonic gives the best value for the money. researched consumer reports and cnet before purchasing and am very happy with the purchase. for the price we bought it for, this is the best tv! we compare the picture quality to the lcds we have and the plasmas seem to have more lifelike colors, much more uniform picture quality, the widest viewing angles.
this 11th generation plasma also seem brighter, lighter and consume less energy. it also dosen't seem to get very hot. overall, very happy with the television!
Pros Excellent price - the set is very affordable even in a tanking economy. The ability to use an HDMI input from my Mac Mini PVR at 720p or 1080i. A decent number of inputs on the back panel. The remote is extremely simple (also a con). Ease of setup
Cons Only 1 F connector for antenna input. Control over color balance is limited. The Stand does not swivel. The remote is only for the TV (or other panasonic devices).
Summary I looked at several 37 and 40 inch LCDs. All the other sets I compared the Panasonic to were roughly equal in terms of picture quality, and features. But those other sets were also more expensive - even for the 720p units. And being LCD sets - they each had potential limitations in terms of motion blur. I choose this set for it's price, performance, and the fact that it would fit in my entertainment center ... and just barely fit. I picked up my Panasonic at Fry's for $650.
The review by CNET was very helpful in my review process. One item that concerned me was the trouble they had connecting the unit to a computer via HDMI. That is the exact application that I planned to use. I use my Mac Mini as a PVR, running Elgato's EyeTV software. I wanted the higher resolution that a digital connection over HDMI would provide rather than the S-Video connection I had been using. I was very pleased when the HDMI connected Mac displayed a beautiful picture on the Panasonic. And its the main reason I choose to return to the CNET site and write a review. I don't know what kind of computer they were using - nor what kind of video card. But in my experience - this setup works and works well. In fact - I might have returned the Panasonic if it failed.
I was also concerned about how this display would do in our living room - which has several large windows including one which is directly opposite and 30 feet from the display. But, the Panasonic does a pretty good job of reducing glare. While it's not 100% effective - the TV does reflect much of the light from that window - it is not a problem.
From the review - there was a link to a page that describe the settings for this TV that CNET found to be the best. Those settings must be for a previous rev of firmware for the product. I was unable to match the setup that CNET provided. Most of the options are the same - but a couple were not available. I am using the Custom picture mode. But as I remember, the tint function in the main menu, and the black level in the sub menu were not available on my set.
Evidently - all HDTVs are moving to a single antenna connector. In the past - most sets provided two connections. That allowed the user to connect an antenna for HD Over-The-Air broadcasts and another connection for a cable service. With just one connector - you have to use just one service. I choose to connect my Panasonic to an antenna for local HD OTA broadcasts. I am using my VCR to handle the cable tuning functions - bringing that signal into the Panasonic via the S-Video input on the rear panel.
This is an excellent TV that I would recommend to anyone seeking an affordable HDTV with a great picture!!!! It may not have all the bells and whistles that some sets have - but it doesn't cost $3000 either. I have not noticed any of the negative effects mentioned in the CNET review. The picture quality is EXCELLENT!!!