Pros Black levels, clarity and showing motion
Cons Flesh tones tend to be too red
Summary This set is superior to every other TV other than the Pioneer Kuro Elite, but the Panasonic is less than half the price. Other than the too red flesh tones, I have not seen any of the other video deficiencies alleged in the CNET editor's review. I also have not experienced any of the alleged noise issues, but I use a home theater system, without the TV's speakers. I think that the video is slightly better overall than the Samsung. I would recommend this product, unless you have $5,000 plus to spend on the Pioneer Kuro Elite.
Pros I don't have a problem with skin tones ...
Cons the sound is a little tinny but ...
Summary I waited patiently for the cnet review to come out for the 85U, and once again, I think their criticism is geared to the most discerning of readers ... I was concerned that the quality and color of skin tones, as critiqued in the review, would be more glaring. But to my eye, they were not.
This will be a non-technical review, but since I have been waiting for a year to pull the trigger on an HDTV purchase (and dithering between LCD and Plasma), and considering that I got it for $1189 (for the 42" inch version -- including the $200 rebate from Panasonic - and then getting J&R to beat B&HPhoto's price by $10), I am stunned by what is now hanging on my wall at home. The reception I am getting is by far better than any picture I have seen in any of the show rooms around town.
My one complaint is that the Time Warner Cable Box did not transmit sound through the HDMI cable I purchased. But using component audio cables (and routing the sound from the t.v. through my computer's speakers and sub-woofer (am using an A/B switch and a wireless keyboard to make me as fully non-compliant desk wise as I can : ), I am now very happy with the way the system sounds (again, the sound coming through the set itself was a bit tinny -- and I very much suggest you add external components to this product).
I purchased an upconverter Samsung DVD player for $84, and although BlueRay is probably a far superior technology, I don't see myself running out to buy one any time soon -- the picture I got (watching the Sweeney Todd dvd) was as impressive as anything I have ever seen on any television anywhere. The Black contrast level, as advertised and as reviewed, is extraordinary.
As far as I am concerned, waiting for this Panny to come out was well worth the time spent considering the quality of the set and its very low cost.
"Great TV!!!"on by boonez156
Pros Great picture,3 HDMI inputs, plenty of other hook ups, game mode, love the remote
Cons Some reflection, could have more picture options, sound is sorta thin
Summary Purchased this TV when my piece of junk Phillips went out(Circuit City replaced always by the warranty on a large TV). Salesman recommended this model over Sony and Samsung. Mounted it to the wall and it looks great. We play a lot of Xbox 360 on it, watch regular DVDs, HD and SD all looks great. Sound is not bad but it can be thin, I solve this by running it through my home theater system. I like the remote it is simply and easy to use. The only real negative is the way my living room sets up I catch some reflection off my front door when it is bright outside. You can only see it from one spot on the couch so I deal with it.
Pros Beautiful picture, Great polished looks at a mid-range LCD Price
Cons Non swiveling stand
Summary I was set on buying an LCD until I saw this TV side by side with some of the best LCDs. This TV has the best looking picture, skin tones and black among all of them. A video of a guy playing the piano was displayed on all of the TVs. Only the Panasonic Plasma next to all the LCDs showed the lines between the white keys. All of the LCDS overexposed the white keys and made it look like one big white slab.
Pros We loved this T.V. when we first got it. It had excellent picture and the sound quality is one of the best of the plasmas.
Cons Blinking light error codes, tons of research to discover the problem. Panasonic's customer support put me through a series of things to try, then finally advised that I would have to take it to an authorized service center.
Summary As someone who has worked for an electrical/telecommunication distributor for 14 years, of which we sell Panasonic products - my experience with them was that they put out pretty good products. This is not the case with their plasma T.V.'s. Have you wondered why they are so much lower in price and there seem to be an abundance of supply this Christmas? We bought our 42 inch plasma 2 years ago and a few weeks ago we couldn't turn it on anymore. The units power light blinks 10 times when trying to turn it on, which is an error code. After research, I learned the 10 blinking times could go back to 3 different issues, but the most common being the power supply. Repair costs range from $300-$500. We are out of warranty and have decided to buy a new unit at a lower cost than it would take to repair ours. Sticking with a trusted T.V. manufacturer - we bought a Sanyo with a 3 year extended warranty. Do an internet search on "Panasonic blinking light of death" and you will find a motherlode of complaints.