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Panasonic Viera TX-P42V20B review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £1200
inc VAT

It's an absolutely stunning TV, but Pansonic's own G20 series televisions have nearly identical image quality and are a fair bit cheaper.


42in, Freesat HD, Freeview HD, analogue, 1,920×1,080 resolution, 3D: no, 4x HDMI

In terms of TV, there’s absolutely everything you’d expect, including Freeview HD (DVB2) and Freesat HD receivers. Quality from both on HD channels is fantastic, and upscaling of SD channels is also pretty good with the TV doing a decent job of removing Freeview artefacts and noise, while preserving detail. We’re not big fans of the EPG, as a large block of it is taken up by an advert, rather than a preview window of the current screen.

The USB ports on the side of the screen can be used to connect an external hard disk. Once this is formatted, it lets you pause live TV and even schedule recordings. The only caveat to its use is that you can’t record on one tuner and watch on another: you can only record what you’re watching. Still, as an add-on or simply for pausing live TV, it’s good to see.

Panasonic Viera TX-P42V20B side ports

Unusually, this display as three speakers in it, two stereo and one subwoofer. Sound is clear and remains so at full volume, but we weren’t blown away by the sound and the subwoofer didn’t seem to add much ‘thump’ to sound tracks. That’s not to say sound’s bad, but it’s more on par with other TVs that we’ve reviewed, rather than being something special.

You’re well catered for in terms of inputs, with four HDMI (one supports an audio return channel, so you can use an external amp for sound), component and two SCART sockets. In short, no matter how much kit you’ve got, you’ll be able to connect it all to this TV.

Panasonic Viera TX-P42V20B rear ports

If you’re bored of TV, there are other ways of enjoying entertainment. First, there’s an SDXC memory card slot on the front, which lets you play movies in AVCHD, MPEG-2 and DivX HD formats, view JPEG images and listen to MP3 music. It’s a handy addition if you want to quickly view some photos or video you’ve just shot on your camera.

There’s also a full DLNA client on board, which you can use over the TV’s Ethernet or wireless (an 802.11n adaptor is provided in the box) connections. It will find media servers on your network, although you can only stream MPEG-2 video, rather than AVCHD and DivX.

Panasonic Viera TX-P42V20B Ethernet

Finally, Panasonic has its Viera Cast, which lets you access YouTube videos and photos on Picasa Web Albums. Skype is also supported, although you’ll need to buy the optional web cam add-on to use it.

It’s not quite all good news with this TV, and power consumption is one of the bad points about plasma technology, with this set drawing around 200W on average. However, a black and white scene can cause power consumption to jump to over 300W.

Panasonic Viera TX-P42V20B side

The Viera TX-P42V20B is a fantastic TV with absolutely amazing picture quality: the best we’ve seen. The only slight problem we have is that the G20 series, with its very similar image quality, is a fair bit cheaper. At the time of writing, the 42in TX-P42G20B costs around £840, while the 46in TX-P46G20B for around £1,150. Both are amazing TVs and are slightly better value than the TX-P42V20B.

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Basic Specifications

Rating *****


Viewable size 42in
Native resolution 1,920×1,080
1080p support No
Aspect ratio 16:9
HD ready yes
3D capable no
Contrast ratio 5,000,000:1
Speakers 3x 10W
Bezel (top/side/bottom) 52mm/52mm/85mm
Screen depth 65mm
Screen elevation 45mm
Stand size (WxD) 390x300mm


DVI inputs 0
D-sub inputs 1
HDMI inputs 4
Component inputs 1
S-Video input 0
Composite inputs 1
Audio outputs optical S/PDIF out, 2x stereo phono
Other CI slot


Tuner type Freesat HD, Freeview HD, analogue
EPG 8-day, Now and Next


Power consumption standby 0W
Power consumption on 206W

Buying Information

Warranty three years RTB
Price £1,200

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