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Panasonic 42" TH-42PD25U/P Plasma TV Review - 3 Customer Reviews
Name: Bill Rieger
Location: Sparks, NV
-----PLASMA TV INFORMATION-----
Charter HD Digital Cable with Component Hook-Ups: Even though this is an "extended definition" TV (versus HD) the picture clarity on HD channels is as good if not better than my HD Sony XBR Wega 36" tube TV. Great contrast , excellent colors. Vibrant display.
Upconverting Samsung DVD with DVI to HDMI cable hook-up: The HDMI interface is sharper than component inputs (I'm sure the DVD helps somewhat). Movies like "Pirates of the Carribean" and "The Godfather" are reproduced with outstanding clarity.
Tweaking the picture's brightness using the various programmed modes, e.g., "vivid," "cinema," "standard" and "auto" is a snap and allows the user to get the look that fits his eye, ambient lighting conditions, and the type of broadcast ( HD football games look best in "vivid" mode ).
Installed on the factory supplied pedestal mount on a Bush Model VS31543 entertainment center, in our "media" room. Display has very clean lines and the front panel access allows quick adjustments.
The SD viewer is great for "slide shows" of digital photos.
Set-Up and other Menus are intuitive and easy to follow; the documentation for the unit is well-organized. Two component video inputs; HDMI terminal; front AV/Video inputs (for Game box); Front headphone jack (for late night.
QUALITY RATING: 9
Name: Adam C.
Location: Wichita, KS
-----PLASMA TV INFORMATION-----
I have so far used the following inputs: HDMI, Component, NTSC Cable, and ATSC over-the-air.
The picture quality with DVDs through the HDMI input is incredible. I am using a Samsung player, with DVI output, using a DVI to HDMI adapter on the back of the player. As other reviews have said, skin tones are very "rich" looking. The day after I got the TV on the wall, the BBC DVD "The Blue Planet: Tidal Seas, Coasts" came in the mail from Netflix... a total coincidence. When watching this DVD, the vivid colors of the bright tropical fish, on the dark blue sea background was really lifelike.
Analog Cable is okay, but I think it really is just b/c the TV is able to show more detail, it shows the background noise/interference in more detail too. It certainly is still better than some other brands I have seen, and better than some HD Rear Projection TVs I have seen.
Digital Over the Air is incredible... and it's FREE! :) In my area, with a HOMEMADE antenna, I am able to pick up all 6 of the stations that are broadcast here; NBC, ABC, FOX, CBS, UPN, and WB. Whether an HD show is 180i, or 720p, it looks awesome. One gripe that I have about the ATSC input, is unless the show is broadcasted in HD in 16:9, it must be viewed in 4:3 with either black bars or gray bars on the side (this is NOT selectable like it is on the Analog cable input, on that input, if you select to see the signal in its "natural" 4:3 mode, you can choose whether you want the bars on the sides, black, one of a couple shades of gray, and maybe white). So basically, unless a show is in HD, I don't use the digital over the air, I use the analog cable instead since I can use the "just" stretch setting, which works very well in avoiding the stretched look that occurs when making a 4:3 signal fit a 16:9 display. I hope that if/when I choose digital cable, I hope that when using the cable card (which cox here in KS charges $2/mo instead of the $10/mo it would be to rent an HD cable box), I'll be able to stretch a 4:3 signal like I can with analog cable.
By the way, my home made is a simple 3 element yagi antenna, basically it's a 10" wooden dowel about 1/4" in diameter with 3 elements on it, the "back" one (reflector) is about 12" long. The center one, which is the driver element (in this case the receiving element, still called the driven element) is TWO 5" elements, one on the left, and one on the right. One is connected to the center conductor of the coax cable, and one is connected to the shield, same way a dipole is made. The front element (director), is about 8" long. All of these dimensions were VERY approximate b/c I could not find a 3 element formula, but I'm sure there's one out there, i didn't look very long. But it works perfectly, that's all that counts... It is nice that all the towers are all almost the same exact bearing from me so I don't ever have to adjust the antenna.
I have not used the VGA, S-video, or composite yet.
Also, In my opinion, don't buy super expensive component cables, just use a very nice 75ohm coax cable, like quad shield RG6, or even some sort of high quality 75ohm thin type coax cable would work, and buy some decent rca connectors (solder type) and put them on yourself. Note: you will have a hard time soldering to the shield, perhaps use flux.
All the inputs I commonly use all the time though is the analog cable tuner, the ATSC over the air tuner, and the HDMI.
The display is very sleek looking, the silver finish matches the other brushed metal decor in our house (light fixtures, etc).
I used a Sanus tilt mount.
When the house was being built, I ran 2" PVC in the wall behind where I knew one day I would want one, down the wall and over to a spot about 6 feet to the left, which is now where i have a small homeade glass audio rack holding my components. When I got the TV, I ran just about EVERYTHING I thought I would ever want, since once wires are in the pipe, it would be very hard to run an additional wire. I ran 5 RG6 coax cables (three for component video, two for the "cable" inputs), 4 channel audio RCA cables, VGA, HDMI, Fiber (for audio), and a 24 gauge 4 conductor wire, just for something later if i need it, like a remote IR sender mounted over the sensor, or anything else that could use unshileded 24g wire.
For anyone who is concerned about it looking odd being 2-3" off the wall, don't worry about it, it still looks awesome.
QUALITY RATING: 10
Name: Jager McConnell
Location: San Francisco, CA
-----PLASMA TV INFORMATION-----
I spent a *lot* of time before buying this TV comparing it to other screen. I had to see for myself that Panasonic was the king of plasmas. I compared pretty much everything out there and Panasonic is the clear winner. So the big decision came down to the 42PD25U/P, the monitor version of the same display (TH-42PWD7UY), and the HD version TH-42PX25U/P.
I ruled out the monitor version pretty quickly. I liked having the built in tuner, built in speakers, the huge amount of inputs and outputs, and the included stand. It was worth the extra $600 or so to have it all integrated together - as I figured buying them seperately would cost me more.
I (much to the horror of the sales rep) insisted that they set up all the two consumer screens next to each other and allow me to play different video input signals to compare the two and, specifically, how the HDTV vs. EDTV compares. Let me save you the trouble - the EDTV was amazing. On the DVD, the EDTV was slightly better than the HDTV at displaying the image. On the HD signal, the EDTV was slightly worse - but I do mean slightly. The cost just wasn't worth me bumping up to the HDTV as I never intended to hook up my computer to the tv.
Now that I have the EDTV in my house and completely set up the tv display is, in a word, incredible. The picture is the best I've seen. Throw in some snazzy unmentioned features like the TV sensing the brightness in the room and adjusting the brightness/contrast automatically - and you've got a pretty darn good looking TV.
Here's where the 42PD25U rocks its "professional" monitor versions, in my opinion. The silver attached speakers really make this look like a slick TV. It just stops people in their tracks and is the best display I've seen, second only to Sony's design masterpieces. I don't have a place to hang the TV and how this thing looks on its stand is awesome. I'm using the component inputs right now, though HDMI is going in the future. I also have the Digital Out of the TV going to my sound system so the surround sound I pull in with the built in HDTV tuner doesn't go to waste.
So the speakers on the TV are darn good for "included speakers". The reason I went with them was that I didn't want to have to crank up my stereo system to watch the news in the morning.
The memory card reader is nice - but I don't have anything that uses a compatible card so it looks like I'm not taking advantage of that feature for now.
As I mentioned earlier, the auto adjust feature based on the brightness in the room is an underrated feature - it's darn cool... as is the preset "Cinema" and "Vivid" settings to watch movie's or HD signals.
The remote is pretty cool - it does a decent job acting as a universal remote (including controlling the basic features of my Denon receiver).
The ONE complaint I have... and the reason this didn't get a 10 is that the TV has a fan. I was under the impression when I bought the TV that there wasn't a fan - and I still believe on the monitor-only version of this TV doesn't have one... I didn't even to check when I was buying it, but, low and behold, there is a fan on the back of the TV. Now, it's completely silent and I (trying my absolute best) can not hear it. My worry is that, looking 2 years into the future, there's going to be some fan noise as dust clogs the fan. Now, that's speculation and I doubt I'll ever really hear it. Had I known there was a fan before I bought the TV I STILL would have purchased it because all of the other features still makes this a much better choice than the monitor option.
QUALITY RATING: 9.5
Panasonic 37" TH-37PWD7UY
Name: Damian Davis
Location: El Sobrante, CA
-----PLASMA TV INFORMATION-----
I have to say that I have not yet been able to establish the capabilities of my new Panasonic PDP TH-37PWD7UY because I have not hooked up a DVD to it yet, too cumbersome to move it from one location to another, and have to wait for a month before the satellite company will offer the HDTV receiver without making me pay $400+ per unit. I currently have an analog two (tuner) TV capable DVR box and need HDTV installed where the plasma is located to get the full benefit of it. The analog signal is remotely fed via the house coax cable patched through a 10-year-old VCR to composite connection to the PDP. The picture is grainy and not really worth describing in full. I intend to get a Bose 321 GS system II when the WAF (Wife Approval Factor) is sufficiently high enough (about when the HDTV is installed I expect probably). But based upon what I have seen on display models, this PDP has the goods and all it needs is a HDTV connection with a high quality HTIB and I predict that I will become a Netflix/HD junkie!
As previously stated, the appearance of the display picture right now is very ordinary, because I only have a coax to VCR to a composite to PDP connection from a remote DBS two tuner box. The real show is coming next month when I get a HD tuner box installed at the location of my PDP with DVI OR HDMI connects. That and a new HTIB with progressive scan DVD will make me a Plasma panel junkie for sure!
The menu options are rather extensive including 7 languages, but the most useful is the 4-3 to 16-9 conversions. Panasonic, I believe, leads the field in this category with a JUST setting to automatically adjust the size conversions for changing formats as they are broadcast. This is a nice feature if you're like me and just want the most viewing with the least amount of fuss. The DBS remote more than adequately handles most of my needs and when I get a HTIB, I am hoping to be able to control start, stop and fwd & rev DVD commands on it as well. I like the universal remote approach. The 37" panel I bought only comes with composite, s-video and component inputs. If you want either DVI or HDMI, you have to purchase a separate module for that purpose. I will when it is appropriate to mate up with the HD DBS box to make the signal transfer as potent as possible. 1080i and 720p down converted to 480p here I come. I only wish I had an option for HD vs. ED in this size panel, but at least the native resolution is at a higher percentage than the 42" ED. The two panels have the same 853x480 pixel resolution but the pitch is .12mm tighter on the 37" panel. That should translate into a theater like viewing experience for all types of source material once I get the HD DBS box and HTIB.
QUALITY RATING: 8.5
Panasonic 37" TH-37PD25U/P Plasma TV Review
Name: Mark Reece
Location: Winston Salem, NC
-----PLASMA TV INFORMATION-----
I currently have the television hooked up to Time Warner Cable thru a Scientific Atlanta digital cable set top box. For the best picture quality, I opted to connect the box to the television by using an S-cable. The picture is very clear and sharp. Colors are outstanding. Time Warner now offers a cable card which can be used on this television in lieu of using the cable set top box. I have one on order but it may take a few days for them to get the card; due to a limited number of television makers who offer this feature on their televisions, there is not a big demand for the cards at this time. Hopefully with the use of the card the picture quality will be even more dramatic. While shopping around for a plasma set, I noticed that all vendors use a digital dish for reception. Every Panasonic set that I looked at that was hooked up to a dish had by far the best picture quality.
I also have a Bose 3-2-1 system hooked up to the tv thru a s-video cable. The dvd picture is flawless. I've never seen a sharper more colorful picture.
I opted for a 37 inch set so that I could place it on a corner tv hutch. The set fits perfectly in the corner of the living room allowing an almost direct view of the set from any seat in the room. The thing I like about a plasma screen is that it allows you to get a clear view of the picture from any angle.
Panasonic supplies some plastic straps and screws so that you can secure the set to a table or what ever you elect to set the unit on. I elected to drill a couple of hole through the back of the mounting base and fasten it to the corner hutch with wood screws. Now the unit is firmly mounted to the hutch.
This tv is loaded with features. The remote control will control multipule audio-video devices and is background lighted for use in a darken room. The rear panel has (1) HDMI input terminal, (2) s-video inputs, (2) component input terminals, (3) av input terminals, (1) digital output terminal, (2) cable/antenna connections, and (1) cable card slot. The front panel; located behind a flip down door under the screen, has (1) s-video input, (1) audio-video input, (1) pc input,(1) headphone jack, (1) SD photo card input, volume, channel, menu controls. All menu functions can be performed by using the remote or the front panel menu button.
For my purpose, all settings were on the money right out of the box.
This unit has built in 16 watt speakers which are on each side of the screen. The sound is outstanding. Panasonic offers what they call BBE VIVA 3D sound. In this mode, the sound is very crisp and clean. My wife has trouble at times hearing the speech on programs because the music tends to mask the speaking parts. Not with this unit. The speaking parts are always understandable for her. She loves this feature.
As I stated earlier, this unit is loaded with good usable features, and I'm sure that I have left many of them out.
The long and short of it is the fact that for the money, you would be hard pressed to find a better plasma television than what Panasonic now has to offer.
QUALITY RATING: 10
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