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Panasonic Viera TX-P42G10 Freesat HD TV

Plasma provides pacy picture precision

The other outstanding aspect of the G10 plasma screens is what Panasonic refers to as their ‘infinite black’ contrast – or, to be specific, the 2,000,000:1 contrast ratio. Again, this worked well, and gloom-laden films such as The Dark Knight really did display robust blacks, while also allowing you to pick out details such as Batman’s midnight-black costume amidst the background gloom.

Panasonic Viera TX-P42G10

Smooth operator: suits sports fans with enough black depth for movie buffs

Our only minor issue is that there’s still some room for improvement when scaling standard-definition images to fill the 42in HD display. This is always tricky with such a large screen, but there’s a noticeable softness and lack of detail around the edges of objects blown up to this size.

However, we had no complaints about the quality of the HD image. Flicking over to BBC HD on Freesat produces an immediate and obvious increase in quality, with the airbrushed softness of SD programmes being replaced by the clarity and detail that you’d expect from HD content.

Audio quality is good too, and the 20W output is beefy enough to do justice to music programmes and Hollywood blockbuster sound effects. The virtual-surround sound option is no great shakes, but you’ve got the Dolby Digital Plus output if you want to go the whole hog with a proper set of surround sound speakers.

Verdict

If all you’re looking for is a big 42in flat-screen TV for watching routine standard-definition fare such as Big Brother or Britain’s [Not] Got Talent, then there are cheaper – possibly even better – LCD sets available, as we’ve seen LCD models that scale SD content more effectively. However, sports fans will appreciate the reduction in motion-blur achieved by Panasonic’s 600Hz processing, while its impressive contrast ratio and crisp, clean blacks make it a good choice for movie buffs. And, of course, there’s the Freesat HD tuner to add a little extra value for money as well. ®

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Panasonic Viera TX-P42G10

Panasonic Viera TX-P42G10 Freesat HD TV

The SD scaling is merely average, but the 600Hz option does a good job on sports programmes.
Price: £1199 RRP