A TV that's thin and lightweight enough to hang on the wall is definitely cool, but it wouldn't be worth it if you had to settle for a mediocre picture. That's never an issue for Panasonic's well-built 42" TH-42PA20 plasma TV. When it comes to picture quality, it can hold its own against much more expensive models.
This overachiever has EDTV (Enhanced Definition TV) picture resolution — it can display signals up to 480p, like those from a progressive-scan DVD player. Sources ranging from low quality (VHS) to high (DVD) are automatically upconverted to 480p by the excellent built-in "scaler." With its bright, flicker-free picture, this TV actually looks better with these video sources than some HD-capable plasmas because the scaler has less converting to do. Widescreen DVDs will knock your socks off!
And if HDTV signals are available in your area, you can watch them in downconverted form on this TV. Just set your HDTV tuner to output a 480p signal and get ready for the cleanest, clearest non-HD picture you've ever seen! (Actually, the TV's built-in scaler is so good that you may want to experiment and set your HD tuner for 1080i output so that the TV's scaler converts it to 480p — it's that good!) The compelling picture is a result of Panasonic's superior plasma technology, which provides some of the deepest blacks, highest contrast ratio, and smoothest grayscaling you'll see anywhere. (The TH-42PA20 uses 10-bit processing for finer gradations, while many "bargain basement" plasmas are still using 8-bit processing.)
This is a completely integrated plug-and-play TV — it includes an NTSC (analog) tuner, stereo speakers, and a tabletop stand for a totally sleek, slim look. You can actually have this beautiful, high-tech flat-panel TV out of the box and ready to watch in minutes!
This is also one of the best-connected plasma models we've seen. Panasonic provides six A/V inputs, including dual component video inputs, plus a DVI connection for your highest-quality video signals. For regular video sources, you'll find two sets of rear A/V inputs and a set of front inputs (all with S-video) so you can easily connect a camcorder, VCR, video game console, etc. You can view standard 4:3 material with vertical bars on the sides, or choose one of the viewing modes that stretches and/or zooms a 4:3 image to fill up the panel's wide screen.
The TH-42PA20's ultra-thin design allows television to fit into your lifestyle in new and creative ways. The supplied stand is an oval pedestal design that provides a graceful look on a tabletop. Or you can remove the stand and wall-mount the TV (hardware not included). You will love this TV!
* EDTV design (compatible with progressive-scan DVD — all signals displayed at 480p)
* 42" plasma panel (measured diagonally)
* widescreen 16:9 aspect ratio
* 852 x 480 pixels
* 160§(H) x 160§(V) viewing angle
* Real Black Drive System
* Progressive Scan Doubler (upconverts analog signals to 480p)
* Progressive Cinema Scan de-interlacer with 3-2 pulldown processing
* 181-channel NTSC tuner
* 2-tuner PIP (inset and split screen)
* illuminated multibrand remote control
* 6 A/V inputs, including:
o 3 composite video (2 rear, 1 front)
o 3 S-video (2 rear, 1 front)
o 2 rear-panel HD-compatible component video
(accepts 1080i/480p/480i signals)
o 1 rear-panel DVI input with HDCP copy protection
* PC input: analog RGB (D-Sub 15-pin)
* 2 RF inputs for antenna/cable
* 8 watts x 2
* mini stereo headphone jack (front panel)
* detachable tabletop stand
* 46"W x 25-15/16"H x 4"D (28-3/16"H x 12-3/4"D with stand)
* weight: 77 lbs.
* warranty: 1 year parts & labor