The Good Sleekly styled; high resolution; above-average black-level performance; color decoder's red push can be corrected; built-in CableCard and HDTV tuner.
The Bad Lacks 2:3 pull-down for film-based material; no independent input memory; can't accept 720p signals.
The Bottom Line This high-resolution plasma has great style and lots of features, but its picture isn't as impressive as we expected.
Panasonic has consistently made some of the best-performing plasma panels over the years, but the TH-42PX25U/P isn't quite up to past efforts. Don't get us wrong; this is one slick-looking TV with a nice feature package and excellent connectivity. It also has higher resolution than the excellent, and its picture trumps that of many other 42-inchers. However, it lacks an important video-processing circuit common to almost all other high-def displays, and its black-level performance isn't top-notch. So unless you watch a preponderance of HDTV, plan to use it as a computer monitor, or are willing to pay extra for its clear cosmetic advantages, the TH-42PX25U/P isn't as good a value as its lower-resolution cousin.
Panasonic also makes an industrial version of this panel with different styling and fewer features, dubbed the TH-42PHD6UY. It should offer identical picture performance.
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