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Panasonic TH-42PX80U

42" VIERA® plasma HDTV

8 Reviews

Item # 13342PX80

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Our take on the Panasonic TH-42PX80U

The Panasonic TH-42PX80U delivers amazing bang for the buck. A few years ago when plasma HDTVs cost $5000 or more, did you ever think you'd see a high-quality model priced this low? Panasonic can do it because they're among the handful of companies that actually manufacture plasma panels — and they build more of them than anyone else in the world.

The Panasonic TH-42PX80U delivers amazing bang for the buck. A few years ago when plasma HDTVs cost $5000 or more, did you ever think you'd see a high-quality model priced this low? Panasonic can do it because they're among the handful of companies that actually manufacture plasma panels — and they build more of them than anyone else in the world.

For a lifelike picture, it's hard to beat plasma
Video experts know that a TV's picture contrast — measured by the contrast ratio — is as important for overall picture quality as screen resolution. Panasonic's 11th-generation panel technology raises the contrast ratio to 15,000:1. That means you'll see deeper blacks and more realistic shadow detail.

Panasonic plasmas are also known for their rich, realistic color. The TH-42PX80U can reproduce over 4,000 shades of gradation each for red, green, and blue. That yields a nearly infinite color palette of over 68 billion shades. Images look seamlessly smooth and cinematic, with beautifully natural skin tones.

All the right connections for great HD viewing
The TH-42PX80U can receive local over-the-air analog and digital signals (antenna required). And cable subscribers can tune in unscrambled channels — including local HD network channels in many areas — without the added hassle and expense of a set-top box. You'll find three HDMI inputs, making it easy to connect top-notch sources like a Blu-ray player, HD satellite receiver, or high-def video game console.

Learn about the ins and outs of HDMI connections at the Crutchfield Learning Center.
Shop our selection of HDMI cables.

Tip: For a list of over-the-air digital TV stations you can receive, as well as antenna recommendations for your location, enter your zip code in AntennaWeb's mapping tool.

FREE scheduled delivery to your door: This item will be delivered to the door of your house or apartment. Available to physical addresses in 50 United States only. Limited delivery available to Alaska and Hawaii for $99 per item — call 1-888-955-6000 for more details. Sorry, we can't ship to P.O. Boxes or freight forwarders. Delivery takes 5-7 business days once your order has been processed. Extra charges may apply to items that must be carried up more than 5 flights of stairs. Allow extra time for delivery to remote addresses.

Product Highlights:

  • 41.6" screen (measured diagonally)
  • widescreen 16:9 aspect ratio
  • built-in digital (ATSC) and analog (NTSC) tuners for over-the-air TV broadcasts (antenna required)
  • built-in QAM cable TV tuner receives unscrambled programs without a set-top box (cable service required)
  • 1024 x 768 pixels
  • 15,000:1 contrast ratio (1,000,000:1 dynamic)
  • Sub Pixel Controller video processing
  • Deep Color and x.v.Color™ support
  • built-in stereo speakers (10 watts x 2)
  • remote control
  • VIERA Link™ simplifies remote control for compatible Panasonic components (HDMI-CEC)
  • picture settings memory for each video input
  • 7 A/V inputs, including:
    • 2 composite video (1 rear, 1 front)
    • 2 S-video (1 rear, 1 front)
    • 2 component video (accepts signals up to 1080i)
    • 3 HDMI v1.3 (2 rear, 1 front) — accepts signals up to 1080p (60Hz, 24Hz)
  • RF input for antenna/cable signals
  • optical digital audio output for Dolby® Digital
  • front SD™ memory card slot for digital photo playback
  • Energy Star® 3.0 compliant — see our article on TV power consumption for more info about this and other testing standards
  • detachable stand (stand "footprint" is 17-7/8"W x 13"D)
  • wall-mountable (bracket not included)
  • 40-1/4"W x 26-3/8"H x 3-7/8"D (28-1/2"H x 13"D on stand)
  • weight: 61.8 lbs. with stand; 56.7 lbs. without stand
  • long-life panel (60,000 hours)
  • warranty: 1 year parts & labor — in-home service or pick-up for service
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

My friend has a 50" Panasonic and I didn't want one quite as big. I got this 42" and man is it great! The picture is perfect, it has all the inputs I need. You can't beat the price either. Sure there are some cheaper TV's but the quality you get for the cost is very very good.

Donnie, Auburn, AL

What's in the Box:

  • 42" Widescreen plasma TV
  • Wireless remote control (N2QAYB000221)
  • 2 "AA" batteries
  • 6.5' AC power cord
  • F-type antenna adapter for 5C-2V
  • Pedestal base
  • 2 Pedestal poles
  • 4 Machine screws (M5 x 18mm)
  • 4 Machine screws (M5 x 25mm)
  • 2 Cable ties
  • Operating Instructions (Eng/Span/Fren)
  • HD setup guide (Eng/Span/Fren)
  • Plasma Concierge brochure
  • Product Registration card
  • Panasonic Customer Care Plan card (extended service plan)
  • "How to secure the AC cord" sheet
  • Pedestal base assembly diagram

Energy Guide:

View the Energy Guide


Panasonic TH-42PX80U Reviews

Average Customer Review(s):

(8 Reviews)

Best Bang For the Buck! Dont Need to drop $3000 grand to get it!!!!!!

Michael from Kingsport,tn on 2/17/2009

Sony LCD's are pure junk compare to Samsung,Pioneer,Panasonic! unless you want a $5000+++ or more XBR you might come close to a Panasonic or Pioneer Plasma!! Panasonic is second best plasma out there & no Samsung is not 1st! Pioneer is but they Panny does come close in the THX versions! I did not like Samsungs pn42a450 & so I returned it & purchased this little performer! The black levels are in no ways the same! They are darker & right out of the box the facorty cinama setting looks pretty good but I did calibrate with some settings I found online & wow what a change! More nautral colors that dont look saturated & darker blacks agian! Tottally satisfied now & I can admit I am a little picky! The quality of the tv itsel is great with it's sturdy stand & nice finish on its case! If you have kids plasma is a must if you do not wall mount it because you will find scratches in the screen unlike plasma's glass like screen & their is not a bad glare from a pretty well lighted room! This tv is strong with it's simple menu!Simple remote! but it will take time to get use to the channel and volume buttons being switched around! This tv I know with HDMI 1 being satalite & HDMI 2 being Blu-Ray when I switch to HDMI 2 it auto turns on Blu-Ray player & if you turn on Blu-Ray player it will switch the input on it's own! I think that is pretty cool!! ! dont buy a Liquid. Display!!



Great value, glad I went with plasma

John from NW 'burbs outside Chicago, IL on 1/29/2009

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Did quite a bit of research before buying this particular model and these personal reviews helped as well. Went with a 42 inch as it was going in our bedroom. Great delivery from Crutchfield by the way - plus saved 10% sales tax and free shipping that sealed the deal. Did some side by side comparisons between plasma and LCD and like the others, could actually see enough to go with this one. Went with a Panasonic blue-ray player as well which with the Viera system on Panasonic components was a snap. Had to fine tune the sound which wasn't great but passable for now - may or may not get an add-on speaker system later. When it comes time to put a larger TV in the family room will strongly consider a Panasonic plasma - like the picture and features that much!



Great Picture and Value

Tim from Indianapolis, IN on 1/19/2009

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

All my research indicates that Panasonic is second in Plasma TV performance behind Pioneer. I've also learned that Panasonic will start making Pioneer's screens! After my friend purchased a 50"+ Panasonic Plasma I knew I had to get one. Crutchfield's price is very competitive now and you get the piece of mind of their excellent customer service. Delivery (by another vendor) was quick and painless. I purchased the 720p to save some money. My research also indicated that at 42" the vast majority of people can not tell the difference vs. 1080p. I also do not have Blu-Ray yet (waiting for prices to drop) but I did purchase a Sony upconverting DVD player and with the HDMI connection my standard definition DVD's look awesome! I do get a handful of HD channels from my cable and they look great! Sound is acceptable but I'm definitely going to need to upgrade to a seperate receiver/speakers at some point. I doubt anything will go wrong with this TV but I've also read that in the rare case it does, Panasonic customer service is second to none! Buy with confidence!



Buy this amazing TV

Brett from Germantown, MD on 1/11/2009

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I have been following the flat panel market waiting for product quality to catch up to hype and the price point to stabilize under competition. I did not want to downgrade picture quality from CRT just to have a flat panel. This TV is the best value on the market per online reviews "Best flat-panel bang for the buck". The set is hooked up to Verizon FIOS HD and picture quality is amazing and has far exceeded my expectations. This is a significant step up in quality from my CRT and looks much better than any LCD. If you want the best possible picture, buy plasma. You can spend more money for a TV this size although it will be a complete waste. You will be paying for 1080P which is not broadcast and the only source utilizing this technology is BluRay. The only reason to buy an LCD over this plasma is if you will be doing lots of gaming as there is a minor threat for burn in. This TV is truly a perfect purchase.



Tremendous Value

RBS from Sarasota, Florida on 10/10/2008

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I've had this t.v. for about two weeks and am extremely pleased. The colors are rich and far better than I expected. We use it in our bedroom and it's perfect for that setup. We also have a Sony XBR-3 in our family room and the detail is slightly better, but I think the Panasonic's colors are more vibrant. In no way do I regret not getting a more expensive set. Online reviewers called this one of the best t.v.'s they tested, forget the price, and I find their reviews on everything to be very professional and accurate. My only complaint would be the lack of backlighting on the remote...when the lights are out, that can be troublesome.



Excellent TV!!

Donnie from Auburn, AL on 9/23/2008

My friend has a 50" Panasonic and I didn't want one quite as big. I got this 42" and man is it great! The picture is perfect, it has all the inputs I need. You can't beat the price either. Sure there are some cheaper TV's but the quality you get for the cost is very very good.



Plasma Excellence

rosie from Charleston, SC on 9/10/2008

Panasonic is the clear leader in plasma television and the TH42PX80U, their 720p TV is a clear bargain, when compared to 1080's and LCDs. The picture is vibrant and warm, without the static definition of an LCD. The technology guarantees a picture life easily meeting any LCD. The argument for 1080 vs 720 is like comparing 250 HP and 350 HP in a car. The 350 HP car will get you where you want to go just as fast as the 250 HP car but it will cost you a lot more in upfront cash and gasoline. The 720p picture, from the distance that you will be watching a 42 inch TV, is easily as good as the 1080p but will cost you several hundred dollars less. I examined all aspects of both plasma and LCD TVs and I am confident that the Panasonic TH42PX80U is a great bang for your buck--hands down.



Panasonic TH-42PX80U

Eddie from Metro Detroit, MI on 9/10/2008

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I got this for my bedroom. I previously bought an Sony XBR4 for the living room. Crutchfield has very good services. I know this Panasonic is only 720p but even for a 42", it is basically as good as 1080p. Given that this is a low end TV, the remote is not universal but I don't really care. Since this is a plasma, you may wonder whether there are any image retention problems. I noticed some image retentions but they are temporary. I have not played games on it so I don't know whether this will be a problem. I have recommended this set (42" and 50") to a couple of friends and they are happy with them. I think for this price and for getting a Panasonic, it is a very good deal.




Hands-on research

Product Research

Remote Control
Input And Output Notes


Increased Contrast Ratio: The Panasonic TH-42PX80U Widescreen VIERA plasma HDTV has an increased native contrast ratio of 15,000:1 and dynamic contrast ratio of 1,000,000:1.

Anti-Reflective Filter: The TV's flat panel features a new AR (anti-reflective) screen coating that acts as a filter to reduce annoying reflections and improve picture quality.

Built-in Tuners: The TV has both analog (NTSC) and digital (ATSC) tuners, as well as a QAM tuner for unencrypted cable signals. With these built-in tuners, you don't have to purchase a separate digital set-top box to receive and decode HDTV/SDTV signals.

68.7 Billion Colors: From deep blacks providing excellent shadow detail to vibrant colors rendering brilliantly bright scenes, the TH-42PX80U displays an incredible 68.7 billion colors.

4,096 Shades of Gradation: Plasma displays can suffer from an artifact called false contouring, where transitions between different shades of the same color are too sharp. These transitions can appear as distinct lines between the different shades of color. Having 4,096 shades of gradation helps minimize the false contouring artifact so color transitions take on a smooth, natural appearance.

Deep Color/x.v.Color Compatible: This unit is compatible with the Deep Color and x.v.Color technology that corresponds with the HDMI Version 1.3 specification. This technology supports higher bit rates and more color possibilities than previous HDTV signals.

Native Resolution: The TH-42PX80U has a display resolution of 1024 x 768. All incoming signals are converted to this native resolution. The HDMI digital and component video inputs will accept 1080i, 720p, 480p, and 480i, and will display them as 1024 x 768.. The HDMI inputs will also accept a 1080p signal.

Aspect Modes: Depending on the input signal, you can choose one of the following aspect modes:

  • 4:3: displays a 4:3 picture at its standard size with bars along the sides
  • Zoom:magnifies the picture uniformly (vertically and horizontally) to fill the screen, so the top and bottom are cut off (recommended for letter box sources)
  • Full:stretches the picture horizontally to fill the screen (recommended for anamorphic sources)
  • Just: stretches a 4:3 picture to fill the screen but with aspect correction applied to the sides of the screen so that elongation is only apparent at the left and right edges of the screen (recommended for normal TV broadcasts)
  • H-Fill: enlarges the 4:3 picture horizontally to fill the screen, the side edges are cut off

Picture Menu: The Menu list allows you to make the following adjustments in picture quality:

  • Picture Modes: You can choose one of the following picture modes:
    • Vivid: provides enhanced contrast and sharpness when viewing in a well lit room
    • Standard: recommended for normal viewing conditions with subdued room lighting
    • Cinema: for watching movies in a darkened room, provides a soft, film-like picture
    • Custom (Photo): adjust picture, brightness, color, tint, and sharpness
    • Game: for playing video games. The mode will be set automatically if "GAME" is selected from the input label setting.
  • Picture Adjustment: Several picture settings can be individually adjusted, including Picture (white areas), Brightness (dark areas), Color, Tint, and Sharpness.
  • Color Temperature: This feature selects the level of warm colors (red) and cool colors (blue). You can choose from a Cool, Normal, or Warm setting.
  • Color Management: When turned on, color management enhances green and blue color reproduction. This is especially useful for outdoor scenes.
  • x.v.Color: When set to Auto, this setting provides the appropriate picture when images corresponding to "x.v.Color" are input via HDMI or component input of this TV.
  • Zoom Adjust: adjusts the vertical alignment and size when aspect setting "Zoom" is selected.
  • Advanced Picture: Some advanced picture settings include:
    • Video NR: Video Noise Reduction removes snow from a weaker analog TV signal.
    • Digital Comb Filter: The motion adaptive 3D-YC comb filter minimizes noise and cross-color in the picture when the composite video input is used.
    • Color Matrix: When viewing a signal input through the component video inputs, this TV will automatically optimize the color parameters based on the color matrix setting:
    • MPEG NR: Reduces the block noise specific to digital signals from DVDs, STB's etc.
    • Black Level: You can adjust the TV's black level to Dark or Light.

Anti-Image Retention Features: The TV's Pixel Orbiter feature helps to prevent image retention (burn-in) by shifting the display image. You can set the feature to automatic or force, and designate the time interval for the "Force" setting as 1, 2, 3, or 4. You can also change the brightness of the side bars that appear in 4:3 mode, or start a scrolling white vertical bar across the screen to prevent burn-in.

VIERA Link: VIERA Link HDAVI Control lets you operate all of your Panasonic "HDAVI Control" compatible home theater components connected by HDMI by pressing a single button on your TV's remote control. Panasonic equipment with the "HDAVI Control" function enables the following operations: Automatic input switching, Power on link, Power off link, Speaker control, and One-touch theater playback. Equipment with HDAVI Control 2 (or more) function enables the following operations: Providing the setting information, Automatic lip-sync function, and Direct TV recording. Note: VIERA Link is the new name for "EZ Sync."

SD Card Slot: The SD card slot on the front-panel of the TH-42PX80U allows you to view JPEG photos from an SD, SDHC or miniSD card. An adapter is required to use a miniSD card. The maximum capacity for each type of media are: SDHC (16GB), SD Card (2GB), miniSD card (1GB). You can view images as thumbnails (up to 12 images), view them individually allowing you to rotate the image 90-degrees clockwise or counter-clockwise or view them as a slide show, with adjustable picture duration. You can adjust the time duration for the slide show between 1-10 seconds, 15, 20, 30, 45, 60, or 120 seconds. You can also adjust the TV's picture settings for your still photos.

Audio Menu: In addition to bass, treble, and balance, the TV's audio menu includes the following advanced features:

  • AI Sound: This audio feature equalizes the overall volume levels across all the channels and external inputs.
  • Surround Function: The surround function enhances audio response when listening to stereo programming. This function is active only for the TV's built-in speakers.
  • Audio Leveler: The Audio Leveler monitors the difference in audio levels between inputs and minimizes the change in volume when you change inputs. This function is active only for the TV's built-in speakers.

Closed Caption: The television includes a built-in decoder that is capable of providing a text display of the audio. The program being viewed must be transmitting Closed Caption (CC) information. The TV features analog and digital close captions:

  • Analog:
    • CC 1-4: displays information related to pictures (appears at bottom of screen)
    • T 1-4: displays textual information (appears over entire screen)
  • Digital: The digital Closed Caption menu lets you configure the way you choose to view the digital captions when viewing a digital station with (CC). You can adjust size, font, style, foreground, opacity, background and outline settings.

Input Labels: Each input can be labeled to reflect the source connected. The label options are Skip, VCR, DVD, Cable, DBS, PVR, Game, Aux, Receiver, and (blank). If "Skip" is selected, the TV/Video button will skip the input.

Station Caption: You change a channel's station name to a custom seven character name.

Favorite Channels: Channel numbers can be registered as Favorites and displayed in the TV's Favorite Tune menu for easier access.

Sleep Timer: This television features a built-in sleep timer, set by remote control, that turns the TV off automatically after 30, 60, or 90 minutes.

Programmable On/Off Timers: The programmable timers allow you to program the TV set to turn itself on and off at designated times, on designated days, tuned to designated channels. Up to 5 events can be programmed using the timers. An event can have multiple episodes (Daily, Mon-Fri, Every Wed, etc).

Lock: The Lock function has four settings to block viewing of particular channels or inputs. You create a 4-digit password that's required to bypass the lock. The available settings are:

  • Off: nothing is locked
  • All: all channels and external inputs are locked
  • Game: channels 3 and 4 and the video inputs are locked
  • Channel: locks up to seven specific channels
  • Program: block programs based on their TV or movie rating

Remote Control

Remote Control: The supplied remote is programmed to operate this unit only. The OK button and directional keys allow you to move the on-screen selector, making menu navigation simple and efficient. The remote control will also operate certain functions of Panasonic equipment with "HDAVI Control" connected by HDMI automatically through the TV's VIERA Link feature.

Input And Output Notes

HDMI Inputs: The TH-42PX80U has 2 rear-panel HDMI inputs and 1 front-panel HDMI input. Either HDMI1 and HDMI2 on the rear panel can be used with an HDMI-to-DVI adapter and the left and right RCA audio jacks (for the audio portion of the signal) of the TV's video input, if necessary. The front-panel HDMI input does not support HDMI-to-DVI conversion. All of the HDMI terminals can accommodate copy-protected digital signals (HDCP) from other devices (such as digital set-top boxes) that have compatible interfaces. The HDMI inputs will accept 1080p, 1080i, 720p, 480p, and 480i inputs.

Component Video Inputs: The two component video inputs will accept 1080i, 720p, 480p, and 480i inputs.

Digital Audio Out: The rear-panel optical digital output allows you to send a Dolby Digital bit stream to a Dolby Digital receiver or decoder. If the program doesn't include a Dolby Digital soundtrack, a 2-channel PCM bit stream is output.

Front Panel Input: The TV's front-panel input includes an HDMI input, left and right RCA audio connections, RCA composite video, and S-video connections.

SD Card Slot: The television features a front panel SD-card slot for viewing JPEG images stored on an optional SD-card (sold separately). The SD-card slot is compatible with SDHC cards up to 16GB, SD cards up to 2GB, and miniSD cards up to 1GB (miniSD cards require a miniSD card adapter).


Pedestal Base: The TH-42PX80U includes a pedestal base for cabinet-top mounting. The base comes unassembled, and unattached to the TV, so assembly is required. With the pedestal base the TV weighs 61.8 pounds.

Wall Mounting: On the back of the TV are four threaded inserts to attach an optional wall mount bracket. The inserts require M8 (8mm) machine screws, the horizontal hole spacing is 26" and a vertical hole spacing of 12-5/8". Without the pedestal base attached, the TV weighs 56.7 pounds.

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