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Panasonic TH-42PZ800U

42" VIERA® 1080p THX®-certified plasma HDTV

4 Reviews

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Item # 13342PZ800

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Our take on the Panasonic TH-42PZ800U

For years, movie enthusiasts have relied on THX-certified A/V receivers and speakers to deliver precise, theater-like surround sound in their homes. THX recently launched a certification program for HDTVs, and the Panasonic TH-42PZ800U was among the first models to pass. This set's THX badge means you can count on enjoying an accurate, lifelike picture on your favorite movies and TV shows.

For years, movie enthusiasts have relied on THX-certified A/V receivers and speakers to deliver precise, theater-like surround sound in their homes. THX recently launched a certification program for HDTVs, and the Panasonic TH-42PZ800U was among the first models to pass. This set's THX badge means you can count on enjoying an accurate, lifelike picture on your favorite movies and TV shows.

THX enhancements close the gap between movie screen and TV screen
THX's strict requirements are based on tests that measure each TV's display quality (resolution, brightness level, color accuracy) and video processing (scaling, deinterlacing). To earn a passing grade, the TH-42PZ800U had to meet performance benchmarks for both standard- and high-definition video, ensuring that all your sources will look their best. Movie fans will love THX Movie Mode, a picture preset that optimizes settings for watching movies on DVD, Blu-ray, and broadcast TV.

Panasonic's most advanced plasma screen design
The TH-42PZ800U boasts Panasonic's most advanced 1080p plasma panel technology. It can reproduce 5,120 shades of gray — 25% more than last year's models — for naturally seamless colors. Picture contrast is outstanding too, with notably deep black levels. This TV's 24p Cinematic Playback mode optimizes 1080p video from a Blu-ray player — it doubles the original playback frame rate to 48 frames per second, just like most theater projectors do. You'll feel even more like you're sitting in a theater.

A versatile performer that's beautiful to look at, on or off
With four 1080p-capable HDMI inputs, the TH-42PZ800U is ready for the very best high-def sources available. A front-panel SD™ memory card slot also makes it easy to share your digital photos on a big, beautiful screen, without booting up your computer. And check out this TV's bezel-less "single-sheet glass" design — the entire front of the TV is one seamless surface.

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. Free return shipping not available with this model.

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)
  • 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • 30,000:1 contrast ratio (1,000,000:1 dynamic)
  • Sub Pixel Controller video processing
  • THX Movie Mode picture preset for optimized movie viewing
  • 24p Cinematic Playback mode (displays 1080p/24 content at 48Hz)
  • Deep Color and x.v.Color™ support
  • built-in stereo speakers (15.5 watts x 2)
  • multibrand remote control
  • VIERA Link™ simplifies remote control for compatible Panasonic components (HDMI-CEC)
  • picture settings memory for each video input
  • 8 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)
    • 4 HDMI v1.3 (3 rear, 1 front) — accepts signals up to 1080p (60Hz, 24Hz)
  • PC input: analog RGB (D-Sub 15-pin)
  • 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 18"W x 12-3/4"D)
  • wall-mountable (bracket not included)
  • 42-3/8"W x 26-7/8"H x 4-3/8"D (28-7/8"H x 12-3/4"D on stand)
  • weight: 79.4 lbs. with stand; 70.6 lbs. without stand
  • extra long-life panel (100,000 hours)
  • warranty: 1 year parts & labor — in-home service or pick-up for service
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

Simply beautiful HD with many nice features. A snap to order, quick efficient delivery and easier to install than expected.

Kathleen, Fairfax VA

What's in the Box:

  • 42" Widescreen plasma TV
  • Wireless remote control (N2QAYB000220)
  • 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
  • Cleaning cloth
  • 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
  • "Maintaining the shiny parts" sheet
  • Pedestal base assembly diagram

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Energy Guide:

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Panasonic TH-42PZ800U Reviews

Average Customer Review(s):

(4 Reviews)

Stunning Picture

Kathleen from Fairfax VA on 2/6/2009

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Simply beautiful HD with many nice features. A snap to order, quick efficient delivery and easier to install than expected.



Great picture!

Bill from Kernersville, NC on 2/2/2009

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I would rate this a 5 if not for the sound system. The onboard speakers are terrible and the audio out volume is not controlled by the remote. You must connect them thru a reciever or surrond sound system and use that remote.



Awesome Tv

Brian from Sheldon WI on 10/4/2008

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Absolutely the best TV I've ever owned! Like many other people I did a lot of online research before deciding to purchase the Panny 42pz800u. I tried to find it at any of the big box stores in my area, but the closest I could find was last years model 50pz700u. I've ordered from Crutchfield before and have always been satisfied, so I figured what the heck. The only problem was the timeliness in getting the TV delivered to my residence. I live in a remote area (not a lot of carriers), after 9 days I had not heard from the carrier to set up a delivery time, I called Crutchfield customer service and with in 15 minutes after I hung up the phone, the carrier had set up the delivery time. The TV was delivered in absolutely mint condition. The 42pz800u has a great picture, we watch mostly HD channels brought in on a regular out door anntenna(for free). Even movies from our old DVD player (not a Blu-ray) look great, the kids think the Barney videos from the old VCR look better too. 2 weeks after receiving the TV I called back to Crutchfield to order more cables and they even shipped them free of charge. The people at Crutchfield were very helpful with everything I needed. My family is very pleased with our new tv. Thankyou Crutchfield



Fantastic TV

Dave from Annapolis, MD on 7/18/2008

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

After doing a LOT of research and talking to the folks at Crutchfield, I settled on this TV. I wanted something around $ 2,000 and we needed to install it on a counter under a stairway, and that prevented us from getting a larger unit. This is one fantastic TV, and we couldn't be more pleased ! We settled on a plasma for viewing movies and watching TV, we don't use it for games. They say that plasmas aren't good for brightly lit rooms, but our family room is fairly bright during the day and the picture on this TV is still very vivid, and it has various settings that you can adjust. I guess that's a function of the 30,000:1 intensity ratio - you can actually get it too bright ! We plugged in the TV cable and the channel autofind function went out and found 70 analog and over 100 digital channels. Also tested the SD chip from my Nikon camera and the TV displays the photos bright and sharp. Regular DVD movies on this unit are terrific. I can't comment on the audio since we have the TV plugged into our Bose Lifestyle system. This is a heck of a TV for the $, we're still learning more about what it can do. After two weeks of use though, we haven't had any problems and are enchanted with the sharp, vivid picture generated by this TV.




Hands-on research

Product Research

Remote Control
Input And Output Notes


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.

Increased Contrast Ratio: The Panasonic TH-42PZ800U Widescreen VIERA plasma 1080p HDTV has an increased native contrast ratio of 30,000:1 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.

68.7 Billion Colors: From deep blacks providing excellent shadow detail to vibrant colors rendering brilliantly bright scenes, the TH-42PZ800U displays an incredible 68.7 billion colors.

5,120 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 5,120 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.

24p Playback: This TV is capable of displaying film-based video at the frame rate of 24 fps via HDMI. Some Blu-ray and high definition discs offer special 24p frame rate video for most accurate display of film-based material.

Native Resolution: The TH-42PZ800U has a display resolution of 1920 x 1080. 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 1920 x 1080. 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
    • THX (Cinema): faithfully reproduces the image quality that the movie makers intended in order to provide the ultimate cinematic experience at home
    • 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 color`s (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.
  • C.A.T.S. (Contrast Auto Tracking System): adjusts the brightness and gradation accordingly to optimize contrast.
  • Zoom Adjust: adjusts the vertical alignment and size when aspect setting "Zoom" is selected.
  • PC Adjust: sets the PC display for sync, dot clock, H-position, V-position, clock phase, input resolution, and Horizontal (15-110kHz) or Vertical (48-120Hz) frequency.
  • 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.
    • HD Size: This mode selects between 95% or 100% for the scanning area of the HDTV. This allows you to move any edge noise out of the viewable area.
    • 24p Direct In: Achieves more cinematic playback by reproducing the movie contents at twice the speed of 24 frames per second (60Hz or 48 Hz).

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-42PZ800U 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.
  • BBE: BBE High Definition Sound restores clarity and presence for better speech reproduction and musical realism.
  • BBE VIVA 3D: BBE ViVA HD3D (High-Definition 3D) Sound provides musically accurate natural 3D image with Hi-Fi Sound. The clarity of the sound is improved by BBE while the width, depth and height of sound image are expanded by BBE's proprietary 3D sound process. BBE ViVA HD3D Sound is compatible with all TV programs including news, music, dramas, movies, sports and electronic games.
  • 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.
  • Bass And Treble: The television features independent bass and treble settings to increase or decrease bass and treble response of the unit'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, 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

Automatic Shut-Off Function: The television is equipped with the following automatic shut-off functions to conserve energy.

  • No Signal Shut-Off: To conserve energy, the TV automatically turns off when no signal and no operation is performed for more than 10 minutes.
  • No Action Shut-Off: To conserve energy, the TV automatically turns off when no operation of remote or front panel buttons continue for more than 3 hours.

Remote Control

Multibrand Remote: The supplied remote is pre-programmed to operate this unit and a number of functions on other brands of components; including VCRs, DVD players, DVD recorders, personal video recorders (PVR), cable boxes, combination cable box/PVRs, DBS receivers, and combination DBS receiver/PVRs. 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-42PZ800U has 3 rear-panel HDMI inputs and 1 front-panel HDMI input. 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. All of the HDMI inputs can be used with an HDMI-to-DVI adapter and the left and right RCA audio jacks or 3.5mm stereo jack (for the audio portion of the signal) from the Component 1, Component 2, Video 1, Video 2 or PC input of the TV if necessary. The side-panel HDMI input does not support HDMI-to-DVI conversion.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).

PC Input: The TV is equipped with an RGB (15-pin D-Sub) input for connecting your PC. A 3.5mm mini-jack is provided for PC audio.


Pedestal Base: The TH-42PZ800U 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 79.4 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 70.6 pounds.

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