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Panasonic TC-P46U1

46" VIERA® U1 Series 1080p plasma HDTV

1 Review

Item # 133P46U1

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Our take on the Panasonic TC-P46U1

The TC-P46U1 is Panasonic's most affordable 46" 1080p HDTV. You'll love plasma's impressive picture contrast, deep black levels, and smear-free video motion. Panasonic's latest panel technology delivers on picture quality while also significantly reducing energy consumption compared to last year's models.

The TC-P46U1 is Panasonic's most affordable 46" 1080p HDTV. You'll love plasma's impressive picture contrast, deep black levels, and smear-free video motion. Panasonic's latest panel technology delivers on picture quality while also significantly reducing energy consumption compared to last year's models.

Panasonic's 2009 plasma TVs eliminate motion blur for a clearer picture
All 1080p HDTVs have the same number of pixels, but they don't all deliver full picture resolution at all times. Plasma and LCD TVs are equally good at displaying still images, but when the action picks up the pace, plasma has a clear advantage. Panasonic's 2009 plasmas employ improved panel drive electronics that flash the screen's pixels on and off at high speed — 25% faster than last year's models. Video motion looks effortlessly smooth and clear.

Enjoy all your high-def video sources, and digital photos, too
The versatile set of audio/video connections includes three HDMI inputs for hooking up the latest high-def components. If you're using other recent Panasonic HDMI-equipped components, the VIERA Link™ system enables you to operate compatible models — like a Panasonic Blu-ray player — using only the TV's remote. A side-panel memory card slot lets you instantly share your digital photos on a big, beautiful screen, without booting up your computer.

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.

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 an additional $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:

    • 46" 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
    • 900 TV Lines Moving Picture Resolution
    • 600Hz Sub-field Drive anti-blur technology
    • 30,000:1 contrast ratio (2,000,000:1 dynamic)
    • Deep Color support
    • built-in stereo speakers (10 watts x 2)
    • remote control
    • VIERA Link™ simplifies control of compatible Panasonic components via the HDMI connection (HDMI-CEC)
    • Energy Star® 3.0 compliant — see our article on TV power consumption for more info about this and other testing standards
    • picture settings memory for each video input
    Connections and Dimensions:
    • 7 A/V inputs, including:
      • 2 composite video (1 rear, 1 side)
      • 1 S-video
      • 2 component video (accepts signals up to 1080p)
      • 3 HDMI v1.3 (2 rear, 1 side) — accepts signals up to 1080p (60Hz, 24Hz)
    • RF input for antenna/cable signals
    • optical digital audio output for Dolby® Digital
    • side SD™ memory card slot for digital photo playback
    • detachable stand (stand "footprint" is 18"W x 15-1/4"D)
    • wall-mountable (bracket not included)
    • 44-5/8"W x 28-1/2"H x 4-1/8"D (30-5/8"H x 15-1/4"D on stand)
    • weight: 68.4 lbs. with stand; 64 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

    What's in the Box:

    • 46" Widescreen plasma TV
    • Wireless remote control (N2QAYB000321)
    • 2 "AA" batteries
    • 6.5' AC power cord
    • Pedestal base
    • 2 Pedestal poles
    • 4 Machine screws (M5 x 18mm)
    • 4 Machine screws (M5 x 25mm)
    • Cleaning cloth
    • Operating Instructions (Eng/Spa/Fre)
    • HD setup guide (Eng/Spa/Fre)
    • Product Registration card
    • Panasonic Customer Care Plan card (extended service plan)
    • Child Safety/Digital Television Transition Notice
    • "Maintain Shiny Parts" notice
    • Stand Assembly diagram

    Energy Guide:

    View the Energy Guide


    Panasonic TC-P46U1 Reviews

    Average Customer Review(s):

    (1 Review)


    Brnsugar from Chester, PA on 6/9/2010

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    This TV is Awesome!!! The picture quality is perfect as is the sound quality. The colors are so rich and vivid. I was conflicted for a while about whether to go with an LCD or plasma. After careful research, I have to say that I'm glad I went with this particular brand. I have mine hooked up with a Panasonic blu-ray dvd player. All you have to do to watch the dvd is push the Viera link button on the remote control. The only negative about plasmas (and to me, it's not really a negative since it can be easily remedied) is the fact that you will get screen glare in a brightly lit room but that can be fixed by closing your curtins to block the sun or turn off any lights causing the effect. If you're considering a plasma, I highly recommend this TV. You can't go wrong with it and the price is right.




    Hands-on research

    Features and Specs

    Screen Size 46"
    Screen Design Flat
    Aspect Ratio 16:9
    Screen Resolution (pixels) 1920 x 1080
    Screen Refresh Rate N/A
    Backlighting Type (for LCD TVs) N/A
    Quantum Dot Color (for LCD TVs) No
    HDR (High Dynamic Range) ---
    3D No
    Wi-Fi No
    Internet Movie Streaming No
    Bluetooth Audio Streaming No
    Voice Remote No
    MHL-compatible ---
    Picture In Picture No
    Parts Warranty 1 Year
    Labor Warranty 1 Year
    Type of Warranty Service In-home
    Total Video Inputs 7
    HDMI Inputs 3
    Component Video Inputs 2
    Composite Video Inputs 2
    RF Inputs 1
    Ethernet Port No
    USB Ports N
    Optical Digital Audio Output 1 Rear
    Analog Audio Output None
    Power Consumption
    Estimated Yearly Electricity Use (EnergyGuide) Not Given
    Estimated Yearly Energy Cost (EnergyGuide) Not Given
    Dimensions & Mounting Information
    Width (inches) 44-5/8
    Height with Stand (inches) 30-5/8
    Height without Stand (inches) 28-1/2
    Depth with Stand (inches) 15-1/4
    Depth without Stand (inches) 4-1/8
    Stand Width (inches) 18
    Weight with Stand 68.4 lbs
    Weight without Stand Not available
    Wall Mountable Yes
    Wall Bracket Included No
    Pedestal Stand Assembly required

    Product Research

    Video Features
    Audio Features
    Convenience Features
    Remote Control

    Video Features

    Built-in HDTV Tuner: 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.

    100,000 Hour Panel Life: The TC-P46U1 features a G12 Progressive HD Plasma Display Panel with a 100,000 hour panel life.

    Native Resolution: The TC-P46U1 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 1080p, 1080i, 720p, 480p, and 480i, and will display them as 1920 x 1080.

    600Hz Sub-field Drive: The 600Hz Sub-field Drive produces crisp, focused images for sports, dramatic action, and all other fast-moving scenes. Your full-HD movies and games will look clear and sharp.

    2,000,000:1 Dynamic Contrast Ratio: The Panasonic TC-P46U1 Widescreen VIERA plasma HDTV utilizes an infinite black panel that has a native contrast ratio of 30,000:1 and dynamic contrast ratio of 2,000,000:1.

    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.

    3 HDMI Inputs: The TC-P46U1 has 2 rear-panel HDMI inputs and 1 side-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. The HDMI inputs will accept 1080p, 1080i, 720p, 480p, and 480i inputs. Either HDMI 1, HDMI 2, HDMI 3 can be used with an HDMI-to-DVI adapter along with the left and right RCA audio jacks assigned to Component 1, Component 2, Video 1 or Video 2 (for the audio portion of the signal).

    Deep Color Compatible: This unit is compatible with the Deep 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.

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

    Composite/S-Video Inputs: The Plasma TV features a rear and side-panel composite video input, along with a rear-panel S-Video input. The rear-panel composite and S-Video input share a pair of stereo RCA audio inputs.

    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 a 4:3 picture horizontally to fill the screen (recommended for anamorphic sources)
      • 16:9 source displayed in original aspect
    • 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
      • Game: for playing video games. The mode will be set automatically if "GAME" is selected from the input label setting.
      • Custom: adjust picture, brightness, 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.
    • C.A.T.S: Adjusts the brightness and gradation according to the ambient lighting condition. You can select On or Off.
    • Video NR: Video Noise Reduction removes snow from a weaker analog TV signal.
    • Zoom Adjust: adjusts the vertical alignment and size when aspect setting "Zoom" is selected.
    • Advanced Picture: Some advanced picture settings include:
      • 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: select between 95% or 100% for the scanning area with a high-definition signal
      • H Size: Adjust horizontal display range to reduce noise of both side edges of an image or adjust image size according to aspect mode for reducing noise.

    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.

    Photo Viewer: The SD card slot on the side-panel of the TC-P46U1 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 (Very fast, Fast, Medium, Slow, Very slow). You can also adjust the TV's picture settings (Contrast, Brightness, Color, Tint, Sharpness) for your still photos.

    Audio Features

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

    • 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.
    • Volume Leveler: The Volume 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.

    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.

    Convenience Features

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

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

    Input Labels: Each input can be labeled to reflect the source connected. The label options are Skip, VCR, DVD, Cable, Satellite, DVR,  Game, Aux, Receiver, Computer, Blu-ray, Camera, DVD REC, Home Thtr, Monitor, Media CTR, Media EXT, other and (blank). If "Skip" is selected, the TV/Video button will skip the input.

    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.

    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

    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).

    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.

    ECO/Power Saving: To conserve energy, the automatically turns off when no signal and no operation is performed for more than 10 minutes. Also to conserve energy, the TV automatically turns off when no operation of remote or side panel keys continue for more than 3 hours.

    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.

    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 auto-power standby.


    Pedestal Base: The TC-P46U1 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 68.4 pounds.

    Wall Mounting: On the back of the TV are four threaded inserts to attach an optional wall mount bracket. The inserts require 8M (8mm) machine screws. The horizontal hole spacing is 400mm and the vertical hole spacing of 300mm. Without the pedestal base attached, the TV weighs 64.0 pounds.

    Our Product Research Team

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