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Saturday, October 22, 2005

Panasonic TH-42PWD7UY

Panasonic's 42-inch EDTV plasma, the TH-42PWD7UY, is part of the company's industrial line of flat-panel TVs, which means that it lacks the usual consumer features such as speakers and a built-in tuner. Think of it as the do-it-yourself plasma. The TH-42PWD7UY's native resolution of 852x480 makes it an EDTV, which means it can display HDTV sources but not in their full detail. If you're looking for a higher-resolution set, Panasonic offers several other industrial models, including the 42-inch TH-42PHD7UY, the 50-inch TH-50PHD7UY, and the 65-inch TH-65PHD7UY. The 37-inch, EDTV-resolution TH-37PWD7UY is also part of the lineup.

This is one of the least-expensive 42-inch plasmas on the market. In addition, although we haven't reviewed this particular model yet, previous Panasonic EDTVs have had excellent picture quality (see the TH-42PD25U/P, for example). While the TH-42PWD7UY lacks a varied input collection, it does have slots for extra input cards, such as HDMI, which can be purchased at Panasonic's Web site. With these extra input cards, the TH-42PWD7UY can be customized to your home-theater setup while remaining relatively inexpensive for a plasma TV. And although the design is minimalist, the all-picture look works well for those who want to use their own speaker systems. Optional matching speakers are also available.

This set is missing many features that come standard on other TVs. That's not a huge issue if you plan to integrate it into a system that already has a tuner (such as a cable or satellite box) or speakers (such as any home-theater audio system), but it might be if you want your set ready to go right out of the box. Also, the included remote is basic, so you'd probably want to get a good universal remote to control your A/V components.

Although we have not reviewed the TH-42PWD7UY yet, we have really liked Panasonic's previous EDTVs, as well as the company's recent industrial models, such as the excellent TH-42PHD7UY. However, if you'd rather avoid the hassle of installing your own connectivity cards and using separate components, you might want to consider more consumer-friendly models. We expect those comfortable with setting up their own home theaters to give the TH-42PWD7UY a serious look.

Source: cnet

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