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Now I'm not the type to spend my life glued in front of the TV. After all, I have a PC for that purpose! However, I do like to indulge in the odd cult TV series (roll on the new season of the Buffster) and a good film. The experience of these is of course greatly enhanced with a decent TV.
Now, hubby and I previously had a reasonable Phillips TV that we'd got as an ex-rental from Granada. It served us well for a number of years, but when we moved house we decided the time had really come to invest in the mutts nuts of a TV - well, as much as we could afford. So off shopping we went! This is an experience in itself, since I detest going to the shops - so much more civilised to buy things on line I feel. But then, if you're buying a television, you really need to see it don't you!
Now we did have some idea what we wanted. I desperately wanted widescreen - my reasons for this are quite sad. Our cable TV broadcasts in widescreen, and this meant that when I watched University Challenge I couldn't see the scores as they were off the edge of the screen. It annoyed me no end. We also craved a flatscreen TV - our lounge is not the biggest in the world, and it makes it so much easier to see the telly from every angle.
Now, once in the big TV shop surrounded by lots of very sexy shiny things, I have to say I was frankly disappointed by the quality of a number of the TVs available. They were by no means cheap, but I felt the picture quality on a lot of the widescreen/flatscreen models was disappointing, especially the Sony's which surprised me as I have appreciated Sony TVs in the past.
But then our baby caught my eye - the Panasonic TX-28PL10. A sexy silver 28 inch widescreen, flatscreen beauty. The picture quality was fantastic, and I just knew that was the one we were taking home.
*** Getting it Home and Setting it Up ***
Now a word of warning - this baby is heavy, weighing in at a massive 42 kilos. Now, the nice man at the shop wheeled it to the car (two enormous boxes - you get the stand as well), but we still had to get it out of the car at the other end! Good job mr delawney is big and strong.
On getting it home, though you will no doubt be desperate to get it out of it's box, your first job is to build the stand. Fortunately I have a husband for these eventualities, and he's quite handy at that sort of thing. Like any other piece of flat pack furniture it comes with instructions (fairly straightforward in this case thank goodness) and all the various fittings you need - don't forget to check they're all there before you start to build! The stand is relatively pleasing to the eye in a fetching silver with glass shelves, but beware a close inspection will reveal silver covered chipboard!
The one downside to this TV is probably the stand - with a cable box, video, DVD etc, it is not possible for us to fit all the peripherals under the TV, and the cable box has to sit unelegantly on top of the TV until hubby gets round to putting a shelf up for it. In fairness, I don't think other TV stands that come with the TV offer any more space.
*** The TV Setup ***
OK, so onto the TV itself - about time, I know! Now, I'm not an untechnical person, but I am on the lazy side in that department and I detest reading instructions with a passion. So a good job this TV is dead simple to install - once you've managed to heave all 4 kilos of it onto the stand that is! You simply plug in all your various Scart and RF cables to the VCR, DVD, cable/satellite Box. Ensure VCR is in standby mode, satellite/cable box is on, plug in your TV and switch on.
Now tuning in your new TV whilst still trying to figure out how all the menus and your new remote control work can be a right pain in the proverbial. But not so with the Panasonic TX-wotnot. If the TV has not been programmed by the dealer, all the tuning etc. is dealt with by an easy to follow auto-setup system. An added bonus of this TV is the security features - during the set up process you can enter an owner ID pin number along with your name, house number and postcode. This will help the police determine the owner in the event of a theft.
The television also comes with Q-link, a handy feature that allows direct communication between the TV and the VCR. This means features such as downloading information from the TV to the VCR are enables, as long as your VCR is Q-link compatible, of course.
*** The TV Performance ***
Now, to put our new baby to the test, what better than a brand new Farscape DVD? This was absolutely incredible! The combination of DVD quality and this TV is unbeatable. The picture was so sharp we thought we might cut ourselves on it. The stereo sound was fantastic. Now, we never thought there was much wrong with our old TV, but let me tell you we turned this thing on and we were blown away.
*** So Why Is It So Darn Good Then? ***
Well, firstly it's so darn good because it's got a 100 Hz picture. Now, I'm not mega-technical but my understanding here is that this means the picture has less flicker, refreshing faster than your average 50 Hz widescreen TV. This probably explains the super-sharp picture.
*** Features ***
* Display: Like most widescreen TVs, you can adjust the aspect of your picture. Basically this means you can decide how you want your picture to fit on the screen - e.g. whether you want it on widecreen or more like a bog standard TV. It's worth experimenting here, as I find some aspects cut off the top and bottom of the picture, which I find intensely annoying, but then I'm easily irritated. If you can't be bothered to play around, just leave it set to Panasonic Auto and it will automatically determine what it thinks is the best aspect. Personally, I often disagree with it's choice and prefer to do this manually, but I'm picky.
* On Screen Menus: All the various set-up stuff is controlled thus. Now, I don't always get on with these, as often I don't find them very intuitive and get myself in a pathetic girly muddle. No such problem here, everything is very simple.
* Teletext: Seems to me this is less and less relevant these days in the advent of digital TV, but for some reason mr delawney is obsessed with checking the weather and has the teletext pages permenantly set to the weather pages. This reveals another handy feature of this machine - it remembers the last teletext page you were on instead of always returning to the index. Of course, the teletext does all the usual stuff and this TV is compatible with the fasttext system.
* Remote Control: Personally I find this a bit plasticy and cheap looking, but everything else about this TV is so cool I'll forgive it for that. It is easy to use and doesn't have too many buttons to confuse my already addled mind. Not that this is much of a problem since hubby seems to have hold of it most of the time anyway. A plus with the remote is that you can also use it to work your video or DVD, although I have to confess I have not tried this particular feature.
*** The Cost ***
Well, there had to be a catch. At £699, this TV was not cheap, but I do not think it was unreasonable when compared to other televisions in its class. That was 6 months ago, so you never know, it may be cheaper now. I purchased it at Bennetts, of course you could shop around.
*** Dimensions ***
Height: 508.8 mm Width: 763.2 mm Depth: 512.2 mm
*** Instructions ***
I read them just for you guys! Surprisingly clear and easy to follow. Even for me.
*** Summary ***
- Picture quality is absolutely stunning - Ditto sound quality - Easy to install and set up - Sexy!
- Quality like this doesn't come cheap - Stand doesn't hold all our peripherals - Remote control a bit tacky looking
This gets 5 stars from me. My only complaints really are with the stand, and this doesn't affect the quality of the TV itself. We've had this TV for six months now and we have no complaints whatsoever. We love it!
My father stayed with us for a few days, and during his visit we all sat down to watch "Enterprise", one of his faves. At the end of this particular episode, there was a shot of this planet with all these strange, wispy, mist-like creatures over the surface. When he got home and watched the episode again on video, he was disappointed to find it just looked like fog on his TV. He's been cursing us ever since.
I suppose I SHOULD comment on your (truly) wonderful review of this cool telly. But no. Instead, I am going to praise you for your wonderful taste in viewing - Enterprise (not sure about Captain Quantum, but there you go)...Buffy, Farscape. How do you feel about Babylon 5? Coolness. Cheers, Kate
Sweetiesarahjane 19.10.2002 18:19
Ive needed a new TV for a while though, although I may have to look for something a bit cheaper than this one! Great op, Sarah :-)
Sexy-Kay 19.10.2002 14:51
I don't watch a lot ot TV either but when I do I like a decent widescreen - yours sounds great and a great review to match - Kay