(I also posted this in the S2 thread, but hardly anyone reads it).
As of late, I'm less and less enjoying the picture on my TC-P42S2. I calibrated my TV already to get the best picture I can out of it, but last night was the worst. I don't have an picture processing features on like DRE or CATS, etc. The TV is in my bedroom with little to no light on. I was watching 30 Rock through my DirecTV HD receiver and the picture was very dark and drowned out. I lost 50% of the detail of the picture because it was so dim. It was if I had taken a TV and reduced brightness and contrast to zero. It was bad enough that the only way I could get any sort of decent picture back was to switch to VIVID mode and do my best to balance the contrast and brightness. Not all channels and programs were this bad, but they weren't that much better either.
Also, when watching a commercial or news spot, I would see a great detailed picture for a split second when the news spot faded out to go to commercial. Suddenly the detail returned, but only for that one second.
I've never had a TV look this awful naturally. I'm just not happy. It's making me want to return it for an LCD.
Also, something I noticed about my tc-p42s2 is that if I switch picture mode to STANDARD, the brightness fluctuates and flutters. This is even with CATS turned off. I'm trying to think of what I should do. Worth swapping out at the retail store or is this a "feature" of this model of Panasonic TV?