Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Upper Galilee, Israel
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Hello. I apologize for the long post, but I think it contains useful information.
First of all, thanks to tornadobox for establishing the thread, and the other posters.
Like a previous post, I'm assuming the TC-PxxX3 series is the US version of this series, and outside the US, the series is also known as TX-PxxX30 and TH-PxxX30, with specific market markers appearing after the zero. For example, my TH-P42X30M is intended for the Middle East market.
I have a few notes about this model:
1. Black level in lit rooms: I have placed the TV in a living room with a medium-sized, north-facing, unobstructed window that allows in what I would consider an average amount of light during a sunny day. The black level on the TH-P42X30M during a sunny day with the window's blinds open is quite poor, surprisingly so. I knew that this was an issue with plasmas in general, and with entry-level plasmas in particular, but I didn't realize how significant it is. The TH-P42X30M replaced a 10-year old 34" CRT, so that's what I'm comparing it to. It appears that the Panasonic's Eco mode adjusts the contrast according to the ambient light in the room, which is useful, but this does not really compensate for blacks that appear medium-grey under these conditions.
2. Only two Internet-based Viera Tools: The only Internet-based Viera tools delivered with this model are a passive-only facebook (see below) and Shoutcast. I paid a significant premium for the X30 model versus the X20 model, and while I thoroughly enjoy the DLNA functions, it almost seems a waste of LAN/Wi-Fi capability to offer just two Internet applications. I personally would love an ESPN3.com application so I would not have to physically connect my computer to the TV with an HDMI cable. I would, at the very least, have expected a YouTube application. YouTube actually offers a large-screen version, YouTubeXL, which appears like it would seamlessly integrate with Viera Tools.
3. Facebook application limitations:
a. Passive only: The facebook application does not allow user input, only viewing of existing content. This TV supports text input, both via the remote (for input naming, for example) or via a simple USB keyboard, so I should be able to use facebook as it was intended, interactively. For that matter, with this TV's DLNA certification, I should be able to upload photos, videos, and so on, from my laptop, too.
b. Content not filtered: The content I see using the facebook application is not filtered according to my account settings. For example, I do not see updates from every one of my facebook friends in my News Feed when I access my facebook account via my laptop and mobile device, but updates from every one of my facebook friends do appear in my News Feed when I access my facebook account via Viera Tools.
4. Media Server fixed volume: During Media Server music playback, I am unable to change the volume via the remote control's volume buttons. I have connected the TV to an audio system using the RCA Audio Out jacks, and I have set the Volume Control (VAO) setting to Audio Out (TV Off). When I change the volume during Media Server playback, the change only takes effect after Media Server is no longer the input source.
Again, I am quite happy with this TV, and I hope that at least some of the issues I have described will be resolved with firmware updates.
Jay L. Abramoff