Got my 42PX60U yesterday. This set replaces a 27-inch 1992 cathode ray tube Sony XBR which still has a great picture (in SD, of course).
We put the TV at the foot of the bed so we will be watching from about six feet. Only had a couple of hours to watch, so these are preliminary impressions:
Picture quality is great, but default settings are wrong. Vivid is way too fiery, Standard has too much contrast and artificial sharpness, and Cinema is lifeless. In Standard mode, I decided to turn down Picture (why doesn't the TV industry like the word "contrast"? "Contrast" is much more descriptive than "Picture") to about +20, and leave everything else at 0. I will calibrate when my Avia disk arrives.
SD is very good when the signal is good. Unfortunately, the signal varies greatly between channels and the differences in PQ are much more pronounced than on my old Sony XBR. All in all, SD is very watchable.
I was surprised that I could get HD channels over Time Warner Cable without a STB! Local channels and a special KPBS channel with different programming than regular KPBS. I though I needed a cable card to get HD over cable without a STB. Evidently not!
Now what do I do with the Zenith Silver Sensor antenna coming in the mail next week?
Needless to say, picture quality in HD was wonderful. Very sharp and lifelike, fantastic color saturation, excellent contrast, deep blacks (almost as black as my old Sony XBR), and very pure whites. This is from a few minutes of watching the KPBS HD channel, and snippets of the March Madness college basketball games.
I watched the opening scenes from the new DVD of Good Night and Good Luck. I was pleased with the purity of the blacks and the whites. The gray scale, in particular, seems very refined and extended, moving from black to white seamlessly. Shadow detail is exceptional, and highlight detail is the best. (By the way, the Dianne Reeves soundtrack of this DVD is so well recorded that I ordered the CD; the saxophone in particular is very real.)
I also watched some scenes from Natural Born Killers, and the PQ was fabulous. Color is very good, although perhaps a little oversaturated because I have yet to calibrate the set.
I used a cheap Toshiba SD-3950 to play the DVD's. It seems that the Panasonic de-interlaser and scaler are so good that even a $50 DVD player looks good. Why would I need an Oppo?