A TV, pure and simple – this 46-inch (1.17-meter) TV is from the lower mid-range of Panasonic models. In this series, the manufacturer concentrates on the main virtues of a TV – buyers will have to make do without top multimedia features. This can be a positive thing: Many customers only want to use their TVs to watch TV – but in the best possible quality. Panasonic sees plasma screens as the best basis for this.
The TX-P 46 G 10 uses a twelfth-generation plasma panel – this claims to consume significantly less power than its predecessors from earlier generations. Panasonic refers to the screen type as “Tough Panel”, since – apparently, anyway – it withstands the impact of a ball bearing. In the later part of this article, we take a look at what the competition has to offer in the same size and price class.
The TV’s 46-inch (1.17-meter) screen displays HDTV pictures in maximum sharpness, with a resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 pixels (“full HD”) – on a screen of this screen size, you’ll be able to detect the additional sharpness even from the living room couch.
Panasonic is joining in Sony’s “more Hertz” game: Panasonic advertizes the TX-P 46 G 10 as having “600 Hz Intelligent Frame Creation Pro”. If you look closely at the corresponding logo, you’ll notice the affix “sfd” – this stands for “Sub Field Drive”. Plasma screens produce a visible image differently from CRTs or LCD TVs, and at the level of individual pixels, this results in a rate of 600 Hz.
In reality, however, the TX-P 46 G 10 is a 100-Hertz TV. The “Intelligent Frame Creation” promises fluid motion. Potential buyers should resist the attempts to impress with figures and jargon – it’s more important to consider the actual picture.
Smaller brother the TX-P 42 GW 10 already impressed Televisions.com with its picture quality. The “Cinema” picture preset gives an almost ideal setup. We then went on to set the “Gamma” to 2.2 and switch off the picture cropping (overscan) in the menu. With these settings, the 42-inch plasma’s impressive, extremely detailed picture outstrips most of its LCD rivals. With special test patterns, we did determine a bit of flicker on this relative of the TX-P 46 G 10, but the flicker doesn’t irritate during everyday TV viewing.
DVD movies still show a little flicker along fine, diagonal lines, unless the DVD player itself is able to eliminate this so-called “line flicker” – this requires a player with “progressive” playback. The 42-inch GW-10 model displays HDTV signals with perfect pixel mapping, but interlaced signals such as sports broadcasts or concert recordings show some flicker again along diagonal lines. With a 24p movie signal from a Blu-ray disc, the TX-P 42 GW 10 reproduces the usual movie judder correctly.
Colors only deviate slightly from the ideal, and the picture’s contrast is perfect. Furthermore, the picture impression remains the same from every viewing angle – typical for plasma technology. This smaller brother of the TX-P 46 G 10 is ideal for the home-theater.
As described already, Panasonic has focused on the essentials in this series. The TX-P 46 G 10 has a slot for SD and SDHC memory cards, allowing it to play back digital JPEG photos and AVCHD video clips, but this plasma offers no other multimedia extras.
The TV receives analog cable signals and – where still in use – analog terrestrial signals, as well as DVB-T, DVB-C, and DVB-S. It also supports HD for all digital standards. In principle, therefore, the TV is equipped for all current reception methods – all that remains is the pesky question of digital-cable access systems. Some cable networks have decided on using CI Plus to control access, but this is not supported on the TX-P 46 G 10.
Channels using CI encryption, as opposed to CI Plus, will still display without problems, but some future channels may require an additional set-top box. For this reason, Panasonic doesn’t advertize the TV’s digital cable tuner in all countries. Satellite-TV viewers, on the other hand, will have everything they need with this TV for free-to-view channels – an external receiver will only be necessary for Pay-TV channels.
The UK version of the TV is adapted to the country’s cable services and supports the freesat system that began operating in 2008. The TV’s analog inputs accept video signals in the PAL, Secam, and NTSC formats.
The TV offers a practical set of connections: Two Scart sockets (both RGB capable, one S-Video capable) should be enough to accommodate older devices such as a VHS recorder or DVD player. The two HDMI inputs on the back of the TV fall short of luxury, but will probably suffice in many cases.
A flap on the front of the TV conceals a third HDMI input, along with a camcorder connections panel offering a Mini-DIN socket for S-Video signals and a cinch input for composite video signals. Here you’ll also find the SD-card slot and a 3.5-millimeter-jack headphone output.
The remote control and on-screen menu are identical for all TV sizes in the G 10 series, so our observations of the 42-inch version should also apply to the TX-P 46 G 10. Although a little on the heavy side, the remote control sits comfortably in the user’s hand. The buttons are, for the most part, clearly laid out, and the most-used buttons – for volume and channel changing – are sufficiently large.
One small trip-up relates to the positioning of the “N” button, which returns all picture settings to their factory values. The button is immediately beside the menu button, so it’s possible to press it by mistake.
The simply laid out on-screen menu is clearly legible, and even inexperienced users will easily keep track of where they are. The channel search sorts the channels into the normal order for the user’s country.
Design / Model Variants
The TX-P 46 G 10 only comes in black.
Panasonic gives instructions for wall-mounting the TV using an optional tilting bracket, the TY-WK 4 P 1 RW, but doesn’t list the product on its UK website. Display-mounting manufacturer dekomount offers a universal tilting bracket (DM102, 39 GBP) that claims to fit the TX-P 46 G10.
Alternative models: A brief comparison
LG 47 LH 5000
This rival not only differs from the TX-P 46 G 10 with a one-inch (2.54-centimeter) bigger screen diagonal. LG also strides ahead with picture technology, beginning with 200-Hertz technology. This is supposed to provide accurate moving pictures with clearly defined edges – particularly important in sports broadcasts, of course.
The 47 LH 5000 also tempts with some tasty multimedia extras: DivX-format videos will even play back from USB storage devices – and in HD resolution, according to the manufacturer. The built-in tuners receive digital signals, but only DVB-T – this, too, in high-definition where such broadcasts exist. Apart from that, this Korean TV will only accept analog cable signals; if you want to watch digital cable or satellite signals, you’ll need an additional set-top box.
In terms of PC networks, the LG and Panasonic are level – the LG can’t connect to computer networks either – but the LG’s connectivity is still anything but sparse: With four HDMI inputs, the LG offers one more than the Panasonic, but the two Scart sockets mean the Korean and Japanese rivals are once again equally matched.
The 47 LH 5000 will not, however, accept S-Video signals – neither by Scart nor via the side-mounted AV input – so this TV can’t get the best quality playback out of older camcorders. LG has also neglected to fit a headphone socket.
Philips 47 PFL 7403 D
The 47 PFL 7403 D is also one inch (2.54 centimeters) bigger than the Panasonic TX-P 46 G 10. This Philips from the 2008 model-year only has tuners for analog cable and digital terrestrial (DVB-T) TV. The eye-catching, sturdy frame is more than just a design feature – it houses a cunning sound system that claims to sound much better than the thin whining of most flat-panel TVs. Televisions.com has already tested a number of models that are related to the 47 PFL 7403 D, and can indeed testify to their above-average, if a little diffuse, sound.
Philips has tried to pep up the picture impression with its Pixel Plus 3 HD technology, so the image should appear crisper. Of course, it’s not technically possible to conjure up fine details that aren’t present in the original picture, but a TV can convey a greater subjective impression of detail.
Furthermore, the “HD Natural Motion” system aims to make moving pictures look fluid and sharp. The 7403 D can use Dolby Virtual technology to produce virtual surround sound from Dolby-Surround-encoded movie soundtracks. In our experience, however, this is never particularly effective.
This Philips TV’s multimedia capabilities are a bit weak: The TV will play back JPEG photos, MP3 music files, and MPEG-1/MPEG-2 videos from USB sticks, but that’s it. With four HDMI inputs, the 47 PFL 7403 offers one more than the Panasonic. Both candidates have two Scart sockets.
Philips 47 PFL 7404 H
From June this year, the 7404 H will replace the 7403 D. The up-to-date tuner with CI Plus technology allows reception of digital cable TV without a set-top box. In countries that intend to introduce CI Plus, this feature puts the 7404 H ahead of the Panasonic. Analog cable TV and DVB-T are also welcome here, the latter also in HD resolution. Satellite viewers will still need an external receiver.
The display runs at 100 Hertz; the “Pixel Plus HD” system is supposed to make pictures look crisper; and the TV can play back music files (MP3- or LPCM-format), photos (JPEG), and video clips (MPEG-1, MPEG-2, and H.264/MPEG-4 AVC) from a USB stick. In terms of multimedia, therefore, this forthcoming rival from Holland will easily outgun the Panasonic TX-P 46 G 10. Network access, however, is also beyond the 47 PFL 7404 H.
In consolation, you get four HDMI inputs, two Scart sockets (both RGB capable), and a side-mounted connections panel that offers a headphone output and S-Video input for camcorders. Furthermore, this Philips TV gives you an inch (2.54 centimeters) more picture than the Panasonic.
Samsung LE 46 B 550
This Samsung offers the same screen diagonal as the Panasonic for around 200 GBP less, in terms of retail prices. Like the TX-P 46 G 10, this Samsung has a tuner for digital cable TV, but doesn’t support CI Plus. In other words: In countries that use CI Plus to control access to cable networks, users will still need an external receiver. If the network operators use the older CI technology, the TV should be able to receive encrypted channels. Of course, you’ll need to provide the relevant access card.
The LE 46 B 550 will of course display DVB-T and analog cable TV without needing an access card. In terms of multimedia, the Samsung and Panasonic are level: Playback of photos, videos, and music is possible via USB, but not via a network connection. On the other hand, the Samsung has four HDMI inputs – one more than the Panasonic. There are also two Scart sockets on the LE 46 B 500, along with a separate YUV input and a headphone socket. But Samsung has positioned these connections in an awkward position on the rear of the TV.
Sharp LC-46 D 65 E
This Sharp’s recommended retail price is a whopping 250 GBP lower than the Panasonic’s. The feature set, however, is accordingly downsized. The tuner is particularly meager in comparison with that of the TX-P 46 G 10: The Sharp’s tuner only accepts analog cable and DVB-T, unlike the Panasonic, which additionally accepts DVB-C and DVB-S. This model also plays back photos via USB, but stops there, while the Panasonic also plays back AVCHD videos. Those opting for the LC-46 D 65 E will also have to live without 100-Hz technology.
Sharp LC-46 DH 77 E
This Sharp and the Panasonic are similarly modern, but this new Sharp series still, in the year 2009, only offers tuners for analog cable and DVB-T. Televisions.com has already had a chance to test a smaller brother, the LC-42 DH 77 E.
Pictures from the DVB-T tuner are impressive, but the analog tuner’s pictures lack some detail and show more noise than on other TVs. On the other hand, the TV’s sharpness is perfect via Scart. One remarkable feature of the 42-inch model: For an LCD, it displays a very rich black.
Movies in the original 24p frame rate display accurately, but in pictures recorded on a video camera, such as sports broadcasts, however, the 100-Hz technology has little effect. In large white areas, you always notice a lilac tint that makes the picture look slightly spotty, but this isn’t as obvious in normal use.
The remote controls are identical for the LC-46 DH 77 E and LC-42 DH 77 E, so our observations will apply to both. The handy remote control’s buttons are clearly arranged, but a little too small. Various buttons crowd important controls, such as those for volume and channel changing. The tiny menu text is almost impossible to read from usual viewing distances.
Sony KDL-46 V 5500
This LCD TV from Sony has been available since March 2009. Televisions.com has already carried out extensive testing on the TV’s big brother, the Sony KDL-52 V 5500: Despite only using 50-Hz technology, the TV’s picture remains crisp during fast motion, so you’ll have no problem following the game. Dark scenes are not as black on the KDL-52 V 5500 as on a plasma TV, but night scenes are impressive for a conventional LCD device. Those using the TV in bright conditions will have little cause to grumble.
The tuners in this Sony and its Panasonic rival each have strengths and weaknesses. Both accept analog cable TV and DVB-T, the latter also in HD where broadcasts exist. Thanks to CI Plus technology, the Sony’s tuner is ready for future digital cable broadcasts – the Panasonic’s is not. On the other hand, the Panasonic’s satellite-TV receiver nudges it a step ahead of the Sony – satellite viewers opting for the KDL-46 V 5500 would still need an external receiver.
The Sony claws its way back up the rankings, however, with multimedia and network capabilities: If you connect the TV up to a router with an Internet connection, you can access various Internet news tickers (“RSS feeds”), which then display in small windows on the TV’s screen.
When activated, the so-called “AppliCast” function displays the RSS feeds in small windows on the TV screen. This doesn’t have to be just text; if the feeds contain images, the TV displays these too. Speaking of images: The Sony plays back photos, music, and videos from a USB stick or over a PC network.
The Sony lends itself especially to IT-savvy users that plan to use their TV in a bright environment. The Panasonic, on the other hand, is the better choice for home-theater fans.
Toshiba 46 XV 635 DB
When this TV goes on sale in May 2009, it’s expected to cost around 200 GBP less than the Panasonic’s retail price. Nevertheless, on paper at least, the Toshiba has an attractive feature set.
The 100-Hz technology and the “Resolution +” detail enhancer are supposed to improve picture quality, and the tuner is suitable for analog TV, DVB-T, and digital cable TV. The 46 XV 635 does not support CI Plus, so it’ll need a separate receiver in order to display cable channels using this encryption. The Panasonic is only ahead with its integrated satellite receiver.
On the other hand, the Toshiba’s audio setup is well ahead of the Panasonic’s: With the new “Dolby Volume” technology, the TV will attempt to eliminate irritating volume changes between movies and ad breaks, as well as the volume differences between individual TV channels. The Audyssey equalizer, revered by home-theater fans, is supposed to produce top sound from this flat-panel TV.
The connections panel on this Toshiba TV lacks none of the important features: It has two Scart sockets (one RGB capable, the other S-Video), four HDMI inputs, a headphone output, and a side-mounted connections panel with sockets for composite or S-Video camcorder signals (cinch and Mini-DIN).
The Toshiba’s multimedia features are not luxurious, but are more useful than those of the TX-P 46 G 10: JPEG photos, MP3 music files, and DixV videos will play back via USB or from an SD (or SDHC) memory card.
About our product previews
Experienced experts produce these product preview pages using manufacturers’ specifications, along with test data we’ve produced for other models and subjective assessments of the product’s market chances.
We comprehensively research the information we use, but data of this kind quickly becomes out of date as a result of day-to-day variations in the market and the appearance of new products.
The information in our own tests is more reliable, especially statements relating to quality or comparisons with other TVs. Since we cannot test every single device, however, and because we’re interested in your opinion, we’re grateful to receive any user ratings or user opinions for this TV – especially if you own the model yourself, but also if this preview provided enough information for you to form your own judgment.
Dimensions & Weight Details
- Dimensions & Weight Details : Panel with stand – 113.18 cm x 39.87 cm x 76.7 cm x 32 kg
- Input Video Formats : 480i/p, 576i/p, 720p, 1080i/p
- HDMI : 3
- Composite video : 1
- S-Video : 1
- VGA : 1
- Dynamic Contrast Ratio : 2000000:1
- Image Contrast Ratio : 40000:1
- Resolution1920 x 1080
- Diagonal Size46″ – widescreen
- Image Aspect Ratio16:9
- Power Consumption Operational : 240 Watt
- Power Consumption Stand by / Sleep : 0.4 Watt
- Depth : 10.59 cm
- Height : 72.18 cm
- Width : 113.18 cm
- Product Type : 46″ Plasma TV
Digital TV Tuner
- Digital TV Tuner : DVB-T