There has been some debate as to whether the new 5th series Panasonic 42 inch plasma is inferior to the 4 series etc.(Due to technical changes) As i was just about to buy my first plasma, i had spent some time demo-ing the 4th series (TH-42PW4B). After ruling out previous plasma efforts due to poor contrast/colours, the Panasonic was a revelation!. I was very happy with the 4 series picture. But since the new series 5 was due out i decided to wait. Then the rumours started about a problem with the 5 series using a single scan system versus dual scan, could cause screen flicker. Since i have seen rainbows on all the DLPs projectors i have seen up to now (even when my friends didn't). I assume i have fast eyesight. I even see a slight rainbow effect on my Barco CRT projector due to phosphor persistance etc! So before buying, i wanted to see both models (TH-42PW4B/TH-42PW5B) side by side. Well i've just got back from Sound and Vision, after buying the ? series model! The screens were setup showing identical films via the same DVD player etc. (Toshiba 210e) The 5th series via svideo, the 4th via component. Let me start by saying before i carry on with the review:- BOTH MODELS ARE NEAR IDENTICAL! so people would be happy with either. OK? So no flaming which ever model you have! I will start by saying that the reports of the 5 series flicker ARE CORRECT. (edit: may have been made worse OR better due to using Svideo, more testing needed!) There! 4th series owners be happy, your screen has "near" zero flicker( i say "near zero).....ok?. But what about 5th series owners? Don't worry!, as the lengths i had to go to to see the slight increase in flicker was silly. Standing in front of both screens (at normal viewing distance), flicker just wasn't an issue, ie i couldn't see it. ( but you may etc) To see the difference, i had to have the room in near total blackout, and the screen showing a very bright scene. And even then i had to look "across" the screen using my peripheral vision, with my face nearly touching the screen. And then yes the 5th had more flicker then the 4th. But at this angle the 4th series had very slight flicker!. So with the flicker issue..errr not an issue (to me at least etc), i carried on the demo. The first slight difference is black level. As 4th series owners know, the blacks are very good anyway. But there is a very slight "glow". On the 5th series, this very slight glow is darker still. I then went on to check colour diferences. The colours are slightly different, but not by much. Some of the difference would have been caused by the different inputs anyway. But the 5th series did have a more natural feel to the colours, the reds and the blues seeming more accurate. The greens looked identical on both models. Again to be honest the difference would only be spotted if viewed side by side. Now for the biggest difference.....gulp here starts the flaming! "Posterising" I tried several scenes i knew would create the colour banding effect seen so far with plasmas. This is where the 5th series carries on from the 4th. Scene after scene, where banding was evident on the 4th series, it was near banished on the 5th. That is not to say the 5th was perfect, just that during normal viewing it wouldn't be seen. Overall the 5th series is an improvement (IMHO) on the 4th series in most areas. The picture also seems more vibrant, but again this would only be noticed side by side. So both screens are near identical, and if you own a 4th series, you would see NO real gain upgrading to a 5th series. They are just too close etc. Now i had to make up my mind! The 4th series was much cheaper with zero flicker, and i did love the picture anyway. So i thought why bother paying the extra for the 5th series!. But it came down to the "posterising". Not a big deal as i could live with either screen, and the other differences were tiny. But you pays your money and takes your pick! I picked the 5th series! Anybody worried about the 5th series should relax it's superb. Anybody who has the 4th or is thinking about getting one should relax it's superb. I await a more indepth review by Joe or Liam when they have a chance to view the two side by side. But i'm sure they will agree with my findings! PS i also picked up a multi region Sony Dav-s880 while i was there. Should look great with my new toy!