Panasonic 42" Plasma's


Standard Member
I am a little confused....after reading all the reviews and looking at lots of plasma's I hve decided to go for the 42" Panasonic. Having made that decision I thought I could just ask for a 42" Pasanasonic plasma......but NO !! I then get a barrage of questions and options!!! Help!! Q's were:

1 Do I want a consumer version or office version (assured the only diffrence is £300 for the stand with the consumer. As I am planning to wall mount I don't need the stand). Is this the only difference?

2 Do I want a tuner? Well I thought not as I have Cable, but am being told I need it for the extra inputs it gives me. Do I?

3 Do I want speakers with it? I was planning to just use the (v good) surround system I have but then thought that maybe for just catching the news etc speakers may be useful - saves turning on 5 other AV items. What do other people use?

4 Here is the one that really threw me: Do I want the PW4 or the PW5? WHAT??? !! :confused: Retailer could not tell the differences other than this years / last years: 'But' (I said) 'what are the differnces and which is better': 'er, erm, um' said the retailer.

5 What card do I want to slot in? (see retailers answer to last q which also applies here).

Please can someone help? Oh, and the one thing I did decide: I shall be buying somewhere else........


Active Member
2: Personally I would say the Tuner is ridiculously expensive for what it is and probably not needed, but I don't know what you intend to connect to the Plasma or what outputs your cable box has etc.

3: Save the money on the speakers and get yourself a Pronto remote control - then you only have to press one button to turn everything on to exactly the right settings. And one button to turn everything off, no struggling with multiple remotes etc. It will take a while to set up but makes life with AV amps etc a dream. In my opinion plasmas looks better on the wall without speakers too.

In answer to 4, see this recent thread which covers this issue:


Standard Member
2 Thanks. I will be plugging in: Telewest cable (not sure of the connectors), DVD (Optical lead I think), PS2 (not sure), X-box (not sure), Video (scart) - for the kids videos, and want to get a TiVo or similar soon.

3 I have a pronto, but the hi-fi amps for the fronts (6 monoblocs and a pre-amp) do not have mains power on remote as it is thought to interfere with the electronics and so sound quality. (I checked this out on purchase and agreed, but then I have highly trained ears - according to the retailer (he knows I work in the Royal Philharmonic)).

Perhaps I could just use the processor and set it up for the front centre only somehow, when watching news etc (or would I need to turn off the rears at all, as presumably the news is not in surround sound!!). I am waiting for the Denon 3803 to come out to replace my Yam DSP E800 (and use the pre-outs). Anyway, agree on the look.

4 Thanks for the link. Just got to find a retailer who knows their stuff and has a good after sales service now.



Active Member
There are numerous posts here regarding connecting things up to the Plasma but it's not a simple easy issue. Do some searches.

I can certainly recomend Joe at the Media Factory - very helpful when I was looking to take the plunge:


Standard Member
Again, thanks. I have looked at this noise issue but decided that as:
1 I prefer action movies
2 I have 3 kids in the house
3 There is a busy main road out the front door

I hope not to be able to notice it!! (and music is more important to me that movies)..

I stll don't know the difference between the available models properly! Need a comparison chart I guess......

Panasonic TH-42PW5B
Panasonic TH-42PWD5
Panasonic TH-42PWD5V
Panasonic TH-42PHD5

£700 price difference between them as well.....


The Pw5b is the normal consumer version with Silver surround
The PwD5 is the commercial version with Carcoal Surround
The PwD5V I don't know :)
The PHD5 Is the high definition version of the 5 Series(Which I've been told won't be released as a consumer version in the UK)

Hope that helps a bit.



Active Member
Originally posted by Dak
2 Thanks. I will be plugging in: Telewest cable (not sure of the connectors), DVD (Optical lead I think), PS2 (not sure), X-box (not sure), Video (scart) - for the kids videos, and want to get a TiVo or similar soon.

Telewest (Digital) - RGB via SCART
PS2 - possible RGB or S-Video
XBox - RGB via MS Advanced SCART of S-Video via another make
Video - composite video.
TiVo - RGB via SCART

You'll probably have noticed there's a lot of RGB sources here. Some, XBox and PS 2 you could use via S-Video and have an A/V amp switching. But, you can't put S-Video and Composite (from the VCR) in to the Panasonic concurrently.

DVD and Telewest could be connected to the TiVo's two inputs, or possibly cascaded where one feeds the other. End result is that you'll have RGB which will need the RGB to Plasma VGA unit to interface to your screen.

An alternative would be to use the RGB to Component video converter, but using the scheme I propose you'd still have component free for other devices - even a second RGB feed via an RGB to Plasma VGA unit. If you wanted, you could have one box easily accessible for connecting the XBox and PS2 in.

All the best,

Dr John Sim.


Originally posted by steelej
The Pw5b is the normal consumer version with Silver surround
The PwD5 is the commercial version with Carcoal Surround

What makes the 5B a "consumer" version and what makes the D5 a "commercial" version?


Joe Fernand might be better to answer this, but AFAIK the only real difference I'm aware of is that one is Silver and One isn't :) But in my investigation came to the conclusion that D was a comercial version and the other wasn't.

Sorry I couldn't have given more info :)



Check out this site:

The D5 ("commercial") is on offer for about £500 less than the 5B ("domestic"). Might this be to do with the possible inclusion of a tuner with the 5B?

All speculation aside, I would really like to know why the charcoal plasmas are labelled "commercial" while the silver ones are "domestic".


Standard Member


Previously Liam @ Prog AV
Panasonic are divided into a consumer department and a commercial department. Consumer supply the PW5B (silver) only. Commercial (Panasonic Business Systems) supply the PWD5 and PHD5, and only in charcoal.

The only difference between the PW5B (consumer) and the PWD5 (commercial) is that the consumer model includes an RCA terminal board as standard. The commercial model comes without a terminal board as standard (also the commercial terminal board is BNC not RCA).

The final model is the PHD5 which is the XGA screen. This isn't quite as good as the standard resolution screen with video but is much better with data/graphics etc.

ASFAIK the tuner is definitely compatible with the PW5B and the PWD5 but it was rumoured at one point that it wasn't with the PHD5! Panasonic technical are getting back to me on this so i'll post when I know (and when i'm not up to my eyeballs in paperwork).


Standard Member
A helpful retailer :cool:

Liam I will be calling v soon (as soon as the new boiler is fitted!).

BTW, I want to mount above the fireplace (heat not a problem, gas fire does not melt candles on the mantle and am going 2-3 feet above that) but was wondering if the screen is that high (about 5-6 feet off the floor) do I need a tilting bracket as I will be on th sofa about 12 feet back.....

What so you guys do?

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
Hello all

Panasonic just like to ensure the forums are kept busy and work on complicated model numbering to confuse us all.

As per previous posts Panasonic are three divisions in the UK/Europe - Consumer, Broadcast and Business Systems.

In previous model ranges there were more differences between the various models manufacturers supplied into which market segment (channel in corporate speak) - primarily the 'allowable' levels of RF and other radiation are higher on a Commercial/Industrial display than on a Consumer display; strange really when many Industrial displays are viewed for long periods of time by workers in all sorts of industries.

There was a cost differential associated with the actual ratification of these differing standards and also in the materials and complexity of the filtering required to meet these standards.

On the latest displays there seems very little difference between a Consumer and an Industrial model - though some installers do find that some Industrial models do require a bit more planning when positioning additional pickups for IR repeaters where a customer is wanting to hide the rest of the Home Cinema kit elsewhere in the house.

Having spoken to Panasonic about the RF filtering they say there is very little if any difference in there two model ranges - Consumer vs. Industrial.

Panasonic model numbering is straightforward - or so they say:

TH - indicates the factory where the display was assembled.
42 - the diagonal size of the display.
P - its a plasma.
W - its a wide plasma.
H - its a High Def wide plasma.
D - its Industrial.
B - its UK spec.
X - its supplied without a video board
V - its a Vertical display (for signage solutions - they have extra fans).

One other difference in Panasonic model ranges being that the D models have direct access to the Integrator set-up on screen menus - you can tweak the display that bit easier with this level of on-screen adjustment.

The D models have an RS232 port so if you ever plan to use an AMX or Crestron or similar 'control' system these panels are easier to control than the B models which require you to talk to them via IR.

There is also the option to pre programme the anti screen burn 'screen saver' modes and On/Off timers on the D models to switch on and off at set times each day; primarily intended for commercial installations but still a good option for those who possibly 'fall asleep' in front of the TV at night.

The External Tuner box is an expensive video switch and whilst it supposedly 'expands' your input options it invariably detracts from the picture quality you get on your display - a good quality progressive scan DVD player will always look better if it is plugged directly to the display rather than via the tuner box option.

The clip on speakers are actually not too bad - but way over priced; we do get a few customers who choose to use them for watching the news etc and dont fancy firing up the whole Home Cinema system for a quick ten minute burst of breakfast AM.

Trust this all helps.


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