Panasonic Plasmas TH-42PZ80B/TH-42PZ85B/TH-42PZ81B which is best value for money?


Standard Member
:lease: Help! I want to buy a Plasma tv and everything is pointing to Panasonic for what i need but im not sure which one to get and which one is the best value for money. Also prices vary from shop to shop and whenever i go to a shop for advice all the sales people contradict each other so i don't know what to belive. I don't want to spend anymore than a £1000. please help me. ta


Active Member
I have just bought a TH42PZ80B (who the h**l dreams up these titles ??).

Currys, Comet, Dixons et al - complete ****.

Went to my local Waitrose (John Lewis) in Salisbury, heaven on earth ! They knew what they were talking about.
Not only that, when I asked to see a TV with an SD input, they went away, got an aerial lead and connected it to whichever TV I wanted. For some reason that "just couldn't be done" any where else !

I bought the TV from J Lewis online, not as cheap as elsewhere - BUT came with a 5 year warranty.

PS: the TV is brilliant, both on HD and SD. I am using a motorised sat dish system (1M) for everything as I found the SD picture to be a bit "soft" from the HD receiver.
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Active Member
Hi Wilco74, I've just gone through the same process, with same TVs - tough decision isn't it!

There are a number of good threads on this on this forum. For me it came down to price vs features. The general opinion of the threads is that the PZ80 is the best value. Especially as you can get it at the moment from John Lewis at £699 (price match from the Glasgow shop) with 5 yr guarantee and free delivery.

I wrote off the PZ85 as the main feature on this was discredited by others and those that owned it usually turned it off (can't recall what it's called without looking it up ITC or something -sure someone will correct this :)).

The PZ81 does have some good features with the Freesat receiver and Picture in Picture etc. and was a great deal before Christmas (I believe it was at John Lewis for £799) but no longer at well over £1000.

In the end I decided that with the good deal going with Sky HD at the moment; £49 for the box, free install and £50 M&S vouchers - if bought online before Feb 4 -(particularly if you go through topcashback and get the £100 cashback), that I'd go for the PZ80 and forget the FreeSat receiver (can always get a separate box later).

If you go on to the Panasonic site you can compare them all side by side. To add to your confusion (sorry!) if you can wait until march there are some new models coming out :confused:

Best of luck and do tell us all what ypou did in the end and how happy you were with it.



Active Member
Hi Wilco74, here's an extract from another thread.

Stick with the cheaper PZ80. Both use the same G11 panel and have the same PQ. The only differences are the IFC (which the majority of people appear to leave off), the 24p real cinema and the external trim. Also, the 85 is a little wider (by about 10-15mm).

Check out the reviews on * Panasonic TH42PZ80 / TH42PZ80B Review: 42" Viera Plasma HDTV

Panasonic TH42PZ85B Review – 42” 1080p Plasma HDTV

We went for the PZ80 (from JL ... nice to have a highly regarded warranty ... pleases the wife!) and have no regrets ... particularly as the price has risen to £999:eek:

Do not have a stunning plasma (ok I'm biased) at a cracking price!:D

Oh and yes, the PZ80 has 24p real play instead of 24p real cinema..... not that I can make out the difference.....

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