Panasonic TH-42PA20 or wait for the 30???...or Pioneer??


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Feb 21, 2001
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nearly in Scotland!

I've had a good offer on a Panasonic TH-42PA20 (the TV version of the "6" panel but with built in speakers and tuner - and a BIT better looking for it in my opinion!)

Basically I need a Plasma for the Family room and ease of use and aesthetics will play a big part in the decision making process- certainly as much as picture quality).

The screen will be used for 85% Freeview use (via a Sony freeview STB) and 15% DVD use (mainly by the kids) - so the onboard tuner is really redundant.

I have a dedicated Home Cinema room so I don't really need, or want, 5.1 sound etc. and I definatley don't want anything that's difficult for the kids to operate.

The appeal of the Panasonic unit is that there is no external media box and I can input 2 X RGB scart inputs from the Freeview Box and the DVD - so all the wife and kids need to do is switch on whichever device they are using and off they go - no switches to throw - no separate amps to power up etc. etc. - basically it's a straight forward replacement of our existing CRT TV.

So a few questions please for those in the know:

1) the PA20 is now running out - to be replaced with the PA30 -

PA30 here:

we much prefer the look of the PA20 - and there are some good offers around on it at the moment (circa £2750 inc) the PA30 has taken a backward step in design (undermounted speakers urgh!) in my opinion - BUT I don't want to buy outdated technology ...if the PA30 is subtantially better/different then I'd consider hanging on for it - BUT I've heard reports that the only differences are cosmetic, (and the specs seem to bear this out), and to the on-board tuner - which is academic to me, as I'll be using an external Freeview STB.

Good if someone could confirm this and give me their opinion!!

2) Should I also be considering the Pioneer PDP434 as an alternative ?...I think it will be a lot more expensive - but I see I can add the attachable speakers - question is - will this make as good as a replacement "TV" as the Pioneer ( does it have on board amplification for the speakers for instance) - or will it be a little more fiddly for the kids to use...especially as it has an external media box?

Any input greatly appreciated.

ok get the pa20 cos the 30 looks like a pioneer
I thought that the PA30 was part of the Viera range?
If so, I seem to remember reading something that stated that these screens would be HDMI ready and have a slot for SD cards.
The specs on the AV sales site suggest that this is not the case and that the change is only cosmetic, so why not get the PA20 then?!

I think the 30 looks better myself!

Check with Panny about the PA30 specs.

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