Question Upgrade from vandalised Panasonic TX-P42G30B

Billv84

Standard Member
Evening all,

About 7 years ago, I made what I thought was an informed, sensible choice and bought a Panasonic plasma TX-P42G30B for £450.

It's served us pretty well and, it being our first proper HD TV, we've been pretty happy with it.

My first job was in a tv shop for about 6 months, so I like to kid myself that "I know a good tv". That was almost 20 years ago, so in reality, I'm groping around in the dark.

However, I got home from work today to find that my little darling son *said through slightly gritted teeth, but he's only two, so I'll let him off* had used the tv as a target practice with a wooden ball (seriously, who buys toddlers these offensive weapons?! Thanks, Aunty Linda).

So the screen is now cracked and defunct, and won't even switch on for one last hurrah of Homes Under the Hammer for me before it goes to the tip.

My question is: what could I buy for £3-400 that will ideally give me a better quality tv and slightly better features?

I'm nervous that I could switch from plasma to LCD and inadvertently spend £400 on what I perceive to be a cr*p telly.

If it helps, our viewing habits tend to be largely focussed around Thomas the Tank Engine (obviously), but when my dear lady and I manage to catch a film or something (and stay awake), it's normally on NOW TV (I think that's only 720p?), Netflix (I think we only pay for SD), iPlayer and occasionally Amazon Prime Video. I sometimes watch sport when i can and theres an abundance of Pixar films. We don't have a Blu-ray player and we don't use it for gaming.

The Panasonic didn't have WiFi which bugged me, so that's a must. Ideally want to be able to have players available for all the above on-demand services for simplicity.

The current 43" model already feels very large in our living room so I'm not sure we'd want to go much bigger, if at all.

I've read some of the amazingly detailed reviews on this site and it's clear you guys and girls know your TV mustard, so was hoping for some guidance on what I could buy and what difference I could expect (for better or worse) over my old box of (now-broken) Panasonic dreams.

Given that we're not die-hard telly watchers and that my little ankle-biters will probably smear yogurt all over the screen and eventually break this one too, should I not worry about 4k too much or is it daft to not get one?

I read with interest the glowing review on the 43-inch Hisense H43A6200UK (which is currently on offer for £299 at Currys, incidentally). I would never have considered that brand before stumbling across this site and would probably have felt cautious about spending that little on a tv.

Any ideas on how that might compare with my old tv? Or any other recommendations for other models, given all of the above?

If you're still reading this, thanks for sticking with it and thanks in advance for any responses.

Oh, and if anyone wants to adopt a 3 foot terrorist to help invade a small country or something, just let me know.

Cheers,
Bill
 

Dodgexander

Moderator
The main thing to watch out for will be differences in the panels that come on TVs. Some TVs like the Hisense you mentioned are very good value for the money and they have very good picture quality from the front with nice blacks and contrast..they however don't look as good at an angle, especially more than 30-35 degrees each side of the centre of the TV.

If you do not need wide viewing angles, its a perfect choice and its hard to beat them for the money. Other manufacturers don't come close to that price range and the TVs they do offer are not worth the extra.

If however you do need viewing angles that are better, you'll have to look at other models with different panel types such as those from LG. If that is the case LG do a range of HD models still that have good viewing angles and good smart TV: Compare All TVs: Smart TVs, OLED Televisions & UHD 4K TVs | LG UK they have UHD ones too, but for your viewing you may be better off with just a HD model.
No need to worry about obtaining a TV with WiFi nowadays, any smart TV has it.
 

Billv84

Standard Member
Wow, thanks for the quick and detailed response!

I've just got the tape measure out and, as predicted, the overall existing model from corner to corner is about 48".

I've seen you make the point about viewing angles elsewhere on these forums and it makes sense. Our tv is on a tv table thing in a corner, set at an angle and I think in all but one seat, the max viewing angle is maybe 25-30°...(at a reasonable guess). But it's hard to imagine given that I think it won't have been a real issue with my plasma, so it's not something I'll have been aware of? (Btw, does anyone still make plasmas?!)

Do you think the viewing angle issue becomes less of a problem the smaller screen size you go?
 

Derek S-H

Distinguished Member
Welcome to the Forums, Bill!:)

My boss has a LCD/LED TV and the image is not completely unwatchable once you move to the sides of the room, but it does become noticeably washed out and the colours fade away quite significantly.

He has a 55" screen so yes, maybe the effect is more pronounced the more you increase the screen size? I'd suggest you look at 40-50" TV's, and yes I did read your post above saying you'd measured your current TV at 48" edge-to-edge, but modern TV's have such thin bezels now that a 50" TV may actually be physically smaller than your current 42" screen!

We can give you all the advice in the world, but the best way to judge what's right for you is with your own eyes. I'd suggest Richer Sounds as your first port of call. I took the liberty of typing in your postcode (I hope you don't mind) and a few came up in their store search engine:

Store Finder

Here's a link to their current TV range, price from low to high:

TV All | Richer Sounds

There was nothing that would interest you on page one, so I just jumped to page two. I'd suggest you get your shortlist down to no more than three TV's (based on size and budget) and go and have a look.

A few tips:

1. Try and watch something that's familiar so you can judge what the differences are, if any.
2. Get them to turn off Vivid picture mode because otherwise everything will look terrible.
3. If you can, go into the TV menu and switch off all the picture-enhancing aids as they generally make things look worse, not better.
4. DO NOT go to Currys! They are basically clueless and will try and sell you all kinds of extra crap you don't need like extended warranties or overpriced cables.

And no, you can't buy new plasma's anymore, though you could probably pick up something similar to your current TV for next to nothing on Ebay if you were so inclined.

I think I've droned on enough here, but I did want to just say that, in my opinion, a lower priced LCD/LED probably won't produce as good an overall picture as your old plasma. It will probably be brighter, but neither the motion nor the blacks will be as smooth or punchy. I'm just suggesting to adjust your expectations accordingly as you're not just buying a new TV, you're also buying into a different technology with its own strengths and weaknesses, that's all.

Good luck and let us know how you get on!:)
 

Analysis

Well-known Member
Evening all,

About 7 years ago, I made what I thought was an informed, sensible choice and bought a Panasonic plasma TX-P42G30B for £450.

It's served us pretty well and, it being our first proper HD TV, we've been pretty happy with it.

My first job was in a tv shop for about 6 months, so I like to kid myself that "I know a good tv". That was almost 20 years ago, so in reality, I'm groping around in the dark.

However, I got home from work today to find that my little darling son *said through slightly gritted teeth, but he's only two, so I'll let him off* had used the tv as a target practice with a wooden ball (seriously, who buys toddlers these offensive weapons?! Thanks, Aunty Linda).

So the screen is now cracked and defunct, and won't even switch on for one last hurrah of Homes Under the Hammer for me before it goes to the tip.

My question is: what could I buy for £3-400 that will ideally give me a better quality tv and slightly better features?

I'm nervous that I could switch from plasma to LCD and inadvertently spend £400 on what I perceive to be a cr*p telly.

If it helps, our viewing habits tend to be largely focussed around Thomas the Tank Engine (obviously), but when my dear lady and I manage to catch a film or something (and stay awake), it's normally on NOW TV (I think that's only 720p?), Netflix (I think we only pay for SD), iPlayer and occasionally Amazon Prime Video. I sometimes watch sport when i can and theres an abundance of Pixar films. We don't have a Blu-ray player and we don't use it for gaming.

The Panasonic didn't have WiFi which bugged me, so that's a must. Ideally want to be able to have players available for all the above on-demand services for simplicity.

The current 43" model already feels very large in our living room so I'm not sure we'd want to go much bigger, if at all.

I've read some of the amazingly detailed reviews on this site and it's clear you guys and girls know your TV mustard, so was hoping for some guidance on what I could buy and what difference I could expect (for better or worse) over my old box of (now-broken) Panasonic dreams.

Given that we're not die-hard telly watchers and that my little ankle-biters will probably smear yogurt all over the screen and eventually break this one too, should I not worry about 4k too much or is it daft to not get one?

I read with interest the glowing review on the 43-inch Hisense H43A6200UK (which is currently on offer for £299 at Currys, incidentally). I would never have considered that brand before stumbling across this site and would probably have felt cautious about spending that little on a tv.

Any ideas on how that might compare with my old tv? Or any other recommendations for other models, given all of the above?

If you're still reading this, thanks for sticking with it and thanks in advance for any responses.

Oh, and if anyone wants to adopt a 3 foot terrorist to help invade a small country or something, just let me know.

Cheers,
Bill
The Hisense is a good choice for the money as Dodge has already said, it's VA for sure, most 43" are RGBW IPS so unless you need wide viewing angles then avoid these from LG and Sony.

It's best though to go bigger if you can as you need to sit very close to a 4K tv (1.03m @ 55") so you could go for a 50" model, the LG UK6450 or UK6970 has the best smart services and the Hisense is the best again for value for money, or because of your content usage the 50" FHD W Sony Series is hard to beat.

Failing that you could just buy another Plasma like a second hand GT60, this will give you the best picture quality from all the options offered.

General Buying Tips
 

Billv84

Standard Member
Hi all, thanks very much for taking the time to reply.

After a restless night (a mixture of tv buying anxiety and wondering whether it's illegal to keep toddlers in straight jackets), I've rushed in and taken the plunge and bought the Hisense, which is due to be delivered tomorrow. I'll report back over the weekend with initial thoughts.

I'm going to try and prepare us for a drop in image quality from our old plasma by plugging in an old spare tv to put us on. It's a terrible old 22" LCD jobbie from Currys which was about £180 maybe 7 years ago (you see, I told you I knew how to pick good tvs). With any luck, after a day watching that, virtually anything will seem like a quantum leap forward.

Just one question in case anyone happens to know: can you cast stuff from your phone to the Hisense 6200? (I got the 43" version btw)

Many thanks
 

noiseboy72

Distinguished Member
I don't think you will see a drop in quality between the Hi-Sense and Panasonic. The picture will be different, but it's quite possible to adjust the Hi-sense to give a less saturated, more watchable image and plasmas suffer from plenty of other image issues like false contouring and dot crawl. Having moved from a VT50 to a 4K Samsung, I know which I now prefer, with the VT50 performing back up duties in the music studio now.

I would use the Film or Movie setting on the new TV, as this will tame the excesses of colour. Turn off all the smoothing and other effects that seek to turn everything into a soap opera and Thomas and Friends should look entirely watchable!
 

Analysis

Well-known Member
Hi all, thanks very much for taking the time to reply.

After a restless night (a mixture of tv buying anxiety and wondering whether it's illegal to keep toddlers in straight jackets), I've rushed in and taken the plunge and bought the Hisense, which is due to be delivered tomorrow. I'll report back over the weekend with initial thoughts.

I'm going to try and prepare us for a drop in image quality from our old plasma by plugging in an old spare tv to put us on. It's a terrible old 22" LCD jobbie from Currys which was about £180 maybe 7 years ago (you see, I told you I knew how to pick good tvs). With any luck, after a day watching that, virtually anything will seem like a quantum leap forward.

Just one question in case anyone happens to know: can you cast stuff from your phone to the Hisense 6200? (I got the 43" version btw)

Many thanks
Hisense H65A6200 owners thread
 

Billv84

Standard Member
Cheers all. Anxious finger-tapping waiting for delivery man, whilst considering building a kennel...ahem..."alternative living quarters" for the little darlings....

I'll report back once I get it all set up :D
 

Analysis

Well-known Member
Cheers all. Anxious finger-tapping waiting for delivery man, whilst considering building a kennel...ahem..."alternative living quarters" for the little darlings....

I'll report back once I get it all set up :D
Check it for any screen unformity aka banding or Dirty Screen Effect issues as soon as you have it setup, you will know if it's a keeper or not pretty soon and if there is anything wrong with it then send it back asap, if in doubt post some pics on here and we can help.
 

Billv84

Standard Member
Do you think there's a minimum time you should leave tv's to reach room temperature before switching on? (Its probably been sat in a cold van overnight).

Also, daft question, but should I just take my old plasma to the tip??
 

Dodgexander

Moderator
Also, daft question, but should I just take my old plasma to the tip??
List it online and you may get some money and someone come pick it up?
Do you think there's a minimum time you should leave tv's to reach room temperature before switching on? (Its probably been sat in a cold van overnight).
Not with the mild temperatures in the UK.
 

Analysis

Well-known Member
Do you think there's a minimum time you should leave tv's to reach room temperature before switching on? (Its probably been sat in a cold van overnight).

Also, daft question, but should I just take my old plasma to the tip??
You are supposed to leave it at room temperature for 2 hours if it's below 0 degrees celcius, with additional time maybe 1 hour added when the temperature drops below this by 5 degrees in stages at a time, it should be listed in the owner's manual or it should be, it's the same with any electronics like fridges due to gas settling and oven's due to the elements at the back preventing rust on the welds. Condensation can kill electronics rapidly or you can get rust on the ball joints of the circuit boards. On a tv you get a hazy panel which cannot be used and will have to be returned, it's like looking through a really dirty muddy window, I've had this on a LCD monitor at work before and it had to go back.

To be safe I left mine a day before setting it up.

As for the Plasma being returned to the tip you should be ok but it's the same as a CRT with the proton guns at the back, they can kill if not handled correctly so you will need to check with whoever runs it, some are franchises so will take anything to make a quick buck. There's some stupid laws stating that if you had someone at the tip and gave it to them if they were interested in taking it, you are forbidden as it becomes council property, they are planning on changing all of this due to the Right to Repair movement gaining momentum and the Paris climate deal.
 

wilco1uk

Active Member
Have you looked in the classifieds for another panny plasma. There have been quite a few well within your price range. I bought a 'cheap' 4k samsung (6000 series) about 3 years ago and the picture was no way near as good as my old Panansonic G15. Its only now that I've dropped over 1k on an OLED that I've found a quality replacement.
 

Billv84

Standard Member
Hi all,
Just wanted to thank everyone who's shared wise words, been really helpful and appreciate :D

So, TV arrived Saturday morning (via Amazon in the end as we have Prime and had a discount voucher too).

Seemed fairly well packed. Easy to set up with the stand (4 screws) and the on-screen setup was very easy too, taking only a few minutes.

The tv is minimalist in design anyway, so there's little to comment on from a 'style' point of view - just two small feet and a thin frame.

The remote feels reasonably solid, albeit with quite clicky buttons. There is also a Hisense tv remote app, which I think lots of people have had problems with judging by reviews, although it seems to work fine for me.

In terms of the picture....I have switched a few times between thinking "that's great, actually", to "that's a bit poo". Some programs appeared crisp and sharp, whilst other seemed a bit blocky in places or fuzzy, like a tiny bit of heat haze on a car roof in summer (I noticed this on the rugby on BBC - around the score graphic in particular).

BUT (and I guess this is obvious when you think about it) - what I've come to realise is that the tv seems to basically be as good as the source signal you put in it. The Grand Tour in 4K on Amazon Video was pretty jaw dropping when they do those sweeping, grand nature shots of desert or glaciers - really good, immersive picture. Most terrestrial channels are a bit hit and miss - some fine and uneventful, others either having some blocky texture, or minor fuzzy bits and occasionally (usually on really dark scenes or screen-filling black graphics) vertical lines. I don't think it handles movement as well as the old plasma, although I was expecting a bit of that thanks to comments on here. Freeview HD channels look much better, although not totally perfect either.

Whilst setting it up though, I noticed that my normal roof top aerial cable had been spliced into another cable, to create an extension off under the floor to a tv socket in the conservatory, then just taped up a bit hap-hazardly. I've since stripped it down to one cable straight into the tv, so it might not be an issue, but it makes me wonder how good the rooftop aerial/cable etc is if the previous house owners were happy to do that (surely must be a better way?)

The on demand services (Amazon/Netflix/iPlayer etc) are all mostly good in terms of picture, although sometimes it can go a bit blocky - I'm guessing this is actually my fibre broadband connection. It isn't particularly fast and I've noticed occasional drop-outs on phones etc around the house.

The operating system on the tv is pretty easy to use and I don't think it feels any lower quality than other, more expensive brands that I've seen. It has a few great features compared to the old Panasonic;
You can cast a lot of stuff from your phone straight to the TV (Bye bye Chromecast),
It has a satellite connector too (although no starts, just in case anyone still has a vcr!),
It has every streaming app I need (Netflix, Amazon, usual free on demand) - except Now TV (which is a shame as our Now TV box has a really REALLY loud fan),
You can go back 7 days on the planner and just click to watch,
You can stick a USB stick in and then pause and record live TV,
There are a load of other oddly useful settings which I'm still exploring - things like audio only - useful if you want to listen to the radio with no picture.

As per advice on this thread, I've had a quick fiddle with some picture settings and yes, cinema day mode does tone down the colours a bit to a more natural level. I've turned off sharpness, noise reduction, MPEG noise reduction etc as I agree that (I think) it just gives a soft sheen to everything a la 1970s American soap opera.

The sound level seems to jump a bit too much between 4 and 5, but minor issue.

So overall, do I think the picture is as good as the plasma? Probably not (motion and blacks seemed better before). But is it terrible? Not at all. I think if I had a satellite input and better broadband, that would actually make a big improvement. I think, for the money, that this Hisense has a lot more useful, practical features than the plasma (damn sight lighter, too), so on balance, it goes some way to even things out.

I actually think the picture is better than my MIL's Samsung (not entirely sure what model she has but it's about 18-24 months old).

Plus, at £316, I don't feel like I've shelled out loads and I'm a bit less stressed about whether my kids trash this one too ;D

If anyone has any specific insights about how to adjust the picture so it look optimal, I'd appreciate any guidance - there are 23 picture settings alone, and I have no idea what most of them do!!

Many thanks again
Bill
 

Billv84

Standard Member
By the way, just read back my whaffly review and thought- Christ, what a load of cack lol but I just wanted to share my thoughts in case it helped anyone else thinking of getting one :D
 

Dodgexander

Moderator
Hi all,
Just wanted to thank everyone who's shared wise words, been really helpful and appreciate :D

So, TV arrived Saturday morning (via Amazon in the end as we have Prime and had a discount voucher too).

Seemed fairly well packed. Easy to set up with the stand (4 screws) and the on-screen setup was very easy too, taking only a few minutes.

The tv is minimalist in design anyway, so there's little to comment on from a 'style' point of view - just two small feet and a thin frame.

The remote feels reasonably solid, albeit with quite clicky buttons. There is also a Hisense tv remote app, which I think lots of people have had problems with judging by reviews, although it seems to work fine for me.

In terms of the picture....I have switched a few times between thinking "that's great, actually", to "that's a bit poo". Some programs appeared crisp and sharp, whilst other seemed a bit blocky in places or fuzzy, like a tiny bit of heat haze on a car roof in summer (I noticed this on the rugby on BBC - around the score graphic in particular).

BUT (and I guess this is obvious when you think about it) - what I've come to realise is that the tv seems to basically be as good as the source signal you put in it. The Grand Tour in 4K on Amazon Video was pretty jaw dropping when they do those sweeping, grand nature shots of desert or glaciers - really good, immersive picture. Most terrestrial channels are a bit hit and miss - some fine and uneventful, others either having some blocky texture, or minor fuzzy bits and occasionally (usually on really dark scenes or screen-filling black graphics) vertical lines. I don't think it handles movement as well as the old plasma, although I was expecting a bit of that thanks to comments on here. Freeview HD channels look much better, although not totally perfect either.

Whilst setting it up though, I noticed that my normal roof top aerial cable had been spliced into another cable, to create an extension off under the floor to a tv socket in the conservatory, then just taped up a bit hap-hazardly. I've since stripped it down to one cable straight into the tv, so it might not be an issue, but it makes me wonder how good the rooftop aerial/cable etc is if the previous house owners were happy to do that (surely must be a better way?)

The on demand services (Amazon/Netflix/iPlayer etc) are all mostly good in terms of picture, although sometimes it can go a bit blocky - I'm guessing this is actually my fibre broadband connection. It isn't particularly fast and I've noticed occasional drop-outs on phones etc around the house.

The operating system on the tv is pretty easy to use and I don't think it feels any lower quality than other, more expensive brands that I've seen. It has a few great features compared to the old Panasonic;
You can cast a lot of stuff from your phone straight to the TV (Bye bye Chromecast),
It has a satellite connector too (although no starts, just in case anyone still has a vcr!),
It has every streaming app I need (Netflix, Amazon, usual free on demand) - except Now TV (which is a shame as our Now TV box has a really REALLY loud fan),
You can go back 7 days on the planner and just click to watch,
You can stick a USB stick in and then pause and record live TV,
There are a load of other oddly useful settings which I'm still exploring - things like audio only - useful if you want to listen to the radio with no picture.

As per advice on this thread, I've had a quick fiddle with some picture settings and yes, cinema day mode does tone down the colours a bit to a more natural level. I've turned off sharpness, noise reduction, MPEG noise reduction etc as I agree that (I think) it just gives a soft sheen to everything a la 1970s American soap opera.

The sound level seems to jump a bit too much between 4 and 5, but minor issue.

So overall, do I think the picture is as good as the plasma? Probably not (motion and blacks seemed better before). But is it terrible? Not at all. I think if I had a satellite input and better broadband, that would actually make a big improvement. I think, for the money, that this Hisense has a lot more useful, practical features than the plasma (damn sight lighter, too), so on balance, it goes some way to even things out.

I actually think the picture is better than my MIL's Samsung (not entirely sure what model she has but it's about 18-24 months old).

Plus, at £316, I don't feel like I've shelled out loads and I'm a bit less stressed about whether my kids trash this one too ;D

If anyone has any specific insights about how to adjust the picture so it look optimal, I'd appreciate any guidance - there are 23 picture settings alone, and I have no idea what most of them do!!

Many thanks again
Bill
Good writeup, that is about what I expected you would think of it. I will say that I wouldn't worry about the connection to your antenna if you aren't getting drops in signal or macroblocking when watching.

Digital signal is either there or not, having a better TV reception does not mean the picture is going to be better, just its less likely to drop.

In the days of analogue this wasn't the case, you could get much better picture quality if you improved reception if you had poor reception before.

Anyway, its broadcast TV and its not great quality compared to the rest and to be expected, as you say, HD is much better but its still not as good as a better quality source.
 

Billv84

Standard Member
Ah... didn't realise that re: tv signal.

Overall though, I don't feel like it's bad at all. Part of the reason I was a bit anxious about what to buy in the first place was having seen lots of 4-5-6-£700+ tv's in other people's houses and thought "blimey, that's a bit of a pants picture..." Don't feel that at all with this Hisense. I think tv's are pretty subjective too - what one person thinks looks amazing, another thinks looks rubbish...
 

Derek S-H

Distinguished Member
Ah... didn't realise that re: tv signal.

Overall though, I don't feel like it's bad at all. Part of the reason I was a bit anxious about what to buy in the first place was having seen lots of 4-5-6-£700+ tv's in other people's houses and thought "blimey, that's a bit of a pants picture..." Don't feel that at all with this Hisense. I think tv's are pretty subjective too - what one person thinks looks amazing, another thinks looks rubbish...
I think a great many people just have their TV's too bright, regardless of how much they cost. They're looking for something dynamic and punchy, which is fine, but it can also be very fatiguing on the eyes long term.

My TV has so many picture settings I lost count. I basically just turned everything off and tried to get as accurate to real life as I could i.e. if it's sunny, fine, have colours that pop; if it's grey and miserable, have a more muted palette.

Just remember that picture settings are not set in stone as no one else has your eyes nor sees the light in your room, they're just a guide and it's okay to adjust them to suit your own preferences.

You initially posted your query on the 7th and you had your new TV by the 11th, so I applaud your decisiveness!:D
 

Billv84

Standard Member
You initially posted your query on the 7th and you had your new TV by the 11th, so I applaud your decisiveness!:D
Well, I'm a terrible procrastinator and I felt a bit baffled with modern tv's so just wanted to get on with it (plus, CBeebies is basically a third -some might say better- parent in our house, so I couldn't wait too long!!)
 

Analysis

Well-known Member
Signal Quality is what you need to keep at 100% or higher, Signal Level will be determined by many factors as Dodge has said, you can have 20% Signal Level and if the Quality is 100% then you should be fine.

When the Signal Quality drops then you will get macroblocking and poor image quality.
 

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