Sanyo 42 inch Plasma TV (Model# DP42746)

Sanyo 42 inch Plasma TV (Model# DP42746)

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Very Good Picture Quality But Poor Build Quality

Jul 27, 2006 (Updated Jul 28, 2006)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review
  • User Rating: Excellent

  • Sound:
  • Ease of Use:
  • Picture Quality:
  • Durability:

Pros:Picture Quality, Price, Input/Output connections, HDTV builtin and Dual Tuner, Warranty

Cons:Build quality, speakers, Documentation, basic menu

The Bottom Line: If you are looking for a easy to setup TV with brilliant picture quality at a very affordable price, this is the one.


Sanyo DP42746

Foreword:

I had 3 Sanyo TVs prior to this plasma - CRT, CRT HDTV and LCD HDTV. This Plasma TV is my fourth Sanyo. The brand is not as popular in the US as it is in Asia. Sanyo’s products are high quality & feature rich while maintaining a low price. In the US, the marketing is limited and availability is limited to one store, making it not as popular as it should be in spite of the good quality and cost effectiveness it offers. Sanyo does not compete with the top brands like Hitachi, Samsung, Sony etc because of some inherent problems which are elaborated later in the review.

In the Box:

The Box is heavy; the shipping weight of the box is 95 lbs, with the weight of the TV being 84 lbs. The Box contains only the basics, no cables are included. The User manual is generic, the same manual is used for all models with changes only to the product content. The box includes:
1. Sanyo DP42746 TV
2. User Manual
3. Quick setup guide
4. Remote

Appearance and ease of installation:

The TV is Black in color and looks very attractive. There are no buttons on the front panel of the TV, they are hidden away on the top, making it look seamless and clutter free. The buttons on the top panel look extremely cheap… Sanyo must be glad they are hidden away. Though it is a 42 inch TV, it seems bigger, more like a 50 inch because of the speakers mounted to the sides giving a much bigger appearance. The “feet” supporting the TV are small but very sturdy, making it look very sleek and gives a false sense of light weight. They are built into the TV, meaning there is no external bracket, the feet actually go into the body of the TV, nice design. They are made of 5mm thick metal and can easily be removed (screws on the back) for wall mount purposes. The glass panel over the Plasma tube reveals some defective assembly and poor quality control. The picture quality is not compromised, but the build quality is not upto the mark. Also, the part that says “HDTV” and “integrated HDTV tuner” at the top and bottom of the TV’s front panel are cheap stickers pasted onto the TV. It is bound to curl up & fall off sometime.

The remote – it is black to match the TV. Having so many Sanyo TVs in the past, I can say, all the remotes are the same except for the body color (Black/silver). Even the number of keys are the same. The only difference is the color of the 4-way buttons used to navigate the menus (green). The buttons are not backlit, it will keep you groping in the dark. The volume & Channel buttons are of the same size and shape as the buttons around them, making it difficult to find them in the dark. This part is not even lack of innovation, I would define it as Sanyo’s inability to even copy the other company's standard remote design. The remote is very effective from long distances & varied angles though.

It is very easy to install the TV, it offers tons of connections including HDMI, Component, S-Video, optical etc. The included “quick install guide” is basic and very simplified and even a novice can set it up. The user manual is again basic, it contains little information about the TVs capabilities. The pictures for demonstration on the manual are the same as the ones used on the cheap 24 inch CRT TV. The installation is as simple as getting it out of the box, placing it on the TV stand and connecting the power and connecting the Video/audio cables. The factory preset video gives the best picture quality, I tried changing it, but noticed the factory preset is the best. So basically, you can start watching videos on the without any configuration.

Features and Functions:

The TV has a built-in HDTV tuner, Dual tuners – Analog (NTSC) and Digital (ATSC), HDMI and Optical inputs, 16:9 pulldown, picture zoom etc. The picture quality is hands down brilliant compared to the other TVs in the sub $2000 range. The HD programming seems alive and crystal clear. The Dual antenna inputs are great, I get the off-the-air programming via the Terk HDTVi digital antenna ( http://www.epinions.com/content_230625349252 ) . It also has many input/output ports, including optical output, HDMI and component. Many components can be connected to the TV with the included ports. The TV menu is not as good and well defined as the other brands, it is very simple and offers hardly any settings. The Audio settings has some features disabled – why display it when you don’t offer it. The menu is a slight improvement from the older menu, but it is still pathetic. The built-in speakers are sufficient at the most, but on standard great. The sound seems extremely flat and lacks on the treble and the bass. The menu has a bass and treble adjustment, but increasing the bass makes it sound awful. Most users have home theatre systems, this should not make much difference to them. The sound from my Onkyo HT790 (http://www.epinions.com/content_231649939076 ) connected through the optical out sounds awesome. This being my first black TV, I must say the color makes a difference, the picture seems more clear simply by the fact that the picture tube enclosed in a dark case makes the background dark and the picture on the tube appear more brighter. I have observed this in the stores too. The “PIX shape” button on the remote is nice.. allows the picture to be zoomed, to either fit the TV or for best shape. There is also a caption button offering a lot of caption options. I have used the same Terk digital antenna for the previous TV & this one, but with the new Plasma, I am able to get more channels… not sure why. But I’m not complaining…

The contrast ratio of the TV is a mystery, no where on the manufacturer website or the user manual is there a mention of this important specification. But I can swear, I once read on Sanyo’s website that it was 10000:1, but I never found it again… so was I seeing things… hmmm… all part of the mystery. There is a dearth of information on this TV even on Sanyo’s website and I did not find the user manual to be very useful regarding the full specs of the TV.

Sanyo Warranty:

The warranty is worth mentioning. Sanyo offers 1 year replacement warranty, meaning if the issue is not resolved over the phone (which never happens, considering the representative is not a techie) the product can be taken back to the store where it was purchased and a you can get a new one. Guess what happens if the same TV is not available, you get to pick another Sanyo TV and pay/get the difference. The best part is you get the same 1year replacement warranty on the new TV starting from the date of the exchange.

PROS:
1. Brilliant picture quality
2. Easy setup
3. HDTV tuner Built-in
4. Dual tuner – Analog and Digital
5. Looks bigger than it is because of the side mounted speakers.
6. Very low TV price.

CONS:
1. Build quality
2. Documentation is limited.
3. TV menu is pathetic to put it mildly
4. Limited availability, only available in Walmart
5. TV Speakers are only average.

Final word:

The best part of this TV is the picture quality, it is very good. The amount of detail displayed in HD programming is amazing. This is an easy setup TV, without the complicated and laborious configurations. The lack of good speakers can be compensated with a good home theatre. The menu sucks, but out of the box it works well with the factory default settings, so you don’t really need to make any configuration changes and only adds to the convenience. The 1year replacement warranty adds to the value.
If you are looking for a TV that has brilliant picture quality, extremely easy setup, has loads of input/output options like the latest HDMI & optical; then this is the right TV for you. But if you are looking for a TV where you can play with and have lots of fun with the customizations and settings then this will not fall in that category.


Recommend this product? Yes


Amount Paid (US$): 1595.00

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