back to article First Freeview HD TV goes on sale

Eager to get watching Freeview HD? Retailer Comet has begun taking orders for Panasonic's TX-P42G20B 42in plasma TV with a built-in DVB-T2 tuner. Comet wants a whopping £1100 for the telly. That price buys you a 1080p set with 600Hz motion interpolation technology, cinema-style 24f/s playback and a 5,000,000:1 contrast ratio …


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  1. Glasnost

    Viera Tools - not music friendly

    Panasonic's DLNA client does not play MP3 - unless they've very recently updated it.

    1. Nigel Whitfield.

      MP3 support

      MP3 support is added in the DLNA client on this year's range of Panasonic models

  2. Andy Tunnah


    seems if you're gonna shell out that much for a TV you probably have enough money for a sky subscription

  3. Hedley Phillips

    How much?

    Our 28" Sony CRT cost us £25 from Ebay a few months back.

    Job done.

    Ok it isn't HD, widescreen, 3D or capable of making cups of tea but what it does do is let us watch television. And seeing as I am busy running a business and have a full time job, I barely get to watch the news let alone sit down for hours to watch that new fangled fancy stuff (HD)

    1. Frank Bough


      Give it a rest with the inverse snobbery, no-one's impressed that you're getting by with a 20 year old TV.

    2. IanPotter

      What price principle

      I've got more than enough money for a Sky subscription thanks, but:

      1) There's nothing more depressing than a block of flats dripping in satellite dishes

      2) Rupert Murdoch is the most evil, conniving black hearted, soulless son of a bitch imaginable (yes even worse than Piers Morgan, evil Bill or Larry Ellison) and I won't have anything to do with him or anything he has touched.

      So I for one can't wait for Freeview HD, cable would also be an option if Virgin would ever consider rolling it out in my area. I'm not holding my breath...

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Objective reasoning?

        There's nothing like a spot of objective reasoning to brighten up a Saturday morning. And that, sir, is nothing like a spot of objective reasoning. What a massive personal fail!

        Okay, I can accept one not appreciating the aesthetics of satellite dishes adorning a block of flats. But that is easily remedied if there were the will to do so, and make a few bob on the side. Too much like logical and objective thinking for the owner of the block of flats no doubt (private or council).

        Then to go completely over the top with a rant at Rupert Murdoch? What are you, some kind of jihadist Gruaniad reader?

        Well enjoy your Freeview HD with its one or two channels of the crap while I get on with my 50 channels of HD (during 2010), more to come, and pretty soon Sky 3D also. Because if I am going to re-invest in a £1000+ telly within five years it is going to have to be a 3D one.

        See, the thing is, both Virgin with their cable and Freeview with their terrestrial broadcast means do not have sufficient bandwidth for more than a few HD channels, ever. Sky have far greater opportunity to broadcast very many more HD channels and [objectively] if that is what you are after then buying in to Sky is a completely logical and objective decision to make.

        1. Wibble

          Have money don't want Murdock

          I have the money but I don't have the inclination to throw up to a grand a year at innane shite. I am more than happy with the thought that chavvy Sky viewers are paying their TV licence for me to watch the wonderful choice that is available on Freeview.

          More channels = more commercial crap. Just look at the utter unending shit that is 'merican telly. I've been to 'merica many times. Land, get to hotel, turn on telly for 20 mins, realise that what you see really is as good (i.e. poor) as it gets. Then turn it off for the rest of the visit. Thank fuck for Internet radio and listen again.

          As for this telly; why plasma? Oh, as another radiator to keep the room warm.

        2. Barry Lane 1

          @AC: Objective (Ha!) Reasoning

          Yup, there sure is a lot of stuff on Sky. Trouble is, it's all drivel. Sky News is like Blue Peter with extra American-style tackiness thrown in for good measure, and the programmes themselves are aimed at society's lowest common denominator: the cretins who think shows like Big Brother are documentaries - and yes, I know BB is on Channel 4, not Sky. If I want to watch a movie, which is rare when you look at the quality of most movies, I go to the cinema. Buying movies from Sky is like selling one's soul to the devil.

          Crap when broadcast in HD remains crap but with a better picture. Freeview, too, is mostly crap, of course, but I don't have to forward money to the Murdochs of Mordor to watch it.

          If they haven't already mentioned it here, and someone is bound to do so very soon, with BBC's 1, 2, 3, 4 and whatever else, I don't have to suffer the same eight commercials being repeated for ten minutes every ten minutes. Mr Murdoch and his son James don't like us not watching those commercials because it doesn't make them any more money, and I really like them not making any more money. For the price of a licence I get some pretty good and diverse programmes, some of which treat us cleverer mortals like intelligent beings.

          Unfortunately, Murdoch & Son - proprietors of the Sun and the Times here in the UK and Fox and the abysmal Fox News in the US - have been buttering up David Cameron and other senior Tories, so expect to see the BBC emasculated to the point of destruction within the next couple of years after Dave wins the forthcoming election.

          As for the Panasonic HD telly, who cares? Give it a year and it'll be in your nearest Tesco for a third of the price and outdated by the latest models with bloody Murdoch all over them.

      2. Barry Lane 1


        I wish I'd said that. RM is Scum Central and I won't have Sky in the house.

        The beer is for you. Enjoy!

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I'm impressed...

      My TV is only 15 years old, but it does me. £1100? For a f---ing TV??!!!! I'd sooner buy a dog and go for a walk - in fact I did.

      @Hedley - Great to hear from someone with adult values.

      @Frank - fail yourself and get a life. It's only TV.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Its the flat cap brigade

        Whats this then? You all on a day out with the flat earth team today?

        How nice to see you, pull up a chair and have a cup of tea. Its made with loose leaves you know. None of this tea bag nonsense. I'll not be paying for a bit of paper when my WW1 strainer will do just as good a job.

        FFS people, if you're happy with your old 12" black and white thats fine.

        Hedley doesn't have "adult values" he's working his arse off and hasn't time for watching telly, he clearly said so. There's nothing "adult" about that if you're going to imply everyone else is childish.

        Frank is bang on, inverse snobbery is every bit as bad as the other kind. Its not big, its not clever, its certainly not funny. In fact, its completely childish.

        If someone wants to buy a TV for £1000 thats fine. Equally if you want to buy a dog thats fine also. Just make sure you're not one of those prats who don't clean up after their little darling has deposited its poop on the path outside.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    UK first again at last

    Stonehenge, the steam engine , some other stuff.......and now DVB-T2

  5. jimmy


    i'd buy the TV but would rather stick forks in my eyes than pay for Mr Murdoch anymore money. AND a sky HD subscription would easily cost more in time than a one off TV.

  6. Bo Pedersen

    just waiting for the usb's

    yes I am selling those lovely little ASRock boxes

    and as soon as the DVB-T2 usb thingies appear I shall be pairing them up with a choice of DVD or BluRay system with windows 7 :)

    sorry for the advert but subs free tv is the future, and having a box that will then be able to do all that internet streaming tv of the future is a good investment :)

  7. Dick Emery

    What no 3D?

    Puts money back in coat pocket.

    Also I want a 24" with Freeview HD for my bedroom. Hurry up now. I'm waiting!

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    Not first not on Comet website yet

    Not on the Comet website yet.

    Also not the first. Sony first models arrive in UK next week. Have been on Argos website for a couple of weeks. Starting price £599.99 KDL-32EX403.

  9. Anonymous Coward


    Freesat or Freeview HD or both - how about a set with both tuners ?

    That is an awful lot of money for a TV, goodness knows how much the larger sets will cost.

    This is not the year to buy Freeview HD TVs:

    1) It'll be the end of 2011 before Freeview HD will cover most of the UK population

    2) There is not enough competition - Samsung, LG, Philips et. al. need to launch sets and then the prices will drop

    3) I want a proper browser on the TV with an optional wireless keyboard. Why ? I don't want to be restricted to what just Panasonic want me to view. I know it will add a bit of cost, but these TVs now have good processors in them (many PowerPC based)

    Pana$onic want to charge the earth for limited added value. They can get away with it this year, not next.

    1. Nigel Whitfield.

      Freesat included

      The G20 range, according to the list from Panasonic, do have both FreeviewHD and Freesat built in. So too do the VT20 (3D models), W20, D25 and D28 series.

      The S20 range only have FreeviewHD, no Freesat tuner.

    2. madferret

      Southern bias...

      @AC: "This is not the year to buy Freeview HD TVs:

      1) It'll be the end of 2011 before Freeview HD will cover most of the UK population"

      I doubt many people would buy one of these sets and carry it around with them. So if you live in a Freeview HD enabled region - like most of NW England - your first argument doesn't apply.

      You've missed the obvious objection though: the price.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Interlinked arguments

        I'm not in the South (used to live in Kent, no more, now in the East). There will be limited UK coverage - hence volumes will be low - with little competition then the prices will be high - point 2)

        By end 2011 we'll be ready for Freeview HD, by 27 July 2012 we can watch the Olympics in glorius HD. If the Murdochs successfully lobby the government, then we can only watch the Olympics if we subscribe to Sky and have their 3D service.

  10. nigelp74

    What a joke

    This story should have come out over a year ago. Just think of all the HD tellys sold in 2009 with pathetic non HD built in freeview tuners - only to have the owners have to shell out over £150(!!!) to get HD! Just so stupid! Why has this taken so long?

  11. Charles King

    Panny pulling BS out of their pants

    A contrast sensitivity of 5million:1 is ridiculous, even 100,000:1 is well beyond the sensitivity limits of the human eye for a single scene. Sure, the eye can adapt to dark over time and the limits of its range are well beyond that, but for scenes where you're looking the light bits and the dark bits at the same time, anything over 1000:1 is just a waste. These contrast levels are just marketing BS.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      RE: Panny pulling BS out of their pants

      It may surprise you to know that the contrast ratio is actually important and 1000:1 will give you a rubbish picture on a TV and you will see some horrible artifacts on the screen.

      Your comment appears to be very miss-informed.

      Hats off to Panasonic for shipping early T2 product bring HD. Somebody has to ship first product and early adopters who want the technology will pay for it. Somebody has to pay for the costs in developing the new technology so main stream purchasers will have to wait a bit for the price to drop as more products switch to the new technology or pay the premium if you want it now.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @What a joke

    Digital UK (the technology industry association) and individual CE companies warned Ofcom, BBC and government that DVB-T2 products would not be available widely in time for the Granada switchoff and if they went for normal DVB-T with MPEG4 AVC as other European countries had that many of the TVs sold over the past three years would work.

    Ofcom decided that the greater efficiency of DVB-T2 was worthwhile and are responsible for the fact that products are only now coming onto the Market.

    The upgrade option for existing TVs is to buy a Set top box as Humax and others are launching.

  13. Richard Cartledge

    Buy from ROI

    Many models of TV are already sold in Ireland with this capability. The model number often just has a different suffix or prefix.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I'll buy a standalone box once Formula 1 is broadcast in HD and the prices are reasonable.

    2 years then.

    1. Nigel Whitfield.

      No they're not

      Sorry - there may be sets that can do HD in the RoI, but they cannot work with the UK system.

      These are the first Panasonic sets released with the DVB-T2 tuner necessary for FreeviewHD.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    wow , if your daft enough to pay 1K for the tv at a crumby 40" you want at least the ability to watch 2K and 4K never mind 1080P transmissions in a few years by the time you have payed off the talliman.... tick.

    1.1K at commet prices that will be like 2K UKP inclusive of VAT

    and still no DVB-T2 STBs yet i see....

  16. J Ford
    Thumb Down

    A luddite speaks...

    I'll get a new telly when my old telly breaks, thank you very much. It's a Sony, so I might not have a long wait.

    A turd at 1080p or in 3D is still a turd.

  17. Andy Nugent

    re: How much?

    So you don't have time to watch TV, but you have time to read reviews for TVs and comment on them?

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Internet will kill satellite... eventually

    Right now you can get on Itunes and pay for shows and pay LESS than you ever would with satellite. If you are really patient, you can get a lot of stuff free on Hulu, Boxee and even (gasp!) BitTorrent.

    I have DirecTV here in the US and it sucks very badly. The reason is I have NO choice in the package I get. About 99% of TV is crap and the other 1% I can get on the internet at HD either very cheap or even free. I am counting the days until my contract is up. It is pure crap.

    My point here is I think eventually the internet will be the choice of content. Yes, you may have to pay some money, but it won't be the astronomical cost just to watch "13 Channels Of Shit" on my TV to choose from. If (BIG IF) the Satellite providers ever actually provided a choice, then we would have better programing and less fertilizer.

    I say we just get off our lazy arses, ride a bike, go for a walk and tell Poopert Turdrock to shove his dish up his greedy f-ing ass.

  19. Charles King

    contrast ratio BS

    @AC: you're the one who is misinformed

    My LCD screen has a **calibrated** contrast ratio of around 880:1. It looks just fine.

    Plasmas achieve ridiculous contrast ratios by having extremely low black levels, but those are meaningless as your eye adjusts for the bright areas of the screen and everything below a certain luminance just disappears into the murk.

  20. Semihere

    What's the point of HD?

    Why on earth would anyone want to bother watching normal TV shows in HD anyway? Movies I can understand, so having a Bluray player hooked up to HD allows you to see the quality of that cinematography in all it's glory, but seriously, who wants to see the news in Hi Def? Anyone else noticed that more and more news reports are being streamed over IP rather than broadcast via satellite resulting in really crappy 'YouTube-esque' video?

    Great... get yourself a huuuuuuge HD telly to watch really really really low-def video. Well done!

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