Panasonic TX-L42DT50B review

Black is sacked as Edge LED set embraces metal design, smart TV, streaming and 3D

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Let's first concentrate on the negatives. Firmly in 2D mode, our test disc Piranha 3D revealed a narrower viewing angle than we'd expected. It's hardly a major problem - and not as serious as on cheaper Panasonic Edge LED TVs we've seen - but there's a definite fade of contrast and colour when watched from the wings. The LED backlighting isn't uniform, either, with a black screen showing-up clusters of light in the corners.

Although the hi-def handling of the Spanish F1 Grand Prix via a Virgin TiVo box proved immaculate, as did some footage from Later with Jools Holland on the BBC HD channel, we were slightly disappointed by the TX-L42DT50B's upscaling of standard definition channels. The BBC News channel virtually pulses with picture noise, with the low bitrate feed seemingly going completely untreated.

Panasonic TX L42DT50B

Elsewhere it's all good, with some awesome colour tones and a generally contrast-heavy picture lending some notable realism, post-calibration.

Maybe Panasonic's plans to develop OLED screens with Sony suggest that the screen-makers have gone as far as they can with LED black levels, and more shadow detailing is indeed available on other screens (notably the brand's plasmas), but there's plenty here to deliver just enough detail even in murky movies.

Switch-on a Blu-ray and 24p Smooth Film is engaged, removing judder successfully, though Intelligent Frame Creation (IFC) is also available to insert frames on-the-fly to banish blur. Note that when IFC is used on anything other than its minimum setting it does introduce distracting flicker around moving objects; luckily, there's not much blur to speak of, so IFC isn't a core tech.

In Time on DVD displays those same slightly false blacks, though it's still fair to say that you won't see blacks this deep on many other Edge LED TVs. If you want the ultimate, plump for a plasma. Though the image is fairly soft, it's very clean, and eminently watchable.

Panasonic TX L42DT50B

Not so the 3D conversion mode, which proved of almost zero worth in our test aside from the odd close-up, unless you like watching movies with a slight shimmer and a confused look to at least half the action.

The real success - aside from the pin-sharp, precise and thoroughly enjoyable Full HD – is 3D. Clean and well rendered, the active shutter 3D specs don't remove much brightness, though we still can't bring ourselves to be too enthusiastic about a picture whose bright areas noticeably flick - to our eyes, at least - throughout. That said, we've not seen Edge LED-based 3D look at detailed and as depth-aware as this. It's such a shame no 3D specs are included.

Tech Specs

Product TypeLED-LCD TV
Scan Format1080p
Standard Refresh Rate50 Hz
Digital TunerDVB-T (MPEG4), DVB-S2
Video Signal StandardHDTV 1080p
Number of HDMI Ports4
Product FamilyViera
3D Type3D
EU Energy LabelA+
Smart TVYes
Brand NamePanasonic
Screen Size106.7 cm (42")
Aspect Ratio16:9
Horizontal Viewing Angle178°
Vertical Viewing Angle178°
Green CompliantYes
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityREACH
Memory Card ReaderYes
Wireless LANYes
Analog TunerPAL
Ethernet TechnologyEthernet
Weight with Stand (Approximate)14.50 kg
Backlight TechnologyLED
Operating Power Consumption116 W
Standby Power Consumption200 mW
Electronic Program GuideYes
DLNA CertifiedYes
Digital Audio OutputYes
Height with Stand615 mm
Width with Stand958 mm
Depth with Stand258 mm
Composite VideoYes
Component VideoYes
Network (RJ-45)Yes
Number of USB Ports3
3D TechnologyShutter
3D ConversionYes
Energy Consumption per Year78 kWh
PC StreamingYes
Internet AccessYes
Media PlayerYes
3D Glasses RequiredYes
Enhanced Refresh Rate1.60 kHz
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital (SD), Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC)
Height569 mm
Width958 mm
Depth27 mm
Sound SystemVirtual Surround, DTS, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Pulse
Maximum Resolution1920 x 1080
FeaturesWeb Browser, Teletext, In-plane Switching (IPS) Technology, Picture and Text (PAT)
Product ModelTX-L42DT50
Product NameTX-L42DT50B 42" Smart Viera LED TV
Product LineViera
Manufacturer Part NumberTX-L42DT50B
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

42" Smart VIERA LED TV - Full HD 3D LED panel, Internet Browser and Wi-Fi Built-in (Energy Efficiency Class A+)

The display alternately shows images for the left and right eyes. The left and right lenses of the eyewear open and close in sync with this display timing to show separate images to the left and right eyes. By repeating this action at high speed, the brain perceives 3D images. And because this method displays FULL HD 3D images just as they are, both eyes receive 3D images in high, full-HD quality.

In addition to increasing the generated frames from 50 to 200 frames per second, backlight control has evolved through area splitting. The backlight's fine blinking reduces afterimages, to produce smooth, fast movements without blurring. Sports scenes, action scenes and other fast-motion images are crisp and clear.

Package Contents
  • TX-L42DT50B 42" Smart Viera LED TV
  • Remote Control
Limited Warranty1 Year
Weight (Approximate)11 kg