Panasonic TX-L42DT65B review

Second screen antics star on this high-end Edge LED TV

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With a plethora of well judged preset picture modes (including Cinema and True Cinema) and space to store your own settings using the comprehensive and thoroughly advanced calibration menus, it's a relief to see the Panasonic TX-L42DT65B's pictures live up to their billing.

While black response isn't right up there with the best (there's a slight blueish tone to deep black), it's an improvement on the ET60 Series. But where the Panasonic TX-L42DT65B takes the lead over its rivals is with a totally even backlight. There's not a trace of light leaking from the panel's six LED clusters, though nor is local dimming particularly advanced.

The panel is capable of extremely punchy, bright colours even at tight viewing angles, though they tone down nicely for films. Our Hugo test disc received a pin-sharp treatment that was very impressive; the wisps of smoke and steam in the station are acutely visible, while light streaming through the station's windows juxtaposes skillfully with the dark shadows, though the latter do lack some shadow detail.

Panasonic TX L42DT65B review

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Fast-moving mixed brightness scenes, such as when Hugo leaps down the clock tower's ladders, is nicely judged, while that movement is smoothed out by the Panasonic TX-L42DT65B's 24p Smooth Film frame interpolation circuitry.

Despite the TV's panel's native speed, 24p Smooth Film mode proves to be key since it introduces fluidity and completely removes judder without creating any video nasties. Used on either its Mid or Max powers (don't bother with the Min setting - it does nothing), 24p Smooth Film is a much cleaner solution than last year's version, removing the judder from a sequence where a couple of actors rush across a camera shot.

Perhaps it's the Panasonic TX-L42DT65B's dual-core Hexa processor making this work better, but it doesn't stop there.

3D picture

Panasonic TX L42DT65B review

Despite 3D clearly not being on many people's shopping list - hence the drop down to the fuss-free polarised flavour on the Panasonic TX-L42DT65B - Hugo in 3D does impress.

Yes, those horizontal lines are visible (and will therefore sway some away from 3D altogether - including, we suspect, many at Panasonic), but 24p Smooth Film mode is able to take control once again, which adds some fluidity.

Without any crosstalk, free from artefacts and also with a touch more contrast than the 2D images, polarised 3D on the Panasonic TX-L42DT65B looks as good as it possibly can.

Streaming and SD

Panasonic TX L42DT65B review

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The same goes for YouTube, streaming apps and standard definition material. A web optimiser on the Panasonic TX-L42DT65B - which isn't on the drop-down ET60 Series - does well, dredging up some detail and producing a clean, thoroughly watchable cat video from YouTube.

The same goes for standard definition material, even the ropey ITV channel on Freeview, from which Hexa manages to remove digital blocking, smoothing over any artefacts.

Overall it's an incredibly versatile and highly impressive picture that scores high marks in all areas.

Tech Specs

Product TypeLED-LCD TV
Scan Format1080p
Standard Refresh Rate50 Hz
Digital TunerDVB-S2, DVB-T (MPEG4)
Video Signal StandardHDTV 1080p
Number of HDMI Ports3
Number of SCART Interfaces1
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)16 kg
Backlight TechnologyLED
Operating Power Consumption134 W
Standby Power Consumption200 mW
RMS Output Power18 W
Electronic Program GuideYes
DLNA CertifiedYes
Digital Audio OutputYes
Height with Stand650 mm
Width with Stand956 mm
Depth with Stand225 mm
Number of Common Interface1
Composite VideoYes
Component VideoYes
Network (RJ-45)Yes
3D TechnologyPolarized
3D ConversionYes
Energy Consumption per Year77 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)
Height564 mm
Width956 mm
Depth35 mm
Sound SystemSurround Sound
Maximum Resolution1920 x 1080
FeaturesWeb Browser, In-plane Switching (IPS) Technology, Picture and Picture (PAP), Picture and Text (PAT), Picture on Picture, Hotel Mode, Ambient Lighting, Teletext
Product ModelTX-L42DT65B
Product NameTX-L42DT65B 42" Smart Viera LED TV
Product LineViera
Manufacturer Part NumberTX-L42DT65B
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

42" Smart VIERA LED TV - Cutting-edge Smart VIERA TV with superior picture quality (Energy Efficiency Class A+)

Precise frame generation and insertion create smoothly flowing images. Fine light-emission control also minimises flicker to ensure smooth images.

By combining the IPS Panel, with its great viewing angle characteristics, beautiful images are reproduced with high levels of brightness, colour, and contrast even when viewed from an angle.

The portal screen menu leads you to a wide variety of content in addition to TV, including internet videos and photos. You have complete access to it all as soon as you turn on the TV. *Requires broadband Internet service.

Limited Warranty5 Year
Weight (Approximate)12.50 kg