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Panasonic TX-L42DT65B review

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

Usability

When compared to the Panasonic TX-L47ET60B, the Panasonic TX-L42DT65B is much easier and quicker to use.

My Home Screen is a breeze to use (after some initial setting up) though we're not sure why there are two tabs on show, one for Freesat channels and one for Freeview. Nobody will use both, but it's incredibly easy to switch from one to the other - and thus be faced with an empty channel roster. Now that really could annoy some users who aren't expecting it.

Panasonic TX L42DT65B review

Kudos goes to the new Swipe & Share 2.0 feature inside the latest Viera app for smartphones and tablets. Using an iPad 4, we managed to drag both videos and photos from the iPad to the TV, and fetch from the TV too. As well as cloning the live TV channel playing on the TV (called Live View), we streamed to an iPad some TV programmes recorded to a USB stick (and anything else in the MPEG-4 format).

From a Remote Play section of a separate Second Screen area of the app we managed to stream from a USB flash drive connected to the TV to the iPad.

Panasonic TX L42DT65B review

File support is much wider here, and identical to what the TV's Media Player software can handle. From a file list we played AVC HD, MPEG-4, AVI, MKV HD and WMV video files as well as WAV, MP3, M4A, FLAC and WMA music files.

It's even possible to access a list of TV channels and stream a separate channel from the one playing on the TV. The twin tuner idea isn't perfect (could we not just have four Freeview or four Freesat instead of two of each?), but to Panasonic's credit they have been used exhaustively.

Voice control

Panasonic TX L42DT65B review

We were actually fairly impressed by voice interaction on the Panasonic TX-L42DT65B; speaking 'Search Big Bang Theory in Guide' into the sleek touchpad remote produced a list of scheduled broadcasts on E4 over the next seven days.

We were then able to say 'schedule recording', though we had to use the remote to select which broadcast. However, 'channel up' was then heard as 'switch off'.

Panasonic TX L42DT65B review

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Besides, the need to press the microphone button on the remote each time you want to speak - and the wait for a couple of seconds - renders voice interaction more trouble than it's worth. It's like using a walkie-talkie.

Sound

Though there is a tiny woofer onboard the Panasonic TX-L42DT65B, you wouldn't know it. While delivering surprisingly detailed audio, it's all in the higher frequencies and there's little to take note of lower down.

Though it's a better performance than we'd expected from such a slim TV, it's still necessary to hook up to a more serious system if you intend to watch a lot of films.

Value

Panasonic TX L42DT65B review

The all-round look, feel and operation of the Panasonic TX-L42DT65B is truly high-end - as it should be. The design is stunning, the picture quality highly adaptable and with impressive highs, while the user interface is certainly smarter than most.

My Home Screen, while possibly over-complicating things for some, adds some genuinely exciting touches of brilliance - such as the opportunity to actively see what's on another TV channel without switching to it.

Panasonic TX L42DT65B review

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Four pairs of 3D glasses is decent value, but, then, they cost less than a pound each. Compared to the Panasonic TX-L42ET65, this TV adds LED local dimming, ISF calibration controls, Bluetooth and those dual tuner arrays.

However, for such an expensive TV - this is only a 42-inch television, remember - we're not sure its price can stay north of £1,100 (around AU$1,606 / US$1,691) for too long.

Seeing as the European version of this TV actually has six tuners, we're wondering when we'll see a UK-centric TV that presents four Freeview HD tuners - now that really would be impressive.

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
BluetoothYes
EthernetYes
Wireless LANYes
Analog TunerPAL
Ethernet TechnologyEthernet
USBYes
HDMIYes
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
HeadphoneYes
Digital Audio OutputYes
Height with Stand650 mm
Width with Stand956 mm
Depth with Stand225 mm
Number of Common Interface1
CI+Yes
Composite VideoYes
Component VideoYes
SCARTYes
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
ManufacturerPanasonic
Product ModelTX-L42DT65B
Product NameTX-L42DT65B 42" Smart Viera LED TV
Product LineViera
Manufacturer Part NumberTX-L42DT65B
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.panasonic.co.uk
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.

SpeakersYes
Limited Warranty5 Year
Weight (Approximate)12.50 kg