Panasonic TX-L42E30B review

Not bothered by 3D? Panasonic's new 42-inch LCD TV be right up your street

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Panasonic tx l42e30b

Despite the TX-L42E30B's lack of in-depth picture adjustments, it delivers an assured picture performance with little to fault it, particularly with hi-def Blu-rays.

Tweakers may bemoan the absence of serious colour management tools and will have to make do with an on/off Vivid colour mode, but Panasonic compensates for this by providing colour accuracy out of the box. With the TV in cinema mode and the Warm preset selected, we measured a spot-on 6,500K colour temp, so your DVD and Blu-ray platters should look close to how the director intended, colour-wise.

A 16-step colour gradation test shows the TX-L42E30B excels in green, yellow and blue reproduction. It's only with the brightest red shades that subtle shifts are lost.

With Toy Story 3 on Blu-ray this solid colour performance equates to a superbly cinematic experience; the exotic palette employed by Pixar is delivered with aplomb, without ever veering into gaudy territory. Some LED-lit screens can give film material an artificial feel, but not the TX-L42E30B.

Working in tandem with that considered colour presentation is a healthy black level. Panasonic is too grown-up these days to bother itself with outrageous contrast level claims (it just quotes 'High') and what's on offer here is fine enough. Darker areas of the picture remain free from crushed blacks, so shadow detailing, frequently evident in Toy Story 3 when Woody and chums are abandoned in a toy box, is maintained.

The solid black level is helped by an edge-LED lighting system that doesn't cause any unsightly light-pooling. Well, as long as you are sitting on-axis. We found that portions of the screen can brighten considerably if viewed from an angle.

The TX-L42E30B is also commendably adept with motion. When fed a sequence of vertical, horizontal and diagonal camera pans, and scenes with fast-moving objects, the Panasonic didn't falter. Motion was smooth with detail levels kept up.

Switching on the Intelligent Frame Creation Pro engine (it has two levels) makes things even silkier (almost comically so), but can introduce artefacts with multi-layered material. The TX-L42E30B's natural motion handling is sufficiently impressive to render IFC Pro all but redundant.

As you'd expect from a full HD panel, detail levels are high. Close up footage of a dissected kiwi fruit (an odd, but effective reference scene) was so lifelike it made us hungry. Blu-ray movies that make the most of the format's high-pixel count look gorgeous. Back in the land of Woody and Buzz, the exquisite textures of everything from a wooden door frame to Mr Potato Head's moustache are jaw-dropping.

With no 3D playback to get stuck into, the only other picture quality to report on is that of the TV's built-in Freeview HD tuner. Naturally, switching to this from Blu-ray brings a step-down in quality.

Macro-blocking and mosquito noise take the shine off SD channels (although the latter can be countered by the TX-L42E30B's effective P-NR noise reduction) and even the HD channel lack the razor-sharp panache of Blu-rays. Not that the Panasonic's Freeview pictures are worse than the competition (they are more stable than many budget rivals), it's just that Freeview itself is beginning to look a bit shoddy.

Tech Specs

Product TypeLED-LCD TV
Scan Format1080p
Standard Refresh Rate50 Hz
Digital TunerDVB-T (MPEG4)
Video Signal StandardHDTV 1080p
Number of HDMI Ports4
Number of SCART Interfaces1
Product FamilyViera E30
Brand NamePanasonic
Screen Size106.7 cm (42")
Aspect Ratio16:9
Horizontal Viewing Angle178°
Vertical Viewing Angle178°
Green CompliantYes
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityREACH
Analog TunerPAL
Ethernet TechnologyEthernet
Weight with Stand (Approximate)19 kg
Backlight TechnologyDirect LED
Operating Power Consumption102 W
Standby Power Consumption300 mW
RMS Output Power20 W
Electronic Program GuideYes
DLNA CertifiedYes
Digital Audio OutputYes
Height with Stand646 mm
Width with Stand1002 mm
Depth with Stand288 mm
Composite VideoYes
Component VideoYes
PC StreamingYes
Internet AccessYes
Media PlayerYes
Height611 mm
Width1002 mm
Depth75 mm
Sound SystemSurround Sound, Dolby Digital Plus, DTS
Product SeriesE30
Maximum Resolution1920 x 1080
FeaturesChild Lock, Picture and Text (PAT), Teletext
Product ModelTX-L42E30B
Product NameViera TX-L42E30B LED-LCD TV
Product LineViera
Manufacturer Part NumberTXL42E30B
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

The IPS Alpha panel, which is known for its wide viewing angle and excellent light transmittance, is now further enhanced with a bright, energy-saving LED backlight. Images do not fade when viewed from an angle, and a uniformly high-speed response across the entire range ensures crisp moving images with minimal afterglow. The IPS Alpha LED LCD offers superb contrast and also contributes to the display's slim design.

Weight (Approximate)15.50 kg