Panasonic TX-L42ET50B review

3D is optional on this 'floating' Edge LED-lit telly

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Usability

Panasonic TX L42ET50B review

The Panasonic TX-L42ET50B has a bland user interface. It's not much changed from the 2011 crop of TVs, which is no bad thing in itself, but we've now seen better - and from Panasonic itself.

The brand's Blu-ray players, such as the Panasonic DMP-BDT320, feature a gorgeous gesture-driven interface that keeps everything simple, icon-led and beautifully designed - and even features a touchpad remote control.

Why the Viera smart TVs don't include that interface and remote is beyond us, although the remote control on the Panasonic TX-L42ET50B includes red backlighting that home cinema owners will adore.

Freeview HD is given a similar treatment as it was in previous years. That's to say, it's dull; seven channels' schedules are shown over two hours, with brief programme information shown up top.

It's a branded Freeview affair, which now thankfully doesn't include adverts along the side. Much better than last year, then, but still not a patch on the slick EPGs from the likes of Sony and Samsung.

Panasonic TX L42ET50B review

Setting recordings from the EPG is easy, while instant recording can be set to a default of up to 180 minutes. Bear in mind that a USB HDD or flash drive must first be formatted, and then used only with Panasonic AV gear. Recorded TV programmes are in a format that can't be read by a PC.

Networking via Wi-Fi is a mixed bag, with MOV, MP4, AVC HD and AVI video all supported. But from a USB drive we only managed to play AVC HD, AVI and MKV.

At least it's comprehensive overall, with the lossless FLAC music format supported, in addition to MP3.

Sound

The Panasonic TX-L42ET50B puts in a relatively good audio performance, with its stereo speakers offering a decent amount of bass.

Panasonic TX L42ET50B review

V-Audio is worth engaging for some extra precision, although V-Audio Surround is misleadingly named - we didn't spot any rear effects - and the Speech mode is too thin and bereft of bass.

Crucially, the speakers are good enough for a daily diet of dialogue-based TV, so will suit a living room not planning on adding home cinema clutter.

Value

The real test for the Panasonic TX-L42ET50B is how it can stand up to a Panasonic plasma, not other Edge LED TVs. It's slimmer and more stylish than a plasma and packed with just as many features, but it costs the same largely because it uses active shutter 3D technology.

However, the lack of 3D glasses in the box makes this an expensive option, and one we're not convinced many buyers will take up. Given that, the Panasonic TX-L42ET50B does seem overpriced.

We're willing to bet that its 42-inch L42ET5B passive 3D variant will do better among buyers looking for a cheaper add-on opportunity for the occasional 3D movie.

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 ET50
3D Type3D
EU Energy LabelA+
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
EthernetYes
Wireless LANYes
Analog TunerPAL
Ethernet TechnologyEthernet
USBYes
HDMIYes
Weight with Stand (Approximate)19 kg
Operating Power Consumption120 W
Standby Power Consumption300 mW
Electronic Program GuideYes
DLNA CertifiedYes
VGAYes
HeadphoneYes
Digital Audio OutputYes
Height with Stand643 mm
Width with Stand989 mm
Depth with Stand249 mm
CI+Yes
Composite VideoYes
Component VideoYes
SCARTYes
Network (RJ-45)Yes
Number of USB Ports3
3D TechnologyShutter
3D ConversionYes
Energy Consumption per Year77 kWh
PC StreamingYes
Internet AccessYes
Media PlayerYes
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital (SD), Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC)
Height595 mm
Width989 mm
Depth36 mm
Product SeriesET50
Maximum Resolution1920 x 1080
FeaturesWeb Browser, Teletext, In-plane Switching (IPS) Technology, Picture and Text (PAT)
ManufacturerPanasonic
Product ModelTX-L42ET50B
Product NameTX-L42ET50B 42" Smart Viera LED TV
Product LineViera
Manufacturer Part NumberTXL42ET50B
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.panasonic.co.uk
Marketing Information

42" Smart VIERA LED TV - Smart Feature and Fantastic Picture Quality
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.

SpeakersYes
Limited Warranty1 Year
Weight (Approximate)15.50 kg