Panasonic TX-L42WT50B review

Plasma is no longer Panasonic's only TV fruit

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  • Mostly excellent picture
  • Great online features
  • Multitasking works well
  • Sumptuous design


  • A bit expensive
  • So-so black levels
  • Trackpad remote isn't great
  • Average sound

As plasma TVs' most vocal advocate, with enormous plasma production facilities to back up its beliefs, it's no surprise that Panasonic has been slower than most - well, everyone, really - when it comes to fully embracing LCD as a worthwhile TV technology.

Sure, there have been LCD models in Panasonic's TV range for a few years now. But they've invariably been limited in size and scope, with plasmas making up the entirety of Panasonic's big screen, home cinema enthusiast offering.

This year, though, it's all change. Panasonic's 2012 LCD television range is not only as expansive in terms of numbers as its plasma one, but it also includes screen sizes all the way up to 55 inches, and some genuinely flagship-status offerings full of high-level features, design flourishes and picture technology.

The 42-inch Panasonic L42WT50 is one such flagship proposition - a status it wears right out there on its sleeve, thanks to a gorgeous glass and metal design and a bezel so slender it wouldn't look out of place on one of the LG or Samsung's high-fashion models.

This is a big aesthetic leap for a brand that as recently as last year generally resided in the 'slightly bland' category for its TV designs.

Inside the Panasonic TX-L42WT50, meanwhile, is a dual-core processor system used to both drive Panasonic's most powerful picture processing engine yet - complete with local dimming for the Edge LED lighting system - and deliver some extra convenience features, including some welcome multitasking when using the set's expansive multimedia features.

The L42WT50's UK price is £2,195 (around $3,460) and is partnered in Panasonic's range by bigger brothers the 47-inch L47WT50 and 55-inch L55WT50.

Buying Guide
best tv

Best TV 2012

Just below the Panasonic WT50 TVs you can find the DT50 televisions - including the Panasonic L42DT50 and L47DT50 - available in the same sizes, but lacking the dual-core processing and thus getting neither Panasonic's top-level picture processing nor the L42WT50's multitasking features.

The WT50 TVs also ship with two pairs of 3D glasses included, while you don't get any with the DT50 series.

In terms of the Panasonic TX-L42WT50's competition, the obvious candidates are the Samsung ES8000 series and Sony HX853 series - both of which have already reviewed well, and so could present the Panasonic TX-L42WT50 with some pretty stiff competition.

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 WT50
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)13.50 kg
Backlight TechnologyLED
Operating Power Consumption119 W
Standby Power Consumption200 mW
Electronic Program GuideYes
DLNA CertifiedYes
Digital Audio OutputYes
Height with Stand647 mm
Width with Stand956 mm
Depth with Stand312 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
Width956 mm
Depth27 mm
Sound SystemVirtual Surround, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Pulse, DTS
Product SeriesWT50
Maximum Resolution1920 x 1080
FeaturesTeletext, Web Browser, In-plane Switching (IPS) Technology, Picture in Picture, Picture and Text (PAT), Picture and Picture (PAP)
Product ModelTX-L42WT50B
Product NameTX-L42WT50B 42" Smart Viera LED TV
Product LineViera
Manufacturer Part NumberTX-L42WT50B
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

42" Smart VIERA LED TV - State-of-the-Art Design, Full HD 3D Neo Black LED Panel 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-L42WT50B 42" Smart Viera LED TV
  • 2 x 3D Glasses
  • Remote Control
Limited Warranty5 Year
Weight (Approximate)11 kg