Panasonic TX-L42DT50B review

Black is sacked as Edge LED set embraces metal design, smart TV, streaming and 3D

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In terms of ins and outs there are few better-equipped sets than the TX-L42DT50B. To reach this super-slim design Panasonic's engineers have had to use adapters and proprietary connections for Scart and component/composite video, but elsewhere ins and outs are what you'd expect; four HDMI inputs, one with an Audio Return Channel, alongside three USB slots, two of which can replenish dead active shutter 3D specs.

Panasonic TX L42DT50B

There's also an SDXC card slot, something you won't find on any other brand of TV (for reasons best known to all of the others). There's a mini D-sub 15-pin port for attaching a PC in the traditional analogue manner, as well as a wired LAN port, digital optical audio output, headphones jack, and feeds for both Freesat and Freeview tuners.

Panasonic TX L42DT50B HDMI

The only real concern is that the HDMI inputs are all stored on the side of the TV, which can mean HDMI cables - especially good quality versions that tend to be difficult to bend - can too easily protrude from the side.

Both Freesat and Freeview platforms are given electronic programme guides, and it's here where Panasonic shows its old ways. Blocky, spreadsheet like, and covered in garish blue and yellow, these grid-like pages are a bit of an eyesore. Still, at least Panasonic has got rid of the advert-strewn GuidePlus+ system used in recent years.

Panasonic TX L42DT50B EPG

We're also happy to see a 'full' version of the EPG that does away with superfluous and oversized on-screen operating instructions to present a single page containing two hours' of schedules across ten channels. Setting recordings is a cinch, too. However, it's still not as pleasant to use as the likes of Sony and Samsung's EPGs, or as good-looking.

Panasonic TX L42DT50B VIERA connect

VIERA Connect is now officially our favourite smart TV platform - and that's despite an all-new web browser that doesn't really introduce as much flexibility or fluidity as it needs to succeed. As well as the bright colours and nuanced graphics of the VIERA Connect homepage, the service more than makes up for its slight lack of content choice by concentrating on core services demanded by users.

And by that, we mean the BBC iPlayer, and perhaps YouTube and Netflix (though we're hardly convinced by the latter's choice of on-demand films, so the presence of Acetrax is handy, too).

Panasonic TX L42DT50B VIERA connect

That Wi-Fi functionality can be used to stream from a networked PC or laptop using the DLNA protocol, and in our test we managed to play the likes of MOV and MP4 videos alongside JPEG photos and both MP3 and lossless FLAC music (the latter might be surprising, but seems to be prevalent on other 'smart' TVs in 2012, too). From USB support extends to MKV, AVI and AVC HD (hi-def camcorder) video files, which will please many.

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
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)14.50 kg
Backlight TechnologyLED
Operating Power Consumption116 W
Standby Power Consumption200 mW
Electronic Program GuideYes
DLNA CertifiedYes
Digital Audio OutputYes
Height with Stand615 mm
Width with Stand958 mm
Depth with Stand258 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
Width958 mm
Depth27 mm
Sound SystemVirtual Surround, DTS, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Pulse
Maximum Resolution1920 x 1080
FeaturesWeb Browser, Teletext, In-plane Switching (IPS) Technology, Picture and Text (PAT)
Product ModelTX-L42DT50
Product NameTX-L42DT50B 42" Smart Viera LED TV
Product LineViera
Manufacturer Part NumberTX-L42DT50B
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

42" Smart VIERA LED TV - Full HD 3D LED panel, Internet Browser 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-L42DT50B 42" Smart Viera LED TV
  • Remote Control
Limited Warranty1 Year
Weight (Approximate)11 kg