Panasonic TX-L42DT50B

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

Panasonic TX-L42DT50B
Panasonic TX-L42DT50B

The TX-L42DT50B is a relatively high-end TV - that much is obvious from its slim depth and metallic bezel, the latter of which is some achievement considering Panasonic's rather lacklustre history in this department.

Feature-packed inside, we're able to detect that this isn't the brand's flagship set, but there's really no major flaws aside from a stubborn refusal to include 3D specs. It's a decision which rather underlines why most brands - including Panasonic, to some extent - is quickly turning to passive 3D system with its 99p 3D glasses.

We liked

VIERA Connect is now our favourite smart TV platform, largely because it does away with the dross and puts core services - as well as design and usability - at its core.

That gorgeous design encompasses the TV's metallic outer shell, too, while the inclusion of Wi-Fi and comprehensive streaming abilities is just as attractive.

Also noteworthy is the inclusion of Voice Guidance to increase accessibility, and speakers that, for once, aren't woefully bad on a super-slim TV. Add sparkling 2D and 3D Blu-ray, and this is one of Panasonic's best Edge LED TV attempts thus far.

We disliked

The lack of 3D specs in the box annoys us intensely - it's almost an admission that the Active Shutter 3D format, (Panasonic's own, remember), is either not worth bothering with, or on its way out.

We're also slightly disappointed in the viewing angle and appearance of light leakage from the LED clusters along the sides of the panel, though neither problem is extreme.

Final verdict

Panasonic changes pace with this beautifully designed 200Hz Edge LED 3DTV that sports slick the slick VIERA Connect smart interface alongside Wi-Fi, deluxe streaming, and even both Freesat HD and Freeview HD tuners. Source neutral excellence abounds on this mid-to-high-end set, but there's no 3D specs in the box.

Also consider

If you're not bothered about 3D, there's little point in investing in a screen that's capable, so instead head to Panasonic's E5 Series or a budget TV such as the Samsung UE40D5520.

If you are, but think active shutter 3D looks a little pricey, there's always LG's great value 42LW550T.

If it's flagship sets you're after, skip this generation and head to the likes of the Panasonic TX-P50VT50 3D plasma or TX-L42WT50 Edge LED 3DTV, or the Samsung UE46ES8000.