Panasonic TX-42AS500 review

A great smart TV for a very reasonable price

Panasonic TX-42AS500

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Its images may not be perfect, and nor does it have every single app in town, but this 42-inch is all about smart TV on a budget; there are few easier to use TVs around at this price.

We liked

My Home Screen is the star turn, but the user interface in general is excellent. The presence of Netflix and all BBC apps is great, too, while there's a comprehensive support for digital video and music file formats over DLNA networking and from a USB HDD or thumbdrive. The slim bezel is a real selling point, and pictures are highly watchable across all sources.

We disliked

Pictures are rather mixed, with a touch of motion blue evident in most video and high definition fare lacking the ultimate in sharpness.

Standard definition channels look soft and, frankly, the provision of just two HDMI inputs is going to cause some AV headaches in a lot of living rooms. Sadly, apps for Amazon Instant, ITV Player, 4OD and Demand Five are all missing, which is a great shame.

Final verdict

A good value way to get into the world of smart TV, this 42-inch Full HD TV boasts plenty of apps, a fabulous and friendly user interface, Freeview HD, great viewing angles and wide digital file support. Two HDMI inputs and a touch of motion blur are the lows on an otherwise highly impressive effort that's ideal for a living room.

Also consider

Good value 42-inchers boasting as much smart TV gubbins as the TX-42AS500 are few, but it's worth checking out the similar but cheaper 40-inch Finlux 40F8073-T or 40-inch Toshiba 40L3453DB. For those looking for the next rung up and all UK TV catch-up TV apps, consider the Panasonic TX-42AS600, which boasts Freetime to make using Freeview HD even easier.

Jamie Carter

Jamie is a freelance tech, travel and space journalist based in the UK. He’s been writing regularly for Techradar since it was launched in 2008 and also writes regularly for Forbes, The Telegraph, the South China Morning Post, Sky & Telescope and the Sky At Night magazine as well as other Future titles T3, Digital Camera World, All About Space and He also edits two of his own websites, and that reflect his obsession with travel gear and solar eclipse travel. He is the author of A Stargazing Program For Beginners (Springer, 2015),