Panasonic TX-L47DT50 review

A Panasonic LED TV with features that make it a real crowd pleaser

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Flying pretty high up the 2012 Viera range, the Panasonic TX-L47DT50 is jam packed with enthusiast-friendly features. Its Freesat tuner is ideal for lapsed Sky subscribers or free-to-air viewers unable to access Freeview come the completion of the digital switchover in the UK. Its multimedia and smart TV talents are diverse, and its classy look finally puts Panasonic on a design par with many of its rivals.

We liked

The Panasonic TX-L47DT50 is unquestionably the best-looking Viera TV ever made. There are numerous ways to tweak the image, and while black levels may not be a match for the best plasma screens, moving images are generally exceptionally good in terms of clarity, colour fidelity and contrast. Multimedia file support is also among the best.

We disliked

There are some picture problems with softness and noise from some standard definition Freeview broadcasts on the Panasonic TX-L47DT50. In terms of usability, the operating system is dated, the web browser can be challenging and the set's connected TV services feel clunky. The surround sound modes have very little effect or discernible difference between them.

Final verdict

The Panasonic TX-L47DT50 has really put its maker on the LED TV map. The model might not raise the bar in terms of design, usability and features but it keeps Panasonic up with its rivals. You'd be hard pressed to guess that Panasonic has no previous form in the 47-inch LCD sector before this year.

Also consider

With Panasonic out of the 2012 blocks so much earlier than its rivals, there aren't many similar sized screens to recommend from this year's output, aside from the highly-impressive LG 47LM670, which is even more attractive to look at, has passive 3D rather than active shutter and lacks the Panasonic TX-L47DT50's image processing sorcery.

If Freesat's not your bag and you don't mind losing one or two minor features, Panasonic's TX-L47ET50 is certainly worth a look, as is the Panasonic TX-L47ET5, which reduces costs even further by using passive 3D.

Not sure LED can cut it in terms of image quality and are prepared to go for a slightly larger screen? The flagship Panasonic P50VT30 is coming down in price a bit now that it's been around for a few months.