Panasonic TX-L47ET50B review

3D excels on this super-slim 47-inch Edge LED, but where are the glasses?

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One of the key features on the Panasonic TX-L47ET50B is an 800Hz option, but don't be fooled by that figure. It's actually a 200Hz option that generates 200 frames per second that are then flashed up by 'fine blinking' of the backlight. The aim is smooth, blur-free movement.

We tested this claim on a 2D sequence from Grand Canyon Adventure, and found the results smoother than with the feature disabled, though not by much.

After-images - often seen a step or two behind the moving object - almost completely disappear, although it's not a unique achievement, and no more or less impressive than on 200Hz TVs.

We then gave the Panasonic TX-L47ET50B a test drive during the Malaysian Grand Prix on Sky's F1 channel on a Virgin Media TiVo box. The anti-blur tech again proved its worth amid an image with plenty of colour and vitality.

A few days later we checked out the same race's highlights via the BBC iPlayer app on Viera Connect. Here, the picture quality is poor. It's colourful, reasonably stable and there's nothing wrong with the app itself, but it's such a soft image.

Panasonic TX L47ET50B review

We know this kind of streamed standard definition content looks acceptable on a 42-inch Edge LED television, so we can only conclude that the extra stretch needed to achieve a 47-inch image is just too much for the source.

We come up against this problem elsewhere, too. Freeview HD channels are a very mixed bag, with the expected division between SD and HD channels.

Watching The One Show on plain old BBC One is riddled with mosquito noise around the edges and boundaries between colour blocks, with a sheen of dotty noise across everything. It struggles to fill the 47-inch panel. But swap to BBC One HD and all of those problems disappear to be replaced by a bright, colourful image with plenty of contrast.

From all sources we noticed some light leakage at the top of the screen, although the three visible clusters of LEDs weren't bright enough to distract; we've seen a lot worse than this.

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy on 2D Blu-ray is reasonably detailed, and head-on contrast is decent enough, too (although large blocks of black appear as one), but there's a constant sheen of picture noise that we just can't shake off.

Panasonic TX L47ET50B review

It appears to be the source, since Shutter Island appears crisp and has decent detail in the gloom, and even an MKV trailer of Up In The Air impresses.

Although the contrast is fair on the Panasonic TX-L47ET50B, activating the 3D mode instantly brings a drop in brightness and a perceived deeper black level. We watched Grand Canyon Adventure on 3D Blu-ray, which was near-on immaculate save for some noticeable flicker over white areas of the image.

But a 3D effect can be gleaned from converting almost any 2D source. That includes your own digital video files, Freeview, Blu-ray and DVD, but not video streamed though a Viera Connect app, such as BBC iPlayer.

We tried out this effect on Jeremy Paxman's Empire on BBC One, and the effect was impressive when the focal point is at the centre of the frame. For documentaries, it usually is, but that's not the case for movies, where it's quite often a complete mess. Whatever the source, there's seemingly an even powerful flicker in bright areas of the image, such as the sky.