Panasonic TX-L47ET50B review

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

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Bowing to consumers' clamour for LED TVs - and with one eye on the current trend for truly big screens - with the Panasonic TX-L47ET50B, the brand appears to be ready to loosen its grip on plasma, but on two conditions.

These are firstly by coming up with an IPS panel to get over some of LCD tech's shortfalls (with mixed results), and secondly, deciding to use active shutter 3D for ultimate detail.

As such, the Panasonic TX-L47ET50B is a relatively high-end choice on paper, although it remains the brand's most value-busting effort - there are, after all, two ranges (WT50 and DT50) above it in the 2012 arsenal.

We liked

The 3D imagery on offer is excellent, with genuinely detailed and wowing effects backed up by the sheer size of the screen. Immersive and convincing with 3D, there's also some deep and detailed 2D Blu-ray to enjoy.

Freeview HD also impresses, as does the burgeoning Viera Connect platform of apps and games, with a particularly warm welcome for Netflix.

We disliked

Soft standard definition, middling Blu-ray and a narrow viewing angle make this a less than overwhelming effort from Panasonic.

As IPS panels go, it's a disappointment. Digital file-wise, it's is a work in progress (why no MKV over a home network?), while the 2D-to-3D conversion is a feature to forget. And why is there no Lovefilm app on Viera Connect?

Final verdict

Overall we'd judge the Panasonic TX-L47ET50B as having a panel that's a tad too big for its boots, with no source outstanding and some standard definition material disappointingly soft and dirty.

Put simply, it's a half-decent all-rounder for a living room, with some 3D fireworks up its sleeve, but it's not half as good as a Panasonic plasma TV.

Also consider

At this size, Panasonic's plasma TVs - all 3D TVs with Viera Connect - are the real rivals to the TX-47ET50B, with 50-inch options within the brand's six ranges.

Its top-of-the-range VT50 Series has an Infinite Black Ultra Panel, Bluetooth, ISF calibration option and two pairs of 3D specs, and features the TX-P50VT50.

The Panasonic GT50 Series, which has an Infinite Black Pro panel and Bluetooth, includes the TX-P50GT50, and the Panasonic ST50 Series - with an Infinite Black Pro panel - has the TX-P50ST5.

The Panasonic UT50 Series, which lacks Wi-Fi and has a more basic plasma panel, features the TX-P50UT50.

If you're not after Full HD 3D, note that Panasonic also makes the TX-P50XT50 (3D, but merely HD-ready) and TX-P50X50 (HD-ready only).

From the 2012 crop of TVs from other manufacturers, the high-end Samsung UE55ES8000 is a top choice.