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Panasonic TX-L42DT65B review

Second screen antics star on this high-end Edge LED TV

Our Verdict

It's not revolutionary and neither is it perfect, but the Panasonic TX-L42DT65B's exciting second screen features make it perhaps the smartest 42-inch TV on the planet - at least for now.

For

  • Quad tuners
  • iOS and Android apps
  • 24p Smooth Film
  • Smart TV navigation
  • SD upscaling

Against

  • Only three HDMI inputs
  • Unreliable voice interaction
  • Freesat/Freeview not separated
  • Audio lacks bass

My Home Screen is really quite ambitious, but unlike some smart TVs the user interface has clearly been created, tested, tweaked and tested again. It thus looks and feels polished and, most importantly of all, makes everything easier, not harder.

The fact that the underlying Panasonic TX-L42DT65B is a competent panel capable of delivering versatile pictures is a bonus.

We liked

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If standard definition TV channels, DVDs and low-res web-based video look clean and highly watchable, it's HD that impresses most of all. Rich in detail and with an impressive 24p Smooth Film feature that successfully removes judder, there's a high-end look to the Panasonic TX-L42DT65B's pictures.

However, our favourite slice of the Panasonic TX-L42DT65B is the Swipe and Share functionality on the Viera app for tablets and smartphones, which brings to the fore some fabulous second screen functionality. Overall the new smart TV functions and user interface work well, and are blessed with some fast-working transitions that add a final polish.

We disliked

Some pretty average audio aside - standard for slim TVs - we've little to complain about on the throughly polished Panasonic TX-L42DT65B. Its three HDMI inputs is scrooge-like, but more serious is the presentation of both both Freesat and Freeview HD channels next to each other on My Home Screen, which could cause confusion.

As with most brands that have tried voice control, the Panasonic TX-L42DT65B's is too often inaccurate and also rather slow, though it's easier to use than on Samsung's latest smart TVs.

Final verdict

Killer smart TV and second screen apps flow from Panasonic's smallest top quality LED TV for 2013. The Panasonic TX-L42DT65B's second screen features are more ambitious than Samsung's, and use better apps that are equally kind to both iOS and Android users.

Its touchpad remote isn't as good though, while there's no built-in camera either. However, a fast-working, ambitious user interface that's easy to operate is very welcome, as is its versatile handling of all kinds of video sources.

High-definition content benefits from dazzling colour and a blur-free picture, and while black levels aren't reference-level, most living rooms won't notice.

3D is even better, though there are drawbacks; the Panasonic TX-L42DT65B's speakers are disappointing, as are voice control and the provision of just three HDMI inputs.

It's not revolutionary and neither is it perfect, but the Panasonic TX-L42DT65B's exciting second screen features make it perhaps the smartest 42-inch TV on the planet - at least for now.

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Few of the 2013 crop of TVs had been launched at the time of writing this review, but rest assured that the second-rung Panasonic TX-L42DT65B will have plenty of competition.

Samsung's 7 Series of TVs - and its UE40F7000 (£1,200) and UE46F7000 (£1,600) in particular - are sure to pose a challenge. Both come with active shutter 3D rather than the passive solution Panasonic has opted for in 2013, but have the same loading of dual tuners for both Freeview HD and Freesat HD. They also add built-in cameras, which this Panasonic lacks.

Also worth a look is the much cheaper, but equally as well-built metallic-designed Philips 42PFL6007T, which includes passive 3D playback, multimedia file playback from USB, and a much more basic Net TV online platform.

Tech Specs

Product TypeLED-LCD TV
Scan Format1080p
Standard Refresh Rate50 Hz
Digital TunerDVB-S2, DVB-T (MPEG4)
Video Signal StandardHDTV 1080p
Number of HDMI Ports3
Number of SCART Interfaces1
Product FamilyViera
3D Type3D
EU Energy LabelA+
Smart TVYes
Brand NamePanasonic
Screen Size106.7 cm (42")
Aspect Ratio16:9
Horizontal Viewing Angle178°
Vertical Viewing Angle178°
Green CompliantYes
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityREACH
Memory Card ReaderYes
BluetoothYes
EthernetYes
Wireless LANYes
Analog TunerPAL
Ethernet TechnologyEthernet
USBYes
HDMIYes
Weight with Stand (Approximate)16 kg
Backlight TechnologyLED
Operating Power Consumption134 W
Standby Power Consumption200 mW
RMS Output Power18 W
Electronic Program GuideYes
DLNA CertifiedYes
HeadphoneYes
Digital Audio OutputYes
Height with Stand650 mm
Width with Stand956 mm
Depth with Stand225 mm
Number of Common Interface1
CI+Yes
Composite VideoYes
Component VideoYes
SCARTYes
Network (RJ-45)Yes
3D TechnologyPolarized
3D ConversionYes
Energy Consumption per Year77 kWh
PC StreamingYes
Internet AccessYes
Media PlayerYes
3D Glasses RequiredYes
Enhanced Refresh Rate1.60 kHz
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital (SD), Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC)
Height564 mm
Width956 mm
Depth35 mm
Sound SystemSurround Sound
Maximum Resolution1920 x 1080
FeaturesWeb Browser, In-plane Switching (IPS) Technology, Picture and Picture (PAP), Picture and Text (PAT), Picture on Picture, Hotel Mode, Ambient Lighting, Teletext
ManufacturerPanasonic
Product ModelTX-L42DT65B
Product NameTX-L42DT65B 42" Smart Viera LED TV
Product LineViera
Manufacturer Part NumberTX-L42DT65B
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.panasonic.co.uk
Marketing Information

42" Smart VIERA LED TV - Cutting-edge Smart VIERA TV with superior picture quality (Energy Efficiency Class A+)

Precise frame generation and insertion create smoothly flowing images. Fine light-emission control also minimises flicker to ensure smooth images.

By combining the IPS Panel, with its great viewing angle characteristics, beautiful images are reproduced with high levels of brightness, colour, and contrast even when viewed from an angle.

The portal screen menu leads you to a wide variety of content in addition to TV, including internet videos and photos. You have complete access to it all as soon as you turn on the TV. *Requires broadband Internet service.

SpeakersYes
Limited Warranty5 Year
Weight (Approximate)12.50 kg