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Panasonic TX-L42ET50B review

3D is optional on this 'floating' Edge LED-lit telly

Our Verdict

For

  • Floating bezel design
  • Upscaling and HD clarity
  • Backlit remote
  • AVI & MKV support

Against

  • 3D glasses not included
  • LED light leakage
  • Restricted viewing angle
  • Poor black levels

Why is Panasonic offering an Edge LED alternative to its plasma TVs? Given that the latter performs peerlessly with 3D and nicely upscales lesser-than-HD sources, the choice of Edge LED is surely all about the innate slimness it brings.

There's no doubting the Panasonic TX-L42ET50B's style, but is it over substance?

We liked:

Almost completely blur-free and with awesome detail from Blu-ray, this 42-inch television impresses further with a superb smart TV dimension, Viera Connect.

For long the slickest-looking of the smart TV interfaces, this Wi-Fi-powered and nicely designed GUI now has the content to match its rivals at Samsung and Sony. It's especially great to see Netflix.

Audio is better than average, too, as is the active shutter 3D effect and the backlit remote control, while the slim bezel design is nothing if not innovative.

We disliked:

Where's Lovefilm? As well as that missing app on Viera Connect, it's sad to see that no 3D glasses are included in the box, which makes 3D a pricey add-on.

We were also disappointed with the Panasonic TX-L42ET50B's tight viewing angle, LED light leakage in a corner of the panel, and generally lacklustre black levels.

The Freeview HD EPG is bland amid a core GUI that's starting to look a little dated.

Verdict:

3D is an expensive luxury on this, Panasonic's biggest ever Edge LED TV. It may have sacrificed plasma at this living room-friendly size, but its love of active shutter 3D tech refuses to budge.

That's a strange move that leaves the Panasonic TX-L42ET50B neither a slim and cheap option nor a high-end home cinema screen, although at its best it's just capable of surviving in either environment.

Also consider:

Competition among other manufacturers' ranges for 2012 is still building, with many models yet to be announced. However, the Philips 42PFL7666H is worth an audition - it uses passive 3D tech, but offers a more robust, classy metallic build quality and an app that can stream photos from phone to TV.

Those not after 3D should also check out the 40-inch Toshiba 40RL858B.

Tech Specs

Product TypeLED-LCD TV
Scan Format1080p
Standard Refresh Rate50 Hz
Digital TunerDVB-T (MPEG4)
Video Signal StandardHDTV 1080p
Number of HDMI Ports4
Number of SCART Interfaces1
Product FamilyViera ET50
3D Type3D
EU Energy LabelA+
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
EthernetYes
Wireless LANYes
Analog TunerPAL
Ethernet TechnologyEthernet
USBYes
HDMIYes
Weight with Stand (Approximate)19 kg
Operating Power Consumption120 W
Standby Power Consumption300 mW
Electronic Program GuideYes
DLNA CertifiedYes
VGAYes
HeadphoneYes
Digital Audio OutputYes
Height with Stand643 mm
Width with Stand989 mm
Depth with Stand249 mm
CI+Yes
Composite VideoYes
Component VideoYes
SCARTYes
Network (RJ-45)Yes
Number of USB Ports3
3D TechnologyShutter
3D ConversionYes
Energy Consumption per Year77 kWh
PC StreamingYes
Internet AccessYes
Media PlayerYes
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital (SD), Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC)
Height595 mm
Width989 mm
Depth36 mm
Product SeriesET50
Maximum Resolution1920 x 1080
FeaturesWeb Browser, Teletext, In-plane Switching (IPS) Technology, Picture and Text (PAT)
ManufacturerPanasonic
Product ModelTX-L42ET50B
Product NameTX-L42ET50B 42" Smart Viera LED TV
Product LineViera
Manufacturer Part NumberTXL42ET50B
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.panasonic.co.uk
Marketing Information

42" Smart VIERA LED TV - Smart Feature and Fantastic Picture Quality
The display alternately shows images for the left and right eyes. The left and right lenses of the eyewear open and close in sync with this display timing to show separate images to the left and right eyes. By repeating this action at high speed, the brain perceives 3D images. And because this method displays FULL HD 3D images just as they are, both eyes receive 3D images in high, full-HD quality.

SpeakersYes
Limited Warranty1 Year
Weight (Approximate)15.50 kg