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Panasonic TX-L42WT50B review

Plasma is no longer Panasonic's only TV fruit

Our Verdict

For

  • Mostly excellent picture
  • Great online features
  • Multitasking works well
  • Sumptuous design

Against

  • A bit expensive
  • So-so black levels
  • Trackpad remote isn't great
  • Average sound

Panasonic's most concerted attempt to show that it gets LCD TV just as much as it gets plasma TV is, overall, a major success.

For starters, the brand has gone back to the design drawing board and made the Panasonic TX-L42WT50 easily the most attractive TV it's ever produced. The feature count is high too, thanks to the inclusion of 3D, online functionality and all manner of picture tweaks.

Plus Panasonic has also done a kitchen sink job where the TV's picture quality is concerned, integrating dual core processing and Panasonic's most advanced picture processing engine to date.

The overall result is a slick, flexible and mostly high-performance TV, only let down by some minor backlight issues and one or two operational flaws.

We liked

Picture quality is, for the most part, excellent. The TV's 3D images are nearly flawless, in fact, and most 2D material looks good too. Panasonic's new design approach is a joy to behold as well, and the set's connectivity and features are mostly excellent. We also appreciated the Android/iOS device control and content sharing system, and the multitasking functionality opened up by the dual-core processing.

We disliked

The touchpad remote provided with the TV is frustrating to use. There's room for improvement, too, with the Panasonic TX-L42WT50's handling of dark scenes, and as usual with very thin TVs, its audio is a bit average. There's also no denying that it's pretty expensive by 42-inch standards.

Final verdict

Any lingering doubts about whether Panasonic could do a 'serious' LCD TV are thoroughly dispelled by the Panasonic TX-L42WT50. Panasonic has gone more than far enough with the TV's processing power and lighting mechanisms to make it a truly classy performer no matter what you feed it - although it's especially accomplished with 3D.

Its multimedia support is terrific too, and excellently handled via Panasonic's new multitasking functionality and Android/iOS apps.

It might not handle contrast as well as Sony's HX853, and it's undoubtedly expensive for a 42-inch TV, but overall the Panasonic TX-L42WT50 far exceeds expectations. Especially if you're into 3D.

Also consider

The TV that most springs to mind as an alternative to the Panasonic TX-L42WT50 is Sony's 46HX853. Despite being four inches larger than Panasonic's set, this Sony is also cheaper, and delivers what we believe is the finest 2D picture quality yet produced by an LCD TV. The Panasonic TX-L42WT50, though, enjoys a trimmer design, and outguns the Sony in terms of its 3D performance and its multimedia flexibility.

Another obvious rival is Samsung's UE40ES8000. This is two inches smaller but if anything is even more glamorous in its design than the Panasonic TX-L42WT50. It's also cheaper, and features a more feature-rich and well-presented online system.

Plus it provides gesture and voice control options, as well as a better touchpad remote than Panasonic's. However, while its pictures are exceptionally punchy and bold, they lack a little of the subtlety that you get with the Panasonic TX-L42WT50.

Finally, of course, you simply can't ignore Panasonic's own plasma TVs. These don't compete with the Panasonic TX-L42WT50 where brightness is concerned, especially when watching 3D. But they're considerably cheaper, and produce class-leading black levels, making them a fine option for film fans able to use them in relatively dark rooms

Tech Specs

Product TypeLED-LCD TV
Scan Format1080p
Standard Refresh Rate50 Hz
Digital TunerDVB-T (MPEG4), DVB-S2
Video Signal StandardHDTV 1080p
Number of HDMI Ports4
Product FamilyViera WT50
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)13.50 kg
Backlight TechnologyLED
Operating Power Consumption119 W
Standby Power Consumption200 mW
Electronic Program GuideYes
DLNA CertifiedYes
VGAYes
HeadphoneYes
Digital Audio OutputYes
Height with Stand647 mm
Width with Stand956 mm
Depth with Stand312 mm
CI+Yes
Composite VideoYes
Component VideoYes
Network (RJ-45)Yes
Number of USB Ports3
3D TechnologyShutter
3D ConversionYes
Energy Consumption per Year78 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)
Height569 mm
Width956 mm
Depth27 mm
ColourBlack
Sound SystemVirtual Surround, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Pulse, DTS
Product SeriesWT50
Maximum Resolution1920 x 1080
FeaturesTeletext, Web Browser, In-plane Switching (IPS) Technology, Picture in Picture, Picture and Text (PAT), Picture and Picture (PAP)
ManufacturerPanasonic
Product ModelTX-L42WT50B
Product NameTX-L42WT50B 42" Smart Viera LED TV
Product LineViera
Manufacturer Part NumberTX-L42WT50B
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.panasonic.co.uk
Marketing Information

42" Smart VIERA LED TV - State-of-the-Art Design, Full HD 3D Neo Black LED Panel and Wi-Fi Built-in (Energy Efficiency Class A+)

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.

In addition to increasing the generated frames from 50 to 200 frames per second, backlight control has evolved through area splitting. The backlight's fine blinking reduces afterimages, to produce smooth, fast movements without blurring. Sports scenes, action scenes and other fast-motion images are crisp and clear.

Package Contents
  • TX-L42WT50B 42" Smart Viera LED TV
  • 2 x 3D Glasses
  • Remote Control
SpeakersYes
Limited Warranty5 Year
Weight (Approximate)11 kg