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Panasonic TX-L47DT50 review

A Panasonic LED TV with features that make it a real crowd pleaser

Our Verdict

For

  • Gorgeous design
  • Excellent HD images
  • Tons of picture tweaking tools
  • Great multimedia compatibility

Against

  • SD Freeview ropey
  • Clunky smart TV
  • Dated operating system
  • Ineffective surround sound

Things are looking rosy for Panasonic's large screen TV department. Rival Sony is suffering blighted sales and record-breaking losses while Panasonic is enjoying rave reviews for its latest range of flatscreens, including its first LCD televisions larger than 37 inches.

Plasma certainly isn't dead in Panasonic's eyes, but the company has sensibly made the decision to embrace Edge LED lighting and all of its benefits, notably including thinner screens and lower power consumption.

Hot on the heels of its impressive TX-L47ET50B is the step-up Panasonic TX-L47DT50, which seems to be selling for more or less the same price, despite offering several features not found on the junior model. And while logic dictates that an E series ought to be superior to a D, that isn't the case here.

tx l47dt50

The DT50 series comes in a trio of screen sizes, namely the 42-inch TX-L42DT50, 47-inch TX-L47DT50 and 55-inch TX-L55DT50. It adds 1600Hz back light trickery (basically, a 200Hz panel with a backlight that switches on and off eight times per frame) and a Clear Panel Pro for smoother motion, dual Freeview and Freesat HD tuners and an even more delectable super slim bezel.

Features common to both series include Active Shutter 3D, built-in wireless networking, Viera Connect smart TV and an LED edge-lit IPS alpha LCD screen with 178-degrees viewing angle.

While Panasonic hasn't abandoned plasma, all of its 47-inch screens are of the LCD variety, with a higher spec model, the eagerly awaited W-series TX-L47WT50 due to bring dual-core processing, SD card recording and an even slinkier design to the home entertainment party.

Panasonic TX L47DT50 review

No other manufacturer has managed to land as many of its 2012 models on our shores as Panasonic but from what we've seen of the terrific LG 47LM670 and the current Samsung UE46D800, the South Koreans still have plenty to keep Panasonic from getting too smug about the demise of Sony.

Features

Silver, it seems, is the new black. As least as far as TV bezels are concerned. This look was pioneered by Samsung two years ago and has now been adopted by Panasonic. And not without success, as far as the Panasonic TX-L47DT50 is concerned.

It doesn't quite match the also stunning LG 47LM670 for minimalism or inventiveness, but the design is still lovely, combining an ultra-trim silver bezel measuring 1cm deep with a translucent bottom lip. It's a definite improvement on the two-tone Panasonic TX-L47ET50.

Panasonic TX L47DT50 review

The connections role call makes no compromises in terms of attendance or layout. All sockets considerately face downwards or sideways, enabling wall or stand mounting.

There are four HDMIs, and adaptors are provided for Scart and component video-sporting legacy analog equipment, while the Panasonic TX-L47DT50's multimedia prowess is borne out by the provision of built-in wireless and wired Ethernet connections, a playback-only SD card slot and three USB ports.

One of these can be used for PVR-style recording to a hard disk, which provides elementary time-shifting or archiving from whatever channel the TV is tuned in to. Sadly, it can't record one Freesat channel while watching something on Freeview, but you can view the recordings on a connected DLNA device.

Panasonic TX L47DT50 review

The other USB sockets can be used for playback of files from USB flash drives or making Skype calls (you'll need Panasonic's £133 Skype camera, the Panasonic HD Communication Camera TY-CC10W, which is called the TY-CC20 and costs $130 in the US).

It's a shame TVs aren't built with the same flexibility as cars, where customers choose a basic spec and cherry pick the extras according to their budget and needs. The Panasonic TX-L47DT50 comes with active shutter 3D technology, which delivers 1920 x 1080 (Full HD) resolution 3D, whereas more affordable models such as the Panasonic TX-L47ET5 offer passive 3D.

Panasonic TX L47DT50 review

The problem with active shutter 3D on the Panasonic TX-L47DT50 is that the 3D glasses are not cheap, the Panasonic TY-ER3D4ME set that we used are around £80 a pair in the UK - and $80 in the US, where they're called TY-ER3D4MU - and none are included with the TV.

After enjoying the casual convenience of passive 3D on LG's 47LM670 it seems a real faff having to pair this TV with its spectacles and deal with the numerous flashing red and green light signals that the glasses emit according to their status. With passive 3D there are no buttons or switches to deal with.

Panasonic TX L47DT50 review

In addition to HD tuners for both Freeview and Freesat, the Panasonic TX-L47DT50 can also deliver plenty of entertainment via its smart TV feature. It's not the finished article though, with no Lovefilm or ITV Player, for example, but heavyweights such as BBC iPlayer, YouTube, Acetrax and Netflix are joined by new contenders Fetch TV and the impressive Aupeo online music streaming service.

There's also a full web browser and a Facebook/Twitter app for keeping in touch with your social network while watching live TV. Multimedia file playback is industry-leading, including compatibility with MPEG2-TS rips, DivX HD, XviD, and FLAC audio files.

Image adjustment and calibration options are also bountiful on the Panasonic TX-L47DT50. Its comprehensive set of image adjustment tools includes colour management and Panasonic's Intelligent Field Creation (IFC). Like all other judder-reducing tools, there's a trade-off between smoothness and unwanted side-effects, such as haloing.

Tech Specs

Product TypeLED-LCD TV
Scan Format1080p
Digital TunerDVB-T (MPEG4), DVB-S2
Video Signal StandardHDTV 1080p
Number of HDMI Ports4
Number of SCART Interfaces1
Product FamilyViera DT50
3D Type3D
EU Energy LabelA+
Brand NamePanasonic
Screen Size119.4 cm (47")
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)17 kg
Operating Power Consumption129 W
Standby Power Consumption200 mW
Electronic Program GuideYes
DLNA CertifiedYes
VGAYes
S-VideoYes
HeadphoneYes
Digital Audio OutputYes
Height with Stand677 mm
Width with Stand1067 mm
Depth with Stand265 mm
CI+Yes
Composite VideoYes
Component VideoYes
SCARTYes
Network (RJ-45)Yes
Number of USB Ports3
3D TechnologyShutter
3D ConversionYes
PC StreamingYes
Internet AccessYes
Media PlayerYes
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital (SD), Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC)
Height631 mm
Width1067 mm
Depth27 mm
Sound SystemVirtual Surround, Dolby Digital Plus, DTS, Dolby Pulse
Product SeriesDT50
Maximum Resolution1920 x 1080
FeaturesTeletext, Web Browser, Picture and Text (PAT), In-plane Switching (IPS) Technology
ManufacturerPanasonic
Product ModelTX-L47DT50B
Product NameTX-L47DT50B 47" Smart Viera LED TV
Product LineViera
Manufacturer Part NumberTX-L47DT50B
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.panasonic.co.uk
Marketing Information

47" Smart VIERA LED TV - Full HD 3D LED panel, Internet Browser and Wi-Fi Built-in
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)13 kg