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Panasonic TX-L47WT50B review

Flagship Edge LED TV with 2mm bezel, smart TV, a cracking smartphone app and dazzling 2D and 3D images

Usability

VIERA Connect is perhaps the slickest of all the smart TV platforms, and it works speedily – thanks to the dual-core processor – and without any fuss.

Some don't like the platform's reliance on three separate screens, and the overly large icons for each app, but it's similar to how smartphones work.

Furthermore, customising the first page means you can get to the likes of iPlayer, Lovefilm and BBC Sport without having to scroll past the dross.

It's also great to have a live input screen in the centre, which displays, say, a Blu-ray disc or Freeview channel, complete with sound.

Sadly, it's the only sign of a joined-up user interface, with the rest of the TX-L47WT50's onscreen menus disjointed and, worse, horribly old fashioned.

Panasonic TX L47WT50B Review

Picture menus are presented as lists, and have barely changed for years, while the electronic programme guides for Freesat and Freeview are similarly rudimentary.

Panasonic TX L47WT50B Review

Engaging either instantly kills both picture and sound of the channel you're watching – surely there should be a live TV thumbnail?

Best head to the ROVI app on VIERA Connect – it's so good it should have a shortcut on the remote control.

Although the picture presets provided on the TX-L47WT50 are mostly excellent, we like the option to not save, but lock (PIN-protected, even) specific settings to each input.

Tweakers are well provided for, though not initially; toggle on the ISFcc settings in the Picture menu and the Advanced Picture Settings menu is suddenly graced with calibration-friendly options for changing gamma, white balance and colour management options.

Having three remote controls is a mixed blessing. The hard button remote is largely fit for purpose (apart from having to enter text via the number pad, pre-smartphone text message style), though we did find it unresponsive from time to time.

The immediate alternative is the Track Pad included in the box, which is a half-baked idea; we've seen a similar thing used on the brand's high-end DMP-BDT320 3D Blu-ray player, but at least on that machine it works within a 'swipe'-friendly user interface.

Used with the TX-L47WT50 that Track Pad struggles, principally because it's not sensitive enough, and has other buttons and controls below the touch-sensitive area. The self-defeating end result is that it's much more complicated than it should be.

The third option is to download Panasonic's VIERA Remote for the iPhone or a smartphone running Android.

Once linked to the same Wi-Fi network as the TX-L47WT50 is hooked-up to, a part of this app simply replicates the hard-button remote and works well enough.

It also allows some swiping. However, the real innovations come in the other two parts of the app – browsing, and photos/videos.

Panasonic TX L47WT50B Review

Navigate to a website from the app's built-in browser, and a simple swipe of a finger upwards towards the TV 'sends' it to the TX-L47WT50.

Panasonic TX L47WT50B Review

In our initial test of this great-sounding feature, it didn't work – and though an empty browser page did launch on the TV, the app actually packed-up and quit. Whoops.

On our second try, it took around five seconds for the TX-L47WT50 to receive the instruction, launch its own browser and load the same page we had on our iPhone.

It gets better.

Panasonic TX L47WT50B Review

Touch the 'media' tab of the app and a list of all photos and videos on the phone is produced. Again, press with a finger and flick towards the TV, and that photo or video is shown on the TX-L47WT50.

Panasonic TX L47WT50B Review

It works really well, with relatively fast slideshows possible.

If that feature recalls Apple TV/iPhone features, the TX-L47WT50 does a much better job on digital media as a whole.

Streaming from a PC or playing for a docked USB stick is best initialised using the remote's VieraLink button, which puts some icons for music/video/photos/TV recordings (if you've got an HDD attached) across the bottom of the TV screen.

In our tests we managed to get MKV video files to play only from a USB stick, but support for AVI, MPEG4 and AVC HD files appears to be universal.

As well as MP3 support, the also supports lossless FLAC music files.

Sound

Don't get excited by the TX-L47WT50's audio chops – it doesn't really have anything to offer. Super-slim TVs rarely do, and here the provision of V-Audio, V-Audio Surround and V-Audio ProSurround and more an overly done apology than a collection of worthy sound modes.

The latter may appear to be home cinema modes, but don't in reality offer noticeable separation, let alone rear sound effects.

Elsewhere, the choice is between 'music' or 'speech' modes, though there's never enough bass or even mid-range to deliver anything other than acceptable dialogue.

Watch some low-rent Freeview channels and you'll sometimes hear an echo. Home cinemas at the ready…

Value

The provision of a couple of pairs of 3D glasses in the box – albeit the cheapest in the Panasonic collection – seems relatively fair, though whether 3D is still a draw card is hugely questionable.

For a flagship TV the price was always going to be high, though judged on pure picture quality it's a toss-up between this and the brand's ST50 plasmas – and the 50-inch version of that costs just over a grand.

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 Ports4
Product FamilyViera
3D Type3D
EU Energy LabelA+
Smart TVYes
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
BluetoothYes
EthernetYes
Analog TunerPAL
Ethernet TechnologyEthernet
USBYes
HDMIYes
Weight with Stand (Approximate)16 kg
Backlight TechnologyLED
Operating Power Consumption132 W
Standby Power Consumption200 mW
Electronic Program GuideYes
DLNA CertifiedYes
VGAYes
HeadphoneYes
Digital Audio OutputYes
Height with Stand708 mm
Width with Stand1066 mm
Depth with Stand335 mm
CI+Yes
Composite VideoYes
Component VideoYes
Network (RJ-45)Yes
Number of USB Ports3
3D TechnologyShutter
3D ConversionYes
Energy Consumption per Year95 kWh
PC StreamingYes
Internet AccessYes
Media PlayerYes
3D Glasses RequiredYes
Enhanced Refresh Rate1.60 kHz
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC), Secure Digital (SD)
Height630 mm
Width1066 mm
Depth27 mm
Sound SystemDTS, Virtual Surround, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Pulse
Maximum Resolution1920 x 1080
FeaturesTeletext, Web Browser, In-plane Switching (IPS) Technology, Picture and Text (PAT), Picture in Picture, Picture and Picture (PAP)
ManufacturerPanasonic
Product ModelTX-L47WT50
Product NameTX-L47WT50B 47" Smart Viera LED TV
Product LineViera
Manufacturer Part NumberTX-L47WT50B
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.panasonic.co.uk
Marketing Information

47" 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-L47WT50B 47" Smart Viera LED TV
  • 2 x 3D Glasses
  • Remote Control
SpeakersYes
Limited Warranty1 Year
Weight (Approximate)13 kg