Panasonic TX-40DS500B review
|Review: April 2016|
In a nutshell: The Panasonic TX-40DS500B is an entry-level 40-inch HD TV. Its best features are Freetime Catch-Up TV and streaming services from Netflix and Amazon Instant Video. It also has built-in Wi-Fi and ethernet connections, and can mirror smartphone screens. Picture quality isn't very refined however, and neither is the sound system. We'd only recommend this model if you can buy it for less than £400.
Design & looks
From the front, the Panasonic TX-40DS500B looks smart and modern, with a narrow black bezel around the screen and a silver strip below, bearing the Panasonic logo. It's quite a deep television though, and the plastic base is literally bolted onto the chassis, with the screws visible. Even for a bottom-end TV, we expect a higher standard of finish than this.
The DS500 comes with a standard remote and is very energy efficient, averaging just 42W of power, with an A+ energy rating.
The days when a 40-inch screen was considered to be big are long gone, and this is now typical of what people are using for second screens in bedrooms, or for computer monitors. So it makes sense for this to be a HD screen, rather than the new Ultra HD format.
For practical purposes, unless you have access to UHD (4K) source material, HD resolution is high enough that you won't notice any difference on a 40-inch TV. The screen is certainly sharp, but it doesn't offer the most refined picture quality.
The screen is capable of reaching very deep blacks, and is bright too, yet despite the best efforts of Panasonic's Adaptive Backlight Dimming system, it's not capable of showing much subtlety in the way of shadow detail. Pictures tend to look either washed-out or over-dark.
The TV is rated at 400Hz, which sounds fast, but in reality the motion handling isn't very refined at all, with jerky motion apparent whenever rapid movement is shown.
Overall, we aren't very happy with the picture quality of this television, and there are better options available at the same price.
The DS500B has an entry-level sound system, with two lightweight speakers rated at 10W each. These are generally lacking in bass and depth.
The TV includes some Smart TV functions via the My Home Screen feature. These include streaming services from Netflix and Amazon Prime.
The TV has a built-in HD Freeview tuner with a 7-day Electronic Programme Guide, and also includes Freetime Catch Up TV, which requires an internet connection to work.
Connectivity has been cut to the bare bones, with just two HDMI connections. On top of that, you'll find a range of legacy A/V connections, including SCART and a combined component/composite input. A headphone jack is a useful addition if you're watching this TV in a bedroom.
Ethernet and Wi-Fi connectivity are both included, so connecting to the internet is easy. The TV is DLNA-certified and can be used to source pictures and video on your home network. It also supports display mirroring of compatible smartphones and tablets. Panasonic's Viera remote app turns your smartphone or tablet into a TV remote controller with added functionality.
Conclusion - Basic
The Panasonic TX-40DS500B is one of the most basic TVs you'll find from a mainstream manufacturer in 2016. There are shortcomings in its design, picture quality, audio quality and connectivity. We'd only consider it as a second TV for a bedroom, and even so, at its launch price of £400, it wouldn't be our first choice. There are still some top value older Samsung TVs around, and unless the Panasonic drops in price, we'd stick with them as our first choice.
Still, if the price does fall, this should be on your radar if you're looking for a basic TV that includes catch-up TV and streaming services, with internet connectivity included.
Panasonic TX-40DS500B features include:
- 40 inch LED-backlit screen
- 1,920 x 1,080 resolution
- 400Hz Adaptive Backlight Dimming
- Bright Panel
- Picture modes: Dynamic, Normal, Cinema, True Cinema, Custom
- Freeview HD
- Smart TV functions
- Audio: Full Range stereo speakers (10W x 2), V-Audio surround sound
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Ethernet (LAN) x 1, HDMI x 2, USB x 1, headphone x 1, component in (Y/Pb/Pr) / composite in (AV) x 1, SCART x 1, digital audio out (optical) x 1, CI (Common Interface), DLNA, display mirroring, VIERA link
- Standard remote
- Energy efficiency class: A+
- Typical power consumption: 42W
- Size without stand (WxHxD): 904 x 518 x 47 mm
- Size with stand (WxHxD): 904 x 567 x 194 mm
Got a question? This is the place to ask it!
Please don't ask a question that has already been asked. Duplicates will be removed.
Why when you want to watch previous day playback,what you want to watch isn't there?
Asked by Jean Bradley
on 6th Mar 2017
First blood was on channel 3 at 11pm on Saturday night but is not on catch up yet,why is that wanted to watch it sunday afternoon,not there and still isn't there
How do i download itv apps?
Asked by Alan
on 13th Feb 2017
Can this be wall mounted?
Asked by Dawn
on 25th Nov 2016
Reply by S21
on 25th Nov 2016
Yes, it is VESA Compatible.
Panasonic TX-40DS500B user reviews
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Average rating from 4 reviews:
Reviewed by JB
on 1st Dec 2017
Very poor picture quality, skin tones are washed out and cartoon like, colours are gaudy. Picture is much worse than my 12 year old Pana Plasma TV and the sound quality is also weak and tinny, worse than my grandmothers 60 year-old radio. So much for technological advancement. Also only 2 HDMI inputs and no Scart socket. Plus points are the Apps like Netflix, the Freeview Play catch-up service and the slim appearance. Disappointed, waste of money.
Reviewed by Vikesh verma
on 16th Feb 2017
It's picture quality is not so good as Sony Bravia or Samsung I was very excited to buy this and finally I bought it but repenting now .....I am a quality lover ..
Reviewed by David Lambert
on 16th Aug 2016
Very happy especially with Panasonic sound bar and woofer, replaced our 10 yr old Bravia with it so bound to be impressed, Wiiu games are amazing on it.
Reviewed by Sameer
on 10th Jun 2016
Very nice worth of price I got 38k only smart tv am very happy.