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Panasonic TX-L42B6B review

 Review: November 2013  
 

Last updated December 2013

Rating: 2 stars

In a nutshell: The TX-L42B6B is Panasonic's entry-level 42 inch TV and is one of the cheapest 42 inch LED TVs available.



 

Design & looks

The Panasonic TX-L42B6B is similar in style to the more expensive TX-L42E6B, but with a glossy black finish. Considering that this is one of the cheapest 42 inch TVs you can buy, it doesn't look so bad, although we fear that the glossy black styling may look quite dated in a couple of years. It's a very thick TV too, bulging out almost 10cm at the back.

On a more positive note, this is one of the most energy efficient TVs you can buy, rated A+ and consuming just 48W of power in use.

Picture quality

The 42 inch version of the B6B is not simply a larger version of the TX-L32B6B. It has a full 1080p HD screen, which is really needed at this size. The screen is an IPS Alpha panel, LED-backlit, and capable of generating bright images with natural-looking colours.

The screen isn't so good at reproducing dark blacks however, and contrast ratios are relatively poor, resulting in a lack of shadow detail. This is most noticeable in a darkened room, or watching a moodily-lit movie, so the TV is best enjoyed in a day-lit environment. It's not one that we can recommend for film buffs.

Picture quality is on a par with Samsung's entry-level UE42F5000.

Audio quality

This model has two full range speakers, with V Audio simulated surround sound. The total power of 10W x 2 is double that of the 32 inch model and is average for a cheaper-end television.

Smart TV

There is no Smart TV functionality on this TV. However, you can use it as a media player on your home network. This lets you access photos and music from connected PCs or laptops via an ethernet connection.

Connectivity

Connectivity is another area where cost savings have been made. There are just 2 HDMI ports plus a SCART connection for connecting older audiovisual devices. In addition you'll find a USB port, an AV connection, a digital audio output and an ethernet port. The ethernet port can be used for accessing media on your home network.

We feel that 2 HDMI ports is insufficient for a family TV - if you connect a set-top box and a DVD/Blu-Ray player, there's nothing left for a games console.

Conclusion - possibly the cheapest 42 inch TV around

OK, so if you're buying the cheapest 42 inch model, you should expect it to be the worst. Quite possibly the L42B6B is the worst from any of the major manufacturers, but it isn't an unwatchable TV.

To be fair, we can't say that this is significantly worse than the slightly more expensive Samsung UE42F5000 or the Sony KDL-40R473A. At this bottom end of the market there's not a lot to choose. We'd urge you to think hard about whether 2 HDMI ports is sufficient for your needs and to consider the more expensive but much more versatile Panasonic TX-L42E6B, which also comes with the benefit of Smart TV.


Panasonic TX-L42B6B features include:

User questions

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My Panasonic, 3 years old, stopped today and when turned on sound comes out and the picture flashes. It then ceases to operate.

Asked by Mike from UK on 21st Oct 2016
Any one else had this problem?



Panasonic TX-L42B6B user reviews

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Reviewed by Alfred from Unitted Kingdom on 17th Feb 2017
No issues with the picture or connectivity but the sound from the TV I bought is absolutely AWFUL. In some circumstances the clarity of sound can be acceptable but in others, the scratching and screeching sound is enough to put my teeth on edge. The poor sound comes not only for shows procuded on a low budget - at times it is difficult to decipher what even BBC newsreaders are saying.
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Reviewed by graeme from scotland on 13th Mar 2014
I'm afraid S21 your review is somewhat not accurate.The Panasonic TX-L42B6B is an excellent tv +if put on true cinema mode with a few adjustment settings delivers an excellent picture for film buffs. i have compared the picture quality with much more expensive sets and really you hardly notice any difference at all, so well done Panasonic.
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