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Panasonic TX-L42ET60B review

 Review: November 2013  
 

Rating: 5 stars

In a nutshell: The Panasonic TX-L42ET60B is possibly the best family-sized TV you can buy for around 600!



 

Design & looks

The Panasonic ET60B can easily match the competition when it comes to looks. Instead of the usual glossy black plastic that we've come to expect from mid-range LED TVs, this is a gorgeous designer-styled piece of furniture that will look good in any room.

The first thing to note is how shockingly thin this TV is. Don't show it to your maiden aunt - she'll be shocked! Similarly skinny is the ultra thin metal bezel that extends around the edge of the screen. It's barely a centimetre wide, making the screen appear to float in the air. The transparent strip along the bottom is another nice touch, and overall the feeling is of cutting-edge style and high quality.

The TV is rated A+ for efficiency and consumes barely a lightbulb's worth of power in use.

Panasonic has made a big effort to improve the user friendliness of its 2013 TV range. Starting with the homescreen, which can be customised for each member of the family, the whole system is easy to use and pleasing on the eye.

The standard remote is user-friendly, and you can also control the TV with a smartphone app called VIERA Remote2. This app also lets you view content from the smartphone on the TV screen.

 

Picture quality

We think that 42 inches is the ideal size for most families, and that's not the only reason to prefer this TV over rivals.

Like all of Panasonic's 3D LED TVs for 2013, the ET60B uses an IPS display. The advantages of IPS are wide viewing angles and natural colours, especially skin tones. You'll find that it's capable of generating nice bright images too - perfect for watching in daytime or in a brightly-lit room.

While IPS displays aren't as good as some either types of screen when it comes to contrast, we have to say that we found the ET60B able to deliver excellent dynamic range. That's in part due to Panasonic's superior image processing engine. This does an excellent job of displaying both standard and high definition content. In a darkened room, you might notice that blacks aren't entirely black, but for general family viewing this won't be an issue.

The display is fast too, with 600Hz effective backlighting. Combining this with the image processing engine, you'll struggle to find any kind of motion blur on this display. Games Mode makes the screen responsive enough for gamers too.

Overall, the picture quality of this screen is outstanding when you consider that it's Panasonic's mid-range model.

3D

Like all IPS displays, the ET60B uses passive 3D display technology. At S21, passive 3D is our preferred option, thanks to the lightness and cheapness of the 3D glasses. Passive 3D also gives greater brightness compared to active 3D systems and no flicker either.

The ET60B performs well in 3D, thanks to its fast backlighting. At this 42 inch size, 3D picture quality is close to perfect. Two pairs of 3D glasses are included in the sales package.

Audio quality

Audio performance is better than most mid-range LED TVs. The twin speakers and dedicated subwoofers succeed in reproducing a wider spectrum than most rivals, with noticeably better bass than many. While this will be perfectly good for watching day-to-day TV, if you enjoy movies, you'll enjoy them more if you invest in an additional soundbar or dedicated speaker system.

Smart TV

Panasonic's VIERA Connect is reasonably comprehensive, with support for youtube, the BBC iPlayer, facebook, twitter, Skype and Netflix. There's also a web browser with HTML5 support. It does lag behind the other manufacturers however, with no LoveFilm app or ITV Player for example.

Connectivity

Connectivity is a real strength of this model. There are 3 HDMI ports, plus built-in Wi-Fi and ethernet for connecting to the internet. Legacy devices are supported with component/composite and SCART connectors, and you can output sound using the digital optical audio output. You can also plug in a USB device to view video, music or photos and you can connect the TV to a networked PC or laptop via DLNA to use as a media centre. You can even insert a microSD memory card and display its content on the big screen.

In addition, the TV comes with a built-in Freeview HD tuner.

Conclusion - an outstanding family TV

It's rare to find a 42 inch TV retailing for around £600, and to find one this good is quite unexpected. It's easily the standout model in its price bracket. Rivals include the Samsung UE40F6800Sony KDL-42W653A and LG 42LA740V. The Samsung offers more comprehensive Smart TV functionality but is more expensive. The LG is significantly more pricey and the Sony doesn't offer 3D.

Usually, we like to point out things that are wrong with products we review, but in this case we throw in the towel. We simply can't find any!

Not only does the TV look stunningly beautiful, but it delivers top picture quality, good audio quality, is easy to use and has plenty of connectivity options.


Panasonic TX-L42ET60B features include:

User questions

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Can I stream images from my android phone or Windows 10 PC to this Panasonic TV?

Asked by john from Ireland on 14th Apr 2016



Panasonic TX-L42ET60B user reviews

Love this product? Hate it? Please share your experiences to help other people choose the product that's best for them. Please do not review this product if you have not used it, and please ask questions in our User Questions section above. Please do not use swear words or offensive language, and please, no advertising!

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Average rating from 4 reviews:

Reviewed by Laura from England on 6th Jul 2015
Issue that it can't be wall mounted.
Rating:

Reply by ian from guernsey on 9th Sep 2016
Hi yes it can be wall mounted i have mine on the wall and have had no trouble at all mounting it to a stud wall been there for two years now thanks.

Reviewed by jack maddocks from england on 28th Jan 2015
Had my 42" TV for 10 months and find it is all it is made out to be. I have no complaints at all.
Rating:

Reviewed by Roger from england on 24th Apr 2014
Fantastic tv for the money brilliant.
Rating:

Reviewed by BRIAN MOCK from ENGLAND on 28th Dec 2013
Beautifully designed TV,with a picture quality that is superb.The picture quality was the main issue for me when looking for a new TV,and you wont be disappointed,well pleased having owned one for 4 months.As for the sound this is good when you take into consideration the depth of this TV,but a soundbar will improve things markedly,having just added one recently to my TV.
Rating:


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