Customer Review

77 of 96 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Nearly Flawless TV, August 22, 2012
This review is from: Panasonic VIERA TC-L47DT50 47-Inch 1080p 240Hz 3D Full HD IPS LED-LCD TV (Electronics)
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The Panasonic VIERA TC-L47DT50 47-Inch 1080p 240Hz 3D Full HD IPS LED-LCD TV is a great TV and if it wasn't for a few detrimental flaws, it'd be perfect.

It generates outstanding clarity, brilliant colors, deep dark levels and is sufficiently bright when it needs to be.

In action scenes and sports it excels when it comes to producing fast moving moments. The 240Hz refresh rate is what makes this magic happen, and it's a noticeable improvement over the older 120Hz refresh rate which I had on my previous LG LCD 42" TV.

If you're wanting Internet apps, then this TV delivers that in spades. Not only do you get the biggest favorites like Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Video On Demand, but you also get Cinema Now, Vudu, Pandora, Skype, Youtube, and literally dozens of other options that you can download and install via the wired or wi-fi network capability. Netflix in particular is much faster and easier to use with this TV compared to my older LG. There are numerous games to choose from, mostly your basic games like chess, but a neat feature nonetheless. There are sport apps such as Major League Soccer, MLB, etc., with most of them being free. The interface is fast and intuitive, very easy to learn and use even if you've never used such a feature before on a TV. It even has Skype so you can communicate with friends over the Internet on the big screen, which is much better than simply doing it on a regular PC monitor.

As far as the 3D aspect goes, it looks great, but personally this isn't the feature that I sought the most, it seems to be more of a gimmick at this stage than anything, but having said that this TV is at the top of its game in terms of that technology. There's also a 2D to 3D conversion feature, but it doesn't look that great. I tested this with the new film 'John Carter' and while the film itself looks absolutely amazing on this screen, the 2D to 3D conversion fell flat.

One downside to having a larger TV like this is that older shows, especially DVDs and VHS films do not look so good on it, and this is primarily because the resolution is so high which makes the low resolution of the older mediums really stand out like a sore thumb. This can be circumvented by using composite or component cables instead of HDMI when viewing lower res shows, but keep in mind they will look grainy when using HDMI cables. This wasn't an issue on my previous 42" LG LCD since it had a smaller picture and therefore the difference wasn't as noticeable. Blu-rays and HD satellite channels on the other hand look picture perfect, same goes for Netflix movies and TV shows that are in HD.

The overall design of the TV is aesthetically pleasing, clearly the creators went to great lenghts to ensure that this is an eye-catcher and will complement any room's decor. What I really like is the thin, minimalistic metal bezel, aka frame, of the TV, which gives the illusion of the display to almost blend in with the background. For such a large TV it's extremely light weight which allowed me to easily carry it around my living room. Its thinner and lighter than any other TV I've seen so it's easy to see that this is state of the art technology.

It's incredibly easy to put together if you want to use the metal stand (it only needs 4 phillips screws), which I recommend because the stand itself is very elegant looking and adds a nice touch to its futuristic look.

Another advantageous feature is the compatibility it has with certain brand receivers, such as Onkyo, which allows the TV's remote control to control the volume of your home theater. The way it works is that you turn on your TV and satellite receiver first, then turn on the home theater receiver and the TV automatically switches from the TV volume to the receiver's volume, which I thought was a nice and useful touch.

For the techies out there, one of the coolest features of this TV is the ability to download Panasonic's remote control app, which works on smart phones and tablets. Personally I've been using my iPhone to control the volume and change the menus. To be perfectly honest though, this is more of a gimmick, it's not as responsive or easy to use as the main TV remote control, but it's there for that coolness factor if you want to surprise and impress your friends and family.

This Panasonic functions like a media center, you can plug your USB drives into it and watch movies, play songs or look at your pictures, or you can even connect it to your PC as long as it's DLNA compatible, which doesn't include all PCs but it's been a fairly common standard for the past 2-3 years. To find out if your PC is compatible, simply go to your manufacturer's website and look at the FAQs or specifications, or Google a review of your PC. The wi-fi is built in so there's no need to mess with any USB wi-fi adapter, or you can run a network cable if you wish to directly connect to your router or switch, but wi-fi's definitely the way to go. It's fast, easy to use and there are no cables to worry about. As long as you know your wireless router's SSID (network name) and password, it's simple to connect, much like connecting your laptop to the wireless network.

My main gripe with this TV is that it doesn't have much shielding/protection against EMI (electromagnetic interference) due to its super thin design. I made the mistake of putting one of my Onkyo satellite speakers too close to the TV on the right hand side and that's left a permanent, large, white/grayish discoloration on the bottom corner. I immediately moved the speaker away when I noticed it but that was a few weeks ago and it hasn't improved at all. I've researched this and according to all the experts, LCD TVs are not susceptible to damage from the magnets in speakers, but there's no doubt about what happened because it wasn't there before the speaker was placed there, and I never had that problem on my previous LCD because it had a much thicker plastic bezel to protect it. Having said that, it's only noticeable during pitch black scenes, which are rare, 99.99% of the time you can't see it because most programming isn't purely black, but nonetheless I think it's important for potential buyers to know this so they can prevent making the same mistake I did. Also I hope that Panasonic takes a look at this to correct this defect in future designs.

The built-in speakers are quite good, but as with most TVs, if you want excellent sound you'll have to get a home theater surround sound.

As far as the menus go, it's quite similar to other LCD TVs, very intuitive and easy to use, in fact it was quite similar to LG's menu interface, so the learning curve is small.

Since this TV has the IPS technology, the viewing angle is extremely good, and the picture can be easily seen from virtually any angle, unlike older LCDs and plasmas which you'd have to be more or less in the center to see it properly.

It has built-in power saving features which you can set to turn it off automatically if there's no activity/signal for a pre-determined amount of time. In general it uses much less power than older LCDs (up to 25% less) so despite its size, it won't cost much in terms of electricity.

If it wasn't for the discolored white spot in the bottom right portion of the screen caused by the speaker's magnet, I'd give this TV a 5/5, hands down, other than that it's picture perfect. I highly recommend it, just beware of your speaker placement, and keep in mind that older DVDs, VHS tapes and older TV programming won't look so good through HDMI (use component or composite for the old school SD (standard definition), but if you have HD satellite, cable or blu-rays, then this TV will impress to say the least.
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Comments

Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 10, 2012 3:23:38 PM PDT
jonsid says:
Good review. From an old TV tech: I have to agree with others about the speaker magnet not interfering with the screen. If you can find a TV repair shop, one that's been in business for awhile, see if you can borrow a degaussing coil. If you can, plug the coil in about 10 feet away from the tv, turn it on if it has a switch and bring it slowly to the tv. Pass it all around the tv, especially where you had placed your speaker and then slowly withdraw the coil without turning it off until you are 10 feet away again.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 13, 2012 3:07:56 AM PDT
Thanks jonsid, I appreciate it. I'd say you're probably right about that, and after some further research I did awhile ago, this phenomenon is fairly common with LEDs, has to do with the packaging while shipping, apparently it compresses the screen and that causes the white smeared effect, or white spot. It's gradually been disappearing but it takes a long time. So far it's been over a month and it's still there but it's not as noticeable now, and I imagine within a month or two it'll be more or less completely gone. I'll post an update later on.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 26, 2012 7:01:27 PM PDT
Thomas says:
Jonsid, I have no idea why you would suggest this. There is nothing to degauss. It's not a CRT, there are no electrons to warp their path nor aperture grill to become magnetized nor any of that. There is not one thing within the tv that could possibly explain magnetic damage, and if there *were*, it most certainly would not be something that would be fixed by removing the magnetism.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 26, 2012 5:14:30 PM PST
D. BURNS says:
Agreed. It's pure coincidence. There is NOTHING in this TV that would be affected like that by the magnet of a speaker. And degaussing would be a total waste of time and effort.

Posted on Nov 27, 2012 3:59:24 AM PST
Santa Walt says:
You mentioned the lack of EMP shielding, but no TV has that, at least not sufficient to protect it from the EMP of a nuclear blast. There is absolutely no protection at all from EMP as long as the TV is plugged into the electrical outlet. (Unless you want to spend some big bucks to install line filters coming in.) Of course it all depends on how far from the source of the EMP you are as to how much damage it will do.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 28, 2012 1:22:02 AM PST
The effect I mentioned earlier is a phenomenon known as clouding:

http://www.ehow.com/info_12211542_clouding-lcd-tv-normal.html

It happens with some LCDs but it seems to be more common with the LED variety. Again, no biggie, it's not noticeable in the vast majority of pictures, and it has improved over time, so personally I don't even consider it an issue anymore.
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