21 of 65 people found the following review helpful
Bad sound, so-so picture.,
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This review is from: Panasonic VIERA TC-L42E50 42-Inch 1080p 120Hz Full HD IPS LED-LCD TV (Electronics)
This set has terrible sound. Far worse than I expected, and I wasn't expecting much.
Panasonic made things worse by not including analog output (some new TV's still have them), and then compounded the issue by not allowing the digital audio output format to be specified. Other manufactures allow the output format to be specified as 2 ch stereo. Not Panasonic. Less expensive D/A converters and soundbars don't handle Dolby Digital. This rules out many sound bars and bumps the cost of a converter from $25 to $90.
Bottom line: If you're expecting to simply replace an older set you need to plan on spending $$ on additional equipment (and have room for it). And, you need to be careful that what you get is compatible (hdmi or optical digital connections + built in dolby digital decoder).
In addition, I can't figure out the reasoning behind their current lineup of sound bars. The best match for my setup are two from last year.
Picture is OK, but not great when compared to 20+ year old CRT. Requires constant fiddling depending upon source material. Significant loss of contrast when viewed off angle, though color shift is minimal. Panasonic claims '178 degrees' viewing angle but this is defined as the range where contrast is 10:1 or higher. 10:1 is quite poor. Don't confuse this with a plasma! Black level is tough to get right. Dark areas tend to come out black. Cranking up the brightness does solve the black problem, but then objects that are actually black become gray.
Closed captioning is very basic. Can't adjust font size or position, and will "zoom" off the screen under certain circumstances.
TV is "wireless Internet ready"... this means it includes a Ethernet port for a wired connection, but does not have wireless (wifi) built-in. For wireless you must purchase TY-WL20U adapter which plugs into one of the two USB ports.
The box that the TV arrived in had suffered some damage. The cardboard was rather thin and not much in the way of Styrofoam packaging material. However, the set itself appeared to be undamaged. These TV's appear to be somewhat fragile. I wouldn't think twice about returning if I saw *any* damage to the TV.
Power consumption is quite low, but is somewhat negated by all of the extra gizmo's that are needed to get decent sound.
I give it 1 star for sound, 3.5 for picture.
Tracked by 2 customers
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Showing 1-10 of 14 posts in this discussion
Initial post: May 18, 2012 9:33:40 PM PDT
Meng Qi says:
(1) Just about every slim TV has bad sound. For good sound you need a sound bar.
(2) There are several picture presets. "Standard" looks really bad. You just need to change it to Vivid, set color temperature to normal, and then do some quick tweaking from there.
Posted on May 21, 2012 7:22:22 PM PDT
For someone who is so concerned with sound... you're knocking it for not having ANALOG output? Are you kidding me?
Are you saying that the audio will only output in dolby surround if you're using the toslink output? I'm not even going to address this, there are numerous incorrect statements you're making. ANyone buying a flat panel and not hooking up additional sound is ignorant for not doing their research before hand and realizing that you should almost always buy some form of external audio. Why get a HIGH DEF tv but not have somewhat HIGH DEF sound? I personally didn't think it was that bad... and my LG soundbar works great. Almost any modern soundbar is going to accept a toslink connection and will work without issue.
Picture is ok - what? And why you are even comparing to a 20+ yr old CRT. Off angle viewing is quite good in my opinion, no real loss of contrast here. "Dont confuse this with a plasma" What tv did you buy? THis is a led lcd, not plasma, quite simple really. Who buys an lcd wanting plasma black levels - why didn't you buy a plasma? THe panel is IPS, the off angle viewing properties are very good for the price.
My black levels are also great and it calibrated fine.
You're even knocking closed captioning???? Wow - how often do you use closed captioning to even care? I've never seen such an odd review. YOu're just giving negatives for the most odd features ever. Analog sound, closed captioning, comparing to a CRT ? hmm
I think the tv is great - my only knock is the lack of integrated wifi and the need to buy a $40+ wifi adapter :(
Posted on May 22, 2012 12:48:01 PM PDT
David Kavic says:
This is one of the most pointless reviews I have ever read pertaining to a TV. Sound Bar duh. There are a/v forums that can help you refine the picture settings as well, and from what I have read the tweaks make everything look amazing (I own the 37 inch little brother model and a 42 inch of this model, that's how much I love these TV's for the price/picture/low power consumption). My father has been deaf for 60 years and if he doesn't have a complaint about the closed caption then I know its not that bad.
Posted on May 24, 2012 5:53:51 PM PDT
M. Harmon says:
I'm sorry that you've had a rough go at it with your television - I know how frustrating it can be to fork over a nice chunk of cash for something that ends up missing the mark on expectations. I used to deliver and install home theater equipment for a high-end a/v retailer, and more often than not, situations like yours were the result of one of two things: the source of your a/v, or the connections between the TV and that source.
You're totally correct in that you can't just replace an older set with an HDTV. You need a high definition source of content in order to get the most bang for your buck. Most local channels offer HD content now (I think) but you still need to tune into the digital variant of the station if you're connecting via antenna. For example, with digital conversion over-the-air, channel 8 isn't just channel 8 anymore. It's channel 8, channel 8-2, and sometimes even 8-3. That's because the digital signal has room for broadcasters to embed several content streams into the same "thread". Cable and satellite services are a little easier to navigate with on-screen displays, but more often than not they still require you to sign-up and pay for an "HD Package" that must be paired with one of their HD receivers.
Even after all of that has been considered and decided on, you're not out of the woods - you still need to make sure that the content stream between the cable/satellite box and your TV doesn't lose its integrity. You can have a great TV and the most expensive HD package offered by your local service provider, but if you've got a couple of flimsy RCA cables going between the cable box and the TV, you're not going to get anything close to High-Def. Also, your colors will be washed out, your black levels will be horrendous, and you'll have pixel artifacts dancing all over the place - no matter how many settings you try to adjust on the TV. At the very least you need a high-quality set of component video cables (the Red, Green, Blue + White, Yellow for L/R audio), but your best bet is HDMI - not only does it maintain the integrity of the high-definition video signal, it carries your HD audio as well.
I'll go ahead and ask you to forgive me here if I'm telling you a bunch of stuff you already know. But, my guess is that you're an older fella and maybe it's not something anyone has taken the time to explain; if not for anything but the fact that your post referenced analog audio, closed captioning, and 20+ year-old CRT monitors.
Anyway, best of luck to you and I hope that things get worked out.
Posted on May 25, 2012 10:58:47 AM PDT
I've owned several TVs over the last couple of years.
The sound quality isn't the best I've heard, but it definitely isn't the worst. As for the picture, its AMAZING for an LCD.
Posted on May 28, 2012 9:12:49 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 28, 2012 9:15:08 AM PDT
E. Mulafer says:
The soundbar works great, most new TV are pretty similar
Posted on Jun 2, 2012 12:16:52 AM PDT
Kathleen Davis says:
I'm just very apprecitive that so many people explained why this very bad review on a TV I'm thinking of purchasing are wrong and why they are wrong. The review really had me worried I was making a very bad decision. TY everyone for being so generous to take the time to explain things in simple English.
In reply to an earlier post on Jun 5, 2012 12:39:47 AM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Jun 5, 2012 12:46:52 AM PDT]
Posted on Jun 13, 2012 9:51:59 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 13, 2012 11:38:27 AM PDT
If you want Analog Audio Output you can use a powered TOSlink Optical to RCA Stereo (red/white) adapter. It doesn't appear that this model has a 3.5mm line out jack so using a cheap passive Stereo adapter is not an option.
Otherwise use an intermediary device such as an AV receiver or use the analog audio outputs on your source device (cable box, dvr, game console, etc).
In reply to an earlier post on Jun 17, 2012 6:03:32 PM PDT
Larry K. says:
John, one of my issues with the audio is that the powered adapter you mention has to include Dolby Digital decoder which doubles/triples the cost. If Panasonic had included the capability to specify non-Dolby output (as many other sets do as well as the sets Panasonic sells in the UK) this would not be necessary.