Customer Review

247 of 263 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All I had hoped for in an LED/LCD, May 30, 2012
This review is from: Panasonic VIERA TC-L42E50 42-Inch 1080p 120Hz Full HD IPS LED-LCD TV (Electronics)
I bought this from a big box retailer, but have always found the Amazon community to offer great non-pro reviews of mid-level products often skipped by online review sites. Panasonic has picked up the mantle of plasma king since the demise of Pioneer and I hoped the TC-l42E50 would have close to the same impact on LED/LCD market. I have tried LED displays from other major brand names with a 3rd the performance quality of the Panasonic. Let's get this out of the way right now if you are expecting plasma level PQ (picture quality) namely black level performance out of this TV then pack it up and ship it back, because it is not happening. Panasonic has taken the Samsung/Sony approach to this television and offer a screen that pops with intensity, one of the sacrifices being black level performance. You gain a plethora of features that with the right adjustments can make this display outshine it's competitor's. Panasonic has taken great measures to ensure great motion performance with the addition of the 360 backlight scanning feature. This feature breaks the screen into 3 section in which a smart dimming function on the LED's switch them on/off very quickly (120hz frequency) to improve pixel response time and alleviate motion artifacts such as judder, trailing and ghosting/streaking. The math breaks down like this 3 sections x 120hz = 360hz (simulated) for the 360 backlight scanning. They offer an additional motion smoothing technology when set to weak offers no artifacting or Soap Opera Effect (SOE) often seen with this technology, but if gaming on this TV recommend turning off or set to weak due to potential controller lag. Speaking of gaming if you are a gamer than I cannot recommend this TV enough from racing games too first person shooters(FPS)this set can handle anything you can throw at it. I have tried everything from 120hz-480hz televisions and none can perform a third as well as the Panasonic at a about 50% less to the of the main competitors equivalent. Don't let all the fancy jargon confuse you it is all marketing speak. All TV's including plasmas are 60hz with scene interpolation of some kind that inserts frames in between existing frames to give the illusion of a higher refresh rate whether it is Panasonic's:600hz sub-field drive or Samsung's:Auto motion plus they are still a native 60hz. While shopping for a television let that be the last deciding factor, but let your eye's be your guide. Visit a big box store ask for a remote and immediately take it off the Vivid picture settings and set it for Cinema,movie or natural setting in the user menu to get a better idea how the set will function in the real world. This will turn all the post processing nonsense off in most case and let you see the true performance of the display, so you can make an educated decision. If you prefer the look though the Panasonic E50 can still deliver that performance, although adjustments aren't as robust as it's competitor's they are sufficient. Let's break it down.

Picture: While not as deep as a plasma display still impressive for an LED/LCD. Black levels are good, but not great colors are natural and accurate making movies and games really pop. Could use a few more adjustment option like a THX or pro mode for better white balance control, but certainly not the worse I have seen.

Sound: Like a few of the review have said nothing to write home about, but again not the worse I have heard. If you are in the market for home a theater and gaming set-up most likely a quality surround sound is already a consideration. Since I have a pair of wireless surround sound headphones TV audio quality is not a concern for me.

Connectivity: While wi-fi ready this display is not wireless out of the box, an additional dongle is needed for internet connectivity.

Build Quality: While this TV doesn't have the paper thin bezel made popular by LG & Samsung it would be right at home on a wall mount or traditional stand. It sports a 1 inch glossy black bezel with a quarter inch clear boarder around that for an all around attractive frame. Panasonic has manage to also avoid some of the pitfalls associated with Edge Lit LED technology namely light bleed and flashlighting. In a completely dark room the screen is solid black or really dark blue through the entirety of the screen with no areas of backlight bleed on any of the sides. There is also no pooling of light where the LED's are unable to reach certain areas of the screen. I have seen $4000.00+ LED TV's not be able to achieve this feat, so very impressive.

I hope I was able to give an overall impression of the Panasonic TC-L42E50 television.
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Tracked by 3 customers

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Showing 1-9 of 9 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 13, 2012 12:10:41 PM PST
R. Shansby says:
Viera HDTV Wi-Fi ready--an additional dongle is required for internet connectivity.

Please explain what is required, and how much it costs. Dongle is too vague for my use.



In reply to an earlier post on Nov 26, 2012 10:07:42 AM PST
Eric Lewis says:

Posted on Jan 3, 2013 2:02:47 PM PST
fs says:
isn't this a BACK LIT tv, NOT an "edge lit". thus less light bleed, etc.??

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 5, 2013 5:43:39 AM PST
R. Shansby says:
Thank you! Ron

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 16, 2013 3:11:49 PM PDT
B. Smith says:
Yes, it is an LED lit LCD, so each pixel is lit from behind by an LED. This TV has no perceivable edge bleed.

Posted on Mar 18, 2013 9:36:41 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 18, 2013 9:37:40 AM PDT
Ryan says:
I think the paragraph for 'Picture' needs a...

CORRECTION: Black levels are good, but not great. Colors are natural and accurate...

A very helpful review. Thank you

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 13, 2013 5:12:03 PM PDT
Fee says:
"Edge-Lit" is the type of backlight the TV uses they aren't mutually exclusive. Maybe you were wandering if it uses what's often referred to as a "Direct-Lit Full Array" backlight in which a panel of LED lights provide backlight and are placed directly behind the screen which is a more traditional technology but prevents the super slim TV's people seem to love, it tends to offer superior backlight that is more uniform than edge-lit backlighting.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 13, 2013 5:15:40 PM PDT
Fee says:
LED Lit LCD says nothing about the method they used to backlight the LCD panel, edge-lit models have a host of issues that are more common including light bleed of various types and "flash lighting" and most commonly just a very uneven non-uniform backlight.

Posted on May 29, 2013 12:03:15 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 29, 2013 12:03:57 AM PDT
MamaJuniper says:
Correction: Not all TV interpolate frames. The 600hz subfield of plasma does not add fake frames by default. It simply pulsates each frame 10 times (60hz x 10 pulses = 600hz subfield) in order to display a stable image on the screen. Yes, you can turn on frame interpolation from there, but that is a seperate function. For example, 2011 and 2012 Samsung plasma TVs do not even have a frame interpolation function at all, but still operate at a 600hz subfield.

Other than that, good review.
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