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Panasonic TX-L42E6 - Performance and Conclusions

John Archer

By John Archer



  • Recommended by TR
Panasonic L42E6


Our Score:


Panasonic TX-L42E6 - Performance

The L42E6’s impressive contrast performance can also be seen in the impressive lack of brightness ‘jumping’ during dark scenes (even when the adaptive backlight feature is set to active), and in the beautifully measured way the screen can reproduce very dark and very bright image elements simultaneously without making either seem over-dominant.

Panasonic L42E6 - Backlight consistency

Also a massive relief is the almost complete absence of any backlight clouding from the L42E6’s dark scenes. This flaw remains the most common problem with edge LED TVs, so finding it handled so well on a screen as large as the 42in L42E6 – even when watching 21:9 material with black borders above and below – fills us with hope for the TV year to come.

It further benefits the L42E6’s dark scene reproduction that the screen soaks up ambient light unexpectedly well, reducing the disruption to your viewing you get if objects and light sources in your room are reflecting on your screen.

It’s worth adding, too, that the L42E6’s black level response might actually be superior to that of models higher up in Panasonic’s range, on account of those other models using IPS panels (the L42E6 uses a VA-type panel) which have historically struggled where black level is concerned.

Panasonic L42E6

Blu-ray also underlines our feelings about the L42E6’s sharpness, delivering images that look clean and detailed, but not so forensically that they slip over into looking noisy. The subtlety of the TV’s greyscale reproduction is also startlingly good for such a cheap TV, combining with the aforementioned natural sharpness, outstanding colour finesse and strong contrast performance to give pictures a wonderfully nuanced, cinematic look.

Panasonic L42E6 - Minor flaws

While most if what we have to report is positive, there are some minor issues with the L42E6’s pictures. For starters, while its black level response is a huge improvement from Panasonic’s 2012 efforts, dark areas still look a touch blue/grey versus a few premium LCD TVs and, of course, Panasonic’s own plasma TVs. This arguably makes them better options for relatively bright rooms than extremely dark ones, where plasma technology will likely suit you best. To be clear about this, though, the improvements Panasonic has wrought to the black level handling of the L42E6 certainly doesn’t preclude the set from being a very decent movie monitor, even for fairly serious video enthusiasts.

Another issue is that there remains slight – but only slight – resolution loss over moving objects with Blu-ray. Otherwise, though, we’d say motion actually looks unusually natural. The marginal motion blur is also evident when using the L42E6 as a gaming monitor. That said, its decent black levels and other image subtleties provide plenty of compensatory benefits. We measured input lag at an average of 36ms – low enough not to spoil your gaming abilities.

Panasonic L42E6

The intensely slim frame around the L42E6 doesn’t bode particularly well for its sound quality. But Panasonic has improved things here too, for while action movie sequences still sound a bit compressed and short of bass, they sound clean and well-rounded enough – even at high volumes – not to actually distract you from what you’re watching. And that’s about as much as you might fairly expect from such a slim and affordable screen.

Panasonic L42E6 - Verdict

Last year’s Panasonic LCD range ended up feeling like an ultimately unsuccessful attempt by the brand to get to serious grips with a technology it wasn’t as familiar with as its beloved plasma. The L42E6, though, does enough with its design, features, operating system and, above all, picture quality to already have us thinking that Panasonic has learned fast enough to become a very serious LCD player indeed in the 2013 TV season.

Plus it’s really whet our appetite for what sets higher up Panasonic’s new TV range might be capable of…

Now read Trusted Reviews Best TVs 2013

Overall Score


Scores In Detail

  • Design 9
  • Features 8
  • Image Quality 9
  • Sound Quality 7
  • Value 8


March 4, 2013, 11:35 pm

Great review, thank you!

Silly question time: Would you go with the new generation led L42E6 or the previous generation plasma 42gt50? (both now offered at £800)

Tom Osborne

March 5, 2013, 5:56 pm

Thanks for the review. It's not often that you find a product that matches exactly what you're looking for but this seems to!

Peter Nye

April 25, 2013, 1:59 pm

Great review, great tv but, being a perfectionist, I'm just struggling slightly to get the 'perfect picture'. Can anyone recommend or suggest what they feel are very best settings on the custom/advanced menu? I feel it needs a bit more tweaking but just can't get there.

Many thanks, Gaspin.


May 23, 2013, 4:38 am

Great review! Looks like a very good led.

I would love to get this TV for gaming and movies, but I've been troubled by the lack of game mode and 1080 pixel direct as stated here http://www.panasonic.co.uk/...

How do you get an average 36ms input lag? In which mode/settings?


August 9, 2013, 10:31 am

Hi, what about gaming lag ? Can i Buy this tv for gaming ?


September 23, 2013, 3:53 am

36ms - I've just purchased one of these to run an Xbox One in November.

Matthew Farrington

November 17, 2013, 6:27 pm

Hi, I am at the moment battling between this television and the sony kdl42w653 which also got a 9 star rating on this site. The television will be used primarily for films and gaming on an xbox 360 at the time being. I was just wondering if you could tell me which one is better for these functions!


December 3, 2013, 11:49 am

Matthew Farrington the Sony has double the refresh rate of this Panasonic so will be a better choice for really smooth gaming. Although most games don't run at nearly 200 the Sony should be a more 'future proof option. Having said that this Panasionic does have an extra HDMI input but that could be overcome with a splitter

J Smith

December 16, 2013, 12:04 pm

I bought this TV in the sale based on this review; specifically the mention of 100hz as I use my TV with my PC for games etc.

This TV is 50hz - this leads to blur which was actually mentioned in the review (it would have been nice if they'd stated it is due to the 50hz panel!)

"Motion clarity remains the TX-L42E6B’s biggest weakness, despite being equipped with “100Hz Back light Blinking” which is Panasonic’s backlight scanning technology that attempts to reduce the sample-and-hold effect largely responsible for the motion blur we perceive on LCDs.

The underlying LCD panel is still 50Hz, which is borne out by a motion resolution of between 250 and 300 as determined via the scrolling test chart in the FPD Benchmark disc. Unfortunately the Panasonic E6 doesn’t feature any onboard motion-compensated frame interpolation (MCFI) system to help the TV out in this area."

The text reproduction on a desktop is terrible, much worse than my 4 year old Samsung 6 series it replaced.

Pros; looks amazing, great HD playback
Cons: Gaming/PC use is quite poor


January 3, 2014, 11:24 am

Can trusted reviews print their calibration settings for the Panasonic TX-L42E6 so people at home can try them to see what they think?


January 3, 2014, 12:42 pm

We've discussed this idea several ideas in the past, and we've always decided against it. Given the variability of LCD panels in each TVs, not to mention environmental factors (e.g. ambient light) we feel it's best not to as our settings may not provide anything like what's best for any given TV.

That said, we do generally make recommendations for certain settings (e.g. motion modes) in the setup section where we think it's appropriate.


January 3, 2014, 1:47 pm

is this model the same as th-l42E6E?, and I really can't choose between this model or samsung EH6030 AND SAMSUNG F5300 which one would be a better choice neglecting the 3D and smart features?


January 5, 2014, 5:05 pm

I do understand this point of view and see that you've recommended certain picture presets for day and night viewing but it would be good to try your settings be they for dark or light environments as a point to start from, as you know how to go into more depth then the average person, and if not happy with them would have ample time to try other settings myself.


January 28, 2014, 3:27 am

Just bought this last night..
1.Very nice sleek design.
2.Good colors.
3.But dont have a good sound quality.
4.Tested this tv using Playstation 3 and turned out great.
5.Lucky this tv has built in wifi. Can also connect using the lan cable.
6.Easily can be remote via Panasonic Remote App on Googlestore.
7.Overall im satisfied with the performance.


March 14, 2014, 12:04 pm

Am about to buy one of these TVs and would like to know: is there anywhere those famous calibration settings to be found (on the net or elsewhere)???

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