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Panasonic TX-L42ET60 - 2D Picture Quality

John Archer

By John Archer



  • Recommended by TR
Panasonic L42ET60


Our Score:


The Panasonic L42ET60 is ultimately a slightly frustrating TV. While in many ways its pictures are excellent, one flaw prevents us from being able to give it an unqualified recommendation - we'll get back to this in a moment.

Starting with the good stuff, bright, colourful content is among the most enjoyable and natural we’ve seen. Colours look dynamic and rich, but also exceptionally natural in terms of both their tones and the subtlety with which blends and tonal shifts are delivered. This subtlety has a particularly good effect on skin tones, which completely avoid the mannequin-like finish commonly seen on relatively affordable LCD TVs.

Panasonic L42ET60

We were also impressed by the L42ET60’s approach to sharpness and detail. With HD content pictures look richly textured and crisp, but the TV shows a great understanding of where to stop where sharpness is concerned, never tipping over into making pictures look gritty and fizzy unless you foolishly ramp up the set’s sharpness setting too high.

This deft sense of the right balance between sharpness and noise is even apparent when watching standard definition sources, as the Panasonic L42ET60 delivers one of the cleanest upscaled pictures we’ve seen – even with very low-quality standard definition broadcasts.

Contributing yet another element to the L42ET60’s engaging naturalism is the set’s motion handling. That's because the native response time of its panel is good enough to present motion with impressively little resolution loss or blurring, even if you don’t have the motion processing circuitry in play. Plus, as noted earlier, if you do want to make motion even crisper, you can use the IFC processing on its lowest level without it causing unpleasant side effects.

Panasonic L42ET60

It’s also great to find that you can watch the Panasonic L42ET60 from a slightly wider viewing angle than usual with LCD technology before colour saturations and contrast start to significantly reduce – something which makes it a better option than most for a typical family living room, where not all seats are right in front of the TV.

The screen also does a decent job of soaking up ambient light, and its brightness levels are pretty intense, ensuring that images remain eyecatching even in bright rooms.

So what’s the catch? When you switch away from bright, colourful footage of the sort that occupies the majority of the daytime TV schedules to something darker of the sort that crops up routinely in your average Blu-ray movie, you can’t help but notice that the Panasonic L42ET60’s contrast isn’t the best.

Panasonic L42ET60

Turn off the adaptive contrast feature and dark scenes exhibit a grey overtone that stops black and dark colours from looking totally natural and causes some shadow detail to get misted out of the picture.

Turing the adaptive contrast system greatly improves the set’s black level response. But it also causes a few distracting brightness ‘steps’ as it responds to changes in the brightness of source content.

While this stops the L42ET60 from achieving a rich black colour that’s also stable, though, the set does deliver a slightly more immersive performance with dark scenes than the 55-inch Panasonic ET60 model we’ve tested previously, allowing us to nudge the L42ET60 into Recommended badge territory where the 55-inch model didn’t quite make it.


October 4, 2013, 3:10 pm

if i was in the market for a 42in tv, i think i would give this one serioius consideration


October 7, 2013, 6:04 pm

The EPG doesn't work. You can view programming schedules 7 days ahead but then you need to write the details down on a post-it note and stick it to the screen as this TV doesn't do reminders. All that "smart" stuff and it can't do the simplest of TV related tasks


October 9, 2013, 7:32 pm

Very Good with set top boxes SD is excellent via hdmi be sure to select 1080p Go into Picture settings then into Option settings and turn 1080p pixel direct ON
Possible the best SD performance of any current led tv.


October 30, 2013, 8:25 am

I have this option 1080p off, but it is not active, i cannot to change it. Why?


November 15, 2013, 8:22 am

The Panasonic EPG shows programs 7 days ahead but you cannot set a reminder.
If a TV channel advertises a program you cannot set a reminder.
You cannot set a reminder to allow you to channel surf while waiting for your programme to start.
If reminders are important to you then you need to choose another brand.


January 15, 2014, 8:46 pm

I have virgin tivo with premium channels and watch a lot of sport so is it worth getting this 3d tv. Have older viera hd set now. Is 2d going to be a lot better? Thanks

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