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Panasonic Viera TX-L42D25B review

John Archer

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Reviewed:

1 of 5

Panasonic Viera TX-L42D25B
  • Panasonic Viera TX-L42D25B
  • Panasonic Viera TX-L42D25B
  • Panasonic Viera TX-L42D25B
  • Panasonic Viera TX-L42D25B
  • VIERA TXL42D25B 42" LED TV (1920x1080, 100Hz, Freeview, Freeview HD, Freesat, HDTV, LED Backlight)

Summary

Our Score:

8

User Score:

The TV we’re reviewing today is actually quite a watershed moment. For despite being 42in across and sporting the Panasonic brand, the L42D25B doesn’t use plasma technology. Instead, Panasonic has caved in to public demand - well, that’s our take on it, anyway! - and for the first time released a TV bigger than 37in that uses LCD technology. Or edge-LED LCD technology to be more precise.

Given what a huge part plasma plays in Panasonic’s AV strategy, we can really imagine the tortured meetings at Panasonic HQ as people discussed the pros and cons of finally publicly acknowledging that maybe, just maybe, there really is a place in the AV firmament for big-screen LCD tech.

We can also imagine that Panasonic is on tenterhooks to find out how its big TV gamble actually shapes up when put through its paces by the likes of TrustedReviews. So let’s get on with finding out!

The L42D25B is thankfully rather more attractive than the vast majority of Panasonic’s rather dour plasma TVs. First, its bezel is coloured in a rather fetching, high-gloss grey rather than the usual black. Second, the bezel employs a gentle two-layer effect that looks quite stylish in the flesh rather than overcomplicated as it maybe sounds on paper.

Finally, the TV is unusually slim by Panasonic standards. The main panel is just 39mm deep, in fact - a clear product of its edge LED lighting system. Though unfortunately Panasonic’s apparent inability to shrink its overall electronic design means the full TV depth sneaks up to a rather less elegant 77mm in places.

The L42D25B’s connections are pretty comprehensive, and even include one unique feature - or at least it’s unique to Panasonic this year. That jack is an LNB connection, there because the L42D25B is another of Panasonic’s TVs with a Freesat HD tuner built in.

Not that you have to have a satellite dish to get HD broadcasts on the L42D25B, mind you. For it also enjoys a Freeview HD tuner if you’re in a suitable reception area.

As with any TV boasting an HD tuner in the UK, the L42D25B sports an Ethernet port for accessing potential future Freeview HD/Freesat HD interactive services (probably a version of the BBC iPlayer initially). But of more immediate interest are the Ethernet’s other two uses: as a means of accessing files from a DLNA PC, and as your gateway to Panasonic’s Viera Cast online platform.

We’ve covered this online service in numerous recent reviews and articles - in particular we refer you to our recent feature comparing all the different online systems. So today we’ll just say that while Viera Cast isn’t as content-rich as the online efforts of Sony and Samsung, its interface is excellent, and the likelihood of good new services being added in the future is high.

Earth Voyager

October 5, 2010, 1:23 pm

I have a Panansonic G20 and can confirm that the WD 250GB MyBook works with no problems recording programmes.

Michael McG

October 5, 2010, 1:50 pm

i looked at the D25 side by side with a v20 plasma and difference in black level was very obvious. The v20 was miles ahead of the d25 at least in this respect. So if black level is your goal, then i wouldnt pick this over a plasma..

Ripsnorter

October 5, 2010, 2:39 pm

I think Panasonic will 'get there' with LED eventually, but something has to be done on the design side as, whichever technology, their sets looks horrible and horribly dated.

Callum

October 5, 2010, 3:10 pm

i currently own the 37" model of this TV, and one of the things you failed to mention (as far as i saw) is the fact that the D25 series use IPS screens, which gives them excellent viewing angles and colour quality, and is what made me choose this TV over many others!

Callum

October 5, 2010, 3:41 pm

whoops i read it again and turns out it was mentioned!

Neil McG

October 5, 2010, 4:47 pm

Great review as always. BUT, the crucial questions is: TX-L42D25B or TX-P42G20B? LCD vs Plasma ? Otherwise, specs look similar...

GoldenGuy

October 5, 2010, 5:24 pm

@Ripsnorter





Agreed. Samsung have Touch of Colour, LG have the one-piece Infinia, Phillips have that whole silver and Ambilight system going on, and Panasonic, um, uh... ugghh. It's not a generic box (like that Asus O!Play streamer) where the unsightliness matters not since it gets shoved under the telly - it IS the telly. This is a case where the Wife Approval Factor is probably the last line of defence against someone placing a ruddy great tacky plastic structure in the middle of the room. What the hell are Panasonic still doing wrapping their class leading screens up in such cheap Christmas paper?

Ripsnorter

October 5, 2010, 10:03 pm

@GoldenGuy


It's not just the WAF in this case. Panasonic achieve a degree of fugliness of design that offends even my eyes! As much as I love the pictures their plasmas achieve, I keep being drawn to that thick, heavy, large, battle grey bezel!

GoldenGuy

October 5, 2010, 11:32 pm

@Ripsnorter





CNET were just talking about how Panasonic are getting into the portable gaming market, and my first thought was, "Dude! Screw that! Market's overcrowded with the DS and iOS anyway. Your TVs are you flagship products. Throw all your money into a new design team that'll make the aesthetics look presentable by late 2000s standards."

Ripsnorter

October 6, 2010, 2:39 am

@Golden Guy


There is a photo of Panasonic's portable player, called the Jungle, doing the rounds:


http://www.techradar.com/news/...


It looks like someone at Panasonic discovered they had a warehouse full of grey plastic going unused and then hired the people whose TV designs were considered too ugly even for them!

Kaytorch

October 6, 2010, 7:20 pm

the review is completed different from that of CNET who rated this TV with 5 stars. i watched this TV side by side with Panasonic V20 plama and the difference is very clear, the plama is far better. but this TV is featured packed and better than LED from other makes. Great TV

GoldenGuy

October 6, 2010, 8:57 pm

@Kaytorch





You sure about that? CNET don't hand out 5 star ratings easily. In fact, I don't think I've ever seen them go beyond their 4½ Outstanding rating for anything - not even for a Pioneer Kuro. Perhaps it was a user rating instead of the editor's one?

Pbryanw

October 6, 2010, 9:37 pm

@GoldenGuy - Interesting, I also haven't seen Cnet give out many 5 star ratings, so did a quick search and it appears this TV did get 5 stars:


http://reviews.cnet.co.uk/tvs/...





Even more spooky is that it was apparently reviewed by the same person who's just done a iPhone app piece for TR. Although I can't see how anyone can call this TV stylish, as the Cnet review did. And @Kaytorch, 8/10 is a very good score and the two reviews (TR and Cnet) aren't a million miles apart.

RazorA

October 6, 2010, 10:12 pm

Mirroring others in terms of the design of their sets. I can understand them going for a minimalist design but their design team need only look at the Pioneer Kuro to understand how to keep aesthetics simple but still project class to customers. It's the only hurdle they face otherwise their sets are always top class.





I think not until we get OLED sets will Plasma be finally usurped for picture quality.

GoldenGuy

October 7, 2010, 4:19 am

@ Kaytorch, Pbryanw





Sorry guys. I was looking at and commenting upon the US site. Forgot about the UK one - I rarely check it. I don't know how strict they are with their star ratings there.

soldierboy001

November 24, 2011, 12:33 am

Whilst I may be a bit late with this comment I would like to say that I have had the european version of this set for about a year now, this has a sat receiver rather than a freesat with cam slots. I had at the time reviewed and chosen a different TV but when I went to purchase saw the Panny and fell in love with it instantly. I took it home and have loved it ever since even the SD pictures are close to HD clarity. The only problem I have is the sound from the built in speakers but use Pioneer headphones or soundbar mostly.
The style I LIKE and I realise everybody has their own style taste but I hate those so called edge TV's they look so flimsy and like somebody has left a blacked out car window on the wall or TV cabinet.
Just to endorse my view anybody that comes to my house when the TV is on always comment on the brilliant picture, but I have changed the factory settings. All in all I am very satisfied with the set.

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