If you’re looking for a classy Freeview HD TV upgrade but want to keep a lid of fripperies such as 3D and net connectivity, then Panasonic’s TX-L42E3 could be your TV of choice.
The set’s user interface is solid enough, although the TV EPG has no Live TV window and, with ad slots, is as ugly as a box of frogs. Hi-def picture quality is above average, although there are caveats.
It takes a little time to get the best picture from the set. Out of the box, reds tend to be a little orangey, while the Sharpness control needs to be edged right down to no more than one or two increments up from zero. Any more and you’ll incur edge enhancement nasties. Have no fear, the image still looks plenty sharp with the dial set low.
Image dynamics are great and black levels are good, although they are affected by user interface graphics. Call up a menu and the entire background image glows a little brighter. On the plus side, the set’s backlight implementation is darn good.
An integrated SD card reader makes it a snap to view digital images and AVCHD movie files.
The TX-L42E3 does not have IFC (Intelligent Frame Creation), Panasonic’s motion compensation tech. Consequently, moving image resolution is limited; while this rather rules the screen out for sports fans, movies look suitably cinematic.
Panasonic TX-L42E3 launch date: Out now
Panasonic TX-L42E3 UK price: £799