Extreme anglingThe set is built around a 1080p IPS Alpha panel with LED backlighting. One of the benefits of IPS technology is that the TV has very wide viewing angles. Even if you sit at a pretty extreme angle to the set, colours and contrast remain consistent. For picture processing, the set uses Panasonic's V-Real Live engine, along with Intelligent Frame Creation Pro, which helps to create smoother motion.
The TX-L42E30B performs best when fed with good-quality hi-def signals. Blu-ray movies look razor-sharp, with the set beautifully rendering even the finest of details, such as hair in Disney's Tangled.
The warmth of its colours is the set's strongest point, however. The rich, natural hues lend movies a very cinematic look and feel, so the landscape shots in No Country for Old Men look truly glorious. Motion is also incredibly well handled.
The set is more than competent when it comes to standard-definition sources, making the most of some of the poorer-quality, overly compressed Freeview channels. The subtle but effective noise-reduction setting comes in really handy here.
Unlike most slim TVs, the TX-L42E30B's audio isn't too bad. That's because the telly widens out at the bottom to accommodate larger-than-usual speakers, so audio sounds beefier, with fuller bass and more punchy mid-range performance. We wish more manufacturers would follow Panasonic's example, instead of concentrating purely on reducing the depth of their TVs.
The Panasonic Viera TX-L42E30B has few flaws. It works its magic in the picture department no matter the quality of the signal you feed it, its audio is beefier than you'd expect, and its Internet and media-playback features are up there with the best in the business. Add in the reasonable asking price and you've got a great TV for any front room.
Edited by Charles Kloet