Decent 42"+ TV, Panasonic Plasma/LED?

tvbox

Member
Hi

After 3 years of faithful service, my Panasonic TXP42X10 that some Plasma forum regulars may even remember me going on about, got nicked last friday.
It was... perfect for my needs, it had all the ports and sockets that I would ever need, and PQ was decent.

Obviously in need of a new one, and seeing that the panasonic didn't give me any problems, i'm sticking with them as a brand, but first, a rant:

Seems like they've gone very stingy with the number of connectors on their latest tellys- as their prices and 'features' go up, the number of connectors goes down.
For starters, they only have 1 SCART socket- my X10 had two, yet they seem to have 4 HDMI's when at best only 1 was in use on my X10!
And 3 USB's! When will i ever need to connect 3 USB devices? Seems like some of the latest have built in wifi, so a dongle's not going to be one of them.
VGA seems to have been dropped from plasmas, it's just the Panny LCD's that have VGA, which was the best way to connect my ancient laptop to.
However, as the multitude of 'Smart' features increases, I'm willing to give up the VGA port.
And my least favourite compromise of them all- Shared Composite/Component. I have a wii, as well as 2 scart devices. The DVD recorder has composite out (though i use scart), while the wii uses composite. I thought that buying a composite cable for the DVD would work, but with their 'cost saving' solution, seems like my head's going to be round the back of the TV more often than ever soon.
I do have a Scart splitter but it sends the picture quality downhill- but it's a 'non-switched' one, maybe a switched one would work better, please advise.

What I want:
3D wouldn't be bad, i don't plan on using it anytime soon, but i want it for futureproofing, and if the prices of glasses goes down and it has 2D-3D conversion, then i could see it come into use. But i won't be paying £££'s for Sky 3D, that's for sure!

Plasma/LCD?. Panasonic seemed to have focuseed more on LCD now, and although i prefer plasma (due to my previous tv) - has LCD improved now? Also, panasonic LCD's use far less energy than plasmas as well as being lighter etc.

I envisage the 'Smart' features to get some usage, therefore built in wifi is a must, but John Lewis don't make it clear on their website whether the tvs have wifi or not. Don't want to spend extra on a dongle and whatnot.

I have yet to know how much the insurance will pay out, but i'm looking at the £600-£800 region. 42-50 inch, preferably 42-47 as 50 would be a bit of a squeeze in the alcove.

These are the tv's that i have spotted.. any good? If you find any similar ones but from other brands (that have more sockets:devil:)/other models then please advise.

LED: TXL37E5- Seems to be the best non-3D, smart one out there, and good size.

TXL42E6 This one caught my eye as it's their latest 2013 model.

[URL="http://www.johnlewis.com/panasonic-viera-tx-p42gt50b-plasma-hd-1080p-3d-smart-tv-42-inch-with-freesat-freeview-hd/p231568176]TXP42GT50[/URL]

Buy Panasonic Viera TX-L42ET5B LED HD 1080p 3D Smart TV, 42 Inch with Freeview HD and 4x 3D Glasses online at John Lewis
 
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vickster

Distinguished Member
The Panasonic website has full specs and enables you to do a comparison

Richer Sounds also have the 42ST50 plasma at £600 (+£60 for extra warranty)
 

tvbox

Member
vickster said:
The Panasonic website has full specs and enables you to do a comparison

Richer Sounds also have the 42ST50 plasma at £600 (+£60 for extra warranty)

What's the difference between the ST50 and the much-hyped on these forums- GT50? The only difference I can see is freesat.
 

vickster

Distinguished Member
The GT50 has a better AR filter I believe, USB record (I don't think the ST has this) and THX calibration tools

Can do a side by side comparison on the Panasonic site

The GT looks nicer too IMO
 

Scooby2000

Distinguished Member
Go for the GT50, will be a nice upgrade.:)

Less scart and more HDMI is due to the way all AV is now going to be connected and thank god, scart was a proper pain IMO, HDMI is way better.

LCD has improved slightly but mainly at the top end, Id stick with plasma, the running costs aren't all that much more and you'll get much more for your money.
 

tvbox

Member
Scooby2000 said:
Go for the GT50, will be a nice upgrade.:)

Less scart and more HDMI is due to the way all AV is now going to be connected and thank god, scart was a proper pain IMO, HDMI is way better.

LCD has improved slightly but mainly at the top end, Id stick with plasma, the running costs aren't all that much more and you'll get much more for your money.
Thanks, :thumbsup:
Will check out the measurements of the 50 inch one to see if it fits in the alcove, a screen size upgrade would also be nice.

And in terms of the severe drought of SCART sockets... Brainwave! The satellite box signal can loop trough the DVD recorder, which only takes up 1 SCART!!! What the quality will be like though, I'm not sure. The wii can then use the composite, and as for my amplifier which uses phono to 5 pin din- I can find an appropriate 3.5mm (headphone) adapter... Sorted!
Hopefully the Internet services will make up for the lack of VGA, still, I have my ipad which can go through one of the million HDMIs.
The other HDMI will be taken up by the sky box.

Contrary to what someone else said, though, I think that the GT50's styling is more mainstream and indifferent to other tvs while the ST50 looks a little different and I prefer it's style, but it's when it's turned on that's important. Are there differences in PQ between the GT And ST?
The freesat is nice to have- the sky sub is getting expensive, has anyone gone from sky to freesat?

On the other hand, the XX50 models are 2012, I have seen some of the 2013 ones (XX60) and one of them has a pen for operating on the screen! Very tantalising! Thing is, they'll be very expensive at this time of year as they first come out.
 
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Scooby2000

Distinguished Member
Yes 60's will cost a fair old bit more than a 50 for quite a while.

GT v ST PQ wise there isn't a great deal at all between them, compare the reviews.;)
I prefer to have more picture controls myself, the ST is a bit lacking there and if I remember the GT has a better filter but may be wrong.

GT also has THX.
 

tvbox

Member
Scooby2000 said:
Yes 60's will cost a fair old bit more than a 50 for quite a while.

GT v ST PQ wise there isn't a great deal at all between them, compare the reviews.;)
I prefer to have more picture controls myself, the ST is a bit lacking there and if I remember the GT has a better filter but may be wrong.

GT also has THX.

I'm not too bothered by the controls myself, frankly why some people spend the equivalent of a new, small TV to get theirs "calibrated" baffles me!
I just adjust it to my liking!

Anyway in the meantime I'll be doing some comparing, and the insurance verdict will be coming out soon.
 

tvbox

Member
How about this?

http://www.johnlewis.com/panasonic-...with-freeview-hd-and-4x-3d-glasses/p231538969

4 3D Glasses. Seems like this uses the better passive 3d technology, whereas the ST50 (which is my other option, I've ruled out the GT50) uses the active glasses which are considerably more expensive, need batteries, bulky, etc.

There is also a 47 inch one at £829.

What makes the ST50 better? They seem to be similar except in plasma/LCD, 3D tech and VGA port which the LCD has.

As good as the reviews have been for the ST/GT50, the lack of offers for the 3d glasses and the fact that most are switching to passive makes the ET5 sound better, but it's LED- what are the disadvantages?
 

vickster

Distinguished Member
There's a review here of the ET5 and the ST50

Panasonic ET5 (TX-L42ET5B) 3D LED LCD TV Review | AVForums.com - UK Online

Key Features

Full HD 1080p
Passive 3D
300Hz Backlight Scanning
VIERA Connect with Web Browser
Wi-Fi Built-in
DLNA
Freeview HD Built-in

Pros
Capable of bright, accurate images
3D is fantastic
The greyscale calibrated to reference standards
Packed full of features
Excellent viewing angles
4 Pairs of 3D eyewear in the box
Good calibration controls
Low input lag and energy consumption
Cons
Black level and contrast performance is weak in low light conditions
Some smearing with fast motion
Light pooling - particularly in top right corner
Web Browser is difficult to access and needs some tuning

Panasonic ST50 (TX-P50ST50B) 50 Inch 3D Plasma TV Review | AVForums.com - UK Online

Key Features

Full-HD 1920x1080
Active Shutter Progressive 3D
VIERA NeoPlasma Panel
2,000Hz Sub-field Drive
Intelligent Frame Creation Pro
Infinite Black Pro
24p Smooth Film
VIERA Connect
USB HDD Recording
WiFi Built-in
Freeview HD

Pros
Very impressive black levels
Superb contrast ratio and dynamic range
Lack of PWM noise and clean looking images
Excellent greyscale out-of-the-box
Reference greyscale when calibrated
Excellent colour gamut out-of-the-box
Reference colour gamut when calibrated
Added calibration controls
Reference level 3D playback
Minimal crosstalk
Excellent video processing
Excellent motion resolution
Built-in WiFi and Freeview HD
VIERA Connect is impressive
Well designed menus and remote control
Attractive design and excellent build quality
Cons
Subtle instances of 50Hz break-up with fast pans
Occasional posterisation and line bleed
HDMI connections too close to edge of the screen
Some users may suffer from image flicker

The ST50 will have deeper blacks, more natural hues, superior motion handling for much material, no backlight bleed, no viewing angle restrictions, possibly lower gaming lag (if that's an issue)

Aren't the glasses coming free from Panasonic with the plasmas? They had an offer running
 

tvbox

Member
Thanks.

To get the glasses, you had to have bought the TV before the 28th of February :(
 

tvbox

Member
Aargh.

50" might be too big... 42"- well, it'd be nice if I had a screen size upgrade. 46/47 would be perfect.

The Panasonic plasmas only come in one or the other. Yes, I am edging towards plasma as I've been used to it but this size dilemma is maddening. I'm this much away to cutting out a large, 50" piece of paper and holding it up to the area to see how it would look.

Are their LED's really that bad? It's going to be used for general TV viewing, news, TV shows, nature documentaries and the odd TV film.
 

tvbox

Member
http://www.johnlewis.com/panasonic-...-and-4x-3d-glasses/p231539815#tabinfo-ratings

Might have to be bye-bye to plasma- perfect size, less energy consumption, uses passive technology so better glasses.

On thing is there aren't any formal reviews of this telly, unless you can find one, google didn't bring up any.

Only thing is, need to hope that this will still be in stock over the next few weeks!

The only thing that I'm worried about is- do Panasonic do that silly feature on LED's where if some part of the picture is bright (eg a Sky OSD comes up) then the whole screen becomes bright, if its dark, the whole screen goes dark. My Samsung TV in the dining room does this and I wouldn't be able to stand it if my main tv did it, please advise. There was no way to turn this off.
 
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vickster

Distinguished Member
There's one of the 42" variant on here in the review section - comparable spec according to the blurb; and plenty of feedback in the owners thread

The new models are out in the next few weeks, no guranatees it'll still be around or that the price won't rise

I do think the ET5 has the auto dimming but check the review and the owner thread
 

tvbox

Member
vickster said:
There's one of the 42" variant on here in the review section - comparable spec according to the blurb; and plenty of feedback in the owners thread

The new models are out in the next few weeks, no guranatees it'll still be around or that the price won't rise

I do think the ET5 has the auto dimming but check the review and the owner thread

According to one source, the dynamic dimming can be switched off by using True Cinema mode.
 

vickster

Distinguished Member
I'd ask in the owners thread - someone could check for you :) Rather than going by a single review. Or go to John Lewis or RS and ask to play with the TV (which you should do before buying regardless)
 

ramdrive

Banned
Hi Tvbox,

I am in the same boat as you, I need to update my 4 year old Panasonic TX-L37S10B and have been looking at the Panasonic TX-L42FT60B LED or the Panasonic TX-P42G60B Plasma.

Looking at the new reviews of the G60B I have decided to go for it when I can find stock at my local JL.

I think this is going to be THE mid range plasma of 2013.

Have you made a decision yet?
 

tvbox

Member
ramdrive said:
Hi Tvbox,

I am in the same boat as you, I need to update my 4 year old Panasonic TX-L37S10B and have been looking at the Panasonic TX-L42FT60B LED or the Panasonic TX-P42G60B Plasma.

Looking at the new reviews of the G60B I have decided to go for it when I can find stock at my local JL.

I think this is going to be THE mid range plasma of 2013.

Have you made a decision yet?


I couldn't wait any longer and wanted to save a few bob so got the TX-L47ET5 LED two weeks ago, the midrange 3D LED of last year.

I think by now you'd be hard pressed to find a 2012 model now, but if you can and it's a good one (ST50 and above for plasma, ET5 and above for LED) then it's worth considering.

You could say that the GT60 is leaning towards the higher end, it comes with the extra remote for voice commands, for example. The ST60 would be the midrange one.
 

ramdrive

Banned
That L47ET5 looks nice, how are you finding the black levels and screen uniformity?

My worry of going from LED to Plasma is the loss of brightness and sharpness, my current S10B is bright and vivid also bitingly sharp with HD material.

I bet you noticed a difference in sharpness coming from the X10!
 

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