Panasonic D25 (TX-L42D25B) Review

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<img src="http://www.avforums.com/news/images/20100521162603.jpg" align="right" width="100" height="68">Reviewed by Stephen Withers, 21st May 2010.
Overall the TX-L42D25B is a great LCD HDTV with an excellent greyscale, accurate colours, good quality deinterlacing and a very pleasing picture.
Read the full review...
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Prodo

Novice Member
Quoted from the Review:
"The C.A.T.S. (Contrast Automatic Tracking System) function is designed to improve the contrast performance of the TX-L42D25B by adjusting the brightness from scene to scene but this can cause fluctuations in the image and is best left off.
"

This seems to be wrong. Quoted from the manual:
"Contrast Automatic Tracking System (Automatic Brightness Controll function) adjusts picture settings automatically dependend on ambient lightning conditions."

Which ends in the question if there is any mode where the dynamic change of backlight level will be avoided. If there is no mode without this dynamic backlight the TV is not realy interesting in my opinion. What about the Professional 1 and Professional 2 or True Cinema settings? Is the dynamic change of backlight level switched to off in this modes?
 

Phil Hinton

Editor
Staff member
Quoted from the Review:
This seems to be wrong. Quoted from the manual:


No, it quite a correct assessment of the feature, when has a manual ever given the correct information?;) It changes scene by scene as it looks at the lighting or environment conditions and then looks at the picture luminance on screen and adjusts it accordingly, so scene by scene taking in the ambient conditions. Of course the best thing to do for a more accurate picture is to switch it off whatever mode you are in. Nice to have the choice.
 

Prodo

Novice Member
That means C.A.T.S. off will switch off the sensor for ambient lightning and the dynamic backlight depending on bright and dark parts in picture in one step?
 

Phil Hinton

Editor
Staff member
That means C.A.T.S. off will switch off the sensor for ambient lightning and the dynamic backlight depending on bright and dark parts in picture in one step?
If you don't want CATS to change the image depending on scene and environment switch it off.
 

Noplex

Standard Member
Thanks for the great review, I've been waiting to read an in depth review about this TV so I can make a decision on which TV to upgrade too.


I've narrowed my choice down to 3 TVs but I'm struggling to make a final decision. Out of the 3 TVs below, which would you (or anyone on these forums) choose?

My main deciding factors are outlined below, my biggest two concerns are the viewing distance for watching SD Sky+ and the response times for gaming. I'm a big online gamer, with Modern Warfare 2 taking my time at the moment.

For reference, I current use a cheapo 32 inch Technosonic (LCD3251), so anything is an upgrade.

Any advice and opinions would be greatly appreciated

LG SL8000 (response - 2ms, as per LG website)
LG 42SL8000 LCD HDTV Review at AVForums.com

Sony KDL-40EX503 (response - 8ms on half firing pistons, quoted in store[/SIZE](EX403 review)
Sony KDL-40EX403 Review at AVForums.com

Panasonic 42D25B (response 30ms as per review)


Deciding factors
2.4 meters minimum seated distance from screen
Mainly used for gaming from a PS3
Standard def Sky+ for TV viewing
All movies are from Blu-ray or High def movie files (currently played via PS3)
 
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Steve Withers

Reviewer
That's an interesting dilemma that you have there Noplex as all three are great displays.

I didn't actually review the LG but I own one myself and I think they make very good displays, although as David says in his review the black level could be better. Still it has good deinterlacing and scaling for SD material and a low input lag so it would meet all your needs.

Once again I didn't review the Sony in question but based on Phil's review the display produces a great picture and you get Freeview HD as well but the input lag might be a bit slow for you.

The Panasonic is a great all-rounder with a great picture, good deinterlacing ad scaling for SD material, low input lag, Internet TV, Freeview HD and Freesat HD if that's of interest.

Your proposed viewing distance would be fine for all three TVs but you might prefer a 42" size.

As always my advice would be to try and demo them in a store before you decide.
 

mmalamos

Novice Member
Steve

Thank you for the review. I was looking forward to reading this.

I am currently undecided over two sets the Panasonic 42D25B and the Panasonic 42G20B. I prefer the G20 but the wife is not a huge fan of the gloss black finish and these days this is a problem!

For reference i currently own an ancient Panasonix TX-26LXD1 if I got the model right (one of the first Viera LCD TVs to come out, the silver one with the wing speakers). Compared to my current set which is not even HD ready, i think either of the choices mentioned will be brilliant.

I do not object to the D25 and I have to say I like they styling, however after years of owing an LCD TV occasionally I am a bit annoyed about the bright blacks. Obviously my set is years old (7 years now) and the technology has moved on lots since then.

I am likely to use the TV with a denon receiver which will be doing most of the AV switching and upscaling/passthrough. I also tend to use it a lot for my AppleTV and hopefully some Freeview HD broadcasts (I hate sky).

Based on the above, I will be grateful if you cast the winning vote Steve - No pressure!:)

Thanks

Michael
 

Phil Hinton

Editor
Staff member
Steve

Thank you for the review. I was looking forward to reading this.

Based on the above, I will be grateful if you cast the winning vote Steve - No pressure!:)

Thanks

Michael
Hi Michael,

Although we work hard with the reviews to produce the most in-depth and unbiased content possible, I don't think it fair to ask questions like which is best. This is for obvious reasons. There are no perfect TVs and it really is a case of the reader needing to look at all the information available, including reviews like ours and then coming to their own conclusions. Hope that helps.
 

mmalamos

Novice Member
Thanks Phil and apologies, I did not mean to 'break' any rules.

Will certainly take in both reviews here at AV Forums and put them against each other in a shop floor when I get the chance.

Thanks for the prompt reply.

Michael
 

Phil Hinton

Editor
Staff member
Thanks Phil and apologies, I did not mean to 'break' any rules.

Will certainly take in both reviews here at AV Forums and put them against each other in a shop floor when I get the chance.

Thanks for the prompt reply.

Michael
No rules broken. It's just an impossible question to ask that's all.
 

strokem

Standard Member
Great!
:)
Luckily i joined this forum.
Hardly to make a decision whether to buy this TV or not.
thanks a lot man! :)
 

Noplex

Standard Member
Steve,

Thanks for the reply, it is indeed an interest dilemma. After a couple of days demo-ing all 3 TVs, I've settled on the Panasonic. It does all I require and more.

Plus, with John Lewis currently doing it cheaper than anyone else, (with 5yr guarantee and a free Blu-ray player), it seemed like the right choice.

It arrives on Tuesday, :clap: shame it's not before the Bank Hol week though!

Thanks to all at AVForums, for the reviews I've read in my new tv research.
 

KelvinS1965

Distinguished Member
Dissapointed with the backlighting uniformity (seems to be an issue generally with LED edge lit sets) and also the lack of backlight control: IMHO being able to turn down the backlight to achieve my desired picture brightness is an essential requirement with an LCD TV as most seem to be set far too brightly for my particular taste and environment.

I'm also slightly confussed with the comment about the contrast control not controlling the backlight as I've always thought that it was a separate control. The contrast is more of a 'drive' or 'gain' control which sets the level at which the display clips white, or however best to describe it. Although many LCDs don't seem to clip white even at maximum contrast (both my older Sony LCDs are like this), they may well 'run out' of one colour and which means full white will be produced with a tint. I still need to back off the contrast so that 109 IRE is displayed at 6500K with both my sets. In conjunction I use the backlighting control to set the maximum fL I require (around 30-35fL in my case seems to suit my taste, but that's a personal thing).

Looks like I'll be re reading the Sony reviews for the CFL backlit models again...
 
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Prodo

Novice Member
I'm also slightly confussed with the comment about the contrast control not controlling the backlight as I've always thought that it was a separate control.
Which comment?

The contrast is more of a 'drive' or 'gain' control which sets the level at which the display clips white, or however best to describe it.
Normally yes but at this TV the contrast setting is conrolling the backlight.
 

Steve Withers

Reviewer
Hi Kelvin, perhaps I didn't explain myself very well in the review but as Prodo says the control that is called 'Contrast' on the D25 is actually the backlight control, so you can turn the backlight down. However there is no real contrast control that affects the white level on the D25 which is why I comment on there being a tiny bit of clipping that I could do nothing about.

I hope that makes sense.
 

Prodo

Novice Member
No, it quite a correct assessment of the feature, when has a manual ever given the correct information?;) It changes scene by scene as it looks at the lighting or environment conditions and then looks at the picture luminance on screen and adjusts it accordingly, so scene by scene taking in the ambient conditions. Of course the best thing to do for a more accurate picture is to switch it off whatever mode you are in. Nice to have the choice.
I have bought the TV (37" version) and it is simply wrong what you are saying. C.A.T.S in Germany called eco is responsible for activating or deactivating the ambient light sensor. You can see how it works if you place your finger on the sensor in a bright room.

The scene by scene change of the backlight is depending on the used mode. In dynamic and standard mode the intelligent scene controller is on and is changing backlight level depending on blacks and whites in the current picture. You can check it with a black picture - press the menu button when the Panasonic displays the black picture - you will see a change of backlight level in standard and dynamic mode because the menu is shown. In all other modes the itelligent scene controller is off. That means in true cinema, game, professional 1 and professional 2 mode there is no backlight changing depending on black and whites percentage in the picture. I think that is a very good solution.

So finally I have to say sometimes manuals are giving the right information. ;)
 

Phil Hinton

Editor
Staff member
I have bought the TV (37" version) and it is simply wrong what you are saying. C.A.T.S in Germany called eco is responsible for activating or deactivating the ambient light sensor. You can see how it works if you place your finger on the sensor in a bright room.

The scene by scene change of the backlight is depending on the used mode. In dynamic and standard mode the intelligent scene controller is on and is changing backlight level depending on blacks and whites in the current picture. You can check it with a black picture - press the menu button when the Panasonic displays the black picture - you will see a change of backlight level in standard and dynamic mode because the menu is shown. In all other modes the itelligent scene controller is off. That means in true cinema, game, professional 1 and professional 2 mode there is no backlight changing depending on black and whites percentage in the picture. I think that is a very good solution.

So finally I have to say sometimes manuals are giving the right information. ;)
Exactly what I have explained above. You didn't ask about the modes it should be used in. But you obviously now have your answer.
 

pansat

Standard Member
I have bought the TV (37" version) and it is simply wrong what you are saying. C.A.T.S in Germany called eco is responsible for activating or deactivating the ambient light sensor. You can see how it works if you place your finger on the sensor in a bright room.

The scene by scene change of the backlight is depending on the used mode. In dynamic and standard mode the intelligent scene controller is on and is changing backlight level depending on blacks and whites in the current picture. You can check it with a black picture - press the menu button when the Panasonic displays the black picture - you will see a change of backlight level in standard and dynamic mode because the menu is shown. In all other modes the itelligent scene controller is off. That means in true cinema, game, professional 1 and professional 2 mode there is no backlight changing depending on black and whites percentage in the picture. I think that is a very good solution.

So finally I have to say sometimes manuals are giving the right information. ;)
Hi Prodo, Could you give your view on this set. I am thinking to go for this or L42. Thanks
 

pansat

Standard Member
Hi Noplex, Is there anything you do not like with this LED? Please share your experience with us. Thanks
 

Prodo

Novice Member
I would say the HD picture of this set is really perfect with natural colours and very good details. This set definetly has uniformity issues on the borders. At normal viewing distance infront of the TV and if you are not watching in a completely dark room you will not (or nearly not) see it. Standard definition looks like standard definition. Maybe there are TVs which doing a better job with SD.

After calibration the color temperature is very good. The cie-chart is really perfect.

The sound is better than I would have expected. Black levels are ok but there are definitely TVs which doing a better job in this category. In my opinion the C.A.T.S. system is doing a good job because is only changes backlight depending on ambient light conditions. So I would say it is not really necessary to do two presets for daylight and night scenes. The is a small effect of more blue with higher backlight levels at the top of greyscale - I suggest the backlight has a higher color temperature than 6,5K - but I don't think that it is really worth to do a second preset only to correct this effect. The intelligenct scene controller does also a good job if you like this - it is a subtile effect in cinema mode but it ruins gamma (that's normal). There are a lot of TVs which doing this in much more agressive way. Another advantage is that there is no reflective screen as most TVs having this year.

So I would say if you are watching HD-Material most of the time in a room which is not perfectly dark this is absolutely the right set. If you are watching in a dark room there are better TVs. I have ordered a second one because of an uniformity issue in the lower left corner. But a have read serveral reviews and tests now. This is a problem which is common this year whith edgle-lit TVs. One advantage of LED is that you don't have to wait up to 20 minutes for maximum light output like at CCFL. The disadvantages are the uniformity issues. And the TV uses an IPS panel which means better viewing angles but not so much contrast as other TVs with U2VA panels and reflective screens.
 

pansat

Standard Member
Prodo, Many thanks. I have just ordered one. I will look at the non-uniformity carefully.
Pansat.
 

Blanka

Standard Member
Hi guys, thanks for this great review.

I have just ordered this tv also partly because I was limited due to the options presented to me from my insurance company.

My only question is this, I played a fair bit of games on my sharp telly but will I notice any of the input lag issues attributed to this panel given that my old screen was a sharp LC-42XD1E which I loved to bits after I finaly calibrated it to my liking, one reason or another it got writ-off by my insurer and this monday
I am going to be collecting my new panasonic. If my old tv was that old sharp which had input lag times of 6ms will I notice any noticeable difference when I start gaming on this new panasonic telly??? As I am keen gamer and audiophile so I pick up alot of discrepancies??? Nonetheless honest comments will be grealty appreciated.:thumbsup:
 

Steve Withers

Reviewer
Hi Blanka

I think overall the input lag for the D25 is pretty good but as to whether you will notice it compared to your old Sharp can only really be answered once you start playing. How much people notice input lag tends to vary from person to person, for example I'm not a big gamer so it never bothers me but I know other people who can't stand any lag.

However even though your choice may have been limited by your insurance company, I think you'll be happy with the D25.
 

Blanka

Standard Member
Hi Blanka

I think overall the input lag for the D25 is pretty good but as to whether you will notice it compared to your old Sharp can only really be answered once you start playing. How much people notice input lag tends to vary from person to person, for example I'm not a big gamer so it never bothers me but I know other people who can't stand any lag.

However even though your choice may have been limited by your insurance company, I think you'll be happy with the D25.
Thank you I think so too this TV betters my old sharp telly in soo many ways I am kinda over the moon in securing it form my insurer, I cant wait till tomorrow to find out if my order has been processed yet ?

Anyways, thanks dude.
 

tallandyuk

Standard Member
Reviewed by Stephen Withers, 21st May 2010.
Overall the TX-L42D25B is a great LCD HDTV with an excellent greyscale, accurate colours, good quality deinterlacing and a very pleasing picture.
Read the full review...
I have one of these and have to say i,m very happy with it. The only downside is if you want to connect to the internet via wireless you need to buy panasonics own wi-fi dongle at £79.99 this is very excessive when you can buy others for 20 or so. We,ve tried 3 dongles none worked quicl call to panasonic and they conformed need there own to work
 

Steve Withers

Reviewer
I suspected as much and £80 is a bit steep but the dongle comes included with the V20 which is useful to know if any of you are thinking of either getting the D25 or the V20.
 

pansat

Standard Member
I have one of these and have to say i,m very happy with it. The only downside is if you want to connect to the internet via wireless you need to buy panasonics own wi-fi dongle at £79.99 this is very excessive when you can buy others for 20 or so. We,ve tried 3 dongles none worked quicl call to panasonic and they conformed need there own to work
I bought home plug adaptors from Amazon £41. This is cheaper than wireless option and is probably more reliable.

My TV is L42D26B from Comet. The surround is black rather than metallic grey for D25B version. I have not got time to try with BD yet, but so far SD and DVD all look good.

- Pansat
 

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