Review of the Panasonic TX-L42E6EW LCD TV

When I moved to my new apartment (more on that in the following post in a minute) I needed a TV. I didn’t want to spend much, but the TV still needed to provide a good image quality. After reading this review and considering the other options, I decided to buy the Panasonic TX-L42E6EW LCD TV for € 490. Having considered the competitors, I think this Panasonic model is one of the best choices in this price range. But another factor which influenced my decision is that Panasonic has a plan to adopt Firefox OS for their TV’s, which earned them significant goodwill with me. A photo of the TV is seen in the following post.

I chose a 42 inch model because the combination of that size with the distance from my couch allows the benefit of full HD to become visible. A larger TV would have been too dominant in the room. I think the white color of the TV blends nicely into the white wall and matches with the white Audioengine A2 speakers. I’m not really bothered by the supposed lower quality of the TV’s integrated speakers, but I got a separate speaker set because I also use my TV to stream music from Deezer. This way I don’t need a separate device to stream music, which would cost more money and consume more electricity.

I barely watch TV channels, so I didn’t bother with getting a subscription to receive them. The only thing I like to watch frequently is the TV news of the Dutch public broadcasting service, but I do that on my PC. For films and TV series I watch Netflix on my TV for just € 8 a month. So all I need is the Internet connection. With Tele2’s VDSL2 I get an excellent speed of 50/5Mb/s down/up for just € 10 a month (in the first year, in the second year it will be € 30). I actually measured 8,95 Mb/s down and 5,45 Mb/s up with the Speedtest website, but  I’m really satisfied with the fast upload speed. It allows me to upload large photos to Flickr quickly.

I’m satisfied with the TV, but it does have some issues. Downright stupid is that the headphone volume is separate from the main volume, and that the integrated speakers still keep playing when I connect with the headphone input. Obviously they should be muted, why would you connect a headphone otherwise? In my case I don’t connect a headphone but the Audioengine A2 speakers, as far as I know the headphone input is the only way to connect them (RCA cables don’t work). Because the remote control can only change the main volume I have to walk over to the speakers and change the volume by hand.

Three other issues are that you can’t design your own home screen without the live TV widget, which would be useful because I don’t have a TV subscription. Some of the smart TV apps require that you have a VIERA Connect account if you want to use them, even if they are free, which is silly. I would also like to a button to turn of the panel while the TV remains turned on so that energy is conserved when it’s streaming music.

Couch and Panasonic TX-L42E6EW LCD TV

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