This affordable 720p plasma is tooled to the max with desirable tech. LG’s familar IPTV and apps hub is on-board and it supports a broad range of multimedia file formats. Wi-Fi may not be integrated, but it’s 3D ready although Bluetooth 3D glasses are an optional extra.
For a budget screen, there’s an astonishing level of picture control on offer; LG optimistically quotes a contrast ratio of 3,000,000:1, but minor moans about black level limitations seem inappropriate given the price. A pixel orbiter is provided to negate screen burn (although that’s really not an issue these days) and there’s a de rigueur 600Hz motion processor. The sound system only makes an average noise though, at just 2 x 10W.
Reg Rating 80%
More info LG
Panasonic Viera TX-L42ET5
The first in Panasonic’s affordable line of 2012 LED TVs, the ET5 cuts quite a dash. The glossy, grey frame is sensationally svelte, and there’s a features list as long as Angelina Jolie’s pins. The set offers the same on-line access to the brand’s streaming TV portal as its more expensive cousins, which means BBC iPlayer, YouTube and Netflix amongst others – and there’s comprehensive file playback from USB too.
The panel also works with those inexpensive 3D goggles you can pocket from the local multiplex. But while image quality is fine for daytime TV consumption, motion resolution is a tad limited, which may take the shine off for armchair sports enthusiasts.
Reg Rating 75%
More info Panasonic
Next page: Panasonic Viera TX-P42UT50
Re: Price of energy
Sorry, but that's bollocks.
Let's say you've not bothered to shop around much and are paying a stupid rate for power like 15p per kw/h. Let's say you watch five hours of TV a day on average. Let's say you've got a 46" set like many of those on test.
Difference in annual energy bills between an ultra-efficient LCD tv pulling circa 100W and a guzzly plasma set pulling circa 200W? £28.
If your idea of "significant" is less than £30 a year then what are you doing spending nearly a grand on a telly?
wiggers the ST30 is last years model.
However it doesn't alter the fact the ST50 is probably the best TV you can buy for under a grand and Reg Hardware completely ignores it.
More details please
TV sets one important question.
What is the picture like?
I've avoid the Philips
We have a three year old Philips 37PFL.
Last weekend the power button went inside the casing
A phone call to Philips revealed that they had no interest in fixing it and, even if they did, they'd charge £120 for an uplift
having nothing to lose, we took the back off. the offending bit is a flimsy, springy plastic fork that retains the switch, causes it to bend and trigger a microswitch. It is not fit for purpose and I have to assume they think you will keep it on standby when not in use. Googling proved it to be a known design flaw
We switch the thing on, restraining the switch and put a through power switch on the power cord. That was £3
Lesson learned, don't buy Philips
I got 2 Panasonic plasmas recently :-)
Picked up a "dumb" 42" (720p) Panasonic Viera plasma for 399 quid and a "smart" 50" version (1080p) for 599 quid - John Lewis with 5 year guarantee and free Saturday delivery. Both stay in standby until I use them because you're talking around 300W each with the screen active (though both can have audio only at much lower power usage if you're listening to digital/Net radio). Both are sweet sets, though suffer from the glossy screen effect if it's a bright day.
I remain fairly unconvinced about "smart TVs" - you're better off getting a dumb one and sticking a 200 quid media centre PC (with a couple of Freeview HD or Freesat tuners), which will give you a lot more than whatever the manufacture thinks you deserve on the set's Net connection.
Mind you, Panasonic are offering Eurosport Player for free for a month on their smart TVs - now I wonder if that'll hold out until late July, so I can see their Olympics coverage in addition the BBC's? :-)