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Panasonic TX-L47ET60B 3D LED TV Review

It was only two weeks ago that Panasonic Europe invited journalists from across this continent to France to show off their 2013 range of Plasma and LED LCD TVs; now review units are already beginning to trickle out. The first to show up at HDTVTest is the company’s’s midrange Viera LED LCD TV, the 47-inch TX-L47ET60B (also available in 42, 50 and 55″ screen sizes).

Some time ago, Panasonic produced Plasma TVs exclusively, although following industry trends which prioritise other factors above overall picture quality, the Japanese brand now produces a much wider range of LED-lit televisions, too. Of course, when we consider the viewing environment, there are situations where LED LCD is the best choice: Panasonic’s own recommendation is to go for LED TV for very bright rooms and Plasma for dark environments, which we completely agree with.

The ET60 series sits roughly in the middle of Panasonic’s 2013 LCD output, and is the company’s most affordable 3D-capable edge-lit LED LCD television this year. Picture quality differences between the ET60 and the higher-up models (namely the FT60, DT60 DT65, and at the top end of LED LCD lineup, WT60 WT65) don’t appear to be gigantic, going from the spec sheets alone (although we’ll withhold judgement until we see those too). Higher-priced models are rated as having a higher motion rate, and the LCD flagship WT60 WT65 is branded as having “Infinite Contrast” (hmm, infinite? We’ll see!) whereas the lower-down models, including this ET60, is rated as having “Brilliant Contrast”. There are some differences in off-axis viewing angle performance expected, too.

Update: Panasonic advised us that the DT60 and the WT60 series will be called DT65 and WT65 in the UK to reflect their premium status and availability only through a number of approved dealers. Ditto goes for the Panasonic VT60 and ZT60 plasmas which will be known as the VT65 and ZT65 respectively in the United Kingdom.

All of Panasonic’s 2013 LED TVs deliver tri-dimensional images via passive 3D technology (meaning ultra-cheap, plentiful 3-D glasses, but lessened 3D picture resolution), which further differentiates the LED LCD and plasma categories. Finally, the Panasonic TX-L47ET60 does not feature the firm’s new “Hexa-Processing Engine”, instead using the older V-Real 3D Pro chipset, and doesn’t feature a built-in camera or twin HD tuners. It does feature Panasonic’s new “My Home Screen” smart TV layout though, which we’ll touch on in the review.

We expect that the price is going to come in at slightly above the £1000 mark, meaning that as usual, there will be a fairly high amount of cash attached to the premium design. Let’s see if Panasonic can produce a nice LED LCD HDTV for users with bright environments.

Note: The specific model we reviewed was the Panasonic TX-L47ET60B, which denotes the 3-pin-plug British version. Although we did not test the smaller, 42-inch TX-L42ET60B/ TX-L42ET60, there shouldn’t be any significant difference in picture performance given similar specifications within the ET60 range.


Panasonic TX-L47ET60B

Looking at Panasonic’s LED LCD (and plasma) designs over the past few years has been interesting. In just a few years, the company has gone from producing industrial-looking consumer products to turning out some truly sleek flat-screen TVs. We prefer to comment on what’s on the screen rather than what’s around it, but would never say no to sleeker designs, which is certainly what Panasonic is producing. The entire LED TV lineup for 2013 follows a “glass and metal” design philosophy. For the Viera ET60 series, that means a very thin, sharp-cornered metal bezel, a silver stand, and our favourite design feature, a transparent “glass”-like strip at the bottom of the screen, which houses three indicator LEDs, which appear to “float” in mid-air.

Transparent strip closeup

It looks very sleek indeed, and sleek in its own right, rather than as an imitation of what the Korean manufacturers (who were ahead in the style game) are doing. In terms of producing solid-feeling products, Panasonic is probably in the top spot. The entire unit feels built to last; no parts of it flex or bend.


Rear connections on Panasonic TX-L47ET60
  • 3 HDMI inputs
  • 2 USB terminals
  • 1 shared Component/Composite input
  • 1 RGB SCART input (via adapter)
  • RF antenna input
  • Ethernet terminal (wireless also built in)
  • Digital audio output
  • Headphone output
  • SD Card slot


There are a good number of operational changes on the 2013 Panasonic HDTVs. The most obvious one is the addition of “My Home Screen”. There’s also a decent amount of new video processing controls for us to decipher the purpose of.

My Home screen is the first thing seen upon power up, and is clearly inspired by the smartphone world. You can pin various apps to the predefined positions on the home screen, and indeed, watching television is positioned simply as another app, competing for your attention (and screen space) alongside the likes of Skype, Netflix, and BBC iPlayer.

If you just want the TX-L47ET60 to behave more like a traditional TV, you can also have it start up to show full-screen TV, too: My Home Screen can even be totally ignored if you so choose.

My Home Screen
My Home Screen

My Home Screen is an addition, not a replacement, for the traditional main menu that houses the picture quality settings. You can still press MENU on the remote, as always, to adjust these. As we mentioned, the TXL47ET60B doesn’t feature Panasonic’s latest “hexa-core” video processor, but there are still some changes and new menu options. In fact, some of the controls present here are reminiscent of those on the American Panasonic TVs (which featured completely different menus, and appeared to have less of an emphasis on simplification), making us wonder if there’s been some sort of internal unification effort.

The top-level picture adjustment, [Viewing Mode], gives us the option of “True Cinema” (which has been present for a few years on midrange European-territory Panasonic HDTVs, and is their “hands off” accurate picture mode), as well as the new “Custom”, previously only seen stateside. “True Cinema” is still the mode to use for accurate video with minimal effort, although “Custom” can be set up to do the same job, albeit with a few more button presses.

[Picture] menu
[Picture] menu

By the way, as you can see, the UK-variant model now has numbers in the menus. Other European countries have had this for a while; UK models, for some reason, did not.

Starting down the list, we also now have separate [Backlight] and [Contrast] controls. Both of these affect light output from the screen, but in different ways (Backlight directly controls the luminance of the LED lights which illuminate the LCD panel, Contrast controls the digital white level). Previously, these were tied together into one control. The rest of the options operate as expected. We now also have an on/off switch for [Adaptive Backlight Control], which was previously unavailable in the accurate “True Cinema” mode. There’s an [Ambient Sensor] which adjusts the screen light output relative to the viewing environment (previously known as [C.A.T.S.]).

The [Adaptive Backlight Control] varies the intensity of the edge LED lighting relative to the video being shown on the LCD panel (predominantly dark scenes result in the lights being dimmed, at the expense of bright objects in these scenes appearing less white – this is an LCD TV so can’t do both at full intensity together at once). Based on our visual observation, the “Min” setting appears to dim the LEDs only, whereas the “Max” setting dims the LEDs even more, but also applies contrast stretching in the video processor to try to keep the whites as bright as possible. With the “Max” setting, highlight details can be crushed out as a result, if they are present in a predominantly dark scene. As purists you might think that we would leave this Off entirely, but in reality, we’d advise that users do check out the “Min” setting – after all, contrast is an important part of picture quality, and IPS LCD panels do need help in displaying deep blacks… even if it is at the expense of other areas of picture quality. The choice is up to the user.

[24p Smooth Film], or [Intelligent Frame Creation] (the name changes depending on the input frame rate) is a motion interpolation system, which we’ll talk about later.

Advanced settings
Advanced picture settings

From here, we have even more new picture adjustments scattered across several menus. In addition to 10-point White Balance, 10-point Gamma, and 3-axis control over the Red, Green and Blue colours, we have an [Adaptive Gamma Control] (which is best thought of as a variation on the “dynamic contrast” technique), a [Black Expander] which sounds like an adjustment for low-end gamma (shadowed areas), and also [Clear White Effect], which applies a blue tint to bright areas of the picture; apparently this is psychovisually associated with the whites being “clearer”.

The [Option Settings] screen has a toggle for the [Game Mode] (which was previously a separate picture mode), [Film Cadence Mode] (previously called “Clear Cinema” on UK models, we’ll discuss it later), and [1080p Pixel Direct] (we’ll discuss that later too). The confusing [HDMI Content Type], also first seen on the USA Panasonic HDTVs, is now in Europe as well. There’s also a control for [HDMI RGB Range], which can be helpful for getting the correct picture setup for users connecting computers to their TVs.

Lastly, there’s another new menu, [Screen Settings], which houses the option for [16:9 Overscan], and also features the strange [H-Size], which allows you to horizontally stretch the picture.



  1. What exactly is the function of the [1080p Pixel Direct] feature? If I picked one of these up it would be for gaming, and you mention that it’s best to have this option off.

  2. @Dose: that feature cuts out some optional video processing (Noise blurring, MPEG compression artefact filtering) which enthusiast users don’t want to use with high quality sources (like Blu-ray) anyway. And in return, you get better chroma resolution, so tiny coloured details reach the screen without being blurred out. It’s a very subtle difference with video but is more obvious if you hook up a computer.

  3. Thanks David. Switching to game mode would automatically turn off most of those video processing settings anyway I imagine? As you say, the loss of full chroma resolution is a small price to pay. Cheers!

  4. Thanks David. Been playing with this years models too. Some welcome additions to the menus at last. The lower end E6 features the same options but also seems to sport a Non-IPS (Samsung?) panel instead of the LG IPS panel featured in the set you reviewed. It certainly had all the signs of such a panel including the horrible blood-red browns often associated with those cheaper panels.

    I was wondering why you have chosen to go back to the Vs. CRT Lag test method again for this review? I have recently purchased the Leo Bodnar tester after reading about it.

    Best wishes.

  5. i hope panasonic have a good run this year they deserve it.

  6. Hi David, great review as usual! An answer for you: do you see an improvement comparing st60 to last year’s st50?
    Is it worth the wait or better take the st50 at lower price?
    Thanks in advance.

  7. ops, in the last post I typed ST instead of ET… sorry :(

  8. David Mackenzie

    @Mike: We’ve not reviewed an ST60 yet – hopefully soon!

    @Pob: we’re going to speak more about input lag, how we’re measuring it, and why, soon :)

  9. Hello David, what happened to the Leo Bodnar input lag tester?
    Does this site have both versions, 1080p and 720p?

    The next TV I buy will have to have 1 frame (16.7ms) or less of total input lag or I’m not buying it. My BenQ pc monitor has 7ms input lag (as measured by so I hooked up the xbox360 to that instead of our LG plasma and you can feel the difference online.

  10. @David:- I am very interested :) I have been measuring anything that moves since the purchase of the tester and have recorded measurements on more than 30 screens with certain monitors reading less than 8MS. Although it initially upsets existing data on reviews and such, it would be nice to have a consistent comparative benchmark along with published acceptable minimum figures considered suitable for gaming. I have used the cloned output Vs. CRT in the past and found measurements to be rather variable and stubborn in nature.

  11. Should I wait for FT60 or would this TV do the trick? My first 3D-telly, mainly for movies and PS3 gaming. Hexa processing in FT60 for multitasking only or..? Would the 50″ be worth of extra 200€ or would a 47″ be a wiser choise?


  12. To Bender and others concerned with input lag. Panasonic commercial plasmas have less than one frame of input delay, I have a TH-42PF50U plugged into my computer workstation and mouse input are very fast almost CRT like.
    one more thing, since the TH-xxPF30U motion resolution is 1200 lines on all pro models

  13. I have a new 2013 ET60, great mechanical and picture quality !

    One issue I cannot resolve though…
    No matter what I try, cannot get the Media Player files (on USB stick) to play in 5.1 Digital Dolby surround sound. I know these files contain 5.1 Dolby Digital (6 channel) since they worked on my older Samsung… I did select the proper audio channel (AAC surround is shown in SAP menu and selected), but only get stereo from the Optical Digital Audio output connected to my Sony A/V Reciever (no hdmi). Please let me know if you have similar experience, or solution…thanks / Max

  14. All these newer TVs seem to have dropped the VGA connector…how can I connect my PC to this TV? Ive tried HDMI cabling on other TVs but get a number of issues, like no sound, skipping playback, etc

  15. Hi David

    I just wanted to ask How can I cCalibrate The 42 inch Version of this TV which I got Today!
    I mean do I need Special Equipment in order to do that?



  16. Hi!

    Thank you for great reviews!

    Is it possible to get your recommended settings for this TV…

    Best Regards

  17. Hi again!

    I understand that copying settings from the web won’t get me a calibrated TV. I just want to know what is your recommendation regarding Backlight, contrast and Brightness and if you prefer Custom or True Cinema mode.


  18. David
    I am thinking of buying a 3D TV so have being reading 3D model reviews to become more familiar with the technology and an informed view of the various models available. I had come down if favour of Passive 3D. Yours is the first review I have read that mentions “black lines” over the 3D picture in relation to passive 3D. In this review you state on the one hand that the 3D picture “looks fantastic” and at the same time say that black lines arising from the passive methodology are actually visible when watching 3D content. Twq statements which seem to me to be completely mutually exclusive. I need help here.

    Regards, technically ignorant and now totally confused



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