Review: Panasonic Viera TX-L55ET5B, Great For Passive 3D

 
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Published: December 17, 2012 11:00 AM
By Pierre-Jean Alzieu
Translated by: Hugh Ehreth
The Panasonic Viera TX-L55ET5B is the 55-inch version of the Panasonic Viera TX-L47ET5B, which we reviewed here.

It features a glossy LCD screen with Edge LED backlighting (LEDs that shine from the edge of the screen), online apps, DLNA and a good media player. It supports NTFS external storage devices and most of the HD movies we tried.

Based on our readings, the panel is slower than average, with a 12 ms response time. After choosing the best settings for watching movies (see inset), we got a quality image with accurate colours (average Delta E = 3.7), a balanced gamma and 7,000-kelvin colour temperature. The big problem with this screen is the contrast ratio, which we measured at 1150:1. That's far too low, creating blacks that are closer to grey than black. The upside to this is that there's absolutely no clouding (light patches on dark images).

The passive 3D technology gives the TX-L55ET5B virtually no crosstalk (four pairs of 3D glasses are included). The sound, however, is disappointing. It saturates horribly and the volume is low. As is common to Edge LED screens, the TX-L55ET5B uses little power.

For more about the Panasonic Viera TX-L55ET5B, please refer to our review of the 47-inch model, the Panasonic Viera TX-L47ET5B.

Sometimes manufacturers fit the different sized models of a given TV with different panels. In these cases our comments apply only to the model size we tested. This is because the contrast, black levels, colour fidelity and ghosting are all subject to change from one panel to another.

Manufacturers who use the same panel for each model size can expect the same results across the product line. The only factor that could be prone to variation is the brightness, which would produce slightly different contrast. However, according to our tests (and assurances from manufacturers), when the same panel is used the results from one TV can indeed be accurately applied to the other model sizes in the series.


3/5 Panasonic Viera TX-L55ET5B DigitalVersus 2012-12-17 12:00:00

Pros

  • Good image in 2D and 3D
  • Accurate colours (average Delta E = 3.7)
  • Virtually no crosstalk in 3D mode
  • Four pairs of 3D glasses included

Cons

  • Very low black level (.18 cd/m²) and contrast (1150:1)
  • Glossy screen shows reflections

Conclusion

Passive 3D TVs have a lot going for them: well balanced images, excellent 3D rendering, and more. But the IPS panel's demons inevitably catch up with the Viera TX-L55ET5B, making for a less responsive TV with contrast low enough to earn only three stars from us.

OUR SCORE 3/5
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