Excerpt: We’re reasonably certain that most folks looking for a budget HDTV probably aren’t poring through the pages of enthusiast publications like Home Theater for advice. If they’re researching at all, they’re studying the easy-to-digest bubble ratings in Consumer Reports or Which Video, or Googling generic consumer-help Websites.
Conclusion: Earlier I spoke of my friends and their recent purchase of a new car. Like their new wheels, the TC-L42E30 is something of a compromise purchase. You want a good TV, but when you stop and ask yourself the tough questions, you may discover that you don't really NEED 3D. You don't NEED a stand that swivels. You don't NEED to control your TV volume from your iPhone.
Pros: No 3D (there, I said it), Respectable offering of "Easy IPTV" apps, Solid color accuracy, Highly capable video processing, Excellent value, No 3D (there, I said it), Respectable offering of "Easy IPTV" apps, Solid color accuracy, Highly capable video processing, Excellent value
Cons: No 3D (for those who disagree), No "Pro Settings" (white balance) for grayscale control, Middling LCD black levels, Less-than-stellar viewing angle, Blur reduction feature destroys the look of film (not unique to this TV)
Conclusion: Panasonic’s Viera TC-L42E30 offers very good picture quality in a bland (but unobjectionable) package that retails for around $799 at legit online dealers. One of our biggest complaints is the fact you have to buy a Wi-Fi dongle for around $80 if you don’t have a LAN cable nearby. Built-in Wi-Fi should be a given as it is with competing sets in this price range. Vizio’s M420SV even costs $50 less, while a 40-inch Sharp Quattron has built-in Wi-Fi as well.
Pros: Very good picture quality, Nice selection of apps, 4 HDMI inputs, SD card slot