Advertisement. The page you requested will display in seconds.
- Panasonic TC-L50E60
- Big-TV bang for the buck
Panasonic Viera TC-L50E60 LED TV Review$1,149.99
Big-TV bang for the buck
The E60 series consists of Panasonic's mid-tier LED big boys for 2013, with 42-,50-,58-, and 65-inch options to choose from. We tested a sizable 50-inch model with a reasonable MSRP of $1149.99, but with sale prices that come in under a grand.
Of course, these TVs can't perform all the top-tier tricks; action scenes won't blast forth in 3D majesty, and the design schemes are rather basic, for instance. E60 buyers will also miss out on flagship perks like Panasonic's Touch Pad Controller and voice control. But the fact is, this is a huge TV with fair performance, and it won't beat your billfold to smithereens.
TVs this big don't really need showboat ensembles.
The E60 doesn't need a gaudy getup. The smallest size in this series is 42 inches, which isn't remarkably large, but from there, these TVs are 50 inches and up: Displays this large can look great without the glitz.
Depending on where you station your TV, you may struggle a bit with connections. For example, all three HDMI ports face out on the back left side, so if you wall mount this display, that will prove awkward. In that same position, users will also find composite/component ports, an antenna hookup, and ethernet (LAN) port, and a digital audio out. To round out these options, two USB ports are easily accessible, facing out on the left side.
A fair value, but functionality suffers for it
Happily, Touch Pad Controller or not, there are some apps on this TV that users will love. Netflix, Amazon Instant, Hulu Plus, Vudu HD Movies, and YouTube are a click away, suiting all of your streaming needs. And if you want to take a peek at the news headlines, the Wall Street Journal app isn't a bad way to go.
Regarding menu settings, users certainly have plenty to toy with, and layout is quite friendly. There are picture presets to choose from, such as Cinema and Vivid, but customizable settings are available, too. The usual suspects are on hand, like color temperature, back light, and brightness, and beyond these users will find gamma, white balance, and even color luminance and saturation. Experienced calibrators have plenty to play with here.
No gold stars for this TV's homework
While this TV certainly doesn't deliver holy-cow grade picture quality, it doesn't fall entirely flat either. Testing certainly had a number of downs, but we still enjoyed viewing this TV in real-world settings, and its speakers sounded great. We do wish it had performed better though, especially in terms of its color.
As to the rest, we've noted smoother motion on TVs of this caliber before, and the motion processing settings don't offer much in the way of fine-tuning, yet regular viewing proved satisfying, so no real complaints in that department. The overall contrast ratio, which enables a display to better relay lifelike pictures, is quite healthy. This is a very bright TV, and while we wish it could get more into the inky blacks that make for truly winning quality, these darks will certainly do; in both windowless and sunny settings, the picture quality looks very attractive. Lastly, as with most LEDs, the E60 series does not have an enormous viewing angle, so be sure to sit front-and-center for the best results.
Big TVs that won't batter your billfold like a flagship would
Not everyone can afford a company's top-of-the-line flagship model, so it's nice that Panasonic offers the E60 series, with its wide array of big displays. If you have giant TVs on the brain, but your billfold needs a break, the 50-inch E60 (MSRP $1149.99) can be found online for $1,000. Picture quality like this doesn't exactly make my heart skip a beat, but on a 50-inch display with ample streaming options and a tame going-rate, this is a solid value.
At the end of the day, if your heart yearns for dashing design, better smart features, flawless color, and 3D content, you'll want to send your piggy bank back to the trough and keep on shopping.