One of the specs you'll come across time and time again with televisions such as the Panasonic TX-L42E5B is 100Hz motion. This feature improves how fast action scenes appear on flat panel TVs. One problem with flat displays in the past has been the loss of detail, or the appearance of 'motion blur' (a form of picture distortion) during sports and action scenes. 100Hz technology aims to smooth out flaws in fast scenes by increasing the number of frames that are shown. Different manufacturers have slightly different named 100Hz technologies, but they all tackle the problem in a similar way - by adding in extra frames that improve the appearance of the motion being shown on screen.
Full HD TVs are capable of showing high definition images that are up to five times as sharp and detailed as old style 'standard definition' images. You'll need to have an HD source, such as a Blu-ray player, games console or HD TV to be able to really see the difference though. All TVs on sale today are HD-Ready. A Full HD TV has a letter p after it and this means that the picture is shown in the best possible quality.
1920 x 1080 is the highest resolution available on a television. Often shortened to 1080p, it refers to the number of pixels a screen can display and the level of detail it can show.
The L42E5 has 4 x HDMI inputs. HDMI stands for High-Definition Multimedia Interface and is a standard used for audio / visual equipment. Like the older scart, HDMI is a port that allows you to connect things like Blu-ray players and games consoles to your television. Unlike scart, they're very easy to plug in - and take up a fraction of the space scart leads do. HDMI allows for HD devices to send high resolution information to the television. HDMI is an uncompressed digital signal, as opposed to previous analog interfaces such as S-Video, component video and composite video. In short, HDMI is the best way to connect your AV equipment and is going to be with us a good way into the future. There's a really good blog post over at Hi-Def hardware if you'd like to find out more.
DLNA is all about getting our digital devices in the home to talk to each other and work together. The Panasonic TX-L42E5B features DLNA making it easier than ever to connect your cameras, camcorders and other sources to your TV. DLNA allows you to connect devices easiler as well a share content over your home Wi-fi network. It's a set of rules that manufacturers work to in order to get a range of devices working together. Lean about DLNA here.
If the idea of paying a subscription fee each month for HD television programs doesn't appeal then you'll be pleased to know that the Panasonic TX-L42E5B comes with Freeview HD built in. Freeview HD is the high definition big brother to Freeview and allows you to enjoy completely free access to HD stations such as BBC HD and many more. There are currently over 50 Freeview HD stations, with the line-up constantly being revised and added to. Find out what you can watch on Freeview HD here.
Skype compatible TVs allow you to use the successful Skype video chat system through your TV. Skype is a fantastic way to keep in touch with loved ones when they are in different parts of the country, or anywhere in the world. You can chat with your friends and family from the comfort of your living room without a headset or computer.
To get Skype TV you'll need four things:
You can find out more about Skype for TV at the official website: http://shop.skype.com/skype-for-tv/ which has info on compatible cameras and TVs. There's also a good video on the subject below.
While just about every TV these days has at least one USB port, not all of them are capable of playing movies. Even recent televisions might be stuck with a usb port that can only be used for photos and music playback. If you like to download and watch content from your USB, make sure your TV supports USB 2.0 media playback. The Panasonic TX-L42E5B offers full support for videos played directly from your USB memory stick and you can access and browse movies using the remote.
V-Audio Surround is an audio technology used in Panasonic TVs, such as the Panasonic TX-L42E5B, that creates the same effect you'd get from a surround sound speaker system from the TVs built in speakers. It aims to replicate the same sound you'd get from a multi-channel surround sound theatre system and deliver a rich sound, with deep bass and clear detail, from only two speakers.
Most modern TVs have some form of virtual or '3D' surround, with each manufacturer having their own name for the technology. Virtual surround is ideal for games, movies or listening to music. You can customize, or disable it in the TV's settings if you decide it's not for you.
Viera Connect is a service offered by Panasonic to owners of their Smart TV range. It allows users to download and install Apps from their App store. Users of Apple products such as the iPhone will be familiar with Apps. These small programs can be in a number of categories from games to productivity tools. Categories of Apps available using Viera Connect include sports, social networking, Youtube, Games and much more. As with other stores, there's a range of free and paid apps that will appear on your Panasonic TX-L42E5B's home screen once installed. Here's a video showing the Viera Connect App Store in action.
The Panasonic TX-L42E5B has features that use content from the Internet. To use these extra capabilities, you'll need to connect your TV to the web. This can be done via your existing home Internet connection using the router supplied by your service provider.