Product review: Panasonic TX40ES500 TV

After last year’s massively popular TX40DS500, Panasonic have given us another Full HD set in the TX40ES500. “But it’s not 4K!”, I hear you say. Well fear not my dear friends, as Full HD sets are still very sought after, and this Panasonic one could be the best on the market in 2017…

Panasonic seem to have really put a lot of effort into this particular model and it really shows. Don’t be fooled by the 1080p resolution, as it handles HD content with minimal fuss. Whether it’s Planet Earth 2 on Blu-ray or Eastenders on BBC1 HD, the picture is realistic and easy to watch. It doesn’t go as bright as some more expensive sets, but the contrast is still vivid enough. Black levels are decent and are definitely an improvement over last year’s panel.

Switch to a gaming console, such as a PS4, and I think this model really holds its own. Again, due to the contrast not being as bright as some, colours could pop a little more but overall it excels. The major upgrade over last year’s model is the improvement to a 600hz BMR (Backlight Motion Rate). This really stands out for gaming as there is minimal blur and games seem very responsive. Gamers will be really impressed by the experience this set gives you. Obviously there is a lack of 4K resolution but not many 4K televisions are going to give you the motion clarity and contrast this television offers you for the price.

If you want to hook up something more than a games console then there are plenty of inputs to help you out. Two USB inputs, with one being able to record, are accompanied by two HDMI inputs. The USB recording facility records from the inbuilt Freeview HD allowing you to save space without having to use another box. One crucial addition is the component input. You might ask why that is so important. Well, we still get asked a lot in stores about having some form of analogue input. Most 2017 televisions don’t come with any analogue inputs at all, meaning you’re going to find it tricky to hook up an older piece of equipment. People still want to use their older recorders, games console or even a VHS player that they still might have. This caters to all of those needs, meaning you don’t have to ditch those old video cassettes just yet. A welcome addition in my books. There’s a headphone output, which again isn’t always present on new televisions, and a digital optical output if you want to utilise an external soundbar. Oh, and I almost forgot to mention that the HDMI offers ARC (Audio Return Channel), thus enabling you to use just one cable to take the audio to an external speaker system.

Smart content is a must these days and the ES500 offers an extensive array of applications and catch up services. Powered by Panasonic’s own operations system which is basically the same as last year’s Firefox system, you can access all of the on demand services as well as your favourites like Netflix and Amazon Prime. Another massive benefit comes in the form of the Freeview Play software. This enables you to access catch up services without having to go into the specific app. Simply bring up the TV guide, scroll back on your chosen channel and select which programme you want to watch. Everything is easy to navigate and done in a timely manner. Simple but effective.

All in all, the TX40ES500 is a really good full HD set from Panasonic which I’m sure will do well for them. If you don’t fancy a 4K set this year then this will be the one to get. If you fancy seeing it for yourself then pop down to your local Richer Sounds who will be more than happy to help.

Author: Bradley, Plymouth Store