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Panasonic Viera TX-L32E30B review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £650
inc VAT

It may not be cheap, but the quality is amazing and the list of features huge.


32in, Freeview HD, analogue, 1,920×1,080 resolution, 3D: no, 4x HDMI

Where the previous generation of Panasonic LCD TVs really let us down was with their handling of poor-quality inputs, such as low bitrate Freeview channels. This year we’re pleased to say that Panasonic has erased those demons once and for all. Watching BBC News on last year’s models, people’s faces and hair was smudged and blurred into obscurity; this year, that detail is back with the picture haing been sharpened to help bring it out. It’s not as good as the technology used by Philips for its LCD models, but it’s an impressive leap forwards and means that from normal viewing distances Freeview looks very good.

Panasonic Viera TX-L32E30B ports

Not that you have to put up with low-quality standard definition Freeview for everything, though, as the TX-L32E30B has Freeview HD built in. Switching to BBC HD from the SD channel, the change is immediately noticeable and the footage looks absolutely stunning, with pin-sharp accuracy and brilliant colours.

IP TV is the big buzz of the moment and Panasonic has bumped up its online portal, upgrading from last year’s Viera Cast to this year’s Viera Connect, although the button on the remote control is erroneously labelled with the old term.

Viera Connect is a big step up from Viera Cast. For starters, it’s modular with an app store, allowing new content to be easily added and downloaded. At launch all of the apps available, including the games, are free, but paid-for content will be made available.

Perhaps the biggest change is that it now ships with BBC iPlayer built in. The interface for the catch-up TV service is brilliant. A home screen lets you view the featured programmes, while a search menu makes it easy to find the show that you want to watch. Both SD and HD streams are selectable.

We’re impressed with the upscaling of the SD stream, and we thought some shows looked better than many Freeview channels. The HD stream might eat more bandwidth, but the picture is much sharper. Control of a programme is through the standard remote’s DVD playback controls, provided the slider is set to TV rather than DVD/VCR.

We’d still like to see the other catch-up TV services available, but these can be added later. For movies on demand there’s the Ace Trax service, but no Love Film as of yet. As it stands, then, Panasonic’s IP TV platform isn’t quite as feature-packed as those on Samsung and Sony TVs, but it’s getting much closer and Panasonic finally has a platform that it can build on and add to.

UPnP media servers are supported and the TX-L32E30B managed to play the majority of our test video files including our DivX and XviD files. It struggled when faced with a 1080p MOV, but few people will use this format. It also wouldn’t play our test MKV file, which is a bit of a shame.

Panasonic Viera TX-L32E30B remote

It’s good to see that you can also play media files from USB and SD card. There are three USB ports to make things easy and means that you can connect a flash drive, wireless adaptor and hard disk. An external hard disk also has the added advantage that you can use it to pause and record TV, turning the TV into a PVR. You can only record the channel you’re watching, as there’s only a single tuner, but it’s nice to be able to add a bit more functionality.

In terms of features and image quality, the TX-L32E30B is the ultimate 32in TV. Its picture quality is astounding for an edge-lit LED TV, with deep blacks and brilliant contrast. Admittedly the price is currently quite high, but at the time of review the set was brand new and most cheaper TVs were from last year’s range. What this will mean is that in a few months’ time the price of the TX-L32E30B will fall considerably, making it much better value. Even so, for pure image quality and range of features, it wins our Ultimate Award.

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Basic Specifications

Rating *****


Viewable size 32in
Native resolution 1,920×1,080
1080p support Yes
Aspect ratio 16:9
HD ready yes
3D capable no
Speakers 2x 10W


D-sub inputs 1
HDMI inputs 4
Component inputs 1
Composite inputs 1
Audio outputs optical S/PDIF out, headphone out
Other CI slot, 2x USB


Tuner type Freeview HD, analogue
EPG 7 day


Power consumption standby 1W
Power consumption on 44W

Buying Information

Warranty one year RTB
Price £650

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