While Panasonic's party line is that plasma makes better flatscreens, that hasn't prevented it from developing its own LCD technology. There are several advances inside, but on the outside Panasonic has taken a step backwards. The plain silver outer and black inner frames aren't as dramatic as other Panasonics.

The set's sockets make up for this though, with two HDMIs and component video jacks providing HD feeds, and a common interface (CI) slot for the Top Up TV CAM. The CI slot means this TV has a digital TV tuner. The flip side is that there are only two Scarts (somewhat limiting) and there isn't a PC input.

But it's not the sockets that make a good flatscreen TV, it's what goes on behind the panel. Panasonic claims it has fine-tuned the TX-32LXD60's picture processing system to boost 'colour, clarity and convenience'.

Active Light Control (ALC) and Active Contrast Systems (ACS) work to improve the panel's colour range by adjusting the backlight (ALC) and to boost the video's brightness signal (ACS) to increase detail levels in shadows and brighten highlights. In theory this should enrich the image, while giving more natural and subtle colours.

Image clarity is said to have been boosted by an increased pixel response time, and system to suppress blurring and colour shifts. Convenience is helped with HDAVI. This allows the TV to send control signals to certain DVD recorders or home cinema systems.

The TX-32LXD60's colours are subtle and have a wide gamut, detail levels are outstanding, while the contrast delivers shadows heavy with detail. The pictures on Panasonic LCDs tend to be first rate, so we can't tell whether this TV's picture processing upgrades have made a positive difference or not.

The speakers didn't do Nightwatch's powerful soundtrack justice. But they were sufficient for watching regular TV.

The TX-32LXD60 is impressive, but not a complete success. The chassis lacks style and the audio performance is poor. But the pictures match Panasonic's previously formidable LCDs, making this a flatscreen you should put high on your list of candidates.