Panasonic tx-l37dt30b

Armed with two 10W speakers, the TX-L37DT30B seeks to succeed where so many have failed, but comes up short. The default music or speech presets are treble-heavy, while the step-up V-Audio proves the most powerful, adding a dollop of bass and placing dialogue noticeably at the front of the mix.

V-Audio ProSurround is less successful, appearing to widen the soundstage only very slightly; it's too subtle for movies. Overall though, the audio performance of the TX-L37DT30B isn't too bad.

Value

In the world of 3D where bigger is most definitely better, the TX-L37DT30B is a small TV, so although it may not always convince, there's no doubting the precise quality of its good value 3D images.

In terms of competitors it goes up against the likes of Sony's KDL-40EX724, Samsung's UE37D6530 and LG's 42LW550T – the latter of which is a passive 3D set.

Premium-priced it may be, but the TX-L37DT30B crams in so many easy to use features – the most useful three being BBC iPlayer, pause/rewind live TV and DivX playback – that it's hard to call this edge LED anything other than good value.

Ease of use

Viera Connect is built around a user interface that's impossible to fault. Which is more than can be said for the menu system of the TV itself, which – despite representing a marked improvement on desperately drab previous efforts – is still rather conservative.

Picture presets include two industry standards from the Imaging Science Foundation, ISF Day and ISF Night, as well as a True Cinema setting. Tweakers will welcome the presence of 'advanced' menus that give access to gamma levels, colour management and white balance. Also tucked away here is a choice between 'mid', 'max' and 'off' for the 400Hz IFC mode, though no dedicated 3D settings aside from auto-detection.

Panasonic's GuidePlus+ seven-day electronic programme guide for Freeview suffers from a squeezed design and kills dead the live channel being watched. Rivals such as Sony and Samsung are eons ahead in this regard. USB recording/pausing/rewinding proves fairly straightforward once the HDD or USB stick is formatted, though playback of digital files is less simple.

We managed to play DivX, DivX HD, MP4, MOV and WMV video, MP3 and WMA music, and JPEG photos. Not a bad haul, though it's a different experience on DLNA streaming. Hooked up to a iMac running TwonkyMedia we streamed DivX (AVI), AVCHD and MOV video, MP3 music and JPEG photos only. Why no DivX HD over the network?