While plasma remains very much the core of Panasonic's TV business, the brand has had to bow to the inevitable and embrace LCD. Given its relatively high price tag, though, we can't help but wonder if the TX-L37G10 has anything more going for it than the much cheaper 37-inch Panasonic plasma.

There's certainly nothing particularly earth-shattering about its looks. The simple black finish and medium-chunky lines could belong to any cheap and cheerful TV these days.

Things look up considerably with the connections, though. As well as a healthy four HDMIs, there's an SD card slot capable of playing video, as well as JPEG files and a satellite input.

This latter is included because the L37G10 is one of Panasonic's Freesat TVs.

The TX-L37G10 is one of the only TVs to boast a built-in HD Freesat tuner, making it instantly more attractive to a certain type of buyer – and going some way to justifying the set's slightly high price.

Naturally, its also carries Freeview and analogue tuners, thus covering all the UK's current no-subscription broadcasting options.

Finding your way through all the Freesat channels is made pretty easy by a solid, if not quite inspired, electronic programme guide.

Arguably of more interest is the set's video processing, chiefly comprising Panasonic's V-Real Pro and Intelligent Frame Creation tools.

The key achievement of V-Real is its ability to produce a large 800 lines of motion resolution, while IFC interpolates extra frames of image data to make motion look sharper and less juddery.

Keeping it V-Real

In some ways, the TX-L37G10's pictures are very likeable. Colours, for instance, are extremely rich and dynamic, while also enjoying both natural tones and some really fine blends – a result, we suspect, of the quality of the V-Real engine.

HD pictures look exceptionally sharp on the full HD screen, too, be they from Blu-ray or the Freesat tuner's HD channels, while the V-Real system also ensures that standard-definition images look enjoyably clean and crisp.

The IFC processing certainly helps motion look sharp and fluid, without generating too many distracting side effects – provided that you only leave it set to its low rather than medium or high levels.

The TX-L37G10 even scores a coup over a large number of LCD TVs by being watchable from a really wide angle before colours and contrast start to reduce, thanks to its IPS Alpha screen design.

Only one thing lets this TV's pictures down: black level response. Dark movie scenes or TV series definitely betray those tell-tale signs of grey mistiness and missing shadow detail that have so long been a part of the flat TV experience, but which some rival TVs seem to have conquered at last.

The TX-L37G10's black level response isn't shockingly bad by any means – it's certainly good enough to give pictures containing a mixture of light and dark content plenty of punch.

But in an environment as competitive as today's 37in market, any significant picture flaw is enough to prevent even an otherwise good screen from earning a best buy badge. Especially when that set is relatively expensive and doesn't have particularly awe-inspiring sound, either.

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