Panasonic considers the TX-L37S10B an 'entry-level' LCD TV, and so it's clearly unrealistic to expect it to blow our socks off. But even so, we have to admit to finding this set just a bit disappointing.

A general feeling of indifference towards it begins almost right away, as we clock its bland design. Things pick up momentarily when we spot a solid three HDMIs, a PC and SD card slot among its connections.

But our interest wanes again as it becomes apparent that the impressively simple onscreen menus contain precious few noteworthy features.

There's a Colour Management option, but this turns out to be fully automated and doesn't give you the chance to fine tune hues yourself. There's also an intriguing-sounding Eco mode, but all this does is reduce the picture's brightness as your room gets darker. And that's very commonplace these days.

Probably the highlights of the TX-L37S10B's up-front show are an encouraging claimed contrast ratio of 50,000:1 and a full HD native resolution. Though even these glimmers of hope are muted by the set's conspicuous lack of either a 100Hz engine or Panasonic's Intelligent Frame Creation for improving the flow of motion.

Having said that, it's not fair to expect reams of features from an entry level set. So if its pictures are up to speed, it could still do well.

Performance

First impressions suggest that its pictures are indeed up to speed. Freeview tuner images look reasonably sharp and impressively noise-free, reminding us that few people can rescale standard-def sources to full HD resolutions better than Panasonic.

HD pictures, meanwhile, look terrifically sharp, with loads of detail and crisp edges – but without accompanying edge haloing or dot crawl. It helps, too, that motion on the L37S10 is surprisingly unaffected by motion blur considering the absence of 100Hz processing, and that the picture's colour and contrast hold up unusually well when watching the TV from an angle.

The more time you spend with the TX-L37S10B, though, the more you notice some irritating flaws. First and worst, dark scenes routinely look grey, thanks to the set's inability to render a truly realistic black level. Dark scenes thus lack depth, and can also suffer one or two slightly curious colour tones.

Another niggle finds camera pans and horizontal movements tending to judder distractingly.

Add some solid, but uninspiring audio to the mixed picture, and it's hard to draw any other conclusion than that the TX-L37S10B is an unusually average TV by Panasonic's standards.

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