The dominant factor here is Panasonic's My Home Screen interface. This is inspired, frankly, in the way it manages to give you easy-to-follow and even personalised access to all the online/multimedia/tuner/DLNA PC sources the L55ET60 is a portal too.

It works by providing a series of pre-established 'home screens' with different focusses (Lifestyle, information, TV) as well as allowing you - and other family members - to build your own individual home screens, populated by links to only the apps and services you most use.

The menus are cleanly presented, respond quickly to your navigation, and are easy to follow. Even building your own home screen is remarkably simple, taking just a couple of minutes.

Also hugely appreciated are the lengths Panasonic goes to to make sure you understand how to use the L55ET60 right out of the box, via a series of written and spoken tutorials that kick in when you first boot the TV up. Thanks to these and the helpful layout of the menus, we never felt even confused by anything in the L55ET60's menus.

Panasonic TX-L55ET60

This thoughtful approach stands in stark contrast to the inscrutability of Samsung's brilliant but daunting 2013 Smart TV interface.

The L55ET60's standard remote control is decent, meanwhile, not least because of its well-emphasised buttons for quickly accessing Apps and the Home Screens. However, if you have an Android of iOS smartphone or tablet, we'd strongly recommend that you download Panasonic's Viera Remote 2 app, which does a mostly excellent job of enabling you to share content from your device to the screen; share video from the TV to the portable device; control the TV; or even input voice commands and text to the TV via your smart device's built-in mic.

The separate menu system you have to use to adjust the L55ET60's pictures, sound etc is more bland than the rest of Panasonic's operating system, but it's still easy to use for the most part.

Sound

While the L42E6 only had a stereo speaker system, the L55ET60 enjoys a 2.1 set up, with an additional bass speaker. While this sounds promising on paper, though, it doesn't make as profound a difference to the L55ET60's performance as we would have liked.

There is a touch more bass underpinning the mid-range, and the set can go a bit louder before starting to succumb to distortions and overt muddiness. But the L55ET60's audio system still struggles to expand to accommodate action scenes, and sounds a bit unnatural with deep masculine voices.

Value

The L55ET60's £1500 price tag isn't steep by any means for a TV that offers the most user-friendly smart interface in town along with a pretty extensive set of multimedia playback options, a gorgeous design and frequently very enjoyable 2D and 3D picture quality.

However, the value argument is damaged a bit for serious film fans by the L55ET60's difficulties with dark scenes - especially given that Panasonic's new set is currently having to share shelf space with some excellent and now heavily discounted 2012 TVs.