Panasonic TX-32A400 review

A good value HD-ready TV that offers clean and contrasty pictures from all sources

Panasonic DMP-BDT360
Great Value

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With no apps, no 3D and not even a Full HD resolution, the 32A400 is basic stuff indeed. However, with a Freeview HD tuner, a USB slot and a 100Hz panel added to a slim look the 32A400 is a good value telly.

We liked

The 32A400 eschews a flashy design to concentrate on the latest must-have flourish: a tiny screen surround. Here it measures just 7mm, which helps create a floating look that's rare at this entry-level.

Amid a plethora of ins and outs are a brace of HDMI inputs and a USB slot. The USB slot teams-up with some decent media player software to play a host of music, video and photo files.

It's the 32A400's all-round picture quality that takes the prize though. It's not going to stun you – and if you watch a lot of Blu-ray movies it's probably best avoided – but by offering a lot of contrast and bold colour within a clean and mostly blur-free image, the 32A400 makes for a great all-round TV for a second room.

Best fed a diet of high definition TV channels, I was also impressed by the speed of the 32A400's user interface.

We disliked

My biggest criticism of the 32A400 is its HD-ready resolution. Though it does actually help reduce the picture noise and digital blocking during the watching of low-resolution TV channels and DVDs, it can't drag as much detail from Blu-ray discs as a Full HD telly can.

Though the super-slim bezel impresses, the chubby 67mm depth of the panel itself acts as a counterbalance.

There are plenty of other slight weaknesses, too, including a rather simplistic approach to black levels and the appearance of some motion blur and jagged edges.

The Freeview HD EPG lacks a live TV window and also cuts-out all sound while in use, while the 32A400's audio is weak. Its stereo speakers manage just 5W apiece and fail to deliver acceptable sound.

Final verdict

The 32A400 makes a good value second TV. It lacks the ultimate in Full HD detail needed to drag the most from Blu-ray discs due to its use of a (now relatively rare) HD-ready panel, but its Freeview HD channel and compatibility with a host of digital music, video and photo files via USB make it surprisingly versatile.

Two problems that dog all Full HD TVs of this price are terrible-looking standard definition channels and motion blur. However, it's the 32A400's main presumed weakness – its HD-ready panel – that actually helps play down those issues to the extent that there are few TVs around with pictures as all-round clean and well-contrasted as on the 32A400.

Add a 7mm screen surround and you've got a great value and thoroughly modern TV that will suit anyone not concerned with smart TV apps or 3D.

Also consider

For competition to the 32A400 it's worth looking at our compilation of 32-inchers. The Toshiba 32DL933B has a built-in DVD player and the Finlux 32F8030-T adds some basic smart TV features to the mix in the UK, while Samsung's UE32H4510AK features apps, too.

Jamie Carter

Jamie is a freelance tech, travel and space journalist based in the UK. He’s been writing regularly for Techradar since it was launched in 2008 and also writes regularly for Forbes, The Telegraph, the South China Morning Post, Sky & Telescope and the Sky At Night magazine as well as other Future titles T3, Digital Camera World, All About Space and He also edits two of his own websites, and that reflect his obsession with travel gear and solar eclipse travel. He is the author of A Stargazing Program For Beginners (Springer, 2015),