Panasonic TX-32AS500 review

Impressive HD-ready LED telly with smart TV apps and Freeview HD

Panasonic TX-32AS500
Great Value

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After updating the TX-32AS500 from software version 3.037 to 3.054 and running through a tour of My Home Screen, I was set. Actually, not quite, that tour misses out on one of the TX-32AS500's few innovations compared to 2013's crop of Vieras – My Home Cloud.

My Home Cloud actually turned out to be a simple, if new, element of My Home Screen; a basic four-way split between screen market, apps market, shopping, and family & friends (a cloud-based text message service that you'll doubtless never use).

Panasonic TX-32AS500

My Home Cloud adds an extra layer to the My Home Screen platform

So what of My Home Screen? Overall I love it, largely because it makes accessing favourite apps so speedy, though it can feel a bit cluttered. Luckily, most of the side-line attractions – such as a the chance to buy 3D glasses, gamepads and Skype-cameras direct from Panasonic as well as the screen market store for themes and backgrounds – are hidden, as are the plethora of apps. Any of them can be brought to the main My Home Screen very easily, though in truth there's little of interest in the apps market, which is badly in need of key apps like Amazon Instant, ITV Player, 4OD and Demand Five.

Panasonic TX-32AS500

The Panasonic TX-32AS500 has a much larger remote than the TX-32A400

Best of all, any navigation of My Home Screen is accompanied by a live TV thumbnail of varying sizes, which shows some recognition on Panasonic's part of how and when smart TV apps are used. The electronic programme guide is fixed to the remote's central guide button, presenting seven channels and two hours of schedules, but unlike cheaper Panasonic TVs this one includes a live TV thumbnail too, complete with sound.

Digital media

Engage the media player and the TX-32AS500 shows its versatility. Although it's necessary to first tell the TX-32AS500 whether you're looking for photos, videos or music, it then hunts down and collates all relevant files from anything attached to its USB slot.

I managed to play MKV, AVI, AVC HD, MPEG-2, MP4, WMV and WMV HD files, and though a moving thumbnail is produced whenever you hover the cursor over a file, there's no stationary image. Though it could read a collection of 4K-resolution MP4 files, the software didn't support the resolution. As well as MP3 and M4A files, the TX-32AS500 supports FLAC, WAV and WMA music, and JPEG photo, for which it does produce permanent thumbnails.

Panasonic TX-32AS500

To play content from a flash drive you have to go to the media player section of My Home Screen

Swipe & share via the new Remote 2 app is impressive, too; files on anything attached to the TX-32AS500 can be streamed to a phone, though it's limited to MP4 files, JPEG photos, and MP3, M4A and WAV music files.


The 5W speakers inside the TX-32AS500 aren't up to much, but do at least manage to deliver both dialogue-heavy programmes and music to a basic level.

Panasonic TX-32AS500

There is a selection of music apps available to download, but the sound on the Panasonic TX-32AS500 isn't great, so this wont be your main music player

However, while the commentary track during South Korea vs Algeria on ITV 1 HD is clearest on the speech mode, the standard setting gives the overall soundstage a touch more realism. While the surround option is nothing of the sort and is wholly misnamed, it does at least draw out some of the crowd noise to the flanks to create a more realistic sound.


Though a TV like this that's unable to treat standard definition sources to any upscaling might not suit all viewers (especially those with large DVD collections), the mushrooming number of HD channels on Freeview HD helps lessen that blow. Besides, what other 32-inch TVs costing this little include such an advanced smart TV platform as My Home Screen?

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),