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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It doesn't offer perfect pictures and nor does it have all the apps you ever dreamed of, but the TX-32AS500 has enough of both to make it a strong candidate for second rooms in HD homes.

We liked

Colour and contrast, in particular, are a delight, though it's the TX-32AS500's My Home Screen smart TV interface that will attract many. For the first time ever a smart TV's web browser impresses, with web bookmarks allowed on the My Home Screen's info screen, and text entry possible via the excellent Remote 2 app.

The swipe and share feature lends some digital media-savvy features, and though it doesn't quite cover the full gamut of file format we'd like, there's no argument about the TX-32AS500's general savviness with files. Its USB slot supports virtually every file you could think of, while swipe & share via the Remote 2 app is fun, especially for photos.

We disliked

Standard definition TV channels and DVDs look soft and noisy, and there's little in the way of upscaling or noise reduction to help. That will trouble anyone who regularly watches minority TV channels on Freeview. Audio, too, is a low point.

Final verdict

If contrast and colour is the TX-32AS500's big shout, that only applies to HD fare. However, impressive a Blu-ray disc or a HD TV channel is, the TX-32AS500 has no time for standard definition video, which is very soft and crammed with motion artefacts. But while this LED telly has trouble filling the pixels in its HD-ready panel when there's no HD source at hand, its easy to use and feature-packed My Home Screen user interface adds a uniquely customisable smart TV dimension.

A great app that allows file swaps between a smartphone and the TX-32AS500 is topped-off by a comprehensive handling of digital video, music and photos. It's not perfect, but there's no arguing about the TX-32AS500's status as a good value option for HD fanatics. With Freeview HD channels currently mushrooming, the TX-32AS500 is well positioned for mass market adoption.

Also consider

There are relatively few HD-ready TVs that feature any kind of smart TV antics, though it's always worth looking at Samsung TVs. The Samsung UE32H4510AK is worth inspection, while those after something for a bedroom should also inspect both the Toshiba 32DL933B, which has an integrated DVD player, and the Finlux 32F8030-T, which has some smart TV apps.

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),