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Setting up the TX L32D25 is painless; the stand can be assembled in just a couple of minutes (some flatscreens have pedestals that are only marginally less complicated to assemble than the Eiffel Tower) and has a nice 15 degree swivel.
Connectivity is good. On the left hand side of the screen is a USB input, CI slot, SD card reader, phono AV and HDMI inputs plus a headphone jack.
Take a gander around the back of the set and you'll discover two Scart inputs, component AV and audio, a stereo phono audio and digital audio output, plus a trio of HDMI inputs (with an extra one on the side). There's also a VGA PC input. Finally, separating this model from the hoi polloi is the satellite connector for Freesat.
The primary HDMI connection is actually v1.4 compliant, and while in this instance there is no provision for 3D, the port does embrace ARC (Audio Return Channel). Essentially, this enables you to cut back on cable spaghetti by offering a return route for TV sound from the screen to an ARC-compatible amplifier or all-in-one sound system.
In short, ARC means you no longer have to run a digital optical lead from the TV. The additional HDMI input conforms to the HDMI v1.3 specification.
If you have a relatively simple entertainment system you might want to take advantage of the CEC link, dubbed VIERA Link. This enables a single branded zapper to control devices (TV, Bu-ray player, recorder etc).
The TV ships with a generic silver-grey Panasonic remote controller. This review sample looked in pretty good condition upon delivery, but the zapper felt worn out. The buttons and rockers clicked and creaked in a manner that did not inspire great confidence in its longevity.
The screen's user interface is about as exciting as day old pizza or a particularly dull Open University programme. The TX-32D25 does occasionally get its glad rags on though; kick-up the Viera Tools bar and you get a horizontal strip offering access to network DLNA stores, as well as individual music, movie and photo modes, plus an invite to pause live TV.
The Freeview TV programme guide is provided by Gemstar and is a mean-spirited piece of work. The amount of space turned over to actual TV information is limited by Gemstar's insistence on hawking advertising space. Goodness knows how Panasonic got lumbered with this, but the result is one of the least likeable EPGs you'll find on the high street.
However, if you utilise the Freesat tuner, you get a different EPG (the standardised Freesat offering) that is far more accommodating.
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Steve has been writing about AV and home cinema since the dawn of time, or more accurately, since the glory days of VHS and Betamax. He has strong opinions on the latest TV technology, Hi-Fi and Blu-ray/media players, and likes nothing better than to crank up his ludicrously powerful home theatre system to binge-watch TV shows.
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