Panasonic TX-L32E30B review

Sophisticated, but only occasionally excellent mid-range 32-incher with Viera Connect

Panasonic TX-L32E30B
It may not be Panasonic's top flight HD TV, but the picture quality is still good value for the outlay

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Panasonic tx-l32e30b

Panasonic sets always tend to be well put together, but the TX-L32E30B marries good build quality to an unusually pleasing design.

An impressively slender rear finds room for a copious amount of connections. Few stones have remained unturned in the set's bid to deliver a truly comprehensive suite of multimedia functions. A LAN port, for instance, enables you to delve into Panasonic's brand new Viera Connect service, access files stored on a networked DLNA PC or tuck into services associated with its built-in Freeview HD tuner.

Three USB ports, meanwhile, can handle video, photo or music files from USB storage devices, or can be used to make the TV Wi-Fi-capable via an optional USB dongle. Or they can be used to record from the Freeview HD tuner to more recent powered external hard-disk drives.

On top of all this there is an SD slot for photo playback and a D-Sub PC port for simple computer connectivity. The only moan that might be raised about all this multimedia thoughtfulness is that the Wi-Fi isn't built in, but is an optional extra. Four HDMIs, meanwhile, ought to be plenty to go round.

It was noted in the introduction to this review that the TX-L32E30B uses one of Panasonic's IPS Alpha panels. It should also be stressed that the TX-L32E30B gets essentially the same advanced new panel design used for the TX-L32DT30B, which means a shortened distance between the backlight and screen and faster-responding liquid crystal material.

The TX-L32E30B shifts down to 200Hz from the L32DT30's 400Hz scanning, though.

Scrutiny of the TX-L32E30B's menus reveals that it also lacks some of the high-level calibration tools of the TX-L32DT30B. In particular, there's less control over the set's colours and gamma levels. This is a pity, considering that some other brands manage to provide extensive calibration tweaks on much cheaper TVs.

Panasonic tx-l32e30b

Panasonic's latest cloud-based online service, Viera Connect, improves upon last year's Viera Cast system by going more overtly down the Smart TV 'apps' approach, with an Apps Marketplace and the option to choose the applications you want and where they appear on the TV's onscreen menus.

All the apps at the time of writing were free, but it's as sure as night follows day that some paid-for ones will appear sooner rather than later. Also promised are hardware accessories including joysticks, treadmills, digital scales and pulse-monitoring armbands for use with some of the games and sport/leisure apps due for launch in the coming months.

Among the most notable of Viera Connect's services are the BBC iPlayer, YouTube, the AceTrax movie service, Skype, Twitter and Facebook. Note, though, that there's no open internet browser.
There's perhaps trouble brewing for the current Viera Connect onscreen menus when the number of apps available starts to soar, as the menus don't allow you to get many apps on screen at once.

It's also undeniable that rather a lot of the apps currently available are designed for overseas territories. Both these issues – particularly the latter one – are entirely fixable over time, though.

John Archer
AV Technology Contributor

John has been writing about home entertainment technology for more than two decades - an especially impressive feat considering he still claims to only be 35 years old (yeah, right). In that time he’s reviewed hundreds if not thousands of TVs, projectors and speakers, and spent frankly far too long sitting by himself in a dark room.