Panasonic TX-L37E5B review

Upscale 37-inch Edge LED set with engaging smart dimension

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Unlike some of its 3D screens that use the Easy 3D system built around an LG-manufactured panel, the TX-L37E5B is pure and simple Panasonic.

It's got no 3D capabilities and neither does it have Wi-Fi connectivity (a separate DY-WL10E-K Wi-Fi dongle is available), though a wired Ethernet LAN port is enough to power arguably its most attractive feature; smart TV.

Panasonic TX L37E5B review

Here going under the moniker of VIERA Connect, Panasonic's own smart hub is one of the brightest and slickest around.

There's no Lovefilm, here replaced by Netflix and Acetrax, but the presence of the BBC iPlayer is reassuring. BBC News is also here, along with Facebook, Twitter, Eurosport and YouTube, among others.

The grid style home screen is one we like, though having to scroll through a carousel of screens – none capable of hosting icons for more than seven apps at once – can be a bit of a pain.

Panasonic TX L37E5B review

The centre space of every VIERA Connect screen is reserved for playing live video, complete with sound, from whatever input you look at last, such as Blu-ray, Freeview HD, or a set-top box, which subtly integrates the whole VIERA Connect experience with the rest of TV.

That's something the drab Freeview HD tuner can't offer; it cuts out both sound and picture when inspected via the remote's 'guide' button.

Panasonic TX L37E5B review

Marketplace – accessed via a link at the bottom of screens – is home to a plethora of apps and accessories.

All of the apps are divided by genre, and aside from a repetition of stuff already on the TV we discovered downloads for Screenrush, Viewster, Ustream TV, Vimeo and even (rather clunky) web browser software.

Most are free and download in seconds, though the Marketplace is also a place to make purchases. Simply log in, create an account and attach some payment details and you can browse and buy software (games) and hardware (gamepads, keyboards and 3D glasses).

This is something not offered by Panasonic's Blu-ray players and home cinema systems, which are all fitted with a 'lite' version of VIERA Connect that can't handle cash.

Strapped with the modestly named 'Brilliant Contrast', the TX-L37E5B has the anti-blur Clear Panel feature as well as Smart VIERA Engine Pro and Vivid Colour Creation, though performing a proper calibration could be easier.

Hidden away in the main menu's set-up tab is an 'advance (calibration)' option that has to be toggled on. Once that's done, the 'advanced settings' on the Picture tab hence contains tweaks to both the white balance and gamma levels.

The TX-L37E5B has ins and outs galore, with four HDMI inputs leading the charge, though we're not sure that its twin USB slots will be enough – especially if you decide to add a Wi-Fi dongle and a Skype camera, both of which demand a USB slot.

Panasonic TX L37E5B review