Ten... smart TVs
Net set and catch up
Panasonic Viera TX-L37E30
Panasonic shows it’s just as adept at LED screens as it is at plasma, with this high performance pocket-robber. Using a wide-viewing angle IPS Alpha panel, it clings onto contrast like a thing possessed, regardless of where you’re parked. Image quality (2D only, no funny glasses required) is reassuringly fine. When it comes to medium streaming and net-connected shenanigans, the set also comes up roses. Across a LAN and from USB, the set chomps its way through all key file formats. MP3, AAC and WMA are embraced with album art, while AVCHD, DivX, AVI, MKV, MP4, MOV and MPEG video flavours all go down a treat. This makes it a great choice for file hoarders. The TV can also timeshift onto an external USB drive.
Panasonic’s Viera Connect portal doesn’t disappoint either, with a well populated array led by BBC iPlayer, YouTube, Daily Motion, Vimeo and Cinetrailers. Interestingly, the implementation of Acetrax featured here is the only TV iteration to offer adult content. Saucy!
Reg Rating 85%
More info Panasonic
Panasonic Viera TX-P46ST30
Panasonic’s 3D-ready ST plasma range may lack the aesthetic bells and picture-processing whistles of its grander GT30 and VT30 models, but it represents solid value for those hankering after PDP finesse on a budget. The Infinite Black Pro panel on this mid-sizer delivers deep blacks and its Freeview HD channels have real visual snap. Reassuringly, Panasonic’s Viera Connect portal has improved considerably over recent months, with Fetch TV and Vimeo joining IPTV stalwarts such as BBC iPlayer and YouTube.
In addition to SD card playback for JPEGs and AVCHD, there’s also local USB playback for AVI, MKV, MPEG, MOV and MP3 files. However, this set doesn’t timeshift to USB and there’s no DLNA-powered network streaming. NAS aficionados be warned.
Reg Rating 80%
More info Panasonic
Sponsored: Flash storage buyer's guide