All of a sudden electronics store shelves seem flooded by iPod-friendly HDTVs. OK, not exactly flooded, but at least two contenders are busily competing to be the place where your precious 'Pod or 'Phone nestles nightly, charging and serving up yummy music and videos onto a much bigger screen than iTunes or your favorite video conversion software ever intended. The Panasonic TC-LX1 wasn't quite as friendly as the JVC LT-P300 we tested earlier, on account of its inability to display 'Pod-based digital photos or adjust aspect ratio for videos, but it's still mighty convenient. The JVC also delivered slightly better HDTV picture quality, but the Panasonic is less expensive at comparable screen sizes.
Overall the Panasonic is a perfectly adequate HDTV in terms of picture quality, but it won't wow home theater fans seeking deep black levels--one reason, along with off-angle performance, why we consider the JVC a better performer. The Panasonic delivered slightly more accurate color, however.
The remote is dominated by a trio of keys--Viera Link, Viera Tools, and SD Card--that arc above the central cursor control. Aside from Viera Tools for iPod access (we'd prefer a dedicated "iPod" button, but no dice), each of the three provides direct access to functions we'll warrant most users won't access frequently, and the important-yet-tiny Menu key takes a secondary spot near the top of the clicker. We like the feel of the keys, and appreciate the size, color, and shape differentiation that helps us forget that none of the buttons are illuminated. The remote cannot control other devices via infrared (IR) commands, but it does allow some control of compatible HDMI devices connected to the TV via Viera Link (aka HDMI-CEC).