Panasonic Viera TX-32LMD70: An LCD from a plasma lover

Panasonic may love plasma but it isn't daft enough to pass up the opportunity to make money from smaller screens. Enter its new range of Viera LCD TVs

Panasonic doesn't much care for LCD. It's often telling us how much better plasma is than the liquid crystal displays of other manufacturers. But you have to admire Panny -- even though it thinks the technology is inferior, it still produces great televisions using it. The Viera TX-32LMD70 is one such success story -- it has made Crave froth with a rabid technological hunger.

The TX-32LMD70 is certainly a handsome-looking machine. Finished in a tasty matte black that says a big "no thank you" to the rather uncouth trend towards shiny piano black. We think the styling is a winner. The speakers are hidden too, so your eyes are not irritated by unsightly technology. All you see here is a nice black case and a 32-inch LCD screen.

Panasonic has included everything you'd expect in a 32-incher. It's got built-in Freeview as well as two HDMI sockets and component-in for hooking up all your high-definition toys. Plus there's the usual retro array of Scart and composite video inputs. The set also has Viera link, which enables you to control other Panasonic equipment using just one remote control.

While the screen is only capable of displaying 720p, it will happily accept a 1080p signal via HDMI and downconvert it to the correct size for the TV. There's also provision made for plugging in a PC, with support for resolutions up to 1,366x768 pixels.

A quick fiddle with the TV proved that it doesn't just have all the features we need, but it also has a very nice picture, and the set-up to tune the television in was a dream to use. For a company that wants you to buy a plasma, Panasonic has certainly done a good job of persuading us to buy an LCD. -Ian Morris

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