Panasonic Viera D28 (TX-L19D28) review: Panasonic Viera D28 (TX-L19D28)

Typical Price: £400.00
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4 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good Good iPod-compatible features; impressive black levels by portable-TV standards; punchy colours.

The Bad Navigating iPod menus can be a sluggish experience; not a 1080p panel.

The Bottom Line The Panasonic Viera TX-L19D28 produces impressively rich and detailed pictures by portable-TV standards and works well with iPods. It's quite pricey given the small amount of screen space on offer, though.

8.3 Overall

At around £400, the Panasonic Viera TX-L19D28 isn't exactly cheap for a 19-inch LCD TV. This model is packed with features, though, including an HD Ready resolution, an LED backlight and an iPod dock that lets you listen to music through the TV's speakers, or view photos and videos on the screen.

We had the white version of the TV in for review, which has the model number TX-L19D28BW, but there's also a purple version, the TX-L19D28BP. Apart from the colour, both sets have an identical specification.

Chunky hunk

Given the small screen size and the fact that this TV uses an LED backlight, the chassis is surprisingly chunky, at nearly 60mm thick. Despite this, it's still one of the better-looking sets we've seen from Panasonic in a while. The combination of the glossy white finish and curvaceous lines on the bezel make it look very stylish.

Around the back, it offers a surprisingly good range of ports for a portable TV. For starters, there are two HDMI sockets, as well as a set of component inputs for hooking up high-definition kit. You also get two Scart sockets, as well as composite and VGA inputs. Alongside the standard analogue stereo output, there's an optical digital output for sending audio from the on-board Freeview tuner to an external amplifier -- something that's not very common on portable sets.

iPod-friendly

In the box with the TX-L19D28, you'll find a small, white iPod dock that connects to a socket on the rear via a 3-foot cable. Plonk your iPod or iPhone in this dock and the TV automatically switches to the on-screen iPod browser. You can use this to navigate through your library of tunes or to select photos or videos to view on the screen.

The iPod menus are simple to use, but can take a while to respond to your commands (click image to enlarge).

The browser is easy to use but it's slightly sluggish to respond to commands from the remote control. There's also a long pause when you first dock your iPod, as the TV scans it to identify various files and folders. Overall, though, we think it's a well-implemented and useful feature.

The set also has an SD card slot, but this can only be used for viewing JPEG pictures or standard- and high-definition AVC video files. Other formats, like Xvid and DivX, aren't supported. Also, there's no USB port, so you can't connect an external hard drive, for example, for media playback.

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