The 37-inch Viera TX-L37E3B is Panasonic's entry-level LED-illuminated LCD TV, and uses one of the company's newest IPS Alpha panels to provide wider-than-usual viewing angles. Available for around £600, this 1080p set lacks some of the more advanced features found on the company's mid-range LED models, such as the Internet services and 200Hz processing seen in the .
Easy on the eyeballs
Panasonic has improved the design of its TVs for 2011. That's good news -- last year's models were among the dullest on the market. The TX-L37E3B still doesn't exactly fill you with lust, but the long straight lines look clean and sharp and the build quality of the set can't be faulted.
By using LED backlight technology, Panasonic has managed to slim the main part of the chassis down to just 41 mm thick. The bottom the set bulges out slightly, however, providing more room for the downwards-firing stereo speakers. It's a sensible move, because most speakers in LED sets are weedier than an overgrown garden. The TX-L37E3B's sonics, in contrast, are actually rather good. Dialogue cuts through well, and the set's also capable of producing a surprising amount of bass.
Like most of today's TVs, the TX-L37E3B has a Freeview HD tuner, so, along with the usual line-up of standard-definition channels, you can view programs in high definition on channels like BBC One HD and ITV1 HD. The addition of the Freeview tuner means that Panasonic has added an Ethernet port to the rear of the set, as this is mandated in the Freeview HD specification.
Usually, manufacturers make use of the Ethernet port to add a range of Internet services, as well support for media streaming across a home network. This isn't the case with the TX-L37E3B, though. In fact, although there's a network set-up option in the menu, the Ethernet port can only be used for downloading software updates -- there's no support for either BBC iPlayer or media streaming.
This is a big shame, as you get these features on similarly priced sets from rivals like LG. If you want these features on a Panasonic set, you have to step up to the E30 series, with the 37-inch E30 set costing around £150 more.
The TX-L37E3B even lacks a USB port. Although there's an SD card slot, it only supports a pretty limited range of formats, and it's really just designed to let you play content recorded on Panasonic's cameras and camcorders.