Not everyone wants a massive TV covering up their entire lounge wall. If you've got a smaller front room, this budget 32-inch LCD from Panasonic is probably a more sensible option than a humungous 52-incher. The Viera TX-32LXD80's resolution stretches only as far as 720p, but it uses an IPS-Alpha panel that gives an extremely wide viewing angle, and you can pick it up online for around £500.
If you're looking for a smaller 32-inch set at a good price, but don't want to compromise on features, Panasonic has you clearly in its sights with the 32LXD80. Sure, 1080p snobs may look down their noses at this set's 1,366x768-pixel resolution, but we think that would be a mistake. While it's true that 1080p panels are becoming the norm for larger screens, there's not a huge difference between the two on smaller sets and that's certainly the case with this Panasonic.
Despite the lower resolution, the output from Sky HD looked wonderfully crisp and clean, both for movies in HD such as The Fugitive and Blood Diamond, and for a bit of Premiership footy action. Panasonic's excellent V-Real 3 picture processing helps the set produce smooth motion and really vivid-looking colours. The TV also supports 24p movie playback from Blu-ray.
Just as importantly, the 32LXD80 does a good job of dealing with standard-definition video, including pictures from its onboard Freeview tuner. Budget TVs often struggle to make SD look good, but this one manages it with aplomb -- there's little of the smearing or blockiness you see on lesser models. Another plus is that the TV uses an IPS-Alpha panel, so colours and contrast remain surprisingly stable, right up to very wide viewing angles. Even if you're got an extremely wide living room, those watching the set won't need to shuffle their chairs towards the centre to get a decent view.
The 32LXD80 isn't lacking when it comes to connectivity either. Around the back you get three HDMI sockets, which is pretty generous for a 32-incher, along with twin Scart sockets, a component input and a D-Sub connector for hooking it up to a PC or laptop. Another neat extra is the SD card slot on the back. You can pop a memory card from your camera into this and view slideshows of your pictures on the screen. It's not essential, but it is a generous addition on a budget set.