Panasonic Viera V20 (TX-L37V20B) review: Panasonic Viera V20 (TX-L37V20B)

Typical Price: £1,050.00
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4.5 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

3.5 stars 3 user reviews

The Good Packs both Freeview HD and freesat HD tuners; gorgeous standard- and hi-def pictures; impressive range of Internet features; good sound quality.

The Bad Expensive; iPlayer only available if you use the freesat tuner; very slight haloing visible in dark scenes.

The Bottom Line The 37-inch Panasonic Viera TX-L37V20B LCD TV with LED edge lights is expensive, but it offers a great range of features and delivers gorgeous pictures.

8.8 Overall

With its twin Freeview HD and freesat HD tuners, LED edge lights and support for a plethora of online services, as well as digital media streaming, it's unsurprising that the Panasonic Viera TX-L37V20B is priced towards the higher-end of the TV market. But does this 37-inch, 1080p LCD TV's premium £1,050 price tag also buy you first-class performance?

Handsome devil

Some of Panasonic's recent LCD TVs have looked so plain that they've flirted with downright ugliness, but no such complaints can be levelled at the TX-L37V20B. It really is a handsome display. It's slim, measuring a mere 77mm deep, and this, combined with the silver finish on the chassis and stand, gives the set a very sophisticated appearance.

Take a peek around the back and you'll find it also covers off pretty much all the connectivity bases. Like many of Panasonic's current TVs, the TX-L37V20B has a satellite input for its freesat HD tuner, as well as an RF input for its Freeview HD one, so you should be able to pick up high-definition broadcasts no matter where you live.

There are three rear-mounted HDMI ports, as well as a side-mounted one, for easy access if you decide to mount the TV on a wall. You also get two Scart sockets, a VGA port, a set of component sockets and an optical audio out for feeding audio from the internal tuners to a surround-sound set-up. Finally, the set has two USB ports (one of which you can use for the supplied Wi-Fi adaptor), an SD card slot and an Ethernet port.

Get on t'Internet

Connect the TV up to your broadband router via either the Ethernet port or Wi-Fi adaptor and you can make use of the Viera Cast Internet services. These include access to YouTube, Picasa, Skype (if you connect a webcam to a USB port) and the Acetrax movie-rental service, among others. It'll also stream DivX and Xvid files from a PC, although, sadly, the popular MKV format isn't supported.

You'll be able to access iPlayer, but only if you've got a satellite feed. Weird.

The TV even supports the BBC's iPlayer on-demand service, but this is only accessible if you've got a satellite feed, as you can only call it up via the red button on BBC channels. If you use the Freeview tuner alone, you can't access the iPlayer functionality, which is both a shame and bizarre. The set also lets you record TV to an external USB drive, but it's fussy about the drives it supports, and none of the ones we tried worked.

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