The TV has a standard Freeview tuner, so you don't get access to high-definition channels like BBC HD and 4 HD. Also, the panel doesn't stretch all the way to a 1080p resolution, stopping short at 1,366x768 pixels, which is closer to 720p. It can accept 1080p signals from a Blu-ray player, for example, but the TV then downscales them to fit its native resolution. The benefits of having a 1080p resolution on a screen this small are debatable anyway.
The small size of the display helps Freeview pictures to look impressively sharp, but the set also has very punchy colours for a portable model. Perhaps this isn't surprising given the fact that it uses an LED backlight.
Portable TVs often have pretty poor black levels, but that's not the case here. The TX-L19D28 conjures up impressively deep blacks and is quite good at drawing out more complex shadow detail, especially when you're using the 'true cinema' picture mode. The set's resolution means it can't deliver the full benefits of 1080p movies via a Blu-ray player, but the picture still looks quite sharp, although motion isn't handled as smoothly as it could be.
The set's 3W speakers aren't exactly going to have the neighbours banging on the walls, but they're certainly loud enough to make themselves heard in a medium-size kitchen or bedroom. Their weakness is highlighted, however, when you play music through them, as, although the bass response at lower volume levels is okay, bass-heavy tracks tend to distort when you push the volume level much past halfway.
Certainly, £400 is a great deal to pay for a 19-inch TV, especially when Toshiba has decent 32-inch models, such as the, that cost less. But, if you want a smaller set and will make frequent use of the iPod features, then we think the Panasonic Viera TX-L19D28's impressive picture quality, by the standards of portable TVs, goes someway to justifying the price tag.
Edited by Charles Kloet