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Panasonic Viera TX-32LXD80 review: Panasonic Viera TX-32LXD80

The Good Low price; good picture quality; SD card reader; 24p support.

The Bad Boring styling ;weak audio.

The Bottom Line The Panasonic Viera TX-32LXD80 has a good range of inputs, a neat SD card slot for viewing photos and is a strong performer when it comes to picture quality. It's let down slightly by its lacklustre sound and design, however

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7.5 Overall

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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.

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