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

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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.

This TV's greatest weakness is its audio quality. The small speakers on LCD and plasma TVs are never going to rival the sonic fireworks you get from a surround-sound system. But whereas buyers of larger sets are likely to pair their TV with a home-cinema kit, those looking for a smaller 32-inch model may not have the space for all those additional speakers. As a result, we think speaker quality is more of an issue on smaller TVs. Unfortunately the Panasonic falls down in this area.

The problem is that it really struggles to output low-end bass frequencies, so action sequences in movies that should be bombastic end up sounding pretty weedy. Also, when it's working at higher volumes, dialogue can sometimes start to sound a little indistinct. It doesn't happen all the time, but it's still worrying.

The only other issue we have with this set is its design. Compared to some budget rivals -- and especially Panasonic's own higher-end models -- the styling on this TV is rather flat. Sure, the glossy finish that frames the panel lifts things slightly, but when the TV is off and sitting in the corner of a room it looks rather drab.

The Panasonic Viera TX-32LXD80 is a good budget TV with crisp and clean picture quality, a decent range of inputs and the welcome addition of an SD card for viewing photos from a digital camera. Its styling is a little on the dull side however, and it's let down by its rather flat sound quality. If you can afford a little more for a TV this size, you might prefer the flashy Philips Cineos 32PFL9603D or the more stylish LG 32LG6000.

Edited by Nick Hide

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