While rival LCD manufacturers are producing screens in ever-increasing sizes, 32 inches is the largest that Panasonic offers before turning to plasma. We're not sure whether this reveals limitations in its LCD technology -- but it's interesting to note that we were more impressed by the smaller TX-26LXD60 than this model.
Nonetheless, the TX-32LXD60 still rates highly with an attractive, understated design supported by an impressive specification that includes high-definition compatibility, the latest picture processing and complete connectivity with dual HDMI inputs. It is on the expensive side, but recent additions to the Panasonic range mean you should be able to find it for considerably reduced prices online if you shop around.
Its picture performance would have been considered class-leading at the beginning of the year, but developments elsewhere have seen it slightly demoted. Image quality is still excellent, but high brightness levels leave pictures looking less natural than we've seen recently.
Without trying too hard, models from Panasonic's Viera range always look the business. By shying away from overwhelming aesthetics the clean design, featuring a matte-black frame supported by an invisible speaker system, is attractively understated.
You can choose between a swivelling pedestal stand, wall-hanging options or, if you spend a little more, a full-size AV rack that allows you to seamlessly store accompanying equipment beneath. Either way, the screen's subtle styling and admirable build quality will flatter any surroundings.
The recently improved range of connectivity offers multiple options for all standard and high-definition AV components. It's one of an increasing number of screens that feature dual HDMI inputs, which allows you to connect two high-definition sources simultaneously. This is particularly useful if you want to watch HDTV broadcasts and high-definition video without having to frustratingly switch connections between a single input or suffer a loss of quality using component inputs.
Component inputs are available if you are still using analogue devices and they will support progressive-scan video for a smoother picture from a compatible DVD player. Users can also draw on a pair of Scart terminals, both of which have been RGB-enabled for the highest quality performance from this standard connection.
All these connections are neatly integrated behind the rear panel, and there are easily accessible AV inputs at the right-hand side of the screen that can be used to quickly connect devices such as a camcorder or games console.
The only omission is the absence of a PC input, which may annoy media centre owners -- especially as we couldn't get a picture using HDMI adaptors.
The remote doesn't appear especially stylish, but favours functionality above flair. The oversized keys are intelligently arranged and only important primary functions have been given space, which means less time spent finding the right control.