Tuesday 22 December 2009

Panasonic Viera TX-P37X10B 37" Plasma TV

I've been very sceptical about flat screen TVs.

Whilst I've wholeheartedly embraced flat screen computer monitors, I've never yet seen a flat screen TV that I think compares (in SD viewing) with a traditional CRT TV.

However, our 28" JVC widescreen was obviously coming to the end of its useful life and a business trip to the US persuaded me of the virtues of HD TVs (with the right quality signal), so I started looking around.

I returned a few times to the Panasonic TX-P37X10B, because of the high refresh rate and plasma virtures, but it wasn't until I saw one alongside LCD TVs in a local Panasonic shop that I was sold.

One TV in the shop stood out as sharper, clearer and more realistic in colours and it was the only Plasma TV in the shop.

I don't have HD (I don't, and probably won't for some while, have a Blu-ray player or an HD TV receiver), so SD quality (especially for sports like Motor Racing and Skiing) was very important to me.

We get most of our TV via Virgin Media cable and the picture quality, viewed from across the room, is very good. Up close it's not as a good as the CRT, but it's still much better than any LCD flat screen I've seen.

DVDs look pretty good too and watching Blade Runner on the BBC recently highlighted the richness of the picture - I watched half on my Sharp LCD TV and half on the Panasonic and the richness and contrast of the Panasonic was so much better than the Sharp as to be beyond compare really.

There is no ghosting on sports broadcasts (I watched a repeat of the Goodwood Revival coverage I had seen previously on my JVC TV and it looked amazing!) and general programmes and films look equally good.

The TV itself is pretty good looking too, with a nice gloss black surround (I almost got the slightly cheaper matt black one, but I glad I didn't) and the sound's ok (I think sound wise the JVC was better).

The feature that lets you view images from a SD card is rather good and photos look excellent - A neat way to show your friends and family your latest photos.

There are plenty of options for connecting DVD/Bluray/AV receivers and games consoles (even PCs) to the TV, but so far I've just used the SCART connections.

Amazon list the inputs as :

CI (Common Interface) yes
VIERA Image Viewer yes (JPEG playback)
HDMI Input 3 (1 side, 2 rear) [ver. 1.3 with x.v.Colour]
Composite Video Input AV3: RCA phono type x 1 (side)
S-Video Input AV3: Mini DIN 4-pin (side)
Audio Input (for Video) AV3: RCA phono type connectors (L, R) (1 set, side)
Component Video Input RCA phono type x 3 [Y, PB, PR] (rear)
PC Input Mini D-sub 15-pin x 1 (rear)
Audio Input (for HDMI, PC, Component) RCA phono type connectors (L, R) x 2 sets (rear x 1 set, side x 1 set)
21-Pin Input/Output AV1: AV In/Out, RGB In, Q-Link (rear) / AV2: AV In/Out, S-Video In, RGB In,
Q-Link (rear)

So, is there any reason I wouldn't wholeheartedly recommend this TV?

Well, partly because of the sound quality, partly because I can't really comment on the HD quality and partly because I still don't believe that flat screens are a match for the old CRT TVs for SD viewing.

I purchased my TV from Richer Sounds (the ever helpful Guildford branch), who matched the best online price and provide a 5 year guarantee on all their items for 10% of the price (much cheaper than anyone else!).

Overall, I'm very pleased with this TV and don't think, for SD viewing anyway, that I could've got a better quality picture in a flat screen TV.

1 comment:

  1. It's August 2019 and this is still our main TV and, to be honest, I dread the day it fails.

    Whilst other TVs have improved a lot, I've yet to see an affordable one which looks as good and the current preference for enormous 50+ inch TVs means that anything but HD broadcasts look dreadful unless you have a huge room to watch from the other side of!