“ When viewing the crisp picture and sleek, minimal design of this TV, it is hard to guess it is such an affordable price. The built in Freeview HD is particularly impressive, as well as very easy to set-up and operate. „
Despite being perfectly happy with the performance of our modest 26 inch television, we decided to maximise the space available in our living room by having a wall-mounted television. This gave us the opportunity to buy a larger screen, without dominating the entire room. After looking online and instore at Currys/PC World, we purchased this Panasonic Viera model (TX-l39EM6B) which is a 39 inch screen LED flatscreen television. The full RRP is £599 but it is currently selling for £379 at Currys which is more or less the price we paid a few months ago.
At the price we paid, I do feel that this is excellent value for money, given the confidence that I have in the quality of Panasonic electrical goods. The appearance of the tv is stylish with a slim, barely noticeable, black surround to the screen which maximises the viewing space without taking up too much wall space. The Panasonic logo is also fairly small and unobtrusive and all of the manual controls are tidily tucked away at the rear of the very slim tv where they are still readily accessible.
Despite being considerably larger than our previous television, this doesn't appear to be a tasteless monstrosity, particularly when wall-mounted. It is actually much lighter than our previous smaller tv (coming in at 9.64kg.) This might not appear to be much of a consideration but, as somebody who had to hold this in position whilst it was being attached to the wall brackets, I was pretty grateful! Our living room wall is also quite a poor construction and the low weight gave us more confidence about the safety of having this wall mounted.
This does come supplied with a simple but sturdy black stand which we used for a few days before getting a 'man who can' to fit this for us. The bracket for wall mounting is not supplied but we found the Viera to be perfectly compatible with a relatively inexpensive Logik bracket which we bought separately from Currys.
The tv itself has proven to be incredibly easy to set up and operate. The Freeview channels are pre-programmed as standard making the initial setup very straightforward and intuitive, with no need to mess around tuning each channel individually. We use this in conjunction with a Sky Plus HD box which means we are able to maximise this telly's HD viewing potential by viewing the surprisingly high number of free HD channels available through a basic Sky package. I've never really be that interested in the potential of HD viewing but the difference in viewing quality is quite astounding when watching HD channels on this tv.
Even when viewing standard (non-HD) channels, the quality on screen is very impressive with the LED (rather than LCD) screen meaning that viewing quality remains consistent no matter how far or close to the screen you actually are, or at what angle you are viewing the screen. (For the technically minded, this boasts 1920 x 1080BP and 100 HZ Backlight Blinking technology.) That all sounds very impressive but what interests me is that it actually looks really impressive and the images are incredibly crisp, clear and defined, whether on HD or not. We still have our old (Phillips) tv in use upstairs and the visible difference in quality is amazing. The sound quality is also very impressive, with twin speaker stereo sound. There is no distortion of sound even when the volume is raised to drown out any background noise!
The remote control supplied is fairly slim and compact, with all of the buttons logically laid out and responsive. The number keys are particularly clear and bold and the remote control itself is fairly intuitive to use although I do tend to rely on the Sky remote, using this mainly to switch between Freeview and Sky television. There really is very little need to adjust the settings on the television anyway, particularly as this intelligent tv claims to automatically adjust the screen brightness according to lighting conditions. This is billed as an energy saving feature and although I can't say that I've noticed any alterations in screen brightness, I've certainly never felt compelled to manually change the settings.
All of the necessary sockets and lead connections are discreetly tucked away at the rear of the tv. This features two HDMI sockets (one of which is ARC enabled) and we actually received a free HDMI lead with the purchase of the tv. Our tv is connected to both the Sky Plus box and a Blu Ray player and both function perfectly. There is also a USB port if required. The lead to the tv is of a generous length which was very useful to us as we ended up boxing in all of the wiring and leads as it looked incredibly messy when first installed. The added flexibility of a long plug lead was invaluable to us and something we cursed with other appliances!
In all, I am very happy with this Panasonic Viera television. I feel that it is well priced, given the viewing and sound quality and the range of technical features and specifications and can think of no reason to give this anything other than five stars and a wholehearted recommendation.