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You’ve got to admire a company that sticks by its principals even when everyone else is doing their damndest to make those principals look wrong. Provided, of course, that ‘everyone else’ isn’t actually right…
Cue the TH-37PX600, with which Panasonic hopes to prove that its unique decision to stick with plasma rather than LCD technology at the 37in screen size is born of a desire to give consumers the best picture quality rather than a stubborn refusal to change with the times.
The TH-37PX600 belongs to Panasonic’s latest ‘flagship’ Viera range – but you wouldn’t guess this from looking at it. Its predominantly grey bezel looks bland and feels plasticky compared with most flat TV rivals. Things do perk up a bit, though, if you pop the telly on Panasonic’s glamorous cabinet stand mounting option.
Connectivity is impressive. Starting the good news off are two HDMIs, but these receive ample backing from component video ports for connecting analogue HD devices like the Xbox 360, a D-Sub PC jack, three Scarts, and a front-mounted SD card slot.
This SD slot is one of the things that distinguishes the PX600 from TVs lower down the Panasonic pecking order. And it isn’t just for playing JPEG stills, either. It can also play AND record MPEG 4 movies, meaning you can watch TV recordings made by the TV on a portable video device on your way to work every morning. Bonus. Provided, of course, your portable video device happens to take SD cards.
This Panny’s HDMI sockets are more interesting than most, too, in that they’re configured to deliver enhanced, two-way communication with other compatible Panasonic kit like the company’s new DIGA digital recording range. It’s a shame this HDMI system doesn’t work with gear from other manufacturers – but then if it did, there wouldn’t be any incentive for you to make your entire home AV system Panasonic branded, would there?!