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Panasonic Viera TX-P37X20B 37in Plasma TV review

John Archer



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Panasonic Viera TX-P37X20B 37in Plasma TV
  • Panasonic Viera TX-P37X20B 37in Plasma TV
  • Panasonic Viera TX-P37X20B 37in Plasma TV
  • Panasonic Viera TX-P37X20B 37in Plasma TV
  • Panasonic Viera TX-P37X20B 37in Plasma TV
  • VIERA TX-P37X20B 37" Plasma TV (1024x768, 100Hz, HDTV)


Our Score:


With LCD TVs making such large leaps forward over the past 12 months, the arrival of the first screen from Panasonic’s 2010 plasma TV range is a source of as much trepidation as celebration. Especially as some of last year’s Panasonic plasmas left me feeling just a little cold, if I’m honest. Will the 37in TX-P37X20B show that plasma is keeping up with the LCD/LED joneses, or will it look like yesterday’s news?

The first thing to say about the P37X20B is that it’s impressively cheap for a 37in plasma TV; £550 would look fair even a few months after launch, but the TV is going for that already, despite only being available for a few days.

The next thing that catches my eye is the set’s design - though not necessarily for the right reasons. For while its finish looks marginally more opulent than that of last year’s Panny plasmas, thanks to a touch more gloss, the sculpting remains fundamentally unimaginative, and the lack of any metal trim or subtle colours to alleviate the full-on blackness is a shame.

The P37X20B sits right at the bottom of Panasonic’s new plasma range. And this lowly positioning is evident to some extent in its connections. For instance, you only get three HDMIs when many screens now are doing four. Though interestingly, one of these HDMIs is a 1.4 rather than the usual 1.3 grade, meaning it carries Audio Return Channel support.

There’s no Ethernet port for DLNA functionality or connecting to Panasonic’s VieraCast online service, though, nor is there a USB port for playing files from a USB stick. Even more startlingly there’s no D-Sub PC input, meaning you’ll have to use one of the three HDMIs for computer connection. Naturally this makes the provision of just three HDMIs potentially all the more troublesome.

The set isn’t a complete multimedia washout though, for it does cling to an SD card slot through which you can play JPEG still photos or AVCHD video files. This slot can take SDXC cards, too. To be honest, though, if I’d been Panasonic and I’d had to choose between a USB and an SD card slot on my new entry-level TV, I would personally have gone the USB route, due to the fact that USB storage sticks are so much more portable and practical for shifting between devices than tiny SD cards.

As you’d expect with a 37in plasma TV, the P37X20B doesn’t manage to fit in to its relatively small frame a Full HD resolution of plasma cells; instead it goes for Panasonic’s unusual 1,024 x 720 pixel count - a set up that delivers a widescreen aspect ratio because Panasonic uses a horizontally elongated plasma cell structure designed to improve colour balance.

Some of you will doubtless be immediately put off the P37X20B because it doesn’t have a Full HD picture. But if that’s you, just bear in mind that many times I’ve found video processing and a TV’s core engine to be far more important to image sharpness than mere resolution.

The TV’s native contrast, meanwhile, is rated at 2,000,000:1, a figure that looks stupendously good against the black level claims of rival LCD TVs - though only about average by today’s high and mighty plasma standards.

Other features of note include 100Hz processing which doubles the PAL refresh rate for enhanced motion, colours and image stability, and the introduction of Panasonic’s latest VReal 5 picture processing engine.

However, crucially the P37X20B does not use one of Panasonic’s NeoPDP panel designs. This means it won’t benefit from the high brightness/low running power advantages of NeoPDP, or the new filter/discharge gas/phosphor/redesigned plasma cell structure improvements made for 2010’s upcoming NeoPDP range (which kicks in at the G20 range).

Technology changes, and so sho

March 19, 2010, 12:56 am

So, one of the reasons Panasonic touts plasma at this size is that it's supposed to be more energy efficient than LCD.

How does this claim stack up?

Dusty M

March 20, 2010, 3:10 pm

Hi,I have had a 42px70 since jan07 and although it is not full hd I have to agree with john that when running bluray or my tosh hd player( yes I bought jusy b4 tosh dropped the bomb shell)the picture is fantastic also the black level is really good.But looking at the x10 range that is about to end I did think Panasonic had taken a step back in picture quality,does anybody else agree.


March 26, 2010, 6:26 am

To John Archer: You reviewed both TX-P37X20 & TH-37PX80, are you really saying Image Quality of the PX80 is better? PX80 > 9/10 vs X20 8/10..

I'm wondering since my defective PX80 is now in the process of being replaced by Panasonic for an X20. So, should I press them for a better deal? Or will I be fine? If the IQ is equal to the PX80's I'll be very happy. The TV is for the bedroom btw, where it's usually pretty dark.


May 12, 2010, 9:57 pm

Having bought the TX-P37X20B and played with it for the last few days...I'm impressed. I tend to agree with the main review but I would rate the sound 9 out of 10. The grahic equalizer, lacking on the previous plasma models makes a huge difference. There's plenty of bass, treble and other tone control. I run the surround sound mode with just the standard set speakers. It's brilliant and out classes many other expensive sets that I have been viewing and trying. The picture is stunning on Virgin Media cable SD mode, and HD is just superb! Freview is fine too. Everything about the set is easy to use with huge menu's to satify any setup demands you may have. In other words you can tweak till your hearts content and the results will be just what you want. Straight out of the box mine was setup really well by the factory. I've made almost no changes. Prior to buying this set I wanted a high end LCD full HD set...and I'm so glad I didn't get one. THIS IS MUCH BETTER FOR NEARLY EVERYONE'S NEEDS. And I'm fussy as hell!


May 14, 2010, 3:27 pm

Sorry...forgot to mention power useage and viewing angles in my brief review above. Can only say it uses less power than my old 32" Philips CRT widescreen which was rated at 205w if my memory serves me correctly. I haven't measured the actual power throughput, but the book says average 'power on' use for the TX-P37X20B is 115watt...maximum rated power use 190w. I suspect this will in reality be somewhere inbetween depending on how you set the TV up and where and how it's used ie: are the power saving features switched on, is CATS switched on (dims screen down as the room gets darker to avoid eye strain, using less power, and is incidentally a very good feature we have found) etc etc. The other point I must mention is the fabulour 'viewing angle free' design. Being a plasm, you can watch this set comfortably from any angle you wish without any noticeable loss of picture quality at all. NO LCD CAN MATCH IT! We have found it to be a terrific asset as my LG LCD set cannot be watched from anywhere but the direct frontal view to get the HD quality. It's rubbish from anywhere else (I'm not rubbishing LG sets...all makes of LCD are like that with just some a little better than others). Plasma's are brilliant and with much better screen life too than LCD. Hope this is helpful.


May 21, 2010, 4:32 pm

I was so disappointed to see this luke-warm review after the more enthusiastic review for the X10. Desperate to upgrade from Daewoo DUB2850 CRT (DTV) in time for the World Cup, but wary of LCD quality within my budget, I've been looking out for a bargain plasma to give me a STANDARD DEFINITION picture in which I can read the numbers on our boys' shirts and which is not garishly aimed at the gaming market. Panasonic have already brought out models with only one SCART socket *horror*.

Starfleet, you've encouraged me - in your opinion would the SD Freeview picture on this be a significant step up from medium-quality CRT? (I'm taking your word for it that I wouldn't need to buy a sound system to add on!) And can .avi movies be converted to play on the SD card?



August 16, 2010, 1:46 am

clemenzina, sorry for a late reply...haven't been about. Don't know if this is any help now but here goes. I found the SD picture on my new Plasma TX-P37X20B to be significantly better than my 32" CRT Philips set whether watching Freeview or Virgin Media Cable. It's also better than my LG Full HD LCD set in SD or Full HD. Quite a suprise. So I don't think the lower resolution on the Panny set is very significant at all and the original reviewers comment about this aspect is correct...it depends on the quality of the panel and the software driving it rather than just the screen res. It's great. In fact the picture on my Plasma set has just been getting better and better and it's not my imagination either. Get one!!


February 4, 2011, 12:40 pm

I have just purchased this TV, unfortunatly I dont understand any of the jargon that has been written on the reviews, but I must say its a very nice TV, Picture is great, not to pleased with the sound as speakers are at the back, but with my little surround system has solved that problem. As this is now a discontinud line I got this Tv at a fantastic price.

If any body can help me tweak this TV in laymans terms please get in touch .


August 25, 2011, 11:22 pm

How to watch videos on your Panasonic TV with a SD card

Samples videos on your Panasonic TV with a SD card

download archive
, unrar
and put everything in the root of the sd card
Voila Enjoy

Samples videos on your Panasonic TV with a SD card download archive

unzip and put everything in the directory PRIVATE in the root of the sd card

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