Viera Connect works very nicely in some ways; it’s been given a more modern-looking and efficient interface than it had last year, which makes it much easier to quickly see and access the available apps. The platform is quick and stable too, while the Marketplace area makes excellent use of content ‘shortcut’ links to streamline navigation.
The only problem with Viera Connect is that while it does provide Netflix, Acetrax , BBC iPlayer, BBC News, and BBC Sport video platforms, it doesn’t go as far as the online platforms of Sony, LG and especially Samsung when it comes to offering the video support that’s the most important element of any TV’s online features.
The L39E6 does have a multimedia trump card up its sleeve, though, in the form of Panasonic’s new My Home Screen interface.
So significant a development is My Home Screen that we’ve covered it in depth in a dedicated review. Briefly, though, My Home Screen uses a series of different home screens that you can easily navigate between to provide streamlined access to different types of content and utility apps. Even better, you can build your own home screens, populated only by the apps you really care about yourself.
The whole system is remarkably slick, and is incredibly easy to use considering how sophisticated it is, even providing a spoken tutorial to help guide you through and get the most out of all the options available.
Panasonic additionally provides some really handy second-screen support via a well-designed app for both iOS and Android devices. You can share the TV content on your second screen, or easily share multimedia on your portable device with the TV. And the simple ‘finger-swiping’ mechanism for moving content between devices is a revelation.
Let loose on a few Blu-ray films, the L39E6 proves very impressive for its £700 asking price. The main reason for this is that it delivers dark scenes with much more credibility than many of its rivals. This is partly because the screen can produce blackness with much less of the usual grey overtone, but also because its edge LED lighting system largely avoids the sort of distracting backlight clouds that have tended to be all-too-obvious on many edge LED TVs. Even the very corners of dark shots look just as evenly black as their central parts.
This impressive evenness of the backlight enables you to run the L39E6’s screen quite a bit brighter than you would were you having to combat backlight clouding, making the L39E6 a good option for anyone looking for a TV to go into a quite bright room.
Not that the L39E6 is only good in bright rooms, mind. Firing up the Cinema preset for some ‘lights down’ movie viewing also delivers an excellent result for an out-of-the-box mode, complete with really inky black levels, much more natural and subtly rendered colours than you get with the Natural or Dynamic presets, and an impressively balanced approach to detail which leaves HD source material looking sharp and textured but not so much so that images start to be afflicted by grain or other noise.