It’s fair to say that Panasonic’s new 19in TV doesn’t follow the usual sub-20in TV herd.
For starters, it’s purple. Not glaringly, jarringly purple, but certainly purple enough to make the shiny, double-layered bezel stand out from the crowded shelves of your average home electronics emporium. In fact, shock horror, the L19D28BP is actually a rather attractive thing when slotted onto its neckless little stand - and regular readers will know that 'attractive' is not a word we commonly use when describing Panasonic TVs.
Another non-standard thing about the L19D28BP is its price. Look down the list of 19in TV prices at Comet or Dixons, and you’ll find plenty of models listed for comfortably under £200. Yet the best price we could rustle up on the L19D28BP at the time of writing was £373 - more than double the price of some 19in rivals.
Thankfully, though, the L19D28BP isn’t just expensive for the sake of it. For another thing that helps it be intriguingly different is its backlighting, since while every other sub-20in LCD TV we’ve tested to date has used normal CCFL lighting to illuminate their screens, the L19D28BP uses edge LED lighting. This finds rows of white LEDs ranged along the rear of the top and bottom screen edges, which fire light across the back of the screen that’s deflected out with the help of a light diffusion panel.
We’re not done yet with the L19D28BP’s unusualness (to use one of my favourite awkward words). For also tucked into the top of the TV’s packaging is what looks conspicuously like an iPod docking station. And indeed, that’s exactly what it is. It’s a universal one too - um, except that it doesn’t work with the iPod Shuffle. Nanos, Classics, Touches, and iPhones, though, are all good to go.
The docking station also charges your iThing while it’s slotted on, and allows you to navigate all your stuff via the TV’s remote and onscreen menus. Naturally the TV plays video files as well as audio ones. The system all works very well, with a straightforward interface and decent playback quality so long as you accept that the TV’s little 2 x 3W speakers are hardly going to compete with the sound - especially where bass is concerned - you would get from a decent dedicated iPod audio dock.
If you’re not a paid up member of the Apple universe, there are alternative multimedia courses open to you. For the set carries an SD slot that can play JPEG photos and AVCHD video from SD memory cards. Plus there’s a PC input.