Just over a month ago I looked at and was reasonably pleased with the first of Panasonic's new G10 range of Freesat LCD TVs, the L37G10. So, hopefully today's smaller model, the TX-L32G10B, will prove to be a chip off the old block. Especially since its 32in size potentially opens it up to the ‘second room' market, where having a built-in Freesat tuner could be very handy indeed. Provided, of course, that you can overcome the inevitable satellite cabling hassles.
Aesthetically the L32G10 can be summed up with a completely non-committal ‘it's OK'. Its finish is just about glossy enough and the arced bottom edge just about shapely enough to give it a dash of panache, but the visual impact could hardly be called dazzling and to me the G10 design didn't engage me as much at this 32in size as it did on the larger 37in model.
The L32G10 kicks up a gear with its connections, though. Its provision of four HDMI ports is particularly impressive considering its relatively small size - and the fact that it's already got both Freesat and Freeview tuners built in.
Also appreciated is the presence of a digital audio output, an SD card slot capable of playing AVCHD/MPEG 2 movies as well as JPEG stills, and the Freesat-demanded Ethernet port, via which the TV will be able to access BBC iPlayer content - and other as yet unconfirmed other ‘interactive' services - later on this year.
For what it's worth, the manufacturer's spec sheet for the L32G10 reads pretty respectably. The screen is, for instance, a Full HD affair despite its relatively small size and so is perfectly positioned to make the best of Freesat's HD broadcasts (which comprise the 9 hours a day now available from the BBC, and ITV's sporadic bits and bobs).
The set's contrast ratio, meanwhile, is quoted at the same, respectable-looking 50,000:1 level as its 37in sibling; there's 100Hz processing bolstered by Panasonic's Intelligent Frame Creation system; there's a 24p Smooth Film mode to reduce judder while watching Blu-ray; there's full Deep and x.v. Colour support; and finally the set's quoted viewing angle of 178 degrees is, for once, not some kind of sick joke.
That's because the screen at the TV's heart is an IPS Alpha design, one key feature of which is that it lets you watch pictures from quite a wide angle without anywhere near as much loss of contrast and colour saturation as you get with ordinary LCD TVs.