All of the features we’ve been talking about are accessible via a typically user-friendly Panasonic remote control, and a new, improved onscreen menu system. Particularly helpful is a new ‘Viera Tools’ button on the remote that immediately brings up a graphics-based shortcut to the TV’s Viera Link functions, a Pause Live TV icon that works in tandem with a connected Panasonic digital recorder if you have one, and the TV’s photo viewing software.
My only complaint about the operating system would be that the main Menu button doesn’t fall readily to hand on the remote. But then I guess most ‘normal’ users who aren’t reviewing the TV won’t have to head into the menus all that often once the TV has been initially set up.
Regular readers will know that we’re generally big fans of Panasonic’s plasma TVs. And I was fully expecting to love this one too, especially given how cheap it is. But sadly for all those crazy conspiracy theorists among you convinced that Panasonic merely buys our good opinion, in this case I only liked rather than loved the P37X10.
For starters, coming to the P37X10 straight after LG’s Freesat TV debut earlier in the week, I couldn’t help but be struck by how relatively low on brightness the P37X10’s pictures look. After calibration – and with the Eco mode off for testing purposes – the picture really doesn’t leap off the screen at you with much vigour.
This brightness issue is, of course, one of the traditional differences between LCD and plasma technology. But for me the P37X10’s lack of verve is such that it can make its pictures feel slightly muted in any room conditions brighter than semi-darkness.
Another issue is that I wasn’t always totally convinced by the P37X10’s colours. Some darkish scenes appear to have a vaguely green tinge to them, while some skin tones can look a bit orangey.
The screen’s native 1,024 x 720 native resolution possibly also contributes to a sense that HD sources don’t look quite as crisp and detailed as they might, and finally I detected some obvious judder over motion, especially during camera pans – despite the 100Hz engine.
Furthermore, with really low-quality standard definition sources I occasionally spotted traces of a little dotting noise over moving skin tones – a problem once common in plasma circles, but one which I seldom see these days.