Panasonic TX-L19D28 review

Available in white or purple, this 19-inch LED-backlit from Panasonic is a serious attempt at a high-end screen - and at this size that’s rare indeed.

You’ll have to part with almost £400 for the privilege, but get your hands on the TX-L19D28 and you get not only the finest screen of its size currently on sale. You also get an iPod/iPhone docking system that’s impressive, though a notch or two below dedicated iPod/iPhone audio systems.

This is heavy stuff. Fixed to its heavyweight stand the TX-L19D28 weighs a chunky 6.5kg despite measuring a mere 58mm slim - the build quality on show is seriously good.

The solid feel continues in its myriad features, which include an iPod interface, a SD card slot for playing digital files, and a HD-ready resolution. The latter is actually a surprise; although there’s simply no need for Full HD at this size, such is the speed of the technology pipeline at the moment (check out the pointlessly over-specc’d resolution of the tiny iPhone screen for evidence of that) that we’d half expected a 1080p panel.

Not that the 19-inch LCD TV screen isn’t thoroughly advanced; within the sculpted purple (on our review sample) bezel is a LED-backlit LCD screen. More than that, it uses an IPS Alpha LCD panel that’s famed for its ultra-wide viewing angle.

And so it proves in test; the viewing angle is indeed as wide as you could expect, with colour remaining just as strong even if viewing from the wings - and only a touch of contrast drains away. That colour and contrast are significant strengths - we’re talking rich, vibrant and very bright, though natural and nuanced, colours and the kind of contrast never before seen on a flatpanel TV of this size.

Benchmark? You betcha. There’s no trace of any motion blur - too often the bane of small screen LCD TVs - though this TV’s true purple patch is reserved for the iPod interface.

Firmly part of the traditional (and rather basic-looking) Panasonic user interface, the iPod menus are nevertheless comprehensive, giving access to playlists, photos and podcasts without too much searching. “Slick” is pushing it, but the operation is quick and the remote helps rather than hinders.

Sound quality from music is fair, but the TX-L19D28EP’s 3W speakers are not the best for music. That said, they’re better than most; the level of bass might be rather pitiful when put alongside a hi-fi system, but it’s the most rounded sound you’ll get at this size. As always, if you’re using any kind of compressed music, the 128kbps tracks will always sound terrible.

The dedicated iPod dock is connected to its mothership via a made-to-measure connector. Elsewhere there’s a brace of HDMI inputs and a SD card slot that supports the playback of MP3, JPEG and AVC HD files. Wot no DivX?

Verdict

It’s expensive and will only appeal to owners of an iPod touch or iPhone, but this 19-inch LED-backlit LCD TV is perfect for those of us who demand top picture quality on TVs all over the house.