This 24in Panasonic TX-L24X5B set cuts a dash in its no-nonsense, slim-bezelled black finish. It looks every bit as classy as its bigger-screened siblings, and shares those TVs’ intuitive menus and set-up procedure.
It’s also got a Freeview HD tuner, which is impressive for a smaller model. So that’s where we begin.
Panasonic TX-L24X5B: Picture qualityBBC Breakfast is a tricky one for many sets, thanks to some quite vivid reds on the sofa and plenty of varied colours, textures and types of movement from different reports.
In standard-definition, the picture is acceptable, but not brilliant, with edges breaking up a tad and noise creeping in. In HD, however, it's a different story; it's composed, clean and grippy, while motion is far more stable.
Switch to DVD via a Sony BDP-S390 and the Panasonic does a good job of upscaling the remaster of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope to the Full HD display. Motion is smooth and consistent (but for a few instabilities in slower panning shots), and it’s an easy picture to watch.
More after the break
Panasonic TX-L24X5B: Blu-ray performanceLikewise, a spin of TT: Closer To The Edge in native Full HD from a Blu-ray shows the Panasonic to be a refined performer. We like its subtlety with motion, and the way it draws edges – nothing is ever over-sharpened, and the aerial sequences of bikes screaming along the coast roads show impressive detail resolution.
Like many small-screen TVs, there’s no smart content on offer. It’s a shame, because Panasonic has one of the best suites of content in the business thanks to its Viera Connect service. But perhaps that’s only to be expected, given the price.
Where this set loses its fifth star is in its colour balance – it's just too mellow; too warm. Black depth is pretty good with Blu-rays, decent with DVDs and HD broadcasts and fair with standard-def Freeview, but it never quite goes as dark as we'd like.
And this, coupled with the off-whites, saps the picture of vibrancy. Sometimes, it absolutely nails it – which only makes it more frustrating that most of the time, the picture is just a little lacklustre.
Panasonic TX-L24X5B: VerdictSo this is a qualified success. If you can handle the so-so colour accuracy, you’ll be treated to a smooth and accomplished picture in other areas. Four stars it is.