All the bells and whistles, plus picture performance to just about back it up – but competition is fierceWrite your own review
- Looks the part
- comprehensive spec
- good Freeview HD and Freesat HD tuners
- dynamic picture
- Struggles with the fastest motion
- on the expensive side
It's fair to say this Panasonic screen does just about everything, apart from 3D, that you might expect from an HD TV in 2010.
An early indication of this cup-runneth-over mentality is the inclusion of not one but two HD tuners, with Freesat HD and Freeview HD fans both catered for.
This will extend the set's appeal to those who perhaps don't have a good Freeview signal or already have a satellite dish in place, or if you simply hate not getting access to absolutely every TV station floating around in the non-subscription ether.
It also helps to alleviate the annoyance of this set's Freeview HD tuner not being able to deliver Dolby Digital surround sound from all HD broadcasts, instead offering stereo-only PCM through optical output. The choice of tuners is merely the beginning when it comes to jam-packing this set with features and functions.
DLNA-compatibilty ensures you can stream music and video from other compatible devices on your home network, while Viera Cast is Panasonic's take on the internet widget phenomenon, giving you access to more content over your home network from the likes of video service YouTube and Skype.
Vivid colours and plenty of detail
We expect a picture worthy of the price tag and specification and we're largely left satisfied. The HD tuners prove competent, mainly free of noise and with suitably vivid colours and plenty of detail, though sonically the speakers are no great shakes.
Switch to Blu-ray and the level of insight is excellent, and as good as any here. Panasonic makes a habit of rock-solid black levels, a foundation that is present and correct here and upon which vivid but natural colours are allowed to flourish.
Our only gripe concerns the screen's handling of motion, which isn't as super-smooth or as devoid of blurring as others.
At the top of the price range the styling and specification gives the Panasonic V20 every advantage but the picture performance, good though it is, can't fully justify the extra outlay.