Unlike other Smart VIERA sets from the brand, it uses passive polarised 3D rather than full-HD Active Shutter technology. This is because it’s built around an unglamorous 120Hz panel – too slow for decent Active Shutter performance.
The 37in TX-L37ET5 typically sells for £699. It’s also available as the 32in TX-L32ET5 (£599), the 42in TX-L42ET5 (£799), the 47in TX-L47ET5 (£999) and the range-topping 55in TX-L55ET5 (£1500). See all TV reviews.
Connectivity is generous. There are four HDMIs, one of which is audio return channel (ARC) compliant, to send sound from TV to an AV receiver; plus three USB, ethernet, optical digital audio output, PC input. There is also SCART and component video, both via supplied adaptors, and an SD card reader, the latter compatible with high-capacity SDXC media. A CI slot handles subscription services, and Wi-Fi is built-in.??The set’s USB media reader proved to be compatible with popular video file types, including MKV. Across a network, when streaming from a NAS, it was less adept. See also Sony XBR-84X900 4K TV review.
Despite its entry-level positioning, the TV is well-made and looks up-market thanks to a glossy grey bezel, framed with translucent plastic beading. But it’s not as svelte as some rivals. While the bezel is a fashionably trim 25mm, the set is deeper than you might imagine. Still, table-top mounted and viewed straight on, you can’t tell. See also Group test: what's the best TV?
The set’s user interface has graphical flourishes and is easy to live with. Thankfully Panasonic no longer injects advertising into its EPG, but equally there is no live TV window or ongoing audio either. For the visually impaired, the set has a highly commendable voice guidance feature, which narrates the operation of basic features, such as the EPG.?
The TX-L37ET5 is a good choice if access to streaming internet TV services is a priority. The VIERA Connect portal offers BBC iPlayer, YouTube, BBC News, Eurosport, Netflix, Acetrax, Fetch TV, Dailymotion, CNBC, iConcerts, and Aupeo, amongst others. Take a look at Samsung Series 7 55" 3D LED TV review.
You’ll also find the inevitable social-media clients: Facebook, Twitter, Picasa. Skype is built in too. You can customise the landing page to your preferred selection, moving some of the less interesting fare to nested pages.
Image quality gets one out of two thumbs up. Black level performance is average, making the Dark Knight more Dark Grey. A 20-step black/20-step white scale confirms that blacks have been crushed to make Gotham by night look as dynamic as possible. This gives the images visual snap, although some luminance fizz is evident in the darkness.
Colours are vibrant though and pictures, particularly when sourced via Blu-ray, are pleasingly sharp. However, motion resolution isn’t a strong point, even with the help of the brand’s proprietary Intelligent Frame Creation (IFC) processing. But on a screen this size, that’s not really a big deal. Of course, if you’re thinking about this set’s 47- or 55in iterations, then this is far more significant.?
While this screen is too small for 3D effects to be truly immersive, the ET5’s dimensional performance is fun enough. Four pairs of specs are included in the box, and it’s easy to add more.
The system is compatible with the RealD 3D system used in most cinemas. When viewed square on, stereoscopic images have depth and no obvious crosstalk. However view vertically off-axis and the 3D picture suffers from epic break-up.
The set’s 20W sound system is effective, with enough middle-range not to become a tinny annoyance.