The television comes with a small black metal stand, remote control, batteries, and a user guide, all packed in a big flat cardboard box. Unpacking and assembly takes just a few minutes. You'll need a screwdriver to put the stand together (it uses four screws) and to attach it to the television (another four screws). After that, it's just a matter of standing the television where you want it, plugging it in and switching it on.
Set-up is very simple. It uses clear on-screen prompts to guide you, so (almost) nothing can go wrong. It scans digital and analogue channels (if you still receive them), and then asks you to set a PIN and enter your name and address. This is a security feature. If the television is stolen, the thieves must have the PIN to reset the details; they cannot be changed or reset without it (at least that's what Panasonic claims).
I am no expert on televisions but, compared to the few LCD screens I have owned, the picture looks excellent to me. The blacks are intense and the colours vibrant without being too saturated. There are various settings for adjusting the colour, brightness and saturation, and for setting up the sound, but the defaults look fine.
Its Freeview support is good. The program guide is extensive, quick to load and easy to use. This is helped by a really well-designed remote control handset, which has large buttons with clear captions. As with many other manufacturers, Panasonic has designed its range of products to work well together, using HDMI cables. With this in mind, the handset includes a few controls for handling Viera components.
As ever with today's televisions, the things you may connect to them, and how you connect them, can be complicated. To show what devices can be connected, and how to do it, I have included a few pictures from the user guide (see the top of this web page - you'll have to zoom right in to see the details).
The SD card slot has been more useful than we thought it would be. Rather than bothering with cables to connect a camera to the television, we just slot in the SD card, and then use the television media player features to view pictures and video.
The only downside I've found so far is its lack of a power button. You can switch to standby using the power button on the side but, if you want it completely off then you have to switch off at the wall. Page 9 of the user guide says in slightly strange English, "To completely OFF the TV, please switch off the wall socket or remove the mains plug from the wall socket." I am unimpressed by that, especially as it encourages people to leave it on standby, which is not great for the environment or the electricity bill.
Overall it's a really good television for the money. The picture is great, the sound is great, and it's easy to control. I am annoyed about the power switch, but I guess I can live with that.