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With a native resolution of 1,366 x 768 joining the aforementioned HD connectivity, the 32LXD70 is inevitably HD Ready. Rather more interesting among its quoted specifications is a claimed contrast ratio of 8,500:1, which is simply vast by LCD TV standards. Inevitably this isn’t a ‘pure’ contrast ratio, but one achieved by automatically reducing the backlight output when a dark scene is detected. But we’ve seen these systems working increasingly successfully in recent times, and Panasonic claims that with its latest IPS Alpha LCD panel design it can now get its backlight down to only 1/7th of the minimum brightness achievable on its previous LCD TVs.
The IPS Alpha panel we mentioned back there is also significant in that it apparently permits a wider viewing angle than any LCD panel design before it, as well as delivering significantly reduced response times and a wider colour palette compared with normal LCD panels.
We should say, too, that the 100Hz processing is part of a much wider processing engine, dubbed V-Real 2. Other key elements of this system include: full 1080p processing, meaning that the TV will both take in 1080p sources and upscale lower resolution sources to 1080p; various ‘pre-emptive’ noise reduction tools that scan the image for potential trouble spots and deal with them before the picture is actually put on screen; and a colour management tool that apparently gives extra richness to reds and blues.
We’ve been impressed by Panasonic LCD TVs in the past – but the 32LXD70 definitely lifts things to another level. And yes, much of the extra quality on show appears to be down to the new 100Hz system.
Spinning rapidly around in one of the dark rooms on the Higher Ground level of the Xbox 360 Halo 3 Beta, for instance, produces far less of the smearing and resolution loss we’re used to seeing with LCD screens (though it doesn’t stop me getting blasted by pre-teen American freaks all the time…).